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Thread: Why have we never seen an Alpha Centauri 2?

  1. #61
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    I may be up for SMAC PBEM. I usually pretty good about my turns.

    Troy

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Reynolds
    and THEN you could deal with the question of whether there'd be a big enough market for it to make it worthwhile.
    Brian,

    I'm really curious as to what you think that market is? 100k units, 500k, a Meg+? Do the super corps think Civ IV sucks up all the demand for turn based strategy? Why hasn't anybody tried to compete or even set their sights on achieving half of Civ IV's sales with a smaller team. Surely you don't always have to swing for the fences with every product?

  3. #63
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    This is the best forum that has ever existed.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennyA
    A couple of years ago we tried to get a SMAC PBEM game going. It fell apart after a couple of months due to various people traveling, etc.

    But if anyone wants to try again, I'm game. :)
    Prior to that game, Denny, there was a very long-running PBEM SMAC game going with several Qt3 regulars. In the end, we discovered that SMAC PBEM has a fairly showstopping bug that makes it difficult or impossible to finish games once people start being eliminated. It took *well* over a year to make this discovery, though. :P

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by André Costa
    Of course there is a God, just ask the Cylons!


    Hmm, a new SMAC on the Civ4 engine would be nice.
    a couple mod teams have tried:
    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=166767
    http://apolyton.net/forums/forumdisp...?s=&forumid=24

    but, yeah, EA owns the rights to Alpha Centauri.

  6. #66
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    On the subject of awesome early Firaxis games that we need modern renditions of I just want to mention Gettysburg. In my opinion it remains the absolute finest wargames ever. While it may not be worthy for the grognards, I've never played a game that captures the ebb and flow of combat in the age of rifles so well. I believe SMG and Myth came out in the same year, making that year one of sheer tactical nirvana. I've been SMG on gametap a bit recently and though it's UI doesn't stand the test too well the gameplay is still fantastic.

    Now, back to our regular unadulterated SMAC lovin'

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Johnson
    Prior to that game, Denny, there was a very long-running PBEM SMAC game going with several Qt3 regulars. In the end, we discovered that SMAC PBEM has a fairly showstopping bug that makes it difficult or impossible to finish games once people start being eliminated. It took *well* over a year to make this discovery, though. :P
    Them umm... I'm out. :P


    Really though, all turn based games need to have a way, be it email or otherwise, to play it multiplayer. ALL OF THEM. There is no reason not to do it. And they all need to have timers and stale turns ala Dominions.

    Geek Law?

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Perkins
    Them umm... I'm out. :P


    Really though, all turn based games need to have a way, be it email or otherwise, to play it multiplayer. ALL OF THEM. There is no reason not to do it. And they all need to have timers and stale turns ala Dominions.

    Geek Law?

    what's a stale turn?

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Perkins
    Really though, all turn based games need to have a way, be it email or otherwise, to play it multiplayer. ALL OF THEM. There is no reason not to do it. And they all need to have timers and stale turns ala Dominions.

    Geek Law?
    ROTFL

    Geek Law!

  10. #70
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    I love the *idea* of SMAC PBEM games, and on release I got involved with around seven of them. It was a fantastic start, with more role-playing than I've ever seen going on and huge enthusiasm.

    And every single one of those games ground to a halt shortly into the process. It was a lot of hassle to get the game file out of the email and into the right location and then to mail it out to the next person, plus there was no facility for dealing with someone dropping out of the game and no tracking of where the game currently was...you'd sit around not sure if the game was progressing or not.

    This made me pine for a real PBEM engine with a game, that allowed mixing online play and PBEM and provided facilities for replacing a player with AI (even temporarily while they were on vacation), etc. Civ4 has a multiplayer server that does some of this, as I recall, though I haven't gotten a chance to try it.

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by SorenJohnson
    what's a stale turn?
    In Dominions if you don't take your turn within the time limit, you just get a stale turn. Nothing happens to you or yours (unless an event or a player does something to you), but you can play your next turn just fine.

    It's a work around for people not taking their turns, but I imagine it requires a server setup like Dominions because something has to push the turns forward.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by SorenJohnson
    ................. EA owns the rights to Alpha Centauri.
    Ok...so can we live with 'The Sims 3: return to Alpha Centauri' ?!(sobs!)

    Why have computer games become so f**ked up?

    I agree with Brian Reynolds that you'd have to have people with the right knowledge in the design process - too make believe and you'd lose an imprtant part of the charm.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Perkins
    In Dominions if you don't take your turn within the time limit, you just get a stale turn. Nothing happens to you or yours (unless an event or a player does something to you), but you can play your next turn just fine.

