1. #1

    Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod!

    I recently posted here about discovering that amazing Heroes of Might & Magic 3 Civilization 3 Mod! As a kid growing up in the 90s playing endless hours of Civ and HoMM I always wanted some sort hybrid game that gave me 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 his mod has REALLY fulfilled that dream of a sandbox HoMM game haha. I was so inspired by the awesomeness of it that I wanted to try and make a Heroes of Might & Magic 2 Civilization 2 Mod to compliment it, as while I'm useless at Civ3 modding I'm pretty good with Civ2 modding. I was still hesitant to try though as I knew it would be a big job, however then I hit the jackpot!

    Some of you may have seen me post in the HoMM3 Civ3 thread that I found someone by the name of Metropolis had already started my exact HoMM2 for Civ2 idea and had posted about it in a German Civ forum. However sadly he went and got himself banned before I found it lol but thankfully we were eventually able to track each other down on a different Civ forum and he speaks great English (thankfully as I only speak English and bad English lol) so we're now working together on finishing his vision with a bit of my vision mixed in with it. It's not going to be as amazing as that HoMM3 for Civ3 mod as it's creator (Tom2050) is a friggin genius lol and we're using an older game but we'll do the best we can haha. We know that it's 20 years too late, no one will probably play it and people will wonder why we're wasting our time but we're having a ton of fun making it so meh, we're doing it anyway haha.

    Here's some early test screenshots...

    One of our first terrain test shots, Civ2's GUI is VERY limited but I've made it look a bit more like HoMM2s. NO units or castles had been added at that point.

    While Metropolis worked on terrains and units I started working on cities..

    As we all know HoMM games only have 1 town and castle image to dictate city size/development while Civ2 has 4 unwalled and 4 walled sizes. So we decided to use the town for the un-walled cities and the castle for the walled cities in the scenario. The other BIG problem is that the original images are much higher resolution and are very vertically tall in HoMM2 which means to fit them into a short and wide isometric city cell in Civ2 they have to be shrunk so much that they look way too small (eg see Metropolis's old 2014 shots) so we're trying using a combination of stretching and pixel editing (mostly to shrink the big towers and tall walls) to fully utilize every pixel of width and height that a small Civ2 city cell can give!

    Eg I have to somehow squeeze this (actual 1 to 1 size)

    into the pink area in this little thing (actual 1 to 1 size)

    I can go over the grey areas above but NOT below the diamond isometric cell.

    My first attempt. There were many revisions to get to this stage lol.

    This castle was a NIGHTMARE as I had to change the shape of the walls to fit in the isometric cell.. still not thrilled about the skull and other stuff so will probably get revisions.

    This one ended up being rather easy compared to the last 2. Guess I'd started learning from dealing with the past problems haha. Like with the previous 2 the windows and city buildings were horribly distorted by the downsize requiring me to repaint them in. And also much like with the others the castle wall and village fence is completely repainted and reshaped to fit the Civ2 cell limits and remove downsize distortions.

    This was one tougher than I thought as I quickly realised that the brick pattern on the walls (which was destroyed in the shrinking/downsizing) was also all over the castle so I had repaint the bricks all over the whole bloody thing lol.

    Those with a keen eye will see I'd played around with the forts a bit more too. Metropolis also smoothed out the beach shore lines a bit by this stage too.

    This one took longer than I wanted as well, as the village had an annoying crisscross fence that trying to do a miniature version of on an angle was hell haha.

    FINISHED! All 6 done!

    And finally here's a shot I just took today where as you can see Metropolis has added HoMM2 units and Heroes to the game and I've snuck some extra decoration into the river tiles. Due to Civ2 not being an strategy RPG with lots of map locations to visit we're very limited in what objects we can place on the map so we've had to pull a lot of tricks like these to get interesting stuff into the maps. You may also notice Metropolis has put some ocean decoration at the river mouths too. Take note that the big Xanadu building is more than just decoration, like several other cool interactive buildings we're planning there is much danger there but also treasure too.
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  2. #2
    Here's a big update post:

    Metropolis has been busy working on the event code so I decided to play with background graphics.

