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A couple of custom faction questions

Discussion in 'Alpha Centauri' started by Pickly, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. Pickly

    Pickly Prince

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    First: How to edit the PCX files.

    I've researched this somewhat, and have found a couple free programs that can read and edit the faction PCX files (Ira-something seemed to come up the most), but I would just like to make sure here before downloading anything.


    Second: Police effects

    What is the range/conditions for when military units away from a base cause unhappiness at low police values? (Sometimes the unhappiness seems to occur whenever outside the base, sometimes just when a certain distance away. I think I remember reading that unhappiness occurs whenever a unit is outside its base, but would like to make sure of this condition before fiddling with the factions. (One faction I have in mind is a pacifist faction, but I'd prefer not to keep this faction from exploring in the early gamewithout causing unhappiness.)
     
  2. Russia4Life

    Russia4Life Chieftain

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    I use a program called GIMP for editing .PCX files.

    As for the police thing. A unit can leave the base without penalty. Only if they leave the dotted line that extends ~7 squares from your bases will the penalty be applied. It might be possible that this line is turned off in your options and you have no idea what I am talking about. Hopefully this isn't the case. :)

    Also note that scout patrol units can freely leave the territory without causing unhappiness due to pacifism. So you shouldn't have a problem with exploring early if you use those.
     
  3. Buster's Uncle

    Buster's Uncle AC2 Co-Owner

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    You might google for GIMP. Ir will open PCXes. You might want to paste the images into a more user-friendly graphics program, do your changes there, paste back to GIMP, use the flatten image function and save.
     
  4. Petek

    Petek Alpha Centaurian Administrator Supporter

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    This is not quite correct. Most scout patrols will cause pacifism drones if they leave your territory. Perhaps you're thinking of the scout patrol that most factions receive at the beginning of the game. Since it isn't homed to any base, it won't cause pacifism drones when outside your borders.

    Also, air units behave differently. Needlejets (and Locusts of Chiron) cause pacifism drones even when inside your borders. However, interceptors behave as other units and only create drones when outside your territory. Similar rules apply to choppers and gravships.

    All of the above assumes that your police rating is -4 or less.

    Petek
     
  5. Russia4Life

    Russia4Life Chieftain

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    Ah yes I am sorry petek is correct.
     
  6. Pickly

    Pickly Prince

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    Are there any tricks for the PCX2 and 3 files (for the factions) for substituting a different logo onto the leader death screens. (Or into the other "photo" sections of these files?)
     
  7. Buster's Uncle

    Buster's Uncle AC2 Co-Owner

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    If you're asking how to change the interrogation video, no. No one seems to know what cues which gender-movie. Otherwise, I don't quite understand the question.

    What sort of logo substituion are we talking about? Basically, you erase the logo already in place and substitute something the same size of your own. GIMP has a smudge tool on the bottom row of your toolbox that's great for smearing in extra background where you need it.

    I like to copy/paste the whole .pcx picture into MS Paint, paste any new elements into that -for Paint's better flexibility at pasting things- copy/paste the whole picture back and save.

    If I haven't helped any here, please tell me more.
     
  8. Pickly

    Pickly Prince

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    On logo substitution: The "faction eradicated" picture is the one I'm talking about (the dialogue box that appears after a faction is destroyed, not the movie.) The problem is that this picture involves some smoky stuff coming from the logo that is colored like the faction's "team color", which GIMP does not allow adjustments to the color balance to compensate, so I'm wondering if there is some other way to adjust the color of the "faction eradicated" picture.


    Also, how to free unit abilities work? (I don't want to give a faction a free ability, just to have it take up space from some other ability that someone wanted to add. I have not played data angels far enough to test this.)
     
  9. Buster's Uncle

    Buster's Uncle AC2 Co-Owner

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    Try adding a few dots of the color you want to the smoke and smearing them around. GIMP takes a while to get good at using. Keep at it, and you'll be there eventually.

    Someone who uses GIMP more than I may be around wioth a better answer eventually, so keep us posted. If I think of a better answer, I'll let you know.
     
  10. Buster's Uncle

    Buster's Uncle AC2 Co-Owner

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    Okay, I've looked into doing this with GIMP, Pickly. I'm gonna post some instructions in the [graphics] thread shortly.
     
  11. Pickly

    Pickly Prince

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    Thanks for the advice. (I may be sort of busy this week, and likely won't be trying this out for a few days, but when I do finish adjusting the factions I'll be sure to upload them)


    For anyone interested, at the moment I'm doing four factions. One of them will represent the original colonizing factions, three of them represent alien Crossfire type "breakaway" factions. (One of them I haven't completely decided on the stats for yet.)


