Mac Utilities for Civ3

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Macintosh' started by Melinder, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. Melinder

    Melinder Cat Petter

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    What utilities have been developed so far, aside from DyP & Mapstat? What are the chances of convincing the rare but invaluable Mac modders around here to put their talents to use & help beef up our utilities library? I'm hoping that it's relatively easy to "port over" some of the best PC utilities, and that its maybe just a matter of the rest of us showing our interest in using them.

    I'll confess my own motive here; getting ainwood's TradeAssist over to OSX. It's the utility that saves you from having to F4 through all the different civs to see if anyone has anything worth trading for (new tech, worker etc) and would save me about six thousand hours per game :D . AlanH and others discussed it here (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=1563172&postcount=63) a while ago. Stuck_As_A_Mac also raised the question of mac utilities here (http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=24473)

    As I said in that thread, sadly I'm not a developer or anything of the sort, so it's easy for me to ask for others to do the work... I can repay with my eternal admiration and... well not mp3's as they weren't acquired the proper way (iTunes)... so hopefully the eternal admiration's enough.
     
  2. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    I guess you've already seen the utilities in my sig.

    As you can see from the massive response to Stuck_As_A_Mac's 2 year old post, and to your bump in that thread, there's not exactly a queue of Mac developers lining up to do this sort of work.

    Sure, others showing interest is important. Building utilities for one or two people to use is not very productive or rewarding, and I confess that my available time has been filled up to overflowing over the last few months with work on the GOTM-related online submissions and scoring systems where hundreds of players are benefitting. Judging by the low traffic level in this forum, there don't seem to be many of us Mac Civ3 players around.

    Unfortunately, it's not easy to port some of the best PC utilities. It takes a fair bit of time and effort. Some of them are written in Visual Basic which has no direct equivalent on the Mac. Even if it did I'd probably not want to develop in it. The best monitoring set on Windows is Dianthus' CRp suite as far as I know, and I've had a look at that code. It would be possible to port, I guess, but last time I looked it was a very large body of uncommented code, and would require more time than I have to understand and convert to run on the Mac. I haven't looked at editing utilities at all, so I don't know what's out there other than Gramphos' Multitool.

    I have a set of native Mac code for reading Civ3 saves and extracting a lot of data from them, and it is my intention to try to develop this into a working suite, but it's very much lower priority than other things I am doing.

    TradeAssist should be a good app to start with, though actually if I did it I would probably not use it. I run my Mac with the sound turned off to avoid annoying the family, so I couldn't use sound alerts, and hitting Command-P every turn just to check the TradeAssist status screen seems clunky to me, and only marginally better than using F4.

    I tried running TradeAssist on a PC, sharing and monitoring my Mac's Autosaves folder. This should be a good way to do it, as you get a permanently available status screen on the PC's monitor. It kinda worked, but seemed unstable. Maybe it was an early fragile version and I should try it again.
     
  3. Theophilus

    Theophilus Chieftain

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    I know that RealBasic has Visual Basic importing/converting capabilities, from which you could compile the project for Windoze, Mac, AND Linux. But I haven't played with it very much, so I couldn't tell you how well it works.
     
  4. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    I think RealBasic costs money. So no thanks!
     
  5. kelvSYC

    kelvSYC Chieftain

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    IIRC, the free version of RB puts a 30-day time limit on whatever programs you compile, and the standard version can only compile programs for the Mac (classic and carbon). If you want to compile for other platforms or use the database library, then you need to get the pro version.
     
  6. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Sorry, I've no interest in buying or learning RealBasic. I had a look at a free demo copy once and was not impressed. I'm also less than overwhelmed by anything that compiles to Carbon. It's legacy-ware.
     
  7. kelvSYC

    kelvSYC Chieftain

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    I've also heard that the VB import facilities of RB are not that great...

