Buster's Uncle

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Everything posted by Buster's Uncle

  1. http://alphacentauri2.info/official/ The buttons lighting up blue and other features of the original site have been reinstated. All known problems fixed, all 400 tech mini-pages present, accounted for, and crosslinks working. Seven contemporary working SMACX sites, including this one, added to the Links page. -It was a great loss to SMACX fans when this site went away in late 2011 - a loss now rectified. This is a real pleasure for those of us who used to browse the site in the Old days...
  2. http://www.weplayciv.com/forums/showthread.php?t=367 ...Prince vyeh suggested that I specifically make the same offer here for the SMACers. So let it be written; so let it be done. If interested, check at least the first post in the link above- the time limit doesn't apply for anything SMAC, though don't expect that kind of prompt royal compliance while I'm busy running around other forums... It would be way cool if more of us had SMAC images as our avis...
  3. Portraits7 Leaderheads are the most time-consuming aspect of a SMACX faction graphic, so in the same spirit as the Bases, Logos and Landscape series (also to be found in this section of AC2 Downloads), here are eight leaderheads, ready to copy/paste as-is into your next custom faction. It is hoped that these graphic goodie files will give beginners at faction modding a leg up. For info on art techniques and to ask any questions, post here. These portraits were a lot of work, but all I ask is that you credit me in the blank space of the .pcx you use one in. Posting to let me know you found it useful would be okay, too. Enjoy. http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=368
  4. Yitzi's Unofficial SMAX patch 3.5d http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=352 This update fixes a bug with the effects of inefficiency on energy production at 100% energy. It requires all files (other than terranx.exe) from version 3.5.
  5. (I don't know when I'll make time in my build queue to continue this, but I thought I ought to post it here- it's the kind of info I sought as a lurker.) If creating/modifying graphics doesn’t interest you I doubt this will. My first purpose here is to give potential graphics guys a leg up, so I have to go into torturous detail to be really helpful, as I don’t know what they do or do not already know how to do. I don’t have a sophisticated graphics set-up at all, and do a lot the hard way in simple, common programs, but that makes it more universal, albeit perhaps often extraneous to someone with PhotoshopUltimateSuper 2020. You have been warned. So, while working on the Vikings (see the Beta Lyrae thread for the file) today, I started a little status report with a name suggestion to send Darsnan, but things went pretty smoothly, and it turned into running notes to send with the graphic instead… It occurred to me that a few months ago while I was a lurker looking for information about various things I wanted to learn to do, I would have loved it if someone had posted about their creation process in really boring detail, naming programs used and tools, and what-not. And I thought that the bulk of the email [with the blow-by-blow I didn’t waste Darsnan’s time on added in brackets] would make a start. So I’m going to try to describe the entire actual creation of a faction graphic- we’re in for a long post(s)... I hope my process will be at least of some interest to any other artists currently active, too- and that they’ll feel free to do the same, and also post here on any miscellaneous graphics issue they want. The next time I do some random graphic myself, this is where I plan to post it. *** [Darsnan had suggested a name, Ulrik Magnussen, that sounded, not Finnish to me, but Norwegian. (Graphics stuff is coming- it’s all connected, anyway.)] A Finnish name site was first hit when I looked. Because the original subject was apparently named Jim, I chose a j name, Jali (yahlee), for no Jim-looking equivalent at hand, its exoticness and that it doesn’t sound as much like a chick’s name as many. Magnus was first in the M’s, so I’d say Jali Magnus was a lock, if you’ve nothing to add. Easy to remember, spell and type, too. [i’d already cranked up the contrast on the bases he’d sent me this morning in Photoshop. They were Network Node’s work, and like a lot of his bases, pretty and well-designed, but to my eye, too pastel-looking to look realistic in the game. Then I selected the lot and pasted them into the copy of the whole Pirates .pcx I’d previously pasted into MS Paint. I use paint for this because it’s not something Photoshop 5 is any good for- Paint lets you move your paste around before you drop it. [Then I opened the blank .pcx with the empty AC graphics boxes that Maniac had posted sometime in the past in Photoshop (all I began using Photoshop for was opening and saving, and did all the work pasting back and forth between Paint and Lexmark Photo Editor, which