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HappyHelmet
Apr 9, 2003

Hail to the king baby!



With Civilization: Beyond Earth coming there has been a lot of renewed interest in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Rather than clog up the thread for Beyond Earth it would probably be better to have a separate thread for SMAC.

What is SMAC / SMAX?

Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri (SMAC) and it's expansion Alien Crossfire (SMAX) is a 4x strategy game released in 1999 by Brian Reynolds, and (to a lesser extent) Sid Meier.

Whats the story?

*Note: I'm not going to bother spoilering any of this because while the plot is quite interesting knowing what it is, is a pretty small part of the game.

The basic storyline is that humanity has totally ruined Earth, and the last hopes of our people is sent packing to Alpha Centauri to keep the species from going extinct. Along the way there is a reactor malfunction that forces the crew to wake up earlier than planned, and in the confusion the captain of the ship is assassinated. The resulting fallout divides the remaining people along ideological lines as they separate and head for Planet (the not so original name of the planet they are going to) with their newly chosen leaders. With the expansion there is also a separate plotline in which an alien race (called the Progenitors) that is divided into 2 warring factions is also headed toward the planet.

After landfall it quickly becomes apparent that Planet is more than it appears, and infested with hostile native wildlife called "mind worms" that attack people by paralyzing them with nightmare psychic powers then burrow into them . Not only that, as it turns out Planet is in fact a sentient being itself, and the result of long past experiments by the Progenitors. Who are now returning to finish what they started. What happens beyond that is up to the player. Fun!

What's the gameplay like?

If you have ever played any of the Civilization games from 1-4 you will already have a pretty good familiarity with the game. Civ 5 is also sort of similar, but was a pretty significant departure from the past games. You start by choosing some basic map conditions, and rule sets then move on to picking which 7 factions you want to be in the game. For the base game there are only 7 factions to choose from, but with the expansion you get to choose from 12 human factions and the 2 progenitor factions.

One other neat feature of this game is fully deformable terrain, as well as weather effects that change based on the lay of the land. So you can do things like raise the terrain in your territory to increase fertile land while turning your nearest neighbors into an arid hellhole.

This game is pretty old, why should I play it?

The story! While I gave the basic outline of things above I haven't even scratched the surface of all the great quotes, and interplay between faction leaders. The game goes beyond just being “Civ in space” with a richly detailed backstory and it's entirely likely half this thread will just be people posting their favorite quotes from the faction leaders as a testament to that.

Also, while the UI can be overwhelming compared to the more streamlined games of recent times, overall the game has aged pretty well. The graphics are dated, but not offensive to look at. Assuming you buy the GoG version of the game it runs pretty stable on windows. It even still has an active modding community if you want to get into that. In all honesty many people still consider SMAX to be the greatest 4x game of all time even today, and for good reason.

Plus you can nuke the everloving poo poo out of people so hard it leaves nothing but a water filled crater where several of their cities used to be:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJjQEoFF5Q8

Does the game have multiplayer?
Sure does! In fact we used to have a vibrant SMAX multiplayer community on SA using the “play by email” feature. If you have time to burn and archives access you can check out some of the past games here:

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...40&pagenumber=1

http://forums.somethingawful.com/sh...40&pagenumber=1

I got my rear end handed to me both times

I heard this game is a buggy mess

Short answer: yes and no. The AI in single player is pretty easy to take advantage of once you start getting into advanced gameplay, but generally unless your being really sperging you won't notice any huge issues.

Multiplayer is a whole other issue though, and games often become highly reliant on house rules to keep rampant abuse of bugs from affecting the game too much.

Ok you've convinced me, where do I buy this game?
Alpha Centauri + the expansion can be had on www.GoG.com for $3. For that price you'd be stupid not to buy it really.

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HappyHelmet
Apr 9, 2003

Hail to the king baby!

I'll post some general tips for the game here. If you want to get serious about the game, and don't mind a huge wall of text go here:

http://www.weplayciv.com/forums/sho...el-s-SMAX-Guide

For a TLDR version I'll give a quick run-down of things, and of course feel free to ask any gameplay questions in the thread.

Factions

Starting off you'll want to choose the faction you think will best suit your playstyle. I'll give a quick run-down and a rating of strong, average, or weak based on the general consensus of their difficulty to play them. Keep in mind play-styles will effect peoples opinions of factions as well.

