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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 10:29 pm 
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Space Kraken

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more money ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 1:52 pm 
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Well, supriese surprise, I'm with Krikkitone on this one. I won't object to money, just keep it really seperate from the other resources. If tehre's no way you can make another resource with money only it's ok.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 5:29 pm 
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Surprise again, another member of the "no money" camp (i.e. me) is happy with money so long as it's not possible to convert it into one of the other resources. Of course I suspect we will find it's rather pointless unless you can.

For the sake of completeness, I will however present the argument AGAINST money. Bear with me, this will be fairly long because I wanted to make it complete and coherent since then we will then be clear on exactly what we have agreed to when we (inevitable) say "'money' is in".

Money's primary purpose in most 4x games is to break game rules and upset and complicate game balancing. Why do I say this? Because the things that people expect to be able to do when you say the word "money" to them generally involve breaking or circumventing the game design.

Example one - rush building.

noelte wrote:
Stockpileing production doesn't feel right, all your industry can produce some amount of goods at a time. For instance, if building a ship needs 10 turns, you can't build that ship in one turn only because you stockpiled 9 turns of production.


I agree with this entirely, this would be a blatant breach of game rules relating to production rates and costs that have presumably been carefully worked out and balanced.

However, introduce money and nobody will bat an eyelid when someone adds a rule saying -

Quote:
If you have sufficient money available to purchase the ship outright, you may 'rush build' that ship in one turn
(a la Civ)

These two suggestions are essentially doing equivalent things, breaking the design limitations on production, yet one stands out as clearly dangerous, the other seems innocuous until you try to work out why the game is almost impossible to balance.

(equally how annoying is it to destroy the enemies last major production centre, only to have him buy a fleet of dreadnaughts out of a bunch of piddly little backwater planets and blast you to hell? And how totally against the ethos of a strategy game?)

Example two - Starvation

Plausible game rule "your food output must be at least one unit per population unit or starvation ensues"

reasoning "empires will not be able to expand too fast, empires that concentrate on production to build ships in the short term will find their long term growth hampered" or "taking out a few major farming worlds will allow a player to disrupt an enemy" or "races with lower food requirements or better farming techniques will be able to take advantage of this to expand faster or concentrate on something else" etc.

Probable result of introducing money into the game, somebody slips in the reasonable sounding "Excess food may be sold for money." or "players may buy food on the galactic market".

Either of these rules would completely blow the game balance choices which led to the food production rules in the first place, players could use money to evade the restrictions of food production, or take advantage of their races better food production rates simply to produce more money and so support more ships, gaining an advantage far greater then the designer envisaged.

Example three - trade

I want to buy something from you, but have nothing you want (e.g. We both have vast excesses of minerals, and I want some of your food). No matter, I just convert the things you don't want into money, then buy things from you with that. Anybody spot the problem with this?

The general point - resource planning.

N.b. this essentially comes down to "Why do we have the first four resources as separate resources?"

Without money - "you must build farms to get food, mines to get minerals, factories to allow production, research labs for research, building each of these takes time and investment, both directly in terms of resources and indirectly in terms of opportunity costs (i.e. all the things you haven't done whilst you've built them you could otherwise have done)"

result - strategic planning due to the carefully chosen, subtle interplay of the (limited) combinations of requirements for and costs of getting each resource.

Probable result of introducing money? Well, looking at these quotes:

powercrazy wrote:
It allows an intermediary between resources, gives players a baseline to judge whether their empire is growing or contracting


utilae wrote:
think we should have money. Because all resources could be converted to money and money could be converted to any of the resources ... So, even though it's an extra resource, money really takes away our need to manage the other resources.


I would suggest that introducing the word "money" into the game is likely to put us onto a slippery slope into ending up with ONE resource (i.e. money) and a whole heap of broken game mechanics.

