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  • Looking for ideas...

    I debated where to put this post and somehow decided to do it here even though the general or creation forum could be more appropriate. Anyway here goes...

    I recently created an executable that will randomize the basic traits of the AI rulers (ie the agression, expansion and civilized values in rules.txt). The result of running the program before starting a new game is to create 'unknown' leaders to play against. Instead of automatically knowing that the Mongols are "aggressive, militaristic expansionist" or the Babylonians will be "rational, civilized perfectionists" as soon as you meet them because of past experience, you will have to establish an embassy with them to determine there preferences. It is somewhat of a slight change but from what I recall from my civ 1 days, which had this feature built into it, it does change the game enough to be an interesting twist after playing your 1,000,000th game.

    Anyway, while creating my program, I started thinking that it might be fun to randomize other features of the game that are customizable. I am looking for ideas of what you think might make an interesting change. So far, the only thing I can think of involves changing the pre-reqs to advances. In some ways this would make research a bit more realistic in SOME ways.

    "How so?", you ask. Well in the sense that when advances were initially studied, no one knew where it would lead. For example, do you think that Hammurabi developed his code of laws just to get to monarchy? I doubt it. Right now there are a ton of people that can list for you the exact order of techs they research every game because they want to get to a certain tech/unit/wonder/etc. What if you didn't know which techs you would be opened up to you by researching mathematics?

    I think it would make a very interesting twist to the game. My preliminary analysis leads to the conclusion that this could easily result in a extrememly unbalanced game.

    Below are some of the problems I foresee. If you could take the time to look over some of the issues below and offer advise/feedback on ways to implement this I would be grateful. Also, if you have ideas of other aspects that might be randomized that could create a different environment, let me know and I'll see what we can come up with.

    Problems with randomizing pre-reqs:
    1. Getting to an advanced tech far too early creating a massive imbalance.
    pros: makes tech research truly random, possibly leading to a very interesting fantasy type game
    cons: one civ gets bombers while everyone else has only warriors and game is over before it begins, etc.
    possible solution: only randomize within an epoch

    2. Wonders expire before being discovered.
    pros: none
    cons bvious
    possible solutions: only randomize w/in an epoch, change requirements/expiration techs

    3. Discovery of certain buildings before the pre-req building (ie, banks before marketplace)
    pros: none
    cons: obvious
    possible solutions: only randomize within an epoch, change requirements for building improvements (leads to other complicatons)

    4. Even less effective AI? - could confuse an already underachieving computer leader
    pros: none (unless you want an easier challenge)
    cons: less intense games, loss of challange to defeat the game

    5. Other/hidden problems - could affect hidden code/other game aspects in a negative manner.

    That's about all I can think of for now. I think that this COULD lead to a revolutionary new way to play the game. At the very least, it could make for a interesting new type of scenario to play once or twice. The more input I can get and more thought we put into this, the better the results will be. Thanks in advance for you insight, information and opionions. Wish me luck!

    Albert B

  • #2
    How about randomly chosing a couple of units to become obsolete with say, alphabet, so that they can effectively not be built. Could be some major strategy changes without caravans or diplomats there in the early game , or rushing to steam engine only to find ironclads aren't in the build options.

    Best leave the settlers in there unless you want a long slow game though.

    "One day your life is going to flash before your eyes, make sure it is worth watching."
    "One day your life is going to flash before your eyes, make sure it is worth watching."


    • #3
      Another problem with randomizing prereqs is the possibility of creating a loop: for example B requires A and A requires B, but more complicated loops involving more advances are also possible and probably even very likely if you randomize prereqs.


      • #4
        IIRC in SMAC you have an option to play either on the basis that you choose which advance to research (a la Civ 2) or on the basis that you are blind as to which advance will be achieved as each period of research reaches its conclusion.

        That might give you something like what you want without so many complications.

        As for your notion as it stands, it is only the first of your problem cases which strikes me as needing to be dealt with and your proposed solution might well work OK.