*Quick notes:
Factions are usually placed in one of two categores:
1) Builders - Good at maintaining a solid core of cities with lots of infrastructure, and being able to outproduce the other factions.
2) Momentum - Good at building up an early lead (usually through war), and then ideally rolling with it through the mid-game.

Builders are generally easier to play than momentum factions. And of course nothing is set in stone so any faction is full capable of playing with either style (or a hybrid of both).

Game stages fall into 3 categories:
Early-game - Very important for momentum factions as this is the time when they really shine.
Mid-game - Builder factions start coming into their own here.
End-game - Game is usually already decided by this point, and win is inevitable.

SMAC factions:

Gaians
Rating: Strong

The “hippy” faction. A well balanced faction that can go either builder or momentum without too much difficulty. Good beginner faction because of it's versatility and ability to capture mind worms early.

Hive
Rating: Strong

The “hoard” faction. If left unchecked the Hive can straight up steam roll almost any faction in the late early-game to early mid-game because of their ability to spread cities across the map with impunity. Amazing faction for people who like micromanaging dozens (hundreds?) of cities/units, probably not the best for beginners.

Spartans
Rating: Average

The “survivalist” faction. A good momentum faction, but can easily get left in the dust if you don't have a good start. Free prototypes is nice. Not the best for beginners.

University
Rating: Strong

The “science” faction. Science bonuses are always going to be strong in Civ-esque games. While one of the strongest factions in the game checks and balances keep it from being too overpowered. Good beginner faction.

Peacekeepers
Rating: Average

The “model U.N.” faction. Easy to understand/play faction that is aggressively mediocre. Pros and cons of faction bonuses don't really push you one way or the other so good for new players.

Believers
Rating: Weak

The “militant fundamentalist” faction. Strong bonus to attacking means they are an early game powerhouse, but the hit to research can be crippling come the mid-game. Not a good faction for beginners.

Morgan
Rating: Average

The “capitalist” faction. Very strong builder faction in the right hands, and only gets more powerful as the game goes on. Requires some special attention to really shine so maybe not the best for new players.

SMAX factions:

Pirates
Rating: Strong

The “sea-faring” faction. As the only faction to have the benefit of starting in the ocean they have the benefit of generally being free to do as they please in the early-game. Like the Gaians a very versatile faction and good for new players.

Drones
Rating: Average

The “cast-offs” faction. Made up of the dregs of the other factions the Drones have a good industry bonus, but a big penalty to research. A good momentum faction in the right hands, but not the best for new players.

Conciousness
Rating: Strong

The “cyborg” faction. Good to the point of being overpowered. They get bonuses to research and efficiency with a penalty that is easily corrected elsewhere. Great faction for new players, but if you want to get better at the game maybe try some of the others.

Data Angels
Rating: Average

The “hacker” faction. Very strong bonuses to probe teams, but otherwise challenge the Peacekeepers for the “total mediocrity” award. Knowing how to effectively use probe teams is a somewhat advanced part of the game so I probably wouldn't recommend them to newer players.

Cult
Rating: Weak

The “new-religion” faction. A good momentum faction for the early-game if you can capture enough mindworms, but you really need to know what your doing to make it through the mid-game. Generally considered the worst faction, and not recommended for new players.

Caretakers/Usurpers
Rating: Broken

The “alien” factions. Rather than separate these two I'm putting them together because they are both better than the human factions to the point of being broken. The Caretakers are good on defense, and pro Planet allowing them to capture mind worms. While the Usurpers are basically the opposite with good attack, and industry bonuses. Good for the occasional “change of pace” game, but I wouldn't recommend them to new players as they get too many benefits and will teach you bad playing habits.

Terraforming

Terraforming in SMAX can be quite daunting at first, but as you begin to understand the game better it gets easier.

Basic Strategy
The most basic strategy people follow is to simply plant forests everywhere, and mix in a few boreholes at your production centers. Forests automatically make ANY square a base 1-2-1 square, and are quite useful for arid areas. Especially once you get tree farms and hybrid forests at your bases, which should be a top priority if you go this route. Another added benefit of this route is that forests spread naturally and can take over fungus squares making your terraforming a little easier. This also makes it difficult for native life to move through your borders.

