Enjoy the new WePlayCiv theme!

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Ritchiejames

Let's Play Alpha Centauri?

112 posts in this topic

I agree a lower resolution would be preferable.

 

Also another faction besides the loathesome Morganites. :D

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what screen resolution are you using, chuft?

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what screen resolution are you using, chuft?

 

1680 by 1050. However MPC played it at a lot lower resolution than that, although I can see the media file was recorded at 1920 by 1080. It also played it at the wrong aspect ratio (4:3) and I had to override it to get the proper 16:9 ratio so things were not tall and skinny.

 

I don't believe YouTube is going to play a file at that resolution anyway so why not just go with the 1024 by 768 or whatever it is. All that black space is just a waste anyway.

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bdanv, I get a slight reduction in image quality when using VLC Media Player, but nothing along the lines of "quite blurry". Windows Media Player shows a surprisingly clear image and I have no "motion" blur at all (unlike other compression formats). See WMP1.png in the attached zip (a screenshot of the movie playing in Windows Media Player).

 

Imagine A Cool Name, I'm not quite sure what you are asking, but in order to video capture the SMACX graphics, I have to match the game resolution to my desktop resolution. This is rather unfortunate due to larger video file sizes, scaling problems on smaller resolutions causing the text to become unreadable, and the significantly smaller interface.

 

I haven't been playing SMACX recently, and this is the first time I'm running the game in this resolution. I definitely want to explore alternative resolution solutions, because the game was not meant to be played like this.

 

In general, though, 1080i resolution does not strain my eyes at all.

 

---

 

Thanks for the feedback. It is very useful :b:

WMP1.zip

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i guess it's just a resizing problem as stated by 'Cool and chuft

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Can you change your display settings? I am using Vista and it is a fairly simple task to do for me.

 

Right click the desk top > click personalize > click display settings > change resolution > click apply.

 

Not sure how it would work for other OS. but I would imagine that all this is doable from the Control Panel as well.

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Can you change your display settings? I am using Vista and it is a fairly simple task to do for me. [...]

 

Yes, and it's fairly simple. However, CamStudio has not yet accepted any lower resolution for recordings--instead it crops the videos and only records half the screen.

 

I think SMAC/X was designed for 1024x768 (4:3) resolutions (and 800x600 for minimum settings). So, that's what I'm trying to get working properly :)

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ok, wish you luck in getting it to work. I only know basics about computers. getting individual programs to function in different ways is beyond me.

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Heh, I think I got the stuff sorted, although there is no ideal solution; either the graphics become blurry or far too small for any prolonged viewing session. The choice is probably between 720i and 1024x768.

 

The tests here surprisingly indicate no codec issues, so I assume the x264vfw compression/encoding does the job.

 

Any commentary issues aside (hopefully, I can get to that soon), what would we want in a "let's play"?

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I would suppose a step by step of the opening part of the game. Exploring, expanding, and a brief explanation as to why you are building colonies in certain places. Maybe a little bit on terraforming say u choose a to forest a tile instead of farming, solar or mining it or vice versa. After that maybe a brief explanation on diplomacy and war and how social engineering choices effect diplomacy with different factions. Also a demonstration of the unit workshop when designing new units when new weapon/armor techs become available.

 

These steps (not necessarily in the order I listed) would probably give a pretty good idea of game play.

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...You've got quite a good grasp of the basics to have come up with that excellent list, Cool...

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I might be new to the forum, but i have played this game for many years, it is also quite similar to civ 2, and similar though less than civ 2 to civ 3. and both those civ games I have played for years as well.

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My advice would be to take it slow, don't introduce everything at once and make it flow from one part to the next. Write some notes or a script to follow for the commentary.

 

Editing the video is important too, if nothing much interesting is happening or you're doing something you've already done that doesn't need to be shown again, cut it. That way we see more of the game quicker and the whole video is better quality.

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Rubin, I think you really ought to consider YouTube. With a SMAC tag and a link to here, it could draw an awful lot of people - and it's not like it's hard to do.

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I forgot to mention it in the thread, but streaming video is much more likely to be watched than download only material. He really should upload his material to youtube or vimeo in addition to hosting it in a download form here.

 

Embedding the videos here would be a good idea (if they're hosted in streamable form elsewhere).

 

The quality over at youtube has increased dramatically and it no longer mangles videos as it did, so there's really no technical reason not to upload there.

Is what I wrote in another thread. BU and Dale also expressed their support of youtube in that thread (you can click the little arrow next to my name in the quote to see the original post and their following posts).

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Faction choice:

 

I tried Morgan (my favorite), but found that I used "forest & forget" with crawlers and rush buying everything. During warfare I bribed my way through the enemy military, and once I found the University, I went probe nuts and stole everything. For a "let's play" that seems boring.

 

I considered the University, but then maybe Peacekeepers would be much better. A "let's play" should have some kind of momentum and flexibility, and Lal has just that. Maybe my playing style is off, dunno.

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Faction choice:

 

I tried Morgan (my favorite), but found that I used "forest & forget" with crawlers and rush buying everything. During warfare I bribed my way through the enemy military, and once I found the University, I went probe nuts and stole everything. For a "let's play" that seems boring.

 

I considered the University, but then maybe Peacekeepers would be much better. A "let's play" should have some kind of momentum and flexibility, and Lal has just that. Maybe my playing style is off, dunno.

 

If you've already recorded one game, maybe you could use it in a "collage" kind of video to show the different possibilities/strategies. Just a short vid to draw people in? Or am I off the track?

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I think so, Rymdolov.

 

I think the intention here is to record a particular kind of video, google "Let's Play" and have a look at the videos you find.

 

They're basically someone playing a game with a voiceover explaining exactly what they're doing and why.

