Author Topic: New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders  (Read 4906 times)

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Offline terzaerian

New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders
« on: September 24, 2016, 12:40:42 AM »
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  • Starting this thread as a sort of development journal and feedback area for a new custom faction I've been working on, the Wheeler Raiders. The idea has its genesis in my fandom of the Mad Max series as well as my playstyle in AC, which is to blitz enemy factions with heavily armed rovers early on, before sea or air power becomes a huge factor. I wanted to make a faction which was evocative of the aesthetics of the post-apocalyptic genre while still consistent with the lore and gameplay of SMAC, and this is what I've got so far.

    The faction backstory is that the leader is a disaffected Supply Rover captain, formerly in the employ of the Peacekeepers' U.N. forces, who is dissatisfied with the sluggish bureaucracy of the established factions. He decides to make his own way on Planet with a band of followers, taking on a new assumed name and identity. Though impoverished they still carry on a struggle against the more authoritarian factions on Planet to live on their own terms and be masters of their own destiny. The faction references characters and concepts from the Mad Max series, American automobile culture, and "Western sci-fi" like Firefly.

    • Starting Tech: Doctrine: Mobility, Applied Physics
    • -2 Economy: Followers spurn trappings of material wealth
    • +1 Industry: Ingenious re-use of scrap material
    • -1 Police: Individualistic followers resent police control
    • 75% Hurry Costs: "Good enough" construction
    • Starts with free Unity Rover
    • Social Priority: Eudaimonia
    • Social Restriction: Thought Control
    • Priority: Industry

    Leader portrait working!


    First turn; think I'll work on tweaking the base art so there is a more pronounced graphical border around the base.


    Datalinks:


    I haven't played a lot of multiplayer, so I don't know how balanced it will pan out as being, and I have yet to do a full playthrough in single-player as well, but will hopefully have a better idea as I go through it this weekend. I welcome any constructive criticism or suggestions as well!

    As I'm still working on tweaking the graphics, I don't have an official release yet, but once I've got the base art where I want it to be I plan to get a download ready.
    « Last Edit: October 01, 2016, 07:38:17 PM by terzaerian »

    Offline terzaerian

    Re: New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders
    « Reply #1 on: September 24, 2016, 08:45:56 PM »
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  • Progress on testing the faction out!

    I made the tweaks to the base art to help it stand out more.



    Seems reminiscent of Civ 2: ToT art. The perspective doesn't quite mesh with Alpha Centauri, but when the base is supposed to be a motley patchwork of scrap and rubbish melded together that's going to be trickier. I may experiment some more before finalizing it but that's how it stands.



    Logo on the monument screen in particular is looking sharp. I forgot to add scanlines to the UN/datalinks version of the logo and need to do that, but otherwise the rest of the art is spot on.

    As for the gameplay, I'm not sure the Penalty to support modifier is quite working how I wanted it to - I tried a couple tweaks but it doesn't seem to show up in-game, even after reloading the faction. I've read the AC Wiki entry twice over but am getting no luck. I may end up just going for a flat penalty to either police, support, or both, if I can't suss out getting penalty to work. I'm sure the ultimate test is going to be more playing a game against an AI running my faction to see if it's able to work it effectively. I'm also considering free anti-grav struts from the Alien Crossfire pool of bonuses in order to give them a boost in the very late game.

    Offline BUncle

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    Re: New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders
    « Reply #2 on: September 24, 2016, 10:11:22 PM »
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  • Are the outlines of the base elements a bit dark?

    Offline terzaerian

    Re: New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders
    « Reply #3 on: September 26, 2016, 04:18:17 AM »
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  • Maybe; of all of it I'm probably bound to tweak the base art still. Just too darn used to doing this for Civ I guess. Do you know what I'm biffing with regards to using the PENALTY attribute? I mean if it's just some game feature that never worked right I can go with a flat number but I like the idea of the penalty better.

    Offline vonbach

    Re: New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders
    « Reply #4 on: October 01, 2016, 02:40:04 PM »
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  • Looks interesting though a bit weak stat wise. It already has a economy penalty.

    Offline terzaerian

    Re: New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders
    « Reply #5 on: October 01, 2016, 07:43:53 PM »
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  • Looks interesting though a bit weak stat wise. It already has a economy penalty.

    True, but I think the crippling economy bonus is a necessity - industry bonuses are very powerful (which is why they're so hard to get via Social Engineering). It also offsets the considerable bonus the faction gets from having lowered hurry costs.

    I also ended up turning the Support penalty into -1 Police instead; just can't figure out how to get those exotic modifiers to work.  :mad:

    Regarding my first playtest, I started without accelerated start, and the AI started out very strong due to the bonuses in tech and units, but began to fade in the late game, and eventually made the mistake of starting a war with one of my allies, prompting me to roll them over. That said they did get hemmed in on two sides very early.

    Offline BUncle

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    Re: New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders
    « Reply #6 on: October 02, 2016, 12:51:16 AM »
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  • You're a real prize, man.

    Y'know, being able to win against AI factions isn't much of a benchmark - have you tried what they did at Firaxis during development, and start an overnight all-AI game with the enter key taped down?

    Offline terzaerian

    Re: New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders
    « Reply #7 on: October 03, 2016, 07:53:10 PM »
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  • I didn't try that yet, I might have to - I've always preferred a more hands-on approach to modding. If anything I'm more hardcore as a modder than a gamer; I don't play games at the highest levels of difficulty or anything, but I'll endlessly tweak and polish anything I intend to release. That said I'm relatively new to modding SMAC itself, I just have a prior catalog of experience doodling around in Civ and other games that bootstraps the technical aspects of modding SMAC, so I just need to learn what works and what doesn't from the gameplay angle.

