Realism: Invictus is the Beyond the Sword version of the Civilization 4 mod that was formerly known “Total Realism” when it was being developed for Warlords expansion pack of Civilization 4. Our mod has been with Civ since the earliest days; it was, back when it was called just “Realism”, among the first comprehensive modpacks seeking to rebalance the game. For many years now, the mod continues its life and its evolution. For detailed statistics on what the mod adds, please check the features section.
This document presents answers to the most frequently rising questions regarding our mod, as well as offers a simple checklist to consult when you believe something has gone terribly wrong.
Posted by WalterHawkwood on Apr 13th, 2011
• Q: What is Realism Invictus?
A: It’s a mod for Civ 4 Beyond the Sword. Sure, yeah, we know Civ5 has been around for some time already, and some people suggested we should move to Civ5. Well, we decided that we have not yet done everything we wanted with Civ4.
• Q: Have you been around for long?
A: We sure have been. The first public version of Realism mod for vanilla Civ 4 was released in November of 2005, thus making the mod more than 6 years old already, one of the oldest mods (probably the oldest mod continuously being developed) for Civ 4. From February 2006 the mod ended up in hands of Houman, who has been the team leader for a long while. From March of the same year, we are based on Sourceforge, and Sourceforge SVN repository has proven to be an excellent way of organizing our work. In December 2006 we ported the mod to Warlords, adopting the name “Total Realism Gold”. February 2011 saw the first Beyond the Sword release, along with another name change to “Realism Invictus”.
• Q: I liked some element from your mod (piece of artwork, concept etc), and I want to use it in my own mod. May I?
A: By all means you should do it! Realism Invictus by itself draws heavily on the creations of other Civ4 community members, especially on CFC. We would be delighted if some part of our mod would help other fellow modders to create better stuff.
• Q: I have a question/bug report/suggestion. Where do I go?
A: We have a forum specifically for those needs. We invite you to visit Realism-invictus.com for all your RI community needs. We leave no post unanswered! If you are having trouble accessing our forum, you can ask in our CFC subforum here: Forums.civfanatics.com
• Q: I liked your mod very much. How can I help your team?
A: Well, first of all, if you have any specific skill, ranging from C++ to audio recording, anything that you think could be useful to RI, you can join our team. Basically, that is how we get team members – all of us, including myself, were at one moment just fans who offered their help in working on the mod. If you don’t think you have any skills valuable to the mod, you can just play it – every player who shares his/her impressions, voices suggestions, reports bugs is an asset to the team. They help improve RI almost as much as any team member. Also keep in mind that you CAN’T give us money for our work, because RI is strictly non-commercial. We have no account for donations and aren’t going to get one. You may, however, buy a team member a drink if one happens to be in your vicinity (the chances of which are quite good, since we have team members in many countries – see the credits section).
• Q: I feel you treated some group/ideology/nation/religion unfairly in your mod. You give it too much/too little credit. :-(
A: We are VERY sorry you have come to this conclusion. We’re trying to be fair and to carry out a balanced approach to all the stuff. After all, this mod started as an attempt to correct some unfairness/onesidedness present in vanilla Civ4. If you think we should know your opinion, please share it with us at our forum (see above), and we’ll discuss it.
• Q: Can I use a custom map with your mod?
A: No. Unfortunately, custom maps don’t work with RI. The reason behind it is all the new resources we add that will obviously be missing on a map not specifically made for our mod. If you have enough experience, you can make a map RI-compatible by placing all the appropriate resources on it by hand – if you ever do so, feel free to send it to us, we will likely include it in our next release. So the only custom map you can play RI on is the world map that comes with it.
• Q: Can I use custom map generation scripts with your mod?
A: Unlike the previous question, the answer is most likely “yes, you can”. The majority of map generation scripts, if they weren’t made specifically for some other mod, will generate perfectly playable random maps in RI. Of course, we haven’t tested every single script out there, but some of more popular ones, like PerfectWorld and Tectonics, can give you an excellent RI playing experience, better than the scripts that come bundled with Civ 4. We recommend you experiment and find the one that suits your needs.
• Q: Will you extend your mod to the future? There is so much cool stuff you could add…
A: No, extending the tech tree to the future is beyond the scope of our mod. As it is, even expanding it to the present is beyond it – currently it is considered to extend as far as late 1980’ies. That’s why we also aren’t including any contemporary leaders – they are simply beyond our scope. We strive to model human history, and contemporary events (and even more so hypothetical future events) have not become history yet.
• Q: Will you add more civs? At least my favorite one(s)?
