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C:CTP Designers Chat; April 8th, 1999

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  • C:CTP Designers Chat; April 8th, 1999

    Note on the nicknames: In orange are the nicks of the members of the CTP team present, Joe Rumsey (mrogre) and John Heinecke (LTJohn). In black are the operators, Daniel Quick (DanQ), Markos Giannopoulos (MarkG), and Derek Lande (akula), and the rest of the people who asked questions on the unmoderated part of the chat.

    [kelvar] Hi everyone, we're ready to start. Before we started I will remind you that we're this chatroom has been brought about thanks to Apolyton
    [lumpkin] is it moderated yet?
    [lumpkin] who do we ask questions to?
    [akula] hey all
    [LTJohn] MrOgre and I are the Activision reps. You can ask us directly.
    [kelvar] Seeing as we're a quite small group discussions will not be moderated but I would ask you all not to flood in with questions at the start
    [Stevejuke] whats up
    [Stevejuke] I bet you guys didn't like the review cnet gave you
    [LTJohn] No, it wasn't what we were hoping for.
    [Tuma] one simple question at the beginning... Is there hotseat gametype in the CTP?

    [Dendroid] Hi...I was in the middle of a game When will the first patch be released and are you still deciding what it (the patch) will be addressing?
    [LTJohn] Hotseat first. It's going to be added in later. Maybe MrOgre can give details.
    [Stevejuke] but that other review from GOOM was good, which one is right?
    [lumpkin] A long time ago I sent an email to the CtP team suggesting they rename Virtual Democracy to Entity. The Entity would be a huge semi-conscious super-computer which would be attempt to be reflection of the combined consciousness of the whole nation. I never recieved a replay but several months later I found out about the "AI Entity" wonder, it seems likely it was partly inspired by my email, am I right?
    [B][kelvar]GOOM of course
    [mrogre] Hotseat will be in for a patch, along with PBEM, which is pretty much the same thing (from my point of view anyway).
    [Stevejuke] hehe
    [LTJohn] Dendroid asked about the patch.
    [Stevejuke] how do you think CTP will fair with PCgamer?
    [LTJohn] We've evaluated the feedback and we are starting work on a patch that addresses the most common complaints and the crash bugs.
    [mrogre] There are all sorts of things being considered for the patch, many of them the things all of you have been asking for on the forums (please keep suggesting stuff, we love it), and some things some of us wanted but weren't able to get in in time.
    [LTJohn] We can't give a timeline just yet for the patch because we have to finish the production timeline. We'll announce the plan soon.
    [Dendroid] Any details on the most common complaints? Are there some common complaints that won't be changed?
    [kelvar] I liked the High Council, why did you decide to remove it?
    [Dendroid] I'm guessing most of them are interface issues (such as autocentering) and the modern vs. ancient discrepancies
    [LTJohn] Most of the common complaints can be addressed. A lot of people have asked for replay- that is something that won't be changed.
    [mrogre] I can tell you I've already started tweaking the auto-center functionality. It will be improved.
    [LTJohn] Autosave is something else that will be incorporated.
    [Tuma] I'm specially interested in linux version of CTP. It's going to be totally compatible with windows-version? (multiplayer)
    [lumpkin] i want to find out whether my email helped make AI Entity!
    [mrogre] Better keyboard support (mainly being able to get out of any screen with the keyboard, but whatever else makes sense too)
    [Dendroid] Will you be changing the hit points and firepower values for the more modern units?
    [LTJohn] lumpkin: the AI Entity was designed as a wonder long ago. It's a pretty common idea- have you seen The Matrix yet?
    [mrogre] Linux/Windows compatibility is a possibility, we are going to try hard to make it happen.
    [Tuma] that's nice
    [lumpkin] never heard of it, guess i must of subconsciosly remembered it for somewhere, that dissapointing :/
    [Dendroid] Yes I saw the Matrix...I thought it was excellent
    [LTJohn] lumpkin- its a pretty cool movie about a future society run by an AI Entity that just came out.
