Author Topic: SMACX AI Growth mod  (Read 58683 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1005 on: March 30, 2020, 09:23:44 PM »
Chairman Yang - prefers Police State, cannot choose Democratic.
Cha Dawn - prefers Extremist, cannot choose Democratic.
Marr - cannot choose Democratic

Lal - prefers Democratic, cannot choose Police State
Domai - cannot choose Police State

Zhakarov - cannot choose Extremist
Aki-Zeta5 - cannot choose Extremist

So there are only 3 factions that actually prefer something.  Only 1 of them prefers Police State.

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1006 on: April 01, 2020, 03:46:44 AM »
here we go again
here we go again

MY 2306.  Marr lobs one at Roze. 
 ;marr; ;liftoff ;nuke;  ;roze;

Fortunately this is not aimed at me.    The Aggressive factions have been pretty consistent in my mod if left alone.  They nuke!  And unlike usually, I don't have any kind of Orbital Defense Pods at all.  I don't think anyone has learned that yet.  It's a slow tech game if not strictly tech stagnation, because the University got all but killed pretty early on.  I was allied and built a rail towards their capitol, but I was hoping it would get taken over, so that I could take it and get the Human Genome Project.  Once I was down there though, it seemed more reasonable to keep going with my rails than wait up.

I shouldn't actually be disappointed.  My rail network was actually a long term plan to exacerbate fighting between Marr and Roze.  They didn't have a land connection and I made one!  Then I tried to get the hell out of the way.  Mostly they fought each other, sometimes they've veered northwards up the rail line to fight me.

I've been invading Roze as well.  I took her peripheral cities, and I've got a 1 city strong foothold on the Jungle.

I've hit a bit of a logistical limit though.  My frenemies the Morganites have given me tons of troops, and stabbed me in the back, often on the same turn!  It feels like a bug.  Once I thought their excuse was trying to kill the Cyborgs on the same square, but I think they've also done it without that excuse.  The 1st time they did it, I trashed 1 minor city without going after any other troops, then reestablished our alliance.  The 2nd time, I took the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm away from them.  That was convenient because Roze was starting to hammer me with probe teams.

I went through this period when we only had a Treaty, where I built elaborate double rail lines all through my empire, because the Morganites kept jamming up my rails with Cloaking Field units!  I didn't want to tell him to get lost, because it would have probably meant war.

My next objective is to seize the Citizens' Defense Force from the Data Angels, so that I can actually get rid of their Perimeter Defenses when attacking.  I need a bit more of a railhead to do it.  I haven't built new Former units in ages.  Got Super Formers a long time ago, but have never built any land versions.  My old empire is well developed, but my new acquisitions have some spots in them.  I've built Punishment Spheres on all of those cities.  It's the Jungle, I want the population.

If I'm ever freed up to deal with Marr, I'll make scorched earth of him.  It would be nice if I could get someone other than Roze to go after him though.  They could all send and receive some nukes.  Only problem is, Planet is starting to sink.  I don't have the tech to Launch Solar Shade.

I would say I'm winning, but other factions are certainly not "down and out" yet.  Morgan did succumb to my prediction, that ultimately he'd be under my control.  But there were some periods where he was my adjacent equal.  If he'd made a move then, it would have been irritating.  Now it's more like, "Let me remind you about my reserve of mindworms, and all the Fusion Gatling Speeders you gave me."  I don't even use those.  They stay behind in case Morgan pulls something unforgivable.  My life is mainly about sending donated Fission units to their deaths.

MY 2307.  I'm such a jerk.  I took the Citizens' Defense Force, then stopped my invasion so that Roze can wear herself out fighting Marr!  Better her than me.  I'll go after Lal, who isn't even close to me.  But as I'm Extremist, he's a dire enemy.  His fault, not mine.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 04:25:30 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1007 on: April 01, 2020, 08:16:22 PM »
mommy
mommy

MY 2324.  Marr nukes me!

 ;marr; ;liftoff ;nuke; ;cha;

I "only" lost 1 of my 2 cities I've taken from Roze in the Monsoon Jungle.  Oddly, he didn't nuke the one with the Citizens' Defense Force in it.  Maybe he thinks he's going to capture it.