    Now this was difficult. Civ2 doesn't normally allow you to edit adviser and event background images. They're all stored in a DLL file called Tiles.dll. Clever fans have made an editor that allows you to change these images however you can NOT go over the original image file sizes. This is really tough as most of the Civ2 background images are low resolution grey-scale (sort of black and white) images. I really wanted to get all of the Heroes of Might & Magic 2 castle screens into Civ2 somehow as decoration.

    After a LOT of experimenting I was able to do it! I'm pleased to say that I was able to get all 6 HoMM2 castle screens into the game AND with colour! However I had to downsize them quite a bit, reduce details, and severely reduce the colours. I had to put thick marble borders around them to reduce their sizes even future.

    For remaining screens I'm putting in screenshots from HoMM2 cutscenes.

    Wonders Screen:
    This was the smallest advisor screen of them all at measly 30k. Had a take a chunk of detail out of the picture and it juuuuust fits.

    Civ Score Screen:
    I've always loved this HoMM2 cutscene of a crashed ship so I couldn't resist using it! Had to compress it quite a bit sadly.

    Intel Report Screen:
    Used a shot of the the HoMM2 Gold intro. Had to compress it quite a bit sadly.

    Top 5 cities screen:
    Used a cool castle cutscene video shot.

    Kingdom Screen:
    Used a campaign cutscene video shot where you can see Roland's Kingdom (had to massively compress sadly).

    City Capture:
    Used a shot from the final bad guy campaign mission cutscene video where you lay siege to Roland's Palace (had to heavily compress sadly).

    Took this shot from the campaign mission cutscene video where you turn the peasants/citizen's against Roland or Archebald.

    Couldn't find any pictures or cutscenes in HoMM2 showing people celebrating. So I just used a cool shot of someone worshiping some royal magical stuff from a HoMM2 addon cutscene video. I thought about using the image from the HoMM3 intro of Catherine's men celebrating but wanted to keep things HoMM2 themed.

    Creating a city:
    Took this shot of a little village from the campaign mission cutscene video where you turn the peasants/citizen's against Roland or Archebald.
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  3. #3
    Time for another update...

    I've now darkened all of the adviser backgrounds and then reconverted back to Civ 2 pallet and the results have come out pretty darn good! Writing is very easy to read now.

    I won't post the whole lot again but here's a couple of examples:

    Meanwhile Metropolis decided to surprise everyone by editing the images inside of the dll file that controls what you see in the Civ2 city view screen! This is something very rarely done before so it's very cool!

    Here's a test screenshot from a savegame where I'd built most of the buildings in town and the results are pretty awesome!! He's really out done himself on this one haha:

    A while back we decided to replace Civ2's wonders with HoMM2 artifacts and hero skills. We replaced their icons with HoMM2 ones and were done with it. However to add to his above work Metro came up with a way to still have artifacts in the city view where they simply display on pedestals. Looks really nice!

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  4. #4
    Progress pictures time again!

    Metro & I have finished replacing all of the 42 Civ2 Leader pictures with HoMM2 hero portraits. Converting their faces into the limitations of the Civ2 colour palette has been a real challenge but the final results are pretty good!

    Here's some of the imported leaders (light blue is transparent in-game):

    Here is a in-game Diplomacy screenshot (note we'll probably be telling people to disable the 3D 'Heralds' as having a Zulu, a Roman or some big Russian guy dancing away in front of our leaders doesn't really suit the HoMM theme haha).

    Meanwhile Metro & I decided to 'go where no Civ2 scenario maker has gone before' (at least we don't think anyone has) and replace all of Civ2's cutscene videos. As previously mentioned we're using HoMM2 artifacts as the Wonders so we're going to make some sort of cool video that leads to a book or scroll showing what the wonder artifact does using HoMM2 icons of course.

