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 Post subject: Re: Ships: Supply
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 2:55 am 
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eleazar wrote:
...with or after Planetary Redistribution.

Why do you suggest or prefer doing resource distribution first, rather than ship supply first? (Or if you prefer simultaneously, why is one order still acceptable but not the other?)

I suppose I could start up a planetary / resource distribution thread in Game Design, though I don't want to have too many going concurrently...


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 Post subject: Re: Ships: Supply
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:38 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
...with or after Planetary Redistribution.

Why do you suggest or prefer doing resource distribution first, rather than ship supply first? (Or if you prefer simultaneously, why is one order still acceptable but not the other?)

I believe the planet thing will be less complicated that the ship thing. Thus it should be easier to resolve. At least the planet issues are much clearer to me than the ship issues.
Also this thread seems to be stuck.

And it would allow work to progress on the display of supply lines more confidently.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
I suppose I could start up a planetary / resource distribution thread in Game Design, though I don't want to have too many going concurrently...

You could lock this one until we're ready to return to the topic. Nothing much has happened here in 3 weeks anyhow.

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 Post subject: Re: Ships: Supply
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:49 am 
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eleazar wrote:
Also this thread seems to be stuck.
[...]
Nothing much has happened here in 3 weeks anyhow.

I figured the thread was pretty much done... What else needs to be decided for fleet supply for v0.4?


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 Post subject: Re: Ships: Supply
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:24 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
Also this thread seems to be stuck.
[...]
Nothing much has happened here in 3 weeks anyhow.

I figured the thread was pretty much done... What else needs to be decided for fleet supply for v0.4?


I think the practical effect of such a system should be discussed, to reveal any unexpected implications. I'm not confident that one person can uncover all the major implications myself, since i've previously missed several important ones earlier in this thread. Many of the mechanics of what you put in v0.4 have undergone very little discussion, and seems to lack some details necessary to figure out what it would be like to play with this.

This aspect of design is especially problematic because we're drawing from a much smaller pool of experience of playing games with similar mechanics. I.e. very few games have a simple, abstracted supply mechanic. This aspect needs to be carefully reviewed. While a lot of ideas have been kicked around they all have been found lacking, and/or have not been thoroughly discussed.

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 Post subject: Re: Ships: Supply
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 4:01 am 
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eleazar wrote:
Many of the mechanics of what you put in v0.4 have undergone very little discussion, and seems to lack some details necessary to figure out what it would be like to play with this.

Could you give some specifics (in appropriate threads, if their scope is not confined to this one)?

Quote:
...very few games have a simple, abstracted supply mechanic. This aspect needs to be carefully reviewed.

It's been a while, but previously there would be a public review of a design after it was worked out and written down. I suspect we should do one for v0.4 as well. If there are any flaws found, then we can punt it back to be redesigned.

However I'm also aware that we might not be able to figure out all the practical flaws or benefits of all systems before trying them out. This is partly why the first version I've written down for the fleet supply system is the simpler option... we can complicated if needed, with more experience in how it works at a later time.


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 Post subject: Re: Ships: Supply
PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 6:13 am 
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Maybe it could be a good idea to support more than one model of support, letting the player choose at game-setup what he prefers. In some games it's really annoying to have to supply your fleets, more than ever in a game vs. AI.


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 Post subject: Re: Ships: Supply
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:22 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
...very few games have a simple, abstracted supply mechanic. This aspect needs to be carefully reviewed.

It's been a while, but previously there would be a public review of a design after it was worked out and written down. I suspect we should do one for v0.4 as well. If there are any flaws found, then we can punt it back to be redesigned.

OK, that's good to know.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
Many of the mechanics of what you put in v0.4 have undergone very little discussion, and seems to lack some details necessary to figure out what it would be like to play with this.

Could you give some specifics (in appropriate threads, if their scope is not confined to this one)?

OK, it seems to me the key to the system you've outlined is the rate that the supply meter will increase. I realize that it's not necessary for all the numbers or formulas to be worked out at this stage. But it is possible, and often useful to plug in rough numbers and see if they look like they could work.
v.04 design pad wrote:
...Supply Range meters equal or greater than 1.0. This will generally be well-developed colonized planets.
Lets plug in an average value of "25 turns old" for "well-developed" and consider how it would work in the opening game. I'll also assume a value of 3 for the supply-range meter of the homeworld, and 2 for the number of jumps in a fuel-tank— both beginning of game numbers.

When starting is a spiral arm, this should provide roughly 12 stars which are immediately explore-able, and quite a few more with less-constrained starting positions. That sounds reasonable, and should provide one or two good planets. So the player colonizes those two and then what happens? No further exploration, until they age enough to become "well-developed", and then a few more jumps are possible.

