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More advanced Tech-Tree

Discussion in 'Civ5 - Creation & Customization' started by richardsvensson, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. richardsvensson

    richardsvensson Chieftain

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    Is there anyone working on a mod for a more advanced tech-tree??

    I think the tech-tree can be hugely more complex and advanced. I have played mods on Civ IV Beyond the Sword with great tech-trees, and something like that would be great to see for Civ V.
     
  2. Kruelgor

    Kruelgor Emperor

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    Sounds good to me. I would like to see it.
     
  3. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Depends on what you mean by "Advanced".

    I'm working on a mod that adds something like 47 new techs, all future-based (basically pulled from Alpha Centauri). Basically, the Modern Era becomes the "Nuclear Era", then I add the Digital, Fusion, and Nanotech Eras, with the Transcendence Era at the very top (replacing the Future Era). Obviously, this is taking a LOT of coding, so it's not going to be done any time soon, but thankfully the icons, sound bites, quotes, etc. are all easily translatable from the original Alpha Centauri.

    But if you're referring to the mods that expanded the existing tech tree to include more techs, improvements, etc. in the earlier ages, then no, I don't know of any yet. It would be nice to see, though; halve the tech costs and double the number of techs, and you'd get a much smoother progression. (Counterpoint: you'd also greatly reduce the benefit of wonders, SPs, and Great Scientists that give bonus techs.)
     
  4. Necro-

    Necro- Chieftain

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    i like the idea, but adding new tech is much more work since you need new units and pictures and the like
     
  5. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Yes. It's definitely not easy. I'm developing my mod under the assumption that the graphics for many of the units I need will be available from other people by the time I'm ready. (In the meantime, I just copy existing units' graphics into the new slots.) Many of my needs are fairly generic: a futuristic jet, a couple futuristic naval units, a couple power armor units, that sort of thing, so it's inevitable that most will be taken care of fairly soon.

    On the other hand, since I'm cannibalizing SMAC to build this mod, many of the assets I need already exist, which saves quite a bit of work. Most new-tech mods wouldn't have that sort of flexibility, so you'd end up with a bunch of techs lacking a narrator.
     
  6. Necro-

    Necro- Chieftain

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    won't they be..really ugly in comparison just thinking that the all great smac is already quite old ;p
     
  7. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    The wonder movies are low in resolution, but I'd still rather have them than the Civ4-style movies. Seriously, the Civ games have nothing as awesome as the Cloudbase Academy movie, for instance.
    The tech and unit icons are very stylized monochrome ideograms. They'll work very well in Civ. Frankly, I always preferred the SMAC-style tech setups, where icons were color-coded based on whether they were military, scientific, growth, etc. techs, and where techs along a single chain would share some style elements.

    The only part whose resolution really stinks would be the units themselves. Since Civ4 and Civ5 both use 3D models while SMAC used sprites, they'd have to be remade anyway, so that's really not an issue. Also, SMAC used a mix-and-match unit construction system that Civ5 isn't built to support, so I'm tossing out most of the units anyway. I keep the Needlejet, for instance, but now it's a single unit (air unit at tech level 18, and both fighters and bombers will upgrade to it). Likewise, the Former is now a single T22 worker unit representing a massive armored terraforming vehicle, and can take a couple worker actions that normal workers can't do (like turning hills into plains or tundra into grassland).
    (Notation: Tech 18 means that it's at GridX=18 in the tech tree, with column numbers starting at 0 for Agriculture. For reference, the Modern era is T12-14. I'm adding T15-25 in this mod, with most of the new units coming at T17-19.)

    To compensate for the lack of a modular unit system, I'm adding in a variety of other units: Zombies (cheap supportless combat unit that can do some Worker actions at a slower rate, sort of like modern-day Legions), Bolos (massive ground unit, basically with the stats of the current Giant Death Robot), Combat Mechs (mid-sized ground unit, using a scaled-down version of the GDR's model), Scout Powersuits, Assault Powersuits, and so on. Obviously, these will depend on getting appropriate 3D models, so plans may change. These are just the units I'd had in the unfinished Civ4 version of this mod, many of which had used placeholder art.

