Author Topic: SMACX Single Player League - preparing  (Read 2468 times)

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Offline Mart

SMACX Single Player League - preparing
« on: December 20, 2014, 02:21:59 AM »
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    SPL-01 Game
    ---
    SPL-training

    ===

    SMACX Single Player League
    (SMACX-SPL)
    In preparation to launch the League:

    RANKING TYPES
    - Total number of gold medals. [SPL-G]
    - Total number of medals. [SPL-M]
    - Best score (one game). [SPL-S1]
    - Best score (five games average). [SPL-S5]

    RULES
    - In order to submit a legitimate save game for SPL Ranking, it must be your first attempt in the game.
    - It must follow presented below GENERAL SINGLE PLAYER RULES
    - The submission must be before or at the deadline day GMT-13, midnight.
    - You can submit a save file a turn before victory (write shortly, what ends&wins, e.g. unit enter base x; enter endturn) or a turn after victory. You cannot play further for score and submit any later save file.
    - You can submit your game, which ended due to time limit for score rankings.
    - You can submit your game, which you lost, for score rankings. Saved game should be a turn before you were defeated.
    - Attach save file to the appropriate forum thread. You can zip it to .zip or .7z
    - In a case of reload needed, please shortly explain (game crash, system crash, Win OS knows better when to restart you computer than you, etc.)
    - Possible victory types are:
    -- Transcendence
    -- Conquest
    -- Diplomatic
    -- Economic
    Cooperative victory is always off.
    - A game has one to four victory types selected, game is won by any of the enabled type in the smallest number of turns. In case of a tie, score decides.
    First three players receive gold, silver and bronze medals.
    - A score is always noted for score-based standing types.
    - You should not view other submissions before completing and submitting your own game.

    GENERAL SINGLE PLAYER RULES
    (Adapted from multiplayer rules at AC2)
    1. A player may not use build queue manipulation or other loopholes to hurry production at a cost that would be lower than directly hurrying the item that one intends to build. However, Skunkworks use for switching without penalty is allowed.
    2. A player may not use build queue manipulation or other loopholes to build something you could not directly add to the build queue. [Example: a satellite without Airspace complex].
    3. A player is not permitted to make more than one social engineering change per line, per turn. For instance, one is not permitted to start the turn in wealth, switch to power mid-turn for the extra disbanded minerals, and then switch back to wealth that same turn, getting the refund.
    4. Additional move after former builds something and his flag is gray is not allowed.
    5. Exchanging bases with AI, base for a base, is forbidden. AI has no "intelligence" in this case. [a base for EC both ways, gifting, extortion is allowed].
    6. Upgraded crawlers cannot be used for adding to SP or a prototype. A player will need to remember this for such crawlers throughout the game.
    7. Allowed: upgrading in workshop or on field, any time.
    8. Allowed: reverse-engineering.

    GAME CREATION
    The way of generating a new game is selected in such a way, that:
    - making a new game is fast
    - produces good quality games
    - does not require lengthy scenario generation
    - games keep certain standard, so we can compare results from various games and create ranking of players
    - creator can play also for standings

    A new game is generated in the following way:
    1) A single player game with desired options is created.
    2) The starting location of the faction is then rated if appropriate, based on:
    - location (close to a pole or close to equator, other land features, that are visible in the base-cross tiles).
    - land shape (even with tiles covered, some features can be seen from land shape, crater, Pholus ridge, etc.).
    - other clue is if the game gives a unity foil at the start, what happens if colony pods are on a small island.
    If needed, a new game in this way is generated again, if the current game is acceptable, going to point 3.
    3) The map is zoomed in to maximal setting. The minimap on the panel in the lower left corner is covered with a piece of paper. Scenario editor is enabled and immediately the key <Y> is pushed to cover the map again. (this way he/she does not see anything more than at standard game start).
    4) Additional settings via scenario editor are introduced:
    - For AI: strategy, personality. [And nothing more in this ruleset version].
    - Possibly final ending year is changed. [And nothing more in this ruleset version].
    - Force current difficulty level is checked.
    - Force player to play current faction is checked.
    5) Scenario editor is disabled.
    6) The game is saved. Note: it is not a scenario. And SMACX is quit.
    7) The .SAV file is renamed to .Sc
    8 ) SMACX is started again and options are chosen:
    - Multiplayer > Hotseat/PBEM > Multiplayer Scenario
    The mentioned scenario file is selected.   
    Difficulty level is selected [We play Transcend only, for now]
    Faction is selected.
    No other factions are added to this multiplayer setup.
    9) A message box opens, where game creator is asked to set-up password, it is always:
    <SPACE>
    10) The game is saved at this point as starting save file and submitted to players.

