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 Post subject: Shipyards
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 9:45 am 
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This thread is to discuss Shipyards.

The basic idea is that shipyards will be required to build ships at a system.

Some issues:

* Should we have shipyards at all?

* How do shipyards work?
** Are they a simple "building" that lets a system build any ship, or are their modules and addons that can be built to improve an existing shipyard?
*** Ship parts or hulls might require a shipyard with a particular module to build or install.
*** Shipyards might have a limited capacity, requiring upgrades to build more ships per turn or increase the Production Points they are allowed to spend per turn
* Are shipyards specially equipped to service existing ships?
** Ships could be generally not repairable away from shipyards (excluding special cases), or ships could repair much faster or instantly at shipyards.
** Ships could require shipyards to be upgraded to newer versions of their designs.

* Roughly how long should it take to get a shipyard built in a system?
* Should there be other restrictions on where a shipyard can be built?
* Do we yet have any reasons to specificy roughly how many shipyards an empire should have (given its size or other factors) or what state of upgrading they should all be at (if applicable)?


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 Post subject: Re: Shipyards
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 5:58 pm 
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These answers mostly are presented simply without much explanation. I'll go into more detail for whichever items are disputed (if the other side doesn't change my mind).


* Should we have shipyards at all?

Yes. I think it's a great idea. 8)


* How do shipyards work?
** Are they a simple "building" that lets a system build any ship, or are their modules and addons that can be built to improve an existing shipyard?
*** Ship parts or hulls might require a shipyard with a particular module to build or install.
*** Shipyards might have a limited capacity, requiring upgrades to build more ships per turn or increase the Production Points they are allowed to spend per turn


Shipyards are a major component of the game, and so a certain amount of upgradability doesn't seem out of place. Though i lean towards upgrading the whole shipyard to shipyard Mark-2, Mark-3 etc. rather than supporting mix-and-match upgrading. Though depending on how they are related to the host planet, defenses may be desirable add-ons. I think it's best, however to consider it more-or less a feature of it's planet, and allow the space defenses of the planet to also defend the shipyard, though the shipyard could be independently targeting/destroyed, it shouldn't be capture-able separately from the planet.

Requiring higher-level shipyards to build larger ships seems pretty reasonable. Requiring higher-level shipyards to build higher-tech level hulls isn't unreasonable. But limiting which component can be produced by shipyards seems annoying.

I don't like the idea of limiting the amount of production which can be output per shipyard, because it seems to mess up the simplicity of our global production system. You could have situations where your empire's ability to produce far exceeds your shipyard's abilities. Since PP can't be saved, this would tend to waste production, even when the queue is full. But i recognize there are some reasonable gameplay arguments for putting a PP cap on shipyards.


* Are shipyards specially equipped to service existing ships?
** Ships could be generally not repairable away from shipyards (excluding special cases), or ships could repair much faster or instantly at shipyards.
** Ships could require shipyards to be upgraded to newer versions of their designs.


It seems reasonable to require shipyards for upgrading ships, but requiring them for repairs seems too restrictive. However the answer to these questions may one come out with playtesting.


* Roughly how long should it take to get a shipyard built in a system?

About the same time that it takes to build a medium-large ship, perhaps.


* Should there be other restrictions on where a shipyard can be built?

IMHO they should be build-able only around colonized planets, and limited to one per system. Though the general uselessness of building more than one per system might not need a rule to enforce it.


* Do we yet have any reasons to specificy roughly how many shipyards an empire should have (given its size or other factors) or what state of upgrading they should all be at (if applicable)?

Approximately one tenth of the number of systems that the player controls seems right to me. Probably the ratio of shipyards to systems would go a bit higher with very large empires.

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 Post subject: Re: Shipyards
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 6:51 pm 
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Quote:
* Should we have shipyards at all?


No. They were incredibly annoying in MoO3 and they didn't add to the fun at all. But in case someone does decide to put
them in the game, I'll answer the other questions too.


Quote:
* How do shipyards work?


