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Making Cradle 3+ fully compatible with the Apolyton Edition

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  • Is this what you are suggesting, i have gone into Scen000 but i see nothing called Cradle3? Nor in any the lower directories shown in the pic
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    Last edited by Cyberguy; October 11, 2022, 12:16.

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    • Perhaps you don't have the Scenario version. Fortunately it's still available here.

      Here's my scenario folder structure. The folder circled in red contains Cradle:
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      Last edited by Kull; October 11, 2022, 13:16.
      To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

      From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

      Comment


      • Thanks, i've downloaded C3 from the link you posted. I'm not sure that C3 is included in the CTP2 AE edition considering the C3 download is 211mb ( i know it had some other stuff in it, but still) and the patch to make CTP2 the AE edition is only 18mb. Anyway i'll have a go at adding C3 in over the next week and give it a go after i've finished the current game i'm on.

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        • Yeah, sorry for the misleading statement earlier - memory was wonky. It definitely is NOT part of the Apolyton Edition download package.
          To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

          From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

          Comment


          • Espionage Attacks (4): Here's the latest group of Special Attacks, and again I'll spare you the detailed autopsy and will focus on the highlights. First however, let's talk about a common feature of many such attacks - the existence of EliteChance (in both "units.txt" and "const.txt") which is the likelihood that the unit can be promoted to "Elite" status in the event of a successful attack. Many attacks include this and after extensive testing on ALL of them, I can report that not a single unit was EVER promoted. Not one. By contrast, DeathChance and Chance (of success) all work exactly as intended. It's not a serious problem because other than a few instances itemized in "const.txt", there's no difference between the capabilities of "Un-promoted" vs "Elite" civilians anyway.

            EDIT: Just to be clear, the above comment refers to the possibility of civilian units being promoted to "Elite Status" as a result of a "special attack". That does not work. By contrast, military units which have "Veteran Status" and participate in successful combat DO have the possibility of being promoted to "Elite Status". That does work.

            1) Investigate City: An espionage attack (shows internal information on the target city) used by the "spy-types" (Spy, King's Eye, Secret Agent & Cyber Ninja) but also shared with all the Diplomatic units.
            - A successful attack pops up a window showing internal information on the target city (see attachment). Very important to be aware that this information is only available while the window is open. If you close the window without recording the information, it can't be retrieved from anywhere else! As a workaround, I use the "printscreen" button to get a screen capture so I can review the details later.
            - The original sound ("mission accepted") is also the "Acknowledge" voice used by Spy units, which was potentially confusing. At first I shifted it to the "Gossip Whisper", but now it uses the sound of a large gate being opened. As with most of these attacks, the intent is to have unique sounds so you can clearly associate them with ONE activity, not several.
            - The AI definitely uses this attack. After changing the sound, I heard a LOT of whispering during the next playtest. That said, it seems unlikely that the AI can process this information in any meaningful way. However, it probably incentivizes the AI to park diplomats next to cities, and that's a desirable outcome (see the Diplomacy review posted earlier).

            2) Steal Technology: An espionage attack (steals an advance from the target civ) used by all the spy-type units. This attack works as expected, but the main issue was the messaging.
            - An attack that failed because there were no Advances to steal would not notify you with a "pop-up" window, but it did leave a message in the messagelist (which allows you to access it again, if desired).
            - By contrast, if the target civ DID have Advances available for theft, successful and unsuccessful attacks would provide a "pop-up" message....but nothing would appear in the messagelist. That was pretty confusing, but eventually I discovered they were coded as "alertboxes" (which, by definition, NEVER appear in the messagelist) whereas the vast majority of special attacks use "messagebox" code. Anyway, it was possible to change that, so now all the technology theft messages "pop-up" and appear in the messagelist.
            - That also meant a messagicon was needed, and of course there wasn't one which matched the "open safe" graphic used by the button, cursor, and sprite - but there is now!
            - In closing, this attack was originally coded to give the player a choice between stealing a "random" technology, or picking one from a list. The chance of success being lower if you select a specific advance. But all the "choice" code has been commented out in "script.slc", and the same is true in the AE file (so not something specific to Cradle). Anyway, I thought about trying to reactivate that, but - at least for now - there's other fish to fry.

