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need a bit of help with the custom factions

Discussion in 'Alpha Centauri' started by tuga2112, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. tuga2112

    tuga2112 Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2007
    Messages:
    111
    hello everyone.

    its my first post in the alpha centauri forum but i have been in the comunity on civ1 for nearly a year mostly quiet lol, still. i bought alpha centauri a few months ago from the soldout series just wondering what would be this game since from my information it was something of a mix from civ 2 and 3.

    so i tried it and i though this game suits me best.

    still personally im quite a capitalist minded person. and i though morgan's faction doesnt really suit me. and i started to do some research on how to customise factions.

    so gameplay wise i made my own faction to play. its still in test mode but aparently so far its not very overpowered. i have tried a multiplayer game vs my brother using the univercity and things where balanced. (fingers crossed it is balanced lol )

    STILL what i really need help with is this. i have basically the gameplay part kinda sorted. now i want to make the faction more.... emersive. so i have given it a name (quite crappy actually but better ideas will come) ECB (european central bank) and based the name of the leader and secretaries on people from the real ECB. on the datalinks i gave a sinple explanation for every up and down of the faction and changed some of the diplomacy comments. basically im quite proud of it so i better just tell everyone lol.

    i have reached the point where i got a few images for the bases, an idea for the logo, and for the face of the leader.

    my issue is this. i dont know how to "link" the txt file to the pcx file that i have, if i need to give it the same name, or use some code in the txt file. or whatever is the way to do it. so i decided to ask here cus im pretty sure someone will be able to help.

    im not posting the faction files yet cus its not finished but i could also use some help on the balance. it looks balanced to me but i never play in dificultyes harder than citizen.

    the faction has the folowing pros and cons.

    +2 economy
    +2 industy
    +1 eficience.
    -2 planet
    -2 probe
    -3 support

    considering its an extremly capitalist faction that seems to make sence to me. im open to suggestions.

    thanks everyone.
     
  2. vyeh

    vyeh Emperor

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,204
    Welcome to the CivFanatics Alpha Centauri forum!

    so i tried it and i though this game suits me best.

    I am assuming you are playing the original SMAC (and not the expansion Alien Crossfire). In the alpha.txt, there is a section at the end of the file:

    Code:
    #FACTIONS
    GAIANS,   GAIANS
    ...
    UNIV,     UNIV
    MORGAN,   MORGAN
    Assuming that the faction file of your new faction is ECB.txt, then you would need to replace one of the lines under #FACTIONS with

    Code:
    ECB,   ECB
    and you would have three pcx files: ECB.pcx, ECB2.pcx and ECB3.pcx.

    Edit: Looking at your previous posts, I see you have the expansion.

    For the expansion, you would add

    Code:
    ECB,   ECB
    under the section

    #CUSTOMFACTIONS

    at the end of the alphax.txt file, and you would add ECB.pcx, ECB2.pcx and ECB3.pcx where you see the other pcx files.

    You're welcome. I hope this helps.
     
  3. tuga2112

    tuga2112 Warlord

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    Dec 10, 2007
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    first of all thanks for the reply, that was a lot quicker than i expected

    i tutally forgot to mention i play the alien crossfire expancion. on the edition from soldout both come toguether so i just installed both,

    i am 100% sure the atributes are working as i stated, not only the social engineering does recognise the atributes as the atribute the most affects my gameplay is the -3 support (it becames quite hard to manage the production when i change to democracy).

    one thing i forgot to mention, i gave this faction free at the start the technology industrial economy and the energybank building... this might be a bit overpowered as industrial economics opens the free market option on the social engineering. any comments in that ?

    i never realised i would need 3 .pcx files, some of the factions i have downloaded from other places had only 1 .pcx file and some only had the .txt file. i will have to have a look into the 3 .pcx files to find out what am i missing. thanks for pointing that out to me.

    thanks for the help. ^^
     
  4. vyeh

    vyeh Emperor

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,204
    It turns out that each use of SOCIAL only counts once (I checked), so

    SOCIAL, ---SUPPORT

    only counts once against the 8 faction attributes, not the three times that I had erroneously assumed.