    NOTES TO RULES:
    - The game, although multiplayer, is in fact single-player.
    - At the end of each turn you need to press <ENTER> <SPACE> <ENTER>, which is only a little more than in standard single player game with feature enabled "wait at the turn end."
    - You cannot enable scenario editor in such game.
    - If you restart a game from a save file, that you already loaded before, there is a warning for you, as in regular multiplayer game.

    =====================

    Let's see what will develop out of it.
    For now, in plans would be a game every 2-3 months. So 4 to 6 games a year.
    A full game, that you would like to play for rankings can easily take more time, especially when you would pay attention to many details for a better result. So this is why 2-3 months is in my opinion reasonable time, considering we would like to keep this games coming and not have players get tired.
    We would start with classical approach, so first go standard 7 factions.
    We would play mostly SMAX, I am not sure, how often SMAC.
    As for settings, I have some typical in mind, also certain settings should not be applied (like Cooperative victory).

    Soon the first game. It will be University.
    Any thoughts?

    ========================
    [Edit]
    And the first game is away. Download 2101 save here:
    Link


    ========================
    Posted a training save game.
    It is prepared in a regular way, but with no deadline and effect on ranking. For training purposes.
    Link
    « Last Edit: April 02, 2015, 01:29:27 AM by Mart »

    Offline ete

    Re: SMACX Single Player League - preparing
    « Reply #1 on: December 20, 2014, 05:54:47 PM »
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  • 8. Allowed: upgrading crawlers before use for SP or prototype.

    Not keen on this one at all. It makes getting every SP virtually costless, rather than having to direct significant resources in order to get each.


    7. Allowed: stockpiling energy,

    The stockpile energy bug was fixes in kyrub's patch, included in Yitzi's. This rule is not relevant any more unless you're allowing submissions from old patches with exploits allowed.

    Offline Mart

    Re: SMACX Single Player League - preparing
    « Reply #2 on: December 20, 2014, 06:18:23 PM »
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  • 8. Allowed: upgrading crawlers before use for SP or prototype.

    Not keen on this one at all. It makes getting every SP virtually costless, rather than having to direct significant resources in order to get each.
    Yes, we can change this rule. In practice, rarely anyone upgrades them for added functionality on the field, I think.
    We could also ban upgrading crawlers at all, though some players may have strategies, that they do it for benefits of added functionality, and then they will need to remember, not to use them for upgrading. Not an easy rule.
    Quote

    7. Allowed: stockpiling energy,

    The stockpile energy bug was fixes in kyrub's patch, included in Yitzi's. This rule is not relevant any more unless you're allowing submissions from old patches with exploits allowed.
    I thought about Yitzi patch 3.3 and further, when available.
    Not sure, if other versions would work now, when the game is set-up with such alphax.txt
    We can delete this rule, or put a note - it is not functioning.
    Is it disabled for empty queue after building too? for sure?

    Offline ete

    Re: SMACX Single Player League - preparing
    « Reply #3 on: December 20, 2014, 06:42:37 PM »
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  • There's a few situations where you may want to add armor, but upgrading to cash in is just a massive exploit imo.