            3) Incite Revolt: An espionage attack (causes foreign city to revolt and become a new civ) used by all the spy-type units. Even though "orders.txt" says there is a fixed cost for this (5000), the cost is actually a formula derived from city size and happiness level (usually multiple thousands). This attack also works as expected, but there were a few minor issues.
            - Interestingly, in a recent playtest the AI used this against another AI civ, so it's definitely something they know how to do. Not common, however.
            - Confusingly, the sprite and sound play regardless of whether the attack succeeds or fails - unless the attacking unit dies. The messaging is correct in all cases, but had a typo (now fixed).
            - This attack does NOT result in a Declaration of War, regardless of success or failure or the agent being caught or not. That seems strange, but there's no way to change it.
            - Most of the graphics are consistent (waving pitchfork and red flag), but the messageicon graphic comes from the "Slave Revolt" group, so I created a new one to match this graphic set. The sound featured shouting and gunshots, which is not appropriate for an attack that can be used in the Ancient Era, so that was altered as well. Worth noting that you get the same sound and sprites from a spontaneous "unhappiness-based" Revolution.

            4) Plant Nuke: An espionage attack (places nuclear bomb in a city) used by the Secret Agent, Cyber Ninja & Empathic Diplomat units. With one exception, the graphics, messages and sound are consistent.
            - The pre-requisite for this attack is the discovery of "Nuclear Power". Until that occurs, the button will not appear.
            - AI has never used this attack in any of my games, but none have reached this far into the future, so that's not dispositive. Cost is VERY HIGH (8,000) however, so even if the AI is coded to use it, most AI civs don't have that much gold available.
            - Not surprisingly, War results from both Success and Failure.
            - It seemed odd for the Empathic Diplomat to have this capability, since it's contrary to everything the GL says about this unit (imagine the "empathic shock" from killing/maiming so many people!) Accordingly, I removed it.
            - A successful attack displayed the "bomb-with-fuse" sprite, which is wrong on several levels. It now uses the "nuke explosion" sprite, which is clearly a better match.
            - This attack includes an EscapeChance percentage (for the attacking unit), but I have yet to see ANY attackers survive. Doubtful that it works.
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            Last edited by Kull; October 12, 2022, 16:47.
            To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

            From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

            Comment


            • This took a LOT longer than I'd ever imagined, but the Special Attacks project is complete. Quite a few surprises along the way, so before moving on to the next big task let's review what was done.

              But first, we'll talk briefly about a conundrum which initially appeared "unsolveable" - the fact that Cradle has repurposed many of the modern era attacks into ancient equivalents. For example, Lawyers in CtP2 deploy the "Injoin" attack as a means of disabling production in an enemy city. In Cradle however, the attack is called "Sabotage" and is used by the "Assassin" unit to do exactly the same thing, except the messaging and some of the icons (but not all) use a "building-on-fire" motif. The problem is that once the specialist units of the modern era begin to arrive, you have - for example - lawyers who are setting fires instead of using legal attacks (see attached). Which is disconcerting at best and a real hit to gameplay and immersion. That has been addressed, but for now - to keep the focus on the Special Attacks themselves - I'll simply point out those which have an "Era-dependency" and will address the solutions later.
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              To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

              From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

              Comment


              • Legal Attacks (3) - All three of these have an "ancient equivalent" in Cradle:

                1) Injoin (Sabotage): A legal attack which halts production for 1 turn and is used by the Assassin, Poisoner, Lawyer, Legal Team, and Cyber Attorney. As noted above, Cradle has re-purposed this attack as "Sabotage" and while it did have "flaming building" iconography for the Button & Cursor (along with "fire-related" messaging), everything else was modern (mostly "Gavel" related). The changes include:
                * Created a new "burning building" Messageicon
                * Sprite shifted from the "swirling papers" to an existing sprite which shows fires burning on all sides of the city (see attached)
                * Sounds changed from the "whooshing" of swirling papers to the crackling sound of a large fire
                * A successful attack appends a new "fire" icon (see attached) to the side of the city status bar (instead of a gavel)
                - This attack is controlled by settings in "units.txt", success is 100% and there's no danger to the attacking unit. Cost is 300, duration is 1-turn (unfortunately not adjustable), and the good news is the AI performs this attack frequently. It has a strong era-related dependency.
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                To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                Comment


                • 2) Sue (Assassinate Great Leader): A legal attack which kills units that have the "CanBeSued" attribute, and is used by the Assassin, Poisoner, Lawyer, Legal Team & Cyber Attorney units. The "Great General" also had this ability, but no longer (you'll soon see why). As envisioned in Cradle, this attack is used by "assassin-type" units in order to kill the various Wonder Units (Sargon, Atilla, Caesar, etc), hence the name. However, in the course of MANY playtests, not once has the AI used this attack to kill a Wonder Unit. Additionally, many civilian units also have the "CanBeSued" attribute, making the title rather misleading. My guess is the AI doesn't use this attack because the cost is exorbitant - 3000 gold per attack (whether it succeeds or fails). However, dropping the cost precipitously would make it too easy to dispose of those valuable special units.

