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

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugin
    I loved SMAC, and the lack of a modern sequel is one of my major gaming sadnesses (along with the lack of a real successor to MOO2).
    You seem to have accidentally typed a "2" up there ;)

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrag
    You seem to have accidentally typed a "2" up there ;)
    I liked MOO2 better than MOO. And as far as I'm concerned MOO3 doesn't exist. :)

  3. #33
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    Agreed

    Agreed. Despite the truly awful AI (endemic to the entire Civ series really), SMAC was loads of fun, and superior to all the Civ games as far as I'm concerned.

    Much of the fun was due to elements which relate in my mind to the fun-ness of MOO and MOO2, and run counter to the "gameplay-beats-all" school. I think SMAC was fun in large part due to fripperies such as the wonder videos and the over-the-top faction leaders and stuff like that. In theory these add nothing to gameplay, but in practice without this stuff the game would be little more than a dull square-based TBS with moronic computer opponents.

    What makes this stuff memorable is that the fluff wasn't just tacked on; I think it was well thought out and carefully conceived, and you could perceive, indirectly, the enthusiasm of the people who put it all together. This secondary content had a wonderful style, and a thematic wholeness or whatever that sold the game to me. I still remember that little top-gun video clip, the whirling dervishes, the silly psychic soldier guy, the way I could trust the Gaeans, but only so far, and the wonderful screams of my captured foes with considerable affection -- and I guess it's been 5 years since I last played.

    I don't know if this kind of secondary game decoration and fluff as a category is ever formally studied, but I think it's a very important factor in how a game is perceived.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugin
    I liked MOO2 better than MOO. And as far as I'm concerned MOO3 doesn't exist. :)
    I actually like them both, though I prefer the more streamlined approach that MOO took. MOO2 in some ways was more a different game than a successor.

    And what doesn't exist? I can't see part of that sentence for some reason ;)

  5. #35
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    I'm 90% sure I installed the expansion in Windows XP too, so it all runs. I never played it much but I could see why people loved it. The tech trees just confused me too much and for whatever reason I didn't feel like learning them.

  6. #36
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    Call it "Sid Meiers' Aliens!" and get crackin'.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrag
    I actually like them both, though I prefer the more streamlined approach that MOO took. MOO2 in some ways was more a different game than a successor.

    And what doesn't exist? I can't see part of that sentence for some reason ;)
    MOO2 was really "Master of Space Magic".

    The best sequel to MOO is Spaceward Ho!, which is amusing since it's also the best prequel to MOO.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterb
    The best sequel to MOO is Spaceward Ho!, which is amusing since it's also the best prequel to MOO.
    I never did play Spaceward Ho! Wasn't it multiplayer only or something like that?

  9. #39
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    I picked up SMAC for the first time in one of those EA bundle paks, I really loved the style of the game, much more then in Civ. I agree about the video movies and quotes from the tech. One of my favorites was the video that played when you destroyed another faction. On the subject of buying it, does anyone know where I could grab the expansion for it cheap?

    edit: Just checked amazon. The original is less then 10$. The expansion goes for over $100 now. Now I remember why I never picked it up.
    Last edited by Jab; 01-25-2007 at 06:48 PM.

  10. #40
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    I've seen SMAC in a shovelware bundle at Fry's but I don't think Alien Crossfire was apart of the package. It's almost impossible to find in stores, even in a PC friendly place like Fry's - try Ebay or the warez route.

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfreak
    On the subject of buying it, does anyone know where I could grab the expansion for it cheap?
    At least a couple of years ago, the secret for the expansion was to buy it in a "laptop bundle" that was being sold with several games...it had SMAC and the expansion, and the whole bundle cost $20 retail, at a time when the expansion alone was already going for big bucks on eBay.

  12. #42
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    SMAC *spooge*

    Need I really say more? Not in THIS thread.

  13. #43
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    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. :)

  14. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfreak
    On the subject of buying it, does anyone know where I could grab the expansion for it cheap?
    Last time a discussion about smac came up someone pointed people who wanted to have the expansion to this very nice link:

    http://www.the-underdogs.info/game.p...lien+Crossfire

    It still is a very nice link!