    [mrogre] I wouldn't be surprised if some unit stats got tweaked, but I can't comment on any specifics (because I don't know, not because I'm unwilling
    [lumpkin] ill have to watch it
    [LTJohn] unit stats won't be modified in the first patch though
    [mrogre] right
    [kelvar] Is it true that the easiest way to invade is by sea?
    [Stevejuke] how do you think CTP will do when it gets reviewd by pcgamer?
    [lumpkin] when can we expect a scenario design patch to be out?
    [LTJohn] Well we paid PC Gamer some good money for a good review...just kidding. I honestly don't know.
    [LTJohn] MrOgre want to handle the scenario design question?
    [Stevejuke] Gee sending money to PCgamer might not be a bad idea pretty hard to beat 98
    [LTJohn] Yes it will be hard to top a 98. The Sid factor seems to add 5 points to your review score...
    [mrogre] Well, we don't have any dates set for patches yet, but we are still taking suggestions for things scenario designers want. I can tell you the SLIC documentation I promised last time should be available as soon as this evening.
    [kelvar] Everyone appeared to like the beta was it just that CNET rose their expectations too high?
    [Stevejuke] but I still think CTP is better..more colorful
    [lumpkin] I can post suggestion on the CtP forums yes?
    [mrogre] lumpkin: yes, that's a very good place for it. The Creation section in particular.
    [LTJohn] Yes, you can post suggestions to the Apolyton site (civilization.gamestats. com/ctp) forums or email civilization@activision.com
    [lumpkin] thanks, im looking forward to remaking my civ2 scenario
    [mrogre] (Note on "this evening": Pacific Daylight Time
    [LTJohn] Actually, sceanario suggestions should be emailed to ctpbuilder@activision. com
    [lumpkin] i meant one of my own scenarios not Microproses
    [LTJohn] Kevlar asked about Cnet- I'm not sure why the reviewer was so critical. He had factual inconsistencies and didn't support his bug claims. He gave us a lower score than Civ MGE. Personal tastes, I guess.
    [kelvar] He seemed to be out against Activision
    [LTJohn] I predict that our reviews are going to be all over the place. Some will love it, some will love it a little less.
    [Stevejuke] I know I read the review and he has something against Activivion
    [LTJohn] Any other questions?
    [Dendroid] Will you stop the science screen from popping up when a player is being attacked?
    [lumpkin] why are the wonders so incredibly powerful, isnt it a little unbalancing?
    [Tuma] well, I must think.
    [LTJohn] Dendroid, yes, that is one of the priorities for the first patch.
    [mrogre] Dendroid: We will stop the animations from playing when the science screen comes up, so after you close it you'll see everything that happened, instead of it happening underneath.
    [Dendroid] that's good news
    [LTJohn] lumpkin- neither of us is a designer, so we can't go into the reasons for the Wonder effects.
    [lumpkin] aha
    [SprudL] will there be auto-centering on attacks and stuff in the patch?
    [kelvar] Going back to my previous question about why did you remove the High Council...
    [mrogre] SprudL: yes. There is to some extent already, but as a few people have commented, it doesn't work very well sometimes.
    [LTJohn] I think some of the problem with the attack centering is that one on one combat isn't displayed in the pop-up window.
    [SprudL] I noticed it happens sometimes, but most of the times it doesn't work ... it's annoying if you don't know what's happening
    [LTJohn] We are going to make one on one combat zoom an option, so it will help players see all combat that pertains to their units.
    [SprudL] ic
    [Tuma] about AI, How much has diplomacy developed from civ2?
    [kelvar] Why are the Civs more aggressive?
    [Tuma] with AI players (and of course with humans....)
    [mrogre] The AI is less scripted than (I think) it was in Civ2. Beyond that, I'm not a very good person to answer AI questions
    [LTJohn] neither am I
    [LTJohn] Other questions?
    [Tuma] also, better or worse... (my english, oh no).,,,
    [kelvar] I don't suppose you know about shipping dates?
    [mrogre] I think all of you who have played the game can answer "better or worse" about the AI better than I can.
    [LTJohn] Kevlar- ship dates depend on the country
    [LTJohn] Which country are you wondering about?