                  A conundrum, but one which was addressed by extending vulnerability to most of the civilian units (+14), removing susceptibility from all Wonder Units, and dropping the cost to 300 Gold. The cost reduction will encourage the AI to use the attack, while expanding the civilian "target base" allows devious rulers to avoid the "reputation hit" which comes when civilians are killed by military units. The "Expel" attack remains, so the player also has the ability to pursue less violent (and less expensive) means when dealing with troublesome foreigners. As for enemy Wonder Units? The player (and AI) will simply have to deal with them militarily.

                  Cradle used the "crossed swords" iconography for this attack, but the same imagery was used by army-on-army military attacks, and unique imagery is always preferable. Accordingly:
                  * An old Ctp mod included a "knife" cursor, and that is now used by this attack (see attachment)
                  * New Buttons and Messagicons were created, and use the same "knife" imagery.
                  * Messages were altered to emphasize the utility of this attack against civilian units. In addition, the messages were "backwards" (and still are in AE), and listed the performer as the victim, so that had to be revised as well. For example, "We have successfully killed Assassin". Um, no!
                  * The sprite (trumpets) and sound (fanfare) are hard-coded to use those assigned to "General Success" (as listed in specattacks.txt) and cannot be altered.

                  To reflect these changes, the Ancient Era attack has been renamed Assassinate Civilian, and yes, it is heavily era-dependent.
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                  To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                  From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                  Comment


                  • 3) Sue Franchise (Assassinate Dis-Loyal Governor): As reported in the Source code forum, this attack was broken at some point in the development of the Apolyton Edition. "Sue Franchise" is a legal attack intended to counter the commercial "Franchise" attack, and both were repurposed in Cradle as Ancient Era mechanisms for extorting tribute on the one hand and killing those who paid it, on the other.

                    Since this attack doesn't work, the only actions necessary are to remove the buttons which would allow a unit to try (and fail) to implement it. We'll explore the larger ramifications as part of the Commercial attack reviews.
                    To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                    From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                    Comment


                    • Commercial Attacks (2): Only two attacks of this type, and both had an "ancient equivalent" in Cradle. However, for reasons discussed below, that will no longer be the case and both attacks will revert entirely to the Modern Era.

                      1) Franchise (Demand Tribute): A commercial attack which diverts 10% of the production from an enemy city and is used by the Trade Emissary, 4 Wonder units, the Corporate Branch and SubNeural Ad. As noted in the previous post, this attack cannot be countered and dealing with that issue has several ripple effects:
                      * The Trade Emissary - a unit the AI has shown no ability to utilize - only has two attacks, and removing this leaves him with one.
                      * It's also an important attack for the Corporate Branch and Sub-Neural Ad, but both of those are late game units and by that point the implications of an un-removeable franchise (a small loss of production output at a time when most cities are awash in excess capacity) are marginal at most.
                      * Four Ancient-era Wonder Units also had this ability, but now must lose it. The good news is that while the human player might mourn the loss, the AI didn't use it anyway.
                      * On the plus side, eliminating the Ancient-era version means that all the graphics and sounds can revert back to the originals. All ancient-vs-modern discrepancies are thus avoided.
                      * Name of the attack reverts to "Franchise".

                      The player should be aware there aren't any attack messages (the absence is hard coded and unchangeable). However, a successful attack places a "Gear" icon on the city status bar, so you DO get a visual indicator. Worth noting that while a Franchise cannot be removed, other nations can perform the attack and replace the old franchise with one of theirs (the background color of the icon tells you which nation controls the Franchise - see attached).
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                      To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                      From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                      Comment


                      • 2) Advertise (Establish Trade Center): A commercial attack which causes unhappiness in a foreign city for 1 turn and is used by the Trade Emissary, Corporate Branch and Subneural Ad. As discussed elsewhere, Advertise and Soothsay both utilize the "CauseUnhappiness" attack, and while their icons & messages are separate, they share the same sound and sprite.

                        Now that "Demand Tribute" (Franchise) has been removed from the early game, this calls into question the presence of "Establish Trade Center" in the early game. The effects of the attack are identical to Soothsay, and it's only used by a single unit - the Trade Emissary. Playtesting has shown that the AI doesn't use this unit as intended and this is his only remaining attack, so it seems only logical to remove the Trade Emissary from the game. That is doubly beneficial, since the sprite and sound are shared by both Soothsay and Advertise, and now both effects can be purely religious. In addition, playtesting has shown that the AI will use Soothsay, albeit less frequently than Convert City.