 

I think something like this should be included in the series; a short montage of different game styles and some explanation of the different strategies available.

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If you've already recorded one game, maybe you could use it in a "collage" kind of video to show the different possibilities/strategies. Just a short vid to draw people in? Or am I off the track?

 

I believe there are too many ways to "play the game", but maybe I could put together a montage of different games from players here; as a kind of bonus video with guest commentaries. Although not a high priority, it could be fun to do.

 

In my current test games, I've encountered several issues that don't fit well with a "let's play". As already mentioned, the "forest and forget" strategy. To this, I've tried different technology paths where I avoid getting Tree Farms; which seemingly suggests an ICS strategy--something I definitely want to avoid. My next option was semi-momentum play, where I conquer my neighbors; resulting in rather short games...

 

So, I'm still trying to find a fun style that shows different aspects of the game; as well as trying to re-learn the game because it's been so long since I played (an example of what I forget).

 

I'm back to playing Morgan and find that I need Impact weapons pretty early in order to hold off aggressors like Yang, Miriam, and Santiago. Without decent weaponry, I cannot do the usual bribing of units (unless I happen seeing a stray lone trooper), because military usually comes in stacks, so I need to kill some before I can bribe and reverse engineer the designs.

 

I also find that I need be cafeful with diplomacy in order to keep factions in the game. The ideal would be a surrendering neighbor, but it's not easy to predict when the option arises.

 

My current game notes say:

 

  • SMACX
  • Standard random map
  • Weak erosion
  • Abundant native life
  • Transcend difficulty*
  • The Original Seven factions
  • Playing as Morgan
  • No ICS
  • Delay Tree Farms
  • Focus on scouting
  • Do not gobble up neighbors
  • Get early offensive weaponry
  • ***cannot disclose***
  • ***cannot disclose***

 

I also have to be careful of "single player attention failure"--something that any multiplayer would probably only do once or twice (especially in PBEMs), because you don't want to spend the rest of the week pulling out your hair in frustration.

 

If you play a Morgan game, try wondering if your play would be interesting for others to watch, and post your observations here.

 

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*I have strong reasons for this, and hope to explain in the video why Transcend is the only option. There has been some posts on the differences between the difficulty settings, but I haven't had time to find those posts yet. Please link the posts here, if you find them before I do.

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I know that Librarian puts you on an equal footing with the AI, bonus wise.

 

Everything below that gives you a bonus, everything above reduces your bonus.

 

Very low tech levels also disable prototyping.

 

Not sure that's what you're looking for.

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I think something like this. But haven't had time to read the thread yet...

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An update of sorts:

 

The audio card I bought specifically for this "let's play" is acting up, and I just got an appointment with the computer repair shop early next week. Hopefully, this fixes my audio woes and I can produce the first test commentary.

 

On the difficulty setting, Chaos Theory wrote:

Cost to change a single SE setting = 8 * difficulty

Citizens in a city before the first drone = 6 - difficulty

Bureaucracy limit (read other posts on this) = k * (8 - difficulty), where k depends on the map size and your efficiency

This should mean that on Transcend difficulty you'll get your first drone at base size 2. While this, of course, strains your economy, it also puts more play into base management and Social Engineering settings. This purely affects the human player. On the other hand, we get the "cheating AI" at higher difficulty levels which actually annoys me, but it's an unfortunate requirement due to how the AI plays.

 

Once you know how to play with Supply Crawlers and have learned the tricks of the technology tree, Transcend difficulty becomes very easy for managing your "empire". Stepping down a difficulty level or two would suddenly feel like cheating, and the game enters a prolonged tedium of self imposed restrictions and push-over AIs. It's very hard to un-learn the game mechanics!

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You didn't cover this in your test videos (though that is of course no guarantee that you won't later), but I noted that you'd changed the default preferences. This should definitely be mentioned in the videos.

 

The default preferences will make the game automatically end your turn when you move your last unit and will also not allow you to confirm odds before attacking (though I suppose that is good training for multiplayer games).

 

Totally off topic, who is the character in your avatar? I think I recognize him.

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You didn't cover this in your test videos (though that is of course no guarantee that you won't later), but I noted that you'd changed the default preferences. This should definitely be mentioned in the videos.

 

The default preferences will make the game automatically end your turn when you move your last unit and will also not allow you to confirm odds before attacking (though I suppose that is good training for multiplayer games).

 

Totally off topic, who is the character in your avatar? I think I recognize him.

 

Heh, I only did a single test video, and that was mainly a technical test. Your observations are appreciated, though; and I've given it quite a deal of thought.

 

My flawed audio settings do not allow for live commentaries. This is particularly unfortunate for preference settings and the general game setup, because I got no idea how much there is to say about the menus and settings... unless I comment using a script (and I won't do that). The alternative is to record with the in-game sounds off and do a live commentary.

 

For anyone unfamiliar with the game, all the different settings make little sense, so perhaps a "preference segment" fits an early bonus video--shortly after most of the basics have been introduced.

 

Although I refuse to play without the "wait at end of turn", I can probably turn off most pop-ups. But during my return to playing the game, I found them very useful. The combat odds might be helpful for viewers.

 

I think I disabled all the automation options, and I probably won't be going into how they work. This applies to base governors too.

 

If pop-ups disrupt the game flow, I should turn then off. So, please let me know if you have any specific preferences for this project.

 

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I recently updated my avatar. Perhaps you recognize it as an updated version of my old avatar? (You can see the old image in some of the linked posts in this thread.)

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How about "stereo mix" setting?

 

In WinXP: in control panel there is option

 

Sounds and audio devices -> Audio (tab) -> Sound recording, button: Volume.

 

This opens "Recording control"

 

I think having unchecked both mic and stereo mix mute checkboxes can make it possible to record in camstudio both game sound and microphone.

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