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IDtenT
12-08-2011, 11:25 AM
Hey guys.

There seems to be a lot of interest surrounding Alpha Centauri still, yet the only active forum based PBEM game I can find on the Internet is one hosted on SomethingAwful. It does look fun though, so I was thinking, why don't we try it?

Firstly, I'm no expert on the game. I love it, but I've never been /that/ good at 4X games.

Basically the idea is that we have at least someone to play every faction known to the vanilla game. The leader of said faction can then officially share his game with someone else, if he feels he needs an extra mind or two (or goes on vacation, etc).

We will also need a DM, who will hold all the password keys (in case someone disappears/gets kicked) and serve as an auditor of sorts if someone is suspected of using exploits/cheats (the workload should be /really/ low.) The DM can also work as a narrator, if he so wishes, or whatever tickles his fancy.

The basic rules for now:
1) No use of known exploits that will decrease the fairness of the game.
2) <del>Completing your turn within 24 hours of receipt of email. Exceptions can and will be made.</del> Faction turns will be taken on a given day of the week. (This might force some people who cannot possibly organise a response on a certain day of the week, to not play certain factions, but we'll try and sort it out as we start the game.)
3) A turn can be retracted, but needs to be done within 30min of sending the game on in email, with a new email saying that the previous one is invalid. This as long as rule 2 is still satisfied.
4) No communication with the members of the other factions out of game, while still in character.
4a) An exception to the above rule is that this thread is a FFA and if you're willing to part with sensitive information on here, then you are welcome. However you are still obliged to not discuss diplomacy on here.
x) Rule placeholder.
9001) Have fun.

How to join? Firstly you need to install the vanilla game (personally I'd suggest in a folder not inside Program Files as that will require you to run the game in administrator mode). Then you need to go here: http://www.civgaming.net/forums/showthread.php?t=7511 and install the patches in order that they are given. I'm not sure if that works with the GoG version, but it should. Optionally you should add "DirectDraw=0" below [Alpha Centauri] in Alpha Centauri.ini, which will force the game to run on your desktop resolution.

Secondly you have to commit to the rules above, with the knowledge that the popular vote or DM can kick you from the game at any time. It is also of importance that you play your faction in character; what that however means is up to you.

Okay guys, let's see if this can work. Factions will be assigned on a first come first serve basis. I also need suggestions on possible rule changes both on here and in-game (or anything else for that matter). For now the in game map will be huge, standard rules will apply and the map set to the highest difficulty level.

Commitment order:
1) IDtenT - Confirmed
2) arienette - Confirmed
3) Cooper
4) oatish - Confirmed
5) ConcreteOtter
6) FunnyB - Confirmed
7) Vandelay - Confirmed
Zyrden
kingbiscuit
Giaddon

The factions in order of play:
Gaia's Stepdaughters - ConcreteOtter
Human Hive - FunnyB
University of Planet - arienette
GowSpace Industries (Morgan Industries) - IDtenT
Spartans - Cooper
Lord's Believers - Vandelay
Peacekeeping Forces - oatish

arienette
12-08-2011, 12:39 PM
Haha, despite expressing my adoration for this game in another thread, I do suck at it. Never tried it multiplayer though, so I'm in, shotgun university. Also, vanilla SMAC or Alien Crossfire?

IDtenT
12-08-2011, 12:45 PM
Also, vanilla SMAC or Alien Crossfire?
Vanilla. Should be able to get the most people like that.

Cooper
12-08-2011, 05:39 PM
Up definitely for this, but I'd like to suggest a change in turn times:

Rather than 24 hours from reciept of email, give each person a set day of the week (there are 7 factions) in which they have to send a turn sometime between 00:00 and 00:00 GMT?

Because otherwise you end up in a situation where you may receive an email at a really unhelpful time where you know you just can't get to your computer for 24hours, but if you know "Wednesdays are AC turn days" you can plan ahead.

May make for a longer game, but might help scheduling better.

IDtenT
12-08-2011, 05:59 PM
What a shrewd observation. It sounds more than acceptable.

oatish
12-08-2011, 06:03 PM
Yeah this is a great idea, man.

