This is a well executed game plan. Do you have any suggestions on mods that can fill some of the needs?
A while back, I posted a poll, seeking some game name suggestions, with the Civilization game type being the goal. Someone suggested, IIRC, that I could use the word civilization within a game title, since it's not TMd or otherwise protected.
I've tried to assemble, in the Dev Game map the I recently posted, what I think are the key mods that can make most, if not all of this, possible. I again would encourage you to look at the Dev_Game or the map that I've posted. While a large download, and unfortunately in .zip format, it does contain, IMHO, the elements necessary for Civilization, perhaps AoE, and some other strategy/tech tree based games. I'm not so familiar with the others, but I still find myself playing a good game of Civ from time to time, and I really can't wait to introduce my son to it as well, for its historical content, as well as, the depth of strategy and game play and replayability.
What I am discovering as I plow through the Dev Game code, trying to get it all to work in the way that I think it should, there are simply details that don't exist. Essentially, the data that makes up all the stuff in the game, not just the media, like textures, sounds, and models, but in making things like the tech tree itself, providing the necessary depth of content for say, the various civilizations, the media for proper representation of those civilizations, and all the details of the economy, the machines, the cities, the buildings...... herein lies the bulk of the work, IMHO.
Rubenwardys awards mod provides a way to track certain areas of progress, while the Sys4_Quests mod provides other aspects of character growth. The tech tree does not necessarily need to be compiled, as it really is more the progression of the technologies, the objects that players can make inworld. Most would resort to crafting recipes, but I feel a more appropriate immersive experience would be had simply by making the user build all the glorious little details that are in Civ.
I've hacked at the Settlements mod, and I have most of the mg_villages schematics converted into Lua tables, and loading into villages. While the villages aren't mg_villages, they can still provide alot of the "functionality" simply by including the appropriate buildings within them. I think there will need to be more schematics available to represent upgrading buildings, but not by replacing the building with a new schematic, but allowing the buildings materials to be upgraded. A wood building can be reinforced with stone, and such, showing the natural historical progression.
Sokomines City_Builder mod can be considered here. I dislike upgrading buildings by add new schems, instead preferring to upgrade the materials, but, really, is a black smith shop upgraded to a full industrial steel mill, or maybe, upgrade the blacksmith through a few ages, but the blacksmith is then made moot by the Industial Factory at the appropriate tech upgrade. At that point, the blacksmith shop can be leveled to make room something else. Towns only need so many buildings with so many functions to really make this work well, but it can.
Advanced NPCs, Advanced Guards, and Mobs redo provide a great foundation for Civilization style, or even AoE style "primitive" NPCs. Advanced NPC mod allows "jobs" to be created for the NPCs, who can also be tied to villages via markers and perhaps a town node.
I have many other thoughts and ideas for a game I've actually been trying to recreate across two "game engine" platforms now, Opensim, and now MT. MT so far has gotten me closer to the goal than I could have imagined, but there is lots of work, little time, and well, no collaboration. This can all change for sure. I'm not sure how long you've been around, or if you are indeed a newer player, but please take a peak at the Dev Game map. I'd really appreciate some help in going through the mods or writing new ones, if needed. It's a lot of mods, collected over the last few years, that each in some way, have helped me get closer to...