Possibly by this time the supply range meter of the home world has increase, but i have to assume that each additional +1 to the meter will usually take more turns than the previous, otherwise the homeworld might well be about the only supply source that matters.

Well, there are quite a few assumptions up to this point, but what i'm afraid of, is that such a system could lead to a system where the player has little control over how his fly-able envelope expands. MoO1/2 had many annoying aspects, but if you wanted the envelope to expand to the North, you added outposts/colonies to the north, and more stars were within range. It could be very frustrating if your envelope grows at a very gradual rate which the player cannot much effect.


kroddn wrote:
Maybe it could be a good idea to support more than one model of support, letting the player choose at game-setup what he prefers. In some games it's really annoying to have to supply your fleets, more than ever in a game vs. AI.
The aim of this game is to avoid adding annoying elements. While everyone will not agree that we succeeded, there would have to be a very compelling reason to support multiple rule-sets. Optional elements can increase the trouble of bug-finding and play-testing to a huge degree.

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 Post subject: Re: Ships: Supply
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 1:18 am 
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Some thoughts...

Assuming and/or supposing:
-Near the start of the game, a highly developed planet (for then) colonies supply lines 3 starlane jumps.
-Brand new, entirely undeveloped colonies shouldn't project lanes at all, until they've had time to develop.
-25 turns is too long to wait before a colony can project any supply lines at all, though probably too short for full-length 3-jump supply lines. This is fine though, as there are various degrees between none and 3-jump supply lines.

So, how about it takes ~10 turns to get a new colony developed enough to project 1-jump supply lines, ~25 turns to project 2-jump supply lines, and ~40 turns to project 3-jump supply lines?

Also, if one starts able to explore 12 systems, this doesn't meant that you immediately explore these 12 systems and then have nothing to do until you get a new colony built and developed. Rather, it might take ~10 to ~20 turns to explore these 12 systems, especially if we make exploring a systems more involved than just passing through it with any ship.

You start with a colony ship, so you can send that travelling for up to 10 turns to get to a new colony site, and then have to wait another 10 turns to get it to project supply lines one jump further than that (which is only helpful it it was planted on the periphery of your supplyable region). If this takes ~20 turns, that's about long enough (if above is reasonable) to explore the systems you can already get to while remaining in your supplyable range.

The assumption of 2 jumps of fuel for scouts is prehaps a bit low... probably scouts would be designed to have longer range, so would be able to explore a bit past your supplyable range.


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 Post subject: Re: Ships: Supply
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 2:19 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
So, how about it takes ~10 turns to get a new colony developed enough to project 1-jump supply lines, ~25 turns to project 2-jump supply lines, and ~40 turns to project 3-jump supply lines?

Are these approximate numbers counting from the founding of the colony, or from the last increase?

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 Post subject: Re: Ships: Supply
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:02 am 
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eleazar wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
So, how about it takes ~10 turns to get a new colony developed enough to project 1-jump supply lines, ~25 turns to project 2-jump supply lines, and ~40 turns to project 3-jump supply lines?

Are these approximate numbers counting from the founding of the colony, or from the last increase?

From founding. In order to avoid Civ-like Infinite City Sprawl, it's generally best to err on the side of making fewer larger, well developed, colonies better than many smaller ones. In this case, I figure that means making it relatively easy to get medium-term moderate-range supply lines running, so as to not motivate dropping many small colonies whose only purpose is to extend supply lines, since it's cheaper and easier to do so than letting an already-existing colony develop to the point hwere it can project supply at a distance.


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 Post subject: Re: Ships: Supply
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 5:10 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
So, how about it takes ~10 turns to get a new colony developed enough to project 1-jump supply lines, ~25 turns to project 2-jump supply lines, and ~40 turns to project 3-jump supply lines?
It seems like there should be an intermediate state between nothing and the ability to project 1-jump supply lines, i.e. the ability to provide supply at the colony system.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
In order to avoid Civ-like Infinite City Sprawl, it's generally best to err on the side of making fewer larger, well developed, colonies better than many smaller ones. In this case, I figure that means making it relatively easy to get medium-term moderate-range supply lines running, so as to not motivate dropping many small colonies whose only purpose is to extend supply lines, since it's cheaper and easier to do so than letting an already-existing colony develop to the point where it can project supply at a distance.

That's an important point, which i hadn't considered in this context. I don't want colony spam to be a viable strategy, though the situation is quite different in FO where most colonies are supposed to be fine without additional buildings. While it would be dangerous to have too many new colonies in FO, because each is a drain on resources at first, (unlike civ), i don't think FO currently has a mechanism to discourage the continual building of as many new colonies as you can defend and support. But this is getting off topic.

