An empire-building turn-based strategy game. The player starts building his empire at the Old Stone Age in 4000 BC, leading his tribe to explore the surroundings, found new cities, counter hostile barbarians, pillage or take over enemy's villages, and compete with other cultures.

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Intro

In this final tenth dev diary we finish up by showing some of the scenario world map, the factions, and some special alternative graphic sets for the Civilization 2 - Heroes of Might and Magic 2 Mod!

Background

As a kid growing up in the 90s playing endless hours of Civilization and Heroes of Might & Magic Blake always wanted some sort of hybrid game that gave him the HoMM experience but in the Civ sandbox world. Games like Master of Magic and Age of Wonders 2 sort of granted that wish however Tom2050's amazing HoMM3 mod for Civ3 mod has REALLY fulfilled that dream of a sandbox HoMM game. Blake was so inspired by the awesomeness of it that he wanted to try and make a Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod to compliment it. Soon after this Blake discovered a talented Civ2 modder on the other side of the world called Metropolis had already started a similar project and the two of them got to work on finishing their dream!

Dev Diary

Hey guys, since my last post I've been busy building and testing a rather fun scenario map for the HoMM2 mod! I've hit a few bugs to sort out, and I've been finding lots more text in the game files needing replacing, but overall things are going well and I'm currently building my Azure super dragon to win the game! So over the weeks to come I'll be writing up the documentation, making a tour video & some other promotional stuff, and cleaning all the WIP junk out of the scenario folder and packaging it for release!

In the meantime I thought I'd post some more pics to show people some of the map and the faction starting locations I made and have been polishing and balancing out since. All land masses are connected by land bridges and there are many dangers lurking in the badlands between each factions homeland ensuring they have 'some' protection from each other to begin with. You'll notice in the pictures below that we've pretty much used all the tricks in the book to heavily pack decoration into every area making it feel more like a HoMM map, and that each faction starts in a different looking area that suits their theme (ie often the kinds of lands they'd occupy in original HoMM maps). Metro & I originally talked about making every single terrain type in the game produce the same amount of resources so that we could create truly different lands for each faction much like how they are in the HoMM games. However I noticed he never got around to doing it years ago, and while I thought about recently doing it myself I realised that I'd be taking away one of the big gameplay strategic parts of the Civ experience which is to find the perfect spots for your cities and give each city a sense of specialness and individuality, whereas if everything is worth the same then all that almost means nothing. Also I've noticed in some Civ2 MGE scenarios I've played over the years that the AI seems to beeline it straight for grassland slot areas even when there's better custom terrain using other slots so I guess grassland slot hunting is hardcoded into the AI behaviour or something. So I decided for better or worse to try and have a bit of both words (which knowing my luck will probably manage to annoy both the Civ fans & the HoMM fans at the same time lol) and give every factions starting location a decent amount of grassland slots inbetween their factions usual associated terrain and make most of these other terrains similar in resource yield (especially after they've been irrigated).

So lets start with the good guys first!

The Sorceress faction occupy fertile grasslands filled with lakes, rivers and dense magical forests much like in HoMM. The forests will give them a production advantage over other factions but they will eventually inhibit growth as they must be cleared to make more farmland which can take time. The Sorceresses can field multiple flying* units giving them the ability to quickly expand and explore. If they can survive long enough to obtain their extra fast top tier Phoenixes, they may become unstoppable.

(Click to expand)StartS


Next comes the Knight faction who in HoMM usually occupy similar terrain to the Sorceress, so to make them different in Civ2 I gave them a lot of dirt/plains terrain. Which gives their lands a look of a similar fertile paradise to the Sorcerers but clearly the those naughty humans have been clearing lots of the forests. As in HoMM the Knight's can grow quickly and some of their units are cheaper but they lack some of the special powers and abilities that the other races get (eg flying* creatures). Strong growth and overwhelming numbers of their strongest units like the Crusader will be key to their success.

