Z-Eras -- Reality alternatives

Zyxpsilon

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Yppie!
:D
EDIT #8 (19-03-20...15);

Nutty (and I) strikes again... only this time, it's a HUGE enhancement to the general concept of having such alternate Era Popups during your games.
You will now experience superbly (ahem - blush) designed principles that go from swift informations to various gameplay data & details that are neatly presented as persistent and magical ToolTips !!

A bit of a large delay from what i had written in #7 below. But you know how it goes with any mod development steps - we just have to deal with coding obstacles as they arise. What really matters is that the results are cool enough to deserve an official release -- get it from the Steam Workshop.
The whole CENTER feature (which proved to *BE* a much more complex device to implement than first planned) has a "Coming Soon!" status only.
Please be patient, we'll get there!

*
*
*
__________________
Another great News!!
EDIT #7 (30-07-20...14!);
It's official, the Center Feature and AncientEra insert are now being handled by some crazily efficient coder; Nutty! We should have a release candidate, soon! :scan:
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EDIT #6 (25-03... 20---11!); Center on bench marking phase. Concept & Release, later.
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EDIT #5 (13-01); Updated to third version which is complying with patch v1141, etc.
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EDIT #4 (08-01' Currently workin' on...); Just a tiny snapshot of the actual Eras Center (from Ancient to Future, each with its own ID button) popup which is underway. Other button on the left of the Timer is extracted from the LeoPaRd mod. You could say -- i'm addicted to CMY+RGB colors! ;)
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EDIT #3 (02-12' Everything now goes Hi-Res!); A new update is available in the Library.
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EDIT #2 (17-11' Burning_the_Midnight_Oil!); You have a choice; either get it from the library right here... or simply browse it up within the usual gameplay function! Available. Enjoy.
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EDIT #1 (16-11'PM); Nearly ready to upload the fully MODded version... so, i figured an update to each of the thumbnails below was good timing!
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** Library Link! *** DELETED.

Might as well start the whole moddy stuff thing now since i'm almost done with the basic work of this "enhancement" pack for the Era screens.

IMHO, it was kinda lame from Firaxis devs part that such pivotal game events wouldn't earn much more than a simple "Welcome to..." text underneath a splash image. To me, at least, it matters that *MORE* details must be made available at that particular moment. Stop, take a deep breath & look rather than guess.
Yep, some would argue all we have to do is switch to the all encompassing tech tree and memorize the elements. Consult as often as necessary, take notes and be ready for anything.

What happened to the glamour of a single eye-popping complex and yet usefully simple introduction to the next Era(s)?

Fear not, here we go. This will eventually become a full blown MOD if i ever find a solution to the Ancient (not present for now) problem.

Here's a beta phase teasing image of the current Industrial Era which is in its finished state...

Any questions, comments, anything? Just type an answer here!
 

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Zyxpsilon

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Here's another... as a bonus!
(For Modern Era, btw) ;)

CREDITS-REFERENCES-INFO:

The background image is the city of Hong Kong and much of the icons integrated are self-explanatory.
As you can also notice there's a section at the top which provides a rundown over the amounts of Techs/Units/Buildings/Wonders found in this specific Era.

15T-14U-7B-3W.
 

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Zyxpsilon

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** Reserved ** (For Classical!)

CREDITS-REFERENCES-INFO:

Circus Maximus in Rome for the background.
Ben Hur Chariot and the extensively edited Gladiator from a painting by Jean-Léon Gérome Pollice.

6T-4U-8B-5W.

Here it is...
 

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Zyxpsilon

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** Reserved ** (For Medieval!)

CREDITS-REFERENCES-INFO:

Castle in the "clouds"... IIRC this is located somewhere in Austria.
Fredrik Alfredsson's drawing of a Templar Knight at DeviantArt. Also with lots of editing work done to fit screen height.

11T-5U-10B-8W.

... that one too, for today.
 

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Zyxpsilon

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** Reserved ** (For Renaissance!)

CREDITS-REFERENCES-INFO:

Dutch's Gouden Leeuw frigate at the battle of Holland Texel island in 1673 as depicted by painter Van de Velde.

There's a coloring theme pattern for the TB_frames on each of these;
Classical/Cyan, Medieval/Green, Renaissance/Yellow, Industrial/Red, Modern/Blue, Future/Magenta & Ancient/Greyscale.

14T-7U-9B-9W
 

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Zyxpsilon

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And finally, you guessed it...
** Reserved ** too (For Ancient!!)

CREDITS-REFERENCES-INFO:

Duh - Stonehenge, what else!?

As for the remaining elements found in each of these Era-Images, it's mostly a matter of personal opinions about a few game concepts.

-- The centralized Tech shown is a key choice to make (or not!).