Shipyards should function to determine the amount of a planet's max industry that can be put towards building ships. If a planet only has 10% of max industry and their shipyard allows for 10%, they should be able to put all of their industry towards building ships.

Quote:
** Are they a simple "building" that lets a system build any ship, or are their modules and addons that can be built to improve an existing shipyard?


I think that there should be one basic building that allows, say, 10% of a planets max industry to be put towards ship building. Add-ons would come in later in the game that increase it by increments of 10% These add-ons become slightly more expensive as the game wears on.

Quote:
*** Ship parts or hulls might require a shipyard with a particular module to build or install.


Bad bad bad. MoO3 sucked with shipyards and that's why. It's really no fun at all.

Quote:
*** Shipyards might have a limited capacity, requiring upgrades to build more ships per turn or increase the Production Points they are allowed to spend per turn


Yes.

Quote:
* Are shipyards specially equipped to service existing ships?


A special shipyard add on for that might be a good idea....
but I doubt it. I think that refits should be treated the same way as actually building ships as far as the shipyard is concerned.

Quote:
** Ships could be generally not repairable away from shipyards (excluding special cases), or ships could repair much faster or instantly at shipyards.


Ships should repair slowly away from shipyards (1-2% per turn excluding special cases) and quickly at shipyards (30-40% per turn). This way, ships aren't totally invincible in a multi-turn siege on their own planet.

Quote:
** Ships could require shipyards to be upgraded to newer versions of their designs.


Isn't that pretty much the same as *** Ship parts or hulls might require a shipyard with a particular module to build or install.?

Quote:
* Roughly how long should it take to get a shipyard built in a system?


The initial building and each add-on would take about 15 turns for an average empire devoting all of an average planet's industry to it at the time in the game that they acquire the tech. That way, they wouldn't be too difficult to build, but you wouldn't have one on every planet either, so they would be special.

Quote:
* Should there be other restrictions on where a shipyard can be built?


No restrictions on colonized planets. That's just making it too convoluted and not fun. But maybe you could build them on asteroids like an outpost?

Quote:
* Do we yet have any reasons to specificy roughly how many shipyards an empire should have (given its size or other factors) or what state of upgrading they should all be at (if applicable)?


No. Each player will have a different number of shipyards at different levels of development depending on what his primary focus for the game is.


Now to put my ideas in context with eleazar's.

Quote:
* Should we have shipyards at all?

Yes. I think it's a great idea. 8)

I don't 8)

It makes it too complicated. With everything else to deal with, it's just troublesome and I don't think it's very fun anyway.


Quote:
* How do shipyards work?
** Are they a simple "building" that lets a system build any ship, or are their modules and addons that can be built to improve an existing shipyard?
*** Ship parts or hulls might require a shipyard with a particular module to build or install.
*** Shipyards might have a limited capacity, requiring upgrades to build more ships per turn or increase the Production Points they are allowed to spend per turn

Shipyards are a major component of the game, and so a certain amount of upgradability doesn't seem out of place. Though i lean towards upgrading the whole shipyard to shipyard Mark-2, Mark-3 etc. rather than supporting mix-and-match upgrading. Though depending on how they are related to the host planet, defenses may be desirable add-ons. I think it's best, however to consider it more-or less a feature of it's planet, and allow the space defenses of the planet to also defend the shipyard, though the shipyard could be independently targeting/destroyed, it shouldn't be capture-able separately from the planet.

Why should they be a major component of the game? Of course it would be hard to avoid if they are in, so yes, a certain amount of upgradability does not seem out of place. Hence my suggestion. Although, Mark-2, etc. would probably work just as well. It should definitely be inseparable from the planet on which it is built.

Quote:
Requiring higher-level shipyards to build larger ships seems pretty reasonable. Requiring higher-level shipyards to build higher-tech level hulls isn't unreasonable. But limiting which component can be produced by shipyards seems annoying.

Requiring higher level shipyads to build larger ships seems just plain annoying to me. Go back and play MoO3 if you need proof. It may be realistic, but it's boring as heck.

