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The Future of CIV III GOTM

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Game of the Month' started by Più Freddo, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. Più Freddo

    Più Freddo From space, earth is blue

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    We use the editor to make the GOTM games, as you apparently do to create your personal customized games.

    CivAssist II has nothing to do with game creation. It is just a support tool for playing Civ III.
     
  2. Fergei

    Fergei Warlord

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    I hope you don't mind me going off on a little tangent in this thread PF. As you know I've created a GOTM for April and having seen the process it got me thinking. I don't really want to spend hours of my life playing a GOTM at lower than Emperor difficulty, so sadly I'm unlikely to participate in a lot of the GOTM/COTM maps that are created. I imagine most players have their own very narrow range of difficulty levels (possibly just one) that they are comfortable playing at and are in a similar position to me.

    There is also a divide between GOTM (PTW) players and COTM (C3C) players, with often one set being unable to play the other set of games (and therefore some players being stuck in their own silos). So here are some thoughts, with the ever present apologies if someone has thought of this in the past 18 years and it has been discounted.

    Idea 1: Just For Fun (JFF) games replicating the GOTM / COTM at a different difficulty level

    I wonder if an option for those creating the GOTM/COTM is to make a Just For Fun (JFF) version in a different difficulty. Identical in every way except the difficulty level. I believe I could do this very quickly. The JFF version would be posted in the thread after the GOTM opened, making it very clear that this version isn't to be submitted (only the version on the excellent GOTM website is to be used for that purpose). If I am playing the same map on Emperor difficulty as a GOTM that is set on Warlord difficulty, I can still exchange experiences and ideas with players at Warlord difficulty in the game thread (while adhering to spoiler rules).

    I would propose:
    - for any GOTM / COTM that is of difficulty Emperor or above, the map creator consider recreating and posting a JFF version at Regent difficulty.
    - for any GOTM / COTM that is of difficulty Monarch or below, the map creator consider recreating and posting a JFF version at Emperor difficulty

    With the above it removes the difficulty barrier to the whole community playing the same map, at the same time. If there are technical or time limitations with the map creator, I would be happy to create the JFF version.

    Idea 2: Just For Fun (JFF) games replicating GOTM (PTW) in C3C format (and possibly vice versa)

    I have experience of doing this and it is simple once you know how. Again, this would be a way of those for example who have downloaded Steam or GOG versions of the game, to play a version of a GOTM created on PTW (which at present people can't do). Again, obviously the JFF couldn't be submitted for a score and the gameplay experience will vary a bit due to the different rulesets for PTW and C3C. However, I still think it could be worth a shot and a way to expand the exposure to a PTW only GOTM.

    On the reverse (converting a C3C COTM into PTW) this can again be done I believe, but any Conquest only Civs would have to be substituted out and replaced. I'd still argue this would be worthwhile by giving PTW only players a chance to have some kind of involvement in the COTM. Again, I'd be willing to do this on behalf of another map creator as this is all a bit more fiddly than Idea 1.

    Idea 3: AI plays GOTM/COTM

    If I am making a GOTM at a difficulty I usually play at I will test it in person and know if it is balanced or not. However, if it is at a difficulty I don't normally play I won't be able to tell so easily if it is too hard or too easy for players of that difficulty. So I plan to get the AI to test it to make sure it isn't too easy or too hard. I can rattle through an AI only game very quickly when designing the map. I intend to find out how to use that extension that lets you display the timeline map screen thing you get when you retire. I would plan to post this map once the closing date for submissions has closed (to avoid spoilers) as a light hearted way to let players compare how they did compared to the AI.

    Conclusion

    With the above I don't believe we'd be complicating or confusing matters and we could try to attract 3 types of player all playing and sharing the experience of playing the same map:

    Type 1: Play the GOTM/COTM avidly and are motivated by the scoring contest with fellow players, regardless of difficulty
    Type 2: Those who only play games at their own difficulty level (like myself)
    Type 3: General players who want a quality controlled and tested map rather than one generated solely by an algorithm where Civs can have stupid starting positions (or lack of access to resources or fresh water etc) and impair your gaming experience.

    Any thoughts welcomed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
  3. Lanzelot

    Lanzelot Moderator Moderator

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    Excellent stuff! Here are my two cents:
    • Idea 1: very good idea. We should definitely try this out for let's say 2-3 games and see, how people take it up.
      We need something to distinguish the main version from the JFF versions. I'm not good at modding or at the tools that are used to evaluate the submitted games, but I think it should be easy to add some flag so that the tools automatically reject a JFF game accidentally uploaded on the submission page. The instructions for creating a G/COTM game say something about the "Title" of the .bix/.bic file for the game having to be set to "GOTM/COTM" in the scenario properties. So perhaps it is already sufficient to omit that title when creating the JFF game from the otherwise identical bix/bic?!