  15. #45
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    The Social Engineering table was awesome, making each faction unique even more awesomer.

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Sharp
    I'm 90% sure I installed the expansion in Windows XP too, so it all runs. I never played it much but I could see why people loved it. The tech trees just confused me too much and for whatever reason I didn't feel like learning them.
    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.

  17. #47
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    Once we get over our destructive infatuation with 'eye candy', TBS games of the quality of SMAC will make a comeback.

    It's still probably the only 'serious' sci-fi themed game out there - the techs, especially in light of scientific discoveries since the game was made, were very well researched and thought out. It could be the future of mankind in RL?

    I never had a problem with the look of it(you can mod it to make it less red if you want), but the pace of change combined with the custom build units just felt a little out of synch for me - that is my one small issue with the game. But overall it's still one of the all time greats.

    Say if BHG did get to do a sequel, would it become just 'another' RTS? Or would they have the nerve to do it as it should be done?

  18. #48
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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.
    Most people suck. I mean it. If you want to know what a tech does, look it up. It's right there in the game. You want to know what that crazy sci-fi tech will lead to? Click the handy link provided. Would you also have liked for Firaxis to provide you with an Alpha Centauri for Dummies book?

    Alpha Centauri is probably the best science fiction game ever created. It takes it's setting seriously, and it incorporates it into the game in an amazing fashion. The techs are probably the part of the game that singlehandedly provides most background exposition without ever forcing it upon you. If you don't care what Prokhor Zakharov has to say about Quantum Singularity doohickies you can just focus on the pure game mechanics. I can respect that people have a hard time enjoying science fiction, but to claim that Alpha Centauri's abstractions of reality into gameplay are somehow harder to understand (you can't research Pottery in Civ2 before you've researched the Wheel, there were apparantly no spies before communisnm, etc) is just inane.

  19. #49
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    I don't know, but I've been told
    Deidre's got a network node
    Likes to press the on/off switch
    Dig that crazy Gaian witch...

    Don't go. The drones need you. They look up to you.

  20. #50
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    The associations could be a little strained sometimes in AC, but with a good enough Civilopedia (such as in Civ 4) it shouldn't be a problem in terms of figuring out what to do. It would be nice if the associations were always natural, but as you point out, even in Civ it gets a little gamey sometimes.

  21. #51
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    I prefer the sci-fi tech tree/historical progression in SMAC, because unlike in Civ, is doesn't constantly contradict or rub up against my perceptions of "real world" technological development or historical events.

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugin
    I prefer the sci-fi tech tree/historical progression in SMAC, because unlike in Civ, is doesn't constantly contradict or rub up against my perceptions of "real world" technological development or historical events.
    Not only that, but it all made sense to me as a long time sci fi fan. I think that's one of the best parts of the game, the tech tree. A bajillion times better than Civ's very boring and mundane tech tree.

    I mean, did anyone playing X-Com or Galactic Civilizations wish the tech trees were dumbed down or less sci fi? I know I damn well didn't.

  23. #53
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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. :)
    Me, me, me.

  24. #54
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    nerve stapling FTW

  25. #55
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    I would kill for a sequel to SMAC. Seriously, Brian. I'm not kidding. Tell me who you want offed.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by quatoria
    I would kill for a sequel to SMAC. Seriously, Brian. I'm not kidding. Tell me who you want offed.
    I'll help.

  27. #57
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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. :)
    I'm very much in... is there some program setup for this? I'd be happy to host it too.

  28. #58
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    oooh, a qt3 SMAC PBEM game. I'm interested, but I don't think I can make the commitment. (also, I suck at playing the game competitatively).

    I am, however, taking bets on how long it will take before the game is inevitably abandoned because one guy lost interest and now everyone else is screwed.

  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by quatoria
    I would kill for a sequel to SMAC. Seriously, Brian. I'm not kidding. Tell me who you want offed.
    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

    p.s. Thanks for reminding me about the Network Node song... I really should go dig up the WAV files from that and make myself some Windows theme sounds or something.

  30. #60
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    Hurrah! (Applies big slobbery kisses)

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