Quote:
I don't like the idea of limiting the amount of production which can be output per shipyard, because it seems to mess up the simplicity of our global production system. You could have situations where your empire's ability to produce far exceeds your shipyard's abilities. Since PP can't be saved, this would tend to waste production, even when the queue is full. But i recognize there are some reasonable gameplay arguments for putting a PP cap on shipyards.
Well, ships aren't going to be the ONLY thing you're producing. If they are, you can just devote all your research to the next shipyard. But really, that's kind of a problem that makes an argument against shipyards altogether.


Quote:
* Are shipyards specially equipped to service existing ships?
** Ships could be generally not repairable away from shipyards (excluding special cases), or ships could repair much faster or instantly at shipyards.
** Ships could require shipyards to be upgraded to newer versions of their designs.

It seems reasonable to require shipyards for upgrading ships, but requiring them for repairs seems too restrictive. However the answer to these questions may one come out with playtesting.
I think requiring ships for extensive repairs would be great for strategy, adding to the concern of the "geography" of your empire.


Quote:
* Roughly how long should it take to get a shipyard built in a system?

About the same time that it takes to build a medium-large ship, perhaps.

I guess that's reasonable if we want them to be specialized in the early game.

Quote:
* Should there be other restrictions on where a shipyard can be built?

IMHO they should be build-able only around colonized planets, and limited to one per system. Though the general uselessness of building more than one per system might not need a rule to enforce it.
I think shipyards should be a planetary thing rather than a system wide thing. It enhances distinction between the planets in one system.


Quote:
* Do we yet have any reasons to specificy roughly how many shipyards an empire should have (given its size or other factors) or what state of upgrading they should all be at (if applicable)?

Approximately one tenth of the number of systems that the player controls seems right to me. Probably the ratio of shipyards to systems would go a bit higher with very large empires.
It's really going to vary wildly depending on what kind of empire you're running. It's impossible to make a number that decides how many they "should have".

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 Post subject: Re: Shipyards
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:09 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Roughly how long should it take to get a shipyard built in a system?

It's hard to say. Lot of playtesting will help there.
Quote:
* Do we yet have any reasons to specify roughly how many shipyards an empire should have (given its size or other factors) or what state of upgrading they should all be at (if applicable)?

I consider such hard limits clunky. If they can afford it, let them have it. But IMHO construction and upkeep costs of shipyards should encourage player to have few ship-building worlds.

Otherwise I agree with eleazar.

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 Post subject: Re: Shipyards
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 7:23 pm 
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Another thing to consider: Are shipyards in space(part of space combat?) or are they on the surface of a planet.


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 Post subject: Re: Shipyards
PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:53 pm 
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Here's an old thread on shipyards. Keep in mind it's 4 years old, and a lot of the current decisions haven't yet been made, but much of the reasoning will still apply to some degree.


Bigjoe5 wrote:
Quote:
* Should we have shipyards at all?


No. They were incredibly annoying in MoO3 and they didn't add to the fun at all. ...

Quote:
* How do shipyards work?

Shipyards should function to determine the amount of a planet's max industry that can be put towards building ships. If a planet only has 10% of max industry and their shipyard allows for 10%, they should be able to put all of their industry towards building ships.


I haven't played MoO3, but from your answers i guess you are assuming FO production in general works like MoO3. Anyway it works quite differently from what you are thinking, and thus FO shipyards would be distinctly different from MoO3 shipyards.

In FO, there is an empire-wide production queue. You can build things on planets, but you don't build only with the production of a single planet. All the production points from all your (probably non-blockaded) planets are added together and distributed to the projects in order of the queue. Most projects have a minimum number of turns they can be built in. But as long as there is no blockade, it doesn't matter where PP (production points) are coming from or where they are going— they move freely about your empire.

So a shipyard in FO, is simply a structure that allows you to build ships in a system. With our current production system it has no special significance to the production points coming from it's planet.



pd wrote:
Another thing to consider: Are shipyards in space(part of space combat?) or are they on the surface of a planet.

