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Thread: CA Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

  1. #1
    Inevitability won
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    Default CA Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    Home now, I haven't slept since 10am on Tuesday... I'll be happy if I never have to take another train ever.. unless it's back to CA HQ, then I would.

    Well, I guess I owe it to everyone who would have liked to have gone to the summit but couldn't to make this thread, by now you guy's know the main headlines, so as I'm writing this I'm wondering what to write about.. I'll basically let you guys into my day, what I did, what I saw and what I thought. I appologise if it gets a bit long winded, I'm about to regurigitate my recent memory and then sleep for a couple of days

    Let the story begin... our entrepid adventurer arrives at CA HQ.

    I take the elevator up to the first floor, a pretty receptionist greets me and leads me through to the summit room, I take a seat and Will offers me a cup of tea. I'll tell you guys now that it's very sureal being in the company of the people behind the game series that has most influenced my gaming life.

    I shake hands with everyone and meet my fellow Modders, bobbin, Daniu and Taw, all great guys. We give brief intro's and Jamie Ferguson, lead designer on Shogun 2, gives me a nod of approval when mentioning The Great War mod and its tanks (he really likes tanks, who doesn't?).

    Everyone takes their seat and we get started.. (I'm the guy top right in the blue)
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    ..we start with a talk about the business side of things, Rob (Rob Bartholomew, Brand Director) very much (self admitingly) taking the role of the evil corperate guy at this point explains to us how modding is taken into consideration when looking at the business side of things, he just confirms what I and most others already knew, CA and Sega are comapanies created to make money (oh em gee shock horror), they need to have their main focus being on making money else everything would fall apart, and sometimes that can just lead to things such as helping the modding community or making tools becoming not a feasible or finacially viable option.

    One thing I should point out is that these guys were genuine, they turned up as themselves and had no hidden agenda, I believe they really do actually love modding and they want it to expand and grow massive, each of them was excited to have this summit happen.

    Next up the much famous Jack Lusted steps up to show us his powerpoint presentation, first announcment is shown to be that there will be Steam Workshop intergration, people will be able to create and upload their own historical battles and have others download them. A nod of approval goes around the room, and you can see all of the modders taking in what it means to have this new frontier of modding now opened.

    As we all discuss this Jack fails miserably and misclicks his powerpoint taking it to the next slide, this slide sets the tone for the whole day and as we all remarked is honestly far beyond our wildest expectations of this summit. The slide ofcourse details the release of CA created modding tools.
    The first bulletpoint that grabs my attention is that of the model conversion software, having been part of a team that waited a very long time to be able to use new models I know just how massive this is. The next item to catch my eye is the word "campaign", at this point Jack is frantically spamming buttons on his control to go back a slide but to no avail, "a campaign reprocessor" even if at this stage I wasn't 100% what that was, it sounded epic, and then the realisation that we'll now be able to edit the most desired areas of modding, the campaign and the models, sets in. It's quite a shock and it leaves us all quite speechless for a while.

    We now discuss with Guy Davidson (Coding Manager) all of the 'extra' formats that are less well known, for the first time I understand the idea behind what a CS2 file is. We talk about LUAC and discuss the scripting aspect of the games.
    We talk about BOOB and what it is and does. Oops.. I mean BOB.. (Build On One Click).. They weren't allowed to call one of their tools BOOB, but there is one called Attila, DaVE and one called Terry, basically think of a name, they probably have a tool with that name.

    Elliott Lock (TEd creator) comes down to have a chat with us about TEd and how we think it's been recieved and what the Steam Workshop will mean for it. We rather rudely keep him waiting and continue chatting to Guy about various technical things, poor Elliott sits there for ages until we eventually give him a chance to let him do his part.

    Next we talk about how we are all very hungry, Ice Cream Wednesday gets its first mention, there is uproar in the summit. Craig and Will shoot off to order us some Pizza. Pizza takes ages to come, so random history discussions break out.

    The lead campaign AI guy pops down to answer our questions and say hello, we talk about if factions actively seek to capture their victory conditions, Craig suggests that Turkey should capture Wales, this upsets me. The Pizza's arrive! The reporter from Rock, Paper, Shotgun gets angry because a Pizza has pineapple on it.

