Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

I'm enjoying my time back on Galactic Civilizations.   The team is working on lots of neat things for the upcoming version 2.0 update which is due this month.

Here are a few highlights:

Administrators

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There's a new resource called administrators.  Your capital world provides N of them where N is based on the size of the map.  Building a starbase consumes one.  You can get more by researching government related techs but that means you're not researching weapons or economy techs. 

The practical effect is that it takes a little pressure off the idea that you have to spam out starbases and also gives some advantages to smaller empires who can now choose to use their starbases to improve morale and productivity in their home systems.

 

Better diplomacy

image

When I play other games, I tend to cheese.  There have been patches made for games over the years to counter some of my cheese.  There's plenty of diplomacy cheese in GalCiv also and thanks to player feedback, I was able to b-line my way to it.

But it wasn't just cheese that I wanted to improve on.  I wanted the AI to do more trading and less "give me stuff please". So I worked on the diplomatic system to work harder on coming up with trades.  It'll probably be one of the first things players notice.  More AI talk with more interesting trades.

 

image

 

image

One new system I spent some time on was the concept of redlining. 

When I inevitable have to work on contracts in my "day job" at Stardock/Mohawk/Oxide I do what is called redlining.  That is where I make marks on a proposal as to why I think we should pass on it or cross out things that won't work for us.

One of the first things I did when cheesing GalCiv was to use the old technique of manipulating the aliens to do things that weren't in their best interests.  Now, to be fair, most people don't do this kind of thing but once you do it, it's hard not to do it.

So in response, I implemented a redlining system that you code-geeks might find interesting:

I noticed that the game passes around the trade offer a lot:

VOID IAIOpponent::AppraiseTradeOffer(CDiplomacySystem::ActiveTradeInfo* pTradeOffer, CDiplomacySystem::ActiveTradeInfo* pOtherSideTradeOffer, ObjectID forPlayerID, ObjectID otherPlayerID)

See the pTradeOffer there?  It was the full detail of what was being offered and the AI looks at it in lots and lots of different ways.

So what I did is add a vector of redlines to it.  That is, the AI can be evaluating an offer and say "Hey, this tech is too valuable" or "Those guys are too tough" and add that redline to the trade offer.

Then, when it gets back to you, you see why they rejected it.  And in the process of implementing it, I went ahead and got rid of some of the things I was exploiting like how easy it was to get other people to do your dirty work (you can still do it but you  need to have a lot of persuasive ability or have a much better deal or both).

UI: This will be controversial

I don't expect this next change to be universally loved and I haven't gotten approval yet from the GalCiv III lead designer, Paul Boyer to check this in. 

But anyway, I really really REALLY hate the ship list thing.  That is, when I go to pick a ship to build, it gets filled with tons of auto-generated ship designs.  None of the filter options work for me (i.e. I don't like them).

image

So instead, what I did was make it so that when you first load up the game, only your favored ships are shown and the other ones are folded up.  Then I made it so that if you click on the label (like Beam Ships) it'll unfold the other ships.   

Now, the trickier thing I had to do was when designing a ship.  I wanted my ships that I designed to automatically show up in the favored list.  It was annoying to design a ship and then have to go look for it.

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So now, when I design a ship and save it (in this case, I'll call it the Intrepid class).

image

Ironically, this proved a lot tougher than you'd think because the ship design screen deals primarily with saving files where as the ship build list actually deals with UI handles (which don't exist when you design a ship since you haven't added that ship to a listbox list yet).

But it's done.

There's a lot of other stuff going into 2.0.  Today I'm working on late game AI stuff.

This free update is due this month.  Stay tuned!


Comments (Page 4)
on Jan 16, 2017

Publius of NV
I guess it will all come down to the details of how the administrators are implemented, but while everything else Brad talked about sounds great, this is the one thing I'm concerned about.

And I'm with you here, Publius.

Except my hopes for "how the administrators are implemented" includes wanting to see enough new starbase techs to enable starbase fans to keep investing clicks and production to make that handful of starbases stand out as well as a bristling Huge hull does when we near completing the tech trees.

I've had quite a few turns of 1.9 'diplomacy' since Brad posted this thread. I'm so very ready for more sensible behavior from the AIs and hope that the new diplomacy stuff includes 'player parity' so we can demand things from the AIs the way they can from us.

on Jan 16, 2017

I like the idea of having to work hard and face difficult choices as I build up the infrastructure of my empire. The game suffers terribly, imo, from not having nearly enough practical limits on how big I can grow and remain stable, and from poorly scaled mechanics in general. The admin system might help the situation... though I'll reserve judgement until we see how it actually works. It doesn't sound ideal, however. Far better if it were part of a fully fleshed out internal political/economic system making "wide vs. tall" type decisions an integral part of the game.

on Jan 16, 2017

Is version 2.0 the same as Crusades?

on Jan 16, 2017

charon2112

Is version 2.0 the same as Crusades?

No, 2.0 is a free update, Crusade will surely take some time still ...

on Jan 17, 2017

I welcome the change and am very excited for it. The vast majority of GC3 players I know have wanted this from the beginning. Thanks for listening!!!

on Jan 17, 2017

lyssailcor


Quoting charon2112,

Is version 2.0 the same as Crusades?



No, 2.0 is a free update, Crusade will surely take some time still ...



I'm curious as to where it became written in stone what a version number was supposed to mean.

several people are like  V2 OMG that's like a whole new game right?  um no... no no no


Mac OS X.     10.0 - 10.9 were the cat families   each 10.X signified a major change and revision...    but Apple also has build numbers 15A4310, 15B42 (being the current builds of OS X 10.11.1)   

Microsoft does the same exact thing...