    Chiron Colonists: Focused on growth and terraforming at the expense of environmental concerns. I think of them as an "original" faction. Currently, this faction is somewhat overpowered, I'll probably provide a couple versions of this faction when uploaded on here.

    Tremblers: Pacifist religious faction. Splinter group from the Believers. This faction is the one with the low police rating, and also has low morale, but also gains a couple of free improvements, happiness bonuses, and a small probe bonus. i haven't gotten a chance ot play this faction to see how powerful it actually is.

    Arcology commune: Faction focused on large cities. This would be a breakaway faction from the Colonists. This faction gains happiness bonuses and higher population cities (moreso than the peacekeepers), but their military power is reduced somewhat. (I'm not completely happy with this faction, am hoping ot think of a way to make it stand out more.)

    4th faction: I'm split on whether to make this another money focused faction or a military faction (the military faction is somewhat more preferable.). I'm not sure what particular stats I'd want for this faction, but do know that it would be a peacekeeper breakaway.
     
  12. Buster's Uncle

    Buster's Uncle AC2 Co-Owner

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  13. Pickly

    Pickly Prince

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    Something else I'm noticing:

    I've used to faction editor to make these new factions, but for some reason, it does not substitute out the name of the original faction I modified the new one from. (So, for example, a unit from one of these factions will have "hive" under the name, and announcements will say something like "The hive builds Xenoempathy dome"). I could look through some files to change something, but am curious if any of you know what to adjust for this issue.


    (the graphics are coming along a lot more slowly, not sure when they will be uploaded, if anyone's interested.)
     
  14. Buster's Uncle

    Buster's Uncle AC2 Co-Owner

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    The faction editor is broken. I usually can't get it to work at all, and others who can say it tends to foul a number of things up. If you google Acedit & download, it is better- once you figure it out- but it can't handle the SMACX stuff.

    Most of the guys really good at that kind of thing swear that it's best to learn where everything goes and do your faction files in Notepad. I'm sure one of them will be by with a more helpful answer before long.
     
  15. Buster's Uncle

    Buster's Uncle AC2 Co-Owner

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    Also, check here under the "Modification" button at the top for helpful tutorials on all the stuff you're asking about- though I fancy I can tell you a lot more about the graphics end myself...
     
  16. vyeh

    vyeh Emperor

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    I assume you are referring to "Editing faction.txt." Please note that it only covers SMAC and not SMAX. To include the factions attributes incorporated by the expansion, you can look at an excerpt from alphax.txt:

