Monday, October 8, 2018

Colombians?

Well. This is an awkward post, here on the blog, after almost an year.


Surprisingly, the Discord server was quite the success, now hosting more than 1000 users! And a very good environment where I can talk with people and offer live support, while also giving players a way to report bugs faster and give their input on features under development.

But I can't let a year pass without a blog post so here we are.



So I want to address the above comment made HERE and explain, once again, why I added the civilizations that I added so far.
And why I might also add Colombians. Maybe.


Both the Swedish and Italians were two civilizations already heavily featured in the game's files, the original game released back in 2005, that is. Both civilizations have all kinds of unfinished and unused assets, ranging from building models to textures, flags and even units. In the case of the Italians, the Italian Explorer and Architect models used in the mod were already in the game, fully functional but just unused.


Both civilizations however had less colonial influence compared to other civs in the game (but still had some) which is probably one of the reasons why they were cut. But since we still got Germans and Russians, it's safe to say time constraints were also an important factor. It could also be the case that these civs were planned at a time when colonialism might not have been the main theme of the game but that's another topic.
These civilizations would have brought the number of civs in the original game to 10, from the current 8.

And so, when thinking what civs could be "immersively" added into the game, well I had to look no further than Swedish and Italians. Which again, had some colonial adventures to justify their presence in the game.

Now the Americans civ, well, I mean, it's the US of A. Featured several times throughout the game's campaigns and one of the biggest outcomes of colonialism. So, again, it made sense to include them.
And let's be honest, all these 3 civs, they were relatively easy to make because they follow the European civilization style. And easy to make is important for such a noob as myself.

I would of course like to maybe add some more exotic civs, some African civs to go along with the new maps that I added (which will still be reworked) but that would require extensive work on new models which is not really that easy for AoE3 for several reasons. One being destruction animations. If I would add an entirely new building set made from entirely new models, I would prefer if those models were also fully animated for the physics engine.

I know, I know, I'm expecting too much and setting myself up for disappointment. So then, why do it at all? Why add something that doesn't look and feel good? Just because? Yes, the strongest argument that can be made here is uniqueness, but if it's not perfect then it's not good enough for me.
I don't want to add something that looks too much out of place.


So then what's left? Well, I recently started to consider Colombians as a new possible civilization. Just as the Americans civ, Colombians would represent an important outcome of colonialism in South America, and so it would still fit with the game's theme. If I added North Americans, there's no reason not to add South Americans.

The civ will represent Gran Colombia, led by Simon Bolivar. Now you could say that this whole civ happened too late in the AoE3 timeline, BUT I'd have to point out the fact that the game's timeline goes as far as around 1876, featuring the Battle of the Little Bighorn in the TWC Shadow campaign.
And also, Simon Bolivar is featured in the vanilla Steel campaign where you help him fight the Spanish.

Although other arguments can be made against this civ, and I welcome them, you can see that it would be a pretty reasonable civ to implement in the mod.

Colonialism related, a state that encompassed a large territory, easy to make, "claimed to be one of the most powerful nations on the planet" by an American president, it ticks all the right boxes.

This post has gone for long enough so I will end by saying this: I am still not 100% convinced and although I worked on the civ's homecity and some flags already, I'm not that happy to spend tons of hours on a new civ.
So anyone who plays the mod is invited to offer their opinion and ideas for the new, possible civilization on the mod's Discord server (or here if you want).

Thank you and as always, have a nice day!
Adios.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Improvement Mod Discord Server

I made a poll here, asking if people would use a Discord server for the mod, most voted yes so I thought, what the hell, let's do it.

Here's the link:
https://discord.gg/WRvuVFg

I will use the server to post news, work in progress (some hot, never before seen stuff in there), ask for opinions and you can use it to tell me how shit the mod is, the infinite amount of problems you have and how I steal content from other mods.

It's a win win situation.

Really now, I hope it will get some love from you guys.
Thanks for playing.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

New Patcher and server

So the old Patcher server went down and I thought this was it. But I was wrong.
I have to say that, in my modding years I have met some really nice and awesome people, people who have helped me without asking for anything in return. Two such people are Expression93 and TechAUmNu, who have offered to host my mod on their awesome servers, helping me deliver content in such a way that it rivals actual corporations. Thank you deeply.

