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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:47 am 
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kricktone wrote:
Actually for the most macro solution

Movement of population is 100% automatic
Colony ships contain 0 pop


Geoff the Medio wrote:
Having new colonies have effectively zero population is intersting. If colony ships have 0 population in them, then they can't be used to shuttle population around, which eliminates a potential motivation for micromanagement.
...
This would depend on us having a very functional migration system, though, and could be rather limiting of colonization to only be possible in areas where migration can occur. Presumably migration would be limited similarly to resource exchange (quite short range) or fleet supply (a bit longer, but still somewhat limiting). Near the start of the game, an empire's resource or fleet supply range might not be long enough to reach any colonizable planets...


I'm starting to like this idea more.
It would be limiting to start a colony with more or less 0 population, and rely on migration for the growth... but i'm starting to think that it is limiting in a good way. It makes a lot of sense, and increases the significance of the "shape" of your empire. I've never liked the lack of importance that spatial relationship of colonies often has in 4x games. We've already done a number of things to remedy that (starlanes, and supply lines) but adding more spatial significance seems worthwhile.

I think we can stick with magically generate a tiny number of people for the new colony say .1 or .01-- enough that a colony that is beyond your supply lines will be able to grow... but just not nearly as fast as it would otherwise.

I'm not sure if the mechanics of how population automatically moves is on topic here. Ideally it would be generally predictable and intuitive. Kricktone's started a thread on it here.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:56 am 
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eleazar wrote:
I'm not sure if the mechanics of how population automatically moves is on topic here.

It is not.

Posts in this thread can suggest or discuss an idea for how or whether to fill colony ships or new colonies with population and explain how it will work by assuming there will be a working migration system, and a few general aspects of what that migration system can provide. Assuming new colony ships or colonies can be populated using the migration system from other population centres in an empire than the planet where the ship is being built, while they're being built or after they're built, is fine. Assuming broad properties of the migration system, like that it can't function outside of some range limit, is fine.

Exactly how / details about how that migration system will work, such as what factors determine how much population moves and where it moves to, is for another thread.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:21 am 
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eleazar wrote:
tzlaine wrote:
KISS. Create an "available population" value (not a meter) that is always <= to the current pop.
"Current pop" of what: the shipyard planet, the system, the whole empire?

Sorry, I meant the "available pop" should be per planet, and should be <= to the planet's pop meter.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:01 am 
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I didn't think that colonies starting with 0 population would force you to consider the shape of your empire but I like it :)

For colonies too far from your borders starting with 0.1 and eventually growing sounds good, but Off-topic suggestion removed by Geoff. reposted here


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:13 am 
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Just throwin' it out there, how about we stick with the Colony ships only containing tools for building colonies rather than carrying the colonists themselves, and then simply when you designate which planet you want to Colonize, a window comes up giving you a list of all the races in your empire, and a second tab containing a list of every Colony in your Empire. When one is selected, then a single population point (1, not 0.1 or etc.) is magically transported to the planet.

The difference between the two lists is that selecting a race takes a percentage amount of the population of every planet in the empire containing that race for a total of one pop, Whereas selecting a planet simply takes the whole pop unit from that planet.

I think its a pretty simple solution, it could be tweaked by allowing you to select multiple planets from the list (planets with other races are greyed out of course).

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:28 pm 
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General_Zaber wrote:
Just throwin' it out there, how about we stick with the Colony ships only containing tools for building colonies rather than carrying the colonists themselves, and then simply when you designate which planet you want to Colonize, a window comes up giving you a list of all the races in your empire, and a second tab containing a list of every Colony in your Empire. When one is selected, then a single population point (1, not 0.1 or etc.) is magically transported to the planet.

The difference between the two lists is that selecting a race takes a percentage amount of the population of every planet in the empire containing that race for a total of one pop, Whereas selecting a planet simply takes the whole pop unit from that planet.

I think its a pretty simple solution, it could be tweaked by allowing you to select multiple planets from the list (planets with other races are greyed out of course).


Not a bad idea, EXCEPT
I would Only allow you to select the race, not 'specific planets' selecting specific planets gets more fiddly.
Also you wouldn't have to have that option pop up unless you had more than 1 race in your empire, so you wouldn't need it early game.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:21 am 
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Alright, I only suggested the individual planets as an alternative if you wanted to draw from a particular planet, but come to think of it, when drawing from the whole empire planets with higher populations should donate more people anyway.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:40 pm 
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I think there probably should be some means of influencing what parts of the empire population for the colony ship is drawn from. If units were to come from max populated industry/mining focus worlds, then their outputs would be slightly diminished. This could be frustrating if the player is getting most production points from them, and expects a critical build project to be done in X turns, but then finds that due to migration to the colony ship, X has become X + 5 turns. More so if there was another possible source of colonists from a planet that was contributing to a less important project.

