SPQR Total War
This article is about the mod by lt1956. If you are looking for the faction, go here: Senate.
SPQR is a total modification for R:TW. The changes encompass all areas of gameplay with added focus on the Roman military machine and the system of recruitment and training of both pre-Marian units and Legions.
Special care has been given to the battlefield experience which features the longest battle times of probably any existing mod making tactics an essential component of the game.
Definitely not for people accustomed to blitzkrieg tactics both on the battle map and the campaign map.
SPQR introduces a new meaning to Rome in the Rome: Total War. This is a major modification with a focus on the Roman faction, introducing features as legions, a revamped battlefield gameplay and a depth to the roman faction that can only be seen in movies like Spartacus.
Interview with Lt1956
Interview taken on February 21, 2010
1. Tell us a bit about yourself, we want the gory details! What interests you, what brought you to TWC in the first place?
Well I was always a fan of the Roman Period and when CA released RTW I was interested, but actually I was distracted and didn’t buy the game for many months. I knew by the pictures and reviews that the Game was Arcade and unrealistic, so I went looking for a mod. I found TWC and specifically Rome Total Realism, this was back then when one guy worked on it named Gaius Julius Caesar. His vision was different from mine, he set the game up for large settings and 1 turn recruitment, and I found the only way to get epic long battles was to do my own mod. I started work on the Code and a few skins and models to add to my mod and that’s how it all began. Of course the mod was finished many times, and then CA would release a patch the fixed one thing and broke 2 working things before. lol Hence why I wonder about there motives with modders.
Eventually as more ideas and abilities came up on TWC, the more that needed to be added. But now we are at a point where we know everything that can be done with this engine and what we cant do. So if its not done its because it cant be, so that’s why this is the last version of SPQR, there really isn’t anything t to add except units or a new faction and map. I am interested in all Military and Political History, and my personal history was involved in such. All other information is classified. Sorry lol
2. As everyone should know, you are the creator of SPQR-TW, a major modification for Rome Total War. Tell us about this mod, how does it differ from the vanilla game?
Well SPQR was originally made to enhance RTW into the Game I wished it were out of the box. Better looking skins, Better Battlefield and Campaign AI, Better Balance in Battles and above all Realistically LONG battles where you have the time to move units before the battle is over. SPQR is different in so many ways it’s a whole new game, just as RTR and EB are. If you want a challenge and in my opinion the most realistic and longest battles then SPQR is for you. The battles are Epic with 10,000 Men in battle being common, truly a TOTAL WAR scenario.
3. Can you tell us why you chose to focus on the Roman Senate in making your mod, what was your inspiration for this kind of project? Are you a fan of the Roman time frame in particular?
I chose to focus only on Rome and as you can tell the Engine that CA uses cannot be balanced for all factions. If you make them all balanced you will have no challenge for any faction. What I did is take seriously the Word ROME in total war and made my Mod around Roman War Machine. My inspiration was based off of old roman movies like Spartacus, Fall of the Roman Empire, Cleopatra, Masada etc.
Yes I am a fan of the Roman period reading the classics like Caesars Commentaries, etc. I always marveled over the Roman War Machine and their Engineering skills, still impressive to this day and as some British engineers found out, they couldn’t even duplicate the Bridge Caesar built!
4. What would you say is the easiest and most enjoyable aspect of modding a Total War game, or just modding in general?
Wow that’s a hard one, you really need to learn all you can before you can mod with ease, then there is balance issues etc. I guess it would be skinning, it’s the easiest if you know how and have the material to work with to make new skins. Its fast and you know if you made mistakes right away.
5. On the flip side now, which in your opinion is the least enjoyable or most difficult part of modding a game?
Scripting and Code balancing, Basically one mistake can cost you and you have to do little changes at a time and to make sure what you do works, sure there are programs to help, but I do it the old fashion way and therefore need to be methodical in my approach, SPQR is basically Bug Free and that’s saying a lot considering how much was changed by one imperfect person.
6. SPQR version 7 is the current release, do you plan to add anything more to the mod in the future? Perhaps another patch or incorporating some popular submods? Or do you consider your work done and SPQR a complete and finished product?
SPQR 7.0 is a finished Product in itself, basically there is an add on that Sulla made and I helped on which is a Mini-Mod for SPQR, which IMO really adds to the game, its almost an official SPQR 7.1 Also in the future I hope to have a new map, but that is down the road and there is no date on a release for it. But if there is a new map it would probably be in a new version of the add on. SPQR 7 is finished there really isn’t anything to add, the RTW engine is limited and we cant add good stuff like Food or Sea Battles.