That's part of what's being considered in this thread, though the thread has so far focused on other aspects.

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 Post subject: Re: Shipyards
PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2007 9:09 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should we have shipyards at all?

Yes, though it will depend on there purpose.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* How do shipyards work?
** Are they a simple "building" that lets a system build any ship, or are their modules and addons that can be built to improve an existing shipyard?
*** Ship parts or hulls might require a shipyard with a particular module to build or install.
*** Shipyards might have a limited capacity, requiring upgrades to build more ships per turn or increase the Production Points they are allowed to spend per turn

Shipyards are a building that lets you build a ship. You may upgrade a shipyard, though this should not be too complex. Shipyards could have limits, eg maybe you need X shipyards to have X ships, with the reasoning being, the excess ships will not get repaired or something.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Are shipyards specially equipped to service existing ships?
** Ships could be generally not repairable away from shipyards (excluding special cases), or ships could repair much faster or instantly at shipyards.
** Ships could require shipyards to be upgraded to newer versions of their designs.

Yes, shipyards could repair ships, though something simpler then ships having to be in proximity.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Roughly how long should it take to get a shipyard built in a system?

A decent amount of time. To be decided, balanced.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should there be other restrictions on where a shipyard can be built?

Maybe you can't build a shipyard within a certain radius of another shipyard, this would insure few shipyards like we want.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Do we yet have any reasons to specificy roughly how many shipyards an empire should have (given its size or other factors) or what state of upgrading they should all be at (if applicable)?

Well, 1 initially, but maybe 5 would be a large number or 10, depending on balance.

eleazar wrote:
In FO, there is an empire-wide production queue. You can build things on planets, but you don't build only with the production of a single planet. All the production points from all your (probably non-blockaded) planets are added together and distributed to the projects in order of the queue. Most projects have a minimum number of turns they can be built in. But as long as there is no blockade, it doesn't matter where PP (production points) are coming from or where they are going— they move freely about your empire.

So a shipyard in FO, is simply a structure that allows you to build ships in a system. With our current production system it has no special significance to the production points coming from it's planet.

See, this really highlights the problem of whether we need a shipyard. So far I can only see two reasons why a shipyard is needed:
1) Allows ships to be built in empire production queue.
2) Provides location of where ships appear when built.

So, with that, do we even need more then one shipyard. At the moment, the only point would be to have multiple locations that ships can appear when built and to have many shipyards in case others are destroyed, more will remain. Though this last point requires the shipyard to appear in space combat, so that shipyards can be destroyed.

I would also think that they should maybe contribute production points specifically to ship projects.


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 Post subject: Re: Shipyards
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 2:55 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
* Should we have shipyards at all?


Yes. In fact, I thought this was already settled. Looking back at some old design threads, it appears that it was agreed tacitly, though not officially.

Quote:
* How do shipyards work?
** Are they a simple "building" that lets a system build any ship, or are their modules and addons that can be built to improve an existing shipyard?
*** Shipyards might have a limited capacity, requiring upgrades to build more ships per turn or increase the Production Points they are allowed to spend per turn


I think they should be upgradeable, and have a limited, upgradeable capacity to produce ships. I favor an upgradeable PP spending limit to enforce this.

Quote:
*** Ship parts or hulls might require a shipyard with a particular module to build or install.


I don't see any reason to include this.

Quote:
* Are shipyards specially equipped to service existing ships?
** Ships could be generally not repairable away from shipyards (excluding special cases), or ships could repair much faster or instantly at shipyards.


This might be something nice to add, or it may be a royal pain. I'd like to leave this until closer to the end of the discussion.

Quote:
** Ships could require shipyards to be upgraded to newer versions of their designs.


I think yes. Otherwise, a major reason for destroying a shipyard -- limiting an enemy's ability to field new designs against you in a certain area -- is diminished.

Quote:
* Roughly how long should it take to get a shipyard built in a system?