    Here's some test shots of Metro's awesome wonder video work (note: titles won't match video as we're testing using the slot 1 Pyramids wonder)

    And last of all here's a new in-game world shot where I've been playing around testing our world decoration. For a game that doesn't have anywhere near as many map objects as HoMM does I think we've done a pretty good job at squeezing as many map decorations into the scenario as possible haha!
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  5. #5
    Time for a well overdue project update! Metro has been travelling O/S and I've been recovering from some nasty surgery but plenty of progress has been around those over the last month and we're pretty much finished now and just doing final touch ups, sounds, documentation and play testing.

    Throne Room:
    Metro has replaced the entire Civ2 throne room with HoMM2 castle screens broken up into puzzle pieces. As each area is upgraded you'll go through several castle types. So if you choose to upgrade one particular area a few times it will lead to some rather funny results and mixed matches lol. While we would have loved to have done a castle with individual buildings being built (similar to what Tom did with his HoMM3 Civ3 mod) the positioning of objects in the throne room is hard coded and not something we can access to tamper with. So castle image puzzle pieces was the best we could do!

    Diplomacy Herald Videos:
    Metro has successfully replaced (which was NOT easy) and tested all of Civ2's diplomacy heralds with video animations of top tier HoMM2 units (eg Dragons, Titans, Crusaders, Phoenixes etc). They look awesome and its a real thrill when the leader you're talking to gets angry and the creature does its attack animation!! I might post an example video of this here soon...

    Genie for our 7th neutral faction

    Happy HoMM2 Warlock Herald:

    Angry HoMM2 Warlock Herald haha:

    New intro video and title screen graphics:
    Metro replaced the Civ2 intro with a short piece from HoMM2's intro and I've replaced all the DLL graphics in the main menu screen and start on customized world images. Once again we suffered from severe size limitations of the original Civ 2 DLL image files so the colours aren't too brilliant in some images sadly! Also we don't know of any way to change the ugly Civ2 brown main menu background either!

    Intro Video

    Main Menu Screen

    Wonder Videos:
    Metro has also completely finished all of his wonder video conversions. These are really impressive and use a number of different videos (mostly from HoMM2) such as a Dragon breathing fire or a camera pass in a medieval library while HoMM2 music plays all leading to a frozen image with the details of our custom wonders all in the actual video! I might post an example video of this here soon as well...

    Screenshots from new wonder videos...
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  6. #6
    Last time I promised videos so here they are!

    This is a actual in-game video that shows one of our custom Herald video characters in action. Here I insult the Warlock faction leader Archibald and his black dragon breaths fire!

    This is a simulated in-game video showing off a handful of the awesome custom Wonder videos Metropolis made! In actual in-game the videos look a little grainier due to Civ2's 8bit colour palette.
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  7. #7
    Time for another update!

    Metro Polis has finished his final changes plus playtesting and is happy with things. All that's left to do is my map creation, my playtest game and documentation writing then this baby should be good to go!

    In these final stages we've been finding a few little left over things in Civ2 to convert to HoMM2 style for extra immersion.

    Victory Sequence:
    I came up with an idea to replace the Civ2 military victory guillotine sequence (where you see all the enemy leaders faces getting the chop lol) with the HoMM1 death guillotine sequence. Once again I was heavily restricted by the image size inside of the DLL file and the view perspective is a bit off however its quite fun watching the blade come down on our custom HoMM2 leaders hehe.

    For the final victory image I decided to go with Archibald and the dragon which thankfully the DLL size limitations weren't too bad so it converted beautifully.
    (in-game shot)

    Death Video:
    Civ2 uses a small video of a underground tomb for its death/failure sequence. It's start & end bits with the text couldn't be changed sadly but I asked Metro to make one last custom video for our mod to replace the tomb video part. For this we naturally used the HoMM2 death/failure video sequence of you hanging in a cage as well as the HoMM2 addon intro video of the dark bloody battlefield of bodies.