This would be a consideration of designing a migration system, probably solvable via Geoff's proposed migration policies.

Just an issue that I thought should be considered


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:49 pm 
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Taking population from around the empire to fill up a colony ship on the turn its built seems awkward to me.

If there is no migration system in place that let's the player set persistent controls for where population comes from, there are a few options that all seem bad:
1) take population uniformly from connected planets (bad because players won't want to depopulation good planets)
2) take population from planets according to some algorithm (bad because players won't want to depopulate certain planets the algorithm will take from, no matter what algorithm is used)
3) Let the player pick planet(s) to take population from (bad because this has to be repeated each time a colony ship is built and could be a lot of micromanagement compared to persistent migration settings).

If there is a functional migration system, there's no need to put any population on colony ships, so no need to use the migration system to decide where to take population from.

For v0.4, I'm leaning towards magically creating population on colony ships, and reevaluating this issue after any decisions about migration systems being added or not, and the mechanics thereof if applicable, is made.

If we want to do something slightly better for v0.4, a system similar to what tzlaine has proposed could be used, where there's a limited amount of "available" population on planets, and all population for colonization is taken from shipyard planets. If there's insufficient available population, a colony ship wouldn't get any PP funding that turn, or couldn't be built and would just stay on the queue. For this to work the various conditions that decide whether something can be built or gets PP funding will need to be re-evaluated after each item on the queue is finished. (I believe they're currently checked only once per turn.) This might be awkward to set up, but should be done anyway so that we can (for example) prevent multiple copies of buildings that there is only supposed to be one of, which presently I think wouldn't catch the case where multiple copies are finished on the same turn.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:53 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
For v0.4, I'm leaning towards magically creating population on colony ships, and reevaluating this issue after any decisions about migration systems being added or not, and the mechanics thereof if applicable, is made.

I think that's the best choice for now. ... Along with not allowing colony ships to add population back to established colonies. The true beauty of this approach is it requires no work. ;)

IMHO its uncertain that there will be any problem with the "magical generation" approach, and i don't think anyone is arguing that an any of these more complicated methods of choosing where the population comes from will actually make the game more fun.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:29 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Taking population from around the empire to fill up a colony ship on the turn its built seems awkward to me.

If there is no migration system in place that let's the player set persistent controls for where population comes from, there are a few options that all seem bad:
1) take population uniformly from connected planets (bad because players won't want to depopulation good planets)
2) take population from planets according to some algorithm (bad because players won't want to depopulate certain planets the algorithm will take from, no matter what algorithm is used)
3) Let the player pick planet(s) to take population from (bad because this has to be repeated each time a colony ship is built and could be a lot of micromanagement compared to persistent migration settings).

If there is a functional migration system, there's no need to put any population on colony ships, so no need to use the migration system to decide where to take population from.

Heh, I was just about to suggest some kind of persistent control for migration from desired planets, until I read the post again and noticed you already considered this.

I strongly think that a decent migration system is the way to go, as it will solve this problem and several other game design objectives, such as evacuation of doomed planets, or quick colonisation of valuable/artifact worlds and so on.

My only objection is that using migrants to fill the role provided by colony ships' populations would delay the actual colonisation of the new world, as the having colonised the planet, the player must wait for population to migrate there first! The migration system might for the sake of simplicity be instantaneous - migrants arrive on the same turn they depart - but this would introduce some problems. What if the new colony is within supply rage but otherwise distant from the most populous and developed part of the empire? It seems unbalanced to permit huge amounts of migrants to immediately get to a farflung planet that would otherwise appear to be in the galactic wilderness! I suppose I agree with a comment made by Eleazar (possibly in the migration thread) about how the shape of a player's empire ought to be relevant. It could be used to improve gameplay by giving advantages and disadvantages to clustering or scattering colonies.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
For v0.4, I'm leaning towards magically creating population on colony ships, and reevaluating this issue after any decisions about migration systems being added or not, and the mechanics thereof if applicable, is made.

Being mindful of the current workload and the fact that v0.4 was intended to be solely about combat, I am wary about attempting to add too much at once, particularly when the system in question has not discussed in depth.

That said, it would be nice to see the proposal Tzlaine described actually implemented and working, as it would provide a demonstration of the system and could be useful in evaluating the gameplay ramifications of migration systems.