    While munching on our pizza the computer with the Rome2 demo arrives, we watch the battle of Carthage unfold between two AI in a live demo, needless to say I made a mess in my pants. There was one point where we used the third person unit camera to get right down into the action, at the top of a siege tower we wait with the guys as the ramp is about to drop just like D-Day, you feel the thud of the ramp hit the stone and the guys charge out of the tower, it was amazing. I definatly had goosebumps throughout the entire live demo. And apparantly we were seeing a much out of date version to boot!

    Ice cream arrives! We grab a cab down to the mocap studio, there is one seat short in the cab. We give Craig an ice cream and make him walk. Taw finds a replica musket used in the mocap studio and decides to start playing with it near the multiple thousand £ cameras, tense!

    We head back up to summit room, Daniu has to leave to catch his flight. The rest of us gather the troops and head down to the pub! First round is on CA, actually come to think of it so was every round.

    After a day full of stuff to take in it is really nice to just sit down and relax and have random chit chat with a few pints.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    I'd just like to finish by saying I wish you guys could have been there, it was one of the most sureal and enjoyable experienes I've had in, well, ever. I'll never be able to convey to you guys with words how friendly, genuine and amazing everyone I met was. These people love their jobs, and as Will accuratly put it, in some jobs people don't really give a shite, but in this job the giving a shite-o-meter is off the scale, they care about their work a lot.

    The truth is that as a modder/tool maker/fan/player there wasn't much we had to do, CA have given us what we've always wanted now, as Craig put it, where we go from here is very much up to us.

    It was an honor and a pleasure to be invited, these are truthfully memories I'll keep forever, thank you to everyone who put effort into making it happen and as for the summit..

    Modding Summit: Success



    Here's to the next one?
    Last edited by .Mitch.; September 29, 2012 at 09:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Akaie's Avatar Sangi Ukon'e no Chūjō
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    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    Such an awesome recount! The announcements go well beyond what I expected, which was basically a bunch of documentation to facilitate community tools .

    Now to stock up on food and drink and get a decent amount of socialising done, for I suspect that the campaign map reprocessor and I will be glued for the forseeable future .

    +rep!


    Curses... "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to .Mitch. again."

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    Very nice read! Thanks for the detailed account of the day, and glad it went very well! Really chuffed for you guys and the modding community, can't wait to see what mods Rome 2 will bring, really am overly impressed with CA. Nice one guys

  4. #4

    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    Much more glasses than people! well I am going to work, I will read and comment later. Are you sure it was not october fest?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    Sounds like it was great! I certainly hope it helps push Shogun 2 and future total war modding as far as it can.
    Under the patronage of John I Tzimisces

  6. #6

    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    Thank for this Mitch. I read about all the goodies earlier but learning about the day you guys had was very exciting. Glad to know CA is filled with passionate gamers and not the vile creatures they can get painted as. I figure the initial introduction of the official tools will halt the overall progress of things, but mod development will flow more smoothly and efficiently afterwards.

    @Akaie

    Good Luck! I hope you can make the Sekigahara campaign even better with it, in the future!

  7. #7
    Erwin Rommel's Avatar EYE-PATCH FETISH
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    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    Good Luck! I hope you can make the Sekigahara campaign even better with it, in the future!
    Oh it better be, maybe finally we can unique custom made sashimonos and horos just for this units. Oh maybe 3 or 5 sashimono for ONE dude alone. Lol some mods opted them out while we want to bedeck them with moar and increased the size of the horo. All in the name of historicalness.


    (Its clickable by the way....An S2 overhaul mod.)

    Seriously. Click it. Its the only overhaul mod that's overhauling enough to bring out NEW clans
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  8. #8
    Akaie's Avatar Sangi Ukon'e no Chūjō
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    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    Every time you don't use spoilers, a modification dies .

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  9. #9
    Erwin Rommel's Avatar EYE-PATCH FETISH
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    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    Bah. Forum courtesy says that I am only compelled to use such when it extends beyond 700 in dimensions.

    I wonder though if we can have taller noboris or even more towering uma jirushis and even make the sashimono bigger.

    Yes, you heard me, make the sashimono even taller.

    (Its clickable by the way....An S2 overhaul mod.)

    Seriously. Click it. Its the only overhaul mod that's overhauling enough to bring out NEW clans
    Masaie. Retainer of Akaie|AntonIII






  10. #10
    Noif de Bodemloze's Avatar The Protector of Art
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    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    Gratz Mitch! I hope everything go well there and make the best work there and make big chances! May the god bless your days!