    Custom City Screens:
    I've recently been playing around with custom city screen background for my mods and decided it would be fun to make up a transparent HoMM2 city screen for each of the 6 factions. These are completely optional to players of the scenario and Metro has also included a nice plain wooden style city background if people prefer something simpler. Here's the Human Knight background (being tested on the wrong faction haha). You can also see some of the other work we've done such as custom citizens (using HoMM2 hero faces), ToT fantasy scenario resource icons, custom HoMM2 style buildings, and of course as we've previously shown you if players click on the view button they'll get treated to a gorgeous custom city sky view with HoMM2 buildings that Metro made.
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  8. #8
    Well I guess I better post an update as it's been a while!

    Firstly I want to say apologies to everyone sitting around waiting. The delay in release is 100% my fault and not Metropolis's, as I've been busy working on my Command & Conquer African Campaign Civ2 scenario remaster and Red Alert 2 Siege of New York Civ2 Scenario projects these last few months. However that and my other projects are now pretty much almost at a nearly complete stage where I'm happy to step back from them and get back to finishing this one and releasing it!

    So in the meantime there's still a few new things that I can post about here.

    I've had a few requests on various sites to post about units! So I thought I'd do up a diagram showing a breakdown of all the factions and their units!

    Important things of note:

    • HoMM2 has 6 faction slots and Civ2 has 7 slots, so Metro & I thought it would be fun to make the 7th Civ2 faction a HoMM2 neutral faction that controls many of the games neutral units (similar to the Conflux Elemental addon race in HoMM3). Sadly there are only 6 city graphic slots in Civ2MGE so they've been given Barbarian graphics.
    • The neutral 7th faction's units are not quite as strong as the 6 main faction's units however they are playable for those that want an extra challenge.
    • Heroes are special leader units that can work the land, colonise cities and even fight enemies themselves if needed due to having a number of special abilities. They're no match for mid to late game units though so protect them!
    • The rather fun HoMM2 styled fan game on PC & mobiles called Palm Kingdoms 2 has a number of alternative hero graphics (that match perfectly to HoMM2's likely due to being repaints) we were able to use for the neutral faction (Saxon hero) and the uprising leaders (alt Barbarian hero).
    • There are 6 unit tiers and each tier class has set attack and defense values across the 6 factions for balancing (as previously stated the 7th faction units are a bit weaker). However fear not, they do have a full variety of different special abilities giving each race unique advantages and disadvantages at different stages of the game. Some of these special abilities are as follows:
      • Flying units (eg Roc, Griffin, Phoenix etc) treat all squares like alpine troops (1/3 move taken) making them faster than all other units on all terrain but weaker in attack if they've already moved (we debated over using actual Civ2 flying fighter & helicopter unit types but agreed it was more trouble than its worth).
      • Fast moving 4 legged horse/beast non-flying units (eg Cavalry, Unicorn, Boar, Wolf, Centaur etc) get 2 moves instead of 1. So they're not as fast as flying but they can still attack at full strength after moving "charge!!!!".
      • Slow but sturdy strong units (eg Pikemen, Golem, Dwarf, Zombie etc) with have a 1.5x defensive ability against these fast charging units.
      • Sadly Civ2 doesn't support range attacks like later Civ games do however HoMM2 range units (eg Archer, Elves, Halfling etc) have been given a 2x sight radius to spot enemies.
      • The only true Civ2 air units in the game are cruise & nuke missile slots which we've used for cool magic spells (eg Magic Arrow, Lightning bolt & Armageddon).
      • So because of the above we can now give 2x air defense ability to units famous for magic resistance (eg Dragons) allowing them to survive longer against such attacks (if I can find all the game's references to "Air" and replace with "Magic" I will!).

