Monday, February 18, 2008

Some thoughts

Hey everybody. Just wanted to pop in again for an update. Progress has been very slow for the last month due to many other life concerns, but my thoughts never stray far from the course, and I plan on resuming normal operations soon.
Regarding the tactic of repeatedly dropping new buildings down on attackers, I concede that is a valid point. I do think that if your opponent is concentrating on doing this to slow you down, that it's taking up some of his time and you should be able to exploit that somewhere else on the board. It also does cost the opponent some money to do this, so I don't see it as a game-breaking flaw. However, it's made me think a lot about it.
I have three choices basically. I can add a time limit to stop building-mashing from being possible, just like the concrete-slab-timer currently works. I'm kind of iffy on that one because it opposes the whole dynamic of reducing management for placing structures. Another option is to add a minimum cost to the placement of a building (like 25%), so more is lost if it's destroyed right away. That's not a bad idea but I'd have to re-write a few things. Finally, I could change the way units behave toward uncompleted buildings, making them ignore them if they're under a certain health level, or even completely. I'll do some thinking on this for a while, and feel free to post your thoughts in a comment.
Regarding Death Hands (again), I still have to say I think you'd get destroyed every time by a good player on a small board if you were focusing on getting to Death Hands. A Palace, Heavy Factory and all the power they both need make a slow and expensive goal to reach, and on a board that small, protecting against exploration and hiding it out are not an option. If I get five Quads and three Combat Tanks instead of your Palace, HF and a Windtrap on a small board, I consider you in big trouble.
Also, yes, my version of the game is a bit of a CPU hog. There are lots of good reasons for this (such as those listed in the DOCS which everyone SHOULD READ), but one of them is definitely slow code, which I think will be greatly improved in this new version.
I just remembered that I never put up the Mp3 music files, and that may be one of the reasons people are having speed problems. The MIDI files that came with the game actually use a surprising amount of horsepower on some machines, so I recommend wholeheartedly you download the MP3 music files now included on this site. The only real disadvantage is the extra RAM you'll need to hold the MP3 files in memory, which is kind of a lot. Just expand the Zip and all files into a folder called "music" in your Dune 2: TSHA directory, and the program will automatically recognize and prefer to use the MP3 files.
Alternatively, if you don't want to sacrifice the RAM or the CPU cycles, just go into the config.ini file in the TSHA System folder and put a zero in the line for Music. :0)

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