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About those attempts to make an opensource or indy civ3 clone

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Creation & Customization' started by Kyriakos, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    Agreed, but as I said, not too soon for me, too busy at the moment.
    Quesiton is: what media should we use for this brainstorming? A dedicated forum?
     
  2. Balthasar

    Balthasar Wise Man

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    Jimmyh has a whole forum devoted to the subject Here. His last few posts there (Feb 2013) indicate that he was having problems creating a map - exactly the subject of our last few posts here. It appears, Steph, that you have arrived at the exact point where Jimmy left off.

    Ozy, I know that both Steph and Jimmy have received earfuls of advice about what folks want, and what they should do. I'd like to hear more from them about it, to begin with. Are you monitoring this, jimmyh? What are your thoughts?
     
  3. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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  4. general-jcl

    general-jcl King

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    Steph, we can't access to your forum
     
  5. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    oh... May be it was for members only
    I don't remember after several years
     
  6. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    The forum was cool while there were creations going on, so maybe revive it when we have something to go with :)
     
  7. PiotrG

    PiotrG Chieftain

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    Yes it is.It must be changed, so that everyone interested has access to it.
     
  8. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    I don't think I can do it, it requires mod power which I don't have anymore.

    BTW, I'm leaving tomorrow morning for 3-week business trip, I'm not sure I can post often during this time.
     
  9. warmwaffles

    warmwaffles Programmer

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    Code talks, bs walks. :D

    Anyways, I've been working on a civ 3 clone for a while with libGDX and I have FLCs decoded and animating just fine. I actually know a lot more about the FLC file format than I would have liked to. (It is no where near ready for play testing) What I have currently is the ability to decode FLCs and PCXs just fine. Going with a PNG file output for terrain, and other graphics is definitely a better solution.

    I do think that FLCs are very restrictive and a 256 color palette is a really tight constraint. We could expand the FLC file format into something that allows for 512 colors or 1024. Also, FLCs weren't meant for civilization, we could devise a better file format that would allow for 8 direction and have them defined as such within the file. Animation run times could be longer.

    That said, I really want to reuse the FLC file type or make a tool to help convert them quickly to a new file format. It would be a shame to see Wyrms, Aaglo, riptide, etc... units to go to waste.

    I'm working on my clone part time and I am really doing it so I can toy with algorithms and other various concepts. That said, hopefully I can have something to actually show soon.

    Another good idea would be to make all the configurations either XML based or JSON based and try to utilize the file system as much as possible and not save too much data within the scenario file as well. This would allow modders to be able to use git/svn/mercurial without having to commit a bunch of binary files.

    Code:
    {
      "name": "Panzer III",
      "authors": [
        "wyrmshadow"
      ],
      "animations": {
        "default": {
          "file": "./default.flc"
        },
        "attack": {
          "file": "./attack.flc"
        },
        "death": {
          "file": "./death.flc"
        },
        "fortify": {
          "file": "./fort.flc"
        },
        "fidget": {
          "file": "./fidget.flc"
        },
        "run": {
          "file": "./run.flc"
        }
      }
    }
    
    Use markdown for unit descriptions
     
  10. nick0515

    nick0515 Fantasy World Builder

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    Can we use terrain from 0.A.D? It's open source so we should be allowed. I know nothing about coding but would there be ways to reuse their terrain for our purposes?
     
  11. warmwaffles

    warmwaffles Programmer

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    Depends on the license that they released with it.
     
  12. nick0515

    nick0515 Fantasy World Builder

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  13. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    In my previous work, I had a FLC decoder, to then encode in another formart (actually true colour with transparency support). And for graphics, I used PNG.

    I think we don't have to reuse the exact same format, as long as we propose a converter, of using different graphics ban bring a real gameplay benefit.
     
  14. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    I think something that may be helpful is compiling a list of what we already have. Just on this page we've established that warmwaffles and Steph have both worked on FLC decoding, with a fair degree of success, and like warmwaffles, I've also written a PCX decoder, not to mention that there's doubtlessly been multiple BIQ decoders written. While in many cases these have been done in different languages, it still adds up to duplicated effort where, even if someone wanted to use a different language than what something was already written in, having the existing version available for reference could have saved time.

