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Éa, Dawn of the Mortal Races (phase 1, pre-alpha code development and discussion)

Discussion in 'Éa Fantasy Mod Project' started by Pazyryk, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    Any C++ modders out there?

    This makes me very optimistic that the dll is really, finally, coming. At the very least, the intention is still there and someone has actively worked on it during the development of today's patch. Believe it or not, I haven't learned C++ yet (though I've spent >2000 hrs programming Lua now and probably >10000 hrs with Perl, so I have no doubt that I could learn it). My dll needs for Éa are fairly limited, and most can probably be done by merges with other dll mods. I'm making a list here just to help me keep my thoughts in order:

    1. Control of stacking and movement restrictions (for GPs; I do this now with some very nasty Lua kludges)
    2. Real invisibility (not the current visible-from-one-tile version)
    3. Ability to modify full civ relationships
    4. New GameEvents: PlayerEndTurn, UnitCanMove, OnPromotionGained
    5. Better tactical AI, better tactical AI, better tactical AI, better tactical AI...
    6. Ability to mod 3D graphics.
    I ordered these not by what I want, but rather by what I think will be a specific Éa need versus what I think will be modded by others (and can be merged). I still have hope that the developers will include the last item with G&K release so it is not a dll issue.

    I don't want to do a lot of dll modding for Éa for one very specific reason: I want to be able to keep Éa up to date with the latest and best BetterAI mod. We all agree that tactical AI is really lousy and I suspect some eager modders will tackle this. (It's much much harder than most folks realize... but then there are modders that are willing to spend 10000 hours on these things.)
     
  2. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    :run::run::run::run::run::run::run::run: Yeah!!!!! :run::run::run::run::run::run::run::run:

    Don't have DLL yet but it's coming. Just as importantly, they have done something (what???) to make unit art easier to add. Maybe someone following this mod could get started on those FFH units?...
     
  3. darkedone02

    darkedone02 The Suggestor

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    Once this mod get big, i'll be looking forward on playing this. Hopefully this project get's bigger and the developers are pushing forward. I will love to see a great mod to play around with to refresh civ 5, as civ 5 is already being boring without any decent mods to refresh the experience.
     
  4. rocklikeafool

    rocklikeafool Warmaster

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    So...wait, what about your garrison? Would the pirates not have to fight your archer or whatever?
     
  5. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    In base Civ5, your garrison dies when the city is captured. I would assume that G&K's new melee ships (which can attack and take cities) work the same way.

    Of course, there's no way a single ship is going to defeat a city with a garrisoned archer (the ship will be lucky to get away with 1 hp). Ideally, I'd say a single ship should be able to take a small undefended city. A city with a garrison or fortifications should be much harder to take.
     
  6. rocklikeafool

    rocklikeafool Warmaster

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    That's sort of what I meant. I kind of misunderstood though.
     
  7. PawelS

    PawelS Ancient Druid

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    I think I'm quite good at C++ coding (much better than at LUA anyway), so perhaps I can help you with some things...

    And when you attempt to move a unit into a hex where an invisible unit is standing, what happens?
     
  8. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    The unit just moves.

    Actually, the dll already allows violations of stacking and other "illegal" moves. It's WorldView.lua that prevents the player from moving a unit onto a forbidden unit (stacking) or onto a foreign city, and I guess the dll never sends such an order to an AI unit. I've changed both situations in my mod. Players can give the order and my Lua AI code sends AI great people to cities (even stacking them) when appropriate. So the move is already possible without dll modding.

    However, unfortunately, the dll does reject the "illegal" situation between turns. The unit gets kicked out of the foreign city or off the stacked unit. My rather nasty but effective Lua hack gets around this by "disappearing" the unit between turns. The disappearing also solves (in a similarly nasty way) my need for real invisibility (can't see a unit if it isn't there).

    So real invisibility goes hand-in-hand with control of stacking and movement restrictions. I've got a Lua hack that solves both, but I'd love to throw away that code for a proper solution.
     
  9. esvath

    esvath Apprentice of Erebus

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    So, any news on how easy will it be? I can do a little art modifications, but the former method of converting Civ4 units is just beyond my league.
     
  10. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    There was a change allowing you to add individual units to the database rather than replacing the whole set, so that part is a lot easier now.

    As far as making 3D units, no one has indicated any changes. It's possible, you just have to read the two applicable tutorials (including, most importantly, the posts at the very end of the threads) to get the exact right versions of Blender, PyFFI, etc. And you need lemmy101's add-on to Nexus. It wouldn't be so bad if someone updated with a new tutorial. Real pain in the ass but it can be done. (I'll do this myself if no one else does, but we're probably looking at... September... December...???)
     
  11. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    Modding update:

    There is going to be one more build for phase 1. The last two months have been intensive AI programming, with over 3000 lines of Lua code and a dozen or so new tables (don't worry... it's fast). It's not precisely an "alpha' game yet, but we will be able to do some very course balance correction and (with Fire Tuner open) see what the AI is up to a fix any problems there. I should have this out late next week.

    I played about 10 hours of G&K to see how that works. It's pretty cool I think. What I really like is that it is a game-within-a-game that you can either ignore, dabble in a little picking up a few benefits, or play to dominate. There are certainly some aspects of the base system that I will want to keep for Éa. The major difference, however, is that religions in Éa are not "blank slate". They are going to come preloaded with beliefs that make them work a certain way. I'll post some more preview info here on the religions (and other stuff) coming in phase 2.