    With these attributes:

    +2 economy
    +2 industy
    +1 eficience.
    -2 planet
    -2 probe
    -3 support

    I am not sure whether you would want to go to Free Market. You are already getting +1 energy per square. I am not sure if a few extra energy per base would be worth the police and additional planet penalty.

    With the +1 energy per square, the energy bank will be immediately useful. Since it doesn't cost maintenance, that is more income per base.

    The +2 INDUSTRY is also very powerful. With -3 SUPPORT, this faction won't be building many units (although it will be able to build more defensive probes to counter the -2 PROBE penalty.

    If this faction doesn't have the population limit of 4, I think this faction can quickly get to Industrial Automation (it would only need to research three techs -- Information Networks, Planetary Networks and Industrial Automation), especially with the +1 energy per square. Once it can build crawlers, this faction should explode as it will be able to pump out crawlers to increase its mineral production.

    Question: Does this faction have an aversion to PLANNED?


    I believe it defaults to the Gaians pcx files if they are not there.

    You're welcome.
     
  5. tuga2112

    tuga2112 Warlord

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    i did not set the population limit (before hab complex) to 4 cus i havent found out how to do it. it was part of my initial pla, also wanted to add an extra drone at population = 4. but havent found out how to do that yet. or if it is even possible.

    no i didnt set the adversion to planned as i found it to be a bit out of my idea of a faction made of bankers/investors (thats the reason of the industry bonus)

    i set the plannet to -2 to conter balance the industry, as if you focus in mass production you can easily start having a serious issue with native wildlife.

    and support to -3 also to make the mineral production harder to come by untill the civ grew a bit.

    i did tryed the crawlers tecnique and it does leave the faction building quite fast i dont know if too fast in a overpowerred way or not. didnt seem like that to me as the support -3 kicks in (hard) when military units come by. and with the -2 plannet fungus pops up often.

    onse i got clean reactors i did though the faction started to get overpowered. so i wonder if there is a way to "disable" that ability from the faction military units.

    i have opened the pcx 2 and 3 and i found logos of the morgans (i started the factions based on the morgans) this is a bit of a step back for me as i have no idea how to create a logo for the faction that can suit that particular stile.

    the base from wich im creating the story makes the faction oriented to be free market, as you could imagine a faction of bankers/investors would go for. (i guess)

    im still open to suggestions, i would like to get more opinions from more people, vyeh i am still interested in your opinions to discuss further. im just inviting other people to also input their ideas.
     
  6. Kilkakon

    Kilkakon King

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2006
    Messages:
    739
    Location:
    Perth, the other side of Earth!
    That's powerful stuff!

    Positives: Higher economy means more research and happier cities (making golden age booming all the more possible). Industry is just generally awesome and partially negates the support penalty.

    Negatives: With this setup, using clean units are important. The higher Industry means that the extra cost associated with going clean is mitigated. Planet won't really affect this team too much although they may need to worry about overdoing eco damage and sinking the planet. A loss of Probe means that extra probe teams as defence in bases could be required, although it depends if nearby AIs bother to use them.

    In short, it's my kind of team. :D

    If you need help with buildings or faction icons, I'm able to give you a hand if you like. :)
     
  7. tuga2112

    tuga2112 Warlord

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    Dec 10, 2007
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    111
    thanks for the input kilkakon. so in your opinion the faction is overpowered in the overall ?

    i have got the images for the bases in water with and without defence already modified. i got then from this web page http://www.hickorychessclub.org/custom factions.htm#SMAniaC Factions i dont know who to credit. but i admit its not my work. the modifications i made for the bases with defence were quite simple but my work, (i just copy and paste things already made.

    i have a friend taking over a foto of a "banker" (its actually MIB's kay without the black glasses lol)

    i wanted to make this faction weaker by somehow remuving the ability to make units with clean reactor. but i dont know if it is possible and i doubth it is.

    in my experience playing i find the faction to have a tough start because of the support -3 but as vieh stated. onse i get suply crawlers it does get a big boost.

    what kind of modifications do you think that could make this faction more balanced keeping it focused in a capitalist ideal ?
    i have tough about giving it a minus on grow but i dont really think population grow is affected by a capitalist ideology.