complement each other nicely used this way- if either did color manipulation I’d have never gone to the trouble to learn how to use Photoshop). I zoomed on the datalink leaderhead box and selected/copied it. I switched to a second copy of Paint in which was waiting the portrait I’d prepared. (A blow-by-blow of that kind of thing is enough for its own post later.) I pasted in the box from blankpcx.pcx, right-clicked the sample tool in the middle to make the .pcx’s background color this copy of Paint’s background color. I then turned off “Draw Opaque” and hit [control z] to undo and make the purple-filled box go away. I then [control w]ed to resize the image- there were several minutes of trail and error before I found 55% to be ideal for getting what I wanted of the figure to fit in the diplomacy box at what I judged was a good size for the game- ideally you want to get the figure somewhere roughly about the size in the frame of the official factions. So now I had the picture in front of me sized like I wanted with the box it had to fit in around it- I selected what was inside the box and [control c]]ed. Now it was time for the scan lines. (I think I’ve now spent more time preparing this essay than I did assembling the faction graphic- I’m going to post this much and continue later. Next up: manual scan-lines with an old edition of Photoshop that lacks an automatic function to do it for me. I’ll probably describe how to do it the really hard way with only Paint and any program that will adjust contrast, too.)
  6. I just stumbled across something CGI we could rob a nice short spaceships-flying bit from. Editing a video together isn't that much of a challenge to learn. But does anyone know, or know who would know, about the SMAC(X) intro movie format and whether it's feasible to generate our own that the game would play for a mod/scenario? ISTR -dimly- past discussion of this. Can anyone refresh my memory?
  7. King vyeh said to try it here, and everyone's happier when we go along with King vyeh, so... I write a little, the next person writes a little. We take turns. We've been doing this in the Stories Thread in OT, and on the third try -when everyone agreed to take it seriously and stop throwing in dreams and drugs, and try to make sense- we've been getting a high adventure pulp yarn that I'm seriously enjoying, both as a writer and a reader... So here goes: *** Sid fumed as he wrestled his recon rover over rocky terrain. 'That stupid Dierdre,' he thought, 'Thinks she's the
  8. * * * Sinder Roze awoke to the beeping on her nightstand. Sitting up in bed, saw it was 5:36a.m. Putting the headset on, she slapped the earpiece to activate. "This better be good." "Pwned, Datajack." Katt's voice began, "You wanted to know immediately - Tinker Junction reports the radiometric telltales. The Gaians have initiated the Ascent To Transcendence." God; this, finally. "Where?" "Seems to triangulate on Gaia's Landing, Datajack. Recon tried a few system probes already, but they'd sewed up the interlocks and the firewalls look tight. They were ready for us." Roze pushed up her visor to rub her eyes, thinking. "Have they tried the reactor control systems? That's going to suck a lot of juice, to power the link with Planet, or at least at the last stage they --- crap; I can't think straight yet." "No vulnerabilities found yet. -It's my regular duty shift tonight if you need to get back to sleep, ma'am, and our people are on the job probing. Watching won't help. I'll ping you again if anything happens." Roze considered, still groggy, "Yeah." She'd only been offline two hours, and tomorrow would need her sharp, organizing the countermeasures and making arrangements with any allies she could get. "Look in Contingencies folder of Protocols and open the Louis Armstrong file and review, okay? Password forthelulz. "But first, Katt, screen Free Drone Central now, make sure Domai knows - and that I'll definitely be talking to him tomorrow. Logout." Roze put the headset down and flopped back onto the bed. 'The Group Mind,' she thought, looking up at nothing. 'All my life has been a war for freedom against groupthink and the human mob, dancing and scatting against something so vast and slow and oh, how it hates the independent mind, punishes style, and now that stupid, stupid Deirdre thinks she can suck us all into an alien plant making a Group Mind. Over my dead body, she will.' Mobs were vicious and stupid, to even call it mob psychology gave it too much credit for any thinking going on. The human herding instinct had been the bane of Roze's existence, social cues a self-contained girl hadn't caught, making it feel like everywhere she ever went there'd been a meeting held that she hadn't been invited to. Social rules and holoshows and fashions and turns of phrase and customs that didn't make sense and no one ever explained. She'd never been interested in any of that; she had her machines and her jazzy, elegant code. But an outsider noticed things insiders didn't - how on every