                        The cost of this attack was a bit confusing since it appears in both "units.txt" (500) and "orders.txt" (200), but the latter is the controlling file (which means the cost can't be altered on a per-unit basis). Conversely, "units.txt" controls the "chance of success" (which can be different for every unit) and the duration of the effect (default is "1-turn" for all units).

                        The changes are as follows:
                        * Trade Emissary is removed from the game
                        * Most icons revert to the originals (billboards)
                        * Reactivated an existing (but unused) "blimp" messageicon since CtP2 (and AE) use the wrong one (gears) - see attached
                        * Created a new "grayscale" button for "Buy" (upsi20d.rim) since there wasn't one in "pic555.zfs" (i.e this fixes a very minor bug which is also present in AE)
                        * Name of the attack reverts to "Advertise"

                        Although the ancient-era version of "Advertise" has been removed, "era-dependency" remains since the sprite and sound are different from those used by Soothsay.
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                        To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                        From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                        Comment


                        • Very interesting project, sure will want to play it once it is in some playable form.
                          Are you using old AE mod or do you plan to also use the more recent version from github?
                          You mentioned Modern times mod, I also tried it but it was unplayable in German so I had to half translate it back into English, but it's just too much text in the game. Also the author did some strange things like having very low tile yields but extremely high on resources or some techs have very low cost and similar level techs very high, so I'm not sure how balanced or playable that mod is.
                          My dream is also to convert AoM to AE, but when I tried it the game crashed randomly after some turns (even with all scripts disabled and only new units/buildings/etc left in the mod) with no way to investigate what caused the bug.

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                          • While you are working on this project may i request you add a city improvement that is available at some point that completely eliminates population pollution or reduces it very, very low levels. Its possible to get rid of all production pollution in the game but not population pollution.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by sevenfm View Post
                              Very interesting project, sure will want to play it once it is in some playable form.
                              Are you using old AE mod or do you plan to also use the more recent version from github?
                              This is designed for the original AE mod. I've seen the one at GitHub, and while it has some very interesting improvements, there doesn't seem to be a downloadable, "ready-to-play" game. Instead it needs to be compiled. That's fine, but I've read the plaintive posts from those trying to make it work and frankly it's VERY complicated. Which means it's not ready for the average player.

                              You mentioned Modern times mod, I also tried it but it was unplayable in German so I had to half translate it back into English, but it's just too much text in the game. Also the author did some strange things like having very low tile yields but extremely high on resources or some techs have very low cost and similar level techs very high, so I'm not sure how balanced or playable that mod is.
                              Yeah, I played around with it a bit and while I commend BureauBert for having a Grand Vision, the mod itself wasn't fully finished. That said, he MUST be commended for maintaining his CtP2 website. It is chock FULL of helpful information! I'd have been lost without it.

                              My dream is also to convert AoM to AE, but when I tried it the game crashed randomly after some turns (even with all scripts disabled and only new units/buildings/etc left in the mod) with no way to investigate what caused the bug.
                              Unfortunately I have a LOT of experience with CTDs, so if you can post a crashlog I might be able to point you in the right direction. In general, I've found the files in the aidata folder can be finicky, and it's possible that you have one or more disconnects in that folder.

                              To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                              From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Cyberguy View Post
                                While you are working on this project may i request you add a city improvement that is available at some point that completely eliminates population pollution or reduces it very, very low levels. Its possible to get rid of all production pollution in the game but not population pollution.
                                In playtesting, I've definitely seen that happening in some of the larger cities. In one game - for reasons that I still don't understand - two civs were sending all their excess Nomads to a single city and having them "settle-in-city" at that location. The populations EXPLODED (size 60+ in the ancient era!?!) and they were ringed with Dead Tiles! Crazy to see. Anyway, I'm not aware of any improvements which can directly affect population pollution (other than by allowing cities to grow to ever larger sizes). Any ideas?

                                As to mitigation, Cradle 3+ will allow the player to restore "Dead Tiles" with the discovery of Tribunal Empire. Those are the most damaging effects of unrestrained pollution, so at least you will have the ability to address the impact, if not the underlying cause.
                                To La Fayette, as fine a gentleman as ever trod the Halls of Apolyton

                                From what I understand of that Civ game of yours, it's all about launching one's own spaceship before the others do. So this is no big news after all: my father just beat you all to the stars once more. - Philippe Baise

                                Comment

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