My reluctance to wage a war of total conquest, instead preferring to wage limited wars to make other humans comply with my progress, has had a price.  It's time for the gloves to come off!  I'm starting to manufacture X Chaos Needlejets.  There's gonna be nothing left of this alien jerk when I'm done with him.  Guess I'll need some carriers too.  And I'll need to keep Lal off me, getting my planes down there somehow.  I suppose I could advance over land and just make airbases.  Just liquidate everything in front of me.  My mindworms won't be useless either, I'll make some of those.

I wanted Roze to do the fighting with Marr, but it's clearly not working.

I finished both the Nano Factory and the Empath Guild this turn.  I've finally got infiltration with Marr and Lal.  Neither have any new techs.  I'm not surprised, as I'm not a complete slouch on labs, and nobody's an especially advanced researcher.  I will complete the Network Backbone next year.

Marr has got 4 more nukes in production.  In principle, they can hit anywhere on Planet.  In practice, I think the last round demonstrates that the AI will target things close by.  My core empire is fortunately on the other side of the globe from Marr.  Which is why he's had time to build up.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1008 on: April 01, 2020, 11:00:37 PM »
did not see that coming
did not see that coming

MY 2325.   ;marr; ;liftoff ;nuke; ;roze;

or that
or that

 ;marr; ;liftoff ;nuke;  ;cha;

I guess when it says "4 in production", they could be about to finish next year.  I didn't check the actual cities building them.  That explains the survival of the Citizens' Defense Force last year.  It was about to die anyways!

another secret project bye bye
another secret project bye bye

;marr; ;liftoff ;nuke; ;roze;

I think that was the Merchant Exchange.  No value to me, so far from my capitol.

We're getting 266 meter floods from this.  And the Data Angels are "surprise" attacking me.  Gosh, what's left to hit on?  Some Formers, whoopie.  I was expecting most of those to die a long time ago.

I complete the Network Backbone.  Cybernetic now has no penalty, but that doesn't really matter.  My Extremist is going to keep me at +0 RESEARCH.  I could go Police State instead, but part of me really wants to feel what Extremist is like.  If I switch from Eudaimonic to Cybernetic, I only have +1 ECONOMY.  My income drops from 267 credits/turn to 35 credits/turn.  Pretty big hit.  I feel greedy.  In principle, mindworms can do all the work, right?  In practice, I now need to build a lot of Perimeter Defenses.

I take over a Data Angel city, working my way towards a land bridge with Lal, and we have a Truce again.


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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1009 on: April 02, 2020, 04:02:51 PM »
are missiles actually gravships
are missiles actually gravships

MY 2331.  I finally got the opportunity to try to take over a base with a missile.  I was working on a Usurper base, hitting it with X Chaos Needlejets, but I crashed my plane with a misguided screen scrolling, and they've moved in a solid AAA unit.  Lal did me the favor of settling within the hovering range of my missile.

yes they are
yes they are

Bug verified.  Acknowledgement in readme_mod.txt for zoneplate!

I will try giving the Missile chassis a range of 4.  The chassis speed is 30, which becomes 32 with a Fission reactor.  That's 128 squares, enough to hit anything on even a Giant map.

There's a bug where if missile speed is 84 or higher, the game hangs.  I hope that isn't true of missile fuel remaining.  I'll be playtesting.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2020, 05:14:01 PM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1010 on: April 03, 2020, 02:25:59 AM »
MY 2336.  Marr and Lal exchange 3 nukes!  This is working out better than I expected.  Now everyone hates Lal, for using a nuke on the poor sodding Alien, who had already nuked him.  So unfair, but I'll take it!  Perhaps I can finally be elected Governor?  I've had the Empath Guild for awhile, but it still wasn't enough, as Lal had all these juicy high pop sea bases.

omg beat him by 1 vote
omg beat him by 1 vote

Too perfect.  You can't plan this stuff!  It all coming down to keeping my pipsqueak ally Zhakarov around all this time.  Who's sitting on the Human Genome Project, so yes it's a sacrifice.

The Extremist is now the moral center, the very Moral High Ground, of Planet!  Clearly we must all live as Planet would have it.

it's a sign from Planet
it's a sign from Planet

Last year I did my first orbital insertion.  This year I colonize auspiciously!  Rockin' with +4 PLANET and a whole lotta Wealth money.  Hope I don't get nuked.  Hope the Manifold Nexus doesn't sink, although at least this early, I should be able to do something about it.  Oh, wait.  Just remembered that raising destroys it also.  Urm.  Well, I hope things don't sink.

