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Chat With C:CTP Programmers; October 3rd, 1998

[DanQ] How are the developments of the wonders coming along? We know that they are being 
totally revamped... can you tell us anything more at this point?
[MrOwl] We have 35 wonders of the world.
[MrOwl] Each, when built, comes with a fully CG animated wonder movie.
[MarkG] That is more than civ2 from what I remember... 
[MarkG] Have you kept any of them?
[MrOwl] We have a lot of new ones... of course, our time frame is larger than previous civ games.
[DanQ] Yes, there were 27 in CivII believe.
[MrOwl] You'll see a lot of familiar ones, but we pull in wonders from other cultures.  The Forbidden 
City, for example.
[DanQ] Sounds neat!
[MarkG] What does it do?
[MrOwl] There are also future wonders like the Global E-Bank.
[MarkG] Are there any civilization or goverment specific wonders?
[DanQ] Sorry for the interjection, but if anyone has any questions they would like to see asked just 
send them to either myself or Markos.
[MrOwl] The Forbidden City prevents other civs from establishing embassies with you, and protects 
you from diplomatic attacks.
[MarkG] That sounds interesting...
[akula] Will there be any wonders that can be built more than one civilization, for example the 
manhattan project should have to be built by each nation wishing to use nuclear weapons
[MrOwl] If you build a wonder, you get it first, and no one else gets it.  But no wonders enable 
technologies that others can't get.
[DanQ] Some people are wondering if any part of C:CTP will have its source released. Can you confirm 
or deny?
[Patton] We will not be releasing the source
[MrOwl] Well, not source code per se, but we will be releasing some of our headers.
[MrOwl] You'll get a few C++ files to start an AI with.
[MarkG] Speaking of AI....
[MarkG] Is it harder to beat?
[Patton] Well that is what we are in the process of doing now
[Patton] we're game balancing
[MrOwl] It's a very sophisticated system that takes into account many more game aspects than previous 
Civ games.
[MarkG] How does it think? :)
[DanQ] Will there be a graphics editor included for the units?
[MrOwl] The AI uses several different established AI principles to make decisions.
[MarkG] Like MrOwl?
[MrOwl] It uses boolean rules (if this and this but not this, then do this), it uses priority-based list 
processing (give me the best 15 things to do here), and it uses a fuzzy logic system for evaluating options 
(what sort of thing am 
I really leaning towards right now?)
[MarkG] Sounds smarter than civ2....
[MrOwl] We also have AI personalities.
[MarkG] Will it seem like it has a plan, when going to war?
[MrOwl] So different opponents will "feel" different because their play styles will be so different.
[akula] Will the elements of the game (graphics, sounds, videos) be stand alone files or in grouped files such 
as the .pak files used by quake
[MrOwl] A little of both, akula.  Some things made sense to roll into large files (terrain graphics and sprites) 
some made sense to leave as separate files (game object data, scenario scripts.)
[akula] And will you include a decompiler so that people can access these separate elements
[MrOwl] We won't ship decompilers or data file compilers, but I wouldn't be surprised if you saw some 
floating around.  *nudge-nudge, wink-win*
[MrOwl] +k
[MarkG] Back to AI.... What kind of AI personalities will there be?
[MrOwl] Think of historical rulers and their personalities.
[MrOwl] How does Hitler compare to Stalin?  To FDR?
[MarkG] Hmmm. dont tell me that you will have Hitler in the game!
[MrOgre] The personalities are primarily controlled via fuzzy logic rules, there is a lot of tweaking we can 
do just playing with numbers in text files
[MrOwl] Hitler is a Land grabbing Warrior who goes for Fascist government as soon as possible.
[MrOwl] Stalin aims for Communism, but is a worse diplomat than Hitler.
[Patton] We don't have Hitler himself
[MrOwl] But we don't have Hitler or Stalin, per se.
[Patton] What Mr. Owl is describing is the different types
[Patton] of personalities you might encounter
[MarkG] Oh, just the way they acted....