Though I am reassured by several quotes like:

powercrazy wrote:
However we need to realize that money will be handled differntly than minerals or food or any of ther resources we will have. It will be used differently, produced differently, and treated differently. Thus it would be impossible to subsitute any other resource for money, at least the way its been in many previous games


(yes, I am aware I've use PowerCrazy on both sides of that point, consider it desmonstration that money means you need to be very careful you don't end up making with a result you never intended.)

So to sum up: I'm all for 'money', so long as you CANNOT CONVERT IT TO OR FROM ANY OTHER RESOURCE UNLESS THAT MECHANISM AND ITS IMPACT ON EVERY ASPECT OF THE GAME HAS BEEN THOUGHT THROUGH IN TRIPLICATE BY FOUR SEPARATE PEOPLE.

The only question I have left is: what are we going to use this kind of money for? looking at Aquitaines list:

These would be out:
    Hurrying production
    Buying another resource on the black market to prevent shortfall
These would be in:
    Paying spies
    Paying tribute
    Events (random or not)
And these would be debateable:
    Maintenance of fleets
    (possibly) maintenance of either buildings or special projects
    Trade agreements with other Empires


So is our resounding support for 'money' support for 'money as a fifth resource for paying for the weird stuff.' or support for 'money as a totally interconvertable intermediary'?



Added through editing (13-Apr-2004) to avoid breaking the one post only instruction:

@Aq: If we're not passing what we can/can't do with money, what are we passing? Whether the letters M O N E and Y will be allowed to appear in the resource file in that order :wink: ? If we don't at least try and define what we are agreeing to, surely the whole question is pointless. (i.e. "should we have blarknarf in the game?, we don't know what it is, but it sounds cool!").


Last edited by emrys on Tue Apr 13, 2004 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 6:34 pm 
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My support is for 'money as a fifth resource for paying for the weird stuff.' I have the same VERY STRONG objections to free conversion between resource types, for the same very strong reasons as emrys.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 7:51 pm 
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Just FYI, we are not passing ANY of the stipulations that people have brought up: that is to say, we aren't saying whether or not you can substitute money for another resource, whether or not you can rush building, etc.

Those are all seperate questions. We will pass 'rush building or not' and probably also the 'buy resources you lack' when we do buildings (soon).

Aq

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 8:14 pm 
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Well said, emrys.

I vote money as a separate resource with separate uses and production, just for familiarity sake.

I could easily live with no money. A resource is a resource, as long as the game mechanics are balanced.

If money or any resource is exchangeable for other resorces at all, it should be done like in the Heros of Might and Magic series. Trades should be at a huge loss with some gain for technology, trade agreements, trade buildings, (racial bonus?) etc. Even at maximized exchange benifits, there should still be a loss. You could then bail youself out of an emergency situation if the rest of your economy was solid. But it would be something to think about, because you couldn't convert back (without huge loss from two exchanges). This assumes we use a 'market' and not direct exchange. How to handle between two empires? We would need to think that through to ensure no loopholes. Maybe both parties get less in return for their resource, the loss just disappears to the middle men (broker's commission). I.E. player 1 gives 300 food for 150 gold and player 2 gives 300 gold for 150 food.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 6:52 pm 
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I vote money. Its intuitive (as has been said, realism is not a reason to do things, but being intuitive *can* be a reason) and its an elegant and simple solution to all of the 'problems' listed above.

Basically : i agree 100% with what Aq said.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:21 pm 
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I think we are going to have to have something which behaves like money any way you look at it, and IMO the only real issue here is what name we use for it.

I think it's pretty obvious that we should call money either "money" or "credits" and not "PP" or "minerals."

Energy could also work as a pseudonym for money, but I can see that potentially interfering with the tech tree. i.e. If energy = money then “matter to energy conversion” tech would be out of the question for this game.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 8:37 am 
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I like Money. I think in the area of trade it will simplify the process. I vote for Cash! :D

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 5:24 pm 
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Ablaze wrote:
I think we are going to have to have something which behaves like money any way you look at it, and IMO the only real issue here is what name we use for it.


