SMACX AI Growth mod


Dec 8, 2011
Asheville NC
I have uploaded my SMACX AI Growth mod version 1.57 to the Alpha Centauri Downloads section. This is the final version, unless someone reports a bug.

It is with heavy heart that I'm forced to admit that the Alpha Centauri 2 website, does not look like it's coming back. Aside from my mod, I also have many years of After Action Reports on that site, which at this point could very well be gone forever. All development conversation about my mod over the years, could be gone too.

AC2 has been offline for many months this year, somehow held hostage to some kind of cyberattacks. Last I was able to communicate with anyone, moving to a new server provider was needed to solve the problem. That sounds like a daunting task, and not one that I'm personally involved with in any way. I wish the site admins the best, if indeed they are taking this burden on. But someone actually asked me for my mod today, so I have finally been forced to take action.

This shall be the new home for my mod for now. Can't very well drive traffic to a website that is offline. I don't have time to make my own website right now, and at least this forum has some pulse, for the beloved game.

What's this all about then? Repeating the description I gave in the downloads section:

Copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 by Brandon Van Every

This mod rebalances the tech tree, the factions, the world generation, the unit abilities, the predefined units, the social engineering table, and the available AI inputs, to maximize the potential of the original game and make it more of a challenge. It will not make a genius out of the game, but it will greatly extend the shelf life for experienced players. This has been confirmed by numerous third parties on the internet at this time; it is not just my say-so. If you want a better version of SMAC, you should be playing this.

I began this mod in mid-April of 2018. Its design, and all the playtesting needed to improve it, took 15 PERSON MONTHS of full time work to produce. In some other universe where I made money, this could have been more than a year's salary. It was 2.5 years of psychological engagement, spread out over 5+ calendar years in a "long tail" of effort. Now my mod is stable, mature, and in maintenance mode. I still play it and haven't found any reason to change it anymore. It's done, unless someone reports a bug. Very few mods are ever this "baked" and playtested, on the order of many years of work.

This mod aspires to professionalism, to be substantially better than the original game. Bear in mind that the strength and configurability of the original game's AI, makes this mod possible. Anyone could always have done something like this. I am just the one who had the fortitude to actually do it, over the course of many years. I hope people will try and enjoy it, as that validates the effort spent. Thanks to playtesters fihttf, gehennaliving, zoneplate, ih8regin, kaminiwa, Douglas, Rocky, Jade Dragon, Vidsek, and Esper for finding important bugs! And to modders Douglas, Nexii, Tim Nevolin, JNM444, vonbach, PvtHudson, and Mart for ideas borrowed from their own work.

The Alien Crossfire expansion is required. All testing was performed with a standard Good Old Games binary, which includes all official patches. For installation instructions and full details of what was changed, including an exhaustive CHANGELOG of every decision that was ever made during development, see the included readme_mod.txt. This work is under Creative Commons CC-BY-NC license if you want to redistribute it or mod it yourself.
I am sorry for your loss of information. And as far as Alpha Centauri in general is concerned, I liken the loss of AC2 to that of losing the Great Library of Alexandria and everything humanity lost when that was destroyed, as I'm sure some of the SMACX information is irreplaceable.

I know that I lost some stuff when WePlayCiv and CivGamingNetwork went off the air. Fortunately a majority of the important things (such as the Altera Centauri Scenario Repository, the Guide to Editing the alpah(x).txt, and How to Create Ghost Secret Projects) were backed up at other sites such as CFC and 'poly. Do you know if any thought is being given to trying to rescue what's left at AC2 and host it elsewhere, so that it truly isn't lost forever?

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I have no idea what's going on with AC2. Buster's Uncle has an account here on CivFanatics and was the primary admin of AC2, although I don't think he was ever the technical guy responsible for the website and software underpinnings.
Hi mate, we sometimes chat on reddit about SMAC stuff so good to see you and your excellent project here, even if it is under sad circumstances!

However you might be able to rescue a lot of that missing info as it appears a lot of the AC2 forum was backed up on web archive.. check out my post below for more details and you'll see in the example I was able to go right into your AI Growth mod project thread there (albiet with some difficulties)
I don't know if all 80 pages of your thread are there but I tested 1, 30 and 80 and they worked!
Thanks for that info. Rescuing the content as web pages, I suppose that would be straightforward. But displaying them as part of a different forum, like this one, I bet that's a lot of work. A problem of content production and backup that I contemplated even before AC2 went down, but hadn't come to much of an answer about. Only a resolution not to do any more After Action Reports until I'd come up with a better approach.
Yeah hell of a job to get all 80 pages of stuff out of there.

CivFanatics shouldn't be going anywhere but if you're kinda done with trusting forums then my tip is to use either a Wordpress blog or a ModDB page as your project homepage and post releases and After Action Reports to them. Then you're in control of the project home and news source. Then either post links to them on forums & social media or copy & paste the text & pics off them into the forums. This forum is better than most for copying stuff off another site and pasting it straight in with formatting and pictures intact (which would also come in handy should you wish to attempt the painful task of copying and pasting stuff out of that webarchive backup).

I use ModDB for hosting my Civ2 mod projects and posting dev diary articles while I use Wordpress for my website news blog and sharing ModDB dev diaries too. I could have easily put the dev diaries on wordpress instead as it's probably better for that kind of thing but I wanted the diaries kept on the mod home pages at ModDB. Both sites have been around for decades and hopefully aren't going anywhere lol!
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