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PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2004 10:55 pm 
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emrys wrote:
So what would be the point of theories under your proposal?


Cat further organizes theories/techs--the same reason why cats are used regardless we used my ideas or not.

Aq wrote:
I like the efficiency of funneling RP that your idea proposes, but I think it would be confusing to have categories that are, in fact, not categories, but techs themselves.


I also mentioned about theory refinement a few times before. If you don't like to research cat, you can apply my idea solely on the theory. Each "refinement" in theory will up the the level of that theory, which will lower the cost of all related apps and possibly spawn new theories. In every new theory, you pay x rp and y turns HOI deal.

So for instance, after you pay x rp and y turns for some light cruiser thoery which spawns some applications, you have the option to dump in your excessive rp back into light cruiser theory to refine it. When you do that, all the related application becomes cheaper and faster to research and light cruiser ups a level. In addition, you get heavy cruiser theory or the light cruiser theory tuns into heavy cruiser when you have all the prereqs.

You can also do the level thing as the prereq mechanism. So to get heavy cruiser tech, you may need z levels of theory either in x, y, and/or z distributed that best suite your path and our grand strategy. You can refine light cruiser several times to fulfill the z level if you wanted to.

I don't think the UI will be all that complicated. You click and you research the theory. You click again to up the level. You click on the same theory several more to spawn new theory and to lower the cost of apps. Remember you can do fancy non-static stuff like pop-ups, flashing texts, use color contrast, overlay, text scroll, text animation, some voice acting when your mouse points to that box...

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 12:23 pm 
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The question was, what would the point of theories (i.e. researchable things that don't provide any practical benefit) be in a system where the only thing required to unlock applications (researchable things with practical benefits) is e.g. "level 4 in category A, level 2 in category B", and where a "level" in a particular category is obtained by direct investment in a category (as a distinct object), rather than by researching the tree/chain of theories within that category.

If on the other hand we are simply talking about investing in a category as a whole to get improved research rate/costs for the theories/applications in that category, And the theories are still the main prerequisites for applications, then I see how they all coexist happily.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 12:44 pm 
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skdiw wrote:
So for instance, after you pay x rp and y turns for some light cruiser theory which spawns some applications, you have the option to dump in your excessive rp back into light cruiser theory to refine it. When you do that, all the related application becomes cheaper and faster to research and light cruiser ups a level. In addition, you get heavy cruiser theory or the light cruiser theory tuns into heavy cruiser when you have all the prereqs.

You can also do the level thing as the prereq mechanism. So to get heavy cruiser tech, you may need z levels of theory either in x, y, and/or z distributed that best suite your path and our grand strategy.


I think this is starting to get somewhere.

We would have a HOI style research in order to 'discover' tech, but a MOO style point collecting exercise in order to 'refine' a tech. This could be described as the difference between "science" (discovering stuff just takes time to reach a breakthorugh, no matter how much money you throw at it) and "engineering" (building slightly smaller, faster or cheaper versions is mostly a function of how much money you throw into trying out lots of different variations and different processes/materials.)

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You can refine light cruiser several times to fulfill the z level if you wanted to.


Presumably each level of refinement would be less cost effective than the last, making it a better idea to pick up all the requisite techs evenly, but of course you'd have to wait longer (from the HOI y turns element of new techs) than if you just dump RP into refining some of them to compensate for skipping others.

This seems to give offer a chance to get the appropriate balance between limiting the pace of progress up the tech tree, whilst giving research strong races some reward for their effort (the chance for a more focussed advance up the tree, or more refined tech at each stage of the same route upwards).


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 7:50 pm 
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oooooo.

I like that.

I'm postponing the public review on this until more of our team is back from the holidays, but we'll probably get this first bit taken care of in a couple weeks!

Aq

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 6:46 am 
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Looks like we came full circle.

We (myself, Skdiw, Emrys, utilae, krikkitone, powercrazy, and others) discussed these same conclusions last month in the Broad Structure thread Aquitaine started Dec.11.

Essentially, Theory research leads to further theories and applications OR refinements of existing applications can be made. Refinements would generally be limited in scope. Refinements could spawn new Theories/applications. All categories would be forced to be brought up evenly(not allow one cat to be researched exclusively). Certain levels of category must be fulfilled to spawn new theory,application/refinements.

The only thing I don't recall, was specifically discussing the allocation of excess RP, or for that matter the HOI relative pace of theory research.

I agree, I think we have good plan starting to develope.

Looking foward to discussing this more, once everyone is back from the holidays!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2004 11:56 am 
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Sandlapper wrote:
Looks like we came full circle.