    It's a work around for people not taking their turns, but I imagine it requires a server setup like Dominions because something has to push the turns forward.
    I see... the PitBoss works like this with a turn timer. I'd just never heard the term.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by SorenJohnson
    I see... the PitBoss works like this with a turn timer. I'd just never heard the term.
    I've never played PitBoss... Is it good? (edit: Just looked it up... I'd think I'll have to ask around and see if anyone is using it here. I'd love to play some Civ4 MP).


    As for stale turns. *shrugs* it's a good stop gap, but I'd rather be able to set some parameters and have some things done if you know you're going to have be gone.

    Dominions Example: I have to be gone a week and I'll miss three turns in my game. So I setup my helper AI to not expand (lets say it's not early game and random expansion might be bad), to build up as much army as they can each turn, to keep my mercs hired with a certain percentage range (i.e. - I only want to spend up to 120% of what they worth, if someone outbids that, I lose them) and to keep researching my current project until it hits level 4, then go to another.

    Maybe even to take the projected money over the next three turns and disperse it before hand. Or have setup of troop movement, assuming no attacks, etc.

    General rules of engagement would be good too. If attacked, defend A) Vigorously, B) yes, not at the cost of previous plans, C) just turtle.


    These are just ideas off the top of my head... :)

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Reynolds
    Ha ha! Alpha Centauri has I suspect been kind of trapped in "Triple IP Voodoo Purgatory". I think the IP itself probably still belongs to Electronic Arts; the right-to-develop probably still belongs to Firaxis where most of the artists still work plus the current "Civ team" and Civ4 engine; and substantially all of the original designers/programmers/writers who created the "world" now work at Big Huge. So it would be kind of like trying to put the Beatles back together (though at least no one's dead), and THEN you could deal with the question of whether there'd be a big enough market for it to make it worthwhile.

    I suppose if the powers-that-be perceived enough of a market for it, then Firaxis (i.e. Take Two) and EA could unwind the IP rights and do some kind of follow-on with the Civ4 engine. My guess is don't hold your breath. It would be interesting to see though... if they go for it my advice to them is hire a designer/writer with a philosophy degree!
    Brian,

    What's wrong with making an analogue to the game? Nobody seems to be confused with the idea that Supreme Commander is the next game for the Total Annihilation series, even though it isn't the same IP. If you called the game something else and altered enough of the original game such that it doesn't fit into the original IP any longer (ie Galatic Civilizations is a similar game to MOO but clearly isn't the same game) and perhaps advances the gameplay up to and past what modern strategy games offer (such as Civ 4), then I don't think many people would mind. By the same token, we might not mind having one game from Brian Reynolds and one from Sid Meiers and company. "Civilization 4: The Final Frontier" expansion vs Big Huge's "Galactic Colonization" (or whatever you feel sounds cool).

    -- Kunikos

    p.s. I still think Sid Meier's Aliens! sounds like a cool title for a game. ;)

  16. #76
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    Seconded!

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kunikos
    p.s. I still think Sid Meier's Aliens! sounds like a cool title for a game. ;)
    Hey, this time around lets give Brian the box cover credit, ok?

    I don't see any major problems with the concept (besides the tedious and unimportant one of securing funding) since Alpha Centauri's story really is so self contained, though following up on the awesome story is setting a high bar. It's some of the best sci fi I've ever read, well on par with most novels out there.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Perkins
    I've never played PitBoss... Is it good? (edit: Just looked it up... I'd think I'll have to ask around and see if anyone is using it here. I'd love to play some Civ4 MP).


    As for stale turns. *shrugs* it's a good stop gap, but I'd rather be able to set some parameters and have some things done if you know you're going to have be gone.

    Dominions Example: I have to be gone a week and I'll miss three turns in my game. So I setup my helper AI to not expand (lets say it's not early game and random expansion might be bad), to build up as much army as they can each turn, to keep my mercs hired with a certain percentage range (i.e. - I only want to spend up to 120% of what they worth, if someone outbids that, I lose them) and to keep researching my current project until it hits level 4, then go to another.

    Maybe even to take the projected money over the next three turns and disperse it before hand. Or have setup of troop movement, assuming no attacks, etc.

    General rules of engagement would be good too. If attacked, defend A) Vigorously, B) yes, not at the cost of previous plans, C) just turtle.


