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CivII Advanced Scenario Design v1 9

CivII Advanced Scenario Design v1 9

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Published by Morten Blaabjerg
The ultimate guide to designing scenarios in Sid Meier's Civilization II, by Leon Marrick and others
The ultimate guide to designing scenarios in Sid Meier's Civilization II, by Leon Marrick and others

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Published by: Morten Blaabjerg on Oct 22, 2010
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Advanced Scenario Design
Leon Marrick (leon2m@sprintmail.com), assisted by Harlan Thompson (harlant@hawaii.edu) and others. Please see Credits for detailsThis manual is designed to assist those with both a firm understanding of the map editor and of the Cheat menu usedin preparing scenarios to improve and polish their work. Novices are urged to read some of the excellent documentsfor beginners found on the “Ultimate Civ2 Site”, and practice with a design or two before delving too deeply intothis document.This is a long essay, but not even close to being comprehensive. Additions are welcomed.
 Listing of Subjects
:
1 How to tell a bad scenario2. A few handy tips and tricks (the quick guide)2a. Controlling unit obsolescence2b. Controlling technologies2c. Controlling the civilizations that appear in your scenario2d. Calendar reform2e. Making pre-industrial cities look correct for all viewers2f. Certain sections of the Cheat menu often confused.3. Conceptualizing your scenario: Recreating geography, history, economy, military affairs, and politics3a. Military, Economic, Scientific, or Diplomatic?3b. Historical/derivative or fantasy?3c. Length3d. Scale4. Mapmaking: Getting the geography right4a. Modifying off-the-shelf maps4b. Making your own map5. The rules file: How to get what you want from it5a. Cosmic principles5b. Civilization advances5c. Structures5d. Wonders5e. Units (including barbarians)5f. Terrain5g. Civilizations5h. Miscellaneous information6. Brief discussion of other useful text files6a. City.txt/cities.txt6b. Labels.txt6c. Game.txt6d. Events.txt7. Creating your scenario7a. Establishing basic rules and limitations7b. Setting up civilizations and barbarians7c. Creating, furnishing, destroying, and transferring cities7d. The human landscape7e. Mobilizing forces7f. Science, economics, and industry7g. International relations7h. Polishing your scenario7i. Playtesting8. Graphics8a. Units.gif 8b. Cities.gif 8c. Icons.gif 8d. Terrain1.gif, Terrain2.gif 8e. People.gif 
 
9. Sound effects9a. Units9b. Structures and events10. Writing the readme and briefing11. Packaging and distributing your work 12. Listing of credits and citations
1)
 
How to tell a bad scenario: The Seven Signs
a)
 
Bad scenarios are two-a-penny; they seem to breed wherever not rigorously controlled. The following tip-offs seem like no-brainers, but how ubiquitous they are!i)
 
An unfunctional scenario
The uploaded .zip file may be corrupt, or the Rules.txt file may have fatal errors. After zipping your scenario for submission, unzip it, install it exactly as your instructions say, and make certain it works.ii)
 
A garbled readme or scenario briefing
 Nobody has any excuse for not spell-checking his work, or for not making certain his audience knowswhat the scenario is. Those writing documents in a second language had better make QUITE certainthey are comprehensible.iii)
 
A map mostly consisting of grassland
Clear evidence of lazy cartography. Their efforts to plop down patches of woods, hills, plains, etc.merely amuse. Make very certain your geography makes the game either realistic (in historicalscenarios), faithful (fantasy scenarios based on another’s work), or amusing/fun/replayable (in your own imaginary realms).iv)
 
By-guess-and-by-God terrain alterations
I have seen mighty cities with wilderness hinterlands, cities with no water supply or irrigation,irrigation on swamps, mining in grasslands, city radii completely railroaded surrounded by utter wilderness, ... And so on. The terrain alterations each civilization is granted in your scenario says a lotabout the economy of that culture. Properly used, you can recreate a living society for the amusementof your audience.v)
 
Misspelled city names.
Some people use an atlas in their native tongue when naming cities. This is good, especially inscenarios with protagonists speaking that language (There is a Catalan scenario that benefits greatlyfrom this.). Others, whose own language may not be English, use English to attract a wider audience.This, too, is good, although extreme care is required. Some people can’t seem to decide whichlanguage they are using. This is pathetic. Check out an atlas, and get a dictionary.vi)
 
No or inappropriate scenario limitations
I have suffered through scenarios that claimed to depict the Cuban Missile Crisis, only to get 10,000Cubans on Alpha Centauri, scenarios based on the Pacific War that ended up with Zulus controllingPolynesia (when Tokyo fell, the empire split), and scenarios covering the establishment of the RomanEmpire fought out with destroyers. Eliminate all ridiculous situations, except those you plan.vii)
 
