Tag: games

Yinzerstan: My Civ 5 Mod

This is the wen site of the Yinzerstan mod for Civilization V. I will add some spiffy images and screenshots at some point. For now, here is a brief description of what I did.

I wanted this to be a fun and humorous homage to the city of my birth, Pittsburgh.

The leader of Pittsburgh is Hugh Henry Brackenridge, a person a lot of Pittsburghers probably never heard of. He is closest thing to a founding father that Pittsburgh has. As a young man, he was a friend of James Madison. He became a frontier justice in the Pittsburgh area soon after the American Revolution, and eventually ended up on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. He founded a school that grew into the University of Pittsburgh.

I’ll be honest: I wanted a different person as Leader. When I think of all the important people in Pittsburgh history, and ask, which one would I want to be my leader, it’s a very easy choice. However, no matter how great a leader he would be in real life, I highly doubt Mr. Rogers would approve of his image being used in a game where an effective strategy is often to attack anyone you see on sight. Even when it’s at its most pacifist settings, it’s still a pretty violent game. To say nothing of the fact that his estate still owns rights to his likeness. So, I chose Hugh Henry Brackenridge instead. Well, at least we get a history lesson out of it.

A lot of the generic buildings from Civ V have been replaced by specific examples in unique to Pittsburgh. For example, Giant Eagle replaces the Granary, The Benedum Center replaces the Theatre, and the Allegheny Observatory replaces the ordinary Observatory. For the most part, these buildings behave identically to their counterparts. (Though I had to take out the ridiculous +2 Science you get from jungle tiles for the University of Pittsburgh.)

There are four buildings which have special behaviors, though. The three sports venues (PNC Park, Heinz Field, and the Consol Energy Center, which replace the Colosseum, Circus, and Stadium, respectively) each add +1 Faith to the empire. Yeah, that’s pretty much a joke on the importance of our sports teams in our life. (I briefly considered having PNC Park yield +2 Faith, but the Pirates have been good for a few years now, so that joke wouldn’t work any more.) Although I didn’t really try to balance the game in general, I did remove the ability for Yinzerstan to build a Temple. (However, you can still have a temple if you capture a city that built one.)

The fourth building that has special behavior is, of course, the Steel Mill, which replaces the Factory. The Steel Mill requires both an Iron and Coal resource to build (the Factory only requres Coal) but it results in a massive increase in Production.

For the icons representing the buildings, a lot were photographs I took myself. In other cases I used Creative Commons licensed files from Wikipedia.

The cities in Yinzerstan I named after Pittsburgh suburbs and neighborhoods. The order is kind of biased toward the east suburbs (since I grew up there) but I tried to mix it up. I was never a fan of the north suburbs so I only included fewer of those. I limited it to Allegheny County.

I am thinking about some making some sub-mods that only use suburbs in a single cardinal direction, and another one just for neighborhoods within city limits.

In the meantime, if you don’t like the order of the suburbs I’ve chosen, you can try to find the XML files where list the cities and change them.

A couple other random tidbits. The icon for Yinzerstan of course had to be the Steelers logo, which is actually a logo for the Steel industry, that is used by the Steelers. (Fun fact: the organization that owns the logo also tried to get the Cleveland Browns to wear it.) The theme colors are black and gold, of course. And, for lack of a better source of names, I named the spies after sportswriters.

Frontier Theme