For those not familiar with SMAC (really?) you can check out the game from it's "official" wiki article, or it's official home page. When I was last a regular here, Civcraft was just canceled, TheLopez had just become a father, FFH2 (Fire) was a tease, I was out of College but still at home without a job, and most importantly, I was broke. Now, woodelf is a moderator (gratz!), and has also brought it to my attention that he's NOT the father of Anna Nicole's baby, the project forum structure has changed, FFH Fire is released, my misspelled words have red underlines, and, most importantly for me, I have been steadily employed for a few months and have my own apartment. I've spent the past half-hour or so to try to come up with a neat way of saying this, but I guess I'm not good with flair. Here's the top and bottom of it: I'm officially throwing my hat into the ring of hats thrown by people who want to create a SMAC mod. I'm going to take some of this weekend (which I'll probably be too sick to go outside anyway) to sketch out some ideas about team structure, forum organization, and more. I'll have more on this when it is more or less finalized. As of now, I know that it will have SDK edits (sorry, no MAC support), and will most likely be a Vanilla mod. My big emphisis is going to be on a QA team that will interface between the community and the developers. Due to the legacy of SMAC, everyone has a different idea about where on the line between "Use Civ4 Rules with SMAC graphics" and "Use SMAC Rules with Civ4 graphics engine" the mod should lie, which most likely will be somewhere in the middle. The QA team will be in charge of taking the ideas of the community, turning them into simplified rules, holding debate and votes on those rules, finally giving them to the developers (mostly the programmers and XMLers) to turn into product. Of course, the internal team will be able to participate in these discussions, but an abstraction of interaction is what is to be kept in mind so that at all times the team knows exactly what will and what won't be included in the final mod will be. Also, the QA dept will be in charge of things such as the Vanilla vs. Warlords debate, which I'm sure will creep up I believe that the mod can be created in a way that even the largest rules can be set at game start time. That way, if people just want to make base units like Civ4, they can set that option, or if people want a more fine-tuning process like the workshop from SMAC, that is available as well. All with a simple game-start setting. It's big. It's beefy. It'll take awhile. But I see no reason why it can't be done. More info to follow, but in the meantime, anyone willing to join me in this is more than welcome to comment and reply. Preliminary "what it should be like" is also welcome. Edit: (March 10, 2007) Well, it's been only three weeks, and already we've had times where the mod team has been at each others necks. Luckily, we've been able to keep it together, and I think have crossed an initial point that's important for most mods, that is, we have stopped endless discussion about what to implement and just started implementing stuff! We're lucky to have a group of people who can keep a calm demeanor and do what's best for the mod. This means one of two things: 1.) Things will start to progress very quickly, and 2.) There might be a bunch of XML tags and other things that will be part of the mod, but not used in the final mod. This means I think that the mod itself will become a very good framework for other mods. I'm trying to stick to the idea of putting as much in XML as possible, and keep good documentation of those tags. As it is, I think we're progressing nicely, although don't expect any output anytime soon. Also, my theories of development has been changed, both by learning from others and from the experience that I've had thus far. In order to help speed up development time, a small group of developers are working to create much of the mod. When a release is finally made, then we'll see about putting together a QA team to get suggestions and comments from those who are playing the mod. Once again, don't get your hopes up for anything in the near future. As of now, it is VERY beta. You can't really play a turn without realizing that there's nothing to do. However, I feel strongly that this mod will make it all the way through.