Making Total War: TROY the most mod-friendly ever, and what’s new in MYTHOS

A Total War Saga: TROY

Ben Barrett
August 24 2021

One area we’re always trying to push further on in Total War is modding. We make great games, but we want you to be able to do what you like, with a little know-how, and create something unique. If others love it too, even better. TROY was developed with this in mind, from the ground up, because with a new era comes new possibilities. Today we’re talking to Radoslav Borisov, Senior Technical Designer on TROY, about putting all that together, the additions we’ve made for MYTHOS, and what he loves most about the modding scene. 

Hi Radoslav, thanks for joining us on TotalWar.com. Can you introduce yourself and what you do at Sofia? 
 
My name is Radoslav and I’m a Senior Technical Designer in the Sofia Design team. There are two main types of work I do:  

  • Overseeing and consulting colleagues from Design and Programming during the production and implementation of technical elements in our features. 
  • Providing technical expertise with regards to tools, data debugging and such. 

What was our philosophy when it came to modding for TROY? 

Moddability has been a focus for us ever since TROY started production. Early on in the project’s lifetime we reached a consensus that we should strive to make any features we produce as configurable/mod friendly as possible. More recently we improved our Design pipeline to include a requirement for every new feature to be designed with several moddability questions in mind.  

Our aim is to produce features that are: 

  • Easy to make changes to. 
  • Have a wide pool of possibilities to use to make changes. 

Another aspect of our work that contributes to the game’s moddability is that a significant amount of the code we write for game features is Lua script, which we ship in plain text form. This allows modders to inspect our work, use it as inspiration, modify it. 

Our philosophy can be summed up as ‘if we can, let’s make it moddable!’ 

What kind of tools does TROY have for making mods? What sort of things can people do and are there limits? 

Alongside TROY we provide the Assembly Kit package, which includes various tools for modders to use, namely:  

  • The Database Visual Editor, more commonly known as ‘Dave’. 
  • A resource exporter named Build in one button, more commonly known as ‘BOB’. 
  • A battle map Editor, named ‘Terry’. 
  • A tool for creating and editing unit variants, plainly named ‘Variant Editor’. 
  • Export plugin for 3DS MAX. 
  • Export plugin for Maya. 

Alongside those tools is an Assembly kit manual and several pieces of documentation for advanced users of the Terry tool. As previously mentioned, our entire script codebase is available for modders as well. 

The possibilities these tools provide are expansive, allowing anything from simple tweaks to unit statistics to complex, game-changing overhauls. Our intention is to provide the necessary tools and interfaces for modders to realize their ideas, no matter how wild or different they may be. 

As far as limits go, we aim to expand them with every release. Game updates come with new possibilities, an ever-expanding scripting interface for modders to use, and improved tooling to allow as much modification as we can. 

While some things are still difficult to modify right now (most notably, the UI), our long-term goal is to one day make a game where anything is possible.

What changes have we made for MYTHOS? Are all the new systems moddable? 

The new features coming with the MYTHOS DLC and the game update alongside it are built to be as moddable as possible. The Mythical monsters feature has been split into three parts, each of which is mostly script-driven and available for modders to explore and play around with. Those three parts are:  

  • Monster selection 
  • Monster expedition 
  • Monster progression  

While we are on the subject of monsters, all three capture battles are also script-driven, allowing for modification and aiming to serve as a reference for adventurers who would like to build their own. 

The Administration mechanic is also script-driven and was built to accommodate anything from simple tweaks, like changing the administration burden of units, to completely rewriting the rules behind when and how it provides its effects. 

In the Historical campaign the Bodyguard system is an amalgam of database and script work. One of the goals we had while building it was to make enabling it for different campaigns as easy as possible. 

All of those new systems come with a variety of new functionality for modders to play around with, mostly on the database and scripting fronts. We invested a considerable amount of effort into expanding the data setup, especially in regards to multiple campaign support. 

And as usual, we expanded the scripting interface to include new methods for direct manipulation of the game state. 

Do you have favourite mods, or anything you’re really looking forward to people doing? 

My favorite mods are easily the Temples List Panel, a very convenient mod for players that prefer heavily interacting with the gods, and the Respec Button mod, for when I regret my decisions later in my campaigns. 

I am really interested in seeing more mods that expand the existing mechanics of the game – for example I would love to see a mod that expands Aeneas’ Stygian voices to include more spirits to converse with. 

In general I feel like there’s a lot of room to explore in TROY, and hope to see many exciting additions to the mod portal! 

Thanks, Radoslav – we certainly can’t wait to see it grow. 

There you have it, just a taste of what’s already out there and coming soon when it comes to TROY modding. Steam Workshop support will be in from day one and we’re looking forward to seeing our favourites from the Epic Store and brand new efforts as the game continues to grow into the future. Soon after the Steam launch we’ll be highlighting a few mods we’re fans of – let us know on social media or the forums what you’ve been loving.