For StarDock the release number is technically the build number rather than the actual version cause really GalCiv3 is actually the fourth version of the game published

V1  Gal Civ OS2
V2 Gal Civ  PC
V3 Gal Civ 2
V4 Gal Civ 3...

so really if Stardock followed the standard that everyone seems to think they should be following the release we are on would be..

4.1.90.P    Release Version 4 Generation 1  Update 9  Public release.

The next release would be 4.1.100.P   100 signifying 10th update

and then Crusade would be 4.2.10.P when it finally came out...

But this is Stardock.. so 2.0.0  simply means the 10th public build and release... nothing more.

 

 

/rant

on Jan 17, 2017

Taslios


Quoting lyssailcor,
reply 49


Quoting charon2112,


Is version 2.0 the same as Crusades?

No, 2.0 is a free update, Crusade will surely take some time still ...

I'm curious as to where it became written in stone what a version number was supposed to mean.

The "standard" is actually the Semantic Versioning Specification (SemVer) at http://semver.org/ , which in summary is:

Given a version number MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH, increment the:

  1. MAJOR version when you make incompatible API changes,
  2. MINOR version when you add functionality in a backwards-compatible manner, and
  3. PATCH version when you make backwards-compatible bug fixes.

... which is why i asked earlier if this would be "2.0" or actually "1.10" (or "1.100" or whatever). Technically according to spec, unless it makes breaking game changes, it should be considered a minor version release.

on Jan 17, 2017

leiavoia


Quoting Taslios,






Quoting lyssailcor,

reply 49





Quoting charon2112,





Is version 2.0 the same as Crusades?


No, 2.0 is a free update, Crusade will surely take some time still ...


I'm curious as to where it became written in stone what a version number was supposed to mean.



The "standard" is actually the Semantic Versioning Specification (SemVer) at http://semver.org/ , which in summary is:

Given a version number MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH, increment the:

 

    1. MAJOR version when you make incompatible API changes,

 

    1. MINOR version when you add functionality in a backwards-compatible manner, and

 

    1. PATCH version when you make backwards-compatible bug fixes.

 


... which is why i asked earlier if this would be "2.0" or actually "1.10" (or "1.100" or whatever). Technically according to spec, unless it makes breaking game changes, it should be considered a minor version release.




well not to split hairs with you but name me one piece of gaming software that actually follows that "standard"      my previously mentioned Apple OSX and Apple iOS are application level software and they don't even follow that "standard" 

on Jan 17, 2017

leiavoia


Quoting Taslios,






Quoting lyssailcor,

reply 49





Quoting charon2112,





Is version 2.0 the same as Crusades?


No, 2.0 is a free update, Crusade will surely take some time still ...


I'm curious as to where it became written in stone what a version number was supposed to mean.



The "standard" is actually the Semantic Versioning Specification (SemVer) at http://semver.org/ , which in summary is:

Given a version number MAJOR.MINOR.PATCH, increment the:

 

    1. MAJOR version when you make incompatible API changes,

 

    1. MINOR version when you add functionality in a backwards-compatible manner, and

 

    1. PATCH version when you make backwards-compatible bug fixes.

 


... which is why i asked earlier if this would be "2.0" or actually "1.10" (or "1.100" or whatever). Technically according to spec, unless it makes breaking game changes, it should be considered a minor version release.


 

So because someone on the internet proposes something stardock has to use it?

on Jan 17, 2017

I'm repeating my self here again for the 5th  time, but at some point will there be improvements to space battles?

It looks like all remaining issues will be addressed at 2.0 patch.  The only thing left is improvement to battles (movement , gfx, etc.)

on Jan 17, 2017

I do love AI updates and new features. However, I'm not finding the motivation play many games anymore. Its the damn end game mop up phase that always looms over my head. At a certain point I just start snowballing and would like to see some endgame challenges such as remaining empires banding together against greater threats, be they you or whoever is in first. Stardock's the only ppl I trust with AI but if late game doesn't become appealing, I'm afraid I'm done with strategy games for good. 

on Jan 17, 2017

tilyas89

I do love AI updates and new features. However, I'm not finding the motivation play many games anymore. Its the damn end game mop up phase that always looms over my head. At a certain point I just start snowballing and would like to see some endgame challenges such as remaining empires banding together against greater threats, be they you or whoever is in first. Stardock's the only ppl I trust with AI but if late game doesn't become appealing, I'm afraid I'm done with strategy games for good. 

MOO 2 did a good job with the Antarans to prevent end game mopup. Perhaps GC III should become an option to like "Dread Lord appearance chance x% beginning from turn y". Or (and? ) one of my other proposals from my reply #7 to this thread. Or something else

on Jan 17, 2017

LongDeadFingers

The admin system will be the make or break feature for me.

Exactly the same for me. I sort of prefer the soft cap more, but I am eager to try any variant SD decides to implement.

on Jan 17, 2017

charon2112

Is version 2.0 the same as Crusades?

 

In counterpoint to what others typed... my understanding from this post is that 2.0 is, in fact, Crusade. I don't know whether that older post has been updated or if it is old info however...

on Jan 17, 2017

Taslios

well not to split hairs with you but name me one piece of gaming software that actually follows that "standard" my previously mentioned Apple OSX and Apple iOS are application level software and they don't even follow that "standard" 

I get that. For (more or less) self contained software apps, the app makers can call it whatever version they want because no other piece of software depends on it.

However, in the world of software components, plugins, DLC, libraries, and so on, SemVer is really useful. It prevents a "breaking change" in Software_A from messing up dependencies in Software_B. With SemVer, Software_B can require any version "5.x" of Software_A and it will still build fine.

Anyway, when Stardock wants to call it "2.0", that signals to me "this is a big update and all your 1.x.x DLC/plugins/mods won't be compatible with this new version."

For the ordinary non-software-developer, it doesn't mean anything anyway, so it's not a big deal.

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