    -----EDIT----
    credit of the web page mentioned goes to uncle buster. just received an email from him saying it was his site. =)
     
  8. Kilkakon

    Kilkakon King

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    Location:
    Perth, the other side of Earth!
    I am not sure if it is too strong. Perhaps reducing the Economy bonus by 1 would be ideal, that way players have a need to get to a SE choice that increases Economy.

    You are right about a slow start though. Until Crawlers/Clean, they have to purposely reduce the amount of units they field if they want to match the others in production.
     
  9. vyeh

    vyeh Emperor

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    May 15, 2006
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    1,204
    In alphax.txt, find this section:

    Code:
    #ABILITIES
    ...
    Clean Reactor,          2, [b]BioEng[/b],   Clean,     000000111111, Requires no support
    
    Change the BioEng to Disable. That will remove the clean reactor ability.
     
  10. tuga2112

    tuga2112 Warlord

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    wont that disable the ability to all factions instead of only my custom faction ?
     
  11. Kilkakon

    Kilkakon King

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    Location:
    Perth, the other side of Earth!
    Correct.
     
  12. vyeh

    vyeh Emperor

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    In the faction file, add

    Code:
    POPULATION, 3,
    For one drone every four citizens, in the faction file, add

    Code:
    DRONE, 4,
     
  13. tuga2112

    tuga2112 Warlord

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    thanks for the tips vieh. that will balance things a bit.

    to my point of view the +2 industry is quite a powerfull extra, and balancing it with -3 support would be the correct way to make it realistic as capitalist societies are unwilling to spend resources in armyes. the clean reactor is what to me makes this faction unbalanced as as soon as you get ti you can make anything and the support -3 ends up not affecting the faction.

    the idea of changing the economy bonus to +1 intead is quite interesting as it will "force" the player to take free market to get the +1 energy/square. what do you guys think ?
     
  14. tuga2112

    tuga2112 Warlord

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    i finally got some time to mess around again with files (its my day off work ) and i finally tried to link the pcx files to the factions, i have done as you said vyeh

    but the image that shows up its still the one of lady deidre. i have confirmed and my ECB.pcx is with the correct images. i have also noticed that the other custom factions i have working with image dont have that format on the alphax.txt file. do you have any idea why is this not working ? i should have done something wrong i just dont have a clue where =\
     
  15. vyeh

    vyeh Emperor

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    What format do they have?

    I am looking in my directory and I see in the Alpha Centauri directory, USURPER.PCX, USURPER.TXT, USURPER2.PCX, and USURPER3.PCX.
     
  16. tuga2112

    tuga2112 Warlord

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    the name of the files is as you said. inside the alphax.txt the custom factions i have only have the name

    Code:
    energist
    instead of
    Code:
    energist, energist
    i have reloaded the pcx file to the original that i downloaded from the custom faction and it worked again, i think it was somehow related to the fact i copy pasted the original to paint and took it back to gimp and saved in pcx. not very sure what's wrong but its fixed... well not 100% now the background is showing up in a color instead of jus tthe building im trying to set the background color on gimp and reload. fingers crossed its only that.
     
  17. tuga2112

    tuga2112 Warlord

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    tryed setting the background and didnt work. probably also the fact im not familiar with gimp can explain something. im used to use paint lol. im gonna try reload a different custom faction pcx to that and check if the background color comes out or not.
     
  18. vyeh

    vyeh Emperor

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    I don't work with pcx files. Try looking at the threads under "Custom Graphics" in the Design Workshop index.
     
  19. Kilkakon

    Kilkakon King

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    Location:
    Perth, the other side of Earth!
    I think that I know what is the problem. The majority of the faction files have another colour that's the same colour as index 255, so most paint programs will use that instead of the last one, which of course has the result of having opaque backgrounds.

    In your paint program change the palette of the image and remove any offending colours. If you desire I can do this for you.
     
  20. tuga2112

    tuga2112 Warlord

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    i change the pallete to the 255 pallete or to wich one ?
    and how can i know wich one is the color with the index 255 ?
     

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