    And yes, see 17: http://alphacentauri2.info/wiki/Yitzi%27s_patch

    Offline Mart

    Re: SMACX Single Player League - preparing
    « Reply #4 on: December 20, 2014, 07:25:45 PM »
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  • Let us imagine then, a player makes a crawler or few of them, then after some turns, he/she decides to upgrade them with armor for better defense. Then again some turns pass and the player decides, that he/she no longer needs crawling in that particular area or anywhere near. What to do with it/these crawlers?

    Offline ete

    Re: SMACX Single Player League - preparing
    « Reply #5 on: December 20, 2014, 07:39:25 PM »
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  • They move them to a different area and crawl from there.

    Offline Mart

    Re: SMACX Single Player League - preparing
    « Reply #6 on: December 20, 2014, 07:46:39 PM »
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  • Ok, I will edit the ruleset then.

    = = = = =

    Any other thing to discuss? We will probably develop these rules in greater detail as we go. And we can use this thread for that.

    Offline gwillybj

    Re: SMACX Single Player League - preparing
    « Reply #7 on: December 21, 2014, 01:49:13 AM »
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  • 8. Allowed: upgrading crawlers before use for SP or prototype.

    Not keen on this one at all. It makes getting every SP virtually costless, rather than having to direct significant resources in order to get each.

    I use a modified formula for the SP cost, so they get a lot more expensive, even with cashing in crawlers (which I don't do):

    SPCost = 10*L+N, where L = the tech Level of the prerequisite tech, and N = the actual Number of techs it takes to get there, including the final tech. In no case is the cost less than 2x the original value given in alphax.txt, and the Ascent is always given Cost = 900!
    Makes for some pretty high prices as you go, but not at all unattainable.
     :2c:
    Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying. ― Arthur C. Clarke
    Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt. (They change their sky, not their soul, who rush across the sea.) ― Horace, The Odes of Horace

    Offline Mart

    Re: SMACX Single Player League - preparing
    « Reply #8 on: December 21, 2014, 02:33:12 AM »
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  • ...
    I use a modified formula for the SP cost, so they get a lot more expensive, even with cashing in crawlers (which I don't do):
    ...
    We could use modified alphax.txt, but that would change gameplay and influence scores.
    Something I thought about before, and possible, but there are drawbacks:
    - players would need a special folder with modified alphax.txt. In case they fail to reproduce such conditions for any reason (it is about file path, luckily recently I found, it can be relative) the game defaults to alphax.txt in your game folder.
    - there might be a way to solve the above problem, like something in the alphax.txt, that will give error message if you have wrong file, so you must have that modified alphax.txt, but so far I haven't found what that might be. Maybe I need to look further.
    - for now, when playing not-scenario game, you can enjoy interludes and the story of them (I know, experienced players have seen them probably enough times, but new players can enjoy them in these games). When scenario is enabled you do not see interludes, unless I am missing something, but putting interludes in a scenario folder does not work.

    =========

    Well, actually there is a way, a player would know if the modifications are working, cause you can make an info in scripts.txt that would be shown on LOAD message box. The script.txt with modifications would have to be in such scenario folder, but this is no problem.
    Still, interludes would not work.

    And there is other issue.
    Standard game ruleset is universal. When you make too many changes, it looses interest of part of the people, who just want to play the game, with standard ruleset, cause they are so much used to it. And such standard is the most true to the game. SMACX League Ranking, by this name, kinda implies that.

    Personally, I like more expensive SP version.

    Possibly, this could be applied if majority of ranking players, even excessive majority would feel, such change is welcomed.
    And I wonder how many submissions we will have for the first SPL game.
    « Last Edit: December 21, 2014, 02:54:47 AM by Mart »

    Offline Mart

    Re: SMACX Single Player League - preparing
    « Reply #9 on: December 21, 2014, 07:02:08 PM »
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  • 8. Allowed: upgrading crawlers before use for SP or prototype.

    Not keen on this one at all. It makes getting every SP virtually costless, rather than having to direct significant resources in order to get each.

