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Author Topic: Information about LCS?  (Read 2328 times)

Keiseth

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Information about LCS?
« on: June 01, 2007, 02:50:00 pm »

I just started playing this. At first I didn't understand it or like it very much but about five minutes later I had a team of programmers hacking corporations and, well... I'm a Cyberpunk fan at heart, so that really appealed to me. XD

Anyways, there are a LOT of things I don't understand and I can't find information on LCS anywhere. Besides the manual, but that's a given.

What really gets me is when my founder gets arrested, I lost all my people. I'm trying to figure out how to avoid being arrested in the first place. I do have one question I consider really important though!

How the heck do you promote people to "Founder" status or comrade or something? Everyone I get to join me contacts the character I made, and that means when he gets arrested they all leave. It says "Rank after promotion: Liberal Comrade" or something, but how do I get people to that rank? It doesn't seem to let me, yet.

In addition, everytime I release people from a sweatshop, instead of being contacts of the founder, they're at <LCS> rank themselves! Is that normal?

Edit: I'm... working on something. I had moved (accidentally really) everyone from the Homeless Shelter to a safehouse and amazingly the police raided right after. Maybe that's the trick...

[ June 01, 2007: Message edited by: Keiseth ]

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Jonathan S. Fox

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Re: Information about LCS?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2007, 03:10:00 pm »

1. You can't promote people to founder status -- it's by design that when something happens to your starting character, everything collapses. While LCS is very much a strategy game, it has a lot of role-playing elements, and the fact that the game ends when your main character is killed is one of those. Everyone else is "expendable", but not your main character. One of the gameplay elements is, as you described, trying to find strategies to keep your founder safe, and balancing that with the fact that your founder is probably one of your best characters.

<LCS> means that they can't be promoted because they already at the maximum level attainable by anyone other than your starting character. It makes total sense when you're used to it, but a lot of people have apparently been confused by this, so I decided to remove that text for the 3.10 version, and leave it blank like it is for the founder. Hopefully this makes it more clear that you can't promote them.

2. Sweatshop recruits shouldn't start at founder level, that's a bug. I've fixed that in 3.10 too. Now they start under whoever was in place #1 of your squad.

I've only been working on an update in the last couple weeks, after years of no updates. :P I'd suggest you try the latest version. It fixes the issues mentioned above, and also makes it so you don't lose the whole organization if your founder is arrested -- only if they're sent to prison. And if you have really good characters under them, they can come back after you're released from prison too. Additionally, I did some work on hacking to try to expand it a bit. It's still not a big and robust system, but it has a couple new things your people can do when hacking.

You can download the new version here:
http://www.jonathansfox.com/LCS/lcs_win32_310a1.zip

This is not the same as the download on the LCS page on this site, it's very new. I uploaded it last night. :P

One of the things that I love about LCS is that there are so many strategies you can use, and all of them are viable, but simply play differently -- it's extremely open-ended. Let me know if you have any other questions, or have some suggestions. If you have any ideas for improving hacking and maybe giving it a more exciting cyberpunk feel (while maintaining the modern day setting), I'd love to hear them.

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Keiseth

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Re: Information about LCS?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2007, 05:27:00 pm »

If I think of anything clever in that regard I'll be sure to tell you! Maybe I'll get some inspiration, I've been reading Neuromancer lately.

I've been trying (for an hour or two) your 3.10 version. I like it quite a bit! Hacking has been nerfed *properly* I think; with one or two programmers working with no money I rarely got anything done. With a few more and some more money involved, I'm getting money back!

I might of spotted a potential bug or two, I'm not sure. Firstly, when walking around in a place, say, the Cyber Cafe, occasionally the character you press is put onto the screen in a sensible location. Move north and "w" appears after squad for a split second. In conversation you can see a symbol representing enter. Again, minor or not a bug at all.

Two, I stole a van (twice) and each time I was chased by the police. I pulled over and got arrested, then I found myself at the police station; is it normal for there to have been no trial or anything? I don't think any time had passed and I still had my security uniform. Maybe I had lost some cash.

Excellent work though! I'll continue to play. And for anything I mentioned, my current system specs are thus:

Windows XP Professional SP2
512mb SDRam / Intel Pentium 4 1.4ghz / GeForce FX 5500

I don't think anything past operating system has much of an affect on LCS though. =) Thanks for the bug fixes and such!