7. Have you ever thought about modding another TW game? Using Medieval II or even Empire as a base?
Not really, there are a lot of good M2TW mods out there, and it was VERY hard for me to mod SPQR by myself. A lot of help was given in the Model, and Skin departments from people like Ferres & AoA. When I first did SPQR we all worked and shared together, now it seems no one really likes to share outside his or her mod team. This is a shame as in the beginning we all added to each other’s mods. I try to keep a free share program to this day where I can.
8. Do you have any other projects in the pipeline at the moment? Working on something behind the scenes? Is it true that "a modder never sleeps", always working on a new project or making the last one better?
Modders do Sleep, and they really need to know when to Quit and say its finished. Yes there are additions that can be made when you think there are no more. One was when I found a great way to have the AI factions stay in place so the Roman player can fight ALL the factions without only a couple Super Powers being the only ones left. Also adding more units and possibly down the road a new faction like Judea and a new Map. I worked on some other games also, modding for myself and others, but I wont tell you which games and which popular mods they are. Just suffice to say that others enjoy them and that’s all that is important, I am not into ego and glory.
9. Do you have any advice for the many budding modders out there? Some guidance to help them along their way?
Don’t ever steal another’s work and always get permission to use things. Learn all you can using the tutorials, sometimes we can tell you simple things, but other times your best friend is the Tutorials. Also finish your work, don’t start something and not finish it. If you do it in a mod you will do it in real life and that can cause you problems down the road. Above all have fun and make the mod for YOU, others will like it also, there are always people that will play the same way as you. Don’t try to please everyone it wont happen.
10. Have you ever written any tutorials or guides on modding? Being the sole creator of a mod is quite a feat, you must be overflowing with knowledge, why not share it with others?
Well, to be honest I was beat to it, I helped in some of the info in tutorials by posting in threads info on what does what etc, but then so did a lot of others. There are some very talented writers out there and they went to it and produced most of the tutorials. So there really isn’t anything to add as most has been posted.
11. Have you ever worked on any other mod other than SPQR? Were you part of a team in another major project? Where can the fans find more of your wonderful work?
I was on EB modding team before they released, later I left to focus on SPQR mod, I did share a few things and believe they still may be in that mod, but then a lot of things overlap in other mods.
12. Where do you hang out on TWC? When you're not creating the next best mod I mean. What parts of TWC do you enjoy the most?
SPQR forum, Sometimes the political mud pit. But for the most part I stay in SPQR forum, I don’t have a lot of time for socializing.
13. Do you think modding is an important part of Total War games, that it extends the life and longevity and in the end provides more profit for CA?
Absolutely! I would like to see CA help the modders more than they have. I feel they do things that don’t really help us, and one has to wonder if it’s on purpose or not. In the end Mods extend the life of the game and give them revenue by having people who would have NEVER bought the game to do so to play a mod! I fear though with the ETW series that CA will find out the hard way that their newer games will provide less than they did before in revenue. I personally have not bought their ETW version and will not, I also don’t like being forced on Steam for this type of game.
14. Have you ever thought of becoming a game developer or something of the sort? You've obviously got talent, why not profit from it and do something you enjoy?
This Mod and others is a Hobby, nothing more. Game Design is important and based on a lot of games coming out, they are in sore need of concept design, but in the gaming industry now its all about console games and quick cash, they know the kids will buy a game that gives you 10 hours of play and pay $60 for it. That would never have happened 10 years ago with PC games, you needed at least 40 hours for a $40 game. Mods are more important now since most of the games out of the box are ruined, hopefully more games will release tools to allow players to make a better game.
15. Last question, is there anything else you would like to add? Where can the fans contact you if they have a modding or unrelated question?
Well I can be reached on TWC SPQR Mod Forum. As for what else I would like to add, I feel the gaming industry has been going downhill for a while now, Games that have a few hours of gameplay costing $60 is a scam. This is a good opportunity for new players to pick up the OLD games and play the mods for them. They will find not only are they cheaper but you get hundreds of hours of gameplay out of them. Today’s Games focus on Graphics and action, and they sacrifice Gameplay and Story.
- Current Release : SPQR v7 Patch
- Skin fix Patch for 2 units
- Previous Release : SPQR v6.4 6-18-2007
- Previous Release : Units Add-on V1.05
- Previous Release : Units Add-on Patch V1.1
- Future Release : Units Add-on V1.3
- Campaign Map based on the RS1.5 map
- Legate Ancillaries Add-on for SPQR V7.0
Some useful threads for SPQR V7.0
- FAQ & Installation, troubleshooting - Read the first four Posts before you reply
- Garnier's Killsheet and Legion Tracking V2.0
- Guide for upgrading to imperial legions
- SPQR help guide
- SPQR guide : How to survive the first fifteen turns.
Visit SPQR Total War forum at TWC