Generally I'm building Flechette Defense Systems everywhere.  I haven't built any Orbital Defense Pods yet.  That will be the next stage.  Most places, I'm not building Robotic Assembly Plants.  Only where I've got an Aerospace Complex for the most part.  We're already having flooding and I don't want to contribute much to it.  I've been relinking my sunken land bridges and putting rails through them again.  When that's done, I'll start on some biological terror for the Alien.

Um, a base that I took from Roze, that was just across a water channel from Lal, is gone now.  Doesn't look like it sunk.  Did I miss a fight in all the confusion?  Weird.  Oh well, it wasn't important.

Ah heck.  I'm making so much money, let's go for Knowledge!  +5 PLANET and I still make more money than I can use.  I could actually go Cybernetic next year and get +1 RESEARCH.  Hmm, or I could do Thought Control and have +0 RESEARCH as before.  Would be -4 RESEARCH without my faction special ability.  Choices choices choices.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2020, 03:01:37 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1011 on: April 03, 2020, 03:44:32 AM »
sob

MY 2338.  SOB he nuked me just as my ODP screen was about to go up.  Don't think there's a SP in that one, but it's a size 14 city, original to my empire, fully developed.  And it'll cut my empire in half, I'll have to raise land again.  This is definitely the most nukes I've ever taken in any game and kept playing.  I think because they never hit anything truly crucial.  Still, this guy is annoying!  Even with a unilateral orbital insertion capability, I haven't managed to get my empire "turned around" to taking on such a distant enemy.  He's mocking me with fireballs!

Hmm, well at least the crater didn't actually cut my land bridge.  Weak.  I think that's the last toss he's getting at me, barring a solar flare at the wrong moment.

slowing the deluge
slowing the deluge

Morgan's polluting like crazy and we're in for another 200 meter rise.  Fortunately most are sane enough to try to reverse it.

I've finally abandoned Extremist.  I'm Police State Green Knowledge Thought Control with the Ascetic Virtues, resulting in +3 POLICE, +3 PROBE, and +5 PLANET!

MY 2341.  You know, I'm really tired of this game.  Finally achieving some things, that in other games I'd have probably managed 100 years beforehand, sorta informs how I really feel about this now.  All I'm doing is building up stuff.  It doesn't seem like I'll ever have a "good", clever way to fight the Usurpers.  The unclever approach is to railroad them, and I've certainly done an entire global destruction of an Alien before.  Been there, done that!  This game might have been After Action Report worthy, if I had started on that from the beginning, because of the excessive nukeings.  But as luck would have it, only some of my peripheral cities got scorched, and it's no great hardship.  I'm just not seeing a future in which this game remains interesting.  I'm thinking things would go faster, if I just kick people out of their continents immediately and stop being so nice to everybody.

So in my true developer form, I quit!  I did actually tweak the Explore tree and fix the missile bug, at least I hope so.  Haven't actually tested the new version of missiles.  I would have just discovered Locusts of Chiron, in my new tree.  I've done massive Locust invasions before, it's not new.

« Last Edit: April 03, 2020, 04:25:39 AM by bvanevery »

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1012 on: April 23, 2020, 10:50:50 PM »
CHANGELOG
Changed from version 1.41 to 1.42:

PROBE WAR

- Thought Control: moved to C6 Retroviral Engineering.  In my mod, this is the compulsion of the Data Angels.  But they are Conquer focused, not Explore focused, so it should be in the Conquer tree.  The Explore tree is much more pure now, and I saw a game where the Data Angel AI was never going to learn E6 Homo Superior.  It did learn C5 Retroviral Engineering, although it learned some more advanced "pure" Conquer techs first.  Thought Control doesn't offer pure Conquer abilities, so unfortunately I won't make it a pure Conquer tech.  Retroviral Engineering can be a lore fit, as the game does talk about controlling the population with gases.  I have Soporific Gas Pods available with that tech.
- Retroviral Engineering: set growth=3 and wealth=1.  This imitates C2 Planetary Networks.

INDIGENOUS WAR

- Locusts of Chiron: moved to E6 Homo Superior.  C5 Centauri Psi already gives the Xenoempathy Dome, which is deadly, and Centauri Preserve, which can make mindworms even deadlier.  With the removal of Thought Control, Homo Superior didn't have a guaranteed offensive benefit.  Locusts are powerful, and I have to wonder why I ever allowed them so early.  Probably just had too much stuff to shove into the Explore tree.
- Homo Superior: set power=1.  It no longer gives Thought Control.  I want Explore to be required to learn indigenous life form warfare techniques, with only a small chance of discovery through Conquer.
- Brood Pit: now costs 360 and has maintenance=6, same as a Quantum Converter.  This is a wonder facility.  It gives a lifecycle bonus, makes indigenous life forms absurdly cheap, and gives +2 POLICE in its city.  It shouldn't be something spammed at every base or just the "next to have" on somebody's list of things to make.