I love Alpha Centauri but have never gotten into the MP before. Lately, I have been jamming on my GOG copy but I have a boxed one somewhere I could install on my XP if patching won't work.

I am absolutely interested in participating and I agree Vanilla is the way. I will be the Peacekeepers as we are both boring.

Secondly, I second Cooper's idea to have a weekly submission time for turns. Work and life and stuff can really mess with you sometimes.

IDtenT
12-08-2011, 06:11 PM
Lately, I have been jamming on my GOG copy but I have a boxed one somewhere I could install on my XP if patching won't work.
Boxed copies work fine under Windows 7 64bit if you install all the patches (including the unofficial one), or at least that has been my experience.

Berzee
12-08-2011, 06:17 PM
If you guys end up doing this, you should do writeups as you're playing. It'd be awesome, though you would likely need to condense it tremendously.

IDtenT
12-08-2011, 06:24 PM
Does anyone know if crossing out lines are disabled on this forum? The usual isn't working. If there is no way of that working, please accept italics as outdated information.


If you guys end up doing this, you should do writeups as you're playing. It'd be awesome, though you would likely need to condense it tremendously.
That's the idea. Sensitive information however could be withheld.

Berzee
12-08-2011, 06:54 PM
<del datetime="300">i don't think it's possible</del>

oh wait...


(it's [del] tags you want <del></del>-- but with angle brackets instead of square ones =)

oatish
12-08-2011, 07:06 PM
Boxed copies work fine under Windows 7 64bit if you install all the patches (including the unofficial one), or at least that has been my experience.

Ah ha I will have to take a stab at that once I got Win 7 on my box again.

IDtenT
12-08-2011, 07:07 PM
<del datetime="300">i don't think it's possible</del>

oh wait...


(it's [del] tags you want <del></del>-- but with angle brackets instead of square ones =)
Thank you very much. :)


Ah ha I will have to take a stab at that once I got Win 7 on my box again.
Ah, I misunderstood, forgive me. I figured that when you talked about "my XP" you were talking about your non-gaming PC or something like that. It should work fine under XP as well.

arienette
12-08-2011, 07:15 PM
Eek, never written an AAR before, tend to stick to other subjects.

IDtenT
12-08-2011, 07:42 PM
Eek, never written an AAR before, tend to stick to other subjects.
Not that important. You can communicate on here what you wish to, as long as it isn't directly with the other factions.

ConcreteOtter
13-08-2011, 01:15 AM
I also would love to try this if there are still spots available. One rule suggestion would be to allow "blind research". I really think that adds a nice bit of reality/randomness to tech'ing.

Jiiiiim
13-08-2011, 12:34 PM
Have done one complete seven-player Alpha Centauri PBEM, took about three months. The end was terrifyingly swift.

If you want a look (http://www.thetales.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=1438)

IDtenT
13-08-2011, 01:34 PM
So, how many commitments are there so far?

<del>Anyone agree with the blind research idea?</del> Semi-blind research is already included in the standard rules.

arienette
13-08-2011, 01:48 PM
I prefer choosing my research, but whatever the majority wants.

ConcreteOtter
13-08-2011, 11:40 PM
So i guess now we just need a couple more players? I call the dirty hippies faction considering the UN and nerds are taken.

FYI: the GOG.com version of AC works fine with the unofficial patch listed by IDtenT at the top (its just a modified .exe file).

FunnyB
14-08-2011, 09:49 AM
I'd love to join this game! Sign me up as the Hive!

EDIT: How long of a game will we run? I mean, how many turns? I just recently discovered you can change this in the .ini files....

IDtenT
14-08-2011, 12:05 PM
EDIT: How long of a game will we run? I mean, how many turns? I just recently discovered you can change this in the .ini files....
I'm not sure I follow? The game will run until a victory condition is met.

FunnyB
14-08-2011, 12:51 PM
Well, there's always a max set of turns in a game. Am I not right? I mean, if no one reaches the victory condition in a set number of turns the game ends. Or can you turn off that?

Jiiiiim
14-08-2011, 01:10 PM
400 turns I think, but frankly if somebody hasn't won after 400 turns I'd be disgusted _

Vandelay
14-08-2011, 04:48 PM
I'm kind of tempted, but never played AC before. Would it be foolish for a complete noob to join in or is it pretty straightforward (keeping in mind that I'm a bit shit at 4x games)?