But anyway, there is always a good case to be made for the option with the least work! So long as the population that is 'magically created' is sufficiently small then it wouldn't be much of an issue anyway, particularly given the in-development state of FO.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:32 am 
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eleazar wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
IMHO its uncertain that there will be any problem with the "magical generation" approach, and i don't think anyone is arguing that an any of these more complicated methods of choosing where the population comes from will actually make the game more fun.

I am...

It's a potential balance and playstyle issue: If players can increase their empire's size and productivity much faster by magically generating population by building lots of colony ships instead of building other things and just letting planets grow, it might be strategically beneficial / necessary (or even more so than it would otherwise have been) to build nothing but colony ships for a long time at the start of a game, and to keep building them as much as possible until everywhere that can be colonized has been.

If instead population is very difficult to grow near the start of the game, it must be conserved, and migrating a significant amount of it to a new colony is a significant risk / investment, since the transplanted or colony-ship-transported colonists weren't free and actually reduced your productivity to transplant.

It *is* still uncertain though, and as ou say it might not be a problem. But, a non-magical method could be more fun.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:58 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
If instead population is very difficult to grow near the start of the game, it must be conserved, and migrating a significant amount of it to a new colony is a significant risk / investment, since the transplanted or colony-ship-transported colonists weren't free and actually reduced your productivity to transplant.

If colony ship founds colony with 0.01 population and to transport colonist is risky due to some travel accidents, there is no motivation to do this at the beginning(researching growth will be better). These travel accidents could be resolved by some tech research(refinements?).

In the beginning of colonization such as sea exploration(Columbus era) and space exploration it was always risky.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 4:40 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
It's a potential balance and playstyle issue: If players can increase their empire's size and productivity much faster by magically generating population by building lots of colony ships instead of building other things and just letting planets grow, it might be strategically beneficial / necessary (or even more so than it would otherwise have been) to build nothing but colony ships for a long time at the start of a game, and to keep building them as much as possible until everywhere that can be colonized has been.

Certainly it would be bad if the only good early-game strategy would be to build only colony ships, but i don't think that's a very likely scenario. There are lots of ways we could tweak the numbers (cost of colony ships, effectiveness of early colonies, etc.) to avoid this.

For instance, I thought the plan was to make new colonies generally unable to support themselves so that they required food from more established planets to survive and grow. Thus the amount of surplus food would be the limiting factor on new colony construction, weather or not the first bit of population is "magically generated" or not.


OndrejR wrote:
....and to transport colonist is risky due to some travel accidents, there is no motivation to do this at the beginning(researching growth will be better). These travel accidents could be resolved by some tech research(refinements?).

In the beginning of colonization such as sea exploration(Columbus era) and space exploration it was always risky.

When civ did a similar thing and gave triremes and X% chance of sinking when not adjacent to land, i found it very frustrating. I think it's generally a bad idea to make important, relatively rare, early-game items blow up randomly. That really increases the role of luck in an annoying way.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:36 pm 
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OndrejR wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
If instead population is very difficult to grow near the start of the game, it must be conserved, and migrating a significant amount of it to a new colony is a significant risk / investment, since the transplanted or colony-ship-transported colonists weren't free and actually reduced your productivity to transplant.

If colony ship founds colony with 0.01 population and to transport colonist is risky due to some travel accidents, there is no motivation to do this at the beginning(researching growth will be better). These travel accidents could be resolved by some tech research(refinements?).

In the beginning of colonization such as sea exploration(Columbus era) and space exploration it was always risky.

Whilst the idea of population loss aboard colony ships is interesting, I don't think this was what Geoff was talking about.

Rather the colonists themselves are a relatively precious resource, and permitting them to leave for a newly colonised world, implies a trade-off between long-term expansion and the opportunity cost from foregoing production, as they spend time idle on the colony ship/migrating and then actually produce less per head at the new colony.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
IMHO its uncertain that there will be any problem with the "magical generation" approach, and i don't think anyone is arguing that an any of these more complicated methods of choosing where the population comes from will actually make the game more fun.

I am...

It's a potential balance and playstyle issue: If players can increase their empire's size and productivity much faster by magically generating population by building lots of colony ships instead of building other things and just letting planets grow, it might be strategically beneficial / necessary (or even more so than it would otherwise have been) to build nothing but colony ships for a long time at the start of a game, and to keep building them as much as possible until everywhere that can be colonized has been.

I agree. In principle, I think it is folly to make limited population growth an important part of the game and then to have something that essentially breaks this rule. I appreciate that the effects of giving out free population could be ameliorated somewhat, but why try and cover up a fudge when you can avoid having to fudge in the first place? A good, powerful migration system would solve the problem, whilst being very desirable in it's own right for adding depth and interest to the game. Magically created population may suffice as an interim measure, but not as a 'finished' game.


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