Files are now stored in the stickied FILES thread. Go find them there. If you're new to this thread, don't feel obligated to read through the entire thing; once you get past these initial info posts, anything other than the last page or so is generally obsolete. SUMMARY: This two-part mod is designed to add three complete eras to the end of the existing tech tree, replacing the tiny Future Era with full Digital, Fusion, and Nanotech Eras, capped by a brief Transcendence Era. These eras contain a variety of new Units, Buildings, and Wonders, many with special abilities not found in the standard game. Despite the obvious inspiration by Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, this mod takes place on Earth, using the standard civilizations and most of the core gameplay systems of Civ5; this mod reflects how Earth would have continued to advance in the eras after the launch of the Alpha Centauri spaceship. The mod is split into two parts: a small Balance mod designed to balance the early game and make the game more viable in the later eras, and a larger Content mod containing all of the new units, buildings, etc. for the future eras. Each is designed to be usable independently of the other, but most players will use the two together as intended. DISCLAIMERS: 1> This mod isn't QUITE complete It plays well, but a few parts are still not finished, especially in terms of graphics. There are still a small number of unexplained freezes/crashes, mostly in later eras. 2> This is not a total conversion of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Despite the (temporary) name, it is an attempt to add a set of extensive future eras to the existing Civ 5 game, set on Earth, using many of the techs, buildings, wonders, and such of SMAC. For a variety of reasons (balance, ease of coding), some parts deviate from SMAC more than others, especially Units. This will be discussed in the appropriate sections. Anyone expecting a pure conversion of SMAC will be sorely disappointed. 3> This is more of a Content mod than a Mechanics one. I try not to add a large number of intricate new systems (and those I do are generally tied to specific Wonders or are transparent to the player). Most of the content is the result of straightforward XML coding, mostly using schema already implemented, although many of those schema were not being used by assets in the vanilla Civ5 game. No adding religions, no massive overhaul in how units upgrade, just more techs, units, and buildings added in ways that I hope will still be interesting to play. 4> It's never going to be completely "done". In most cases I went with what I knew would already work, but as I learn more LUA coding I'm continually adding more complex mechanisms and replacing placeholder effects with ones closer to my original design. It's nearing the point where everything at least does SOMETHING I'd be happy with, but there will continue to be new versions for a while to come, and we've reached the point where every version is playable. 5> It's not "pretty" yet. I need certain futuristic art assets to be created by other people (or converted from Civ 4 mods); many units still use placeholder unit graphics (typically some early-era UU), and a lot of other graphical things don't really look that great yet. This project actually consists of three distinct mods: Crazy Spatz's Mod (a.k.a. the Balance Mod or the Long Mod, as its job is just to make the existing game not end so quickly by leveling the playing field between the AIs and the player), the Alpha Centauri mod (a.k.a. the Content mod), and a third pack containing custom maps and such. Neither mod explicitly requires the other, although I HIGHLY recommend using the Balance Mod if you wish to play the Content mod. CRAZY SPATZ'S BALANCE MOD a.k.a. "The Long Mod" This is a mod designed to do one thing: make the "tough" phase of the game last longer. More specifically, this mod levels the playing field so that it becomes much harder for a competent player to pull away from the pack by the start of the Industrial Era. If you want the future eras to be feasible in a game starting in the Ancient era, this sort of change is a necessity; not so much if you decide to start the game at the Modern era and jump right in to the future techs, but it still helps significantly there. This mod includes: - All units now gain the Home Field Advantage promotion, which gives +10% to combat within your own territory and an additional +10% when attacking within your own territory. This makes it considerably harder to invade a foe, and makes his counterattacks much more dangerous. 