I can pick up a copy from GoG and take whatever side is left if no one else is interested, but if there is anyone who is desperate to join in they can take my place.

Zyrden
15-08-2011, 08:41 AM
Oooh haven't played this in years, I'll definitely join. I'm probably rusty, but I know the game fairly well.
I'll take Morgan Industries.
Had some difficulty installing the game on win 7 though, since the setup.exe did nothing. But I found a solution here http://www.bay12forums.com/smf/index.php?topic=86200.0

kingbiscuit
15-08-2011, 02:40 PM
I'll take the Spartans if they're still free, I just need to remember where I put the game box...

Giaddon
15-08-2011, 03:34 PM
If there's still a slot open, I'll be Miriam.

Cooper
15-08-2011, 04:04 PM
I'm still up for this, and don't mind what faction - I'll take whoever is available.

IDtenT
15-08-2011, 05:12 PM
First post updated with all seven commitments. I need all seven members to confirm their commitments before the end of the week. Gaia should then open the game and pass it on to the next faction in the game (who will send their email address on to Gaia for such purposes). I want the first turns of the game over asap, before we discuss who gets what day.

I still need someone in a DM role outside of those seven, (all you'll be doing is keeping the passwords safe and possibly running a game thread). If push comes to shove I'll take on the role.

Cooper and Vandelay: If you don't choose a faction I'll just assign you at random. :D

Zyrden, kingbiscuit and Giaddon: Keep your eyes open, someone might drop out. You can also contact the committed members on partnering up with one them; two heads being better than one and all that.

FunnyB
15-08-2011, 06:23 PM
Consider this my confirmation! :D

Is it a rule or just a setting, to be able to see the combat odds before every combat phase? I can't remember....

IDtenT
15-08-2011, 07:10 PM
Is it a rule or just a setting, to be able to see the combat odds before every combat phase? I can't remember....
It's a setting, but there might be a rule that disables it, but it is enabled in standard rules.

Vandelay
15-08-2011, 11:32 PM
Thanks very much IDtenT. Guess I better grab a copy!

I'll have a glance over the manual to see what side I'll like from the ones left and give you an answer tomorrow.

oatish
16-08-2011, 02:50 AM
Yeah, I'm in as Lal if no one else has a special attachment.

Any info required?

Zyrden
16-08-2011, 08:24 AM
Ah, didn't notice all slots were taken, since there were unclaimed factions. My bad.
The tip about Directdraw is great though: Playing in full rez? Hell yeah!
Never heard about Alien crossfire. Some kind of expansion? Is it good?

IDtenT
16-08-2011, 11:04 AM
Any info required?
Your faction details, if you want any changed. Like your name, gender, etc.

<del>So that ConcreteOtter can start setting up the game.</del>


Ah, didn't notice all slots were taken, since there were unclaimed factions. My bad.
Contact the person who will be playing Morgan and then try and team up with him. :)

Alien Crossfire gives a whole new set of 7 factions, including 2 alien ones.

riadsala
16-08-2011, 01:02 PM
Wow. How did I miss this! :(

Can somebody sort out a nice writeup/diary/blog somewhere? (Preferably a blog with an rss feed.) .... would be great to follow how this goes. And count me in if you play a second game :)

Giaddon
16-08-2011, 03:12 PM
Hey, I started a new thread for the extra people who are interested in getting a game going. It's here. (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?1063-Alpha-Centauri-PBEM-Game-2)

arienette
16-08-2011, 07:11 PM
I guess I'll comfirm my partaking in this game.... I'm in for it now.

Vandelay
16-08-2011, 09:40 PM
Okay, looks like only Morgan and Miriam are left. I think I'll go with Miriam.

IDtenT
16-08-2011, 10:21 PM
Okay guys, we're almost set to go. Cooper if you have grievances with the Spartans, just say so. I need everyone to chime in with what their faction will be called.

Edit: Ah, I see I can host the game and pass it on without having to play the first turn. So I need you all to send my your relevant faction information (gender, faction name, leader name, etc), basically everything you can edit - if you want it edited.