[Patton] yes
[Patton] possbily :-)
[Patton] Just examples
[MrOwl] Ghandi tries to make peace and expanding through treaties.
[DanQ] Will there be a graphics editor included for the units?
[akula] Can a player change the personalities of the AI he is playing?
[akula] sorry, dan first
[MrOwl] No.
[MrOgre] The text files controlling the fuzzy logic will be changeable, yes.  That is where almost all of 
what defines a personality exists.
[DanQ] Sounds like AIs have tastes in government form, do they have taste in anything else (eg. Chinese 
like Great Wall)?
[MrOwl] We won't ship with a graphics editor in the box, though there will probably be tools that surface....
[MrOgre] If you want to just exchange one personality for another, it will be as simple as swapping two files...
[MarkG] Ai again
[MarkG] Will it be able to learn?
[MrOgre] Different personalities will definitely have tastes for different things...
[MrOgre] No, it is not a learning AI...
[MrOwl] It does keep track of how it feels about you, though...
[MarkG] In what way?
[MrOwl] It evaluates how threatening it thinks you are, and how trustworthy you are...
[MrOwl] It also will adapt to your play style, if it finds you are trying different things on it...
[MrOgre] Well, naturally if you've attacked it before, it will like you less and hence be less friendly.  If it 
perceives you as being weaker, it will be more likely to be forceful, but of course it all depends on the personality.
[MarkG] Will some be able to alter the ai so much that it will actually learn? 
[MrOwl] Absolutely.
[MrOwl] You could plug in any sort of AI system you want.
[MrOgre] Since we will release the API for the AI, you can write any AI you like.
[MarkG] I see a programming forum in Apolyton... :)
[MrOwl] You could have a modified EraserBot running inside of Civ, though I'm not sure how cool that'd be.
[MrOwl] :-D
[MarkG] And what would that do? 
[MrOwl] Ah, well, nothing interesting.  Just a Quake II joke.
[MarkG] Sorry, I only play civ2 :)
[MarkG] You mentioned a scripting language?
[MarkG] What kind of events will there be?
[MrOgre] I did!  There is a scripting language used for scenarios that will let you trigger events on a wide 
variety of things, from units entering a region or a particular player controlling a region, to the year the game is in, 
to a city reaching a certain size, and lots more I can't remember
[MrOwl] Our scripting language is a thing of beauty.
[MrOgre] All those events will let you take a variety of actions, and the language itself is flexible enough to 
let you do some very sophisticated things
[MrOwl] MrOgre here designed the language and the interpreter.
[MarkG] It seems that you have left a lot of room for programmers
[MrOgre] The tutorial (which is quite nice too) is actually written entirely in the scripting language.  It allows 
for message boxes of a couple of different types, with buttons that can themselves trigger arbitrary code to be run
[MrOwl] The scripting language has a pretty low barrier of entry, so non-programmers will find it interesting 
to use.
[MrOgre] We are after all programmers ourselves, and tend to think everyone would like to be ;-) ...
[MarkG] Will there be any events(random) in the normal game?
[MrOwl] Sure...
[MarkG] Earthquakes and such?
[MrOwl] Pollution can cause global warming.
[MrOwl] And global warming can do all sorts of terrible things to the world.
[MrOwl] Floods and droughts and the like.
[MarkG] That would be nice to see....
[MarkG] Any kind of random disasters?
[MrOwl] That's not a truly RANDOM event since you have some control over that.
[MarkG] Yes, I'm talking about fires, floods, and other physical disasters...
[MarkG] Back to AI. Will civs have the personality of only one leader? i.e. Germany has been known 
for being militaristic in the past; Will that pattern and others be apart of C:CTP?
[MrOwl] Each civ comes with two distinct personalities that are randomly chosen.
[akula] WIll some leaders have aversions to certain things, like for example might ghandi refuse to 
use nuclear weapons?
[MrOwl] Yes, Ghandi wouldn't use nukes.
[MrOwl] Different leaders would definitely not do certain things that other leaders would do.
[akula] And might some leaders be slightly insane say Hitler, overly using nukes
[MrOwl] Yes, exactly.

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