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A Walkthrough on Scenario Generation

Discussion in 'Alpha Centauri' started by Darsnan, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. Darsnan

    Darsnan King

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    OK next playtest iteration is complete, and overall I'm pretty happy with the results. One sore spot is that the PKs still aren't building any additional bases. So when something like this happens I resort to some extreme measures, in this case specifically copying the build prioritization info from the successful Drones Faction directly into the PKs:
    Desparate times call for desparate measures.png

    Upside is that I should see the PKs now build more cities. Downside is that their going to play more like the Drones, which really I'd like to see a little variation in my AIs here.

    Then in order to load this Factional change into the scenario I select Scenario>Reload Faction, and just reload the peace Faction:
    Reload Faction.png

    Then I save and exit.

    Restoring the Defaults

    Now that I'm pretty happy with the scenario (i.e. its just about there) I'm going to move all the modified files into a new scenario subdirectory I'm going to name, oh I don't know, how about "X"? :mischief: And next I the copy all the modified txt and pcx files from the "Virgin" subdirectory back into my main "Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri" subdirectory, thus re-establishing the baseline environment.

    After that I open the game again, load the scenario (which I haven't placed in my "X" subdirectory), and ensure the baseline graphics are back in place:
    Restored to defaults check.png

    Then I move my scenario into the "X" subdirectory and repeat the process, ensuring the desired graphics are again being elicited, which they are. :thumbsup:

    Next is to playtest again so as to ensure all my last edits have taken effect, and that I've moved all the necessary files into the "X" subdirectory so that the scenario plays correctly.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  2. Darsnan

    Darsnan King

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    I played the first 100 turns of the scenario several more times just to make sure the consistency was the same, and it was. However at no time did I ever get the "global sea levels are rising" warning, which is leading me to believe there is another mechanic involved: after thinking about it some more my hunch is it involves the number of years into the game.

    D
     
  3. Blake00

    Blake00 Prince Supporter

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    Hi @Darsnan , as you suggested I've read your thread here. Very helpful and informative. So CTRL + left & right clicking was the bloody key to painting terrain changes in the editor haha! I just 'painted' lots of fun terrain stuff in a test file haha.

    My other question still stands though although I think this thread has got me thinking in the right direction. How do did you manage to take control of the 8th Alien Barbarian faction for your awesome new scenario where you play as the aliens ? I'm guessing you made changes to the a setting in one of the text files since the in game editor doesn't let you select them. I wasn't sure if it was that at first as obviously no such changes were made on my comp yet when I loaded your scenario I was in control of them so after reading this thread am I correct in assuming that when you customize the SMAC config txt files and create a scenario that scenario save file will retain those settings even if you revert all your config files back to vanilla? Thus allowing you to distribute specialized custom scenarios without having to make people mess with their configs.
     
  4. Darsnan

    Darsnan King

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    This is a correct statement up to a point. From the alpha(x).txt file only the #UNITS section is imprinted onto a scenario or gamesave (i.e. the rest of the alpha(x) txt file is not imprinted onto the scenario or gamesave files). And a player named Kody discovered that the faction.txt files are also imprinted onto scenario and gamesaves, as well.

    For the scenario where I set up the player to play as the 8th Faction, how I did it is a little more convoluted, and so I'm going to have to segue a bit to explain: back a long time ago (15 years?) I used to set up a lot of Play By E-Mail games for players, and so one day I had the grand idea of giving everyone Speeder Colony Pods instead of regular colony pods, so as to speed up the early game (i.e. with Speeder CPs the players could more quickly plant their second and third bases, and thus accelerate the relatively monotonous early game). However when I playtested the PBEM only the first Faction would load. Upon experimentation I determined the terran(x).exe file has a check that looks specifically/exclusively for the standard Colony Pod, and even though each of the players had Speeder CPs, the terran(x).exe didn't recognize these in the check it ran at the start of a game. Fast forward a few years and I was playing around with the game and thought "wouldn't it be interesting to play as the 8th Faction!". However when I gave the 8th Faction Colony Pods the AI did nothing with them, and when I tried to use the Scenario Editor to create an 8th Faction base I couldn't set up the scenario as the 8th Faction. Then I remembered my experiment I detailed above where the terran(x).exe runs some checks exclusively on CPs. So since the Scenario Editor didn't let me take control of the 8th Faction directly I instead created a scenario with just a couple of CPs for the 8th Faction (i.e. there were no units from the standard Factions present in the scenario). I then started the scenario and presto - I had control of the 8th Faction (i.e. the terran(x).exe ran its check against CPs, saw that a Faction had CPs, and so loaded the game for that Faction, completely disregarding the fact that it was the 8th Faction)! I then opened the Scenario Editor and placed units for the other Factions I wanted in the game, set up any additional criteria I wanted, and then I saved the game in Scenario Editor mode.

    D
     
    Blake00 likes this.
  5. bvanevery

    bvanevery Warlord

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    A marvelous hack!
     
  6. Blake00

    Blake00 Prince Supporter

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    Brilliant haha!

    So the trick is create a game with nothing but a few 8th faction alien CP units on the map, save as a new scenario, start a game using that file, you'll take control of aliens, then add other factions CPs and save the game for future plays.
     
  7. Darsnan

    Darsnan King

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    Just for clarification here is the sequence:

    1. In the Scenario Editor place at least one Colony Pod belonging to the 8th Faction, and save the scenario.
    2. At the startup menu select Scenario, Play Scenario, and load the saved scenario. The game will start up with you controlling the 8th Faction, and at this point you can create cities for the 8th Faction.
    3. Open the Scenario Editor and place other Factions' units as you would during regular scenario generation.
    4. Then while still in Scenario Editor mode save as a game save file.
    5. Go back to the main menu, select "Load Game" and you can load the game and play as the 8th Faction.
     
    Blake00 likes this.

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