I think it should take substantially more turns and substantially more PP per turn to build than a capital ship. It should hurt to lose one, both in lost PP to replace it, and in lost time that it could have been pumping out ships. If you can replace it in 3 turns or something, it matters a lot less to lose one, and it is far less risk to build one too near your enemy.

Quote:
* Should there be other restrictions on where a shipyard can be built?


I think they should be required to be in full-supply range, so you can't build one in the middle of nowhere.

Quote:
* Do we yet have any reasons to specify roughly how many shipyards an empire should have (given its size or other factors) or what state of upgrading they should all be at (if applicable)?


No, I don't think we do.


No that you've seen the specifics, here's the big picture -- what shipyards give us if we do them right. In most 4X games, dealing a blow to a strategic target is hard to do. You can capture a "rich"/"artifact" world, or one with a wonder on it, and that's about it. Usually this doesn't do much, given the (usually large) total number of colonies. Every colony pretty much builds the same stuff as every other colony. With shipyards, you immediately have a new strategic depth that is lacking in these other 4X games. Now you can do things like destroy a shipyard in an area of your enemy's empire near yours, to lengthen her reinforcement lines, and decrease her overall build capacity. You also add another dimension to your planning. Do I go for attrition, grabbing a bunch of planets far from the enemy's shipyards, where she is weak (since she will surely defend shipyard systems the most), or do I go for the jugular? Do I upgrade my shipyards so I can build more ships tomorrow, or do I build more ships today? Do I build over there, or over here? This also allows the AI to really hit you where it hurts. AIs are notoriously bad at figuring out the most important targets to attack in a 4X game. All in all, I think shipyards add something most 4X games lack -- high-value strategic targets for the players to maneuver around.


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 Post subject: Re: Shipyards
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 5:01 am 
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1. Shipyards? Yes. They help to limit where you can build, which is a significant strategic point. Shipyards are a relatively cheap orbital that isn't available until the system is fully populated, because no player should be able to conquer a single planet in a contested system and use it to build his own ships right at the point of battle.

2. Limited? Yes. Shipyards should be limited by the total construction score of the system they occupy. It's not feasible for a shipyard to have free use of every industrial complex in your empire, because shipping raw materials is feasible, while shipping entire assemblies to a system is not. Any excess raw materials would go into your reserves, so they wouldn't truly be lost.

3. Object in combat? Yes. Destroying shipyards limits both repairs and new ship construction. Shipyards are a legitimate orbital target.

4. In orbit? Yes. Ground based shipyards would require the ship to boost itself out of the atmosphere. No big deal when we are talking about something small, but if we're talking about a massive ship this could be a huge problem. Not to mention the fuel savings involved.

5. Capturable? Not really, unless this is a one-planet system. If the system was contested, any shipyard facilities would represent a prime threat, and be a prime target. You could capture facilities intact if you can capture ships intact with boarding parties, but any contested systems could possibly use orbital defenses, ground-based defenses, and intrasystem runabouts to attack the shipyard.

And that's all I have to say about that.


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 Post subject: Re: Shipyards
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 8:36 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
I haven't played MoO3, but from your answers i guess you are assuming FO production in general works like MoO3. Anyway it works quite differently from what you are thinking, and thus FO shipyards would be distinctly different from MoO3 shipyards.

In FO, there is an empire-wide production queue. You can build things on planets, but you don't build only with the production of a single planet. All the production points from all your (probably non-blockaded) planets are added together and distributed to the projects in order of the queue. Most projects have a minimum number of turns they can be built in. But as long as there is no blockade, it doesn't matter where PP (production points) are coming from or where they are going— they move freely about your empire.

So a shipyard in FO, is simply a structure that allows you to build ships in a system. With our current production system it has no special significance to the production points coming from it's planet.
Actually, since the production system is like that, it will actually make it more difficult to make it different than it was in MoO3. The system I proposed, while more or less dependent on the MoO3 production system, is absolutely nothing like the MoO3 shipyard system. The MoO3 shipyard system was kind of generic and uncreative....