Are we good with standard rules? What about difficulty setting? Random planet?

oatish
16-08-2011, 10:31 PM
Umm, the normal is fine with me as all of my creative juices have collected down in my feet today.

FunnyB
17-08-2011, 06:51 AM
Maybe we should all have our faction leader's name changed to our usernames? What do you all think?

arienette
17-08-2011, 11:39 AM
I have the distinct feeling I'm going to get owned.

IDtenT
17-08-2011, 12:39 PM
I have the distinct feeling I'm going to get owned.
Don't worry, so am I. Which is why I'm thinking the hardest difficulty might not be so pleasing when you consider all the mindworms - but then again its a PBEM game, so you can't fuck up in a single turn (as you can just replay it).

riadsala
17-08-2011, 12:47 PM
Don't worry, so am I. Which is why I'm thinking the hardest difficulty might not be so pleasing when you consider all the mindworms - but then again its a PBEM game, so you can't fuck up in a single turn (as you can just replay it).

Would that not count as cheating?

IDtenT
17-08-2011, 01:09 PM
Would that not count as cheating?
Impossible to monitor.

riadsala
17-08-2011, 01:13 PM
Impossible to monitor.

True. I guess you're all gentlemen though and above such shady tactics :)

Jiiiiim
17-08-2011, 02:26 PM
(actually the game does monitor it and tells you if the person before you replayed their turn)

IDtenT
17-08-2011, 03:38 PM
(actually the game does monitor it and tells you if the person before you replayed their turn)
That can't be very strong though. I can think of various ways to circumvent such a measure. Recopying save file, editing some config file or god forbid a re-installation.

Vandelay
17-08-2011, 05:27 PM
Name as username sounds like a fine plan to me. Don't know if we are doing write ups or not (happy doing that for my faction,) but it will be easier for other forumites to follow if they can easily see who is who.

How does a PBEM game actually work? Make a turn, save and pass file to next person? Never actually played one before.

IDtenT
17-08-2011, 06:14 PM
How does a PBEM game actually work? Make a turn, save and pass file to next person? Never actually played one before.
Exactly like that.

FunnyB
18-08-2011, 08:09 AM
So, has everyone responded yet? When can we get this show on the road? :D

Liqourish
18-08-2011, 01:07 PM
I'm confused, are we allowed to replay our turns? That hardly seems fair, given the random nature of AC combat - you could just redo things until they turn out right for you.

IDtenT
18-08-2011, 02:41 PM
I'm confused, are we allowed to replay our turns? That hardly seems fair, given the random nature of AC combat - you could just redo things until they turn out right for you.
That is true. So then, a gentleman's agreement that we won't replay turns as far as possible?

oatish
18-08-2011, 05:29 PM
I can gentlemanly agree to no replaysies.

FunnyB
18-08-2011, 06:09 PM
Agreed! :D

ConcreteOtter
18-08-2011, 07:15 PM
Is everybody waiting on me to set up the game or is IDtenT going to send it to me? I ready to tame some mindworms!

Vandelay
18-08-2011, 07:17 PM
With a doth of my gentlemanly hat I do concur.

IDtenT
18-08-2011, 10:37 PM
I'll send the game on to ConcreteOtter tomorrow.

Cooper
19-08-2011, 04:56 PM
Consider me confirmed.

And replaying is for the weak. Embrace your overlord mindworms as they crush your puny units...

FunnyB
19-08-2011, 08:54 PM
So, has the game begun yet?

IDtenT
22-08-2011, 07:58 AM
It's disappointing I know, but I was kept away from my PC for the last few days. I will send on the game tonight, fingers crossed.

alh_p
22-08-2011, 11:13 AM
This looks interesting, shame i'm too late to join in but I have sunk more hours of my life into SMAC than any other game. Not sure that makes me a good player though. My money's on the Hive -go chairman Yang!

Cooper
22-08-2011, 02:11 PM
When you hand out the first turn, could the front page be updated with what days each of us should aim to recieve / complete / send on our turns?

