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Thread: SMAniaC

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    The overall goal of this modification pack is to widen the strategic choices available to the player. Over the years a number of ‘best strategies’ have been developed of which deviating can be lethal in a multiplayer game. Most of us here all know them: race to crawlers, tree farms and air power. Use chop&drop in combat as soon as available. Forest & Forget, or go advanced all the way, with no overall third terraforming strategy available… This leads to whole aspects of the game being unused as unprofitable, for example a fungal strategy to name just one. With six years of experience behind us, we can identify these forgotten aspects and try to rebalance them so they become a viable strategy next to the already familiar ones. This can only increase the fun of our beloved game! In this short description I’d like to sum up a few of the changes you can expect: A social engineering system and a tech tree with a wider variety of attractive choices. Strengthened naval and native life combat & terraforming. Weakened air power. And so on. Download SMAniaC and see for yourself!

    DOWNLOAD HERE

    Now with faction and leader artwork by Buster's Uncle and skreeblios!

    SMAniaC requires Alien Crossfire.

    Extract SMAniaC into your main SMAC directory. Personally I have a special duplicate SMAC directory for SMAniaC besides the unmodified SMAC one. Others who don't have harddisk space to waste use ModMan.

    Hydro has posted an excellent Excel file giving an overview of all the techs, SE, weapons, etc... Download it here!


    I'll post the contents of the different readmefirst files here:

    readmefirst.txt

    Some similar questions or confusion about social engineering often returns, so I thought I'd provide some info about SE in this readmefirst.txt

    1) The standard SE choices with which you start the game already have some effects. So when you first start up a SMAniaC game, check out the SE screen. For the full info you could also have a look in the in-game Datalinks or the modSE.txt in the documentation folder of this download.

    2) The Talent SE factor is used in SMAniaC. This factor provides extra talents or drones. While the factor is still functional despite not being used in standard SMAC, the problem is no symbol shows up for the Talent factor in the SE screen. So the unsuspectin user might suddenly be faced with a whole bunch of drones and not know where they suddenly come from. Therefore: please read the Datalinks about social engineering. or modSE.txt!

    In short Unitary Democracy (the SE choice you start with!) and Federal Democracy provide one extra talent. Private/Free Trade and Private/Protectionist economics give one extra drone. An Empath ruling elite gives two talents per base.


    Another thing worth mentioning just in case: four AI units (AI Probe, AI Probe Foil, AI Formers, AI Sea Formers) have been added to the basic units list. These units are meant to improve AI performance and are not supposed to be built by you, the human player. I’d suggest to just make the designs obsolete, so they don’t clutter up your build option list. Of course don’t forget to design your own former now.


    customfac readmefirst.txt

    A new set of seven factions for SMAniaC!

    I don't play single player that often anymore, so I haven't actually testplayed any of these factions. 8-) They were just put together based on my long experience with SMAC on what would in theory be balanced factions. Theory can always be wrong of course, and soon some of you will have much more experience with these factions than I, so I certainly appreciate your feedback about these factions. Perhaps they can be improved somewhere.

    To get them to work:

    Copy the contents of the seven folders into your main SMAC directory. Except for atlantis.mp3 and templar.mp3. Those should be put into the 'voices' directory.

    Oh don't forget: you need to copy the alphax.txt included in this download over the standard SMAniaC one to be able to play these factions.


    SAI readmefirst.txt

    This file contains a set of faction files to create a more powerful AI.

    Aldebaran also made some super AIs. That was done by creating seperate faction files, for example 'planetloverai' for the AI instead of 'planetlover' for the human player. You then had to dig into alphax.txt to add those AI factions to the custom faction list. This method seems rather annoying and time-consuming to me. Also it may form a barrier to people who aren't familiar with SMAC text file editing. Therefore I've taken a different approach...

    Included in this download you find 23 zip archives.

    'Original faction files' is a zip with all the unedited faction files.
    'Super AI Files' is a zip containing all the boosted AIs.
    Then there are the 21 others. Those contain 20 super AIs and one unedited normal faction file, indicated by the name of the zip file. Now if you want to play as the Gaians for instance and want some tougher opponents, you just need to extract the contents of the 'SAI Gaia player' archive into your main SMAC directory. You can then just start up a game as the Gaians, and select your AI opponents without restrictions. If you want to start a new game as eg the Conclave, just extract a different zip file. No need to ever dig into alphax.txt.


