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Writing feature about Civ 6 modding - want to chat?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - Creation & Customization' started by ktek78, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    They are simply impossible to achieve in civ6. You could do partial conversions based on those, but not full conversions.

    But you could do new mods quite similar as long as you accept to use the civ6 core rules and do not create new actions that would require integration into the AI.
     
    Deliverator likes this.
  2. ktek78

    ktek78 Chieftain

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    You're not the only person whose work on a mod has been smashed up by the release of an expansion. Were expansions always this disruptive to modding in previous Civ games?
     
  3. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    Minor correction here. When you say we haven’t been able to crack Wonder animations that isn’t exactly the case. We (or at least I) understand how to make the Wonders animated - there is no technical or understanding barrier to animated World Wonders. The barrier is in time, effort and skill. The Wonder animations can contain more than 1000 individually animated elements. Even the Firaxis paid artists must spend at least a week on each one I would think. I can’t imagine a world where amateur modders would invest that sort of time. Even the time Sukritact spends animating his leaders would be unfeasible for many.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2020
  4. ktek78

    ktek78 Chieftain

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    And can you give me a quick lowdown of what this mod was and why R&F broke it? Had it already been released or was its development halted by R&F?
     
  5. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    I think the answer is yes to that, but people reacted differently to GS than before I think because they weren’t sufficiently attached to Civ 6 and going back to Civ 5 was an option or just playing other games. The number of R&F mods that haven’t been updated for GS is large and tells a story. People are reluctant to commit to a game that has an uncertain modding future.

    15 years on from Civ 4’s release there are so many more strategy games out there competing for people’s leisure time. I think that’s probably the greatest factor in the decline of Civ modding. There’s less need to craft Civ into the game I want it to be because the game I want is more likely to already exist or something close to it.
     
  6. LeeS

    LeeS Imperator Supporter

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    The mod enabled a city to construct a building based on surrounding map-terrain resources, features, and the like. In order to achieve this, which was not possible using any of the Firaxis pre-provided SQL game-code nor by using modifiers, I wrote an lua script that analyzed a city's surrounding terrain and the plots the city owned to determine whether any given city should qualify to construct a particular building. When a city did so qualify because for example it might have Improved Sheep with a Pasture within its set of "owned" plot-tiles, the lua code added a hidden dummy building to the city: this hidden dummy building then acted as an unlocker which allowed that individual city to construct a "real" building that would show to the game-user and which had direct effects such as additional plot-yields.

    In doing this I needed a method to lock all players from being able to just construct the dummy building and then proceeding to construct the "real" building, with the help of Sukritact and others I quickly found a method that accomplished this: I made the dummy its own prerequisite building. This worked well in Vanilla but with the release of Rise and Fall certain parts of the game were re-written and the game would simply unrecoverably lock-up when the Game User founded their first city. It was quite some time before I realized what had been changed (whether it was a UI file alteration, a memory allocation limit, etc.) but it turned out that with the creation of Rise and Fall the DLL was likely changed so that a Building could not be its own prerequisite. This is not so much a lack of access to the DLL sourcecode issue however as it is Firaxis finding loopholes in their code and eliminating them in efforts to make the game more stable. But modders live and breathe on those loopholes.

    I'm currently running a stable version of the mod in private but I need to re-write several lua User Interface files again using the latest versions of the basegame's files as starting points in order to maintain the seemless illusion to the human player that dummy buildings aren't a thing. And with various score mechanisms and the like I still need to check into whether I need to rewrite the UI files that calculate and show these things to the Human User and whether or not this level of massaging the UI files is really all that necessary just to hide dummy buildings from the immersion of the Human User.
     
  7. ktek78

    ktek78 Chieftain

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    But would you have to be relying on 'loopholes' if teh DLL source was available? Because the code would be freely available you could just re-add these loopholes whenever Firaxis plugged them up, right?

    Also, does the fact that you designed your mod for vanilla Civ 6 mean it would keep working with the vanilla game, just not with games where Rise & Fall is activated? Otherwise, don't people like @Gedemon worry that even though their mod is designed for vanilla, that at any point Firaxis may just plug up the loopholes that make their mod work?
     
  8. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    Yes, my overhaul use tons of dummy buildings for its mechanisms.
     
  9. ktek78

    ktek78 Chieftain

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    Awesome! I've now submitted this feature. It's a big one, and I hope you guys enjoy it once it's published on PC Games N. I'll drop the link in here when it's ready.