I actually didn't think to look into the production system. I thought it would be similar the that of the first 3 Orion games, since this game is "in the tradition of the Master of Orion series". I would have to play the current version to confirm my initial response to that idea (that it sucks), but due to certain circumstances, I can't download it yet, so I'm going to have to trust that the people who decided upon this system knew what they were doing and made the right decision.

But back to the topic, I feel now more strongly than ever that shipyards would not enrich gameplay if they are implemented in that fashion and that it will be difficult with this production system to find a better implementation.

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 Post subject: Re: Shipyards
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:19 pm 
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Tzlaine wrote:


Quote:
No that you've seen the specifics, here's the big picture -- what shipyards give us if we do them right. In most 4X games, dealing a blow to a strategic target is hard to do. You can capture a "rich"/"artifact" world, or one with a wonder on it, and that's about it. Usually this doesn't do much, given the (usually large) total number of colonies. Every colony pretty much builds the same stuff as every other colony. With shipyards, you immediately have a new strategic depth that is lacking in these other 4X games. Now you can do things like destroy a shipyard in an area of your enemy's empire near yours, to lengthen her reinforcement lines, and decrease her overall build capacity. You also add another dimension to your planning. Do I go for attrition, grabbing a bunch of planets far from the enemy's shipyards, where she is weak (since she will surely defend shipyard systems the most), or do I go for the jugular? Do I upgrade my shipyards so I can build more ships tomorrow, or do I build more ships today? Do I build over there, or over here? This also allows the AI to really hit you where it hurts. AIs are notoriously bad at figuring out the most important targets to attack in a 4X game. All in all, I think shipyards add something most 4X games lack -- high-value strategic targets for the players to maneuver around.


Agree completely, make them rare, high value targets.

I would require them for certain size ships, and upgradeable as needed as bigger hulls become available. Colony ships and smaller can be built planetside, hence shipyards not needed early game.

A certain level of empire PP, and tech level must be achieved to build first one, with a relatively steep cost to purchase. Perhaps double(?) empire PP to build another. Must achieve higher tech to upgrade. Additionally, as previously stated, must be in full supply to build and operate. Would also consider a minimum PP level within "x" amount of starlane jumps to maintain support. Dropping below the minimum threshold incurs an operating penalty.

Shipyards dramatically reduce repair times for ships.


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 Post subject: Re: Shipyards
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 9:41 pm 
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I recognize the value of having shipyards relatively rare, but i don't think it should be necessary to artificially limit the number of shipyards. Simply make them expensive to build and maintain, (and possibly remove ancillary advantages like super-fast repairing), and sane economics will place a sensible but flexible limit on the number.

Rule that link the number of shipyards to something arbitrary like the size of empire should only be considered if there is a balancing problem that can't fixed by more natural means.


tzlaine wrote:
I think they should be upgradeable, and have a limited, upgradeable capacity to produce ships. I favor an upgradeable PP spending limit to enforce this.

I'm not against this in principle, but i don't see how it could nicely done, especially since unused PP is (currently) wasted, and it's reasonable to expect a player to sometimes have only ships in the production queue.

How do you integrate PP-limited shipyards with a global queue in a way that's easy for the player to understand?


Bigjoe5 wrote:
I actually didn't think to look into the production system. I thought it would be similar the that of the first 3 Orion games, since this game is "in the tradition of the Master of Orion series". I would have to play the current version to confirm my initial response to that idea (that it sucks)....

But back to the topic, I feel now more strongly than ever that shipyards would not enrich gameplay if they are implemented in that fashion and that it will be difficult with this production system to find a better implementation.

Perhaps you should do us the courtesy of actually looking into the production system— and the reasoning that lead up to it, before passing judgement. Do a few searches. The global production queue (a decision made before i joined) is IMHO one of our best departures from standard MoO. It's convenience for a particular scheme of shipyards is a minor aspect of it's value.