(Click to expand)StartK


Lastly comes the Wizard faction who in HoMM2 occupied dry cracked terrain so naturally they do so in our mod too. Wizards players will need to capitalise on the fertile lands around the rivers until they can irrigate the cracked lands. They have access to flying* units and some very powerful units like the mighty titan which has more hitpoints & firepower than most other top tier units. In my test game they were the dominant AI faction.

(Click to expand)StartWiz


Next up below I'll do the bad guys and neutrals!

But speaking of the neutrals, this little moment made me laugh, heh my enemies diplomats have been hypnotized! We can thank MetroPolis for that idea. :)

(Click to expand)Hypnotized


Now let's get to the bad guys!

Starting with the powerful Warlock faction, who just like in HoMM2 favour the dark volcanic wastelands. These starting lands give them a harder start than the other factions, so they will need to rely on the fertile river lands while cultivating the volcanic lands. Where the Warlock's really excel is in powerful flying* units, so if they can survive their rough start and establish a good economy then they will be able to quickly expand and overwhelm their neighbours. If they survive long enough to reach the deadliest unit in the game, their mighty Black dragon, the world will be theirs! They also start quite near the legendary Dragon City which if conquered offers great rewards.

(Click to expand)StartWar


Next comes the Barbarian faction, who normally occupied desert, cracked and dirt/plains areas of HoMM2 however since those terrain types are used by other factions and the Barbarian castle screen has more of a cold tundra look I've given them lands that are a mix of cold snow, damp swamp, dirt/plains and grasslands. Similar to the Knights the Barbarians lack flying* units and special abilities, however their lands are quite fertile and their units are cheap, so quick growth and a strong economy will allow them to field large numbers of their strongest units like the Cyclops.

(Click to expand)StartB


Then comes the last of the original 6 factions, the evil Necromancer faction. The Necromancer's live in the dark swamp regions where many an unfortunate soul has wandered into and never returned. While their castle screen looks more volcanic I felt they'd better suit the swamps on the map due to it's dead trees and graveyards! The Necromancer's starting units are not the strongest however it's lands are quite large so if they can survive long enough to get to their multiple high tier flying* units like the Bone Dragon then they will become a force to be reckoned with.

(Click to expand)StartN


Lastly comes our special bonus 7th Civ, the Neutrals faction. The Neutrals are an alliance of previously unaligned creatures that the other expanding factions have pushed out of their homelands into the hostile desert regions. While seemingly an odd match-up of creatures they are united in their cause of pushing back against the other factions and reclaiming their homes. The neutrals are in a rather central location on the map meaning they're surrounded by other factions which can make them tough to play as. However if you survive off the fertile rivers & oasis's while you work the lands into something better and start to expand out into the even wilder savage desert lands to the south, then you can build up a large empire that can hold it's ground until you gain access to their deadly flying* top tier Genie unit!
As previously posted, this special 7th bonus faction is heavily inspired by the desert Dervish faction in the utterly brilliant Succession Wars mod for Heroes of Might & Magic 3 that converts HoMM3 into a HoMM2 like experience but also adds cool new factions containing many of the neutral creatures from HoMM2, all with a HoMM2 art style. The Neutrals Anglo Saxon style hero comes from the excellent Palm Kingdoms 2 PC & Mobile game that is very HoMM2 like! Many thanks to both the SW (Dervish castle & village map graphics as well as their gorgeous desert Dervish castle screen graphics for the city window background) and PK2 teams (custom Heroes) for allowing us use of their graphics! :)

Note: As mentioned in previous dev diaries sadly Civ2 MGE does not allow access to the 7th city castle map graphic slot so they will not appear like this in-game (this will be fixed in a later Test of Time version) unless you manually swap the Barbarian & Neutrals art slots around in the cities graphics file.

