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C:CTP Release Party; March 30th, 1999


[tweaker] they will send their navy to sink your fisheries
[MarkG] tell the truth
[tweaker] formulating answer
[CMB] The AI has some disadvantages on the lower levels and some advantages on the higher levels.
[Pinkbelly] The ai plays competitively. Overall, it knows less than you do.
[MarkG] it knows less than you do?
[Pinkbelly] For instance, you can see "under" the fog of war once you know how the tiles blend together. The AI can't take advantage of this.
[CMB] Truthfully the goal of our game is to be fun --so if giving the AI some (very few) benefits on higher levels makes the game more fun, my philosophy is go for it.
[tweaker] but on the lower lever we hanicap the AI
[CMB] We may burn in hell but at least we'll have had fun getting there.
[tweaker] umm levels
[Pinkbelly] But it isn't fun to play against a player that knows very little. You want a competitive, challanging game. So, we give the AI help whereever it would make the game more fun.
[Necro] Which of you humans don't cheat and restart after bad battle results?
[Azmel] the AI sometimes has more information or advantages, but does not exploit this information as a player would to cheat
[MarkG] ok... how much can a simple fan go into the AI?
[MarkG] what can someone change easily?
[Azmel] the "cheats" give it some of the context that humans have anyway
[tweaker] you change the AI text rules
[tweaker] the rules shape the strategy of the ai
[tweaker] what it thinks are important
[tweaker] they a load from text files at run time
[tweaker] change them and you chang the ai
[MarkG] I've seen some files about diplomacy for example...
[tweaker] yep
[tweaker] most of the dip system is really in the text files
[MarkG] hoe mad he gets if is rejected and something like that..
[tweaker] it weights what the AI will say yes too
[tweaker] how much does like or dislike you for doing something to it
[tweaker] also the AI is a COM object
[Azmel] You can change the files to create an AI with a particular strategy you like (ie. slaver)
[tweaker] not sure if we will release the headers
[MarkG] com object?
[tweaker] yes the build lists
[tweaker] a COM object is a seperate program
[tweaker] from the main executable
[tweaker] so in theory
[tweaker] somebody could write a whoe new ai with out changing the main game
[tweaker] but you would need a lot of spare time ;-)
[MarkG] final question on AI from me : in what language?
[Pinkbelly] The text files are all civ-lingo.
[MarkG] and then we go to multiplayer...
[Pinkbelly] We parse them into the engine when the game begins.
[MarkG] so, the main choice for multiplayer is internet
[Pinkbelly] We also built the scenario with a powerful language we call SLIC.
[Pinkbelly] Ooop. I mean tutorial.
[MarkG] someone asked about combatibility between windows and linux versions...
[mrogre] Yes, we support internet, IPX, and TCP LAN. Internet uses our ActivLink servers which have been in use for many other activision games and are quite stable by now.
[Azmel] btw, to answer markg about languages, the AI (and any COM replacement) would be in C++
[MarkG] [Atahualpa] Can we use SLIC too?
[tweaker] yes
[mrogre] There will be a patch released for the windows version that makes it compatible with the linux version in networking. That should be released before the Linux version actually ships, so that shouldn't be a problem for anyone.
[MarkG] I think modem to modem is not included. will it?
[Pinkbelly] No modem to modem. But, modem - to internet - to modem -- is just fine.
[mrogre] SLIC is usable by all. I'm hoping to put together some documentation on it, but the tutorial is a pretty darn good example of most of the features.
[MarkG] thanks for the slic answer :)
[MarkG] are quick mp games possible?
[Necro] Yes.
[Pinkbelly] Yes.
[MarkG] 30-60 minutes games?
[Pinkbelly] You can start at different ages to speed the game.
[MarkG] will you be releaseing special scenarios for mp?
[mrogre] There are several things that speed up network games. My favorite is the ability to start with 9 settlers. On a small map, that's a pretty quick recipe for mayhem.
[Necro] We were very intent on allowing for this type of game, and longer games that will last hours. Players can also save MP games to continue them later.
[Pinkbelly] Also, once the map editor is out, you'll have no problem setting up bloodbath games.
[tweaker] or go with an all land map
[Pinkbelly] Try small, land maps for the fastest play.
[tweaker] and lots of blood
[mrogre] You can also start out with a lot of gold and buy a bunch of stuff early on
[MarkG] CIv2 had ddouble pruduction and double speed for units
[MarkG] have you thought of using something like that?
[tweaker] i am very curious what people will like the most
[MarkG] nice question: [Big] are there mp cheats?
[tweaker] that would change the way the games plays
[tweaker] i think i prefer changing the start conditions
[mrogre] Well, we don't have double production, but when you start in later ages, your cities get some buildings (factories for example, depending on what age) when they are first built.
[mrogre] There are no MP cheats.
[Necro] Though, players may "team up" and share technology/maps/gold to fight vs AI or other players in MP
[tweaker] alliances are key
[tweaker] you can team with ai guys in a MP game through diplomacy
[mrogre] You can start different players with different amounts of gold and/or settlers at the beginning of the game, but everyone knows who's getting what before the game starts. Generally I think people will start everyone on equal footing though.
[MarkG] [itoito12] What about cheating with memory editors/lockers in multiplayer?
[MarkG] [War_] can allies purposely attack each other and remain allies?
[tweaker] it depends - not if they are ai
[tweaker] but there several kinds of 'attacks'
[tweaker] some do not always mean all out war
[tweaker] being an ally does not prevent you from back stabbing
[tweaker] you sneaky bastard
[mrogre] Actually modifying anything in memory will almost certainly throw the game out of synch, causing it to be resynchronized. I obviously can't stop people from editing memory, but I hope I've made it nearly impossible to do any useful editing without being detected.
[tweaker] of course then he will hate you
[Necro] Sometimes attacking your ally with special attacks can benefit him, like selling indulgences to keep his people happy.
[MarkG] someone asked about units in mp
[tweaker] or throwing parties
[MarkG] you can turn some of them off, right?
[MarkG] or wonders?
[mrogre] Yes, you can selectively turn off units, wonders, and buildings (city improvements) in multiplayer.
[MarkG] ok, changing topic....
[MarkG] you seem to have followed another route on what an advance is and what a wonder is...
[Pinkbelly] How so?
[MarkG] the best example is contraception and stirrup
[tweaker] clarify?
[MarkG] well, some say that contraception as a wonder sounds silly
[tweaker] it changed all of society
[tweaker] we live differently because of it
[MarkG] still, it is not in the "original civ style"
[MarkG] whatever that means...
[tweaker] hmmm
[MarkG] could it be that you changed too much?
[Pinkbelly] We look at the impact that it has had on society and it is hard to say that it's not important to modern life.
[tweaker] much of the game is examining and thinking about history
[MarkG] oh, and the big complaint is that the "real" wondeers of the world are missing, like Pyramids...
[tweaker] is a statue aka the colusss really affecting history?
[tweaker] it was more of a symbol
[tweaker] of a society that
[MarkG] [Iron_Will] A wonder should be something that a civilization as a whole makes large efforts collectively towards completing.
[Pinkbelly] We're proud of the new game that we've made. We wanted this to have a distinct feel and yet feel familiar as well.
[tweaker] could do something that grand and complex
[tweaker] so it gave you more trade
[Pinkbelly] That's a good point, MarkG. But some of the Wonders we included cover changes in the way your society thinks.
[MarkG] [eggman] a wonder is something that one civ makes and the others go...wow...how WONDERful
[Pinkbelly] For instance, Emancipation is about more than physical freedom -- it is about the belief that no one should be enslaved anywhere, ever.

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