Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 38067 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #105 on: September 10, 2018, 06:01:47 PM »
   Large and wide-ranging bit of work there for the time it took, I'm impressed.

  V. 1.19 has now been Merged, with the Faction files along for the ride, since there is nothing to merge there.

  I got my latest game test up to 2150 or so before I saw the post of AIG 1.19.   I can provide a summary of the factions' performance under the v. 1.17 rules if still useful.
There were no dramaticaly lame or OP factions, just different ways of advancing through the early build/expand stage.

  Now I'll see whether the new rules break the old game or will let me continue on.  Perhaps I should just restart anyway?  I think Zak might have discovered a tech you changed...

  Edit: Took a look at the game and your changelog and answered my own question.   Since several of the Techs have been re-weighted, including some early ones, even the earliest research by the AI factions may be affected and need a restart from the begining.  Ok, I'm on it.  (it rained last night, good excuse to shirk my yardwork).
« Last Edit: September 10, 2018, 06:21:18 PM by Vidsek »
All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

Offline bvanevery

  • Emperor of the Tanks
  • Librarian
  • *
  • Posts: 3510
  • €1928
  • View Inventory
  • Send /Gift
  • Allows access to AC2's quiz & chess sections for 144 hours from time of use.  You can't do without Leadship  Must. have. caffeine. -Ahhhhh; good.  
  • Planning for the next 20 years of SMACX.
  • AC Text modder Author of at least one AAR
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #106 on: September 11, 2018, 05:30:26 AM »
Yeah the re-weights for "dependency smoothness" probably do matter, even earlier on.  I started making those changes when I saw that Morgan had a bizarre set of Build techs compared to mine.  Like how do I know how to build the Merchant Exchange and he doesn't?  Moving Supply Crawlers solidly back into the midgame is also rather important.

I'm stalled on my own 1.19 game.  Having kicked 1.19 out the door, I'm a lot less motivated to keep playing!  But for sake of AAR form I will keep playing it.  I try not to quit unless I've decided the game sucks.  Which is what happened with Yang and the flooding.  Might be a bit slow getting my AAR done though.  I've got some real world car brake problems I've been fighting the past few days.

The main thing I'm worried about now, is whether some Passive factions get killed or not.  I'm sure that Svensgaard won't get killed and he shall remain Passive for all time.  It is so much more pleasant playing a game where he isn't spamming you with ships on your coast.  And he is a threat, the new way.  He's just a distant "gonna do better than you at building a big powerful researching civ" threat.  Rather than a never ending coastal pest.

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #107 on: September 11, 2018, 05:57:22 AM »
    I've started my v. 1.19 merge test, starting from scratch and playing a few turns at a time (the earlier four test runs sorta took the shine off of the early spread and build part).

  Two of my opposing factions (Gaians and University) are passive, the other four erratic.  Didn't actually plan that, just picked ones I hadn't played with much, or ones I wanted to see perform under your mod.

  In past games of mine, Zak was pretty effective in both building and war, Deirdre much less so.  Zak was a good ally, Deirdre rather fickle.
All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

Offline bvanevery

  • Emperor of the Tanks
  • Librarian
  • *
  • Posts: 3510
  • €1928
  • View Inventory
  • Send /Gift
  • Allows access to AC2's quiz & chess sections for 144 hours from time of use.  You can't do without Leadship  Must. have. caffeine. -Ahhhhh; good.  
  • Planning for the next 20 years of SMACX.
  • AC Text modder Author of at least one AAR
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #108 on: September 11, 2018, 06:11:48 AM »
Let me know if the Gaians and University turn out to have any near neighbors that they get in a real super duper snit about politics with.  Pretty sure political hatred trumps passivity, especially in Deirdre's case.

Offline Vidsek

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #109 on: September 11, 2018, 07:05:26 AM »
   Almost everyone is fairly near each other, but separated by some water.  Early contact might happen through a pod drop of a comm number, but otherwise requires sea travel (pod Unity transports could be another route to early contact). 
  Actual conflict would still require building sea units.

  Gaians, University, Angels, Cyborgs, Drones, and the Cult.  Plus me.  Should be some snit-worthy interactions there.

  I specifically avoided the alien factions, since only having one sort of ruins the story, and with both (in past games), they went into unending war the instant they made contact.  Wore them both down and prevented any development by either, making them the lame ducks in the game.  In a later game, it'll be interesting to see what they do under your mod.
All this talk of fungus and worms makes me hungry...

Offline Dewbacca

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #110 on: September 11, 2018, 02:37:26 PM »
Just some quick and dirty observations from v.1.19:

AI is growing FAST! In 2 different tests AI had outpaced my population despite my efforts to maximize my growth.

Shuffling the techs around is messing with my zen, but it seems fairly balanced.