    A lot is going to depend on what assets are available. For instance, I want a unit tentatively labeled the "Hellhound" (T16) representing a bioengineered "raider" unit that can pillage improvements easily, uses all terrains as roads, and has a massive bonus to attacking but no defense. But I'll rename the unit as soon as I find a good graphic for it, whether it's some random beast, a velociraptor, the Alien from the Aliens movies, the Deathclaw from Fallout, or the bug warriors from the Starship Troopers movie.

    Once I have a semi-working version of this mod, I'll create a dedicated thread to discuss it. But that's still at least a week away, even with placeholders; too many little things to code.
     
  8. Necro-

    Necro- Chieftain

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    imho the noly thing that beat smac...is outpost 1 that game was pure awesome :D
     
  9. Evalis

    Evalis Prince

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    How have you been going about adding new techs? Any time I include a technology it messes up the navigation tree.
     
  10. Abremms

    Abremms Prince

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    more extensive tech trees are always welcome, as long as every tech has a purpose and adds something to the game. I never got along with fluff techs that ate research points but didn't have any unit/building.mechanic associated to it, but was a pre-req i needed to learn it to get to something good
     
  11. Decimatus

    Decimatus King

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    I am also working heavily on a tech tree(about 45 hours of work so far), though I have perhaps 50 tech added to mine with only 5-8 being late modern/early future. The plan is to move on into the future once I am sure the base tree is solid.

    Spatzimaus, want to combine trees? :) I will send you a PM.
     
  12. labrynianrebel

    labrynianrebel Warlord

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    Adding self-replicating machines after nanotechnology would be neat.

    Self-Replication

    The more GDRs you have, the faster you can build them. Okay, maybe that's a little overpowered, maybe just a simple production increase?

    Young man, in mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
    -John Von Neumann
     
  13. Decimatus

    Decimatus King

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    Heh, mini-GDR's that don't require uranium and every 5 turns each mini-GDR gives you another mini-GDR(like the militaristic city states).

    You better play as the songhai so your fleet of embarked GDR's can defend themselves.. :)
     
  14. labrynianrebel

    labrynianrebel Warlord

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    That... would be epic.
     
  15. Ifandbut

    Ifandbut Chieftain

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    Very cool. I always thought there could be something other than "Future Tech" at the end of the Civ tech tree. The fact you are pulling assets from SMAC just makes this mod double cool.

    I'm gona keep an eye out for your mod thread.:goodjob:
     
  16. Optimizer

    Optimizer Sthlm, SWE

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    I don't think that complexity should be its own purpose.

    That said, I am experimenting with more techs during the early game; Ancient to Renaissance, since these make up most of written history. Right now I have:

    Textiles: Requires Agriculture, allows Workboats, Fishing Boats, Trapping and Sailing
    Parchment: Requires Writing and Animal Husbandry, allows research pacts, Great Library and Civil Service
    Arch and Vault: Requires Construction and Mathematics, allows Bridges, Forts and Engineering
    Oil Painting: Requires Theology and Optics, allows Sistine Chapel, Museum, Archaeology and Navigation
    Clockworks: Requires Machinery, allows Windmill, Notre Dame and Navigation
     
  17. zappara

    zappara Mod Designer

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    Yes ;) We're going to expand the tech tree to ~300 techs
     
  18. Putmalk

    Putmalk Deity

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    My question about 300-tech trees is: how are you going to balance the turn requirements, and how many units/functions are you going to add for the techs? Or are they going to be relatively useless techs?
     
  19. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Missed out on this thread over the weekend, but I'm back.

    Yeah, it's coming along nicely, but I wasn't going to create a dedicated thread until I had a file to present, even if it's all just placeholders. The technologies are all in (although the Flavors need tweaking), the wonders and resource modifiers are nearly all in, and I'm still working on units and improvements.

    The thing is, I agree with Optimizer: complexity, for its own sake, is bad; having hundreds of techs just makes things drag out, and kills the utility of the various "free tech" wonders and such. So anyone expecting a straight port of SMAC will be disappointed. Most of the new structures and such are about blurring lines (buildings that add to both production and research, for instance, or happiness and culture at the same time), just like in SMAC, but the units are very specialized and a lot of the techs have been trimmed out as unnecessary.