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 Post subject: Re: Shipyards
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 10:14 pm 
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Regardless of how it could be done, it seems strategically necessary to limit shipyard capacity. If any shipyard can spend unlimited PP from the empire pool, then any shipyard can build a huge fleet of ships anywhere in the empire, even if the shipyard is newly created on the border of an enemy.

This is analagous to discussions we had about limiting planets' ability to supply ships, which was proposed because it would be too easy to have a single source of supply on an enemy border that would instantly resupply your fleets while far from home. The chosen solution was to require planets to develop a while before they gained the ability to export supplies, and limits on the supplies provided to each ship remain a possibility if deemed necessary.

A similar solution for shipyards, which are presumably rarer and more important than planets that can export supplies to ships, would be to limit their capacity to spend PP. Thus, if you were able to build a new shipyard near a battle, you'd only gain a limited ability to produce ships near the fighting, until you were able to upgrade the shipyard a few times, which would take a significant amount of time.

Upgradable shipyards, in which the capacity grows in a manner such that it's more efficient to upgrade capacity than to just build more shipyards, also helps make individual shipyard more important, and discourages players from building lots of shipyards everywhere. Making the type of ship that's buildable at a yard also upgradable, presumably by requiring upgrades for each ship size class, also makes it more important to upgrade one shipyard repeatedly (in size limit and production capacity) before building more starting shipyards that are limited in both.

eleazar wrote:
How do you integrate PP-limited shipyards with a global queue in a way that's easy for the player to understand?

Can you elaborate on this a bit? I'm not sure what the problems you anticipate would be...

Quote:
I'm not against this in principle, but i don't see how [limited shipyard capacity] could nicely done, especially since unused PP is (currently) wasted, and it's reasonable to expect a player to sometimes have only ships in the production queue.

If players have many more PP than they are able to spend, then presumably they have poorly planned their shipyard upgrading and planet industry and mining growth rates. In general though, I'd hope we'd have enough expensive wonder-like buildings that most players wouldn't ever be wasting any available PP. They might wish they could be spending more on ships instead of buildings, but there should always be buildings available to soak up extra PP a player has that can't be spent on ships due to a shipyard capacity limit that's taking too long to upgrade.


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 Post subject: Re: Shipyards
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 10:24 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
I recognize the value of having shipyards relatively rare, but i don't think it should be necessary to artificially limit the number of shipyards. Simply make them expensive to build and maintain, (and possibly remove ancillary advantages like super-fast repairing), and sane economics will place a sensible but flexible limit on the number.

Rule that link the number of shipyards to something arbitrary like the size of empire should only be considered if there is a balancing problem that can't fixed by more natural means.


I agree with this also.

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tzlaine wrote:
I think they should be upgradeable, and have a limited, upgradeable capacity to produce ships. I favor an upgradeable PP spending limit to enforce this.

I'm not against this in principle, but i don't see how it could nicely done, especially since unused PP is (currently) wasted, and it's reasonable to expect a player to sometimes have only ships in the production queue.

How do you integrate PP-limited shipyards with a global queue in a way that's easy for the player to understand?


This is definitely going to be a challenge. To me, it is less challenging than the alternatives. The alternatives I've seen in previous discussions are:
1) tech limitation A: a shipyard can only produce ships and modules up to tech level N
2) tech limitation B: a shipyard can only produce at most N tech levels (but any number of ships that add up to N -- e.g. N=3 means 3 tech-1 ships, or 1 tech-3)
3) size limitation A: a shipyard can only produce ships up to size N
4) size limitation B: a shipyard can only produce at most N size points (e.g. N=3 means 3 size-1 ships, or 1 size-3)

Of all these limitations, a straight PP cap seems the easiest. This will probably require modifying the build queue items to include a queue name or ID, and perhaps some indication of whether the ships in the queue not being worked on are global-PP-limited or shipyard-PP-limited.

