I have figured out how to make rudimentary edits to pcx files for my civ 3 mod. So far, the only one I've made is for the luxuries to in the city display screen (basically it involved exporting the existing one, making the changes to the existing one, then importing it back in, after I got the icons in the appropriate order), more or less display correctly (minor magenta pixels may display, but eh, close enough), but on my to-do list is to tackle getting buildings to display as they should...a task I have a feeling I know what will entail, but...*shudder*...it's going to be hell to get it to work right.
I've implemented literally every building except for the government-specific buildings, and have implemented the governments kinda sorta. Haven't had the game crash on me simply by having the governments exist, but that doesn't mean they work right. I still need to work out the exact balancing scheme for them; I've more or less outlined a general idea of a plan for them, but it is something that self-evidently needs tweaking.
Basically, Despotism (starting government of Persia, Goths, Celts, and Egypt) is the base government; I raised unit support from 4 to 6 for all, and this is the "universal +2 buff" that I applied to all other civs. I also raised Draft and Military Police to 3 each. (On my to-do list is to check governments' stats in full for all other scenarios.)
Monarchy became 4/6/12 with draft/military at 3/4 and was otherwise left alone.
Communism was raised to be 8/8/8, draft/military 3/5, with elite spies and was otherwise left alone--might need to buff Communism further, though, to give it the edge over tribal council (see below).
Republic's one I go back and forth on. War weariness is something I'm iffy on, but for now is set on Low. Cost/unit could be debilitating at its default 2, but for now I've left that alone. 3/5/6 is their unit support, with draft/military at 2/1; I'm not sure if that's appropriate in a scenario where you're generating a bajillion units to support and if playing one of the four warpowers, are locked in a war. The buff to veteran diplomats seems paltry compensation for this. (That said, Republic was given literally the best government-specific buildings, sooooooooo...)
Democracy given the scenario properties wouldn't be viable with high war weariness, so I set it to low. Their stats are similar to a republic, with 1/1/1 unit support per city (worse), and 2/1 draft/military and Elite diplomats. My concern is that this makes Democracy a worse Republic, even though Democracy has the worker rate bonus over Republic. Might need to buff the worker rate, or do something there.
Fascism I more or less buffed what was already there; 8/14/20 unit support, 4/6 draft/military police, veteran spies/diplomats, but keeping the drawbacks of the government.
Feudalism I tried hybridizing the game's default with the Shogun's-basically-better-Monarchy version of. Paid labor, no war weariness, trade bonus, no tile penalty, 6/8/10 unit support, draft/military set at a higher 5/6 (as a draw to the government), corruption/waste at problematic, but keeping the 3 upkeep cost of units. Plus veteran spies. Not quite sure if the hybrid works out as intended, but I think I'm on the right track.
Tribal Council right now is a better Communism it feels like, with free unit support, communal corruption, no war weariness, forced labor, 3/4 draft/military police, and elite spies/diplomats. This is where I want the government to be, so I'm not nerfing this; what needs to happen is buffs elsewhere in relation to this. I set it as the government for the Mongols, who need that free unit support to compensate for starting with basically no cities but having a ton of settlers ready to settle. (Well, migrants.)
Oligarchy I saw as being "similar to Monarchy"; nuisance not problematic corruption, forced not paid labor, 3/4 draft/military, and 3/5/11 unit support. I see this as approximately fair, though maybe it needs to be 4/6/12. It's meant to be close to normal Monarchy regardless. It's the government I set for Rome, Carthage, and Greece. (Persia not being one as in Rise is for balance reasons; Despotism being a worse government counterbalances the fact that Persia starts with a freakin' empire. Granted, it only takes Persia one turn to switch governments, butstill.)
Imperialism I hybridized the Rise/Fall versions of in some aspects, with high preferential treatment to the Rise version. Corruption at nuisance, unit support cost of 0 (effectively free, but handled differently), worker rate 4 (same as Fascism; most governments are 2, with Democracy at 3), draft/military 4/4, paid labor, unit support (not that it's relevant) 4/6/10, no war weariness, elite diplomats/spies.
Blood Cult, I learned, from the game has a unique trait: not requiring maintenance. (Well, Anarchy has that, but that doesn't count.) This INSTANTLY became my focus for the government, but I kept it well-rounded in other aspects as well. Removed the tile penalty (which I realize means Despotism's the only government with it and I am okay with that), no war weariness, forced labor, veteran diplomats, elite spies (this is straight out of the game mind you), 10/10/10 unit support (this is out of the game as well, just with the +2 bonus), 3/3 draft/military police, problematic corruption.
Protestant Monarchy is currently "maybe a worse Democracy", so might need a buff. Minimal corruption/waste, 2/2 draft/military support, trade bonus, worker rate 3, paid labor, no war weariness, 3/4/6 unit support. Seems to be comparable, but again, Democracy might need a buff.
So governments are loosely in.
Buildings, aside from governments (and unit generation, as in most cases, the units they're meant to generate aren't in the game yet), are in.
Resources I fixed to be in as they're meant to be.
Still need to implement Wonders (a little bit more of an undertaking than buildings) and units, and I'm midway through adding some of the buildings that I want cities to start with (this is something that I'll need to test out by playtesting and playtesting and playtesting).
I also need to tweak stuff like starting gold of civs; I had a rough idea of how much gold I wanted each to start with, and need to actually implement it.
So the scenario's progressing nicely. Lags like hell at every stage (seriously, it almost crashes every single time I try to launch the scenario) so frankly, once again, might be utterly unplayable; has way too many resources on the map for each civ (I could make do with literally half as many, and my playstyle of denying my opponents key strategic resources is nigh-impossible even though this means that the second half of my playstyle involving not being denied strategic resources is equally as super-viable) and just a lot of things that I executed imperfectly, but perfection is the enemy of good.
I do keep questioning myself, wondering what the scenario would be like if I made it perfectly rather than the hot mess I'm building, but oh well. I'm still making it, albeit not constantly. Just when it fancies me.
I did do a side-project for a while; a tweaked Middle Ages scenario. Played it twice through, once as the Kievans (a bit of a test-run, that; managed to trigger both the domination and VP wincons the same turn though it was effort to get the domination to trigger because I had to propaganda-steal a ton of cities and make some ill-advised conquests of enemy cities that left my own cities vulnerable but so worth it), then as the Abbasids.
Was quite fun. The exact list of changes is a little more extensive than I would've originally made, but I kept the heart and soul, the core, of the scenario the same. No new units/buildings, just modifying existing ones to fix some annoyances.
With no score-tracking, though, twice was enough for that.
Soyeah. On the gaming front, while I've largely not been talking about it, I did make progress there.
It's not the thing I want to focus on, mind you (and I can only work on it for so long before wanting to do...well, more than just that), but I feel like I'm making significant progress all the same.
If only I could make that same progress in my art.