Thursday, August 4, 2011

Formalizing EitB

I've been working off and on again on a mod for Fall From Heaven 2 (FfH), which is itself a mod for Civilization IV: BTS.  How did this happen?

The idea for the mod sprang out of a question that I posed to Realms Beyond one day: given everything that is in FfH, what would you cut? The responses were interesting, and what I took away from that particular discussion was that I was not alone in feeling that the base game could definitely be improved by a method other than adding a ton of new assets.  This particularly appealed to me since it meant that I would not need to create my own art assets, but instead make use of the absolute wealth of art already created for FfH.  I know that my own talents are mostly concerned with code and design, not modeling or drawing.

This was back in February of this year, about 6 months ago.

I've had a general direction to my work this past half year and good characters on the forum to keep me ontask and bring various areas of the mod to my attention.  Hopefully they've been enjoying the experience as much as I have.  I do want to continue working on the mod, but I think now would be a good time to formally establish the scope of the mod.

EitB in a Paragraph:

Erebus in the Balance (EitB) is a modmod for FfH2 which focuses primarily on balancing the game for a multiplayer audience while trying to maintain FfH2's crazy feeling of imbalance at the same time.  Along with the balancing act, the mod applies more polish to the UI and in-game documentation; so that new players find it easier to pick up the Mod and just play without needing to search out tutorials or more information from external sources.  It is built off of the hard work of all who have come before it, and also includes the work of Tholal and his Better Naval AI mod.

Primary Objectives:
  1. Balance, so that no one strategy or approach to the game is completely dominant.
  2. Polish, so that players can get all the information they need to play well from the basic interface.
Secondary Objectives:
  1. Redesign the technology tree to focus on FfH2's main features, Magic and Religions.
  2. Redesign the Spell system and it's underlying architecture so that all spell spheres are useful, situational spells and new-player traps are avoided, and choices and their consequences are clear.
  3. Revisit each Civilization's unique mechanics and tweak and balance as necessary so that there are no "dud" civilizations.