AI hasn't been aggressive even to the point of defending itself. Morganites spawned next to me and I took out all 3 cities without seeing a defensive unit built, or active aggression.

Enjoying the new map sizes immensely.
So tell me again, where are we going, and why are we in a handbasket?

Offline bvanevery

  • Emperor of the Tanks
  • Librarian
  • *
  • Posts: 3510
  • €1928
  • View Inventory
  • Send /Gift
  • Allows access to AC2's quiz & chess sections for 144 hours from time of use.  You can't do without Leadship  Must. have. caffeine. -Ahhhhh; good.  
  • Planning for the next 20 years of SMACX.
  • AC Text modder Author of at least one AAR
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #111 on: September 11, 2018, 02:55:37 PM »
AI is growing FAST! In 2 different tests AI had outpaced my population despite my efforts to maximize my growth.

Some factions should.  The Drones, for instance, can go to size 4 now without any unhappiness.  The Hive was given its +1 GROWTH bonus back because it can't use Democracy for pop booming.  The Believers were given this as well, as they can go Democratic but the AI won't.   The Pirates grow tremendously because the oceans have a lot of food, and he has very little competition from anyone for occupying the oceans.  The University doesn't have any special growth bonus, but the impediment of having a drone every 4 population, was removed.  The Consciousness and the Pirates don't have growth penalties anymore either.  Any faction that lands on the Monsoon Jungle is going to grow like crazy and be the dominant power of the game, until someone shows up to take it away from them.  I'm looking at you, Morgan!

Quote
AI hasn't been aggressive even to the point of defending itself. Morganites spawned next to me and I took out all 3 cities without seeing a defensive unit built, or active aggression.

The AI can't defend itself at point blank range from a competent player, that's just reality.  The game lets such victimized players restart elsewhere via an escape pod.  If you're feeling really mean or controlling, don't wipe out the victim's last city.  Keep it around until later in the game when annihilation counts for good.  Sometimes I've done that, other times it's just too annoying being in my way and I get rid of it.

Also you took out Morgan, who is Passive Explore Build.  He's not going to be the 1st kid on the block with military hardware.  He becomes dangerous later when he's allowed to grow.  Looking back over my CHANGELOG, I finally realized why!  In 1.15 I upped his ECONOMY bonus to +2.  That's why he tried to corner the energy market for only 1000 credits in that one game, and why I had to take the easy money out of Democratic.  I totally forgot that he starts the game with +1 energy per square!  Time will tell if it's too much.  I should play a test game with Morgan and see how long it takes me to corner the energy market.

Offline Dewbacca

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #112 on: September 11, 2018, 03:20:49 PM »
Enjoying the new map sizes immensely.

You should release a separate patch for those or generally based around superior map options.
So tell me again, where are we going, and why are we in a handbasket?

Offline bvanevery

  • Emperor of the Tanks
  • Librarian
  • *
  • Posts: 3510
  • €1928
  • View Inventory
  • Send /Gift
  • Allows access to AC2's quiz & chess sections for 144 hours from time of use.  You can't do without Leadship  Must. have. caffeine. -Ahhhhh; good.  
  • Planning for the next 20 years of SMACX.
  • AC Text modder Author of at least one AAR
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #113 on: September 11, 2018, 03:44:24 PM »
Thanks for the coffee!

I suppose that's not a crazy idea, although my question is, how do I create visibility for something like that, so that people find and use it?  With SMACX AI Growth mod, I have forums I inhabit, threads established, a release schedule, and a track record.  Every time I make a release, I update here, Reddit, CivFanatics, and Realms Beyond.  Forgot that I recently started doing Apolyton, guess I'll tell them about 1.19.

The world map changes, in contrast, are long since done.  I'd release once and its over.  Any thread about it in any forum, will sink to the bottom of the pile, because I wouldn't have a reason to keep pumping it.

The visibility of mods, is a reason to write a proper mod manager and packager.  This issue is actually what got me blown out of the Battle for Wesnoth community.  I'd spent 4 person months working on the best campaign ever, polishing up this other guy's work, basically functioning like some kind of Editor or Script Doctor.  It was really exceptional work, an order of magnitude above what anyone else had done.  That's why I joined his project, to bring it to its logical conclusion, since he had fumbled on things like basic game design balance.  I wanted this great work to be readily visible in the Wesnoth add-on manager, to get air time.  But they'd only give that to their canonical main campaigns, leaving better authors like us out in the cold!  We had sharp words and their forums were administrated by rather young hotheads, so I got the boot.  One of my main goals in doing SMACX AI Growth mod, has been to not get sucked into 4 person months of work.  I'm at that threshold now, but at least I'm in control of the destiny.