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Jonathan S. Fox

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Re: Information about LCS?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2007, 05:54:00 pm »

Yes, I've noticed that display bug, where the character you press appears on the screen even when it really shouldn't. I'm not sure what causes it, but I'm pretty certain it's new to the version I released. It may be a problem with the libraries I'm using to compile the game with, in which case I'm not really sure what the solution is. If someone knows what that is all about, or how to fix it, please tell me, as I hate to be introducing new problems.

I'll look into the arrest bug. I haven't seen that before, but it doesn't sound too hard to fix.

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slMagnvox

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Re: Information about LCS?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2007, 06:00:00 pm »

A Liberal Blog would be funny.

Your Liberal bloggers have posted scathing commentary on Conservative culture!

I don't know if you'd need both a Programmer to maintain the website and someone with writing skill to post the dirt.  But some kind of Liberal website would be topical and make sense.  Maybe just from someone with the writing skill causing trouble.  Could utilize the printing press like that too, when you fund a couple trouble-making writers.

One thing that was a bummer, I served a three year jail term (sleeper lawyer hung me out to dry!) and I missed the election.  When I got out an Elite Liberal was in the White House!  I would've liked to have at least got some of the big news stories even in my jail cell.

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Keiseth

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Re: Information about LCS?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2007, 07:30:00 pm »

The display bug, yeah, as far as I know is new to 3.10, but it's just cosmetic so no worries!  :D

Say, a question if anyone is here. From the manual:

quote:
***NOTE***:  Kidnapping a high-profile Conservative and then Indoctrinating it
   has massive benefits.  Recruiting such Conservatives as Sleepers
   can influence public opinion.

How the heck do you "recruit as a sleeper"? I think I kidnapped a Corporate Manager, but they became a standard ho-hum liberal ally after watching several videos of sweatshops.

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slMagnvox

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Re: Information about LCS?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2007, 08:21:00 pm »

You gotta convert them before their disappearance is reported as a kidnapping.

Snatching them from a coffee stand or while out on a date gives you at least 4 days to convert them.  High profile types like News Anchors and CEOs might be noticed faster, their disappearance at least gets a much bigger headline in the newspapers.  You'll need to spend ca$h to convert them in time.

EDIT: Also, pack a firearm.  If you just grab them unarmed anyone nearby will notice and you'll never even have a chance to make them a sleeper.

[ June 01, 2007: Message edited by: slMagnvox ]

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Jonathan S. Fox

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Re: Information about LCS?
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2007, 08:50:00 pm »

Ooh, I like the idea of having writers do writing-related things if they're causing trouble. If they have a printing press, they can run off fliers, and if they have none but they do have computer skill, they can go and have angry inflammatory debates online or blog about things. If they have none of the above, well, they can write their local newspaper?

My concern with conflating too many skills with the causing trouble then comes to this: if we have computer/writers do different activities than pure computer people, it's mandatory that they do *better* things. Hacking can't be more lucrative or influential than whatever computer/writing does, otherwise you'll be sorry your character has writing skills, and we don't want to penalize people for having too many skills.

My thought on this case is that writing + computers can allow (among other things) fundraising online, which makes less money than credit card fraud, but isn't illegal and also practices writing skill from all those emails sent out. Or something to that effect. Regardless, I like the idea of having writing people do something different when making trouble. When you seduce an author and then assign them to causing trouble, it really would be fun to be able to see them sending in letters to the local paper pretending to be an insane Arch-Conservative, to smear the enemy.

I've been thinking about letting you see some major events, but I'm not sure. I've been imprisoned for 30+ years at a time enough times to be fairly enamored with the way that prison seals you off from the world, only to finally be released and come back to a "oh wow... oh no... this is really bad... I've gotta do something" situation.

Actually, that relates to the need for a strong endgame for LCS -- the game only gets harder as you commit more crimes and upset more groups, but doesn't actually ramp up to a next "stage". All of the challenges react very organically to the LCS, but there's never a point where you can take your winning strategy, and then have it seem to be working great... until the Conservative Coup against your Elite Liberal President, and the declaration of martial law restricting movement, along with a tough manhunt for LCS members! Now what?!? Or something like that.  :p

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Grue

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Re: Information about LCS?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2007, 02:41:00 am »

Jonathan, for that display bug try using noecho() command after initialising curses (I think LCS uses PDCurses).
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Jonathan S. Fox

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Re: Information about LCS?
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2007, 04:40:00 am »

Thanks Grue! I gave that a shot and it cleared right up.
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Svirfneblim

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Re: Information about LCS?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2007, 02:08:00 pm »

Jonathan, you rule.
An update to LCS is great news.
It's funny, because I just dug up LCS yesterday and started playing it, not even expecting that someone could put a new version.