-- On the left-side the small icon represents some reference to general trends within essential gameplay balance; in order of appearance... Citizens (let them cities reach a reasonably high but minimal level), Cultural (nothing like a solid base of influence), Food (Growth feeds an army), Science (Knowledge of power stacks the advantages), Production (Invade or be invaded), Gold (as in Capitalism & Luxury), Utopia (Where else is the real future of Humanity?).

-- Strategic resources, Projects, SS parts got their fair share of attention too.

-- Unit actions are all listed on the bottom strip(s) & Ancient has plenty.

12T-9U-6B-6W.

** Now, for a "closing" comment on my part for what might come next; I have every intention to create a *true* MOD outa this whole introductory work. It will take a few days or weeks to adapt to the ModBuddy asset graciously provided to us all by our good friends at Firaxis. And, thanks to some wonderful stuff already made by others... LUA/XML principles understanding through easy examples (Btw, Kudos to Dale Kent & many more!) should_would_must be an intellectual snappy fest not to say - Feast.

In the meantime, i'll probably upload the whole set of DDS files above & below and recommend the same installation process as used with the Z-Advisors_True People.rar version found elsewhere.

Done with the Alpha phase -- Yeah. :)

See ya. I'm busy. :crazyeye: :p
 

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Ahwaric

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Nice idea. I am not sure I like the photos, however. I prefered the graphics.
Castle in the "clouds"... IIRC this is located somewhere in Austria.

It is Neuschwanstein in Bavaria (Germany). Built 1869-1892, was intended as a scenic residence and not defensive structure.

There are much better examples. Not to look far, Karlštejn near Prague, mere 500 km from Neuschwanstein. It was reconstructed several times, but at least the original dates to late medieval period (completed 1365)
But I think even better would be using drawing or photo of Malbork Castle - one of the biggest in its time, and preserved almost unchanged. Build by Teutonic Knights in 1406.

Have you considered using a castle form Japan (Himeji?).
A gothic cathedral is also good for medieval period.

EDIT:Hawkwood idea is a good one. There is even a nice image on wiki.
 

Hawkwood

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Like Ahwaric said, Neuschwanstein is a really bad picture for the medieval era. Perhaps Chillon would be better?
 

Zyxpsilon

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Chillon? Alrighty, let's see if i can make an all new one just for you guys -- but that will take some time!

...

EDIT:
Here's the Chillon castle version (for Ahwaric & Hawkwood!)... i recommend keeping this file handy until i upload the whole MOD sometime this week -- as you will need to overwrite mine.
 

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Zyxpsilon

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Thanks to Dale Kent's great insight on DDS compression ratios, i finally figured (too) that any uncompressed files are indeed rendered flawlessly by the game engine.
So if anyone is interested by "absolutely_no_artifacts_whatsoever" versions of these Era-Screens... just ask & i'll supply CF members with an exclusive RAR that has each in Hi_Resolution!
Problem is -- this archive is 4.7Mbs big, alone.

EDIT; The above isn't relevant anymore... since - well - you certainly could read about it!
 

Dale

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I know you asked me to help, but I am hesitant to hook up with another mod project. Between family, Xmas, mod tutorials, my mods on the go, and A New World I'll be pretty much fully booked till Xmas 2011. :lol:
 

Zyxpsilon

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It's quite alright, D'uc'K (can i call you Duck?!)... simply didn't hurt anyone to ask.
I may have a few tricky questions down the line once i get much deeper into LUA coding and if i really can't find any answers from anywhere after searching extremely hard, i might try contacting someone including you through the regular channels such as a direct forum post - if you don't mind, of course.

Wish me luck as much as i send some for your own stuff!
 

Zyxpsilon

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Strangely, the uploading function of the usual ModBuddy Online Service with GameSpy returned a "Failed with Code -- Unknown Error" result when i sent the perfectly validated package.
Yeah, right... i believe you. There's nothing wrong with my IP connection. The Firewall has been stable for months. Earlier U/L worked fine. What gives.

Sadly there's nobody to contact in order to get straight answers; 2K Forums act as the usual messy delays along with fake words (True Patch'ing news, anyone?), Steam's Valve is pumping rusty features that wrecks PSI maximum rating (Too busy looping DLC potential sale numbers for budgetary forecasts, i s'pose!), GameSpy doesn't have proper support for such silly stuff (ETA on the mods screenshot slot, please? So they think!) & ModBuddy devs aren't really accessible either through Firaxis studio desks or swift elusive presences on any www-Forums.

So, Update(v2) is here on CF -- ONLY.
For now.

EDIT (Dec.15th-PM); I formally retract much of the above "observations" on accessing help within any of their support systems. For a pretty simple reason... 1.0.1.135 patch version and how they managed to certainly amaze even just silly me!
 

OrsonM

Our man
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Still needs a lot of work here.

If you are using stock photos try that all of them have the same quality.
 
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