    • All factions get access to a number of important shared units such a ships, siege, trade, diplomacy and magical attack units. Even with the best units in the game taking walled cities is not a walk in the park if you don't use siege assistance and much like in original HoMM2 our flying units cannot cross the ocean without ships!
    • Those with a keen eye will also notice several special fortress unit buildings (Dragon City, Xanadu, & City of the Dead). These are special event based buildings that spawn on the map at the start of the game and can summon dangerous creatures (eg ghosts & dragons) while offering great rewards if you can destroy them.

    NOTE: The above configurations is WIP and may be subject to change after final beta testing is complete.

    City Buildings Update:
    I've also made some small changes to a couple of Metro's awesome city sky view buildings. I've painted a side wall onto the city walls (not easy as it didn't exist in HoMM2!) and made the walls longer (yes the perspective is still wrong but at least it blends in a little better than the original now). I've also reduced the sea platforms and added a boat unit image we didn't end up using as a tip of the hat to when new ships appeared in the city screen in original HoMM2. Oh and I re-coloured all the splash effects to Civ2 water colours instead of HoMM2s.


    And finally here's a full list of our city building conversions. Metro likes having the original Civ2 building names bracketed in the titles to avoid confusion and I quite like it too as it's nice for once not having to go to the civilopedia to see what a custom scenario building does haha. However if lots of people don't like it and feel it breaks immersion then we can easily remove them. Nearly every building in the list is from HoMM2 castle screens and very few had to be made up which was good!

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  9. #9
    Hey guys,

    Time for another update.. a way overdue one! Firstly I must be honest and say that not a huge amount of work has been done on this project since my last post in May last year. 2020 was a rough year for many people and sadly I didn't escape its unpleasantness and had a few setbacks that took an emotional toll on me resulting in months of inactivity on all my projects. However late last year I got back into them and did a truck load of work on my Command & Conquer and Red Alert 2 scenarios getting them towards a near release position, and of course also did some work on this project such as finalising the sounds for all the units (and a few other things ), making some more unit special ability balance adjustments, and I also finished work on testing technologies (making sure you can research from start to finish with no glitches) and giving them all custom graphics.

    Speaking of technologies that's something we haven't really talked about much so far, so lets do it now. MetroPolis has painstakingly designed an awesome custom tech tree for this mod where all units, buildings and magical range weapons are obtained via 8 schools of research (mostly inspired by HoMM2 hero secondary skills) with 7 levels in each school. Default Civ2 only has 5 schools however thankfully they have 4 levels with different icons which meant I had access to more than 5 slots allowing me to make the required 8 icons thankfully.

    So here’s the final product! Some icons are from the spell tree while other ones are custom ones I made where I cut a hero skill icon out from it's blue marble background and pasted it over a spell scroll background to match the other spell icons. Also the military one is actually a combination of 3 different HoMM2 spell icons!

    So where are things at? Well all that's left to do now is creating a map & decorating it, final testing, writing up documentation, and then a tour video. Then it shall be released. But how long you ask..?

    Hmm well.. I hope I don't regret this as I suck at meeting deadlines and I don’t wanna be one of the endless people making false promises on this forum about their projects lol, but I believe now I'm at a stage with all my projects that I can say that this project will hopefully be finished and released within the next 3 months. If I fail to meet this deadline you can all kick my *** lol.

    Oh and I've had a few people ask me about our planned Civ HoMM2 map since Civ maps are so different (& less interactive) compared to HoMMs. Well the plan is to try to make it as interactive as possible using a few tricks. Eg monsters (assigned to Civ barb faction) fortified in various places and on top of nice things (I believe barb units fortified in forts don't wander around the map as I've seen the trick used in other Civ scenarios so I intend to user that). Metro has also setup some cool event driven unit spawning buildings on the map too (Dragon city baby!). Plus if players don't like my map and want to use this just as a mod for their own random Civ2 maps then metros spawners will still appear which is cool (I'll write a guide to help people get all the events working on their maps).
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