(Click to expand)StartD


(* flying creatures in this mod do not use the Civ2 flight mechanic which is reserved for magic spells. Instead flying units have increased movement and treat all squares as roads special ability.)


And now it's time for the final thing I wanted to show you guys. Back in the early days when MetroPolis and I were making this HoMM2 mod together we pretty much had the same ideas for nearly everything, which is why we worked so well together and were able to do so many crazy things to Civ2 fueled by our shared dream of a true total conversion experience. However there were a couple of small areas where we did have different ideas...

Irrigation & farmland:
As a kid playing HoMM I always wanted to work the lands and make farms around the castles so I was eager go in a more 'Civilization like' direction for our mod and have irrigation & farmland around our cities with some HoMM2 cottages, houses & wells added in to still keep the HoMM feel. MetroPolis wanted more of a traditional HoMM look on the map with just some wells and houses giving things a cleaner and less cluttered look.

Unit/creature borders:
I wanted to keep the HoMM2 units as they were and not change them in any way, whereas MetroPolis felt they were getting a bit lost in the map and he always quite liked the bright glowing yellow borders on selected units during the HoMM2 tactical battle screen and decided to replicate that affect on our units painstakingly drawing borders around all of them.

Originally MetroPolis was most gracious and was happy to go in my direction resulting in his ideas almost being lost and forgotten about. However I didn't forget and I recently decided to go digging through our giant CivFanatics PM convo history (100s of messages over 40 pages lol) and I found his old alternative files. Due to the huge amount of changes we'd made over the years since Metro's old files were no longer compatible at all with the current mod, however I decided out of respect for my old co-creator and because I can see (as I'm sure others will) the benefits of his less cluttered map graphics that I would convert his alternative assets over to the latest version of our mod and include them in the release! Ironically there were quite a number of new units we'd added since his old file, so I had to sit there drawing yellow borders around all of them too lol! While my ones remain the defaults these alternative files will sit in a ALT_FILES folder I'm including in the mod where players can also find all the different city background alternatives depending on which faction they choose. Some people may even want to mix and match (eg my units and his farms or visversa) which they are welcome to do! This is pretty much the last dev diary I've got for you guys before release as there isn't much left to do on the mod now, I'm just finishing up documentation and some of the marketing stuff (eg videos and website). Shouldn't be too long now! :)

Comparison shots, Left = Blake's defaults, Right = Metro's alternatives:

(Click to expand)
Comparison1 Comparison2


If you like my work please feel free to check out my other mod projects such as my & Metropolis's Civ2 - Heroes of Might & Magic 2 scenario, my Civ2 - Red Alert 2 Siege of NYC scenario, my Civ2 - Command & Conquer scenario remaster, my Civ2 - Dune 2 Dynasty scenario, my Civ2 - Terminator Future War scenario remaster, my Civ2 - Civ1 Graphics mod demaster, my Civ2ToT - Master of Magic Jr scenario remaster, my Civ2 - Deadworld Reborn scenario remaster, my Civ2 - Starcraft scenario addon, my Civ2 - Warcraft scenario addon, my Civ2 - Better Terrain Graphics mod, my Civ2 - Playstation Graphics mod remaster, my Civ2 - ToT Graphics mod remaster, my Civ2 - Alpha Centauri scenario remaster, my Attila's Conquest - Play as Barbarians in every Civ game scenario series, my old Civ2 - Star Wars scenario, and my Civ1 - Soundtrack Overhaul mod. I'm also the creator of the popular GZDoom - Star Trek TNG Doom and GZDoom - Quest For Glory IV 3D Hexen mods.

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Hooknay
Hooknay - - 1 comments

How do I download this game. Civ2

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PizzaMafia
PizzaMafia - - 14 comments

have this to and test of time :) but i have played :D

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roadking
roadking - - 380 comments

I have this game, but i've never played it

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feillyne Staff
feillyne - - 5,816 comments

LOL, perhaps you'd better give it at least one short try. ;-)

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