I'm debating whether to reopen up this can of worms, but here goes. There is another possibility -- that we abstract the build location of all ships until they are placed, and use the PP limit to limit placement of new ships. In other words, you can produce as many ships as your total number of shipyard PPs allows, and you don't specify which one they belong to while they are being built. When they are ready, you can only place the PP-limit worth at a given shipyard on a given turn. This gets rid of the UI difficulties of having multiple limits but one big queue. Several games do this already, most notable HOI2. If we did this, I would want to require that you place new builds when they are ready. I don't want a standing reserve that can just pop up out of nowhere like in HOI2.


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 Post subject: Re: Shipyards
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 11:59 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Regardless of how it could be done, it seems strategically necessary to limit shipyard capacity. If any shipyard can spend unlimited PP from the empire pool, then any shipyard can build a huge fleet of ships anywhere in the empire, even if the shipyard is newly created on the border of an enemy....

A similar solution for shipyards, which are presumably rarer and more important than planets that can export supplies to ships, would be to limit their capacity to spend PP. Thus, if you were able to build a new shipyard near a battle, you'd only gain a limited ability to produce ships near the fighting, until you were able to upgrade the shipyard a few times, which would take a significant amount of time.


I just read the previous thread on shipyards, and while there was no conclusion, it gave me some ideas. I think if we work it right, using constraints already existent, we can keep the new-shipyard-on-the-border from being an exploit-level problem.

A Plan:

1) each ship has a minimal build time, like other projects. Thus even if you build a lot of ships, they can't appear instantly. IIRC we don't allow the use of money to "rush" construction.

2a) each ship must be assigned to an individual shipyard when "ordered." Thus you risk major PP loss by building an entire fleet near the border, due to the shipyard being captured/destroyed. Also a captured border shipyard could be turned against those who built it.

2b) a shipyard near the border also risks having production halted due to PP being cut off by a blockade. (And with my redistribution scheme, that blockade could be set up by severing the link between the shipyard and the empire's core— not just by conquering the shipyard's system)

3) A new shipyard would be a low-level shipyard, and thus produce, only low-level ships. Hardly an overwhelming advantage. If the player can hold a border system long enough build up a high-level shipyard, he doubtless is already in a good position. His opponent, if border-shipyard-building is really a good strategy would have had time to build a similar shipyard of his own.

4) major projects (like shipyards) on the borders of an empire should be very easy for your spies to notice and/or sabotage, and thus risk destruction.


I realize, that even given the above, having a shipyard on your border can be a powerful position, but so is having a large fleet in the same spot. I believe this should be understood as one of the strategic elements inherent in our global queue and shipyard systems, and trying to make it function more like a non-free-resource-distribution game is not good.


eleazar wrote:
How do you integrate PP-limited shipyards with a global queue in a way that's easy for the player to understand?
Geoff wrote:
Can you elaborate on this a bit? I'm not sure what the problems you anticipate would be...

OK, but first a bit of background:
With the current global queue, it's rather easy to see what's going on. PP is given to the first item in the queue, up to it's 1-turn limit, and so on down the queue until all the PP is used up. All projects receiving PP are at the top of the queue.
If a project isn't developing, the cause is obvious: there's not enough PP in the empire. The solutions are also obvious: move the project further up in the queue, or set more planets to "industry".

But if ships are required for shipyards, and each shipyard has a PP cap, suddenly you have (in some senses) multiple queues mashed together in a single list.

There are two basic implementations:
1) the shipyard's building power is aggregated together, and ships are only "placed" in a shipyard once finished
2) when ships are ordered, they are assigned to a specific shipyard to be built.

Either way, a project's position in the queue no longer solely determines if it gets PP. #1 confusing with perhaps a large chunk of ships in the queue not getting PP, and then afterwards buildings and terraforming being worked on. If you include high-level shipyard production items (assuming only a some of your shipyards have high-level capacity), you could really get a hodge-podge of projects which are getting PP, mixed is a seemingly randomly with those that don't. The mix becomes even less obvious once you add the multiple individual shipyard limits of #2.

Due to these additional constraints, projects won't necessarily be build in the order listed in the queue. And it's not obvious what must be done to get PP to a particular item. And thus much of the elegance and simplicity of a global queue is lost.

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