    Anyways, I'm currently writing a BIC utility now (in Java), but what's annoying me is that:
    - there is no facility in Java to decode PCX files or decompress using the PKWARE DCL (outside of MapStat), so in both cases I had to write my own
    - the code would be much easier to read/validate with J2SE 1.5, and we'll have to wait until Tiger to get the other Tiger.
    - I can't decide between Swing or Cocoa. I don't want to code the UI by hand, yet Cocoa-Java seems rough on the edges.
     
  8. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    If you want it to be cross platform then you'll have to use Java and Swing. If you want to use Cocoa then you won't be cross platform and you might as well use ObjC where you can use all the foundation stuff and Interface Builder. Cocoa GUI is a breeze with IB.

    I've provided a routine to convert a .pcx to a native ObjC object, and if you'd asked I have the PkWare decompression from JMapstat coded in ObjC as well.
     
  9. iamliberal

    iamliberal Prince

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    I just read lots of forums and found Civassist. That would be GREAT to have for the Mac version. It's ridiculous that the orginal version on Civ3 didn't (and for us Mac users, still doesn't) have screeen to show you victory conditions like how many turns left, how much culture, etc.

    My greatest desire in Civ is to have a screen that shows how much gold each Civ has, and which tech they're researching so you know if they already got a certain tech or not WITHOUT having to open a dialogue with every single Civ.

    It's been many years, but didn't Civ1 and Civ2 have that basic information on the window that pops up when you select which Civ to dialogue with?

    -iamliberal
     
  10. Ankka

    Ankka Deity

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    Is there some suite that has something like CRPRings?

    Because RCP is something I'm a little too perfectionist on, and this would help...
     
  11. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    I don't know of one, but I'm pretty adept ad doing it by tile counting now. You only really have to go out to about 8.x or 9.x in most games, unless you're into BIG maps. I have a dream of one day producing a small part of the CRpSuite for Macs, but hell may freeze over before I get the time :eek:
     
  12. Ankka

    Ankka Deity

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    Actually, what I have to ask is whether the RCP allows a .5 tile difference, so that for instance a 3.0 ring would still allow cities of 3.5 (or 2.5) in it.

    Or is there some great article on RCP? (I'm pretty sure there is)
     
  13. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    RCP uses distances rounded down to whole numbers. A city at Firaxis distance=3.5 has the same rank corruption as one at distance=3. And 2.5 rounds down to 2
     
  14. Ankka

    Ankka Deity

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    That was fast. :)

    Ok, so they round down.

    That helped. I'll survive from here, thanks. :goodjob:
     
  15. tao

    tao Deity

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    I just tried CivAssist 1.1.1 with Virtual PC and it worked "fine". However, I was not running Civ III at the same time, because the Mac I used was too slow/old. Will try to run both concurrently in the near future on an MDD G4 ...
     
  16. AlanH

    AlanH Mac addict, php monkey Moderator Hall of Fame Staff Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Do you have teh two Macs networked via Ethernet? If so you have an ideal arrangement as you can run CivAssist on the slow one and point it at the shared Saves folder on the G4. That way you have CivAssist and teh game on-screen at the same time. When I'me feeling keen I run my PC monitoring my Mac and it works fine. Panther's Windows sharing provides the networked file access you need.
     
  17. tao

    tao Deity

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    It works - sort of.

    The auto-monitoring does not work; I have to hit "Quick Load" each turn. But Civ Assist is a great help: I managed to buy a number of workers I sure would have missed without it. (IMHO it is close to cheating in gotm.)
     
  18. Demiurge

    Demiurge Warlord

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    Oh, I'm jealous...Feels like cheating eh? Sounds more like leveling the playing field to me.

    I always thought being able to use those PC utilities were just a way to make up for the fact that they have to play on those pathetic machines. :mischief:
     
  19. ainwood

    ainwood Consultant. Administrator

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    Can any of you find a mac porting of the .net framework? Or perhaps even a Mac C# compiler?
     
  20. tao

    tao Deity

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    I'm not a programmer 8any more), but Google found this page which at the bottom has 2 links to "free" .net ports. I can't say whether this helps ...
     

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