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A Proposal for a Fan-produced SMAC Remake

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neutral_leader from CFC wants to Take Matters into Our Own Hands:

--- Quote ---Let's all get real for just a moment: no one is going to make SMAC 2 for us. Not EA, not 2k, not Firaxis, nobody. And, let's be honest, after seeing CiV do any of us trust them to anyway? If we want it done, and I know many of us do, we have to do it ourselves, and there's no reason we can't. The modding community has access to tremendous amounts of source for CIV and inexhaustible talent. We can make this happen, and I want to see it happen. I want it for myself but, at the risk of sounding too fanatical, I want it for my children. I learned so much from that game as a teenager (I still manage to impress people with my many memorized quotes) and I want my kids and all of yours to be able to enjoy a modernized version. What's more, I read the forums and I know you guys want it too.

What I propose is that we produce an independent, open source modernization of original SMAC plus SMACX. I have tried to raise interest before in a total conversion mod for CIV or CiV, but there has been little response in those forums, and a stand-alone development will provide the best opportunities for development and refinement independent of Firaxis and without the damn thing breaking every time a patch is released. I'm not a programmer, but I can help coordinate efforts, code XML, and translate user interface in a number of languages. If we can get a couple of programmers and a couple of graphics guys interested, we can get off to a good start.

The chief design principle, as I see it, should be conservatism. It would be too great an undertaking to try to produce an entirely new game and many of us really just want an update on the classic anyway. Mods can satisfy whatever hankering for a sequel anyone may have. To that end, I think our aim should be maximum use of original game text, sounds, and artwork (although on-map graphics could stand a major update). That also makes the job a little easier. For the most part, technologies, facilities, improvements, units, etc. would be just as in the original. So what should change? The following I regard as essential changes to modernize:

Although much still artwork can be used from the original, city, unit, and terrain graphics need a major overhaul to be brought up to speed with CIV and CiV.

User Interface
So many little improvements have been made to this since '99, like the ability to see what cities are producing right on the map and the ability to move units in groups. Interface should be brought up to CIV standards.

Number of Factions on one map

Simultaneous turns would be nice, for starters.

Besides this, there are a lot of developments in the Civ series featurally that I think could be fun inclusions to base SMAC with minimal adaptation: culture and attendant mechanisms (reflecting ideological influence), promotions, hexagons, city states (which could be an interesting way of implementing the Data Angels and possibly also the Nautilus Pirates, as they would not have very strong centralized governance anyway), and even religion (where the religions would represent global infrastructure projects like the Planetary Datalinks or the Planetary Energy Grid that, CiV style, would provide bonuses to the faction founding them and to all of the cities that link into them). Whether or not to implement these (and how to do so if they are wanted) can be a matter for further discussion once we have a project team together.

It won't be easy, but it will be fun and it will be worthwhile..
--- End quote ---

anyone willing to join his project?

If I'm honest, not really. :( I have enough projects as it is and the rather poor response to my SMAC project hasn't helped morale towards the game.

I am interested to see how it turns out. But, you have to admit the OP over there has it right. Short of something like that, it is going to be a cold day in hell before you see any attempt to update SMAC/X.

That said, I am a bit leary of the direction it is taking going the FreeCiv route. But, I reserve judgement. I have a few days off and I am going to sit with FreeCiv and see what I think.

I was really hoping Scient, Kyrub, or someone else could just put the only main complaints I have with SMAX. I liked the approach those guys used doing it as a "patch". But I will agree, where the posters are going on Civ Fanatics would be a bit easier. Probably would require a bit less arcane skill.

Basically.. what i would love is.

-14 Factions.
-Way bring higher res textures in. (Does not have to be 3d) I lurk, and rarely post places, but I know BU would have a nerdgasm :)
-A bit better AI at times.

Notice, no "total redo", no taking a lot of things out. Just a loyal true blue update.

I suspect this, if it really happens, may be like Planetfall but on a FreeCiv engine. I hope I am wrong. Just like I have a strange feeling something will happen to the Courisity rover like what happened to another probe I was excited about, Phobos-Grunt. I hope I am wrong...

Buster's Uncle:
Welcome to AC2, Green!

I have to say that I pretty much agree.  Should things get rolling, I certainly support the project, but it's a crazily ambitious notion that I'd be surprized to see succeed.  Us SMACers are a flighty bunch.

...It's sorta like being, as you say, nervous about the latest Mars probe after the Martians have shot so many probes down...

All I really want to see with an update to SMAC is the same type of thing I wanted to see with MOO2, instead of the total screwed up redo that MOO3 turned out to be.  What I want is:

1. Recompiled and libraries updated to work natively with Windows 7.
2. Networking using Windows 7 standards for easy multiplayer games.
3. Bug files directly incorporated in the game, no patches needed.
4. Ability to set up games like a MOD does now with far less aggrevation, so that two players can set up a custom game without needed a moderator.
5. Retain the ability to create custom factions/rules/etc. for player generated mods.

What I DO NOT think is important is:
1. Graphics updates.  Player mods can take care of these if needed.
2. Game changes of any kind other than bug fixes and simultaneous play (although I think simultaneous play could have issues).  It may be that simultaneous play only works until two unfriendly factions come into contact, then reverts to serial play.  My biggest concern with adding simultaneous play is that it may double the effort for the project.

If the changes are limited to what I posted above, I believe the project is doable, and I would be willing to help with coding it, assuming that we could get permission to use the original source code as a starting point.  If we can't get the original source code, I think the project will be way to difficult to attempt in our spare time.


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