What do you mean 'behaves like money'? No game I have Ever played had anything that behaved like money.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 6:35 pm 
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Space Kraken
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I am also for money.
Even if we dont discuss further termes yet, I must mentioned my reason to vote for that, otherwsie it is senesless, even if it is then not so in the game.
I agree that for money we should sell or buy ressources in our gigantic space marketplace.
Also a proposal of exchanging ressources should increase your money income.
We should use money for buying ressources, paying our spions or interact in special events (space traders offer you a special artefact for xxx money).
I dont want to see that you need money for the mainteance of your fleet or buildings (because this is maybe too complex and sometimes frustrating, even when it works like in civ3 or smac).

Just my 2 cents

EDIT: Of course hurry production should not be possible, because of the mentioned reasons


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 3:25 pm 
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Ok, it's official: money is in.

While we're all here, though (er, metaphorically...) let's figure out how to produce money. Judging from the (endless) discussion on this topic, I think everyone wants a fairly simple means of doing this. We don't have to decide now if we want to have 'hurry project' or 'black markets' - those are things that can be added later if and when we want them, and while I actually think that both of them have some merit myself, I'm going to go with the general tone of this review and table them for now.

My suggestion for producing money: make it a focus, like food, minerals, production, and research. Add a column to the table in the design document. I would call the focus 'trade,' personally. We could then also have a 'tax modifier' like MOO2 so your population produces focus * population * taxMod if we wanted a racial advantage or disadvantage with it (to be added later, of course).

Before we write this into the design doc, though, we need to formalize the expenses, since otherwise we'll just all be minting cash with nothing to spend it on. We can easily come up with some formula for fleet maintenance, and our next big design topic is buildings, so we can talk about it there, too; I mention it now just so people will start thinking about it.

That way, money is tied to your population

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 3:35 pm 
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I didn't like the idea that money becomes a focus. Changing focus is expected to remove buildings from the previews focus which don't fit into the new one. Second, you might want to >produce< money only for a short time, maybe you have a perfectly developed industry world and no need for big battle cruisers (which would need supplies).

I suggest >produceing< some luxury goods. I also like tax, which might generate some aditional effects (like happieness)

Ronald.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 4:28 pm 
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noelte wrote:
I suggest >produceing< some luxury goods. I also like tax, which might generate some aditional effects (like happieness)

Ronald.


Definitely not "producing some luxury goods" since that means that money is really stockpiled production and we are back to the start of the argument.

Money produced via a focus would fit with it's "fifth resource" status, or we could have it produced in addition to whatever focus you have, ideas might be:
Based simply on population or size of planet etc.;
on output of planet in some unified terms (would involve trying to quantify relative value of resources, which is probably a bad/silly thing.);
On output per head of population (productivity);
Based on building(s) constructed (i.e. making money building(s) outside the focus)

Personally I'm fine with the focus thing, but am worried about the "minimum size" worry that was brought up, i.e. if we have five focii you probably need at least five planets before you can become a serious empire, since you need to specialise in each resource. the primary and secondary focii and 'balanced' option would probably ameliorate this though.

noelte wrote:
I didn't like the idea that money becomes a focus. Changing focus is expected to remove buildings from the previews focus which don't fit into the new one. Second, you might want to >produce< money only for a short time, maybe you have a perfectly developed industry world and no need for big battle cruisers (which would need supplies).


I'm not sure this is a particularly big worry, you have to make decisions about your future needs and plan for them in this game for the other resources, after all it is a strategy game. I do see the worry that money may well have a narrower more occasional use than the other resources, so may be more difficult to plan ahead for.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:52 pm 
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The assumption that you need five planets to be self-sufficient doesn't seem to make sense - that's why we have the 'balanced' focus, and there's nothing that says we can't, say, have a primary industrial focus also make a decent amount of trade.

Even so, five planets in MOO is a pittance.

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