Yes .... I know that this is very early to suggest the possibility of a near total conversion mod. However, in order to pass the time (which is now a few weeks less) before the release of Civ 4, I have being doing the following game-related activities:
# Playing my ongoing "City Builder" scenario in Civ 3 which (despite the noble efforts of Sabre2th) has degenerated into somewhat of a pollution-fighting nightmare. However, on balance, this has been a most rewarding experience that should be amplified in Civ 4 with not only the absence of polution but also the awesome ability of being actually able to see one's emerging cities on the main gameplay map.
# Playing some Stronghold .... the Medieval Castle Builder game which fairly effectively manages to combine the CB (City Builder) and RTS (Real Time Strategy) genres. However, despite the really interesting gameplay options afforded by this potentially great game, it imho suffers from one terminally glaring fault .... postage stamp-sized maps. One is barely able to build an extremely disorganized single hamlet in the Free Build mode while opposing Castles are virtually on top of each other in Combat Mode maps featuring more than one player.
However, between playing these two games more or less consecutively, a bold vision has entered my mind that could most elegantly remove all the abovementioned shortcomings of Stronghold and provide seasoned Civ 4 players with a totally new gaming experience:
Make a Stronghold-type mod:
# Include ALL the Stronghold/Crusader and Stronghold 2 buildings as well as some of the relevant classic City Builder and Civ buildings (the University as well as some more entertainment-related buildings readily come to mind)
# Employ a CONSIDERABLY ENLARGED tile size (something that should strongly appeal to Sn00py) in order to obtain the Stronghold ambience by being able to move one's units between near appropriately-sized Castles, walls, etc.
# Let someone who is fairly familiar with both Stronghold as well as Medieval town layout, design a suitable city layout for the Civ 4 city tile. This imho is SINGULARLY IMPORTANT .... as the individual cities must appear as realistic and aesthetically attractive as possible.
The end result:
A Civ 4 near total conversion mod which will enable one to play a truly epic TBS version of Stronghold (as one would really struggle to be able to play this as a bone fide RTS game).
Therefore, are there any experts out there interested in actively exploring this truly exciting option?
Some of the CTP2 Source Code members?