Author Topic: Turning SMAX back into strategy game  (Read 855 times)

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Offline bvanevery

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Re: Turning SMAX back into strategy game
« Reply #105 on: November 10, 2018, 03:23:02 PM »
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  • I have recently tested disabling the rest of reactors besides Fission to avoid weapon/armor effectiveness progression break. Unfortunately, I've encountered unforeseen consequences. AI factions' custom design units got equipped with Singularity reactor. So far I've seen only custom formers and custom probe units having it but, I guess, this is enough of a game breaker already.

    WTF?  That's decidedly odd.  Try completely deleting the lines for Fusion, Quantum, and Singularity.

    Quote
    I am thinking to distribute them more evenly in technology sequence so Fusion come earlier when are not yet in total war so everyone can get it.

    I theorized that a 3, 4, 5, 6 sequence of reactor strengths would be a better strength progression, but it would have a helluva effect on air and sea movement, and on missile blast radii.  Although... if Planet Busters are egregiously expensive, and even one is a serious doomsday weapon, that might be ok!  I'd be ok with fungal blasts being more dramatic too.  Such large tectonic blasts could be  problem though.

    Progression of squares covered by blast radii, starting from 1.
    9, 25, 49, 81, 121, 169
    Um... I'm not sure there can even be a cost model handling that kind of range.  I never really thought about the destruction potential of Quantum or Singularity Planet Busters before.  Why would I?  The game is close enough to over by then.


    « Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 03:40:16 PM by bvanevery »

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Turning SMAX back into strategy game
    « Reply #106 on: November 10, 2018, 03:25:07 PM »
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  • I will see if I can reuse his tree with his permission.

    The licensing is explicit in readme_mod.txt.  You just have to abide by the terms.

    Offline tnevolin

    Re: Turning SMAX back into strategy game
    « Reply #107 on: November 10, 2018, 04:59:19 PM »
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  • Well, alphax.txt says it's for offense, but I think I'll watch the odds screens just in case it's really offense and defense and they wrote it up wrong.
    Code: [Select]
    10,      ; Combat % -> Psi attack bonus/penalty per +PLANET

    That is for offence only in vanilla. See Yutzi's patch description. He added a switch so one can use this on defense as well.
    Tim

    Offline tnevolin

    Re: Turning SMAX back into strategy game
    « Reply #108 on: November 10, 2018, 05:03:09 PM »
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  • I have recently tested disabling the rest of reactors besides Fission to avoid weapon/armor effectiveness progression break. Unfortunately, I've encountered unforeseen consequences. AI factions' custom design units got equipped with Singularity reactor. So far I've seen only custom formers and custom probe units having it but, I guess, this is enough of a game breaker already.

    WTF?  That's decidedly odd.  Try completely deleting the lines for Fusion, Quantum, and Singularity.

    Good news. This turned to be Induktio fault. At least he admitted it and claimed he fixed it in latest release. Just saw his post and didn't test it myself, though.
    Tim

    Offline tnevolin

    Re: Turning SMAX back into strategy game
    « Reply #109 on: November 10, 2018, 05:04:56 PM »
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  • I theorized that a 3, 4, 5, 6 sequence of reactor strengths would be a better strength progression, but it would have a helluva effect on air and sea movement, and on missile blast radii.  Although... if Planet Busters are egregiously expensive, and even one is a serious doomsday weapon, that might be ok!  I'd be ok with fungal blasts being more dramatic too.  Such large tectonic blasts could be  problem though.

    Not happening, unfortunately. You can disable reactor in txt but cannot change its HP multiplier. It's hardwired somewhere in code. You and I both tried it.
    Tim

    Offline tnevolin

    Re: Turning SMAX back into strategy game
    « Reply #110 on: November 10, 2018, 05:06:22 PM »
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  • I will see if I can reuse his tree with his permission.

    The licensing is explicit in readme_mod.txt.  You just have to abide by the terms.

    I may read it but may not understand how it applies to borrowing pieces of txt. Can you just summarize it for me if you allow me to do this and what should I do in return if any?
    Tim

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Turning SMAX back into strategy game
    « Reply #111 on: November 10, 2018, 06:53:19 PM »
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  • Good news. This turned to be Induktio fault. At least he admitted it and claimed he fixed it in latest release. Just saw his post and didn't test it myself, though.