    I don't plan to post "pre-alpha" experimental builds for phase 2 (perhaps I was premature to post this phase 1 stuff here in Modpacks section ... I underestimated the AI work). I should be able to get a real alpha out for phase 2 sometime late in the summer.
     
  12. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    Sorry Pazyryk, I'm not understanding what is (for you) a "game within a game" in G&K... (I don't have it yet). May you explain to me or link to a source ?
    best regards,
     
  13. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    Not sure if that phrase was helpful. I just mean that you can either ignore it or you can make it the central focus of your game. Well...not quite ignore: it affects diplomacy and the power of other civs, even if you are not actively engaging in religion. I like game elements like this. It has sort of been a central part of Civ that you could play a conquest or a non-conquest game (in the latter, you still have to pay attention to military, but it is not your focus). Religion is similar. I've played two games now where it was my central focus. It seems interesting and deep, with the AI actively competing (converting your cities, responding diplomatically to your conversions) and it can be used to advance more than one victory condition! I'm now in a third game trying out a Carthage conquest game, with the intention of letting religion happen around me without much attention to it. It's still there and will affect the diplomatic landscape. But I will be passive in that aspect of the game. (I don't think espionage rises to this level in G&K. It's not bad. But my impression is that it is a pretty "small" addition in the game right now so you can't really make it a main focus.)

    This is something I'm trying to create in Éa: new (or old) game elements that you can either engage in very actively (making them your central focus) or almost (but not quite) ignore. This should include culture, research, religion, magic, diplo/espionage, and one other thing I won't disclose right now.
     
  14. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

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    thanks.
    so the "game within the game"... was religion. that makes more sense now :D Without knowing this element, it was hard to understand.
     
  15. Civmansam

    Civmansam King

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    Very interesting premise, excited to see where this goes.
     
  16. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    I had a new idea for Knowledge Maintenance. Maybe it could be something like:

    Knowledge Maintenance: -0.2 research points per known tech per population point

    The "base" value above is a total guess on my part (this would surely change with game balancing), and it would of course be subject to many modifiers.

    The objective is the same as before: civs should not be able to complete more than a portion of the total tech tree, perhaps 10 to 25 total techs depending on the civ’s level of research focus. Also, the system is supposed to deter high-research civs from gobbling up all the low tier techs just because they are trivially cheap (because this lowers civ-differentiation).

    Unfortunately, there is really no way for me to meet these objectives without some mechanism that feels like a penalty/punishment. And I really do dislike punishments for population/city number (but we already do it for culture...and what is the alternative?). But perhaps this is easier to swallow than my currently proposed system that deducts a percent of total research.
     
  17. Lplate

    Lplate Esus (Allegedly)

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    I wouldn't go for this one. Not everyone in a population is trained/knows about certain technologies, so I can't really see a reason to link the maintenance cost to the population.
    If you want to include some sort of tech penalty along these lines, I'd make it a penalty for each city above X population if a certain improvement/building/unit is not in the BFC or city.
    e.g.
    Agriculture - Farm in BFC
    Writing - Library in city
    Horseriding - Stable in city or mounted unit in BFC

    The idea would be that technologies are easier to maintain where they are actively used and harder to maintain where they are not.

    There might be a quick way to code it by having a check for improvements/buildings/units enabled by a particular tech within the city/BFC to avoid the added maintenance cost.
     
  18. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    @Lplate,

    That seems like a reasonable mechanism, maybe even something that someone could add to base Civ5. However, it doesn't meet my objective. I'm adding Knowledge Maintenance (reluctantly) to meet an objective, not because I think it is a neat idea.
     
  19. PawelS

    PawelS Ancient Druid

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    I think it's a good idea to make the Knowledge Maintenance based on population, I proposed it long ago in another thread (I think it can also depend on number of cities, if it only depends on population then it encourages ICS). I didn't like the idea of maintenance being a percentage of a player's total research, because it would be a mechanism where the more research you have, the more punished you are. But making it depend on population is a better idea, it encourages the player to do things that increase the total research to gain a net surplus. I remember we discussed this matter a lot, and I'm glad you've changed your mind now :)

    @Lplate: the idea of making the maintenance dependent on actual use of the technology sounds good, but it complicates things a lot, and is hard to balance (make the effect that decreases the cost not too easy and not too hard to achieve for all specific technologies).
     
  20. Pazyryk

    Pazyryk Deity

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    Yes, I remember. But for whatever reason, I did not think it would do the job.

    Thinking it over now, what I like about it is that it is a simple rule that has a somewhat complex effect. Speed of research is still going to be (for much of the game) a matter of total research points, where bigger is better. However, the rule sets a "ceiling" (asymptotically approached so you never really reach it) that is determined by your research points per population point. I guess one can still call it punishment for size (which I don't like) but really it is a punishment for low research/population ratio.

    Also, if one wants to imagine some kind of physical representation of what's going on, one can think of the infrastructure needed just to maintain knowledge (say Engineering). In a small one-city civ, this might be a single university. In a globe-spanning empire, maintaining the same tech level might take many universities.
     

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