~R.I.P. Adam aka "Ildánach", my big brother 25/04/08~
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Medieval II Total War would be my favourite game to modify, it is in itself much like a mod of An earlier version called Rome Total War. It includes many gameplay improvements, features and even unit variance, I could go on with finer details, but lets just say it is much improved over the original. Why do I not prefer Empire Total War instead? Simple, it is buggy as hell, they have not revealed how to mod it and it is a time frame I am not really interested in, basically after the invention of Gun Powder. Yes it has sea battles, better campaign map mechanics and numerous other features, but if the game itself is not the right style of game, then why spend money on it?
So why do I like modding Medieval II? The answer is simple, because the game itself is easy to mod, it uses information text files, model reference texts and various images for much of its inner workings, these files are simple to understand as much of the information contained within is logical. It is just time consuming as their are literally thousands of things to learn/change: An example, adding new names is easy, but can be up to one thousand lines of text, which can take quite a while. But because learning to mod and actually manipulating the files is easy, progress can be made quickly.
A number of tga's dictate climate, trade routes, regions, height, sea surface, ground types and even the depth of fog. Editing these means one can make a detailed campaign map of almost any location you wish, some have made maps of Ancient Greece, some of Middle-earth, I myself created a visually pleasing version of Midnight, a land for my mod War of the Solstice.
That is not to say their is none of the usual level editing and model building most games require, that is present with Total War, but not required. Land can be generated within the game so level editing, which may provide a few scenic locations is not necessarily needed. Model creation to add more unit variance and detail is of course a bonus, but again not necessarily needed as each model can reference several textures by use of text files. This means one can focus more on texture use if a similar model already exists and I would like to add their are literally hundreds of models already, thousands if you count the ones in already created mods. This is good to me because I have little skill in making models, I know this sets me at a disadvantage but I am not a professional modder anyway.
I have no real plans on releasing my mod unless asked, but as a re-imagining of a classic game that few people have heard of it would not generate much interest. I may post pictures in the future, in the mean time I work away at it and enjoy playing what I have already created.
I do not understand the die hard Rome Total War fans that look down on Medieval II Total War, especially as Medieval II can do all the same things Rome can, but has visual improvements and a number of additional features. I would hazard a guess that they are in love with their game too much and do not wish it to be replaced. But as with every game, it is replaced by a better game some day. Who knows, Empire Total War my be replaced by Rome II Total War in the near future.
Next time I may talk about modding The Elder Scrolls, another favourite of mine.