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SMAC 444 - AI patch updated [p]

Discussion in 'Chad's Strategy and Simulation & Tactical Gaming' started by kyrub, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. kyrub Augur

    kyrub
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    SMAC 444 (AI experiment)

    This is an experimental AI patch for SMAC for anybody who still loves and plays this old game. The patch tries to fix the most obvious AI flaws with as little work as possible.

    Stability is unknown. Use at your own risk!


    Patch contents

    SMAC_444_k
    - stockpile energy bug
    - AI exchange base bug
    - children creche morale bonus bug
    - AI hurrying price bug
    - AI will try to build seaformers even before it has seabases
    - more colony pods for University and Morgan
    - reversal of distant AI cities (AI can build cities at closest distance again) from SMAC_444_j

    SMAC_444_j
    - a lesson in basic terraforming (no boreholes yet)
    - a few tech_beelines
    - more focus on formers, recycling tanks to speed up the early AI game
    - no more AI bases at distance = 2
    - a few changes to AI unit design
    - more AI ships
    - AI should now build and use crawlers
    - AI should be more likely to build speeders

    All this was combined with scient's excellent (unofficial) patch. I decided to put back the total unit 2048 limit, since scient's version crashed the game.


    Latest donwload:
    http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?6redidk4z42h1mo
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 4
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  2. Malakal Arcane

    Malakal
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    Whoa, I am fairly sure you are going to be worshipped for this over here... God job!
     
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  3. Calem Ravenna Scholar

    Calem Ravenna
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    Great. Will try this out later. Can you give a little bit more info on the changes?
     
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  4. desocupado Prophet

    desocupado
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    I plan on playing SMAC again someday, and I will make sure to include this patch.

    Thanks.
     
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  5. commie The Last Marxist Patron

    commie
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    Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Master of Magic, SMAC...what else do you fix the AI's for? :salute:
     
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  6. catfood AGAIN

    catfood
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    Thanks for the patch. I recently had a craving for SMAC and this patch is just what I need. Question: is this for SMAC or for SMAX?

    Also, have you played Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic? That's another awesome game with notoriously bad AI.
     
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  7. MetalCraze Arcane

    MetalCraze
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    kyrub is a true patriot :salute:
     
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  8. kyrub Augur

    kyrub
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    Terraforming: the AI should be able to make a good use of the basic LAND terraforming, e.g. farms, solars, mines. Yes, and FORESTS too, a lot of them. No more mine_farms or bare solar collectors. I am not responsible for anything beyond that (roads, sensors, boreholes etc.). To test it, try automating your own formers (shift + A). It is not perfect, but overall pretty good. Suggestion for improvement are welcome.

    Technology bee lines - I made a very strong link to Centauri ecology for everyone. I made another link to Industrial Automation (crawlers). This seems to backfire so far, since many AIs go for Free market early because of that.

    Unit design - Cleared a lot of illogical stuff. More clean units for AI, some unused abilities should show up from time to time, deep pressure, cloacked, blink units and some more. Some other surprises, which hopefully come up. (Tried to put Trance on defenders, but it somehow does not work.)

    Crawlers - much improved chance, hopefully.
    Speeders - got a big building advantage bonus over infantry.
     
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  9. Gondolin Arcane

    Gondolin
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    Indeed. Good to see somebody still improving this awesome game.
     
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  10. Heechee Liturgist

    Heechee
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    Great, thanks.

    I second the question on compatibility with the expansion.
     
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  11. Calem Ravenna Scholar

    Calem Ravenna
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    SMAC only.
     
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  12. Malakal Arcane

    Malakal
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    SMACX sucks anyway.
     
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  13. MetalCraze Arcane

    MetalCraze
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    Word.

    SMAX was something that should've never come out, considering that it wasn't even Firaxis - it was EA milking the game because none of the core people (and especially Reynolds) worked on it. So no wonder it only ruined SMAC.
     
