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Thread: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

  1. #1
    Giorgios's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    The background...

    Around ten years ago, I led a very abortive mod named "Golden Ages", set in the Dark Ages. The mod never really took off, but I kept all of its files and folders on my PC, from upgrade to upgrade.

    Ten years down the line, and now as an adult seeking something to do after work, I decided to teach myself a bit more about how to work the Medieval II engine, and create a mod I'd always wanted to see- a Crusader-states focused mod that also encompassed the entirety of the Byzantine world.

    So- I've cracked on, and put together what is so far a very basic little project, but which I hope can be developed, slowly but surely, for about as long as my interest continues. For now, my aim is to simply get the build into a very rough playable state for a 0.1 release- I've often thought that mods that try to do everything at once tend to collapse in on themselves very quickly.

    Features at a very early release will be...

    - Historically accurate names for some factions, taken from the Medlands database.

    - A Gigantus created map, stretching from Hungary to Palestine.

    - Ethno-culture in place of religion, namely the following cultures.

    - Roman (that is to say Byzantine)
    - Latin
    - Slavic
    - Magyar
    - Eastern Christian
    - Turkish
    - Arabic
    - Nomad

    - The following factions.
    - Byzantium
    - Antioch
    - Edessa
    - Tripoli
    - Jerusalem
    - Rum Turks
    - Danishmend Turks
    - Burid Turks (Damascus)
    - Zengid Turks (Aleppo)
    - Italo-Normans
    - Fatimid Caliphate
    - Hungary

    - Where possible, improved rosters for these factions as opposed to vanilla, by importing resources from elsewhere.

    And that's about it for a first release. I hope this is of some interest- I attach a couple of screenshots.

    If anybody's interested in working together, I'd be happy to chat!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Screen 4.jpg   Screen 3.jpg   Screen 2.jpg   Screen 1.jpg  

  2. #2

    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    Looks good but in my advice to you is to make have more settlements in egypt, byzantine and hungary. With the roster that is up to you. I hope to see more of this mod from you... good luck!!

  3. #3
    Giorgios's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by sullivanclan1 View Post
    Looks good but in my advice to you is to make have more settlements in egypt, byzantine and hungary. With the roster that is up to you. I hope to see more of this mod from you... good luck!!
    Thank you!

    Egypt, possibly- but most likely not Byzantium, I think the Byzantines are likely to be overpowered as it is. They already have far more provinces than any other faction, so I imagine a goal of future releases will be to find ways to slow down the Empire, should I get that far. i'd considered weakening the Byzantines with an 1180s start date, to allow for a playable Second Bulgarian Empire, but that would've led to the loss of Edessa and an overpowered Egypt at the other end of the map!

    There's plenty of vacant province slots, though, so it's certainly possible to add more in future.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    I always wondered why there is no complete and comprehensive mod with crusades setting. The only one that came any close to this is In nomine Dei which really only lacks scripting at this stage. You should ask for permission to use their stuff, they have completely new rosters for the christian and Muslim factions of the Holy Land as well as of the Fatimids and Seljuks. As for the byzantine roster, you could import this one that fits your timeframe rather nicely. Of course, this resources should only complete what is lacking in your own resources, not replace them.

  5. #5
    Giorgios's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    My first plan, in terms of rosters, is to try to integrate the CBUR into the game. Once that's achieved, I'll try to make further progress!

    Latest update is that all Christian factions now have accurate names- small and steady steps towards a better mod!

  6. #6
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    Hi Giorgios,
    I keep fingers crossed for any modder taking up a cross of modding the M2TW. I think this is the best engine for modding and can produce truly historical settings. However, I went for modding with slightly different thought, namely that it's better to stand on the shoulders of the predecessors and create a submod to improve an existing mod. My general opinion on the problems with modding is here, while an example of the enormous time effort put into a mod is to be seen here. The Titanium is also a great mod that wasn't finished, is untested and, as I've found out, somehow unplayable, as shown here. Why not, eg, to start from the HRR mod that was abandoned by Aenerin? He can be contacted and I'm sure he'd be happy to pass the button. Or just fix Titanium, or make a submod to the SSHIP ;-)
    cheers
    JoC
    For those who want to play a historical mod in a medieval setting:
    try either the Titanium, the Stainless Steel Historical Improvement Project + minimods,
    or the Broken Crescent + Buff and Shine submod.
    ..........................................................................................................................................................................
    Reviews of the mods: SSHIP (2018), Wrath of the Norsemen (2018), Broken Crescent (2018).
    Thrones of Britannia: review, opinion on the battles, ideas for modding.
    Minimods for the SSHIP: Generals Traits, Provincial Titles, Crowns.
    Short guides for the SSHIP: population growth, forts and watchtowers.
    Pros and cons of having Merchants in an M2TW mod.
    Home rules for playing a game without exploiting the M2TW engine deficiencies.
    Dominant strategy in Attila TW and Rome 2 TW: “Sniping groups of armies”.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    I agree with JoC's view - perhaps you could really takeup IND and improve it? It certainly is a good base on which to build up on, without needing to start all over again while still leaving you enough room to include a large portion of your own ideas and resources, especially as regards scripting and historical characters. It also features nearly the same faction range (except Hungaruans, Normans and Danishmandians, representing the Armenians instead).
    @JoC: I think you confused something, Aneirin didn't make HRR, but DIK and IND. Also, SSHIP is still in some kind of development.

