It’s apparently DIY Day in the gaming industry. First, ShootMania came down with a case of BetaMania and indulged in TrailerMania to celebrate. And now, Creative Assembly’s seen fit to lunch Total War: Shogun 2‘s long-awaited map editor. (Yes, two semi-related events apparently qualifies them for “day” status. It actually makes perfect sense because… shut up.) Simply titled The Editor – which has somewhat amazingly been designated “Ted” for short by Creative Assembly – it’s described as “a powerful tool that enables users to alter terrain type and height, and comprises libraries boasting hundreds of unique battlefield props, such as trees, buildings, railway lines and coastal batteries.” The Editor is also, of course, free, so simply venture over to Steam’s tools section and chant a few incantations to summon the fearsome Might of Ted. Alternatively, if you’d like to hear a bit more about Creative Assembly’s future plans for mapmaking and ease-of-use, head past the break. But beware, you may incur the Wrath of Ted by doing so.
In a recent blog entry, the shogun of all things Shogun acknowledged that recent Total War games haven’t exactly been customization-friendly.
“It certainly hasn’t escaped our attention that, despite what we’ve said in the press, the feeling in the community is that CA no longer supports mods, or the modding community. With actions speaking louder than words, it’s something we can understand the sentiment behind… The Napoleon Unit Editor that was mentioned in the run up to N:TW is a point-in-case. It was a lot more work creating an end-user tool from the myriad of different internal processes we used to produce units than we thought it would be, and the result was turning out to be less than impressive. We are a business and we have to weigh these things up, features are cut if they aren’t good enough and if they don’t do what we need them to do.”
“TEd represents an important test for us, if a modest one, and it’s cost a huge amount of time and effort to create and release. We are really excited to see what everyone is going to produce, but just to be clear, it does not necessarily mean that more tools are on the way. We will be keeping a really close eye on it, and working with the leading modders in future to investigate what other ideas might be worked on for the next Total War, but please don’t expect a guaranteed flow of fabled ‘tools’ from here on.”
Creative Assembly then noted that Ted isn’t able to modify things like AI, but left the door open for upgraded functionality based on user response to the current version.
So it’s a start, from the sound of things. Have any avid Shogun players had a chance to actually put it through its paces? I’m not expecting the next Perpetual Testing Initiative or anything like that, but is it at least decently robust and user-friendly?