Intermediate Strategy
There are many ways to go about the more advanced terraforming, but this will give you a general idea of how you can utilize squares:
Rocky - mine
Rainy - solar+farm
Moist Rolling with +1000 elevation - solar + farm
River - solar + farm
Moist Rolling with -1000 elevation - forest
Arid/Arid Rolling/Moist - forest
Fungus - leave alone if going green, clear otherwise to limit native life (unless your hunting the native life for energy)

Bonus Squares - put down whatever improvement maximizes output when possible, otherwise drop a forest
Sensors - fungus squares and any squares your not using for bases are good places
Condensors - anywhere you have lots of farms in range
Borehole - put one next to 1-3 of your high output bases depending on how much eco damage you care about
Mirror - anywhere you have lots of solar panels

Raise/lower terrain - get creative! Try sinking enemy bases/armies into the ocean, or raising mountains to kill their nutrient output!

Social Policies

I don't have much to add here as peoples opinions vary widely, and are often situation dependent. That said, in single player you can pretty easily get away with just picking whichever policies best maximize your benefits while minimizing your negatives and just stick with it the whole game. Multi-player is a bit of a different beast as you should really have a set of wartime policies and a set of peacetime policies you can use. You won't want to switch between the two too often, but knowing when to switch can be the difference between winning and losing.

Try asking in the thread if you need specific info, and we'll try to help you.

HappyHelmet fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2014 around 18:05

Demiurge4
Aug 10, 2011

The hardest part of moving on is letting go


I'm gonna go ahead and quote tiny bug child for the AI patches.

Tiny Bug Child posted:

For those of you playing Alpha Centauri, there are some folks at alphacentauri2.info making AI improvement patches. kyrub's AI patch is a pretty big improvement: it makes the AI less terrible at terraforming, plus it teaches it basic crawler usage and makes it pick better units to build. Works fine with the GoG version, but the downside is it doesn't work with Alien Crossfire, just the base game. For SMAX, there's Yitzi's patch, which fixes a ton of small bugs, but doesn't include all of the AI improvements from the other patch.

Stefan Prodan
Jan 7, 2002

I deeply respect you as a human being... Some day I'm gonna make you *Mrs* Buck Turgidson!

Build TONS of supply crawlers to win game

That said, I love this game

Comstar
Apr 20, 2007

But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Princess Celestia


Post the best quotes. I can't think of a 4X game before or afterwards that had such good writing and characters. Star Control II dosn't count as it's a RPG.

Stanos
Sep 22, 2009

The best 57 in hockey.

I always built a lot of secret projects because I thought the videos were cool.

UP AND ADAM
Jan 24, 2007
O_O I'll be in my bunk... ;)

Spartans are the best. Prototypes are for suckers.

Speedball
Apr 15, 2008



You should probably also mention in the OP that one thing Alpha Centauri does that no other Civ game really does is make the planet itself your worst enemy and your greatest tool--stuff like elevation affecting rainfall which you can adjust, building or destroying land bridges, managing the fungus and the monsters that come out of it and so on.

DrSunshine
Mar 23, 2009

The Pink Warrior should just shut up!


Comstar posted:

Post the best quotes. I can't think of a 4X game before or afterwards that had such good writing and characters. Star Control II dosn't count as it's a RPG.

Okay.

quote:

Richard Baxton piloted his Recon Rover into a fungal vortex and held off four waves of mind worms, saving an entire colony. We immediately purchased his identity manifests and repackaged him into the Recon Rover Rick character with a multi-tiered media campaign: televids, touchbooks, holos, psi-tours-- the works. People need heroes. They don't need to know how he died clawing his eyes out, screaming for mercy. The real story would just hurt sales, and dampen the spirits of our customers.
---Morgan Stellartots Keynote Speech, "Mythology for Profit"

Adding my voice to the general chorus of praise for this wonderful, dark, terrifying, engrossing game! I think it's important to note the superb voice acting this game had -- if you recall this quote, it's just amazing how the voice actor changes from a serious, news-reader-like tone to a more mercenary-sounding "corporate exec off-record real-talk" tone, right at the second sentence. And it's all so very on point and relevant to current concerns.

DrSunshine fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2014 around 05:52

Stanos
Sep 22, 2009

The best 57 in hockey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vB46XpnwhrA

What actually transpires beneath the veil of an event horizon? Decent people shouldn't think too much about that.