FunnyB
24-08-2011, 07:39 PM
Any progress yet??????

arienette
25-08-2011, 12:10 AM
Not sure when my turn's supposed to arrive, but I'm at reading festival this weekend so if it gets to I won't get to it.

IDtenT
26-08-2011, 02:42 PM
Hey guys. I'm sorry this dragged on so long.

I just sent the game out to ConcreteOtter. Make sure to send your email address to the person who plays the turn before you do. It should be in the order as set out in the first post; Gaia -> Hive -> etc.

We will decide on the days you should play as soon as the game gets off the ground. Cooper, would you like to nominate a day for yourself?

Vandelay
28-08-2011, 01:01 PM
Has anything been happening with this?

If there is an issue with getting the game to each other, I believe the other Alpha Centauri game is using Dropbox. Might be a bit easier than e-mailing it around.

FunnyB
28-08-2011, 04:52 PM
Well, I'm in line as second player, and I have not heard anything yet from player 1.

ConcreteOtter
01-09-2011, 03:56 AM
Sorry guys. I was away for about a week, but trust me it was worth it. I have completed my turn and sent it on to FunnyB. I should not have any foreseeable problems completing my turn during the week for now on. Let planetfall begin!

FunnyB
01-09-2011, 06:55 AM
I'll get right on it after work! :D

EDIT: Seems like I got the wrong save, I've mailed ConcreteOtter about it. It seemed I received his turn instead of mine.... :D

ConcreteOtter
02-09-2011, 02:47 AM
Hopefully I got this game going. I had a very difficult time doing something so simple as finishing my turn. I don't know if its my Win7 admin settings, but I cannot even view my save game folder and had to save the game outside of the root game folder.

FunnyB
02-09-2011, 08:26 PM
And the game is passed to Arienette! :D

arienette
05-09-2011, 06:29 PM
Turn passed on! Apologies for the wait, I've just received Cooper's email.

IDtenT
05-09-2011, 07:43 PM
*scratches head* So it's not in that order as shown in my first post? Because I've not had my turn. :P

arienette
05-09-2011, 07:47 PM
God dammit, I was looking at the wrong bit, I've held us up for no reason.

IDtenT
05-09-2011, 10:52 PM
Anyways, just email me at garson007 at gmail.com

Cooper
05-09-2011, 11:02 PM
I'm off away from home tomorrow until Friday afternoon. I may get onto email:
cooper42 at gmx dot com
But can't be certain, if not I'll finish my turn Friday and pass it on.

FunnyB
10-09-2011, 11:15 PM
Have we had any progress as of late?

Vandelay
11-09-2011, 11:38 AM
Not had any notification from Cooper as of yet.

I probably should have been spending all this time trying to learn the game, instead of playing Deus Ex: HR :).

Cooper
11-09-2011, 04:27 PM
I've not yet recieved my turn, other than the one arienette sent on by mistake.

Has anyone tried to send it on to that email above?

Lukasz
11-09-2011, 10:32 PM
you guys are playing via email right?

we are doing dropbox. it seems much more efficient and easier. we are already on second turn yet we started yesterday.

IDtenT
12-09-2011, 05:42 PM
Ugh. Sorry guys. I needed to format my PC and conveniently forgot about the game. It's still going, hopefully.

arienette, you sent me the wrong save game. The save game you sent me is one before you had made your turn. Please just send me the one after that. Really sorry for stalling the game so.

arienette
12-09-2011, 06:17 PM
I put a vote in for dropbox.

IDtenT
12-09-2011, 07:02 PM
K, dropbox sounds good.

FunnyB
13-09-2011, 07:16 AM
Dropbox is OK for me as well.

Cooper
13-09-2011, 02:13 PM
Dropbox good here too

ConcreteOtter
14-09-2011, 02:05 AM
I've never used dropbox before but it looks cool. I'm down with whatever the masses decide.

Vandelay
14-09-2011, 09:14 PM
Yep, Dropbox is cool with me. I don't mind setting it up, if people send me their e-mail addresses tied to Dropbox.

IDtenT
15-09-2011, 03:50 PM
You do that. My email address is already in this thread.

Vandelay
15-09-2011, 10:29 PM
Okay, added those that have private messaged me their addresses and the two that are in here (Cooper and IDtenT.) Just one more left. I think it might have been my turn next, so whoever had it last just put the save in the folder and I'll do my turn tomorrow/Saturday.