I've started thinking about the mod manager / packager problem in the past few days, but not hard.  I had intended to keep quiet about it until I decided what is strategically best.  I also have enough "real world" stuff on my plate this week not to be embarking on any committments or setting any expectations.

So, your request is a general issue of curation.  How does the best stuff become visible?  How is it prevented from sinking into obscurity?  Currently I'm providing the visibility by driving the visibility.  Manually.  It doesn't scale.

In Wesnoth, their add-on system is modularized.  Map changes would just some module, that one would fork off from SMACX AI Growth mod.  It just becomes a dependency.  That's a much more ambitious idea of mod management than I originally had in mind though.  It means not just shuffling different alphax.txt about, it means having fine tuned control over merging things into alphax.txt.  Lotsa ways to get such merges wrong.

Now of course, anyone who's taking an active interest in modding, can just cut and paste my world settings out of my alphax.txt and call it a day.  So there is somewhat the question, who is the audience served by creating a standalone release, in the present technical conditions?  It's not like I've prevented the need to do modding, with such a release.  I've only prevented the need to do copying and pasting.

A mod manager / packager, in contrast, is designed to eliminate the need for modding.  Modders release mods, players consume them easily without them stepping on each other.  At least, that's the design goal.

Offline Dewbacca

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #114 on: September 11, 2018, 04:22:56 PM »
I like the way Wesnoth does their Mods, I like it LESS how they do their authors or various extensive mods.

I like the Advanced hydro mechanics mod, used it years ago, found this forum hunting it down once again. The map mod would be similar. Something simple with enough significance to have avid players keeping it close at hand for every reinstall.

For visibility, make "Gigantic" the "Bvanevery size", they'll see you at the start of "Bevery" new game.
So tell me again, where are we going, and why are we in a handbasket?

Offline bvanevery

  • Emperor of the Tanks
  • Librarian
  • *
  • Posts: 3510
  • €1928
  • View Inventory
  • Send /Gift
  • Allows access to AC2's quiz & chess sections for 144 hours from time of use.  You can't do without Leadship  Must. have. caffeine. -Ahhhhh; good.  
  • Planning for the next 20 years of SMACX.
  • AC Text modder Author of at least one AAR
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #115 on: September 11, 2018, 04:47:05 PM »
I like the Advanced hydro mechanics mod, used it years ago, found this forum hunting it down once again.

Um, what is it and where is it?  I have no clue.

Quote
For visibility, make "Gigantic" the "Bvanevery size", they'll see you at the start of "Bevery" new game.

But the standard terms Enormous and Giant are already the bvanevery sizes.   :D  As much fun as it would be to have my name in lights for such a thing, the important goal is to have standard map sizes that people are used to, use frequently, and refer to when speaking about the game.  Giant was an easy term to come up with, but it took me awhile to come up with Enormous, which is between Huge and Giant.  Enormous is the last size that doesn't throw the faction placement RNG into fits.  On Giant it may work, it may not.  That would definitely be .exe patch worthy if I had the skill or time.
 

Offline Dewbacca

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #116 on: September 11, 2018, 07:56:55 PM »
Also, check out the BotF forums and the repackager Thunderchero uses for packing all mods into a single download.

It might not work for EVERY mod in the community, but would be a neat way to install/ uninstall YOUR mods from a single left click.

Advanced Hydromechanics:
"The creator describes: "In this patch, several new game concepts are introduced that add a more interesting element to sea warfare and terraforming:
1. Advanced Hydromechanics tech (E7) [see below]
2. the Sea Sensor Array (same defensive bonus as land Sensor Array)
3. the Minefield (functions as a Bunker in the sea, not visible on map)
4. the Kelp Enricher (functions same as a Soil Enricher, not visible on map)
5. Altering alpha.txt to have Adv.Hydromechanics be the requisite tech for +1 mining platform production in sea squares"

http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=16


So tell me again, where are we going, and why are we in a handbasket?

Offline bvanevery

  • Emperor of the Tanks
  • Librarian
  • *
  • Posts: 3510
  • €1928
  • View Inventory
  • Send /Gift
  • Allows access to AC2's quiz & chess sections for 144 hours from time of use.  You can't do without Leadship  Must. have. caffeine. -Ahhhhh; good.  
  • Planning for the next 20 years of SMACX.
  • AC Text modder Author of at least one AAR
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #117 on: September 11, 2018, 08:28:59 PM »
I believe I found it.  I see several problems.  The 1st is this approach results in 1.1 GB of downloading.  I don't think that's bandwidth friendly to site owners.  Granted, a pile of SMAC mods may add up to quite a bit less than that.

2nd, it begs the question of curation.  I'm not personally interested in shoveling every SMAC mod ever made out to people, sight unseen.  My stuff works, it's tested, the quality is assured.  The same can be said of maybe a few other recent modders, although I haven't actually tried their work.  Extant authors could ensure their own curation, in a distributed setup like Wesnoth has.  That kind of system works over time, whereas, packaging everything dies the minute the uber-packager moves on with his life.