    Code:
    ;
    ; Factions -- Names & personalities
    ;
    ; formal, desc, noun, masc/fem, sing/plural, name, gender, ai-fight, ai-power, ai-tech, ai-wealth, ai-growth
    ;    title, characteristic, adjective
    ;    SPECIAL RULES, parameters, ...
    ;    SOCIAL PRIORITY, setting, result
    ;
    ; formal      = Formal name of colony/group
    ; desc        = Description of basic ideology
    ; noun        = Plural noun
    ; masc/fem    = Is faction's noun masculine or feminine
    ; sing/plural = Is faction's noun singular (Labyrinth) or plural (Gaians)
    ; name        = Name of default leader
    ; gender      = M or F (gender of leader)
    ; ai-fight    = -1,0,1 (willingness to use force to achieve goals)
    ; ai-power    = 1 or 0 (interest in power)
    ; ai-tech     = 1 or 0 (interest in knowledge)
    ; ai-wealth   = 1 or 0 (interest in wealth)
    ; ai-growth   = 1 or 0 (interest in population growth)
    ;
    ; title          = leader's title
    ; characteristic = leader's descriptive adjective
    ;
    ; adjective      = adjectival form of faction name (e.g. Gaian)
    ;                  TRANSLATOR NOTE: for FRENCH versions, this should
    ;                  give all four forms (ms:fs:mp:fp):
    ;                  Gaian:Gaiane:Gaians:Gaianes (or whatever it would be)
    ;                  for GERMAN it should have all six forms.
    ;
    ; SPECIAL RULES = rule, parameter
    ;
    ;   TECH        = Free technology at start. Parameter
    ;                 is either a tech id (e.g. "Cen") to
    ;                 indicate a specific technology, or a
    ;                 number (e.g. 2) to indicate a number
    ;                 of player-selected technologies.
    ;   MORALE      = Morale modifier (if 0, indicates an
    ;                 exemption from negative modifiers from
    ;                 other sources).
    ;   PSI         = Percentage combat bonus for PSI Combat.
    ;   FACILITY    = Every new base gets this free facility.
    ;                 Param indicates facility (e.g. "4" is
    ;                 a Perimeter Defense) from the facilities
    ;                 list. Do NOT attempt to give satellites
    ;                 and secret projects this way.
    ;   RESEARCH    = Free research points per base per turn.
    ;   DRONE       = Extra drone at base (per "param"
    ;                 citizens, rounded down)
    ;   TALENT      = Extra talent at base (per "param"
    ;                 citizens, rounded up)
    ;   ENERGY      = Free energy reserves at start
    ;   INTEREST    = Energy reserves interest.
    ;                 Non-zero = constant percentage per turn (including negative)
    ;                 Zero     = +1/base each turn
    ;   COMMERCE    = Increased commerce rate
    ;   POPULATION  = # to be added to population limit of
    ;                 each base for purposes of Habitation
    ;                 domes, etc.
    ;   HURRY       = Percentage change in costs of "Hurry"
    ;                 button on construction (e.g. 125 means
    ;                 125% of normal cost, so 100 costs 125).
    ;   UNIT        = Extra free unit at start; param is
    ;                 index from units list (e.g. 0 equals
    ;                 Colonists, 1 Terraformers, 2 Scout
    ;                 Crawler)
    ;   TECHCOST    = Modifier % for tech research rate.
    ;                 (e.g. 125 means each discovery costs
    ;                 125% the usual number of research
    ;                 points).
    ;   SHARETECH   = Gain any technology known to # other players
    ;   TERRAFORM   = Halves terraform raise/lower cost
    ;   SOCIAL      = Gives a modifier in the named social effect category
    ;                 ("SOCIAL, +EFFIC" raises the EFFIC rating by 1;
    ;                  "SOCIAL, --POLICE" lowers POLICE rating by 2);
    ;   ROBUST      = Halves the intensity of minus effects in the named
    ;                 social area ("ROBUST, EFFIC" halves minus efficiency
    ;                 effects in social model).
    ;   IMMUNITY    = Immunity from minus effects in the named social
    ;                 area. ("IMMUNITY, ENERGY" prevents minus energy
    ;                 effects in social model).
    ;   IMPUNITY    = Impunity :-) from minus effects from a particular
    ;                 social setting. "IMPUNITY, Police State" prevents
    ;                 all - effects from "Police State" setting.
    ;   PENALTY     = Opposite of impunity: doubles the negative effects
    ;                 of a particular setting.
    ;   FUNGNUTRIENT= Modifier to NUTRIENT produced in fungus squares
    ;   FUNGMINERALS= Modifier to MINERALS produced in fungus squares
    ;   FUNGENERGY  = Modifier to ENERGY produced in fungus squares
    ;   COMMFREQ    = Gets an extra comm frequency (another faction to
    ;                 talk to) at beginning of game. (Parameter is ignored)
    ;   MINDCONTROL = Vehicles and bases immune to mind control
    ;   FANATIC     = +25% bonus on attack
    ;   VOTES       = Multiplier for governor votes
    ;   FREEPROTO   = Prototype cost reduced to zero for this faction
    ;   AQUATIC     = This is a sea-based faction
    ;   ALIEN       = Non-human faction
    ;   FREEFAC     = Free facility when appropriate tech is discovered
    ;   REVOLT      = Additional % chance that other revolting bases will defect to this faction
    ;   NODRONE     = Number of drones per base made content
    ;   WORMPOLICE  = Mindworms do double police duty
    ;   FREEABIL    = All appropriate units have this ability when requisite tech is discovered
    ;   PROBECOST   = Percentage of normal cost for probe-team actions (default is 100)
    ;   DEFENSE     = Percent modifier for defensive combat (default is 100)
    ;   OFFENSE     = Percent modifier for offensive combat (default is 100)
    ;   TECHSHARE   = When used with SHARETECH, requires one to be spying on the other
    ;                 factions (by probe, Empath Guild, Governor, or Pact). Parameter is ignored.
    ;   TECHSTEAL   = Faction steal a tech when it captures a base. Parameter is ignored.
    ;
    ; SOCIAL PRIORITY:
    ;   Drawn from the political table above (see #SOCIO), these entries
    ;   must exactly match the SOCIO entries in spelling. These determine
    ;   the leader's social priorities.
    ;
    