    [kelvar] I'm in the UK but I pre-ordered it
    [LTJohn] It is out in the UK.
    [LTJohn] Who did you preorder it from?
    [akula] I got it in Ireland on the first of April
    [akula] for a british chain of stores
    [manuska] how about in Finland?
    [akula] One question, who came up with the name Isabella Greggon for the Irish leader (I'm Irish by the way)
    [Dendroid] How do you know how long it will take a particular tile improvement to finish? I read most of the manual, did I miss it?
    [LTJohn] Manuska- I know that it's out in Germany and Sweden and Norway. I don't know about Finland. Sorry.
    [kelvar] CyAlchemy - Game Haven
    [LTJohn] Akula- one of the designers selected the leader names.
    [LTJohn] I'm not sure what their criteria was.
    [SprudL] what about globesat? not much happening when I launch it... is it a bug?
    [akula] I have a cousin who has a doctorate in irish history and he has never heard of isabella greggon
    [LTJohn] akula- i'm not sure about this, but from what I understand, she was a scholar and literary figure in Dublin circa 1900. I might be wrong though.
    [mrogre] dendroid: I think it appears in the little stats box when you're placing the improvement. If not, I will take that as a suggestion.
    [kelvar] Maybe she thought for Irish independence?
    [kelvar] fought
    [LTJohn] sprudl: yes globesat is due for an overhaul.
    [LTJohn] It will be addressed in the first patch.
    [akula] I'll look further into it but would it be possible to change it in a patch
    [manuska] how will the game work with my P120 (any idea)?
    [akula] who decided on the names?
    [LTJohn] manuska- not well unless you have lotsa RAM.
    [LTJohn] akula- I'm not sure. It was one of our designers.
    [manuska] I have 64MB
    [manuska] enough?
    [akula] thanks
    [Dendroid] I think the game will run very slow when you reach the middle-end game manuska
    [kelvar] I have a P300 will the game not go slowly?
    [LTJohn] We recommend at least a P133. I would caution against getting it, even with 64MB of RAM.
    [akula] One suggestion - in the final version of the map editor will there be a way to import civ II map files
    [Dendroid] I have a P450 and the City screen takes a few seconds to pop up when I have a lot of cities
    [akula] And will it be possible to change the sizes of maps so that we can copy our civII ones square for square
    [manuska] maybe so.....this is why I'd like you to make a demo...
    [LTJohn] We will be making a demo...after the first patch.
    [manuska] cool
    [Dendroid] I mean the City Status Tab
    [kelvar] Can I put PW at 0% so I can advance in Science, I never usually build PW?
    [LTJohn] I don't think that civ2 maps will be compatible with our maps. Different engine all together. Confirm MrOgre?
    [mrogre] There will not be a way to import civ2 maps, sorry. We don't have Civ2 code. Custom map sizes will probably be supported at some point, but don't hold me to that yet.
    [akula] I managed to copy one of my civII maps square for square
    [LTJohn] kevlar- yes
    [LTJohn] akula- by hand?
    [akula] except there was more ocean because there was no map size the same
    [kelvar] Would that be wise?
    [akula] I took screenshots of the civ II map
    [akula] and now have the whole thing done in call to power
    [akula] a map of Ireland
    [manuska] must have been a great map.....
    [akula] with lots of ocean and eight civs
    [LTJohn] kevlar- PW comes from your production pool. Setting it to zero will just improve the rate at which you build.
    [mrogre] PW and science are separate, PW comes from production, Science comes from trade. Setting one to 0 doesn't directly affect the other.
    [LTJohn] It doesn't affect science growth.
    [akula] except you can only be the french as they are the blue civ
    [kelvar] Oh
    [Dendroid] You don't build PW? Not even terraforming?
    [akula] will you be packaging maps with the final map editor?
    [akula] I'll have it up on apolyton shortly
    [manuska] how many nations there are?
    [LTJohn] Akula- yes. The world map is coming out soon. There are some other maps that our designers and QA have created that we will be releasing as well.