    Offline ComradeCrimson

    Re: New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders
    « Reply #8 on: October 06, 2016, 08:32:57 AM »
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  • Pretty interesting faction. Wonderful portrait as well.


    Offline BUncle

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    Re: New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders
    « Reply #9 on: October 06, 2016, 04:44:04 PM »
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  • ...If you'd like a leaderquote voice file for your faction and don't feel up to it yourself, talk to Crimson.  He's a voice actor...

    Offline terzaerian

    Re: New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders
    « Reply #10 on: October 06, 2016, 10:23:05 PM »
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  • Pretty interesting faction. Wonderful portrait as well.

    Thanks! I made sure to put credit for the portrait in the art file.  :)

    ...If you'd like a leaderquote voice file for your faction and don't feel up to it yourself, talk to Crimson.  He's a voice actor...

    Hm, how would one do that? I've never tried to mod the sound files for SMAC before.

    I also did a test AI run of the game with the Wheelers versus a vanilla selection of factions which went interestingly; the Wheelers grabbed some powerful strategic projects early on (Transit System and the base fortification one being key), and luckily were off to the side while the other factions quibbled amongst themselves. They were a relatively minor player until the Spartans broke the back of Believing resistance, at which point they opportunistically declared war on the Spartans and then pretty much everyone else on the map. After conquering the Spartans, Believers, and gaining footholds against the Morganites and University, they were pretty much unstoppable. The ironic part is they ended up cornering the energy market to win the game, so as I suspected that Economy nerf may still not be quite enough.

    Offline ComradeCrimson

    Re: New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders
    « Reply #11 on: October 07, 2016, 09:09:20 AM »
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  • Pretty interesting faction. Wonderful portrait as well.

    Thanks! I made sure to put credit for the portrait in the art file.  :)

    ...If you'd like a leaderquote voice file for your faction and don't feel up to it yourself, talk to Crimson.  He's a voice actor...

    Hm, how would one do that? I've never tried to mod the sound files for SMAC before.


    I record it, and then I convert it to the correct audio format. Ain't too hard.

    I'm a professional voice actor. Got my own audio technica 4040 microphone and focusrite 2i2 scarlett interface and a sound booth.

    Just hit me up if you want your stuff voiced.

    Offline ComradeCrimson

    Re: New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders
    « Reply #12 on: October 08, 2016, 12:42:31 AM »
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  • If you do want it voiced, just let me know what sort of voice the character has and I'll do it buddy  ;)

    Offline terzaerian

    Re: New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders
    « Reply #13 on: October 08, 2016, 06:48:20 PM »
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  • I record it, and then I convert it to the correct audio format. Ain't too hard.

    I'm a professional voice actor. Got my own audio technica 4040 microphone and focusrite 2i2 scarlett interface and a sound booth.

    Just hit me up if you want your stuff voiced.

    If you do want it voiced, just let me know what sort of voice the character has and I'll do it buddy  ;)

    Wow! That sounds like a sweet setup. Have you done VA work for other games in the past?

    And I'd love to get some VA work done for my faction! I'm assuming you're referring to the blurb for the faction selection screen? I did have something wrote up:

    Quote
    Everyone has their dream, their goal in life - mountains of wealth,
    unquestionable power, world peace, harmony with Planet, frakking
     whatever. All I need is an open road and the engine's roar,
    and I'll kill a man as tries to take that from me and mine.

       -- Blasphemous Rex
          "Not One Inch"

    BR's voice would be low and gruff - not inarticulate, but not very florid in his speech either. So a bit more wordy than Tom Hardy's Max, but not as guttural as Christian Bale's Batman, to make some cinematic comparisons. Frakking being a nod to Firefly, and pronounced like fracking, iirc.

    Offline ComradeCrimson

    Re: New Custom Faction: Wheeler Raiders
    « Reply #14 on: October 09, 2016, 05:47:15 AM »
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  • Wow! That sounds like a sweet setup. Have you done VA work for other games in the past?

    I most certainly have. Day of Infamy by New World Interactive, 88 Heroes by Bitmap Bureau.ltd, Caribbean by Snowbird Studios, War of Rights by Campfire Studios and the Emperor Text to Speech series, numerous command and conquer mods and numerous mount and blade warband mods.


    And I'd love to get some VA work done for my faction! I'm assuming you're referring to the blurb for the faction selection screen? I did have something wrote up:

    Quote
    Everyone has their dream, their goal in life - mountains of wealth,
    unquestionable power, world peace, harmony with Planet, frakking
     whatever. All I need is an open road and the engine's roar,
    and I'll kill a man as tries to take that from me and mine.

       -- Blasphemous Rex
          "Not One Inch"

    BR's voice would be low and gruff - not inarticulate, but not very florid in his speech either. So a bit more wordy than Tom Hardy's Max, but not as guttural as Christian Bale's Batman, to make some cinematic comparisons. Frakking being a nod to Firefly, and pronounced like fracking, iirc.

    And done. Here's the preview link for listening in on it with the odd bit of music (the file I got uploaded here is free of that) so let me know if you like it.

    https://soundcloud.com/comradecrimson/blasphemous-rex-blurb

    Its already converted to the specific format you need, so just title it properly to match your faction and put it in the correct folder where all the other faction quotes are.

     

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