SPACE WAR

- Missile chassis: now has Range=4, instead of unlimited range.  Playtester zoneplate discovered that unlimited range was making Conventional Missiles behave as Gravships.  They could capture bases!  Range=4 is enough to hit anything on even a Giant planet.
- Geosynchronous Suvery Pod: now costs 12 and is available with C9 Graviton Theory.  I did not realize it confers an additional defense bonus, over and above an existing Sensor Array.  That makes its value similar to a Tachyon Field, even if the defense bonus isn't as much.  I don't want players having this earlier in the game.
- Flechette Defense System: now available with C9 Graviton Theory.  I don't want players having this earlier in the game.

ECONOMIC VICTORY

- Ecological Engineering: changed 2nd prereq to B2 Industrial Economics.  I want this tech at the intersection of the Explore and Build trees, and not an Explore exclusive.  Builders may need Fungicidal Tanks to clear walls of fungus in the early game, and the Weather Paradigm is extremely valuable to Builders.
- Technology for economic victory: changed to C6 Fusion Power.  It takes a staggeringly long time to learn B9 Global Energy Theory, and then even longer to amass 138k credits to win the game.  I nearly de facto completed the tech tree with only 10% budgeted for LABS.  Economic Victory should be a completely different option than transcending, it shouldn't be a tech climb.
- Turns to corner Global Energy Market: changed to 5.  For whatever reason, it takes absurd and stupendous amounts of money to corner the market, like 138k in my last game.  Even with Orbital Power Transmitters, solar flares will come along that completely wipe them out and make one start over.  I've cut my LABS budget to 10% while pursuing money, and I'm still in danger of completing the tech tree without even trying.  Why would anyone bother to corner the market if it's so painful?  If this amount of money has been achieved, there's really no reason to torture the human player with excessive numbers of turns to hold off the enemy.  Enemies should get a chance to strike at the offending capitol and that's it!  If they can't do it, too bad, game over. 

Offline zoneplate

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1013 on: May 06, 2020, 04:45:52 AM »
So, I've been playing this more and more lately, and I gotta say you really did a fantastic job on it. The extent to which the meta is changed and the way the changes play off against one another is really something, and for sure a lot more interesting than the predictable beeline-to-crawlers, you've-basically-won-by-the-middle-of-the-techtree games of vanilla.

I'll be sure to drop in if I encounter any bugs or anything but otherwise I hope you're doing well and keep refining this thing!

Offline bvanevery

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1014 on: May 06, 2020, 05:38:46 AM »
Cool thanks!  You might be interested to know that in my latest AAR, I am desperately applying the new missile regimen, for lack of any other solution to a problem.  Granted, I have a self-imposed limit of not building any Secret Projects, only conquering them.  That didn't seem like a completely crazy idea at the beginning, but it's been sheer madness as the game has gone on.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1015 on: May 11, 2020, 04:06:00 PM »
There's going to be a 1.43.  If nothing else, I'm delaying Aquafarms to B5 Advanced Ecological Engineering, Thermocline Transducers to B6 Industrial Automation, and raising the cost of both to 100 minerals.  I didn't used to make a habit of Aquafarms, but recently I've realized they're as powerful as Soil Enrichers, which I don't allow until B5 Advanced Ecological Engineering.  It's been way too easy to get ahead with coastal bases.  I end up with so much food that I question why anyone would bother with Tree Farms, if it weren't for the happiness bonus.

I'm also experimenting with every single faction having a distinct set of research foci.  If you take all the combos of 1, 2, and 3 research foci, you end up with exactly 14 different combos.  Although it sounds nice on paper, this is contingent on the AI factions actually performing better under this regime.  And not ending up feeling too generic, which could be a problem with introducing the 3 combos.

Whether I do that or not, I'm convinced that the pure Conquer focus is not benefiting the Hive or the Data Angels, and something must be done about that.