    Basically, I'm following some simple design principles:
    1> This will still be set on Earth, with the techs being purely extensions of the previous ones. So there's just no need for SMAC's "remedial" techs and structures, like the Network Node (basic +research building), unless I want to change these to do something completely different. That's why it's only 47 techs, I've tossed out about half of SMAC's tree (and didn't include any of the SMACX techs); there was just no need for more.
    Likewise, a few things had to get rearranged for practical reasons; Graviton techs are now much sooner, so that I could have hover units earlier instead of needing even more tracked ones. Conversely, nanotech and quantum ones come much later. And the dependencies of the techs were greatly changed, just so that lines wouldn't cross over each other in the tech tree. (SMAC's tech tree was horribly messy on paper.)

    2> The units generally aren't about scaling up in raw power, unlike in SMAC where it was all about using the newest high-power weapon or defense. Most of the advanced units in these eras are comparable in power to modern-era units (or even lower in a few cases), but are loaded with special abilities instead.
    For instance, I add the Laser Infantry; think of them as the soldiers from the Starship Troopers movie. They're actually weaker than MechInfantry (40 vs 50) and only move 2, but cost about half as much and among other things have a "Flanking" promotion that gives them +25% when adjacent to a friendly unit, plus a bonus when attacking or defending a city or when fighting Psi units. So they become pretty desirable to have around if a war bogs down, and since they're so cheap to build, you can rush them easily or build them in a city under siege.
    Or the Mindworms, a Psi unit (new unit type) that also has low power but heals automatically, upgrades through a variety of buildings, gains double XP but can't spawn Great Generals, and so on.
    Or the Gravtank, which is a 100-power Armor unit (Modern Armor is 80, for reference) that can travel on Coast tiles and treats all terrains as 1MP, plus a few other tweaks (like a bonus against bombardment and better visibility, and no penalties when attacking cities or anything). Not substantially STRONGER than a Modern Armor, but definitely more useful overall.
    In other cases, I'm just combining existing units. The Needlejet is just a fighter/bomber hybrid, capable of all fighter actions but with a good ground attack rating, good evasion, and a big range. Likewise, I've got one naval vessel that combines the submarine with the destroyer (an invisible sub that can bombard!) and one that combines the carrier with the battleship (a carrier that can bombard!).

    3> The existing game will be heavily tweaked to make it more likely that you'd ever reach these eras. For instance, cities will now take more food to grow, and I want to make it easier for an out-teched civ to catch up (better discount for late researchs).
    Also, I'm giving a Himeji Castle-style bonus to ALL units by way of the Palace: +10% when fighting in friendly territory, plus another 10% if ATTACKING within friendly territory. This should drastically slow down Domination victories, and keep things a lot more balanced.
    I've removed the Spaceship Victory entirely; building the ship first instead gives you a free SP, a very long Golden Age, and unlocks certain Centauri techs (Centauri Ecology, Centauri Empathy, Centauri Meditation, etc.) for everyone. I also want it to start a "World Peace" event (no wars, everyone in a Golden Age) for ten turns, but I can't code that part yet.
    Each SP tree gained a sixth box, with some powerful effects, but this drastically slows down the culture victory since you'd now need 30 instead of 25.

    4> I'm adding three distinct Eras, each designed with its own "flavor".
    The Digital Era (GridX = 15 to 17) has a lot of Wonders (contrast with the Modern Era, which I've renamed the "Nuclear Era": very few wonders) but is light on units and city improvements, and a lot of techs provide bonuses to various tile improvements (+1 production for a farm, +1 gold for a mine, and so on), which shifts back away from the specialist-centric economy of the Nuclear Era.
    Most of the units in this era are about simplifying life, like the two naval vessels mentioned above. This is sort of a "consolidation" era; much harder to have massive wars, but your city growth will take off. Especially if I can get that "World Peace" event in to kick off this era. This'll also be an era where you start getting enough surplus happiness to start filling in all those empty spots in the world with smaller cities.

    The Fusion Era (GridX = 18 to 20) has a lot of city improvements, but the most important part is that this era includes nearly all of the "endgame" units, a la the Modern Armor in the core game. Most of these are highly specialized units; you'd use one type of infantry for defense and a different type for attacks, for instance. This era also introduces some basic terraforming actions, if you want to change Grassland to Plains and so on, plus the Magtubes improvement (costs 3 per tile, but has infinite movement).
    This era's either about massive city improvement or huge wars. Or both. I'd expect most games to end in this era, like how the core game often ends at the end of the Industrial era.