  8. #8
    Giorgios's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    Hi chaps, thanks for your comments. I totally take where you're coming from, especially the bits about prima donna mod leaders...

    In this case, I'm reluctant to take up an existing mod because this is very much a learning experience for me- I've deliberately started with a bare bones vanilla template, that I'm now starting to fill in with the aid of the Geomod. It's only now I'm coming to have a try at integrating some rosters from other mods that I'm beginning to try some stuff that to me is "advanced".

    I don't expect this little mod will ever be spoken of in the same terms as BC, EB2 or the SSHIP, all of which I've played and enjoyed. But if I can get a fairly simple mod up and running, into a playable state that a few people enjoy, that'll be a massive success for me personally- and who knows, if I develop some useful skills, I could make myself useful to the "big boys" of M2TW modding.

    (Regarding the specific points, I'm a big Byzantine fan, so adapting a map without the Balkans in doesn't appeal, and as for SSHIP, I really find the SS map quite ugly to the extent it puts me off playing the mod, despite the fantastic scripting elements of SSHIP- sorry!)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    You could also try to import units from Anatolian principalities or something else. Need more units than the vanilla game bc everyone wants more units and settlements. That's my personal opinion!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Giorgios View Post
    Hi chaps, thanks for your comments. I totally take where you're coming from, especially the bits about prima donna mod leaders...

    In this case, I'm reluctant to take up an existing mod because this is very much a learning experience for me- I've deliberately started with a bare bones vanilla template, that I'm now starting to fill in with the aid of the Geomod. It's only now I'm coming to have a try at integrating some rosters from other mods that I'm beginning to try some stuff that to me is "advanced".
    Not to push you, but it's actually arguably easier to learn by starting off tweaking a larger mod and then working your way into the deeper mechanics as you become more familiar with it.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by sullivanclan1 View Post
    You could also try to import units from Anatolian principalities or something else. Need more units than the vanilla game bc everyone wants more units and settlements. That's my personal opinion!
    No. What people want is functioning gameplay. This can probably be achieved more easily when respecting some limitations. More units means that the player will be able to recruit all the time, while more settlements make the battles more likely to be sieges and arguably (over-)facilitate the economic aspects of M2TW. Also, including all this stuff is time-consuming and can drag attention off other, equally or even more important parts of modding.
    I second CommodusIV's view. Anyway, concerning the map: If it is about the crusades, the Balkans really isn't that important. In fact, the will be more enjoyable, immersive and satisfying for most of the potential players when the campaign is set on a more detailed map of the region it's all about. And trust me, it can stil be fun to play as the Byzantines even if the Balkans is missing. Most Byzantine emperors focused on either of the two directions, securing peace on the other border so that they could concentrate their efforts on the Balkans or Asia respectively. However, the choice is yours, of course. My intention is not to force you into doing something incompatible with your own aims and interests.

  12. #12
    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    This was my way into modding:
    Quote Originally Posted by CommodusIV View Post
    Not to push you, but it's actually arguably easier to learn by starting off tweaking a larger mod and then working your way into the deeper mechanics as you become more familiar with it.
    -----

    The Romans (ie Byzantium): the question is whether you'd leave the jihad/crusade mechanics. If yes, then Byzantium is doomed: I've recently played Titanium as Byzantium and one jihad was enought to break the apparently most powerful faction.
    However, I don't share Elendils' view on not including the Balkans. I think that the most interesting thing in the Byzantium is (potentially) the many fronts it had to fight on: Italy - Balkans - Armenia - Syria (not to mention Chersonesos ;-).
    In general, I think the grand map serves Byzantium very well.
    For those who want to play a historical mod in a medieval setting:
    try either the Titanium, the Stainless Steel Historical Improvement Project + minimods,
    or the Broken Crescent + Buff and Shine submod.
    ..........................................................................................................................................................................
    Reviews of the mods: SSHIP (2018), Wrath of the Norsemen (2018), Broken Crescent (2018).
    Thrones of Britannia: review, opinion on the battles, ideas for modding.
    Minimods for the SSHIP: Generals Traits, Provincial Titles, Crowns.
    Short guides for the SSHIP: population growth, forts and watchtowers.
    Pros and cons of having Merchants in an M2TW mod.
    Home rules for playing a game without exploiting the M2TW engine deficiencies.
    Dominant strategy in Attila TW and Rome 2 TW: “Sniping groups of armies”.

