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Topic: Minimal start conditions

stdh
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Joined: 2013-08-04, 22:05
Posts: 18
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2017-09-11, 14:55

hardcore will never die but you will

Years ago, hjd devised the hardcore starting conditions, with only the minimum of goods to get your economy started - find the discussion here. I thought it was a lot of fun, quite possible on large maps against the inefficient AI. When the names of wares and workers changed I adapted it, but I never gave it back to the community. Since then, minimum target quantities in an economy were lowered to zero, enabling more control over the toolsmith's production, and also greater potential for evil in providing scant starting wares. So now, in addition to the resurrected hardcore start, I present:

The Minimum Starting Conditions!

Discover exciting new ways in which to deadlock your nascent economy! Cringe as the wrong worker irreversibly claims the last hammer in your warehouse! Wait even longer as your woodcutter slowly provides much needed trunks!

So I tried to provide the minimum wares needed, with a tool instead of a worker, and if possible just some iron (ore) instead. I made it a bit more tight than hardcore, but still allow for a forester and a soldier, which are not always strictly needed. You also get a warehouse and a small area artificially visible instead of an HQ, symbolic for the narrow path you have to walk in the darkness of economic dearth, never more than one step removed from deadlock. A word of warning: your economy will remember a worker once requested, and long after you've forgotten about it, one will be created when her/his tool is ready. These minimum starting conditions could have been a bit worse, I did not consider the possibility to dismantle a building in order to give you even less starting wares.

Instructions if you want to try this: get the zip from Launchpad and extract somewhere. Put the six lua files ('hardcore.lua' and 'minimum.lua') in the corresponding maps in data/tribes/scripting/starting_conditions/ - but don't look at the hints in the files! Also apply 'tribes_preload.patch' - in the data map: "patch -p0 <tribes_preload.patch", i suppose - it should add six lines to data/tribes/preload.lua.

So, do we want to include something like this in Widelands proper? There seemed to be some interest for hardcore, with a number of caveats:

  • It can be considered boring: once you know what to do, most of the early game consists of waiting. But if you make one tiny mistake, you're inevitably doomed.
  • The (current) AI can't handle this, but it would be very ambitious to make it handle such specific situations really well. I put a warning in the popup message for the game configuration screen.
  • It's not very flexible: if there's no wood or pile of stones in reach from your starting position, you're dead. If you need ships to get gold on another island, you're basically dead as well. If you need to expand too far to get iron and coal deposits and your opponent isn't very slow, you're dead too.

I hope some people enjoy this as much as I did...

(Edit: add zip URL)

Edited: 2017-09-11, 14:57
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kaputtnik
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Joined: 2013-02-18, 20:48
Posts: 1096
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Location: Germany
Posted at: 2017-09-11, 18:46

I don't know how a minimal starting condition was named earlier, but it was difficult to play.

Such a starting condition helps to get familiar with a tribes specific economy, i believe. The caveat of waiting in early game can be solved with adjusting the game speed.

Regarding the maps, we may can add a tag or add a sentence to the description.

I would like to see such a starting condition available in the game face-smile.png


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einstein13
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Joined: 2013-07-29, 00:01
Posts: 798
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Location: Poland
Posted at: 2017-09-11, 22:51

As I remember, there was one map with hardcore starting position for each tribe. It was scenario and it should be included to the official Widelands. Have you seen that scenario?

But your idea, as I understand, consider the same "hardcore" starting position for any map? Impressive and worth to go! face-smile.png


einstein13
calculations & maps packages: http://wuatek.no-ip.org/~rak/widelands/

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stdh
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Joined: 2013-08-04, 22:05
Posts: 18
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2017-09-12, 01:12

I think the name for the minimal starting condition was just 'hardcore'. Marking the maps as suitable for hardcore would be some work now and maintenance later, but it's certainly possible. However, on asymmetric maps, some starting positions are feasible while others aren't: on "The Big Lake" for example hardcore start is impossible for blue and black, but not for the others.

Hm, I can't remember tribe-specific hardcore start scenario's... But there was talk of making the last tutorial map for each tribe a hardcore start. I don't think those maps were ever made.

I have an idea for the case when there's no pile of stones right next to HQ. We can detect this situation in the starting condition, and then give the player the stones they need so they can expand and place a quarry. If the nearest rocks are too far off, that would still be a problem, but I presume most/all maps provide some rocks near the starting position?


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einstein13
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Joined: 2013-07-29, 00:01
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Posted at: 2017-09-12, 15:00

The map is "Trident of fire" and you can lunch the scenario on multiplayer mode.


einstein13
calculations & maps packages: http://wuatek.no-ip.org/~rak/widelands/

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WorldSavior
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Joined: 2016-10-15, 04:10
Posts: 308
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Location: Saxony, Djermany
Posted at: 2017-09-13, 18:18

stdh wrote:

hardcore will never die but you will

If you need ships to get gold on another island, you're basically dead as well.

Also if you build some gold mines just anywhere?


*insert phrase about the necessity of saving the world here*

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stdh
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Joined: 2013-08-04, 22:05
Posts: 18
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Pry about Widelands
Posted at: 2017-09-13, 23:12

@einstein13: Now that you mention it, I vaguely remember the hardcore start in "Trident of Fire", but I never tried it myself. When I loaded the map with two player slots closed, the game crashed. Maybe I need to update, I'm on bzr8440.

@WorldSavior: I was thinking of the situation where there's no gold on your starting island, and you need an expedition to another one to mine your first gold. But then, with the other starting conditions you can deadlock too when you produce a few expensive weapons before you build a port.

"hardcore will never die but you will": I knew this phrase from a Mogwai album, I didn't mean it as a taunt or insult or anything. But if you consider it a challenge, by all means...


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WorldSavior
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Joined: 2016-10-15, 04:10
Posts: 308
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Location: Saxony, Djermany
Posted at: 2017-09-13, 23:39

stdh wrote:

@einstein13: Now that you mention it, I vaguely remember the hardcore start in "Trident of Fire", but I never tried it myself. When I loaded the map with two player slots closed, the game crashed. Maybe I need to update, I'm on bzr8440.

On bzr8447, it seems to be impossible to close those slots. But it works with build 19...

@WorldSavior: I was thinking of the situation where there's no gold on your starting island, and you need an expedition to another one to mine your first gold.

I know face-wink.png

But then, with the other starting conditions you can deadlock too when you produce a few expensive weapons before you build a port.

Only if you cannot build a mine anywhere. If you just build a gold mine, it will have still a small chance to find something anywhere...

"hardcore will never die but you will": I knew this phrase from a Mogwai album, I didn't mean it as a taunt or insult or anything. But if you consider it a challenge, by all means...

The album is not even hardcore music face-tongue.png


*insert phrase about the necessity of saving the world here*

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einstein13
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Joined: 2013-07-29, 00:01
Posts: 798
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Location: Poland
Posted at: 2017-09-13, 23:56

In last tournament game I even tried to mine some gold on non-gold terrain. In standard game (against AI) I have done that, but it took hours. That is why you can say that "hardcore" mode is not real hardcore. But adding 4 gold ores (instead of standard gold bar) can make game more exciting! face-smile.png


einstein13
calculations & maps packages: http://wuatek.no-ip.org/~rak/widelands/

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GunChleoc
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Joined: 2013-10-07, 15:56
Posts: 1996
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Location: RenderedRect
Posted at: 2017-09-15, 21:31

You could also detect if a map allows seafaring and only add the gold then, to make sure that a least 1 expedition can be started.


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