    Regarding the boosted AIs themselves... They should perform better than the unedited factions, but as always there's a lot of variance in AI success. Some games they have only 10 pops by MY 2150. Other times three times as many. I was also restricted by the limit of eight boni or penalties for certain stuff. So I wasn't fully able to do what I wanted, and I'm not entirely satisfied by the result. So I definitely appreciate feedback about your experience with these AIs. Perhaps something can be done to improve them.

    That's more or less what I wanted to say.
    Have fun! :-)

    Maniac
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    Last edited by Maniac; 01-01-10 at 17:30.
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  2. #2
    Moderator-Servant Buster's Uncle's Avatar
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    The rumor is that Maniac called them idiots, so, of course, they had to comply.

  3. #3

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    Here is a substantive point.

    The AI probes have psi defense. I assume the thinking was that if the AI probes had standard defense any conventional unit could destroy them without a sweat.

    The problem is that if the AI probe has psi defense and your faction is running -3 planet, you could be attacking those AI probes at 1-1 odds or less.

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    Edit: We absolutely should start hosting our own files. Content, I have been reliably told, will lead to traffic, which creates community.
    Last edited by Alinestra Covelia; 30-04-09 at 02:21. Reason: Codpiece. Codpieeeeece! :P

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    Moderator-Servant Buster's Uncle's Avatar
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    [chortle]

    ...I think vyeh doesn't approve of that in THIS thread. Let's start another..

  6. #6

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    Don't mind me ...

    Continue what you are doing. The moderator(s) can always change the name of this thread and Maniac can start another thread for his mod.

    It's nice to see activity and everyone having fun.

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    Monarch Maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vyeh View Post
    Here is a substantive point.

    The AI probes have psi defense. I assume the thinking was that if the AI probes had standard defense any conventional unit could destroy them without a sweat.

    The problem is that if the AI probe has psi defense and your faction is running -3 planet, you could be attacking those AI probes at 1-1 odds or less.
    Well yeah, it's not perfect. I think the benefit of this change outweighs the downside though.

    As a solution, you can use artillery to weaken them first, or, of course, place defensive probes in your base, and let the enemy attack you.

    Edit: You can also argue that psionics is an important skill for covert ops agents. Think B5 Psi Corps and all that.
    Last edited by Maniac; 30-04-09 at 04:36.
    Contraria sunt Complementa. -- Niels Bohr
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    Monarch Maniac's Avatar
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    I'd suggest continuing the SMAniaC leaderhead gfx discussions here.
    Contraria sunt Complementa. -- Niels Bohr
    Completed Mods: SMAniaC (SMAC) | Planetfall (Civ4)
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    Moderator-Servant Buster's Uncle's Avatar
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    Yessir. on it.

    ...But a little distracted...

    Anything to prod me?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster's Uncle View Post
    Anything to prod me?
    Kinda depends on you I guess.

    Templar leader is good to go.

    We both like the Ghost leader picture that CFC gfx guy posted.

    I like the B*rgkvist pic - you'd prefer another.

    In any case, there's a WPC download database now, so I can quickly upload the new version after the graphics update is considered complete.
    Contraria sunt Complementa. -- Niels Bohr
    Completed Mods: SMAniaC (SMAC) | Planetfall (Civ4)
    Listen to ModCast, your best source of info on Civilization modding!

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    Moderator-Servant Buster's Uncle's Avatar
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    Okay, yeah- I've been a lazy, lazy hippie. You did aprove the Templar, didn't you?

    You want to do name research, or have me try?

    I was gonna try a re-work of that empath icon Wednesday, then vyeeh posted a link for me, and there went the rest of my week. I think I could knock it out in no time, if none of my new troll-buddies have anything entertaining for me elsewhere on the site...

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    So, I'll make a sincere effort to have the Templars for you tomorrow. Only a couple hours work there, if I discipline myself to do it.

  13. #13

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    Not sure if you're still looking for a Templar leaderhead. This might work? It's by Kieran Yanner. I've actually been having trouble getting it to work well (color wise) with scanlines.

    Also attached is my attempted redux of the Genesis base. I wanted it to look like the platform / spires that the current graphics had. It might still resemble the Caretaker base too much (and also happens to look a lot like the Ghost bases I posted on CFC.) I think the latter will be taken care of by a color filter (white / blue); I'll apply that near the end.

    Let me know if you like it; and I'll put some more time in. It's meant to go with that Specimen portrait.
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    skree! You showed! I love the shots- I wouldn't be surprized to have an email from someone wanting to use at least one of these when I get up in the morning. That's a good-looking base.