    With the huge scope of work he's been doing, I've wondered how testing and verification would shake out over time.  Good that that was caught.  A system of proactively designing things to be caught, is needed.  Like, heavy duty projects run some kind of automated unit test.  But it's his project and it remains to be seen how much of the Software Engineering hat he wants to put on, to deal with the inevitable problems. 

    Messing with disassembled ASM code is a horrible medium to try to build a stable maintainable long term endeavor upon.  Even if one pursues C code injections as I think he's mostly doing, there's still the problem of anyone understanding what the heck is going on in the original ASM code in the 1st place.  The vast majority of people are not going to sit down and pore over all of that from scratch, trying to figure it out Yet Again.

    A method for definitively and conscientiously communicating these discoveries about how the ASM code actually works, is needed.  But that's a serious Project Disciplinarian kind of thing to pull off, and a lot of work even for people who are highly motivated.  I look at the kind of organizational labor involved with that sort of thing, contemplate my previous career as a 3D graphics device driver writer, and think I should just write a new game.

    Without serious "shared knowledge and testing" infrastructure like that, Induktio gets hit by a bus, or Induktio gets a life / job / girlfriend / wife / child, and that's it.  Game over.  Never see him again, just like Yitzi.  Can't tell you how many times I've seen people "tap out" in Open Source development, and I've tapped out (or been forced out) of a few projects myself.  There's a time window of a few years' conscientiousness where the right kind of infrastructure can be put in place, for others to keep building on it.  If it isn't done within that time window, it never gets done, and the project will die in the face of history.

    In short, ongoing maintenance is a !@#@!

    That's why I keep telling people how many PERSON MONTHS I've exactly worked on my mod.  I KNOW the consequences of things getting too big and involved.  Been there, done that, a good number of times by now.  I'm happy that so far I haven't exceeded previous game modding efforts.  This Battle for Wesnoth thing that sucked me dry back in the day.

    If 1.25 ends up being the last release I ever make, for whatever reason (summary death, complete boredom),  I think I did actually cross the finish line.  The real challenge to me now, is getting more people to play what I already made.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Turning SMAX back into strategy game
    « Reply #112 on: November 10, 2018, 06:57:28 PM »
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  • I may read it but may not understand how it applies to borrowing pieces of txt. Can you just summarize it for me if you allow me to do this and what should I do in return if any?

    It's one of the Creative Commons licenses.  If you use substantive amounts of my work, you have to credit me.  And you can't make a dime off of it.  That's it.  Pretty simple terms.

    Offline tnevolin

    Re: Turning SMAX back into strategy game
    « Reply #113 on: November 10, 2018, 07:21:13 PM »
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  • With the huge scope of work he's been doing, I've wondered how testing and verification would shake out over time.

    Some crazy people doing crazy things. That is how it is tested.
    Tim

    Offline tnevolin

    Re: Turning SMAX back into strategy game
    « Reply #114 on: November 10, 2018, 07:23:03 PM »
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  • I may read it but may not understand how it applies to borrowing pieces of txt. Can you just summarize it for me if you allow me to do this and what should I do in return if any?

    It's one of the Creative Commons licenses.  If you use substantive amounts of my work, you have to credit me.  And you can't make a dime off of it.  That's it.  Pretty simple terms.

    Well, is your tree a substantive amount?
    Tim

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Turning SMAX back into strategy game
    « Reply #115 on: November 10, 2018, 09:21:34 PM »
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  • Not happening, unfortunately. You can disable reactor in txt but cannot change its HP multiplier. It's hardwired somewhere in code. You and I both tried it.

    It's hard for me to remember stuff like that sometimes.  Why offer parameters that are not in fact parameterizeable?  I wonder if they can be changed if you change the name of stuff as well.  Just trying to scratch my hacker brain about how someone may have goofed this.  I'll go poke at it again.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Turning SMAX back into strategy game
    « Reply #116 on: November 10, 2018, 09:57:45 PM »
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  • Well, is your tree a substantive amount?

    Of course it is!  Haven't you read my CHANGELOG in readme_mod.txt?  There's 6 months of ongoing gore in there about just how much work it is to produce a completely new tech tree like that.  There's no problem with you starting from my tree, or making vast changes to it, but you do have to credit me.  That's what a CC Attribution license means.