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  14. kyrub Augur

    kyrub
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    IMPORTANT:

    I made a mistake, when I finished my work on the file in early morning hours: I forgot to rename the file back to "terran.exe".


    To use the patch you need:

    A) Unzip "smac_444_j.exe"
    B) Rename it to "terran.exe"
    C) Copy / overwrite the exe in SMAC directory



    Yep.
     
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  15. Johannes Arcane

    Johannes
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    Are you planning to improve on it still? Or is this more or less finished, outside of bugfixes?
     
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  16. kyrub Augur

    kyrub
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    Sure. This is just the first step. No idea how far I'll go, though. And when. ;)

    Obvious targets: AI Socio settings, AI unit movement, AI probe defense, AI defense with combat units. This should be tried at the very least.

    At maximum:
    Famous Vel's guide to SMAC defines 3 basic approaches to the game:
    MOMENTUM (warmonger)
    BUILDER (peace and economy)
    HYBRID (combines former with the latter)
    According to Vel, all factions can be played as M, B or H.

    In an ideal world, I'd try to make a more differentiated AI which would go along these lines. Note that part of this is already in the game, based on the AI aggressiveness setting (1, -1, 0). Then, with a random aggressivity for each AI faction at the beginning of the game, you get a lot more diverse setup. Aggressive Morgans and Peaceful Hive? That would be really, really nice.
     
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  17. Muty Prophet Patron

    Muty
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    Wasteland 2 BattleTech
    Great I have a smack install at hand, downloading. :salute:
     
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  18. catfood AGAIN

    catfood
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    Well, I'm playing with the smac_444_j.exe and it works. Does renaming it make a difference?

    Also, does anyone know how to take screenshots in SMAC (without using an external program)? If I print screen and alt tab the colours get all fucked up, and if I print screen and exit out of the game and paste it into mspaint I get a black screen. What gives?
     
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  19. MetalCraze Arcane

    MetalCraze
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    You are probably using Win7 which means that fucked up colours are because of the game running in 16 bit colour mode and your desktop is 32. So when you paste screenshot under these conditions it messes up.

    I had no problem pasting screenshots into MS Paint under XP as long as the game ran (which forced XP into 16 bit mode as well - which doesn't work like that in 7). When exiting it however (which restored 32 bit mode) I had colours messed up.
     
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  20. catfood AGAIN

    catfood
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    I have XP and desktop colour depth is set to 16 bit. It still won't work. I'll have to use a third party program. :(
     
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  21. kyrub Augur

    kyrub
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    Most probably. I had a report saying the patch changes are not in effect. Then I found out the person was running smac_444_j.exe. It probably starts the game correctly only to use the old terran.exe...
     
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  22. catfood AGAIN

    catfood
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    Very well, I'l rename it. Though to be honest I think the AI makes better use of terraforming now. I wanted to post some pics of AI teritory but unfortunately this game isn't very photogenic...
     
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  23. Calem Ravenna Scholar

    Calem Ravenna
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    For taking screenshots, one thing you couid try is open the Alpha Centauri.ini file in the game folder and add a line "DirectDraw=0" (without the quote marks) under [Alpha Centauri].

    This should force the game to run in your desktop resolution and then pasting screenshots into paint should work. If something gets messed up with the game, remove the DirectDraw line from the .ini file.
     
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  24. catfood AGAIN

    catfood
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    Hey, it worked. Thanks man!

    [​IMG]

    Playing as Santiago. Here's what Miriam's teritory looks like.

    EDIT: one more, later in the game.

    [​IMG]

    Man the AI really likes them farms+solar panels combo.
     
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  25. kyrub Augur

    kyrub
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    Nice demonstration of the new terraforming, thanks, catfood!
    Farms / Solar collectors: If you want to know more about the terraforming algorithm, you may look here.


    By the way, Morganites, of all factions, have a nice empire in your game! And - if I am correct - there are at least 3 boreholes on their continent, woohoo. Looking good.
     
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