  13. #13
    Giorgios's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    Thanks everybody, for the comments and interest.

    I have to say I agree with Elendil about units and gameplay- I'm much more interested in creating a functional, if basic, mod, that doesn't become bogged down in endless delays thanks to new feature after new feature, new unit after new unit. My aim is a quick release of a very basic alpha first, that can then be improved upon (or not), rather than spending years in development hell waiting to release the perfect mod.

    Next step is a massive one for me- following the Creating A World guide, I've for the first time succesfully imported a unit! CBUR's Skoutatoi spearmen are now implemented into my mod, and have been tested in custom battles. All works well- now to just import a lot more new models!

    Perhaps worth mentioning at this point that Aneirin of the IND mod has given me permission to use their resources
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Screen 5.jpg  
    Last edited by Giorgios; August 09, 2019 at 04:46 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    That's great news! Happy modding then, be sure I'll stay around.
    @JoC: I didn't say Byzantium was more fun without the Balkans. In contrary, your view is a 100% right. My argument was that it's legitimate to cut one half of the Empire off in order to achieve a better gameplay for all the other factions as the mod is centered around the Holy Land.

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    Jurand of Cracow's Avatar History and gameplay!
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    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Elendil 03 View Post
    @JoC: I didn't say Byzantium was more fun without the Balkans. In contrary, your view is a 100% right. My argument was that it's legitimate to cut one half of the Empire off in order to achieve a better gameplay for all the other factions as the mod is centered around the Holy Land.
    It seems that Giorgios is a fan of Byzantium so I think it'd make more sense to give all the political choices to this faction. Otherwise you end up in the Broken Crescent situation - Byzantium is an interesting faction but without the western backyard (Italy and the Balkans) it makes little sense to play it - just one direction is boring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giorgios View Post
    I'm much more interested in creating a functional, if basic, mod, that doesn't become bogged down in endless delays thanks to new feature after new feature, new unit after new unit. My aim is a quick release of a very basic alpha first, that can then be improved upon (or not), rather than spending years in development hell waiting to release the perfect mod.
    IMO, this is a good argument but it's an argument to start from a well-developed, already playable mod, and then develop it further or change the basic mechnics, map etc. There'll be no delays, one will be able to play it from the beginning. Otherwise, I'd see on the horizon the fate of Ad Mari a Mare or Albion TW or Machiavello TW or Anno Domini 1000 or many others.

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    Razor's Avatar Licenced to insult
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    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurand of Cracow View Post
    IMO, this is a good argument but it's an argument to start from a well-developed, already playable mod, and then develop it further or change the basic mechnics, map etc. There'll be no delays, one will be able to play it from the beginning. Otherwise, I'd see on the horizon the fate of Ad Mari a Mare or Albion TW or Machiavello TW or Anno Domini 1000 or many others.
    Sometimes it's easier to just start a mod from scratch than to alter an existing mod. If you start modding a mod, you'd have to learn how the mod is constructed on top of M2TW and learn what the differences are between the two. Since Giorgios has stated that he wants a simple functional mod, I don't see how this has to become a project that will get bogged down because of the sheer amount of work that other mods like the ones you just mentioned need.

  17. #17
    Giorgios's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    Thanks all for comments and interest.

    I've now completed the integration of the CBUR into my mod.

    Though at this point, I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed- what I'd hoped would be a quick and basic project is now increasingly beginning to stretch out into the distance. CBUR alone has taken all weekend to integrate, and with new rosters for the Crusaders and Islamic states too... gulp!

    I'm minded at this point to scale back the mod for an alpha release, and remove, for now, the extra Turkish factions. This will hopefully keep things a little more manageable from my perspective- I now can see what JoC was getting at!

    If anybody is able to assist with the integration of units from IND, I'd be most grateful!

    Oh, and a question for more experienced modders. Is it wise at this point to totally remove from the game the "vanilla" Byzantine units, now they've been superseded? I've taken them out of the EDB so they can't be recruited, but I wonder if it would be a good idea to remove them from other files. If so, where should I remove them from- all relevant files, or only some?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Screen 6.jpg  

  18. #18
    Razor's Avatar Licenced to insult
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    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    First of all, make sure you have a backup of your mod and even a backup of that backup.

    Now, if all Byzantine units are replaced then you should be able to delete the units from other files without any problems as long as they aren't referenced anymore in any of the files. You should check:

    - "your mod"/data/export_descr_buildings.txt
    - "your mod"/data/world/maps/campaign/imperial_campaign/descr_strat.txt
    - "your mod"/data/world/maps/campaign/imperial_campaign/campaign_script.txt
    - "your mod"/data/export_descr_unit.txt
    - "your mod"/data/descr_rebel_factions.txt
    - "your mod"/data/world/maps/campaign/imperial_campaign/descr_mercenaries.txt

    I believe those are all the relevant files.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Crusaders! A very WIP Mod attempt

    ?

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