Cities that riot, starve, sell off structures, etc. during the first turn.
Make certain your players start out with working civilizations (unless you specifically warn them toexpect otherwise). Always design in Deity level (and change at the last moment if desired).
2)
 
A few handy tips and tricks
a)
 
To make computer players actually make all the units you think you have allowed them:
Unit obsolescence is not entirely controlled by the technology that the rules files says makes the unitobsolete. This is a source of problems for virtually all scenario designers, but the following should makeyour task far easier. See section 7e for how to confirm success in this area.i)
 
There are two ways that a unit with a movement of one can become obsolete:
(1)
 
discovering the advance that appears in the rules.txt file that makes it obsolete.
(2)
 
allowing the unit in the Musketeers position to be built. No defensive air, sea, or land unit, with adefense less than that of this unit, of any speed, can ever afterwards be built, by either a human or a computer player of that civilization.ii)
 
There are four ways that a unit with a movement of two or more can become obsolete:
 
(1)
 
discovering the advance that appears in the rules.txt file that makes it obsolete.
(2)
 
If a better unit, in that same unit usage category (attack, defense, settle, etc.), that also moves at aspeed of two or more is available. Applies only to ground units. Applies only to computer players.The computer player determines which units meeting all of these conditions to build, from amongthose you think it will, by looking only at attack and defense figures. Nothing else matters. A fewexamples (note that “5a/1d” means an attack of five and a defense of one) should make this clear:*
 
5a/1d and 4a/1d: Only the first is built. It does not matter how much you want the AI to build the second, or what extra capacities you grant either unit. You may only get thesecond to be built by setting either unit (or both) to air or sea, making the units’ purposes different, or giving either unit (or both) a movement of one.*
 
2a/1d and 2a/2d: Only the second is built.*
 
5a/1d, 4a/2d, 3a/3d: works the same as 12a/1d, 3a/2d, and 1a/11d: all three are built,as those units with lower attacks (it does not matter how much lower) have better defenses (it does not matter how much better).*
 
6a/2d, 7a/2d, and 7a/1d: Only the middle unit is built, because it has the defense of the first without the poor attack, and the attack of the third without the poor defense.
(3)
 
allowing the unit in the Knights position to be built. No offensive air, sea, or land unit, with anattack equal to or less than this unit, a defense less than that of this unit, and a movement of two or more can ever afterwards be built, by either a human or a computer player of that civilization.
(4)
 
allowing the unit in the Musketeers position to be built. See above.iii)
 
As you see from the above, this problem really isn’t difficult to understand or avoid. Just be carefulwith the Musketeers and Knights positions and create similar land units with care. b)
 
To make it almost impossible for a computer player to gain a specific technology
,and extremely difficult for a human takes 1 step in versions of the game later than 2.4.2: set both prerequisites of that advance to “no”. The tech cannot be traded or stolen.i)
 
In version 2.4.2 and earlier, it takes 7 steps:
(1)
 
either set the tech paradigm so high it becomes unfeasible (for all civs), or set the governmentsinvolved (for just a few) to fundamentalisms and change the loss of science to 100% and themaximum science rate to 0% (Section 5a).
(2)
 
This still leaves open stealing, so make certain no other civilization has anything they can steal,forbid them to make diplomats/spies, or ask the human player to respect a “house rule”.
(3)
 
But, if they take a city, and you have not forbidden tech through conquest (in scenario parametersunder the cheat menu), they will take any tech they like.
(4)
 
But they can still trade advances, so make certain they have nothing anyone else has any interest in(either no techs, or techs with a AI-value of zero) If you have the version with events, you canforbid them to talk with other civilizations. Humans are trickier: sometimes self-policing is theonly answer.
(5)
 
They can still beg or demand advances, but you can probably fob useless techs with high AI-values off on them for the duration of the game, as long as the important techs are madeundesirable (section 5b).
(6)
 
But they will happily learn new advances from goody boxes, until they gain Invention. Eliminatethese.
(7)
 
Another possibility remains open: gaining advances through establishing trade routes. Either forbid them to make caravans/freight, or clear their current research project (effectively setting itto none).ii)
 
The only way that remains open is a sudden advance through getting a unit in gift from a human player. This cannot be blocked, although self-regulation and adjusting attitudes works.c)
 
How do I make certain the civilizations I want to appear in my scenario actually do?
i)
 
Go into the rules.txt file, pick the civilizations you want to appear in your scenario, and change their names, leader names, attributes, titles, etc. to whatever you want.

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