IDtenT
19-09-2011, 01:01 PM
I've finally played my turn. :D

FunnyB
19-09-2011, 01:49 PM
So, who's turn is in the folder now?

Cooper
19-09-2011, 02:27 PM
If IDtenT has uploaded their turn, then it's my turn now. I'll play it tonight.

Lukasz
19-09-2011, 03:15 PM
work out a good naming scheme and archive your turns. it will be easy then to see whose turn it is by just seeing the name of the file

arienette
19-09-2011, 03:17 PM
We'll have none of your logic here, sir.

Heliocentric
19-09-2011, 08:28 PM
yunno... In theory you could create a parser which checks save and adjusts the name for the player... I don't have SMAC installed, can anyone send me a save or 2 for comparison? Not sure if i can do this, but it seems possible.

http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Tutorials/Saved_Data_Dropbox_Guide_Saves_Only
I did this with minecraft, but in truth, it seems it would work with anything, by syncing your save folder you would have no quality control over which save you'd load butsurely in game you'd be able to quickly assess whose turn it should be?

Vandelay
19-09-2011, 09:30 PM
Just a quick note that I'm still waiting on Oatish's e-mail. If you can drop me (or, I presume, anyone that has been added to the dropbox folder,) your e-mail, I'll get you added.

Cooper
19-09-2011, 10:15 PM
Turn uploaded for Vandelay.

We should probably come to some agreement about nomenclature - I was a bit verbose in naming the save file.

Vandelay
19-09-2011, 10:55 PM
My turn is done, ready for Oatish. I've created an archive folder to put the old saves in and stuck with the naming structure Cooper used. Verbose maybe, but it is pretty clear.

FunnyB
22-09-2011, 08:10 PM
Has anyone been able to contact oatish?

arienette
22-09-2011, 10:36 PM
There does appear to be a weak link in this chain.

Vandelay
22-09-2011, 11:22 PM
Sent a notification to him the other day, but had no response. I don't believe he has commented in this thread for quite some time either.

Should we try to find someone else to take his place, if he doesn't respond in the next couple of days?

ConcreteOtter
22-09-2011, 11:54 PM
I know there was a week where I was out of town, I don't know how long its been his turn, but I think we should give him some slack. If we are going to replace him, do we know his password or would we have to restart the game?

MasterBoo
23-09-2011, 06:39 AM
If you replace him I'd like to join instead. I have played SMAC (and SMACX) since 99' and can do multiple turns a day.

I feel like a crow picking on a corpse now :P

Lukasz
23-09-2011, 10:17 AM
you guys are on which turn?

ConcreteOtter
24-09-2011, 07:29 AM
237
Caww Caww!

/just likes the thought of current players being picked apart by other RPSers

FunnyB
01-10-2011, 09:38 AM
OK, so it's been over a week. Are we still gonna do this, or shall we let it die? :D

Lukasz
01-10-2011, 01:17 PM
OK, so it's been over a week. Are we still gonna do this, or shall we let it die? :D

did you actually do one full turn?

FunnyB
01-10-2011, 04:47 PM
did you actually do one full turn?

Short answer: No.

ConcreteOtter
01-10-2011, 05:14 PM
Well considering we didn't get very far and I think most of the players are still active maybe we should just restart it?

FunnyB
02-10-2011, 05:53 PM
Well, how many of us are still active?

MasterBoo
02-10-2011, 09:49 PM
I'd like to join if you restart.

arienette
02-10-2011, 09:50 PM
I'm still here.

Cooper
03-10-2011, 08:03 PM
I'll play if a restart gets sorted

IDtenT
03-10-2011, 10:00 PM
Me too. This is why we need a DM who keeps all the passwords.

Vandelay
04-10-2011, 12:17 AM
Registering my interest too. I agree that it is probably a good idea to have someone keep all the passwords too. Not such a big deal here, but we don't want to have to restart if someone disappears a few weeks in.

FunnyB
04-10-2011, 06:52 AM
I am of course, still in.

Is it just me who missed something: When did we ever set any passwords?