I want to make a mod for Age of Empires 1 Definitive Edition, in which I split an existing civilization (Phoenicians) into two civilizations:

  • Eastern Phoenicians: Primarily representing Canaanites
  • Western Phoenicians: Primarily representing Carthaginians

I want to do so to fix an historical mistake in the development of AOE1 in which the Phoenician tech tree includes war elephants:
As far as I know --- none of the Eastern Phoenicians regularly used war Elephants in their armies:

Eastern Phoenicians from north to south and west to east:

Kingdom of Ugarit | Mittani polities
Kingdom of Tyre   | Kingdom of Aram-Damascus
Kingdom of Israel | Kingdom of Ammon 
Kingdom of Judah  | Kingdom of Moab
Kingdom of Edom   | Nabataean polities

My problem

As a webmaster coding primarily in Bash-HTML-CSS-JavaScript-Wiki-Markdown stack who never wrote a GUI program with languages common for the task (such as XML, C++, C# and others) I have no idea where to start.

My question

How to create a new civilization mod for Age of Empires 1 Definitive Edition?


1 Answer 1


I do not have this game, cannot test if it works correctly.

I suggest the open source tool Advanced Genie Editor 2019. (github repository).

On the linked website it says:

Advanced Genie Editor

for Age of Empires, Rise of Rome, Age of Kings, The Conquerors (including HD), Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds and Clone Campaigns.

This is a program for editing data of genie (DAT and DLL) files. It can edit properties of units, civilizations, technologies, graphics, terrains, sounds, player colors and some other things.

Definitive Edition

It should work with the 2018 Definitive Edition if you select this version on the Genie version drop down list when opening files, as pictured below:

Advanced Genie Editor "Open files..." dialog

Advanced Genie Editor "Open files..." dialog

The application has support for editing tech trees among other things:

Advanced Genie Editor main window, Tech Trees tab, no file open

Advanced Genie Editor main window, Tech Trees tab, no file open.

That should allow you to remove access to particular units for given civilizations. Remember to backup your dat files.

I found this tool linked from aoe.heavengames.com. I did not see any real alternatives while searching.


I tried the tool on a friend's copy of the game. I had to put the path to the dat file manually. There is no language.dll file, so untick that when opening. There is an option to copy a civilization (on the "Civilizations" tab), and to disable units to particular civilizations (on the "Units" tab). However, editing the tech tree for a particular civilization was not available (there was no "Tech trees" tab).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hello ; I thank you dearly for noting this --- just one point for future readers ; I am not sure it deals with Definitive Edition release from 2018 as well or only with the originals --- I have yet to buy the Definitive edition, I asked the question here on principal, for possible future times. Sadly I don't have enough reputation points to up vote your answer, at this point. \$\endgroup\$
    – user135020
    Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 8:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Dear Theraot - I was glad to read your answer, to upvote it a few days ago already and to you the bounty --- I waited a few days just a principle (and could wait about 4 more days + bounty grace period) but your work on this is in my opinion graceful and I also find it inspiring and of course I appreciate it much. I was glad to accept the answer and recommend users to upvote your answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – user135020
    Commented Jan 20, 2020 at 10:47

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