In today's update, we're going to be talking about extragalactic invaders, Solo Sith Lords, and the structure of future support for Thrawn's Revenge mods. As usual, if you prefer to get your updates in video format, that can be found on Corey Loses with the same information:
Shortly after we launched Thrawn's Revenge in 2006, there were four planned mods to come of it; a Clone Wars, Galactic Civil War, Post-Endor, and Vong War mod. For various reasons, by 2010 we had reduced it down to just the Post-Endor mod, Imperial Civil War. Two years ago, we announced the return of Fall of the Republic, our Clone Wars mod, production for which is well underway and like Imperial Civil War 2.3, Fall of the Republic 0.5 is approaching its release. For a long time we've tossed around ideas and even made assets for the possibility of including the Yuuzhan Vong in some capacity, even if it weren't as a standalone mod, and we've been working on certain mechanics like the emergent faction mechanic which we introduced in 2.2, largely with them in mind as an end-goal. While 2.4 will be focusing on the Hapans, in 2.5 one of the major goals we have is that once you reach a certain point in the era-progessive campaigns, the Yuuzhan Vong will attack the galaxy as an emergent faction, giving your established war machine a new and deadly enemy.
This, of course, comes with other potential things the Vong could be involved with- dedicated Galactic Conquest maps, a playable faction, and a large number of other possibilities for an expanded timeline. With the last few Vision of the Future news updates, we've spoken about some of what we plan to add to ICW over the next few releases, with overviews of some of the factions and how they'll be used. The idea is that each of these will start with some core set of assets, and the extent to which any of them can be expanded on will depend on time, resources, and team members; whether they remain non-playable factions, or, like the Hapans are getting, we reach a point where we can fully flesh them out into a playable faction with all the bells and whistles. Because of faction slot restrictions in Empire at War, the idea with Imperial Civil War is that this will ultimately only lead up, story-wise, to a certain point in the Vong War, even at its greatest extent. This does not, however, mean that would be the end of new content.
Each of those bits of content has been planned and designed as the starting point for a dedicated, standalone mod covering the events from the Vong War to the Fate of the Jedi books, which we are calling Legacy of the Vong
. If we only ever get far enough that the Vong become a fun end-game mechanic, then that's fine. If we get the content for a fleshed out Galactic Alliance, Yuuzhan Vong, Killik Nest, Chiss Ascendancy, Imperial Remnant and Confederation from the period, then that's even better. Valerie, our concept artist, has been working on some renditions of units that could show up in a variety of scenarios, on top of her work designing the Hapans and other concepts for Imperial Civil War and Fall of the Republic. In this update, you can see her take on Yuuzhan Vong Coralskipper, and a Corellian Strident
class, which was used pretty extensively throughout the period in question.
This brings up a broader point about how we'll be supporting Thrawn's Revenge going forward. The Steam workshop has provided opportunities with Empire at War modding that we've not really properly taken advantage of. It's been just under a year since 2.2 has come out, and while we hope people are looking forward to the new and redone content, balance changes, bug fixes, and reworked mechanics of 2.3, there are plenty of issues in a perfect world we could have rolled out fixes for before this next major release, or some content which could have been sent out incrementally. This has prompted some internal discussions about how we'll be structuring version releases and major content patches.
After the release of 2.3, we will be significantly overhauling our internal documentation, file structures, and pipeline for certain aspects of the mod, in order to better address issues, roll out gameplay updates, and keep everyone up to date while still leaving room for larger version differences where we can introduce things like new playable factions all at once, without people having to deal with them in their broken stages and without breaking saves every month or something. We'll be doing our best to structure files and our internal repository in such a way that we can easily cordon off something like the Hapes Consortium as a playable faction from being in public release, while still rolling out things like AI updates, galactic conquest additions or modifications, fixes to major issues, story additions, and so on. This way, rather than having to wait a year for a major problem to be fixed (and dealing with whatever new problems occur) or us having to delay working on certain major projects until older stuff is fixed and we're sure we're done patching a version, we can give people fixed bugs and fresh content in the short term, and still have major releases over the longer term. This will take a bit more setup, but it will also help make things more modular (a process we already started while working on ways to develop ICW and FotR at the same time without repeating work) and makes it all the more possible that Legacy of the Vong can be a real thing.
That's all we've got for today. If you'd like to follow development more closely, we have a Discord server which the mod shares with Corey Loses which you can join here: https://discord.gg/t3WJugG
, and on Corey Loses itself, I do frequent preview playthroughs showing what's going on with the mod at various stages of development, with Fall of the Republic's preview playthroughs starting soon: https://www.youtube.com/c/coreyloses