    The Nanotech Era (GridX = 21 to 23) is all about growing insanely big cities, improving specialists, and spawning Great People, in preparation for the Transcendence victory condition. The few units in this era are all in the "Giant Death Robot" power category, with tons of raw firepower, and most of the buildings are so expensive to build that you simply CAN'T have more than one or two new ones in each city before time runs out (but are VERY powerful).
    (To win Transcendence, you need to build a Wonder, and then a 20-turn countdown would start. Sacrificing a great person would knock 2 turns off the timer. I haven't got this coded yet, though.)
    If you make it to this era, then it's all about the race to the endgame, or utterly crushing everyone with an unstoppable military of giant robots, hovering battlecruisers, and orbital death rays.

    There are only a few things I really need to get this off the ground:
    A> I'm developing an Empath specialist type. Instead of adding food, hammers, research, gold, etc., an Empath simply adds +1 happiness. This would give some basic tunability to the existing happiness model.
    Unfortunately, to do this, I need to create a new Yield type for happiness, and that isn't in there. I can add a new entry in the yields file, but I can't find how to tie this to the effect I want. (Also not in there? Culture as a tile yield, which explains why the Great Artist can't build anything. All the things that generate happiness and culture do so through explicit table entries.)

    B> The ability to use Wonder movies. Any format would do; I've got the SMAC movies translated to common movie formats on my computer, but Civ5 just seems to use a picture and a quote audio file. (For copyright reasons, I don't think I could distribute those even under Fair Use, but for my own copy of the mod...)
    I can take screenshots of the movies to make some placeholder pictures, but I REALLY want those movies. And this could also expand to adding the Civ4 wonder movies to many of the older wonders...

    C> The two Events I mentioned, the triggered World Peace for building the spaceship and the Transcendence victory countdown. What I'd REALLY like is a "Breakout" event in the Digital Era where wild mindworms start spawning around the world, but that might be a bit much.

    I'm hoping to have a semi-working version this weekend. More as events warrant.
     
  20. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Well, after putting another six hours or so last night, I'm making some good progress, but there are a few things I've noticed and/or have complaints about:

    > In the core game, a lot of things don't match the documentation. Tradition only gives +1 food, not +2, for instance, and a couple of the SPs don't seem to match at ALL. Also, the movement bonus for circumnavigating the world is set to 0. So it looks like I'm going to have three mods in one:
    the Core mod will have all the little balance changes I wanted, things I'd want to use even with other people's mods.
    the Long mod will have a bunch of balance changes designed to slow down early-era victories, to ensure the game gets TO the modern and future eras
    and then Spatz's Mod for Alpha Centauri (SMAC) will have the real future-era content.

    > A LOT of things have the ability for prerequisites that the core game doesn't use. For instance, you can have SPs require a specific technology; besides allowing you to make great SPs without unbalancing the ancient era, this effectively hard-caps the Cultural victory.
    And technologies can have an OR prerequisite, if you really want, which has some real potential, although the Tech Tree LUA file simply won't draw the arrows if you do this.

    > There are a lot of unused bonuses and such in the various files, which are great if you're trying to add new SPs or units. For instance, there's an unused entry in the policies file for if you want an SP to increase the rate at which city-state quests build influence, which seems like an obvious choice for adding a sixth SP to the Patronage tree (which I do).
    Or in some files, there are entire unused tables; for Buildings, there's an empty table for "global yield". Presumably this is sort of a "all cities gain +1 food" type of thing, a la SMAC's satellites, which is exactly what I wanted to use these for anyway, so hooray for that. There are quite a few other tables like this.

    > Unfortunately, quite a few other things are hard-coded. I'd previously mentioned how happiness and culture are handled through explicit table entries instead of yields, and there are a lot of other things like that. You see this most in the various units; a lot of the special abilities are either on or off, with no real flexibility, and some abilities aren't even available for individual units.
    For instance, I'd wanted some of my top-end units to use something along the lines of Japan's Bushido bonus, where they fight at full strength at all times. This'd represent really large, single units. But there doesn't seem to be any way to do this.
     

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