Also, Thought Control is pretty useless and irrelevant to the Data Angels.  I originally picked it because no faction had a Thought Control compulsion, and I wanted more variety in the compulsions.  Narratively it does suit them, as long as you reimagine Roze as quite a bit darker and more abusive than her jazzy dialog would suggest.  All that mind control power going to her head, basically.  Game mechanically though, she simply doesn't need what Thought Control is offering.  She already has lots of PROBE.  By that point in the game, most factions will have solved their happiness problems, so POLICE is not that valuable.

I tried a game where I removed the Data Angels' compulsion to choose Thought Control.  I found myself very bored by it though.  They were my ally, my next door neighbor on my border.  I foresaw that they'd never be unhappy with me.  Like the Believers, they had no compulsions at all, but unlike the Believers they were Erratic not Aggressive.  That meant they'd sit around without any conflict and I don't like that.

So if the Data Angels are going to keep their compulsion, Thought Control is going to have to change to something useful.  I will experiment with an INDUSTRY bonus, since I don't have one, and consider it to be rather powerful and unbalancing.  For a Future Society that could be ok though.

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1016 on: May 14, 2020, 05:11:07 AM »
The early results on the Thought Control INDUSTRY bonus, are that the AI factions like it way too much.  The AI doesn't seem to think that -2 RESEARCH is much of a penalty to have more industry.  Back to the drawing board.

Offline Hagen0

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1017 on: May 15, 2020, 04:14:44 PM »
Hi. I'm considering trying out your mod. Is there any benefit/point to playing your mod with the Thinker ai improvement patch? Have you made your own ai improvements?

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Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1018 on: May 15, 2020, 05:39:00 PM »
If you have not experienced my mod on its own, there is no point trying to combine it with Thinker Mod.  First you should experience what I've done.  The AI is improved in various ways.  It may be enough challenge for you, or it may not be.  If you try to combine it, without any experience with how my mod actually plays, you'll have no idea if stuff is due to Thinker or my mod.  That's an exercise better left for when you have experience with both.

There is no guarantee that my mod "as is" will work with Thinker Mod.  I didn't used to have a specific concern, but recently I tried combining with The Will To Power mod, which uses Thinker code.  There are collisions about the meaning of the "high bit flag" hack for predefined units.  It's a good hack with the stock binary, because it allows some units to be upgraded that otherwise couldn't be.  However in TWTP it makes units cost an exorbitant amount.  Since this doesn't happen with the stock binary, someone's code has changed something.  I don't know if that's specific to TWTP, or if it's inherited behavior from Thinker Mod.

I don't test other people's mods for compatibility, because working relationships and boundaries of responsibility "fell through" a long time ago.  Everyone is just doing what they think is best and not working together.  This is primarily for game design reasons.  We don't agree about what should or shouldn't be done, or how layers of design should be separated, like when alphax.txt should or shouldn't be touched.  Sometimes stuff collides.  The only reason I know about this collision, is because I tried combining with TWTP relatively recently.

Scient's patch will combine just fine, but it's for bugfixes, not AI improvement.  I don't support Scient's patch, in the sense of testing with it or making sure there's compatibility, but there's no reason it wouldn't work.  All of Scient's patch's changes to alphax.txt are optional, so when they're overwritten, there's no problem.

Similarly, the PRACX graphical patch will work.  It has nothing to do with gameplay.

It would not be much work to "integrate" my mod with any of the other binary patch mods, but it is not work that I personally will ever do.  The main benefit I get from my own mod, is showcasing my own skill as a game designer.  Not sharing the limelight with someone else.  I hope my mod functions as a product advertizement for my own commercial game someday.  You saw what I could deliver on my own, so hopefully someday, you think it's a reason to pay me for something.

In case someone else wants to do such work, and put it in front of the public, and be responsible for it, and continue to ensure that it works, I put my own work under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC license.  Someone else can do all of that, if they really want to.  It wouldn't be hard, as open sourcey things go.  Way, way less hard than what it actually took me to do this, 2 years.  But for me personally, it's busywork that doesn't gain me anything.

Someone else can make their "fame" on being a skilled and disciplined integrator.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 05:55:06 PM by bvanevery »

Offline zoneplate

Re: SMACX AI Growth mod
« Reply #1019 on: May 16, 2020, 12:02:42 PM »
One thing I've found myself curious about after going back and playing a game of normal SMAX (and you may have addressed this earlier in the thread but that's Sixty Eight Pages Of Content) is: why are Bunkers disabled in the ruleset? They're quite nice terrain improvements for creating choke points and defensive blocks and their absence is somewhat notable when you have borders up against a hostile faction.

 

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