    These are just ideas off the top of my head... :)

    if you are interested in the PitBoss (which basically is our stab at "moderated" PBEM), you should check out this site:
    http://www.civstats.com/allgames.php

    A guy put together a little utility to help people track their active PitBoss games from the Web. It's pretty cool...
    Last edited by SorenJohnson; 01-26-2007 at 10:53 AM.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by SqueakyFoo
    This is the same for me. In civ, researching the Wheel or Democracy, I automatically know what it does; I have a general idea of the advancements it will bring, and whatnot. You see the name of the tech and you pretty much know what the tech is about. In SMAC, what the fuck is a quantum singularity doohicky thingamabob? There's no connection in reality to be made, and so creates a layer of obfuscation that is hard for most people (myself included) to penetrate.
    In other words, it's like learning to play Civilization I for the first time? Come on, like you knew pottery gives you granarys and helps with growth and food beforehand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalle
    Alpha Centauri is probably the best science fiction game ever created.
    Hands down. The writing was unbelievably good, considering it was a bunch of disconnected little bits scattered around a turn-based game, of all things.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalle
    ...though following up on the awesome story is setting a high bar. It's some of the best sci fi I've ever read, well on par with most novels out there.
    Hey, thanks. But I think you may have put your finger on another good reason I for one haven't gone back to that kind of topic -- I certainly "gave it my all" when creating that setting, and so far I haven't really felt the creative need to return to something similar. Or you could say AC cleaned me pretty well out of "pithy pearls of subversive wisdom", at least for the nonce. :-)

    On an entirely tangential note, because I'm a sci-fi fanboy too, I keep wondering if Battlestar Galactica will run out of good material soon. Though I'm starting to worry they already did this season.

    Brian

  21. #81
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    I will cheerfully add my voice to those calling for "Brian Reynold's Tau Ceti 1: Absolutely Not an IP Infringement of SMAC." I'm also firmly in the sci-fi geek camp that loved the tech tree to bits.

  22. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalle
    Hey, this time around lets give Brian the box cover credit, ok?
    I thought I was obviously suggesting an alternative title for the Firaxis take on the game. :)

  23. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by SorenJohnson
    if you are interested in the PitBoss (which basically is our stab at "moderated" PBEM), you should check out this site:
    http://www.civstats.com/allgames.php

    A guy put together a little utility to help people track their active PitBoss games from the Web. It's pretty cool...
    Very cool.

    Ok, who wants to play?

  24. #84
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    I'm willing...I haven't played enough Civ4 to be any kind of expert, but then again with the pace of the PBEM games it should be easy enough to come up to speed in the meantime.

  25. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Reynolds
    Hey, thanks. But I think you may have put your finger on another good reason I for one haven't gone back to that kind of topic -- I certainly "gave it my all" when creating that setting, and so far I haven't really felt the creative need to return to something similar. Or you could say AC cleaned me pretty well out of "pithy pearls of subversive wisdom", at least for the nonce. :-)
    Though the setting was one of the things that made AC great, the game mechanics are what kept me playing. For most games that I would test I would barely play after the beta was over. Games where the setting is the only real draw you play once or twice. SMAC I played for months and months after the beta and kept coming back to for an occasional game a few years after because it was the best TBS 4x implementation. The things that made it great can be applied to other settings. I'd guess that many on this thread are more wanting for another game with SMAC's mechanics than a literal sequel (not to say that wouldn't be awesome).

    On an entirely tangential note, because I'm a sci-fi fanboy too, I keep wondering if Battlestar Galactica will run out of good material soon. Though I'm starting to worry they already did this season.
    My wife keeps saying that every few episodes. I'm determined to remain pleasantly surprised.

  26. #86
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    Dare I say it?

    A game with SMAC like mechanics and MOM setting.

  27. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason McCullough
    In other words, it's like learning to play Civilization I for the first time? Come on, like you knew pottery gives you granarys and helps with growth and food beforehand.
    No, but it was easier to remember on your second or third time through than AC's techs. I didn't really have a problem with the AC techs but I also didn't spend much time thinking about the implications of monopole magnets or what a Children's Creche were, outside of their numerical ingame effects.

  28. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Reynolds
    On an entirely tangential note, because I'm a sci-fi fanboy too, I keep wondering if Battlestar Galactica will run out of good material soon. Though I'm starting to worry they already did this season.

    Brian
    You'll know for sure when you see Cylon Oliver.

  29. #89
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    Alpha Centauri + Civ IV engine = wet dream.

  30. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Perkins
    Ok, who wants to play?
    Start a thread, will ya? Then point us to it :)

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