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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 1:50 am 
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Probably some confusion, as my position on this is still fluid.

As it stand currently, meters are effiency. For each planet, # of cities * meter's effect = resources generated. Essentially, cities are population renamed, and the meter's effect is what use to be handled 100% by Focus.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 1:19 pm 
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Although I like the simplicity of population = infrastructure, it runs the risk of being too dull. It also means that the race with the biggest population growth modifier will be the fastest to develop. I think these things need to be separate; if I move a million Drektopians from Cygnus Alpha VII to Beta Aquilae III, yes, they'll all build houses, but they won't have highways, plumbing, electricity, industry, et cetera.

However, this is leaning towards a realism argument, so let's throw that approach aside for a moment. In terms of gameplay, this makes population the central piece of the game. This is pretty much how Civ/SMAC do it, though, but both Civ and SMAC have a lot more you can do with an individual city (planet for us) than we have right now. If we continue on the path we're on, then the most you can do with any individual planet is to make a few building choices to fill the slots, pick a focus, and then let it alone.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 3:30 pm 
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Aquitaine wrote:
If we continue on the path we're on, then the most you can do with any individual planet is to make a few building choices to fill the slots, pick a focus, and then let it alone.


Is that a bad thing considering the number of planets to manipulate at end game?

To recap, each planet has:

* The resource meters (Farming, Mining, etc. etc.) governing the number of resources generated per city/population unit
* Focus, which effects the resource meters
* Population
* Health meter (or Growth meter) governing the rate of growth
* Enviroment "meter" which effects Growth, Farming, and Happiness
* Happiness meter
* Control meter (or Security meter) anti-spy, anti-unrest, cost to change Focus
* Buildings, which among other things effects the various meters
* Infrastructure
* some sort of Infrastructure growth meter or build queue items

That's a lot of information per planet, and other people have proposed three times as many meters.

Combining infrastructure with pop doesn't have to destroy the all information contained by infrastructure. There could be (based on Happiness vs. Control perhaps) unruly cities/population units that eat Food but produce little or nothing. There could also be "cities" that no longer have much of a population: "Ruins" that produce nothing and don't eat food, but can quickly grow back into functioning parts of the planet economy. Unrest simulates not having enough Infra; Ruins simulate having too much (as in PC's biobomb idea). There could be a "third world" type class to to directly indicate lots of population without infrastructure--but personally I think Unrest covers that situation.

In addition, as in Civ/moo2, buildings represent a certain amount of infra. If there is an area-of-effect superfarm in the starsystem, a bonus to the Farm meter to nearby planets represents the RIO the empire recieves from completing an infra project.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 07, 2004 6:35 pm 
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Cutting out things we would both have/say in the same way

Quote:
To recap, each planet has:

* The resource meters (Farming, Mining, etc. etc.) governing the number of resources generated per city/population unit
* Focus, which effects the resource meters
* Population
* Infrastructure


In my model,

*Efficiency Meters: 1 per resource
*Focus: which affects the 'Max' of the Infrastructures
*Population+the 5 Infrastructures: (all in a Current and 'Max')

This is the one that we are different on an that just has to do with the idea of having 5 Infrastructures (and a Max for Infrastructure.. but we do need one for population)



Also among the Meters, they player really only needs to see 'Result' Meters (when one Influences another) so ones like 'Environment' are just in there for programming simplicity. (If they stick with multiplicative bonuses, otherwise every Meter must be known to reasonably calculate effects.)


Drek wrote:
Quote:
Aquitaine wrote:
If we continue on the path we're on, then the most you can do with any individual planet is to make a few building choices to fill the slots, pick a focus, and then let it alone.


Is that a bad thing considering the number of planets to manipulate at end game?


I should probably have this in the other thread, but this is why we should Not have building slots.. because that way they become one Other thing that every planet must get filled. Every Planet should simply have
1. Set The Focuses
2. (Possibly) Set some type of a Defense level
3. (Possibly) Set some type of a Specific Priority for Investment

The advantage of these settings is that they can be handled through a simple programming macromanagement that handles groups of worlds, or just as worlds are colonized.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2004 6:25 pm 
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Perhaps an alternative to Buildings would be "Ordinances" (or some other name that specificaly sugjests that the thing is not physical).

Organices change your metter settings but have a cost in money (or perhaps they just lower your Economic metter) and often have a negative effect on some metters as they raise a primary one.

Think of it as an OPTIONAL TERTIARY FOCUS or a Goverment Program, Their could be a limited number of "slots" just as was planned for buildings but my preference would be that you can initiate as many Ordanaces as you like but too many can ruin a planets productivity so the strategy is in putting the right combination of Ordinances on the right planets.

Ordanaces are Binary either ON or OFF, the default is off. you discover Ordinances with tecnology and new tecnologies can render old Ordinance opsolete (you get a better Ordinace or the old ordanaces benifits (not the penalties) become free to all your planets)

Examples:

Geneticaly Modified Crops: +2 Food, -1 Happyness
Training Grounds: Alows ground troop production, -1 Labor
Soma Pasification: +3 Happyness, -1 economy, -1 Science
Industrial Development: Incresses rate of Industrial Infastructure growth, -1 Labor


The effect of the Ordinace can build up over time (perhaps some of the Cities are converted to "do" the Ordinance rather then their normal function, it taks some time to convert though and some time to convert back to productive activity, a bit like Specialists in Civ but with a delay time). Or their could be a Budjet for each Ordinance that determines how quickly and forcfully it effects the planet.


