Command and Conquer Planning Thread

<Nexus>

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<off_topic>
@pecheneg
Let me start with I don't want to offend you. You have a great knowledge that can be very useful in the development of a SIMULATIONIST mod like mine. But your lengthy nitpicking posts don't help in the development of this mod over here. Please, try to understand @PPQ_Purple 's modding goals and approaches. I find it a little annoying.
Again, I don't want to offend you. I have no doubt that good will motivates you but you are simply carried away.
</off_topic>
 

pecheneg

Prince
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Let me start with I don't want to offend you. You have a great knowledge that can be very useful in the development of a SIMULATIONIST mod like mine. But your lengthy nitpicking posts don't help in the development of this mod over here. Please, try to understand @PPQ_Purple 's modding goals and approaches. I find it a little annoying.
Again, I don't want to offend you. I have no doubt that good will motivates you but you are simply carried away.
</off_topic>

Actually, I'm not the only one with basic technical knowledge. Not many people, for example, believe that machine guns appeared at the same time as dreadnoughts. At the same time,
1. Even a link to an alternative history - a fork in 1926 - will not work here. The alternative history is silent about Einstein's attempts to kill Hiram Maxim in 1880.
2. In fact, such features are pretty annoying. The heresy with archers shooting further than machine gunners clearly did not add to the popularity of Civilization 5, for example.
In fact, real technologies perfectly replace the vanilla tree - if you don't try to put the whole second industrial revolution in 14 years.
 

PPQ_Purple

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At least in the United States, no establishment faith in the same green agenda is visible even at close range. If we look at it as a whole, the same carbon circus is an attempt to impose tribute on catching up with competitors, introduce neoprotectionism under the conversations about saving humanity and push technologies that consumers simply do not need outside of this context.
At the same time, achieving at least a relative energy "autarky" and getting rid of potential dirty bombs on its territory (and nuclear power plants with increasing accuracy of nuclear weapons is exactly that) is a necessity in preparing for a big war. By a strange coincidence, all the efforts of the Pentagon point to the terminal stage of preparation for it.
The deployment of medium-range missiles designed for a preemptive strike and the announced deployment of weapons in space is exactly about this (the space echelon of missile defense is the main one because it allows the interception of missiles at a vulnerable initial site)
This does not negate the presence of a huge stratum of true believers, pushing to irrational actions, of course.
I am just going to cut you off there. I am extremely pro atomic energy and firmly believe that it is the one and only way to save us from a climate apocalypse.
 

PPQ_Purple

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Actually, I'm not the only one with basic technical knowledge. Not many people, for example, believe that machine guns appeared at the same time as dreadnoughts. At the same time,
1. Even a link to an alternative history - a fork in 1926 - will not work here. The alternative history is silent about Einstein's attempts to kill Hiram Maxim in 1880.
2. In fact, such features are pretty annoying. The heresy with archers shooting further than machine gunners clearly did not add to the popularity of Civilization 5, for example.
In fact, real technologies perfectly replace the vanilla tree - if you don't try to put the whole second industrial revolution in 14 years.
Listen. I will be perfectly blunt here.

I appreciate that you are trying to help and respect that. But ultimately this is my mod and I am going to make it the way I wish. You can either get with the program and help me in a way I find useful or not. But you will not convince me to change my mind about the things I want to do. Even if you were perfectly right and I was absolutely wrong about everything it simply does not matter because my mod means my rules.
 

pecheneg

Prince
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I am just going to cut you off there. I am extremely pro atomic energy and firmly believe that it is the one and only way to save us from a climate apocalypse.

And I studied climatology at the institute and I know what the "climate apocalypse" looked like in much warmer interglacial periods than the current one. That is, you have once again confirmed the difference between the elite and the believing electorate.
 

pecheneg

Prince
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Listen. I will be perfectly blunt here.

I appreciate that you are trying to help and respect that. But ultimately this is my mod and I am going to make it the way I wish. You can either get with the program and help me in a way I find useful or not. But you will not convince me to change my mind about the things I want to do. Even if you were perfectly right and I was absolutely wrong about everything it simply does not matter because my mod means my rules.

I'll be straight too. Actually, this answer wasn't even addressed to you. If you want to make a mod in which machine guns appear later than planes in real history, I'm just physically unable to stop you and I'm not going to do it. And I don't see any sense in further disputes or/and consultations either. Good luck with the mod.
 

PPQ_Purple

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I'll be straight too. Actually, this answer wasn't even addressed to you. If you want to make a mod in which machine guns appear later than planes in real history, I'm just physically unable to stop you and I'm not going to do it. And I don't see any sense in further disputes or/and consultations either. Good luck with the mod.
And all the best to you as well.
 