  11. #11
    Erwin Rommel's Avatar EYE-PATCH FETISH
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    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    May the god bless your days!
    I think its more of a curse.

    He has seen what cannot be unseen. Extensive footage of Rome II. And all who participated will be forever haunted by such memories. There current view of TW has been altered. They will always imagine of Carthage and that TAKE DOWN THOSE WALLS guy.

    And they can only satiate that growing hunger by 2013. Us folks have only seen not even half a minute so its still a teaser, so the nerdgasm and pining is still manageable.

    (Its clickable by the way....An S2 overhaul mod.)

    Seriously. Click it. Its the only overhaul mod that's overhauling enough to bring out NEW clans
    Masaie. Retainer of Akaie|AntonIII






  12. #12

    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    cool story mitch thanks for writing, thanks to CA for organisating. Hopes something come out of it!


  13. #13
    ♘Top Hat Zebra's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    So, pardon my language here, but *Ahem*:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    HOLY MOTHER OF ING S THE DYNOMITE ING POODLES THE ING MAGIC HOLY MODDING TOOLS.



    Aaaannnyway, this is incredibly fantastic news. I honestly cannot say how excited I am about this. This has exceeded my wildest expectations (I thought Craig would reveal himself to be a Martian Lizard-man and would consume all of you, taking your identities and returning to TWC and getting rid of us because we're all whiny peasants who won't shut up about mod tools and historical accuracy. But this is, like, 60% better than that!)

    This has made my day, especially your account of things. I owe you a digital ton of rep, so Im going to have to call in a few favours and get you what you deserve (Not a hit, which is surprisingly out of character for me.)


    Oddly enough, I am actually jealous of the people who went. I wouldn't understand but every third word, partly because I don't understand techno-babble unless it relates to astrophysics, and partly because I don't speak British.


    You can't tell, but Im babbling now, so Im just going to stop typing and go squee repeatedly until my family yells at me.
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  14. #14
    Libertus
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    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    Nice write up Mitch.

    Loads of good news too


    Lets hope they do a summit again for Rome 2...

  15. #15

    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    Now I'm going to assume these tools are for Shogun 2 only. Any word on it being updated for Rome 2 as well?

    Nice read btw

  16. #16

    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    I think this summit was already quite for Rome II aswell ;-)


  17. #17
    Steph's Avatar Maréchal de France
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    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    Announcments are nice... For S2 modders. I have the impression ETW/NTW modders are a little forgotten.

    It's not only a question of game feature. It's before all a question of interest in the period.

    Even if S2 or R2 have many nice things, I won't mod that because I'm not a fan of this period.

    I may buy and play Rome, but not mod it.

  18. #18
    sinople's Avatar These Romans are crazy!
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    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    Announcments are nice... For S2 modders. I have the impression ETW/NTW modders are a little forgotten.
    They said the summit was about TWS2.

  19. #19
    Steph's Avatar Maréchal de France
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    Default Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    They initially said it will also to be for ETW/NTW before they changed their mind.

    Beside, ieven if they say it's for S2 before the summit, it doesn't change the fact NTW modders are disappointed not to have more support.

    I'm glad for other modders (S2, future R2) Not for me.

    Some seems to think that as long as there is a new TW game, they will buy, it play it, mod it. What appeal to them is the genre/ the gameplay.

    What appeal to me is the period and the "strategical map". I did not buy ETW because the map was really too bad IMO, even if the period interests me. I bought NTW and I invest a lot of time in modding it because I like the period.

    I didn't buy S2 because I'm not interested in Japan.

    I may buy Rome as I have some interest for the period, but I won't mod it. If they make MTW2, I'd buy and play, not mod.

    If they make NTW2, I'll mod heavily again.

    So all these are general good news, but unless part can be ported to NTW, or if then announce NTW2 (or a kind of generic engine moddable to our heart content), pardon me if you don't show too much enthusiasm.

  20. #20

    CA Developer Icon Re: Modding Summit - Mitch's Perspective

    Hi all

    Just to answer Steph's last point. Why not look at what you can do with the Assembly Kit? We have given everyone the ability to do campaign map reprocessing, we have given sample models for units and the campaign map data. FoTS had Ironclads and Gatling guns.
    What could you produce with an engine and tools that can do that
    Total War Lead Designer for Battles

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    Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed here are those of the poster and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of The Creative Assembly or SEGA.

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