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Moving forward with C7

Discussion in 'Civ3 Future Development' started by WildWeazel, Oct 22, 2021.

?

Are you interested in helping remake the game?

  1. I can contribute to development (coding, artwork, design, QA testing, administration...)

    4 vote(s)
    80.0%
  2. I would like to help but I'm not sure how

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. I will cheer from the sidelines

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  4. I'm not that interested

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. WildWeazel

    WildWeazel Carthago Creanda Est

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    It's high time I checked back in and stated my intentions. As mentioned in my last post here, I voluntarily moved out of Houston to central Texas and was putting off any action until that was done. The move itself went off terribly. Like, you wouldn't believe all the ways in which everything went wrong. It took about a month longer than expected for life to resume some level of normalcy. But I'm here now and finally settled in.

    To the point, I'm still in favor of tackling the full remake. It has always been my foregone conclusion, barring a compelling reason to go another route. C3X has been the only seemingly viable alternative, and while @Flintlock has made impressive progress he's starting to hit some walls, and it's not something I can really contribute much to. C7 is still my holy grail. With my move out of the way, Godot making strides, and @Puppeteer's timely return, I'm running out of excuses not to go for it.

    First I want to ask everyone to chime in with their level of interest and potential involvement in C7. I'm not looking for any kind of commitment at this point, just reading the room. Once we start I will of course open it up for participation, not just to the rest of CFC but to the broader Civ and indie dev communities. I'm preparing a hyped up and meme-laden reveal post for the main forum (still thinking about a catchy title), which I'd like to put out sometime in the next week to make it official.

    I wanted to be further along than this before going public, but on the verge of the 20th anniversary there's never a better time than the present. I just read a convicting column the other day about how life never actually opens up enough to accommodate that thing you've been putting off. I've been telling myself maybe next year for longer than it would have taken to attempt it. So this is me, saying I'm not ready, but willing to do this anyway. Who's in?

    @Ozymandias @Quintillus @Lanzelot @Vuldacon @Blue Monkey @Civinator
     
  2. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    I've only been logging on to CFC about once a month lately; today was the first time in over a month. But for largely good reasons - I've been traveling, and experiencing the world, and generally having a great time out and about again. Making up for 2020, you could say, and successfully.

    I have mixed thoughts, but it largely comes down to not being sure that I'll have enough enthusiasm to meaningfully contribute. There are a lot of contributing factors:

    - New, outdoor hobbies have reduced my interest in video games during the warmer months. Worth noting, the colder months are quickly approaching.
    - I was quite burned out of programming by May. After several months with very little programming, that is somewhat resolved. Still, I don't want to jump back in too quickly.
    - I have learned that I am more of a people person than I thought even in 2019. Taking on things that are inherently not-in-person is thus something I am more cautious about; some of them are okay, but the enthusiasm has to be there.
    - I haven't played Civ (any iteration) in about six months. I might be played out on the series.
    - In correlation with the above, I am not sure Civ is the game I'd really be most into re-creating, or evolving. I've been thinking about the Railroad Tycoon series lately, and why I prefer it to the newer railroad games, as well as what it's missing, and in some ways I'm more excited about that (although there's no one to work on it with, so don't expect to see any results).

    It's the sort of thing where if there were a few other people in town and we met up and worked on it in somebody's living room a couple evenings a week, I could probably get swept back up in the enthusiasm. But I'm skeptical that will happen over the Internet, especially being more aware of my preference for in-person socializing after 2020.

    To put it another way, I've been considering whether I should put an end of development notice on my editor thread, likely after one last update incorporating a few minor updates I made in February and March; it's been seven months since I added anything to it. There was a similar gap at one point earlier, but it feels less likely that I'll go back in a meaningful way at this point. In the end, I've decided I probably will add occasional updates over the years even if nothing major, and the timing seems wrong for that, but it reflects my changing interests.
     
  3. Puppeteer

    Puppeteer Emperor

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    Well, congrats on life, Quintillus! Is your editor code available and open-source? I know I've had access to the code before, but I can't recall the licensing. (Not that I am thinking of taking over the project; but I have occasionally considered writing data as well as reading, and the BIQ would be an easier place to do that compared to the SAV. The code reference would be useful.)