But i still would like to give the player a bit more influence over how the flyable envelope expands. Perhaps the Distribution Hub Outposts (or something like them) that i've proposed elsewhere could provide resupply in that system when they connect in an unbroken chain to a resupply producing colony. That would give the player an out (like MoO2 Outposts) if there simply aren't any good planets in range.

I would also hope that certain techs could extend the max length or speed the growth of the ship supply lines. This would also give the player some high level influence over the process.

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 Post subject: Re: Ships: Supply
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:23 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
It seems like there should be an intermediate state between nothing and the ability to project 1-jump supply lines, i.e. the ability to provide supply at the colony system.

There are two minor issues with that:
1) It's hard to see where you can get supplies from a system that can't project supply to adjacent systems, if the fact that a system can be supplied is indicated by coloured starlanes connecting two supplyable systems. If you can supply a single system in isolation and not any of the adjacent (or all the adjacent without actually being able to ship supplies between systems) then there are no starlanes to colour, and we need another way to indicate where supply can be acquired.
2) It's awkward in terms of the meter values... 0 means no supply, and it seemed reasonable to make 1 the (necessary) threshold to give any supply... so should distance supplyable be "meter_value - 1" instead of just meter value? (Round down in both cases)

Quote:
But i still would like to give the player a bit more influence over how the flyable envelope expands. Perhaps the Distribution Hub Outposts (or something like them) that i've proposed elsewhere could provide resupply in that system when they connect in an unbroken chain to a resupply producing colony. That would give the player an out (like MoO2 Outposts) if there simply aren't any good planets in range.

Some sort of non-colony way to expand supply range seems promising, though we need to be careful it doesn't cause to much need to micromanage... and that they aren't frustratingly useless like Civ3 colonies tended to be.

Quote:
I would also hope that certain techs could extend the max length or speed the growth of the ship supply lines. This would also give the player some high level influence over the process.

This is why it's useful for there to be a supply meter. Buildings, techs, specials, etc. can all cause planets' supply meters to get bonuses, which will then extend their supplyable range.


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 Post subject: Re: Ships: Supply
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:41 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
So, how about it takes ~10 turns to get a new colony developed enough to project 1-jump supply lines, ~25 turns to project 2-jump supply lines, and ~40 turns to project 3-jump supply lines?
I'd go with 6/12/25/40. and have six do supply at system.

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 Post subject: Re: Ships: Supply
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:42 am 
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My suggestion on supplying fuel to the ships is:
For every starlane jump every ship need 1 fuel (or more for bigger ships).
In systems with habitet planets that are in Empire or ali Empire the fuel would be replenished automatially if the ship wait in the system for one turn.
It will be exist supply ships that replenish fuel to own Empires ships with rate 1 fuel per turn for every ship in a system where the supply ship is.
If a ship has no fuel, it can fly to a nearby planet system but it will take 5 times as long as with fuel to transverse starlane.

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 Post subject: Re: Ships: Supply
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:38 pm 
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Having supply ships be mostly player-controlled seems to me to be a bit convoluted and not very fun. I think that it should be almost completely AI controlled with the player only making a few major decisions.

Let's say you have a big fleet. All planets will put forward an equal % of their resources to supplying that fleet. The %, of course, depends on fleet size, # of colonies, and tech. A special building can be built that increases the amount of supplies that come from that planet, thus lowering the % of resources used by all colonies to supply ships. This building would also instantly resupply any friendly ship in the system in which it is built. (It seems illogical to me for millions of kilotons of fuel to be instantly generated when a fleet stops at just any old friendly system.) These, like most buildings, would be fairly expensive and specialized so that they would only be built for in special strategic positions.

Ships can only be supplied if they are within a certain number of star lanes from the nearest colony. Not entirely realistic in a very large empire, but the simplest and most fun for the player IMHO. This number of star lanes would, of course, increase with technology.

Now for the important parts that the player can control if he wants to:
Maximum % of resources to put towards ship supplies.
Which planets will contribute and which will not. (A simple toggle.)
Which ships to give priority to in case of a supply shortage. (Again, a simple toggle. The AI will give supplies to the ships closest to enemy territory as a secondary priority after the player determined top priority ships have been supplied.)
Where to build the important supply generation facilities.

Ships, naturally, ought to require fuel based on their size and the distance they traveled. Considering the immense difference between traveling to a different star system and traveling within a star system, I don't think battles should require any fuel. Moving from point A to point B on the battle map isn't even a drop in the bucket compared to point A to point B on the star map.

There are four small things for the player to decide and everything else about the system is easily understandable, so the player shouldn't be wondering "Why is that ship moving at less than 1 parsec per turn?" when it runs out of fuel. Since supplies are really a minor part of the game, the player really won't want to get too involved in them. This solution simple and efficient.8)

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