PPQ_Purple

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Back to topic:
What are your plans about playable civs?
Basically I intend to have each of the civs from Red Alert 2 and some of those in RA1. Plus I am not sure if Nod and Yuri are going to be civs or just leaders since that depends on how I handle the mechanics of them taking over your civ. GDI is just a religion with its own apostolic palace / UN and a defensive pact.

As far as unique units go I am still undecided on if I should make things like Tesla Towers unique to a certain set of civs or if I should tie them to a tech and let the player choose what path to follow.

But I will try and replicate the RA2 unique units in the game as much as is sensible.
 

PPQ_Purple

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For reference this is my current layout for the tech tree.
Spoiler :
Tech Tree RA2 28-Sep-22.png


I want each era to have roughly the same number of techs as it does in the base game to keep things simple. Hence the gray boxes are techs that still need to be filled out. Note that I am open toward moving techs left to right by one spot if need be and am not married to exact numbers. But like it's a ballpark I would like to keep to.

Also ignore any typos. The software I am using to draw these UML diagrams does not have a built in spell checker.
 

PPQ_Purple

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I have edited in my thoughts on air and naval units as well as a visual unit upgrade tree. If anyone wants to look at it and comment this would be appreciated.
Remember, I am not maintaining this thread as a log but for the purposes of getting input. And there are some serious questions left unanswered.

EDIT: I have solved the issue of what to do with the transport line since posting. But I won't export a new image for the unit tree yet. Maybe in a day or two when I have more to edit in.
 
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raystuttgart

Civ4Col Modder
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Comment, rate subscribe? Like, at the least I want to know if anyone other than <Nexus> is even interested in this.
Hi man, honestly I think it sounds like a great project. :)
But I am already member of WTP team and barely find enough time and motivation for that.

I think that is the issue with most modders here.
We already have our projects that keep us busy.

-----

Also the thing is that you clearly said: "But ultimately this is my mod and I am going to make it the way I wish."
See, I absolutely understand and completely feel the same. If I would ever start another project I would want to design it my own way.

Also, even when other great mods are around the only mods I actually play are my own.
Not because they are better. It is simply because I designed them myself and thus enjoy most.

-----

Honestly, I think it is kind of hard to start a new mod project and find other modders willing to join these days.
There are just too many successul existing mod projects around that their modders do not want to give up.

Also to really get interest and discussion going you most likely need to have a first playable beta or at least much more ingame images.
Currently there is massive amount of detailled text showing that you are serious about this but most potential players will hardly read it all.

-----

Still I wish you all the best with this project. :thumbsup:
It is great to still see modders motivated and inspired enough to start big projects like this.

Also the only thing that actually matters is that you enjoy modding and being creative.
And please excuse my feedback. It was not intended to demotivate. I was just thinking aloud.

------

By the way:
I am really interested to see how this project continues.
So I will visit this thread from time to time, looking forward to your progress.
 
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need my speed

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I am following this thread from the sidelines, now that I found it again.
 

PPQ_Purple

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The problem with getting something playable out is that a lot of things need to be designed first. Like, once I get all the units, tech tree, civics etc. all done actually implementing them into something playable (sans custom art) is a weeks worth of work at most. It's getting to that stage that's the problem.

This said, I am making serious progress as one can see. But the one thing I fear will trip me up is balancing. Well that and AI. I have no idea how to make the AI actually use the units as intended. I know that there are some things in the XML somewhere that tell it how to use which unit and how much emphasis to put on them but I have no idea where to find them or what values work,
 

raystuttgart

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This said, I am making serious progress as one can see.
Sounds good. :)

I fear will trip me up is balancing.
Balancing can always easily be adjusted in XML at any point. It does not need to perfect from the start.
To my experience there is no need to worry much about its details without having a first demo prototype.

I have no idea how to make the AI actually use the units as intended.
The "UnitAIs" are available to XML as you most likely know.
(There is XML setup to define the default one, and also for defining UnitAIs that a Unit may chose or not chose.)

Their names are kind of self-explanatory and probably there are already threads with more details around.
If not you could always ask a programmer to post and explain their code once more.

For a programmer it is of course also possible to add further UnitAIs with specific behaviour. It has been done many times.
(e.g. We have added new UnitAIs in our mod several times, when we e.g. added "Wild Animals", "Whaling Ships", "Fleeing Slaves", "Coastal Ships", "Native Traders" ...)