    In a way I feel like a Wiki format might be useful since it would allow multiple people to edit reference pages, but the forum does have the advantage of everyone already being signed up. I tried logging on to the Modiki, but couldn't remember my password, and the temporary one the password recovery sent me didn't work, so I'm not sure what its status is. It'd be nice if the regular CFC sign-in also worked for the Modiki.

    As an example of the type of thing I'm thinking of, I've put together a quick Wiki sketch-up at my Bitbucket account, which I believe anyone with a Bitbucket account can edit. It's late and I'm only online because I couldn't sleep, so it's not very polished yet, but feel free to edit it or use it as a starting point for a better write-up of what we already have.

    I'm probably not going to be particularly involved in this endeavour due to changing interests that have decreased both the amount of time I've spent writing my current utility as well as playing Civ (including Civ3), but who knows, that may change if it begins to gain momentum. I do agree with Ozymandias that having a good design would help, both in terms of knowing what to work towards and getting people on board. For me, one of the challenges to getting involved is that a clone isn't as appealing as it sounded a few years ago, likely due in large part due to having played so much Civ that it's a lot less exciting to me nowadays. Clone + a few new features would be slightly more appealing, but something more along the lines of 1/3 new, 1/3 the same, 1/3 improved, to paraphrase Firaxis's Rule of Thirds, would probably be significantly more appealing to me (and to others who've also played tons of Civ? I don't know). A fairly pure clone would still be somewhat interesting from a programmatic challenge perspective, but something a bit new would, to me, be more exciting for a game. The other night I was wondering if something combining the population and economic simulation of the Victoria series with the player input, historical scale, and empire-building of Civ might work. I'm not sure it would, but it still might be interesting to try to integrate some new ideas like population diversity beyond just culture (religion, desire for different government types, socioeconomic class, etc.), the effect some of these might have on buildings in the city (libraries are more effective if your population is more literate, for example, but will also slowly increase literacy themselves), and of course a better diplomatic system.
     
  15. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    I had a working FLC decoder and converter, a "working" map engine with hexagones, but it needs a lot of tweaking with test graphics, and a working inheritance mechanism for object
    But it makes things fairly complex, so the first question would be to clarify what the goals are.

    I also agree that a pure clone if not very interesting, and so although reusing graphics from here is positive, it is not my highest priority compared to improve gameplay.

    I'll contact a mod to see if my old forum can be made public, or if we can get a new one
     
  16. warmwaffles

    warmwaffles Programmer

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    I am actually quite interested in this. How did you solve the unit colors? Did you still have a palette of reserved colors? I merely thought that doubling the palette size was sufficient for color variation without increasing the file size too much.
     
  17. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    From memory: I have two images for each frame. One without the civ colour, another with the civ colour (in shades of white/grey, and I apply a tint on it). But I made something with dynamic frame size. So if the civ coloured part is very small, then the additional image is also very small.
    Beside, I also have an option to have an animation with no civ colour, then this second image is not used at all.
     
  18. Steph

    Steph Multi Many Tasks man Retired Moderator

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    I'm in Mexico for a 3 weeks business trip.
    - 1st night: colleague called me on the phone at 3 am. He knew I was in Mexico, he didn't realize their was a time difference...
    - 1st day: when coming back to the hotel, the taxi was hit by a truck which didn't stop at the red light. No personal injury for anyone. But front of the car is gone: 2 more meters and ....
    - 2nd night: anotther colleague calls at 3 am to ask a question. He didn't know I was abroad...
    - 3rd day: my external drive with the training doc, the training data, installer. etc died. Along with personal stuff I took with me to work on personal projects during the long week end alone at the hotel. Drive is completly gone: it tells me it's not even formatted.

    What a pleasant trip
     
  19. wuhjah

    wuhjah Prince

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    ^Montezuma's Revenge...
     
  20. ShiroKobbure

    ShiroKobbure Still modding Civ3

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    I'm sorry to hear that. But its good you weren't hurt in the car accident.
     

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