systems analyst gig, every organization was full of people dressing alike, talking alike, telling her the same jokes, thinking alike, if you call that thought; how quickly and completely an outsider could become a pariah after a single quarrel with an incompetent IT worker or sysop. Mindless mobs and humans herding, everywhere. No original thought, no diversity in groupthink; no rhythm nor style, no jazz to it, just an empty white-noise hum. Group minds, bad enough how people graze together in a herd by instinct, not-thinking together in lockstep. Bad enough the natural way people always form group minds. And the Gaians thought it was a good idea to drive the human race extinct making the biggest group mind of all. A single life. One mind; one thought, a dull carrier hum the soundtrack of Hell Forever trapped in the alien Group Mind. 'No, just NO,' she closed her sleepy eyes to get some rest, 'Never. Domai will accompany my trumpet playing, and Deirdre, have I ever got some free blowing that will blow your group mind...' * * * Game of the Month April 2018 Fusion Power is NOW! [Requires Yitzi patch 3.5d] Bringing late game into spotlight. This time, we start two centuries after planetfall in Mission Year 2300. Installation - Unpack the zip file ("extract here" command or similar) to scenario folder, so that GOTM1804 folder is inside "Scenarios" folder. - Start SMAX patched with Yitzi 3.5d, use: Scenario > Play Scenario and navigate to GOTM1804 folder. - Choose the scenario, that you wish to play, there 2 difficulty settings: 1) Easier on Librarian difficulty: gotm18aprLIBRAR_2300.Sc 2) Harder on Transcend difficulty: gotm18aprTRANSC_2300.Sc - After you open in MY 2300, confirm that you are playing with game ruleset, that is designed for this scenario: Open F1 screen and make sure that the first Secret Project on the list, Ascent to Transcendence costs 3000. - Do not change folder name of GOTM1804 to any other, or change the structure of the folders/files inside after you start the scenario, and - Do not remove the folder GOTM1804 from scenarios after you started to play. That would screw up the game. Scenario Objectives Roze wants to prevent Transcendence. She can do it, among other means, by sabotaging the project of Ascending to Planetmind, but in order to do it, she has to gain knowledge on transcendence. Therefore, the objective of this scenario is: A) Research, probe or trade the Transcendent Thought 1 (the first generic technology after all tech tree is discovered) in smallest possible number of turns, and prevent any other faction from Transcendence (Completing Ascent to Transcendence Secret Project). B) Prevent any other faction from other three victory conditions, that are enabled too: Diplomatic, Conquest, Economic. Note: - You do not have to build Voice of Planet or Ascent to Transcendence, just prevent any other faction from this victory. - Blind research is ON. - Native Life is Abundant. - Data Angels just traded Fusion Power from Morganites. - Deirdre won Planetary Governorship in the first elections in 2181, against Santiago. In 2220 the second elections were held, also Deirdre and Santiago were nominated, but this time, Santiago received almost twice as many votes as Deirdre. Santiago is Planetary Governor still in 2300. - Deirdre and Santiago united their factions and are not friendly towards Roze. - Data Angels developed very well for the first several decades after arrival to Chiron, but then, till Mission Year 2300, Rose did not have very good advisers. Now it is your chance! Contest If you wish to enter contest, submit your save with turn, in which you posses Transcendent Thought 1, linked below. [Edit - after player feedback, we ease the requirements for Contest] - It must be your first attempt in the game in order to be counted in standard competition. - Standings for Librarian and Transcendence difficulties will be held separately. You have to choose in which difficulty you want to participate for regular standings. If you play later the other difficulty, it can be only for Consolation Standings. - If you restart the scenario, because for example you lost the first attempt, even if changing difficulty, but still want to submit your game, you can enter consolation standings. - Achieved victory conditions are not objectives of this scenario. If you win by, for example Dimplomacy (get elected Supreme Leader) or conquer whole planet, then you need to play further until you obtain Transcendent Thought 1, and the turn you have it, would be your sav file submission. - Submissions after deadline are ranked in Consolation Standings. Submission Deadline: June 30, 2018. Scenario .zip here: http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=20906.0 BU note: PLAY!. Mart's GOOD, and this will be GOOD. -Note that there's ALSO an easy/librarian version for newbs, oldtimers who feel rusty, and anyone wanting a relaxing game. I offer by-request computer art -especially badge, avatar or other forum-goody- as prize for winners in each category, BTW.