If you think about expanding it further, here's some suggestions people made long ago:
-make newspapers report what clothing were LCS members wearing during an action if they worn something special. Generate extra fame if the squad is repeatedly seen in some unique get-up. Have civilians recognize the LCS by their uniforms and panic. 'oh no, the radical clowns are attacking!'
Separate masks from clothing and make them be counted in the reports too.

-Ability to influence elections, legally or not.

-First-aid skill to stop bleeding of a wounded liberal during the mission.

-Locations:Military base, church, shooting range/gun club, logging camp, circus, gas station.

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4bh0r53n

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Re: Information about LCS?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2007, 03:07:00 pm »

if you do the clothing bit, i might actually buy my people new clothes   ;)
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Svirfneblim

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Re: Information about LCS?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2007, 05:51:00 pm »

I can write text descriptions if you need, BTW.
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Jonathan S. Fox

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Re: Information about LCS?
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2007, 09:33:00 pm »

Actually, Svirfneblim, I could use a little bit of help with descriptions. What I'm doing is enabling your writers to write news articles, opinion pieces, and attack stories with the intent of publishing them in the Liberal Guardian at the end of the month. So far, each character who is currently [A]ctivated to write for the Liberal Guardian writes a random story each day. Eventually these stories will be saved, and you'll pick a selection of them at the end of the month to publish. Right now though, the generator for stories is incomplete.

So far it writes out this:

1. Name of the writer:
"Bob Greene writes "
"My Name Here writes "

2. A quality description, with about 80 different possibilities:
"a powerful"
"a dreadful"
"a stereotypical"

3. A article/story type. There are 3 main types, and then the actual words used vary a bit:
" rant against "
" explanation of "
" column on "

4. A description of the topic of the article. This is dependent on what kind of article it is, and I'd also like to have a couple variations on each topic. This is what I need help with, and I need three kinds of descriptions here:

A - Descriptions of things to be discussed persuasively. Can be good or neutral. Should be able to fit in a sentence like...
"Joe writes a sassy essay about <something>."
"Jane writes an insane opinion about <something>."

B - Descriptions of Conservative things to rail against. Can be people, viewpoints, anything that can fit in a sentence like...
"Joe writes a half-baked rant against <something>."
"Jane writes a brilliant condemnation of <something>."

C - Some way of describing news stories created by the LCS. I was thinking something like "...recent LCS actions at <location>" would be easy, but you can get creative if you'd like.
"Joe writes a boring news article about <something>."
"Jane writes a run-of-the-mill explanation of <something>."

The issues to be covered in parts A and B are:
Abortion
Gay Rights
The Death Penalty
Taxes
Nuclear Power
Animal Research
Police Behavior
Prisons
Intelligence Community / Privacy
Free Speech
Genetic Research
Appointing Liberal Justices
Sweatshops
Pollution
Corporate Culture / Unions
CEO Corruption / CEO Salary
AM Radio
Cable News

How you do part C (if you do it) is more open; it would also be cool to do things that would allow them to write responses to the major front page news stories that aren't about the LCS (police beating, plant meltdown, pro-reagan book, etc..)

You're welcome to do as much or as little as you like, but as far as descriptions go, that's the kind of thing that would really help flesh things out right now. At the moment they're actually reduced to writing rants against celebrity marriages and thoughtful opinions on the weather!  :(

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Jonathan S. Fox

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Re: Information about LCS?
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2007, 11:44:00 pm »

An update on the writing sayings: I've implemented basic topic phrases, mostly "gay rights" and "abortion" and such, to complete the feature. It would still definitely be cool to get some more interesting things to write about -- it's one thing to write an attack against "homophobia"... but it's far more interesting to write an attack against Jerry Falwell (for example). I won't be worrying about it though, as it's a more surface issue. If it sounds too boring to bother with, then don't worry, it's not that important.  :D
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