    I'm going to bed now.

    Been to the Strategist thread here?

    Welcome to Playah country, BTW.

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    Moderator-Servant Buster's Uncle's Avatar
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    ...Actually, Maniac, I wasn't entirely clear until your last whether you liked cyber-lady enough to want to use her. That means I might have two factions knocked out very soon, especially if you'd let me make her east Indian or something.

    I've kinda been waiting for the greenlight, and maybe got confused about the Templar- I don't remember feeling I'd gotten I a go from you, although I knew you liked him... Maybe over the epaulettes? Anyway, it's an easy job for both at this point, and I'm on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster's Uncle View Post
    I wouldn't be surprized to have an email from someone wanting to use at least one of these when I get up in the morning.

    Or a post, since your still online. :wink:

    When you get the chance can you mate the faction pic with the Gaian bases?

    D

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    This is a rejection of my Children of the Flower, but sure.

  18. #18
    Moderator-Servant Buster's Uncle's Avatar
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    Lady and Gentlemen, I proudly submit my first game content/mod here at Playah country for your kind approval. Meet the Templars.

    I took a council screeny to display how the new portrait looks among his peers, who happened to include, in place of the Empaths, Darsnan’s Empathi faction from when I playtested them.

    -Both look pretty good, I think, though Singh’s increased ruddiness perhaps matches his reddened background too closely. However I suspect that’s only an artifact of side-by side comparison of two leaders who will hopefully stay out of the same games... (Soon, I could set up a mighty fine “Attack of the Clones” game with the Templars, Empathi, Strategist, and the Empaths and Unicom.)



    I’m not entirely happy with the at-rest small report logo, but believe it will do.

    I reduced the color saturation on the bases and diplomacy landscape, as they’d looked cartoony to my eye. The only thing I like about those bases, BTW, is that stage 2 has a templar double-cross thing going. I bet skree could top what we have.

    My name research didn’t turn up any info specific to Lebanese Christians, so I settled for not-terribly-Arabic-sounding, somewhat reminiscent of the original’s, and having a cool meaning. Salah - righteousness Nasih – advisor. –As usual, I’ve no idea if the last name sounds like a proper last name, or if I just dubbed him the equivalent of “Peter David” (who is a real person).

    Enjoy.
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    Last edited by Buster's Uncle; 19-09-13 at 21:20.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster's Uncle View Post
    I took a council screeny to display how the new portrait looks among his peers, who happened to include Darsnan’s Empathi faction:
    The Empathi are my replacement for the Cult in the mod I'm currently working on. I think I've found a nice solution to the problems the Cult always seems to have in the early game (i.e they seem to lose at least one CP every game I watch them). Their emblem is a knock-off of the symbol from the movie "The Ring": after discussing with Buster's Uncle, why to us it symbolizes a portal opening. To what, we don't know (and Seer Singh isn't saying).


    Quote Originally Posted by Buster's Uncle View Post
    -Both look pretty good, I think, though Singh’s increased ruddiness perhaps matches his reddened background too closely.
    Maybe its just the reflection from the room he's in. That or maybe he's had too much fungal wine (that stuff definately reddens my cheeks!)....

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster's Uncle View Post
    I’m not entirely happy with the at-rest small report logo, but believe it will do.
    I still think the Empathi logo looks pink (instead of maroon), but probably just me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster's Uncle View Post
    I reduced the color saturation on the bases and diplomacy landscape, as they’d looked cartoony to my eye. The only thing I like about those bases, BTW, is that stage 2 has a templar double-cross thing going. I bet skree could top what we have.

    Has skree had any interest in doing anything besides faction graphics? I know I"m still in the hunt for an opening screen, as well as a replacement for the Unity wreckage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Buster's Uncle View Post
    Enjoy.
    I am!

    D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darsnan View Post
    Has skree had any interest in doing anything besides faction graphics? I know I"m still in the hunt for an opening screen, as well as a replacement for the Unity wreckage.
    He hasn't expressed any. But I should think a self-starter like him could contribute a lot should you be able to fish him in as another minion, O' Mighty Lord Darsnan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Darsnan View Post
    It made you horny? But- but-but- No one's had a look at the zip yet!

    You got hot just from the screen shot? Wow. I am good.



    (I'll have to do something about that logo down the line. It does look pretty pink in the .jpg.)

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