  9. It's never too early to talk about how we might go about getting the word out. The demogame project, frankly, has a lot of potential to get people interested in SMAC(X). I note that a lot of the CIVilians involved in their DG have linked sig line ads for it. So I throw this thread open for discussion of ideas and efforts to let the universe know about this way cool thing we're doing here. Anyone?
  10. http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?topic=21187.0
  11. The Sopranos
  12. Good book (James Tiptree Jr.?)
  13. ...If anyone took initiative to run a contest HERE and leach our bandwidth raising activity HERE - delete the contest stuff with my enthusiastic blessing - we'd still get few people go up a level and look around, and that's where little newbs come from. ...
  14. Nik, I want to supplant the lovely Astrid as your luv slave, and have all your babies. You done a Man's Job, sir - and thanks loads for going the extra mile. -Happy latest-16th-birthday Friday.
  15. UPDATE: Contest If you wish to enter contest, submit your save with turn, in which you posses Transcendent Thought 1, linked below. [Edit - after player feedback, we ease the requirements for Contest] - It must be your first attempt in the game in order to be counted in standard competition. - Standings for Librarian and Transcendence difficulties will be held separately. You have to choose in which difficulty you want to participate for regular standings. If you play later the other difficulty, it can be only for Consolation Standings. - If you restart the scenario, because for example you lost the first attempt, even if changing difficulty, but still want to submit your game, you can enter consolation standings. - Achieved victory conditions are not objectives of this scenario. If you win by, for example Dimplomacy (get elected Supreme Leader) or conquer whole planet, then you need to play further until you obtain Transcendent Thought 1, and the turn you have it, would be your sav file submission. - Submissions after deadline are ranked in Consolation Standings. --- Nikolai, I guess there's no Front page anymore to promote this to, but just well link on Facebook w/ pic as traffic-drawing content. And if you edited the rules update into the OP, I would find it in my heart to forgive you...
  16. Who?
  17. This ain't no slam on anyone; I mean to be helpful, and I'm going to a little trouble to tilt at this windmill yet again. As I just posted on GK's wall, Solver ain't coming back, y'all. If the members want WPC fixed in any of the various ways it needs, the members are going to have to figure out how to do something about it. Solver wouldn't get in your way. He'd be glad. One, person, ONE PERSON willing to energetically attack taking care of tech issues -or nagging someone who can into prompt action- and engage in the natural leadership function (also duty) of a staff position could do a pretty half-butt job of taking care of business and organizing that what needs doing - and punk what I've done at AC2 pretty hard pretty fast pretty easily; there's still more lurkers here and a wider focus and many other advantages to work with. The overall meta-problem here is that the staff's virtually down to Rob part-time and Nik part(er)-time, and Donald in tech emergencies, maybe. None wants to actually tell anyone what to do (which is actually one of the best qualifications of a good mod if he'll see it as duty and do it anyway, because gentle management) and there's been no one in charge here for years. Rob, you could do it, if you'd commit to a half-hour a day of a little bossiness and persuasive organizing and the odd speech to the membership sharing a vison and getting them to do what work the membership can; you're the right personality in the right staff position. Look at it as you'd personally like a little more life in your online home, and it's also your duty. Have any of you ever read The Postman or at least seen the movie? He didn't want to be a leader, to make everyone's problems his own - heavy is, indeed, the head that bears the crown- and is sneaking out of town to shamelessly to dodge the duty forever when he sees an emergency happening across town. The book articulates this far more clearly and explicitly; he doesn't want to, but thinks "if I don't do it, who will?' and walks back to direct the emergency response. Reluctant hero and a good man, the Postman; wise enough to desperately not want a thankless job, excellent enough in a Man's character to do it anyway. Forums simply don't work as democracies, and CFC demonstrates amply the folly of