I'm as biased about it as it ever gets, but I'm pretty sure this is one of the most awesome things that happened to Total War modding ever.
Here's what in the release:
- Concentrated Vanilla minimod - essentially vanilla with a ton of minor fixes and enchantments for more dynamic gameplay.
- A program you can use to easily make your own minimod, customizing your gaming experience in many ways.
- Random campaign system, allowing every single campaign you play to be completely different.
Pics or didn't happen
- Install JRuby. Download link.
- Install 7zip. Download link. (in case you don't have 7zip or another unpacker for .7z archives)
- Download mod builder and unpack it. Download link.
- Start mod builder by double-clicking start.bat. You should see GUI like one in screenshots above.
- Customize in any way you want. If you want random scenarios, be sure to tick "Enable random scenarios" checkbox.
- There are two presets you can choose with File > Open. "Default" preset is Concentrated Vanilla minimod. "Minimal" preset is almost vanilla Medieval 2 Grand Campaign. You can then customize them any way you want from either of these starting points, including enabling random scenarios for both.
- Build your mod. It's as simple as using File > Build command. If there are any errors, you'll see them in a separate window. (if so, screenshot and send to me if you need help)
- Install your mod. If your game installation was detected correctly, File > Install command will install the mod.
- Run your mod [Retail version]. If you use retail (or cracked) version, use File > Run command, or double click concentrated_vanilla.bat file in your game directory.
- Run your mod [Steam version]. If you use Steam version with builtin launcher, start Kingdoms (not Medieval 2) from your Steam Library, then select Concentrated Vanilla from launcher's menu. This is least tested way. If in doubt, try to get retail version.
TroubleshootingIn case of trouble, screenshot whatever errors you see and send it straight to me.
If installer doesn't work, try running it as administrator.
If builder can't find your (retail) game installation, copy and paste all files from output directory to your game directory, then run concentrated_vanilla.bat from your game directory.
Support for Steam launcher is extremely experimental, and I just finished it moments ago, so if it crashes, just provide me the best information you can and I'll try to figure it out. For some reason starting launcher as "Medieval 2" rather than "Kingdoms" invariably results in a crash on my computer. (even though the mod actually uses Medieval 2 not Kingdoms engine).
Saving your workYou can save your settings with "File > Save", but format of that file is not guaranteed to be compatible across upgrades. For now it probably won't be.
Random seeds should result in the same map as long as you use the same version of the mod builder, and identical scenario settings. Different machine, or different settings for anything else are not meant to affect it, but no guarantees. In the future in would be nice to make random seeds shareable like in Minecraft.
Using Install command will overwrite previously installed version of Concentrated Vanilla. It won't touch your saved games.
Using Uninstall command will uninstall Concentrated Vanilla, but will not touch your saved games.
- Only Concentrated Vanilla map is supported (which has 7 extra regions over vanilla map). In the future vanilla map, and possibly other maps will also be selectable. Each map requires a bit of support code for random scenario builder. If you have any map you want supported, send me all the files, and I'll try to include it in a future release.
- Mod builder is somewhat fragile and hasn't been extensively stress tested. Unusual combinations of options might not work. Error reporting is currently minimal. If you find any errors screenshot errors, email me with as much information as you can.
- Scenario builder doesn't have any interface for ton of features it can do programatically. Features like leaving pope in Rome while shuffling everybody else around, adjusting city sizes randomly, or adjusting regions' religions to match ruling factions - and many others - would be fairly straightforward except for lack of interface. If there's any particular feature you want to see, just contact me.
- Only features I needed for Concentrated Vanilla are available in the mod builder GUI. I'm sure ton of other automated changes could be added. If you have any needs, contact me and I'll see what I can do.
- Medieval 2 engine can only run one mod at a time, but mod builder can add minimods to mod you're building. Currently only 3 such minimods are included. If you want your minimod included, contact me right away. (I especially need better CAI mod).
- Installer, especially for Steam launcher, is only minimally tested (and only on English 64-bit Windows 7).
- In principle this kind of customization system can work with Rome, or any existing mod. It would require some porting effort, but if there's significant interest, I don't see why not.
- A lot of people requested hotseat campaign mod. This would require switching the mod from medieval 2 engine to Kingdoms' retrofit mod as a base. It will probably happen someday, since Kingdoms gives us access to a bunch of extra features.
Credits and linksConcentrated Vanilla 0.60 includes some files from Medieval 2 Total War game by Creative Assembly, and the following minimods:
- Sinuhet's Battle Mechanics
- Lusted's Better BAI/CAI
- Agart's Cities/Castles Strat
If you're interested in how this mod evolved, posts about previous versions (with links inside):