(Zakharov supremacy, gently caress the church lady for constantly picking fights and never giving up)

HappyHelmet
Apr 9, 2003

Hail to the king baby!

Speedball posted:

You should probably also mention in the OP that one thing Alpha Centauri does that no other Civ game really does is make the planet itself your worst enemy and your greatest tool--stuff like elevation affecting rainfall which you can adjust, building or destroying land bridges, managing the fungus and the monsters that come out of it and so on.

I'll be adding more stuff in tomorrow. I did mention a little bit of that stuff in the first part though .

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!


I have a soft spot in my heart for Miriam, because she's the only leader that actually seems to have a plot arc.

See, if you're playing anyone but Miriam, Miriam's psychotic aggressiveness usually gets her crushed early in the game. Meanwhile, in the tech quotes and wonder videos, all you hear from Miriam is stuff disapproving of the latest tech advance for no readily explicable reason. And then you don't hear from her again until the late game, when you start hearing quotes from 'We Must Dissent' and the wonders and technologies you're seeing are stuff like 'automated police state' and 'nukes, yet somehow worse', and you might get thinking 'Hey, maybe Miriam had a point here.'

That said, Deidre forever. MINDWORM RUSH KEKEKE

Rand alPaul
Feb 3, 2010



This is the best Civ game ever made. Civilization II is just behind it.

That said, glory to the workers of Alpha Centauri, may they one day return to the recycling tanks.

Kenzie
Nov 29, 2002


I bought the gog.com version of this a few weeks ago but hadn't had a chance to really play it. Thread totally bookmarked.

One of the best times I had with this game years ago was playing as the religious faction. They suck at science, so I cut all my research focus to zero and used the probe team bonus they get to steal all the tech I needed. This let me concentrate all my efforts on churning out hordes of cheap military units with the +25% attack bonus they get from religious fanaticism.

By the time the late game rolled around, I had heavily infiltrated all the other factions with probe teams, and constantly sabotaged their planet buster production while building up a huge stockpile of my own. I equipped all of my military units with nerve gas as well, and when the time came, I unleashed my massive genocide extermination campaign, nerve gassing and nuking the holy poo poo out of everything.

Kenzie fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2014 around 06:52

cuc
Nov 25, 2013


The Planet is named Chiron (after the immortal centaur who mentored the heroes), and its two moons are named Nessus and Pholus.

Reposting my question for people who have read the official novels, because it still haven't been answered.

quote:

How does Dragon Sun refer to Human Hive and its bases with their insect-themed names? Because a lot of people seem to agree that "Human Hive" is a ridiculous name to call yourselves no matter what. The GURPS book says they were a nameless secret faction hidden underground, and was given the nickname of "Human Hive" when the other factions finally discovered them, which seems consistent with Dragon Sun's plot outline.

Stefan Prodan
Jan 7, 2002

I deeply respect you as a human being... Some day I'm gonna make you *Mrs* Buck Turgidson!

cuc posted:

The Planet is named Chiron (after the immortal centaur who mentored the heroes), and its two moons are named Nessus and Pholus.

Reposting my question for people who have read the official novels, because it still haven't been answered.

The...what now?

edit:Oh you mean in actual mythology. I thought you were saying, like, there was a centaur in the game that mentored the faction leaders

HappyHelmet
Apr 9, 2003

Hail to the king baby!

Updated the OP with some faction descriptions. I'll try to get some loose gameplay tips up tomorrow.

Pierson
Oct 31, 2004



Demiurge4 posted:

I'm gonna go ahead and quote tiny bug child for the AI patches.
Just so I have this right: I can have Alien Crossfire and bugfixes, OR I can have the basic game and better AI, but not both since both patches are the same executable?

Cubey
Aug 13, 2008


Here, I decided to write a terraforming guide for this thread:

Forest everything. Make boreholes and use supply crawler on them.

I think that about covers it. If there are any questions, just ask

P.S. Gaians forever, though the Hive is fun for when I want to not play the exact same way I always do.

nutranurse
Oct 22, 2012

Unlikeliest of Slash Fics

Pierson posted:

Just so I have this right: I can have Alien Crossfire and bugfixes, OR I can have the basic game and better AI, but not both since both patches are the same executable?

Yitzi's patch has some of kyrub's work incorporated into, however it is behind by one version iirc. Kyrub's recently released a patch for SMAC that teaches the AI the basics of advanced terraforming, which is pretty nice, but you can live w/o it if you want SMACX's and yitzis additions.