    Thank you all for your help. It's been really enlightening trying to wrap my head around the basics of how scripts, the DLL, and mods in general work in Civ 6, and crucially I hope that someone at Firaxis pays attention to the piece and makes life a little easier for you guys working with the game down the line.
     
    Infixo and Gedemon like this.
  10. Ekmek

    Ekmek on steam: ekmek_e

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    Ain't that the truth. I haven't even found time to do it and I've cranked out many for civ 4 and 5
     
  11. ktek78

    ktek78 Chieftain

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  12. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    Thanks, let's hope Firaxis will react.
     
  13. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    I think you're missing the point. It's not about how many current modders would make DLL mods - it's more about the potential modders that might be attracted to Civ 6 modding if the DLL source was open. With Civ 5 a lot of the mods were new Civilizations because that's what was easiest and most possible to do and that has continued into Civ 6 modding. But with Civ 4 most of the top and most fondly remember mods were based on customized DLL code. I agree DLL source code is not the number one issue though - I think the number one issue is that Civ 6 modding is just harder than previous iterations as Sukritact said on Reddit.
     
  14. Drakarska

    Drakarska Epic Dadness

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    Your second paragraph stated my outlook succinctly in regards to Civ 6 modding. I've been playing Civ since II, and learned to mod for myself and my boys for our personal use since then. But ever since V came out, it has taken longer and been more time intensive to really grasp an understanding of the necessary tools and processes to achieve the results I was looking for.
    Now with 6, it is still problematic on creating the vision that my boys and I have for a TC simply because I don't have access to the information that I need. Ironically, your above statement nails the crux of the issue perfectly, especially now that I'm in my 50's, and I simply don't have the same amount of spare time I used to have when I was younger. There are simply more games out there that have a better relationship with it's Mod Community then Firaxis does at this time.
    One other personal observation and concern that I have with regards to modding, especially with the current controversy of Blizzard/Warcraft III. I have a really huge issue with a corp owning absolutely everything of a mod I create and being able to do what ever they want to with it. For me, personally, mods are gifts to the community as a whole, not something to be stolen and used however the Corp in question see's fit.
     
  15. BlueTemplar

    BlueTemplar Prince

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    As a reminder, AFAIK these terms were already in the Starcraft 2 EULA, released a decade ago.

    ----

    Work on Civ4 mod Caveman 2 Cosmos picked up steam again about half a year ago.
    The most important result is probably the impressive improvement in game performance (even though the modders are still limited by the 32-bit engine).
    Many of the new mechanics like the Stealth/combat system, splitting/merging units, developing leaders, hunting, crime... most likely wouldn't have been possible without .dll changes.
    The relatively primitive Civ4 models allowed for much easier modding work : C2C seems to have 2074 different units !
    Among the hardest to mod is probably leaders : so all the 118* leaders currently in the game only have 2D portraits.
    *there's a modpack with even more civilization.

    Yeah, even though C2C is already a modmodmod - the full name would be Sid Meier's Civilization 4 : Beyond the Sword : Rise of Mankind : A New Dawn : Caveman 2 Cosmos - it has modmods itself !
    (Not to mention specific maps with space tiles for future ages.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2020
    Akbarthegreat and Hydrok9 like this.
  16. __jack__

    __jack__ Warlord

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    Thanks for your work ktek78.

    Unfortunately I have not a lot of hopes for seeing more being released

    The game is probably not being maintained as closely as it used to at this stage.

    I am modding for the CivPlayerLeague (CPL, a mostly American-centric competitive Multi-player league for Civilization), and those mods (Better Balanced Game, Better Balanced Start, Better Spectator Mod and lately multiplayer helper) are staples of most Civ6 esports tournaments (e.g. CivWorldCup, CCC, Zlan, Zaty's cup).

    However in spite of a good relationship with Firaxis, our querries to have access to the source code have always been denied, and recently our flagging of game breaking exploits had less follow up from their devs (hopefully that's because they are busy on an expansion or a new civ).
    It is a problem because we have to build patch from the lua end to fix something that need to be address from down below (e.g. Pantheon exploit, GG bugs)... That's ok in most instances but sometimes it leads to clumsy solutions. For instances in big casted games we had to fudge the numbers for the cultural victory in the game UI to exclude the casters (i.e. the game mechanic is based on the number of players in the game, but for the final of the US vs. Russia CWC we had 2 English casters, a Russian caster and a French caster) or force the casters to vote in the world congress to offset their impact...
     

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