----

The more problematic is actualy the "PlayerAI" logic that teaches the AIs how to use those Units "strategically" (e.g. how often and when to build).
With pure XML settings you usually only get to a certain point, because those mostly only balance the "value" that AI considers the Unit to have.

So if you do really new game mechanics you normally need a programmer to check the PlayerAI logic and do according adjustments.
(I have no idea how much you have already looked into the PlayerAI logic but some if it is a bit tricky and requires time to understand.)

----

I am not sure how many new game mechanics you would like to introduce. :dunno:
But the more really new game mechanics you want to add, the more programming you will need.
(Both for UnitAI logic and PlayerAI logic.)

----

That is pretty much all I could really tell you for now considering AI, mainly because I mod Civ4Col and not Civ4BTS.
Spoiler :

Both games share in Vanilla about 90% of the Unit AIs but small differences exist.
PlayerAI has more differences, since game rules on strategic level differ more than on Unit level.

Additionally I have been working on custom code of our mod for so long that I hardly remember anymore what is Vanilla Civ4Col and what is not.
(Our mod has really huge amounts of custom DLL code, since almost all of the features we added are DLL based.)

Also I have no idea which "new game mechanics" you actually want for Units.
Thus I also could not give any feedback or estimation on effort for AI implementation.


Generally however almost everything a modder imagines is technically doable. :thumbsup:
 
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<Nexus>

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Well that and AI. I have no idea how to make the AI actually use the units as intended.
Well, if you "clone" existing units and change them a bit (as I understand your intentions) than it will be all okay. I think you are already on the right track ;)
 

PPQ_Purple

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Thanks for the info, both of you. That's what I needed to know.
If it is just that easy than I can just copy the relevant XML fields from existing units and be done with it.

Also, I would like to add that through random chance I am actually a C++ developer with some 20 years of programming behind me. So I guess the project is in good hands in that way? I guess.

I am not sure how many new game mechanics you would like to introduce. [IMG alt=":dunno:"]https://forums.civfanatics.com/images/smilies/idunno.gif[/IMG]
But the more really new game mechanics you want to add, the more programming you will need.
(Both for UnitAI logic and PlayerAI logic.)[IMG alt=":thumbsup:"]https://forums.civfanatics.com/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif[/IMG]
Honestly not many, if any. At least not in the first pass. Basically the only real deviation from the base game is that I intend most units to require both strategic resources and specific buildings to produce. But that's about it. Well that and I intend to give some units ranged attack capability. But that's an XML thing so I assume the AI can handle it?

Basically air combat will be mostly unchanged. Naval combat will get a slight change in that battleships get ranged attack and subs act as hidden nationality units but that's it.

The biggest change will be in ground units where I basically intend there to be two parallel lines of units that do the same thing. The tank/motorized line gets you extra movement, blitz and a bonus vs turrets but it requires both a war factory and two strategic resources. And the infantry line is less effective but also does not require any resources to make and they cost less hammers too. So it's basically players pick on what to focus on. Do you want faster stacks that cost more and require resources or slower stacks that you can churn out.

So if I can just copy the AI weights the only problematic thing will be making sure the AI picks one and commits to it instead of mixing stacks which I fear might be ineffectual. Well that and making sure that the AI can figure out to build war factories in order to build tanks and stuff. But it handles missionaries just fine so it should be fine?
 
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raystuttgart

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I am actually a C++ developer with some 20 years of programming behind me.
I did not know that but then there is nothing to worry. Even if adjustments in the AI logic in DLL should be necessary you can do it yourself. :thumbsup:
(All it may need is time for reading a bit of code here and there to understand which functions already exist and what they do.)
But that's an XML thing so I assume the AI can handle it?
Normally if XML tags exist, AI was already taught how to handle possible settings then. So there should be no need to adjust AI logic in the DLL if you balance reasonably. :thumbsup:
As I said, normally only if you want to program really new game mechanics you need to worry about adjusting AI logic - otherwise it is in most cases just (reasonable) XML balancing.
Honestly not many, if any. At least not in the first pass.
Then as @<Nexus> said, there is little to worry about AI and probably also no need to worry about details of balancing. :thumbsup:
(As he said you should be fine just copying the balancing of a similar Unit and adjust XML a bit here and there, like e.g. combat strength, costs, graphics, ... .)

-----

In the end you simply need to get to a first prototype that you can run in Autoplay while watching what the AI does.
Based on the observations you get from that you can then decide what you need to adjust and how you implement it.

Don't put too much energy in "frontloading" your design with details of XML balancing or trying to have everything considering AI settings perfect.
Having just the "core concept" figured out is normally absolutely good enough to start implementing and then do the rest by iterative improvement.
 
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