IMO, go w/ yitzi/smacx because yitzis mod adds a really useful feature: reporting what base a unit draws support from in the units sidebar. This alone has made going back to SMACX infinitely more bareable.

Tomn
Aug 23, 2007
I never realized why I was a stupid newbie.


One of the particular things about Alpha Centauri that gives it a touch of charm that few other games have? The faction leaders actually recognize - and ideologically dislike - each other. Instead of saying "America is becoming a threat to us all, we must act!", they instead saying "That tree-hugging hippie Deidre is getting on my tits, care to help me wipe her out?" or "I can no longer tolerate Yang's inhumane social experiments! Join me in eliminating him!" or "The Lord cannot abide your unethical quest for pure knowledge and tampering with that which belongs to God, Zharkov! Time to die!" It makes them sound like a pack of bitchy high-schoolers sniping at each other constantly and I love it.

splifyphus
Nov 7, 2012


I just started playing this recently and have won a few victories on easy difficulties as the Hive. I don't really understand supply crawlers or terraforming or any of the more advanced stuff but I did just nuke the entire planet while simultaneously raising sea levels to drown everything that wasn't a domed socialist enclave so this game is pretty alright.

Also if you add "DirectDraw=0" to your Alpha Centauri.ini file under [Alpha Centauri] the game will run at your monitor's native resolution. The interface doesn't scale but the bird's eye view is a decent antidote to some of the game's old jankiness, at least for me.

Geokinesis
Jan 22, 2012

The Creation of Wealth


Comstar posted:

Post the best quotes. I can't think of a 4X game before or afterwards that had such good writing and characters. Star Control II dosn't count as it's a RPG.

Lal posted:

I think, and my thoughts cross the barrier into the synapses of the machine - just as the good doctor intended. But what I cannot shake, and what hints at things to come, is that thoughts cross back. In my dreams the sensibility of the machine invades the periphery of my consciousness. Dark. Rigid. Cold. Alien. Evolution is at work here, but just what is evolving remains to be seen.

Pvt.Scott
Feb 16, 2007

Happiness is the legal tender of the soul. -Robert Green Ingersoll


Thanks for reminding me of this glorious time-sink OP. Man, I was so bad at this and other strategy games back in the day. I've just started my first game in over a decade and already I notice a huge difference with my play style. I'm expanding aggressively to snatch up the best spots ASAP, as I can work on infrastructure and anything other than skeleton crews for base defense later.

What are the actual bonuses of the different factions? I'm playing as the Spartans because space survivalist nuts are cool.

E: nm. Somehow missed the effortpost

Pvt.Scott fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2014 around 12:50

Reveilled
Apr 19, 2007

Take up your rifles


Comstar posted:

Post the best quotes. I can't think of a 4X game before or afterwards that had such good writing and characters. Star Control II dosn't count as it's a RPG.

All the philosophical ones are good, but for a bit of a change of pace, here's the best quote when you play as the University:

Technology Discovered: Retroviral Engineering posted:

The Academician's private residences shall remain off-limits to the Genetic Inspectors. We possess no retroviral capability, we are not researching retroviral engineering, and we shall not allow this Council to violate faction privileges in the name of this ridiculous witch hunt!
--Fedor Petrov, Vice Provost for University Affairs

HappyHelmet
Apr 9, 2003

Hail to the king baby!

splifyphus posted:

I just started playing this recently and have won a few victories on easy difficulties as the Hive. I don't really understand supply crawlers or terraforming or any of the more advanced stuff but I did just nuke the entire planet while simultaneously raising sea levels to drown everything that wasn't a domed socialist enclave so this game is pretty alright.

Also if you add "DirectDraw=0" to your Alpha Centauri.ini file under [Alpha Centauri] the game will run at your monitor's native resolution. The interface doesn't scale but the bird's eye view is a decent antidote to some of the game's old jankiness, at least for me.

Terraforming is easier than you think. A lot of people don't bother because it gets pretty tedious after awhile, and the computer is so poo poo at doing it that you can get away with half-assing it.

