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SMACX AI Growth mod

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  • SMACX AI Growth mod

    SMACX AI Growth mod
    Copyright 2018 by Brandon Van Every
    Version 1.15, July 30, 2018

    The design of this mod, and all the playtesting needed to improve it, have taken 3 PERSON MONTHS of full time work to produce. In some other universe where I made money, this could have been a quarter of a year's salary. Some people release complete, if trivial, commercial games in that kind of timeframe. Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is a decidedly non-trivial game, one whose complexities have kept me occupied for nearly 20 years. So it takes much longer to mod it, in any substantive way. I am at times amazed, when various game developers do "game jams" and claim to produce quality in a short amount of time. It has never happened with any mod I've worked on. Perhaps changing the rules of wargames, simply invites time to disappear.

    This mod aspires to professionalism, to be substantially better than the original game. I hope people will try and enjoy it, as that validates the effort spent. Please let me know if you find any bugs or omissions.


    - Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri with Alien Crossfire expansion is required.
    - This mod is for the OFFICIAL game. Unofficial patches that change the alphax.txt file, like the Yitzi 3.5d patch, will not work!
    - I suggest installing the OFFICIAL game in a custom directory using custom installation options, and then this mod.
    - You can have many installations of SMAC on your computer. They're small and won't interfere with each other.
    - This mod contains alphax.txt, the 14 faction *.txt files, and this readme_mod.txt
    - Drop the files on top of your SMAC installation, overwriting the existing files.


    - I've tried to make the AI play better. That's really important.
    - The AI uses Foil Probe Teams now. Watch your sea bases!
    - Factions are better rounded, and most don't have penalties. This helps the AI.
    - Aliens are no longer overpowered. They are no better than normal factions.
    - The world generator is tweaked to give the AI factions more land to grow in.
    - Enormous 80x160 and Giant 128x256 maps are defined.
    - Choosing 30%..50% land mass yields substantial continents, but still plenty of ocean for the Pirates.
    - I test gameplay on an Enormous map with 30%..50% land mass. That's my benchmark for "correct experience".
    - Techs, facilities, units, and abilities are completely reordered, for what I consider to be good pacing.
    - Secret Projects come later in the game and cost at least 300 minerals.
    - Overpowered Secret Projects come MUCH later.
    - Social Engineering choices are gradualist and incremental, to facilitate mixing and matching.
    - Future Society choices become available in late midgame and are not overpowered.
    - Completing the entire tech tree is required to Transcend.
    - Facilities, abilities, and units are assigned to Explore, Discover, Build, or Conquer according to what they actually do.
    - "Explore" really means "colonization and growth" to the AI. It doesn't mean exploring.
    - Planet Busters can hit anywhere on Planet.
    - Armor has been strengthened to match weapons at the same tech level.


    [etc. Go to the homepage of my mod to download it, or read more about it. I'm happy to answer any questions here as well.]
    Last edited by bvanevery; November 7, 2018, 14:36.

  • #2
    I've released versions 1.16, 1.17, and 1.18 since I posted that. Sorry I tend to forget this forum! There have been some desirable changes, although my rate of change is definitely slowing down. It's almost to maintenance mode now.


    • #3
      I've released 1.19. Fairly substantial change, wasn't a mere maintenance release. A playtester came along and precipitated all sorts of glorious adjustments. :-)


      • #4

        I have released version 1.20. University gets free Biology Labs. Believers, Hive, and University add Explore research focus, which helps early game expansion. Cybernetic Consciousness adds Conquer focus. Gaians go Explore only because their mindworms are tough now. Spartans go Conquer only. Free Drones, Peacekeepers, and Pirates become Passive, as they are better off building larger cities than fighting wars.


        • #5
          I have released version 1.21. The mysterious Global Energy Theory and Inertial Damping techs, which shipped with the original game but weren't used, are enabled! Neural Grafting, Cruisers, Hovertanks, Genejack Factories, Clean Reactors, and Genetic Warfare come earlier in the tech tree. Made Fungi Rover Former, Cruiser Colony Pod and Submarine Probe Team predefined units to help the AI.


          • #6
            I have released version 1.22. Believers get +1 GROWTH and +1 ECONOMY. No other changes.


            • #7
              I have released version 1.23. Resonance Lasers are now attack strength 3 and come before Particle Impactors. Weapon and armor progression is smoothed out over the tech tree. Heavy Artillery is available with C1 Applied Physics. Drones are Erratic again, they were too peaceful.


              • #8
                I have released version 1.24. Information Networks, Industrial Base, Progenitor Psych, Command Centers, and Nerve Gas Pods become Tier 1 techs again. Amphibious Pods and Marine Detachments are moved earlier to Tier 2. The various Plasma armors now have their own individual Tier 3 techs. The Neural Amplifier and the Command Nexus are moved earlier to Tier 3. R-Lasers are now attack strength 2. Plain Lasers are now attack strength 3. Both are Tier 3 techs, resulting in a longer buildup before offensive operations begin.


                • #9
                  I have released version 1.25. AI starts using armored speeder probe teams. Heavy Artillery available at tech Tier 1. Perimeter Defense available at Tier 2. Cloaking Device available at Tier 3. Probe team base morale doesn't go up just for researching techs. Comm Jammers etc. for Combat units only. Battle Ogre armaments toned down.