a ruling oligarchy/committee absent an active owner. This place needs a boss taking care of business and leading, else even if you like it this quiet here, inevitable attrition of regulars by random life events is sure to kill it dead dead dead. -The last live one of new members was NZCamel two years ago, and he's at CFC now. Nothing Solver has actually said, but the ownership of WPC could basically be had for the asking from the right person -'Poly, too, and Aeson has explicitly said so in public- and --- I'd hate to see this forum I poured so much -deliberate building work- support into for years finally die - but I ain't gonna do it -I already gotta wife I love- and bringing in an outsider to take over is not optimal, but multipally problematic, and it need to be a WPCer. If Rob's not sold, if Nik's enjoying Astrid too much to commit, I nominate Roth - or somebody raise Kloreep from the dead; good heads on both those shoulders (and they probably ought to have a doctor look at that deformity. ;))
  18. That doesn't dig any deeper, 'cause you're all right, Roth - but the point stands, and I don't much care for people telling me I'm not being ganged up on and then dancing too close to taking the other side. You did better than most not dancing over. Internet people make me tired sometimes.
  19. Ooookay. I went away for 45 minutes or so to think after I saw that. I see I'm under attack for praising someone to the sky. -From two numbskulls who don't know why I left, and why I have zero tolerance for being ganged up on at WPC, a place I will never feel safe posting, since 6 February 2012 to the end of time. No big show, no all-caps, no swearing, just bitterness that this is what I get for trying. Enjoy your dead forum when the coma slips into death soon, and forget this thread.
  20. The link to the YitziPatch 3.5d, BTW - http://alphacentauri2.info/index.php?action=downloads;sa=view;down=352
  21. Totally serious. He's up to posting sounds-like-always. He's not working and potentially bored. Okay, he's got a better excuse than usual to get out of things if he wants while he's browsing lying on his side, but I expect on his better days, he could use the odd long-term project. He's not lazy. Are you serious? Never been around a long illness? Surely you have. The man's living with it. He said so.
  22. BACK to citizen-soldier chipping in for the community -by far the most important part, who has buttons not mattering as long as nut-and-bolts janitor stuff gets done- I call on E_T, a the best citizen volunteer in the entire history of this forum who wasn't a SMACer to speak up about what he did in the glory days of cIV MP with organizing and recruiting. I nominate E_T as the chairman of the Doing What It Takes To Have On-Topic Fun Committee. He knows what to do and has proven it. Listen to E_T if he'll play ball, and follow his suggestions. Screw buncle; he has to deal with the elephants in the room and establish his bona fides as knowing what he's talking about, but talks about himself too much as a result, runs too long, and is not a regular for six years now and never will be again. WPC needs to save itself, and must. Talk about your knowledge of the members having the power in their own hands, E_T, if only they'll take initiative. Take point, and that little bit of leadership your RL circumstances permit... Please.
  23. Breaking personal Vegas blatantly to add that Solver and I are Skype-arguing right now, but he ADMITS that teh Roth is "suitable", great praise from the source while dragging heels...
  24. Maybe. Not sure I believe you. Look, Nik can attest that I know my [poop] and will really hang in there with coaching if you're willing to try at all. That sort of nuts-and-bolts is boring for public discussion -PMs- but do re-read the two paragraphs before I went literally Kirk on you, and do consider it. I'm talking modest effort - it's quiet here, Rob (and whomever else may hammer bots and cleans up) does the Janitor function superbly already, and if there's much call for actual people moderating here, I sure don't know about it, and that's unlikely to change significantly. I'd be after Rob a lot more to step up if I thought he'd be around more and there was any chance he'd commit, and Nik's got that sweet Astrid luv going, and you're the Postman; if you don't, who will? Just pledge to serve this community as First Speaker and play the rest by ear. I'm more than available for private advice, and will stop embarrassing you publically if you'll make that small commitment. Otherwise, nominate someone else better, because SOMEone must do it.