The "directdraw=0" does work, but I ended up having to turn it off because it kept CTD'ing the game on my computer. Your mileage may vary, but I had bad luck with it.

nutranurse
Oct 22, 2012

Unlikeliest of Slash Fics

HappyHelmet posted:

Terraforming is easier than you think. A lot of people don't bother because it gets pretty tedious after awhile, and the computer is so poo poo at doing it that you can get away with half-assing it.

The upside to the fan patching is that they fix/tweak the terraforming AI so that it's not terrible and you can rely on automate without handicapping yourself too much.

e: Also the AI being not-dumb makes startint anywhere near Santiago or Miriam an absolute pain. Rover Rushes all day.

nutranurse fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2014 around 15:10

Gynovore
Jun 17, 2009

Forget your RoboCoX or your StickyCoX or your EvilCoX, MY CoX has Blinking Bewbs!

WHY IS THIS GAME DEAD?!

Holy crap, this game is incredible. I played a million games on it when it game out, put it away for a while, then bought it of GoG and played a million more. Feel free to ask any questions I could practically write a doctoral dissertation.

One thing I need to mention. By itself, SMAX will not run under Windows 7. However, there's a patch makes it work, which is included in the GoG version or you can download it from the Firaxis site. However however, the patch does not work for Alien Crossfire, only the base game. Has anyone found a workaround for this?

sullat
Jan 8, 2012


Ctrl-Shift S and ctrl-shift m make terraforming a snap. If you are using such mundane things as mines and solar collectors.

Lasting Damage
Feb 26, 2006



Gynovore posted:

Holy crap, this game is incredible. I played a million games on it when it game out, put it away for a while, then bought it of GoG and played a million more. Feel free to ask any questions I could practically write a doctoral dissertation.

One thing I need to mention. By itself, SMAX will not run under Windows 7. However, there's a patch makes it work, which is included in the GoG version or you can download it from the Firaxis site. However however, the patch does not work for Alien Crossfire, only the base game. Has anyone found a workaround for this?

Are you talking about the 'CPU not supported' issue? I'm pretty sure changing ForceOldVoxelAlgorithm=0 to equal 1 in the .ini would fix that. I can't remember if that was how you got it working or not, though I remember the compatibility patch wasn't enough.

Honestly, if someone likes this game so much they're still installing it on Windows 7/8 systems, they should stop being cheapskates and just get the GoG version. That works out of the box. All you have to do is add the DirectDraw parameter to sort out the resolution issues.

Lasting Damage fucked around with this message at Jun 17, 2014 around 17:53

Gynovore
Jun 17, 2009

Forget your RoboCoX or your StickyCoX or your EvilCoX, MY CoX has Blinking Bewbs!

WHY IS THIS GAME DEAD?!

Gynovore posted:

Holy crap, this game is incredible. I played a million games on it when it game out, put it away for a while, then bought it of GoG and played a million more. Feel free to ask any questions I could practically write a doctoral dissertation.

One thing I need to mention. By itself, SMAX will not run under Windows 7. However, there's a patch makes it work, which is included in the GoG version or you can download it from the Firaxis site. However however, the patch does not work for Alien Crossfire, only the base game. Has anyone found a workaround for this?

Lasting Damage posted:

Are you talking about the 'CPU not supported' issue? I'm pretty sure changing ForceOldVoxelAlgorithm=0 to equal 1 in the .ini would fix that. I can't remember if that was how you got it working or not, though I remember the compatibility patch wasn't enough.

Honestly, if you like this game so much you're still installing it on Windows 7/8 systems, you should stop being such a cheapskate and just get the GoG version. That works out of the box. All you have to do is add the DirectDraw parameter to sort out the resolution issues.

I did!!

As for the compatibility patch, it doesn't even recognize the Alien.exe file.

Lasting Damage
Feb 26, 2006



yeah sorry, I'm bad at posting and wasn't thinking you specifically when I typed that. Its a general recommendation to people that might be reading though. Still can't remember how I made SMAX run.

HappyHelmet
Apr 9, 2003

Hail to the king baby!

Added in some basic terraforming and social policy tips.

inthesto
May 12, 2010

That's a nice stack of dragons you have there. Be a real shame if I sneezed on it.

This is literally my favorite video game ever made. I remember playing the demo from a PC Gamer demo disc 14 years ago. Every time I play the game again, I discover something new. It's just that great.