Ah, yes, but then we'd only discovered the theory, now we've spent more research refining the theory :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 2:06 am 
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What?, I thought we were refining applications, not theories?? :wink:

Just kidding! :D , Yes there has been considerable progress made. What really helped me was finally seeing the HOI screenshots. This helped resolve the overall picture for me, and understand the pace concept.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:07 am 
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Can you post link to HOI screen shots? I have never heard of HOI until recently.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2004 3:34 pm 
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http://www.paradoxplaza.com.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2004 8:16 pm 
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Id also take a look at the Space empires IV (4) game this has a structured but expansive and moddible tech tree that works well - might generate some ideas for the free orion project.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 7:46 pm 
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Subjects in the two current game design threads on the tech tree will be going to public review sometime within the next week, at whcih point any seriously new ideas will be barred. So if you have anything to add, please do so now!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2004 8:35 pm 
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Not quite new but,

under the Current model, a race can't really get ahead (assuming 'Theory' projects would be ones that you would always have going, as fast as they reasonably could)

I think this is a good thing. This way a research + race doesn't have more advanced applications, they have more Refined applications (because their extra RPs can't get them more advanced theory, but it can get them more refinements they wouldn't get otherwise)

For more or less Creative races, I'd suggest changing the cost of applications (so for a

highly Creative Race, the applications are cheap, its the refinement that really costs them, so instead of refining one application until it is acceptable in all circumstances, they get get three applications that are each acceptable in different circumstances

Un Creative Race, the applications are expensive so they go for a few and try to refine them to the point where they are good enough in all circumstances. (overcompensating)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 1:20 pm 
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Just a clarification question, are you suggesting that we try and allow two independant choices about a race's research style, i.e. a split between research strong and weak (i.e. rate of research output) and a separate split between creative and focused (i.e. spend on many applications at simple level or a few highly refined ones)? The idea being that all four combinations are viable and distinctive.

I kind of like this idea, and agree it seems to be a fairly easy and natural result of the model as we seem to have so far.

I'd think a practical upshot of this we should think about is going to be the need to provide at (each/most) 'level' of research both a general, average all round tech for the uncreative or low output races to take (and several levels of refinement for it to cater for the high output uncreatives), and one or preferably more techs with more distinct coupled benefits and weaknesses, for the creative races to pick up, or the high output races to choose, though these would require less opportunities for refinement.

E.g. at the level of 'laser' we'll need something like 'standard laser', 'pulse laser' and 'cascade laser'. Pulse laser might have relative quality (i.e. size and cost versus damage and range) 5 on small ships and 2 on large, cascade the reverse, and standard is 4 at all sizes. A low research uncreative should go for standard, refine once and get standard at 5 at all sizes. A low research creative could pick up pulse and cascade unrefined and between them have 5 at all sizes, but more choices to make about strategy. A high research uncreative chooses standard and refines three times getting 7 at all sizes, and a high research creative picks up pulse and cascade, and chooses between refining at the small end the big end or both, to get either 5 and 10, 10 and 5, or 7 all round.

The high and low research races all make the leap to 'phasers' at about 15 quality at roughly the same time, so although strong research races are always ahead, they're only a bit ahead, and have to make that advantage count in other ways to really nail the game, rather than just sitting back and waiting for their tech lead to be unassailable.

We should probably also brainstorm about how obvious (if at all) we want to make it to the players that there are these preplanned "boring" and "risky" choices in the tech tree.

I think it's worth holding the idea of designing the system to intrinsically prevent 'running away with the game' in mind when we look at the details of other parts of the game, such as economics, military and diplomacy/spying. We should aim to design a game that means that even a large advantage in one aspect of the game is no guarantee of winning if you can't transfer that to the other aspects.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 3:50 pm 
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emrys wrote:
Just a clarification question, are you suggesting that we try and allow two independant choices about a race's research style, i.e. a split between research strong and weak (i.e. rate of research output) and a separate split between creative and focused (i.e. spend on many applications at simple level or a few highly refined ones)? The idea being that all four combinations are viable and distinctive.


Yeah that was my idea. partially out of Orion Tradition, and partially out of a sympathy with playing both fully creative and Uncreative races in MOO2 (wanting to have the full range at your disposal v. wanting to deal with an unusual hand)..

Although I don't think a 'standard tech' would be absolutely necessary. For example, one could have at a given level the two you mentioned and then uncreatives would have to choose one (and then build their ship strategy around that choice). A 'standard laser' Would be helpful for making the decision easier.

You would definitely need alternatives, but how many per level would depend on how fast levels are. If levels move by quickly enough, then you could refine lasers, skip fusion guns and wait until neutron guns to get your next weapon (where as a highly creative would research each one and refine it a little bit) On the other hand if levels take a long time, (at least 10 or more turns each) then you would definitely have to have several types of lasers, (and several types of 'economic techs' and several types of 'social techs' at each level) (ie some social techs better for a happiness+ peaceful trade, others better for spying and internal security... some 'economic' techs better for higly populated world others better for low population worlds..)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2004 8:01 pm 
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The creative/uncreative question (or any means of diversifying the research tree based on racial bonuses or penalties) is beyond the scope of the current question.

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