In the Total War community, Darthmod occupies a place behind only developers Creative Assembly themselves. For years, his comprehensive (and easy to use) mod packs have transformed the flagship strategy series from "great games with whiffy AI" to "amazing games oh God where is my life going".
Last year, though, he all but walked away from the modding game. Normally the progression for a man accomplished in this field is to get a job with the developers of the game he's been modding, but not in this case. Darth - aka Nick Thomadis - is striking out to make his own strategy game.
It's called Ultimate General: Gettysburg, currently in development for PC and tablets, and while it naturally shares some aspects of the Total War series, it also looks like a refreshing (and realistic) take on the real-time strategy genre.
Some of the things Thomadis is looking to address - things that have long bugged him about more commercial strategy games - include independent unit AI (so your units can fight and react on their own if you're looking elsewhere) and the removal of a reliance on "rock paper scissors" unit design.
Drawing on his Total War experience, meanwhile, the game will also make use of stuff like terrain, the presence of commanders, morale and flanking to influence the outcome of engagements.
Tinkering with someone else's code is one thing; building your own from scratch is something else entirely. So it remains to be seen whether Thomadis' experience improving on Total War games has given him the chops to break out and improve on the strategy genre itself.
But if anyone's going to step up and make a decent indie strategy game, it'll be the guy who's spent years up to his elbows in terrain modifiers, ballistics and real-time AI.
You can follow the project at its official site.