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Author Topic: Are there any other games like Alpha Centauri? (With Automated AI)  (Read 3940 times)
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corruptrelic
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« on: July 29, 2008, 11:12:09 PM »

I've been playing more Alpha Centauri than anything else the last year or so, and thanks to a trade here I just got the expansion pack and am playing it even MORE now as I'm learning the strengths and weaknesses of all the new races. (The Pirates are awesome in that they are almost an all sea-based race.)

What I like about Alpha Centauri so much is you can control whatever you want in the game and leave the rest to the AI. You can have full governors running your bases, automatically making new troops, upgrades, buildings (inside the base) and so on. You can also set any of your units to "Automate" and the AI does a fairly decent job of doing what it needs to do while you concentrate on other parts of the game.

Diplomacy is another big one for me, in that you can form alliances, treaties, and so on. You'll often get one race contacting you saying they have pretended friendship to the Hive, and is willing to attack him if you will side with him on it. (You may even be an ally of the Hive already.)
In my last game of the expansion pack, I was playing as the Free Drones and allied with the Pirates from the first 3 minutes in the game. We were conquering the other races left and right, except for the Marr, who was as big (if not bigger) than us. We had a truce with him though, until the Pirates, my long-time ally, decided he wanted to suprise attack the Marr! What a mistake because then the Marr started hammering him and his bases hard. I watched as my ally lost base by base to the aliens, until he contacted me saying he needed my help in fighting them. What to do? Do I do the right thing by helping my faithful ally by joining with him against our most powerful enemy yet, or do I reject his plead for help and risk losing him as an ally? What happens if he turns the tables and beats the Marr but because I didn't help him, he later becomes my enemy? (The AI often remembers your previous interactions, especially betrayals.)
I ended up joining my Pirate allies only to have the Marr (who are a conquering race) end up wiping us both out, VERY SLOWLY! They landed on my island and took over the nearest base to the sea, stationing a ton of their troops there to fend off my own attacks to retake the base. My pirate allies weren't doing much better as the Marr were over taking their sea bases one at a time. I fought down to my last 3 bases before surrending and calling it quits.

And that my friends is just a normal game of Alpha Centauri and what makes me so addicted to it. Every game is different.

I tried Civilization 4 but hated it.. even though it's made by the same people (mostly) they took out most of the Automated AI stuff they had in with Alpha Centauri. You can't "Automate" your units anymore, other than explore automatically.

Anyone have any suggestions on games similiar to Alpha Centauri (how old they are doesn't matter) where it has both a powerful AI assistance feature as well as a good diplomacy model where you can form alliances and treaties and team up on your enemies? (Who are likewise, doing the same to you.)
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Lordnine
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2008, 10:55:17 PM »

Quote from: corruptrelic on July 29, 2008, 11:12:09 PM


I tried Civilization 4 but hated it.. even though it's made by the same people (mostly) they took out most of the Automated AI stuff they had in with Alpha Centauri. You can't "Automate" your units anymore, other than explore automatically.


That was exactly my criticism of Civ4.  Alpha Centauri was filled with characters that seemed completely different from each other and often quite real.  All the AI characters in Civ4 felt like carbon copies of each other and despite being much newer the diplomacy model in general felt far inferior.
Sadly I haven’t found a game that matches it depth or character.
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corruptrelic
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2008, 04:24:56 AM »

And to think Civilization 4 is years newer than Alpha Centauri.. in Alpha Centauri you pretty much get to know the different races. You know people like Yang and Santiago are all about their own self interests and conquering everyone else. They might use you in the beginning for an alliance to help fight the other races, but if they get the upper hand they'll just as gladly launch a suprise attack on you when you lease expect it.
Then you have races like Brother Lal who is all about diplomacy and tries to work with everyone, but at the same time will put his foot down and fight if he has to.
And the middle grounders like Deidre and the Professor.. lol yeah been playing way too much AC that I know all the races and their names, what to expect from them.. and it's still a lot of fun to play.
The expansion added all new races and I'm slowly learning their different personalities. Usually play as the Free Drones and prefer to ally up with the Pirates if I can and keep them on my team as long as possible. Until you find out Marr the Conqueror just destroyed your neighbor and will move on you next unless you break your pact with the Pirates and declare war against them. So many possiblities.

Surely there has to be other similiar games out there with as much depth in the AI and diplomacy?
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Razgon
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2008, 07:16:00 AM »

loved the game, and would like another like it, just like the OP stated... Also, I seem to remember that the tech text was actually always accompanied by some speak, right? With someone who sounded a lot like Morgan Freeman?
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Ironrod
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2008, 07:43:11 PM »

Quote from: Lordnine on July 30, 2008, 10:55:17 PM

Quote from: corruptrelic on July 29, 2008, 11:12:09 PM


I tried Civilization 4 but hated it.. even though it's made by the same people (mostly) they took out most of the Automated AI stuff they had in with Alpha Centauri. You can't "Automate" your units anymore, other than explore automatically.


That was exactly my criticism of Civ4.  Alpha Centauri was filled with characters that seemed completely different from each other and often quite real.  All the AI characters in Civ4 felt like carbon copies of each other and despite being much newer the diplomacy model in general felt far inferior.
Sadly I havenít found a game that matches it depth or character.

You need to play the Fall from Heaven 2 mod. It has very distinctive AI personalities and civilizations, as well as a more interactive back story (ruled by the Armageddon Counter) than Alpha Centauri had. Religion and alignment are very important to diplomacy. No unit automation beyond workers and building queues, and it does not have the extensive cut scenes and voice acting that fleshed out SMAC. But each civ plays very differently from every other -- much more so than in vanilla CIV.
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Eel Snave
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2008, 08:28:30 PM »

Well, and don't forget that Alpha Centauri was largely Brian Reynolds' doing and not Sid Meier.  Sure, it has Sid's name on it, but Reynolds did most of the work.

The Weghted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you. Brian Reynolds.
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