    How to credit me?  I don't know; something perfunctory, and not buried deeply in the weeds?  Presumably in your own README file about your work.  Or you could just play the "additive Copyright statements" game, like I did with Firaxis.


    Offline tnevolin

    Re: Turning SMAX back into strategy game
    « Reply #117 on: November 11, 2018, 12:46:01 AM »
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  • How to credit me?  I don't know; something perfunctory, and not buried deeply in the weeds?  Presumably in your own README file about your work.  Or you could just play the "additive Copyright statements" game, like I did with Firaxis.

    Oh well. I'll do my own. Too much legal stuff. Thanks for offer.
    Tim

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Turning SMAX back into strategy game
    « Reply #118 on: November 11, 2018, 02:06:04 AM »
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  • "Too much" legal stuff?  You're asked to credit my work, and not make money, that's it!  I don't know how much open source stuff you've done, or how many licenses you've contemplated, but those are pretty minimal terms.

    Yeah sure, by all means do whatever you want yourself.  If you think it's only a weekend's worth of work to make up the tech tree that you want, definitely nothing stopping you.  You might find it's a bit more than that when you get down into the weeds, or you might not.  It depends on the scope of what you try to do.

    Actual software I've released in the past, has always been under MIT license.  That basically says, "keep my copyright notice, but you can do whatever you want, there's no warranty, don't go complaining to me about any warranty."  But this mod isn't code, that I expect someone to stick in a library somewhere.  It's authorship.  Authors need attribution to justify their work.  Maybe that's what you object to... I didn't say you can't claim credit for writing what you write, only that you have to credit me for what I wrote.

    Regarding attribution, there are other software license variants out there.  Under the Zlib license, for instance, you can do what you want with the code, but you can't claim you wrote it at all.  You can't claim your work is the original material, you have to strongly differentiate your own changes with comments, etc.  That's acceptable in some business cases, and not in others.  But it's still better than the typical GNU Public License deal which makes you give away your source code along with whatever you're writing.

    Then there's the BSD license where you're not allowed to name the author of the code, or try to seek their endorsement or mention in any way.  I think this is to avoid perceived liability, or guilt by association.  People want all kinds of things.  "Credit me!  Credit me!  Credit me!" "Meh."  "Don't you even think about crediting me."  Funny world huh.

    If you work with other people's stuff, you'll need to figure out all these licenses sooner or later.  I chose Creative Commons for this because they are clear, well known licenses, readily spelling out what they're all for.  They are typically used for things like art assets in games, audio, music, written works, etc.  Artist-oriented.  They're not software oriented.

    Offline bvanevery

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    Re: Turning SMAX back into strategy game
    « Reply #119 on: November 11, 2018, 05:19:04 AM »
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  • super scouts
    super scouts

    I did not enjoy getting pwnd by the Believers.  I already had stress from immediate Caretaker war, then the Gaians piled on.  Then the Believers got access to my shore by way of an earthquake, then eventually declared war on me.  They taught me something about breaking early game stalemates, that if you have enough Scouts, it can work.  I could have had some artillery to deal with them, but I didn't, because it wasn't clear to me what choices I should be making in the high stress situation.  I still don't know how to play my own mod, and then there's Tim's variables even on top of that.

    I quit in disgust, then remembered that I was supposed to be assessing test cases, and that this was one of them.  I cranked it up again and re-lived the 4 Scout base stomping.  It only took 2 scouts to destroy my Synthmetal defender, and that defender is trained.  I don't think that's acceptable.  This +50% fanatic thing is going in the direction of offense is fantastic, defense doesn't even matter.  I never did figure out the MORALE equivalent of that bonus, but now I don't feel the need to.  I'm not even slightly prepared to live with this kind of change, it's reverting to stock.

    If I wanted the Believers to be tougher, I'd find some other way.  I have considered giving them +1 MORALE, but I've found their AI vs. AI performance to be acceptable as of late.  They got other bonuses instead, not just a "here's your new combat badass" bonus.

    Come to think of it, the MORALE equivalence is right there in the odds screen.  +25% attack bonus is equivalent to 2 MORALE levels higher.  +50% is equivalent to 4, like a Commando fighting a Green unit.  Or their stupid little runt Disciplined unit, that they didn't do anything special to obtain, fights like Elite!  Ain't gonna happen.  And Lord help us if the Believers get such a bonus while attacking with an Elite unit.


     

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