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SMAC 444 - AI patch updated [p]

kyrub

Augur
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
347
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
 

Malakal

Arcane
Glory to Ukraine
Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Messages
9,346
Location
Poland
Whoa, I am fairly sure you are going to be worshipped for this over here... God job!
 

catfood

AGAIN
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
8,596
Location
Nirvana for mice
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.
 

kyrub

Augur
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
347
Calem Ravenna said:
Can you give a little bit more info on the changes?

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.
 

Gondolin

Arcane
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
5,827
Location
Purveyor of fine art
MetalCraze said:
kyrub is a true patriot :salute:

Indeed. Good to see somebody still improving this awesome game.
 

Heechee

Liturgist
Joined
May 4, 2009
Messages
225
Great, thanks.

I second the question on compatibility with the expansion.
 

Malakal

Arcane
Glory to Ukraine
Joined
Nov 14, 2009
Messages
9,346
Location
Poland
SMACX sucks anyway.
 

MetalCraze

Arcane
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Messages
21,104
Location
Urkanistan
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.
 

kyrub

Augur
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
347
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



SMAC only
SMACX sucks
something that should've never come out
Yep.
 

kyrub

Augur
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
347
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.
 

Muty

Prophet
Patron
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
1,462
Wasteland 2 BattleTech
Great I have a smack install at hand, downloading. :salute:
 

catfood

AGAIN
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
8,596
Location
Nirvana for mice
kyrub said:
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



SMAC only
SMACX sucks
something that should've never come out
Yep.

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?
 

MetalCraze

Arcane
Joined
Jul 3, 2007
Messages
21,104
Location
Urkanistan
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.
 

catfood

AGAIN
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
8,596
Location
Nirvana for mice
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. :(
 

kyrub

Augur
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
347
catfood said:
Well, I'm playing with the smac_444_j.exe and it works. Does renaming it make a difference?
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...
 

catfood

AGAIN
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
8,596
Location
Nirvana for mice
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...
 

Calem Ravenna

Scholar
Joined
Jan 17, 2010
Messages
192
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.
 

catfood

AGAIN
Joined
Aug 28, 2008
Messages
8,596
Location
Nirvana for mice
Hey, it worked. Thanks man!

smac3.jpg


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

EDIT: one more, later in the game.

smac4.jpg


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

kyrub

Augur
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
347
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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