The Patcher is now back up and running but on a different server, which means that everyone needs to download a new Patcher.
All links throughout the blog which redirect to the Patcher are the same, so just go ahead and click on one of them, like THIS one.

For the people who can't get the Patcher working, for some reason or another, a new installer will eventually come but it will take some time until that happens. I have A LOT of stuff to work on before I call it a day.
So in the meantime use the manual installation links, I guess. Please contact me if the Patcher doesn't work for you, this is ridiculous, it should work for everybody.

I would also want to thank DayoftheNinja from the Wars of Liberty mod, who offered to help host the mod in case everything else fails.

Thank you all for being here and for playing!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

African progress

Although it may look otherwise, finishing the implementation of the African continent is still my main focus, even though I've been slacking a little recently. But now that I started working on it again, I thought it was time for a progress update.

Right now the mod is a bit of a mess, Swedish are not finished (finished their names though, thanks for contributing!), all African maps are not in and there might be a few "Out of sync" problems as well. The Patcher is also in trouble. It's a lot to do and little time to do it.
But I promise you this, once I finish, everything will look neat and tidy and will play just as good.


With the intention of adding more African natives, finding good houses to use for Dahomey was hard, and the only solution I had was to use Indian houses and maybe retexture them. But it wasn't ideal, so I thought I should try something else. 
After a lot of consideration, I decided to use the Age1 Egyptian houses from Age of Mythology, who would fit my needs just right (plus a sleek pyramid to serve as the KotH monument on African maps).

Working with models, however, is not my expertise. But with help from wyteraven (King's Return mod) I managed to successfully import models into AoE3.

(work in progress)

But this is not all, for a more authentic African experience, I will be adding many new animals, custom ground textures and proper treasure guardians.
Plus another African native tribe, the Zulu. Again with help from wyteraven, the Zulu will have their own new buildings, units and all that.
This will bring the number of African natives to 3, which will be joined by Sufi (in northern Africa) and Jesuits (in southern Africa; without the Asian look, of course).

There are also 4 new African maps to be released, 2 of which are done and 2 of which I still need to work on.
One of the new maps, Great Zimbabwe, will have each player start in a Star Fort!
Something like this:


Actually it's exactly this, maybe a little more compact around the towers. It might also feature a capturable fixed gun (from the campaigns) to help you lay siege to your enemy!


Another thing I want to talk about is the Immigrants technology. In its original form, the Immigrants tech makes houses useless, has no counter and makes the Sioux free pop bonus and the Spanish TC pop card pointless.
All of this, plus the fact that many players still want a bigger population limit although I explained all problems related to this, gave me an idea for a new Immigrants tech.

I want to change Immigrants so that, instead of doing what it does now, it will convert all your existing villagers into immigrants, who are the same thing but do not take up pop.
So if you have, let's say 100 villagers (which means 100 pop) and you research the tech, 100 pop suddenly becomes available for military units.
But this will only affect your current villagers, so if you lose them you will have to train normal villagers.

I might need some opinions on this idea so please, do not hold back.

Thanks for playing!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Swedish names and Updates

Alright, so, I need Swedish names for Town Centers, Forts, Ships, Explorers, Generals and Churches. I'd like mostly historically accurate names but if none can be provided then your dog's name would work just as good, if it's in Swedish of course (kidding about the dog part, btw).

I can always do all the research myself if no one wants to help but I thought this would be a nice way to let you guys get more involved with the mod, just as we did for Italians.


Now onto other updates, there's a lot coming. The reason there hasn't been an update in a while is because I started something which is... so horrible to work on... that I keep delaying it. Though in the meantime I worked on other things so I'll just release updates with that THING unfinished, for now.

The THING I'm talking about is unit descriptions. I want to go over every single unit description and make them show what type the unit is and what it counters, instead of just "Cavalry armed with cold steel"... Yes, very helpful game...

Other things I worked on include new cards for several civs, such as Sioux, Germans, Americans, Italians and Swedish (yes, it's finally happening), new African maps (we still have 4 to go and 2 will be released soon)  and new African animals, such as Gazelles, Cranes and Asses (Donkeys) (courtesy of WoL).

And other **** I probably forgot about.
So yeah, stay tuned, awesome stuff is coming and the game will only get better!