3rd, it looks like a Windows only installer.  SMAC does nominally run on 3 platforms, so to me, that affects logical choice of how a mod manager would be implemented.  I have been assuming latest greatest Python and some kind of cross-platform GUI.

I'm mainly interested in deploying my mod, the mods of extant modders that I'm currently aware of, and important patches like Yitzi and PRACX.  I don't really understand whether Scient's work has survived well into the present or not, but that should be considered.  I'd also like such a mod manager to be geared towards ongoing .exe patch work, so that new .exe patches aren't just stepping on everyone else's toes.  So that there's some order, discipline, and maintainability to such endeavors.  (That's why my new avatar says FUNDAMENTALIST PLANNED btw.)

If someone wanted to dig through all the old mods and curate them, making sure they work, making sure they offer something and aren't just steaming piles of half-baked crap, well that would be a worthy endeavor on someone's part.  And the goal of such a person doesn't have to be to find all mods, just to find some good ones, that they want to support and maintain.  I'm not going to do that work, personally.  Doesn't matter to me if someone may have already done something similar to what I did, 10 years ago or whatever.  I just did it.  I don't need a different version of what I did.  I'm doubting anyone did what I just did anyways, although who knows, I didn't check.

I expect that recapturing old artwork would be the most valuable kind of ancient mod hunting.  Wesnoth is sophisticated in that regard as well.  They have art assets, factions, rulesets, and campaigns all neatly separated out from each other.

We have one major advantage over the Wesnoth community: SMAC itself is not under active development.  That means the game isn't going to break modders' work over time.  Sure someone can make a new .exe patch that breaks stuff, but people can always go back to the original game.  Over time, it actually remains to be seen if anyone's .exe patch work is maintainable.  The infrastucture for that, at this point, is poor.  Left as is, I firmly expect all .exe patchers to burn out before anyone else is capable of maintaining their work.  Yitzi's gone, for instance, and delving into his work is not a joy.

Offline Dewbacca

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #118 on: September 11, 2018, 09:50:55 PM »
Also, check out the BotF forums and the repackager Thunderchero uses for packing all mods into a single download.

It might not work for EVERY mod in the community, but would be a neat way to install/ uninstall YOUR mods from a single left click.

So tell me again, where are we going, and why are we in a handbasket?

Offline bvanevery

  • Emperor of the Tanks
  • Librarian
  • *
  • Posts: 3510
  • €1928
  • View Inventory
  • Send /Gift
  • Allows access to AC2's quiz & chess sections for 144 hours from time of use.  You can't do without Leadship  Must. have. caffeine. -Ahhhhh; good.  
  • Planning for the next 20 years of SMACX.
  • AC Text modder Author of at least one AAR
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #119 on: September 12, 2018, 12:23:00 AM »
I'm ok with everyone else doing the gruntwork of unzipping a .zip archive and dropping the 14 .txt files into SMAC.  I actually think it's good training for people to know how to do such things, to not be helpless.  Similarly, I'm ok with people learning how to do multiple installations of SMAC.  That's why I put those INSTALL directions in readme_mod.txt.  There was a time when those directions weren't there, and that definitely wasn't good enough.  As it is, for a little bit of work on other people's part, I've got a really easy release mechanism.  Zip up 14 .txt files and call it good.  No need to mess with special installer format anything.  No problems diagnosing installs or uninstalls that didn't work.  No cross-platform deployment issues, they're .txt files.

The most important point is, an installer doesn't help with my mod and someone else's mod stepping on each other.  That's what a mod manager would do.

In some kind of ideal mod packaging universe, another feature I'd like to have is, the ability to mark someone else's package as incompatible with one's own work.  Because frankly, that's why I even started thinking about this recently.

 

* User

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?


Login with username, password and session length

Select language:

* Community poll

SMAC v.4 SMAX v.2 (or previous versions)
-=-
17 (6%)
XP Compatibility patch
-=-
8 (3%)
Gog version for Windows
-=-
69 (27%)
Scient (unofficial) patch
-=-
25 (10%)
Kyrub's latest patch
-=-
14 (5%)
Yitzi's latest patch
-=-
85 (34%)
AC for Mac
-=-
2 (0%)
AC for Linux
-=-
5 (2%)
Gog version for Mac
-=-
10 (4%)
No patch
-=-
12 (4%)
Total Members Voted: 247
AC2 Wiki Logo

* Random quote

Red-hot iron, white-hot iron, cold-black iron; an iron taste, and iron smell, and a Babel of iron sounds.
~Charles Dickens ‘Bleak House’, Datalinks

* Select your theme

*