10 or 20 percent doesn't sound like a huge amount, but it adds up fast. Even a scratch defensive force can use this advantage to cripple an invasion force to the point where it can't sieze more than one or two cities, under the right circumstances, especially when combined with the other alterations in this mod. - City strength now scales faster with population and technology level, and a capital now gets +10 defense (instead of the default +2). This includes city-states as well. By the endgame, expect to see city strengths in the ~200 range. You'll now need some serious concentration of bombardment if you want to wear down a city that's invested in defensive structures. Paired with the above change, it makes invasions a lot harder, but not impossible. The Palace bonus also means that while it might be possible to sweep through a civ's outlying cities, it's VERY hard to take their capital, so more wars will end in a truce where the loser still has a city or two left. - The amount of food needed to grow a city was 15 + 8x + x^1.5, where x = (size-1). This was increased to 20 + 10x + x^1.8, which is pretty much a 33% increase at the smaller sizes and a larger increase at large sizes. This is not as bad as it sounds, because: - I reworked the Food Storage system to follow a smoother progression of growth, as detailed in the Buildings post. - The base unhappiness for each city was increased; instead of 3 unhappiness and 5 for conquered cities, it's now 4 and 6 respectively. Additionally, the unhappiness due to population were increased by 20%, to 1.2 and 1.6 respectively. While this sounds like a huge increase in unhappiness, note that three of the food storage buildings above add +1 happiness. The upshot of this is that if you want your cities to grow large, you NEED happiness-boosting buildings, and there's a major penalty to adding more cities in the maximum possible density. - All Natural Wonders provide at least +1 Happiness if they're within your borders. - Building changes: Many buildings' stats were changed. For more detail, go down a few posts. - The income for a trade route, in the base game, is -1.0 + 1.10*(city's pop) + 0.15*(capital's pop). This is changed to -2.0 + 1.20*(city's pop) + 0.10*(capital's pop). At low city sizes, this is a loss of 1-2 gold per city, at higher sizes it's a gain of 1-2. (Break-even point is size ~20, although this'll depend on how big your capital gets.) This helps kill the ICS strategy's effectiveness. - Trading Posts boost like farms: +1 gold for freshwater posts at Compass, and +1 gold for non-freshwater at Economics, instead of the flat +1 at Economics in the vanilla game. It's a pure increase in gold, though. - The Great Person-made Improvements now each get +2 in the early Renaissance Era, to make them more valuable than the other abilities that sacrifice great people, and then another +2 in the late Industrial/early Nuclear Era. - The Influence gained from city-state bribes was reduced by ~30%, but city-states now offer more "missions" for Influence and reward you more for gifting them units. They will also no longer ask you to kill other city-states, since those missions were completed so rarely that it tended to get city-states stuck in missions that would never complete. - A Diplomatic victory now requires significantly more votes; instead of ~50% for small maps and ~35% for huge ones, it's now more like ~67% for small maps and ~50% for huge ones. - And a few random other things that don't really change the balance by much, like how a couple Natural Wonders had their yields boosted. The Head Start When starting in a game in an era after the Ancient, the vanilla game would greatly reduce the costs of all buildings, techs, etc. for the remainder of the game; this created serious imbalances once additional Eras were added, and so the system was reworked. Now, instead of these greatly-reduced costs, all cities begin with a number of "Head Start" buildings, adding food, production, research, and gold, as well as a small amount of Happiness. The number of HS buildings in each city will steadily decrease as the game progresses, to where after 2*N technologies (where N is the number of Eras after the Ancient you started) no further bonus will be given. This creates a brief "get up to speed" period, after which the game progresses as if you'd played through from the Ancient. Specifically, for each Era after the Ancient, you get a discount on 2 techs (so a Nuclear Era start gives discounts on the first 10 techs). For every 2 remaining discounted technologies (rounded up), all of your cities get +2 food, +1 production, and +3 research per turn, and +10% to Gold output. So an Industrial start gives 4 times the listed amounts to each per turn while working on your first two techs, x3 for the next two, and so on. And yes, techs learned through Great Scientists, Research Agreements, and such do count towards decreasing this discount. You also gain an extra +1 Happiness to your empire for every 2 discounted techs remaining. This bonus will only appear in the capital. Some additional balance things will periodically migrate over from the Content mod. The goal is to make this Balance mod function similarly to other balance mods out there, so that someone could, in theory, pair the Content mod with their own favorite balance mod, or conversely use this Balance mod in games having nothing to do with the future-era content. THE ALPHA CENTAURI MOD a.k.a. "Spatz's Mod of Alpha Centauri" (SMAC), a.k.a the "Content" mod. WARNING: This mod is not compatible with the default Lakes, Great Plains, or Highlands map scripts, or any custom map scripts that modify the default resource allocation through AssignStartingPlots routines, such as the pre-order scenario maps. Note that modified versions of the