    I use a modified formula for the SP cost, so they get a lot more expensive, even with cashing in crawlers (which I don't do):

    SPCost = 10*L+N, where L = the tech Level of the prerequisite tech, and N = the actual Number of techs it takes to get there, including the final tech. In no case is the cost less than 2x the original value given in alphax.txt, and the Ascent is always given Cost = 900!
    Makes for some pretty high prices as you go, but not at all unattainable.
     :2c:
    How about AI with these settings?
    I observed in games before, that AI would build crawlers to add them to SP.
    Do they do it in your games with higher SP cost?
    I remember, that higher "valuing" of SPs in alphax.txt was helping a lot, AI would start multiple SPs, I am not sure, it was using crawlers then.

    Offline sisko

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    Re: SMACX Single Player League - preparing
    « Reply #10 on: January 06, 2015, 02:34:47 PM »
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    - for now, when playing not-scenario game, you can enjoy interludes and the story of them (I know, experienced players have seen them probably enough times, but new players can enjoy them in these games). When scenario is enabled you do not see interludes, unless I am missing something, but putting interludes in a scenario folder does not work.
    I remember interludes being somehow tied to using the map of Planet.
    Anyone else feels like it's time to fix the faction graphics bug?

    Offline Mart

    Re: SMACX Single Player League - preparing
    « Reply #11 on: January 06, 2015, 03:03:11 PM »
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  • I remember interludes being somehow tied to using the map of Planet.
    The first attack on a base, discovering Centauri Empathy, etc. should trigger interludes ok.
    But entering manifold nexus does not trigger for me, I think in many cases. Maybe it works in SMAC only.

    Offline sisko

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    Re: SMACX Single Player League - preparing
    « Reply #12 on: January 06, 2015, 04:51:21 PM »
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  • What i mean is, the interludes won't trigger unless you play on of the maps supplied with the game: planet.MP, planetx.MP, xplanet.MP, xplanetx.MP.
    So, if you want to have interludes into a scenario game, then you should start building the scenario by loading one of the these maps.
    Anyone else feels like it's time to fix the faction graphics bug?

    Offline Mart

    Re: SMACX Single Player League - preparing
    « Reply #13 on: January 06, 2015, 05:15:37 PM »
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  • That's something new for me, I have to try it.

    However, I found a way to have interludes and monument screens in a scenario without loading these maps.
    The SPL first scenario should work with interludes and monuments.
    What appears to disable them is saving a scenario file. If you start a game, enable scenario editor and save .sav file, you can later rename it to scenario .sc file. Game will pick it up as scenario file. Interludes and monuments will work.

    Offline gwillybj

    Re: SMACX Single Player League - preparing
    « Reply #14 on: January 06, 2015, 05:30:43 PM »
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  • 8. Allowed: upgrading crawlers before use for SP or prototype.

    Not keen on this one at all. It makes getting every SP virtually costless, rather than having to direct significant resources in order to get each.

    I use a modified formula for the SP cost, so they get a lot more expensive, even with cashing in crawlers (which I don't do):

    SPCost = 10*L+N, where L = the tech Level of the prerequisite tech, and N = the actual Number of techs it takes to get there, including the final tech. In no case is the cost less than 2x the original value given in alphax.txt, and the Ascent is always given Cost = 900!
    Makes for some pretty high prices as you go, but not at all unattainable.
     :2c:
    How about AI with these settings?
    I observed in games before, that AI would build crawlers to add them to SP.
    Do they do it in your games with higher SP cost?
    I remember, that higher "valuing" of SPs in alphax.txt was helping a lot, AI would start multiple SPs, I am not sure, it was using crawlers then.
    The AI has no problem with the increased costs. They will start more than one SP, and will use crawlers toward them. It serves to keep the player paying attention to the F5 screen.

    (I apologize for not responding sooner. 'Twas the season and all.)
    Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying. ― Arthur C. Clarke
    Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt. (They change their sky, not their soul, who rush across the sea.) ― Horace, The Odes of Horace

     

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