While I've never played a multiplayer game, I've noticed a lot of amusing things playing against the (easily abused) AI. Most notably that Morgan is the one faction that actually doesn't want to touch Free Market economics at all, and that if you ever manage to keep up on tech with Miriam, you will never lose a war. That +25% offense bonus can be pretty drat unfair.

Also, in the BE thread everyone was posting up their favorite quotes, with a noticeable bias for all the gloom and darkness that permeates the game's tone. So I'm gonna provide some contrast and link my favorite secret project video which has a quote that's actually pretty uplifting:

The Cloudbase Academy posted:

In one dimension, I found existence. In two, I find life. But in three, I find freedom.

Pvt.Scott
Feb 16, 2007

Happiness is the legal tender of the soul. -Robert Green Ingersoll


I think my favorite detail of the setting is that the settlers just call their new home "Planet."

HappyHelmet
Apr 9, 2003

Hail to the king baby!

inthesto posted:

Also, in the BE thread everyone was posting up their favorite quotes, with a noticeable bias for all the gloom and darkness that permeates the game's tone. So I'm gonna provide some contrast and link my favorite secret project video which has a quote that's actually pretty uplifting:

I said this in the other thread, but the game really isn't that dark (unless your the kind of person who fears futuretech). Does it pull any punches when it comes to the dark stuff? No, but it's not as actively dystopian as people make it out to be.

For instance:

quote:

"What actually transpires beneath the veil of an event horizon? Decent people shouldn't think too much about that."
-Academician Prokhor Zakharov, "For I Have Tasted The Fruit

A lot of people were saying this is an example of the game being dark in the BE thread. To me it reads more like Zakharov in a press conference deflecting a question by someone wanting to enter the reactor or asking a question that would be needlessly complicated to answer. Though it could also be argued that Zakharov doesn't know the answer to the question either, and is deflecting away from the fact that the scientists are playing around with powers they don't understand .

Speedball
Apr 15, 2008



Pvt.Scott posted:

I think my favorite detail of the setting is that the settlers just call their new home "Planet."

I can only guess this is because they all started out by calling it "This planet" or "The planet" and someone just got lazy.

nutranurse
Oct 22, 2012

Unlikeliest of Slash Fics

HappyHelmet posted:

For instance:


A lot of people were saying this is an example of the game being dark in the BE thread. To me it reads more like Zakharov in a press conference deflecting a question by someone wanting to enter the reactor or asking a question that would be needlessly complicated to answer. Though it could also be argued that Zakharov doesn't know the answer to the question either, and is deflecting away from the fact that the scientists are playing around with powers they don't understand .

Well, the trouble with this interpretation is that the video that accompanies the quote is pretty eerie/off, as Zakharov's voice gets all distorted towards the end.

Cubey
Aug 13, 2008


HappyHelmet posted:

Terraforming is easier than you think. A lot of people don't bother because it gets pretty tedious after awhile, and the computer is so poo poo at doing it that you can get away with half-assing it.

Terraforming really is easy so long as you plant forests on every square once you've teched to Tree Farms. I've used that strategy for eons, with all factions, and it works brilliantly. It gives a perfect balance of production, growth and money, and once you can build Hybrid Forests, you become an unstoppable juggernaut.

Also, I always make sure to get the Weather Paradigm project as early as possible. IMO, Weather Paradigm, Hunter-Seeker Algorithm, Cloning Vats and Telepathic Matrix are the most important, or at least I find them to be. If I'm Deidre (which I usually am), I usually go for Dream Twister as well for mind worm fun.

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Grinnblade
Sep 24, 2007



edit: ^^ HOLY GOD YES Hunter-Seeker Algorithm is straight-up BROKEN in vanilla. The nerf in SMAX made it slightly less god-like but still pretty amazing.

Alpha Centauri is the reason I registered for SA because Fangz did an amazing LP of it a few years back.

That being said I've been playing it off and on since like 2000, and I never seem to tire of it. I can't wait to see if Civ: BE is as worthy a spiritual successor as it looks to be.

As far as memorable quotes go, I always had a soft spot for the University's intro quote: "The substructure of the universe regresses infinitely towards smaller and smaller components. Behind atoms we find electrons, and behind electrons, quarks. Each layer unraveled reveals new secrets, but also new mysteries."

But also, the Longevity Vaccine's secret project video. I mean, seriously.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdCB9yE9Hcc

"GET OFF MY LAND YOU PEACEKEEPING SON OF A- *channel change*"

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