Most of the factions on Steam are less than perfect cosmetically: the text is halting or ridden with typographical errors, the narratives sometimes make no sense, images are often undesirable or generic or cut out very poorly (VERY poorly), and you cannot add new colors or a shipset (yet). The few factions on Nexus are generally better, and I know there are some others floating around (I raided the minor race contest winners). However, as I have written elsewhere, it would be very difficult to have a 100 faction game with 100 believable factions, and Stardock doesn't have the time or resources to crank out that many.
To make it easy to find the most 'finished' factions, I propose a voluntary Common Faction Standard (or the Gauntlet Standard). A faction mod labelled "CFS" has, by definition, certain desirable characteristics based on Gauntlet's example. Each faction:
- Is written in English (other language versions should be encouraged)
- Has properly edited, legible, logical, typo-free text.
- Has clear, high-resolution, well-edited graphics that look realistic (not cartoony)... video would be great
- Is not a joke, a political jag, an excuse to look at half-naked ladies, or anything other than a serious attempt to expand the gaming experience
- Is not a faction that has already been done in GalCiv (no Korx... that can be a separate mod)
- Does not use a faction picture from the original game
- Does not use a logo for one of the previously established factions, including old factions not yet added to the game (damn Korath logo...)
- Has a complete shipset consisting of all-new ships, not just a pastiche of other shipsets (starbases can be generic)
- Unless there is a good reason not to, e.g., Gauntlet's three insect clans that use the same ship set, renegade Iconians would likely use Iconian ships, etc.
- Is properly credited and has the appropriate permissions (permission of original author if not in public domain, permission of artist if possible, permission of ship designers)
- Can be used without any other mods (but the mod itself may include modded planets or tech trees or what have you).
- EXCEPTION: you could require Gauntlet's Race Mod, since it is the prototype
- (Optional) Ideally, each faction would have its own UI and race color scheme (using the original colors, not the expanded palate mod
I don't propose a 'Faction Police,' this would be entirely voluntary. Not every modded faction has to be CFS, and CFS does not guarantee that the faction will be any good. What it does guarantee is that the author tried to make a faction that can be 'dropped' into your game like Gauntlet's, without any editing or hotwiring other mods or similar complications, and it will look almost as good as the original factions. That is what we all want, right?
So, if your faction fits this description, please consider describing it as CFS, or 'near-CFS' (if it violates one or two of the above conditions) to let users know it is more than just a .faction file.
If anyone is interested in trying to meet this standard (or if they just need assistance with factions) I am more than willing to help with editing text and graphics. There is SOMEONE on here who has been accumulating ship sets from Steam who might also be able to help (please?). Gauntlet has videos on ship design, and there are other resources available here and on the wiki. If every modder made just ONE faction at the CFS standard, we would have dozens of high-quality new factions to play with!