    • Idea 2: I think the problem that you cannot get the game running on newer computers affects mainly PtW, so I think "one half of the idea" we should try: offering the PtW game (GOTM) also as C3C version. However, I don't see the need to also offer the C3C game (COTM) as PtW version. Everybody is probably able to start C3C. (But I could be wrong.)
      Another point: I'm not sure, how much it would be worth it for the discussions during and after the game, to compare a game played in PtW with one played in C3C. They are much too different. (Take alone the Republic Slingshot, which is not possible in PtW and therefore leads to a completely different game... Replacing non-existing civs, as mentioned by you, is another point that'll make it feel as though we are comparing apples and oranges... The ability to rush wonders with MGLs in PtW, the additional wonders available in C3C, the very powerful Armies in C3C, different Forbidden Palace mechanism, it might be more like comparing apples and coconuts... :))

    • Idea 3: well, in my opinion the AI is not really suited for play-testing a game... tRiCky always calls it "AS" instead of "AI" ("artificial stupidity"), and that describes it pretty well... I don't think we can draw any meaningful conclusions from the fact that the AI was or was not able to handle a certain map/scenario...
     
  4. CKS

    CKS Deity

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    The JFF games sound similar to the three versions (predator, open, and something else) we used to have. The submission page sorted these versions, so it should be easy to have it distinguish between JFF and regular submission. I don't see why they couldn't be submitted, though (so long as it was the first play-through), just kept ineligible for medals and awards. For me, dealing with the different difficulty levels is part of the challenge, but my son might enjoy playing JFF games that were at regent level.

    I agree with Lanzelot that there isn't much point in making PTW versions of Conquests games. While I have run across a few players who don't have Conquests, they've all been still playing vanilla. I'd be happy to be proven wrong about this, through. It might be interesting to play Conquests versions of PTW games, but I also agree that they aren't going to compare well. If I ever end up having more free time again, I might play and submit the PTW game and then replay a JFF Conquests version. My son also likes Conquests much better than PTW, so he'd be more likely to give a JFF Conquests version a try.

    I'd be willing to learn how to do these things, but I won't have significant free time until next fall at the earliest, and I'll probably have to relearn how to create games first.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
  5. Captain_Jack

    Captain_Jack Warlord Supporter

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    So would I! I take it personally when I am thrashed by the Ai and I would welcome an opportunity to replay the game at a lower level and get vengeance. (Believe me, I know how immature that sounds, and is!)
    Thanks for the great ideas Fergel. I wish I had thought of that!!
    I basically agree with all of Lanzelot's comments. I will play the monthly game for keeps at whatever level it is offered, but if there were an opportunity to replay a Deity loss at a lower level I think it would be very instructive and I would like it.
    I also agree with him that PTW and Conquests are too different to be comparable. PTW is a niche offering at this point; I prefer it to Conquests but it's just too difficult to set up and I doubt we will get many new PTW players.
    I look forward to hearing Piu Freddo's comments.
     
  6. Più Freddo

    Più Freddo From space, earth is blue

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    If only we had this level of interest and commitment in the actual games! If only we had one or two entries more in the discussions and spoilers!

    It seems to me that this community is moving towards being interested in modding more than in playing and contesting.
     
  7. Captain_Jack

    Captain_Jack Warlord Supporter

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    Speaking of which, I like the mods you made for the current Mongols game.
     
    Più Freddo likes this.
  8. Fergei

    Fergei Warlord

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    Thanks for the feedback guys. I wasn't expecting the 'dads and lads' playing the same map on different difficulties angle which sounds kind of fun. I don't think I would have had the patience for Civ until I reached my mid-teens.

    I think it is essential it isn't something that adds to any administrative burden beyond sharing a map with me and it then being posted. If it is going to confuse matters or potentially mess up scoring then it isn't worth it and I'll satisfy myself with a game per quarter (even though I completed my last Emperor+ difficulty GOTM attempt in a bizarrely fast 7hrs and have to wait another 3 months for the next one!).
    Totally agree having read the feedback on the likely lack of demand for a Conquest game being converted into PTW. Nobody has posted here saying "I only have PTW and I'm dying to play the COTMs too". That said, nobody has posted saying "I only have the Steam/GOG version and would love to play the PTM GOTM", but that at least is a feasible scenario while the game remains on sale.

    I appreciate comparison between PTW & Conquest versions isn't like for like and again, it may be considered that this would confuse matters in any discussions. I suppose I was thinking more in the general tales (like the recent France Deity game where one of us avoided war with Babylon, one of us tried to and failed and never recovered from the war, and another had war and successfully recovered). Its more from a fun and shared experience angle than a learning experience but I can see why it may be considered against the competitive spirit of GOTM (I think I had the competitive gene lobotomised from me, so I've probably underestimated that angle - although my intention is to get more people playing GOTM and talking about them).

    Again, it is mainly for fun to see how the AI approaches the same challenge. I do think you can draw some conclusions from the relative ease of the starting positions of different Civs by how the expansion phase unfolds (once the wars start its a complete lottery). In the Monarch difficulty game I'd just did I was concerned the start was too challenging, but the AI managed to finish the expansion phase in 4th or 5th place so it satisfied me that it is a playable start and Monarch level players won't be cursing my name. If the AI had been a distant 8th or a soaring 1st it would have been a crude sign that I should take another look at how I'd laid things out. As it is, the PTW AI only games appear to insist on showing you every combat on the map and it takes much longer to do than for a Conquest game, so I am more lukewarm on this from that experience!

    Anyway, the suggestions are there and the offer is there to convert a few maps if those running GOTM think there is any value in trying it. If not, then no hard feelings - I'm getting multiplayer hopefully restored with a relative (if I can overcome firewall issues) and I'm loving some 17 Civ, 60% Archipelago Large map solo games I'm playing.
     

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