    [akula] I completely redid the terrain as well
    [mrogre] Yes, we will have some maps available, including the much requested world map.
    [akula] will there be a way to select what civ you are
    [akula] or is it allways the blue player
    [akula] thats the drawback of my map
    [kelvar] Could you do a UK map? I'm no good at making maps
    [akula] I enver did one before
    [akula] but I could copy a civII one no problem
    [akula] if I got the authors permission
    [mrogre] We're talking about how to let you pick a specific civ with a specific starting point for each civ. Not in the first patch, but it should happen.
    [akula] if I made uk and Ireland ones do you want to package them with the map editor?
    [akula] or will I just put them up on apolyton straight away
    [LTJohn] Akula- possibly. If you want, we can post them to our site for download.
    [akula] will hopefully be back soon
    [akula] well they aint that great unless you can pick which civ
    [akula] I'm going to contact some authors of good civII maps and see if I can convert them
    [LTJohn] you may want to wait until we've got all the functionality in the editor.
    [akula] the only problem is the different map sizes
    [akula] I'll probably wait
    [LTJohn] We've got to go soon.
    [LTJohn] We can field two or three more questions.
    [manuska] how many civs there are?
    [kelvar] What will you do if you get another bad review?
    [mrogre] There are 41 civs plus the Barbarians.
    [manuska] neat.
    [LTJohn] Manuska- Single player you can play against up to 8 civs.
    [LTJohn] Kevlar- ritual suicide.
    [mrogre] I've got the nikes, where's the comet?
    [SprudL] about stacked units: I like it, but the red frame when selecting units from the stack is not very clear... couldn't you use another color for better contrast with the black background in the icons?
    [LTJohn] I'll get the kool-aid
    [LTJohn] sprudl- first I've heard of this complaint. We'll take a look at it.
    [kelvar] Is there still the customisation of Civs?
    [mrogre] kevlar: not inside the game, no. Except for your leader name, it's all what's in the text files (that's a hint).
    [LTJohn] kevlar- yes, you can add your own civs or replace the ones in the game by modifying text files.
    [kelvar] But it won't be as easy as it was in Civ2?
    [LTJohn] Some people have already created new civ lists.
    [kelvar] I'm no good at editing files
    [kelvar] Will you be able to customise units?
    [LTJohn] you can check the Apolyton site. People on the forums will email you new civ files.
    [LTJohn] Right now you can modify existing units by changing their stats in the text files.
    [LTJohn] We currently don't have a graphics sprite editor, but we're hoping to release something that will allow you to add your own art into the game soon.
    [LTJohn] Caveat: backup your text files before you go tweaking...
    [manuska] will it take effect in game if you edit unit's stats, so can you "cheat" that way?
    [LTJohn] MrOgre want to answer this one?
    [mrogre] If you edit stats and then reload your game, yes, it will take effect then. If you edit anything and try to play multiplayer, though, you won't be able to (unless the other players have the exact same changes)
    [manuska] ok
    [SprudL] will there be an autosave in thze patch? Losing 20 turns because windows crashes is annoying
    [LTJohn] sprudl: yes
    [mrogre] Yes, there will be an autosave.
    [LTJohn] Last question
    [SprudL] great
    [Dendroid] Will the autosave save before the end of turn instead of at the beginning... Sometimes I want to autosave because I forgot to do something
    [mrogre] That's an interesting question, but I'm not sure what difference it makes, can you elaborate?
    [mrogre] (That is, if it saves as you end the turn, you wouldn't be able to do very much before the beginning of your next turn)
    [Dendroid] Like switching a research to something else because I got rid of the screen when I was being attacked
    [Dendroid] And I forgot to change what I wanted to be researched
    [kelvar] Well, thanks guys
    [mrogre] Ah, I see. That's a good point, I'll think about how to cover all cases like that.
    [Dendroid] Or I forgot to start building a different unit because when youre building a military unit it doesn't empty
    [mrogre] thanks for having us
    [LTJohn] Thanks everybody
    [Dendroid] Thanks
    [kelvar] Bye
    [LTJohn] Aloha
    [manuska] bye
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