Lakes, Great Plains, and Highlands maps are included the Player Pack file at the end of this post. It also conflicts with Strategic View and the Quick Combat option. Do not use these options with this mod. The rest of this thread will primarily discuss items found in the Content mod. While this mod does not absolutely require the Balance mod to work, it's highly recommended you use them together, with matching version numbers if possible. I'd also suggest using whatever other balance mods you want, although I can't guarantee compatibility. As with anything else, be warned that many other mods haven't been fully adjusted for the effects of the various official patches, so mix and match at your own risk. Again, this is NOT an Alpha Centauri total conversion. It is a set of future eras intended to expand the core Civ5 gameplay. If you want to start in the Ancient Era you could play straight through from Warriors to Gravships, from cavemen to transcendence. While I've added the capability to start a game directly in the future eras, I highly recommend that you start no later than the beginning of the Industrial Era. Starting in the Transcendence era is a very strange experience, with a new Settler costing more than an endgame Wonder, so I wouldn't recommend it for general play. Each era will have its own quirks as a starting point, with a different combination of "free" buildings and a few multiplier changes. The biggest headache is in resources; later eras give you less time to expand before certain key resources appear on the map. A Renaissance start, for instance, gives you very little time to expand before Coal appears, and a game can easily be decided based on whether your core cities can get Factories at the right time. In an Industrial or Nuclear start, you'll see the Coal on the map already and can ensure you settle at least one early city near it, but now will have little time to expand before Oil, Aluminum, and/or Uranium appear. Conversely, starting in the Digital Era would mean that mindworms are spawning all around you almost from the start, which makes for a VERY dangerous early game. Most units still use placeholder unit graphics. Pay close attention to the actual statistics and popup names for units, because that Ironclad sailing across the prairies is actually a city-flattening Bolo supertank, and the battleship in the forest right next to it is a Gravship. Every Wonder and building has a usable effect, although a few effects are still considered placeholders while I develop the final functionality. As of version 1.0, this is now the main focus of my efforts, adding better (or at least more distinctive) unit models. CREDITS Obviously, I have drawn many inspirations from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. These include the names of technologies, various units (most notably the psionic units), Wonders, Policies, and such, but I directly use assets in two ways: 1> > The Civilopedia quotes for each technology, building, and Wonder are taken directly from SMAC with only minor changes. (Replacing "Planet" with either "Earth" or "Alpha Centauri"/"Terra Nova" as appropriate. While many of these quoted existing literature or people, most were fiction created for SMAC.) 2> The icon for each new new technology, building, Wonder, promotion, and policy is taken directly from a .pcx files supplied with SMAC. Similar images from SMAC were also used for unit flags, several unit icons, and the backdrops of the custom area in the Policies and Advanced Setup screens. I believe that these would be allowed under Fair Use, as I am not profiting from this work and am not reducing the commercial value of the original product. I will not package the audio files or wonder movies, but anyone with a copy of SMAC would be able to integrate their own sets once the stubs are in place. At least for the audio; the Wonder movies might take longer. In terms of other mods, I use Whys' excellent Building Resources mod, v.4 (although I manually added some of the changes made in later versions). This is essential for the buildings and Wonders which create units of resources, and the CustomNotification system used in Whys' mod (available separately in this thread) was modified for my other custom notifications. I also include terraforming logic loosely based on (and greatly expanded from) rezaf's Forestation Mod. Other logic is often based loosely on the code structure of outside mods but represent my own work. In the future I intend to use art assets from a variety of other mods, primarily the Planetfall mod for Civ4, but at present these are not integrated. Additionally, many unit icons are taken from other literature, video game artwork, movies, or occasionally a simple Google Image Search; all copyrights remain with the original holders. Finally, the Civilopedia "history" entries for many units and buildings contain uncited references to many works of science fiction, fantasy, anime, or classical literature. This also includes an explicit reference in the name of the Bolo unit (a reference to Keith Laumer's well-known short stories). Most references aren't so blatant, although a fan of science fiction should be able to identify the majority.