    ##
    ##SAMPLE SENTENCES FOR TRANSLATORS
    ##
    ##Gaia's Stepdaughters, The Green, Gaians, F, 2, Deirdre, F, -1, 0, 0, 0, 1,
    ##  TECH, Ecology, SOCIAL, -MORALE, SOCIAL, -POLICE, SOCIAL, +EFFIC, PSI, 25, FUNGNUTRIENT, 1
    ##  Environment, Pro-Ecology, PLANET
    ##  Liberties, Democratic, EFFIC
    ##  Gaian, Gaian,
    ##  Lindly, Scott, Lindly's Rest
    ##  Lady, beautiful, tree-crazy, green, eco-daft,
    ##  Nature Loony
    ##  [Together we shall both] preserve Planet's native life [and ...]
    ##  [My intent is] to guard, understand, and preserve Planet's native life
    ##  [She is bent on] stamping out all legitimate human development of this planet
    ##  [You seem bent on] stamping out all legitimate human development of this planet
    ##  [I shall not stand here while you] cripple any and all efforts toward human progress on this world
    ##  [She spends her time] dancing naked through the trees
    ##  [You spend your time] dancing naked through the trees
    ##  [I have been accused of] spouting tree-crazy prattle
    ##  [Your] tree-crazy prattle [does not impress me]
    ##  [Think how this could benefit your] environmental initiatives
    ##  [I trust your] pagan rituals [are proceeding to your satisfaction]
    ##  [It is customary to remit me a small] ecology tax [...]
    ##  [...for the services my forces provide in] preserving and cataloguing Planet's native life
    ##  [I shall instruct] my Environmental Police [to see that no such...]
    ##  [You are in contravention of] the Planetary Ecology Code
    ##
    ##  END OF SAMPLE SENTENCES FOR TRANSLATORS
    ##
    
    ; Bonus Names: These keys must match the strings used in faction definitions
    #BONUSNAMES
    TECH, MORALE, PSI, FACILITY, RESEARCH, DRONE, TALENT, ENERGY,
    INTEREST, COMMERCE, POPULATION, HURRY, UNIT, TECHCOST, SHARETECH, TERRAFORM,
    SOCIAL, ROBUST, IMMUNITY, IMPUNITY, PENALTY, FUNGNUTRIENT, FUNGMINERALS, FUNGENERGY,
    COMMFREQ, MINDCONTROL, FANATIC, VOTES, FREEPROTO, AQUATIC, ALIEN, FREEFAC,
    REVOLT, NODRONE, WORMPOLICE, FREEABIL, PROBECOST, DEFENSE, OFFENSE, TECHSHARE,
    TECHSTEAL
    I find alphax.txt to be the best reference work myself (and a real modder like Darsnan has all of the above committed to memory).
     
  17. Pickly

    Pickly Prince

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    Thanks for the advice, I think I've got any text issues sorted out. (The factions are pretty much done gameplay wise, I also have leader and backstory information written up for them, but am still working on graphics.)
     
  18. Pickly

    Pickly Prince

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    Edit: got the ZIP file uploaded. the disclaimer below still applies.


    (I also don't have any personal experience with the countries of origin of these new leaders, and got most naming information and such off of quick internet searches, so if I've goofed up some of the details, please say so and i will adjust backstories as needed.)
     
  19. vyeh

    vyeh Emperor

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    One of the problems of this method is that File Factory requires one to wait 30 seconds from after a request to download a file. Although one could juggle the five folders to save time, it is much simpler for other people if you create a folder titled "Pickly." In this folder you put in five folders (one for each faction):

    Arcology
    Chiron Colonist
    Empire
    Marketeer
    Trembler

    In each of these five folders, you put in the six files associated with each faction.

    I've demonstrated the technique in the attachment to this post. (I'll delete this after you have posted a revision.)

    It is late so I just took a look at arcology. I'm impressed by the graphics.

    Which part of making custom faction interest you the most (choosing the faction characteristics, writing the text quotes or creating the pcx files)?

    I'll end this by congratulating you for this accomplishment. Do you have any other factions in mind?

    Edit: Attachment deleted. Pickly posted a revision.
     
  20. Pickly

    Pickly Prince

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    How do you upload the bundled folders as attachments? (I wasn't able to figure out how to do this yesterday.)



    In terms of why I created new factions, it's mainly a combination of gameplay and backstory. The graphics changes and quotes are being done out of perfectionism (In that I'd prefer to have the factions fully resemble the factions included in the game as much as possible, and not have repeated cities, faction colors, logos, etc. Of course, things like voice quotes will probably be missing no matter what.) At the moment, these factions are it, although if i think of some other ideologies or ideas for societies that are unrepresented, I may make more.
     

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