I have been busy figuring out how to change different parts of this game to be pony related. While I was swapping pictures with whatever pictures I could run across first on my computer, I was wondering what else I could potentially do in terms of modding. The game's launcher has a link to a PDF about the way it processes txt files, making stat changes and AI behavior modifying relatively simple. I decided to mess with that just a little and also found that they have a tool that will access the files and give you neatly organized boxes to change the data with. I highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in playing the game.
It isn't perfect as you have to still change a few things manually, such as if you add too many races you have to add more values and pictures in the main files to draw from and some values are 0 which must be at least 0.001 to get the game to run, but it is most definitely a huge timesaver. Just be sure to make a backup of your mod because if anything does go wrong, you may have to delete the whole mod folder to get the game back to a playable state, then you can copy the folder back in.
I then wanted to change a couple of other things like the background in the main menu, but that was baked into the .exe, so I looked for a solution in the forums there and found another mod which I will be using.
This mod adds several tweaks to the game, some new features, and the ability to make your own background image. While I was at it, I found the WVM file for the starting cutscene and replaced it. I'm still looking for the right video to fit the feel of the game, but I can essentially change most everything in this game eventually.
But for now, this is a simple skin change of the races and a couple of stat changes while I was messing around... and a few to give me an unfair advantage. I'll make another thread as I figure this game out and work on the balancing of the races. I have only had time to flesh out the main Equestrian pony faction and the Zebras a little.
Getting into the game itself, there is a whole lot going on in the set up alone. I have set up a normal game, everything set to normal save the galaxy size, which is set to large. The galaxy is an elliptical shape with random star layout, as it is possible to load galaxy maps and even edit them in-game to design your own maps for play. We will stick with normal settings because I'm just getting used to everything after all. I also have it set so pirates will not respawn after they are destroyed. This is a blessing and a curse as pirate factions have a higher tech level than most at the start of the game, making them a huge threat to your empire, but they also can be neutral in conflicts, supplying your empire with smuggled goods, especially in times of trade blockades. This means if they are gone, I will have to fend for myself in trade wars. Colonization setting are also left untouched from the defaults.
I'll leave options up to suggestion as I come across them. Please feel free to tell me how to play better or to do something differently.