Total War developer explains the lack of mod tools

By on July 1, 2011

Offers users the complete raw database files for both Empire and Napoleon: Total War.

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Feudal-Japan based RTS, Total War: Shogun 2, won’t see the release of the awaited mod tools anytime soon, developer Creative Assembly has affirmed. Though there are particular reasons for that matter.

In a lengthy post on the game’s official forums, community manager Craig Laycock explained that the technical advancement of the series has made it more complex for the studio to offer PC users well-functioning editing tools.

“Back then, the game engine was a hell of a lot simpler than it is now,” he said, referring to older series’ releases. “There was a fraction of the database table files we use today, and these were basic, easily-editable text files.

“Compared to today’s binary files, which we’ve had to implement to fight naturally expanding load-times, they were a doddle to mod.

“Likewise, today’s campaign map is vastly more complex and data-dense than Rome’s, which was basically a simple TGA file that could be edited in photoshop. Today’s maps demand way more complexity in order to allow for better path-finding and AI.”

Laycock went on to clarify that the studio is giving its best to figure a well working system with Shogun 2, but still with no success.

“We have tools that work with our internal data processes, but wouldn’t work at all as mod tools. It would take a huge amount of development resources to combine them into something approaching usable.

“Many of our tools are just designed to work with our raw data formats and process them into something used by the game, not to take a processed item and view or edit it.

As a good will gesture, the studio’s made the raw table data for both Empire and Napoleon: Total War available for download via the game’s website. The files should offer modders – who are seeking in-game property changes – the ability to tweak within Total War’s complex file structure.


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