    I voted "willing to contribute", but motivation is limited, too. My recent spark of interest is more of a result of trying to create online content on websites and YouTube, and my triggering interest was moving some of the functionality of civ3sat online, and to make some YouTube content around creating and using it.

    But everything I might do for the online stuff also benefits C7, because it's all about reading data, media, and trying out embedded languages to process the data.

    I'm not burnt out on programming, but the Civ3 audience is relatively small.

    But it's not insignificant. I'm still surprised at SuedeCivIII's audience size on YouTube for a 20-year-old game. I plan to feature some of my dev work on YouTube. I was going to ask for forgiveness not permission, but I don't necessarily need to say "hey I'm working on a Civ3 replacement with these other folks," and in fact I have a bunch of things I can accomplish without tipping that off at all. I still think "Civ3 Parade" (lua-scripted animation of Civ3 graphics elements) would at least have some interest.


    In a different direction, I was kind of hoping that .NET and Godot would converge on .NET 5 in a reasonably soon time frame, but I don't think that's going to happen, even with Godot 4.0 . Even if/when that happens, there will still apparently be at least two different CLRs (from dotnet core and mono).

    So my thoughts would be to go with Godot 3.3.4 . The Godot 4.0 changes seem largely graphics-engine-based, and my perception is that most or all of our early challenges are going to be structuring the game logic code.

    On the other hand, maybe that's an argument for using a 4.0 prerelease: our user base will be just us, and by the time it's ready for many others to use maybe 4.0 will be out. So we can work around engine bugs and changes while we're building logic that will work better with the future engine.

    Yeah, I think I changed my mind mid-post. 4.0 prerelases. But it's not a hill I'll die on.
     
  4. Flintlock

    Flintlock King

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    I'm glad to see this project is heating up again.
     
  5. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Archivist, redux Supporter

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    @WildWeazel - :yup: Also: "I voluntarily moved out of Houston to central Texas." You do realize that this sounds akin to, "I voluntarily moved to Siberia." :cooool:

    I also! (&, also @Flintlock - R/L does sometimes have the annoying habit of being "real." Pseudocode still to follow.)

    @Puppeteer - I do think (given the small but not insignificant # of new members of late) that a revival of sorts is certainly possible. With issues like Artillery actually working properly, et al., I don't think that "we" aren't alone in thinking that Civ3 is the best game in the series, especially with the mods made (and continuously tended to and upgraded) by the likes of @AnthonyBoscia, @Civinator, & @Vuldacon, not to mention @Quintillus' extraordinary editor ... Also, amigo, I don't see any hills in these parts worth dying on :cowboy:

    ... Speaking of which, Quint, I think it's safe to say that, at this point, that you can "rest on your laurels" with your magnificent editor. I'm certainly with you about the great outdoors, and, perhaps, a well-deserved respite from coding is very much a Good Thing. Question: what is about the RR games that you find more compelling than, say, city building games? This could be great input into whichever efforts next evolve here.
     
  6. WildWeazel

    WildWeazel Carthago Creanda Est

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    Apologies for not responding before going ahead with the post. I really wanted to put it up today, being the anniversary.

    Quintillus, sounds like you're living the life! I'd be thrilled for you and Puppeteer to be involved, but of course that is entirely up to you. Anyone will be welcome to come and go as they please. Both of your prior work will already be invaluable references.

    I was disappointed about .NET too but it is what it is. I'm all for using Godot 4 anyway. If nothing else, it's about to be the stable release, and we have nothing tying us to 3.x. At the pace we're going, everyone else will be on it by the time we have a substantial code base.

    Oz, that's not fair. We have far better barbecue than Siberia.
     
  7. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Archivist, redux Supporter

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    And I'll even bet that your BBQ isn't made from lemmings!
     