A: Not likely your favorite ones, and there are several reasons for it. While we try to add new civs, and there are already several in our mod, most of the more popular ones aren’t getting added for several reasons. First of all, our World Map is pretty cramped as it is, and will become even more so when we eventually add some BtS civs (not even all of these will make it in). Then, with the amount of attention every civ gets in our mod (leaders, units, Great People, etc.), it is a titanic job to add every single one – since it is not a matter of simply adding a couple of leaders, a UU and a UB. A “civ” that is considered a standard on CFC, for example, would look terribly incomplete in our mod, and would require much more work to blend in than what already went into its making. This also means that some potentially interesting civs will not be added at all, due to the fact that there is very little material available on them (the first example that comes to mind for that is Khmer). We have added several custom civs so far, and as you can see they are likely not the ones that would be your first choices.
• Q: Why don’t you use animated leaderheads?
A: Once again, several reasons. The first and the strongest of those is that I’m the person responsible for adding these, and I don’t like Firaxis-style animated cartooney leaderheads. Ever since Civ 3, I always substituted them for beautiful works of art I could find. These painters are worth checking out! There are also two additional reasons that reinforce this principle: first of all, since I can make those static leaderheads myself, I am not bound to wait for someone to make me an animated leaderhead – and thus we can put in any leader I can possibly find, and you will notice that we have more leaders than most other mods. And lastly, static leaderheads eat up much less system resources. In a mod as big as ours, every little bit counts. –WH.
• Q: Can you make it so that civs found cities in historic places and appear at historic periods? Rhye’s does it.
A: No, implementing these features (as well as some other stuff present in Rhye’s) would limit our mod to world map only. While we consider the work of Rhye to be a top-class mod, we are developing a more flexible product which is suitable for a broad spectrum of random maps.
• Q: Why did you turn off tech trading?
A: We have implemented tech transfer component instead. If any civ you have open borders with knows the tech you’re researching, you will research it much faster. We feel it does a better job at simulating tech spread than Civ4 default “tech trading” (which really only happened from late XIX century IRL). You can turn tech trading back on if you don't like that feature, but then don't forget to turn our Tech Transfer component off in the game options, as the two aren't meant to function together.
• Q: Will you please add Revolution / RevDCM mod component? It is brilliant, and your mod will really shine with it.
A: Yes, we know that. Yes, we are planning to add it. It is a large amount of work to merge it into our existing structure, so we are not sure when this is going to happen. No amount of asking is going to shift that date.
• Q: Why do you release new versions so rarely?
A: Well, we are a team of perfectionists, and we like to ensure that everything is as complete as we can before we release a major version. Therefore, we only release major versions once every half a year or so. That doesn’t mean that you are locked out from whatever we are currently doing: everyone can check out our latest internal build from our Subversion (SVN) repository, which will provide you with exactly what we ourselves have at the moment, and you will be able to keep it up-to-date. Our forum has a handy guide on how to do that: Realism-invictus.com. But please keep in mind that this IS an internal build not intended for release. While we try to provide support to users playing our SVN versions, please remember that they are essentially betas. And please remember the revision number you’re playing (BTW, it is a very bad idea to update your SVN revision during an ongoing game – more often than not it will render your current saves unplayable).
• Q: Do you need beta testers?
A: Yes, we do. See the previous question on how to get your hands on our latest internal build, and play it! Then report your finds to us on our forum, and that’s that – you are helping us. We really appreciate this kind of help.
• Q: Where can I get more info on how stuff works and advice on how to play your mod?
A: We have a manual - not too detailed, but designed to give you a basic understanding of all the mod's significant features. This post contains a link where you can get its pdf version. Also, in-game hints have been rewritten to provide useful RI-specific advice (and if you didn't know, you can read all hints in the Pedia!).
If you experience crashes/weird behaviour that clearly should not be there, please consult the following checklist to make sure you have everything in place for the mod to work correctly. It contains the most common problems people have with the mod:
• You are not running MacOS. Mods with custom dll don't work on Mac.
• Your video card supports the mod. Note that the mod is more demanding to video hardware than Civ 4 itself. As a rule of the thumb, Intel onboard video chips are insufficient to play the mod. Most ATI and NVidia cards that can run Civ 4 will not have problems with the mod either.
• Beyond the Sword is patched to the latest version.
• If you have a 32-bit OS, you will get Memory Allocation errors sooner or later. To get them later rather than sooner (depending on your specs perhaps even later than the time it takes you to win/have enough fun), you may apply the MAF fix.
• The mod is installed to correct path, that is "Beyond the Sword/Mods/Realism Invictus". Do not rename the folder of the mod to anything other than "Realism Invictus".
• CustomAssets folders are clean. Any files in those folders (including components like BUG and BULL) will interfere with normal functioning of the mod.
• If you get a C++ error when you try to start, you should download and install Visual C++ Express.
• If you crash starting a custom game, try starting via "Play now". If it starts normally, then try starting custom game again, maybe changing some options. It will start normally after a few tries, and won't crash anymore.