A Civilization V Environment Skin mod has been created by Civilization VI Project Art Director Brian Busatti. Primarily, the mod was created as a sort of "learn by doing" kind of exercise — the fine folks at Firaxis wanted to see what a talented artist could accomplish with off-the-shelf tools and the Civilization VI SDK. No internal development tools were used for the mod and the end result looks pretty darn good!
The mod was announced on the Civilization Fanatics Center forum by Firaxis Senior Producer Dennis Shirk. The SDK for Civilization VI was first made available a little over a year ago and quite a few people made good use of it; there are a couple of thousand mods for the game already available on the Steam Workshop. The Civilization V Environment Skin mod, however, really shows off what exactly is possible with the game's SDK.
The Civilization V Environment Skin mod page goes into greater detail about what exactly it does for players. The height, base color, and gloss maps of all of the game's terrain textures have been changed, as has the game's water. Forests have been changed to bring their visuals more in line with those you'd see in Civilization V along with some efficiency enhancements to better allow the mod to work on lower-end computers. (Anyone who played Civ V in the early days can tell you just how much of a resource hog it was!)
A whole bunch of folks likely picked up Civ VI in a recent Humble Bundle so they'll certainly have something new to try out! If you'd like to aim for a bit of nostalgia, you can grab the Civilization V Environment Skin mod for yourself completely for free via the Steam Workshop. Just make sure that you have at least 2.4 gigs of space (!) available to store all of these textures and effects!
What do you think of the Civilization V Environment Skin mod for Civilization VI? Do you think other modders will take this as a sign to develop some more graphical mods for the game? Let us know in the comments below!