  8. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    @Puppeteer - My editor is open source, with the editor itself being MIT licensed (do whatever you want), and the BIQ/SAV reading/saving code being Mozilla-licensed (if you make enhancements to it, contribute them back to the community so they stay open source; of course you can also use it for reference for code in e.g. C# and do whatever you want). It is listed on my Civ3 project page at https://sr.ht/~adj/Civ_III_Projects/ civ3_cross_platform_editor is the editor, which depends on civ3_shared_components, which reads I/O. Not part of the editor are civ3eventorchestrator, an exploration of adding coded events to Civ3 that never progressed beyond proof-of-concept, and civ3_biq_compare, the predecessor to the editor.

    I'd lean towards the newer Godot release unless there are expected hazards that would make life difficult by going that route. It will likely save a largely amount of hassle than having to switch later, or being stuck on the old version forever if switching later becomes infeasible for some reason.

    And thanks for the kind words, all! I do expect to continue visiting the forums from time to time, but it is TBD how actively involved I'll be. Although reading WildWeazel's announcement draft is reminding me of what got me interested in the first place.

    -------

    @Ozymandias - While part of it is the railroad theme, I think the variety of maps, scenarios, and difficulty levels that keeps the railroad games (well, some of them, specifically the Tycoon ones) entertaining. They are scriptable, with all sorts of variables being tweakable - train speed, acceleration, fuel/maintenance cost, availability; track costs, station costs, territory access, cargo revenue and availability, the economic situation in general. Combine that with the wide variety of maps (seemingly anywhere in the world, as well as fantasy lands invented by community modders), and there's a ton of replayability. The scripting is a key item that Railroad Tycoon has, but Civ III (pre-C7) lacks. They also offer the player an ability to tweak player and AI revenue either up or down before starting the scenario, which is similar to the Civ difficulty levels, but something not as common in many city builders (although SC3K had a starting cash difficulty option).

    Comparing to city builders more generally, I like Sim City 3000 and Sim City 4. I haven't been as big of a fan of Cities: Skylines, and I think the main three things it's missing for me are difficulty (money just flows in way too easily, even if I turn off the bonuses for leveling up the city via mods), time progression (it is always in the modern day, whereas Sim City 3000/4, like Civ and Railroad Tycoon, has progression and time-based unlocks), and the "charm" factor that Sim City 3000/4 have with their advisors, petitioners, and the news ticker at the bottom. Skylines tried to have some of this with their Chirper bird, a la Twitter, but it just doesn't convey the same sense of a living city that Sim City offers.

    I suppose the charm and scripting brings to mind another thing that Railroad Tycoon offers, which is lore or history presented (sometimes as choices) in the scenarios. How much varies by the scenario, but it helps keep each one fresh. It's often presented in a form like, "if you connect to City G by 1872 and deliver 6 loads of food, they'll give you Y bonus", though there are a lot of varieties. Civ3 doesn't really have this, and Civ4's quests are not the most engaging ("build 7 or more theaters and you'll get a bonus of some sort"). There could be a lot of potential here - imagine there's a Great War scenario, and if you play Spain, France offers to give you Oil for 10 turns if you declare war on Germany and fight at least a dozen battles with them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2022
    Puppeteer likes this.
  9. Ozymandias

    Ozymandias Archivist, redux Supporter

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    You're quite right - I'd not thought of that.

    I also concur about Sim City.
     
  10. WildWeazel

    WildWeazel Carthago Creanda Est

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    Thanks for reminding me how bad I am at city builders.

    I do agree that SC4 was overall the more attractive game. I haven't gotten into mods with either of them though.

    This is real pie in the sky stuff here, but since playing Stellaris and Old World one of the super stretch goals I've been thinking about is how to allow more of a grand strategy feel with emergent events. Not just scripting event X to happen at turn Y but semi-random stuff that gives you choices to make or rewards to pursue. For people like me who tend to role-play as the world leader instead of just optimizing to win, that could give the early and mid game a lot more flavor and immersion where you're given tangible things to work towards well before victory conditions.
     
  11. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    I think the lack of that, as well as more advanced diplomacy, is why I've been playing more Paradox games and less Civilization in the past few years (and Old World is on my wishlist). Even the scenario I've been obsessed with playing in Railroad Tycoon II has semi-random events, which is not common in that game, but is possible, and events that are in reaction to player actions but not necessarily advertised ahead of time are more common.
     

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