For an even bolder idea we could fold the Major and Minor Focus of the planet into the Ordinance Idea. Basicaly each planet can have any combination of Ordinances acting upon it and they all effect the various metters for the planets. Some way would be needed to divide up resorce amoung a number of competing Ordinances perhaps a % scale for how much resorces to devote to each one. With a max of 3-5 different Ordinances for each planet.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 09, 2004 12:54 pm 
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Sorry to be flippant, but perhaps we should pick a name that's easier to type?

More relevantly, it seems as if th idea is headed off into complexity. If we have a wide variety of possible ordinances, implementable in any combination at each planet, each with variable benefits/costs which may be dependant on the nature of each planet, I'd suggest we are basically back to the Civ building paradigm, with many objects per location, with many of them being fairly no-brain decisions, but the remainder still making it a overwhelming headache late game.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 10, 2004 4:41 pm 
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The thing we are trying to avoid is to make the no brainer choices OVER AND OVER, its inevitable that they must be made ONCE but that should be it and after that you can forget about it and move on to more important stuff. Ordinances would work that way as well. Say you want a farming world, select that Focus or ordinaces that are apropriate to the worlds unique surcumstances. Say for example the world is low in fertility you would add the "hydroponic farming" Ordinance and the planet needs some defences so add "Citizens Militia" as well. As tecnology improves you dont have to repetedly return to the Planet and put the latest gadget into the Quee.

Think of it as a merger and middle ground between the "Focus only and no Buildings" position and the "limited building slots" proposals.

Another complementary idea. As a replacment to Major/Minor Focus we instead designating "City" units as belonging to a particular Focus. It would work just like Moo2 with the draging of Population units around. But with a few key differnces, to punish you for changing things the city dose not imediatly start perfoming its new function, it goes into a "reorienting" process lasting X number of turns (possibly depending on what the new orientation is and what the planets condistions are). And unlike Moo2 your not restricted to 3 bland areas like Agro, Indust, Sci. Rather you can add or remove them atwill up to some cap, each city then produces the desired comodities like food, Industry (now easily divided into types) ships, Science ect ect...

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 10:21 am 
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drek, looking over your "quick list of meters" first post, ( http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopi ... 2414#12414 ) I noticed that a lot of your non-resource meter values tend to depend on eachother or specific external influences.
drek wrote:
Health: Nutrients divided by population is the base [...] Esp. low and high health scores effect happiness

Enviroment: Enviroment vs. enviromental preference is the base of the enviroment meter. [...] Heavily effects Farming and Health. Minor effect on Happiness.

Happiness: Based on Government picks, heavily modified by enviroment, health.
This isn't necessarily bad, but there are a few issues that interdependent meters bring up...

-This breaks with the SMAC convention of each meter measuring an independent societal effect. In SMAC, if you had a low EFFIC, it didn't bleed over into your ECON score directly... you'd loose some of your extra income to inefficiencty, but this wasn't represented by changing the ECON score itself.

-It might be hard to balance interlocking effects. Changing one thing changes several others in different amounts, leading to unpredictable consequences.

-It would be very difficult to represent graphically, or for the player to understand, all of the interactions between various meters. The player needs to understand what's going on to make strategic decisions.

-Similarly, if a meter depends on an external factor, as in health on food supply, understanding how and knowing when it's changing would be difficult for the player. Instead, the heath meter could determine the severity and nature of the populace's reaction to food shortages. The meter value itself wouldn't need to directly depend on the external factor.

-If a meter exists primarily to measure an effect that influences several other meters, it might be better to do without the meter, and just adjust the other meters directly. (Example: environment meter)


Not bad points. I'd be interested to see how you'd spell out the meters.

For one thing, we could keep enviroment as it is in v.2, and just have the enviroment trait effect Health, Happiness.

I made Nutrients/Population=Health so that excess food would have a purpose: improving the growth of your population. We could keep food as it is in v.2, and just give famine some meter effects (Health -10, Happiness -10) plus reduce populatoin. But how then do we allow excess food to be consumed to improve Health?

BTW, working on an effects model that the programmers can live with. One of the requirements is that effects cannot be scripted--they must fall under well defined parameters.

Take a look at http://www.freeorion.org/wiki/index.php?title=Effects

If anyone has any bright ideas for the types of effects or conditions on effects they'd like to see now is the time to speak up...this will probably be decided and set in stone very soon. (ditto meters or alternatives to the meter idea)

Again, as a requirement from the programing team, effects cannot be terribly complex. Nothing that would require arbitrary code or scripting.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 5:37 pm 
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The SMAC model is a good base, I think.

Each soeciety meter has a specific and independent effect. They are measurements of the "end results" of the various specials, choices and effects that influence how your empire and planets work. They are the "output" meters, not the "input" states or used as intermediate calculation steps.

If a game state/object affects other meters, then it is not a meter itself, but is treated as a special (edit: specials are a kind of event). Example: "Nascent Colony" -> you don't have a "colony nascency" (or "infrastructure development") meter. You have a "Nascent Colony" special which affects the resource and social meters.

Note that a special directly affecting other meters doesn't preclude it from having other effects or properties that aren't measured as a bonus or penalty to a meter. Example: limiting what you can build at Nascent Colony (if not an effect of the production meter). Non-metered effects are generally "on/off" however, whereas metered effects have a range of "intensities", which are represented by the value of the meter.

Specials are conceptually not "meters" and don't have "levels" used or displayed in the same way to the player. A "Very Nascent Colony" special could become a "Somewhat Nascent Colony" could be come a "Almost Good-To-Go Colony", but these would be separate specials, and not measured as a meter.

Metered effects don't change meters. Non-metered effects can alter meters. Meters are control the behaviour of independent effects which have various "levels" of intensity, represented by the meter value. Events can have non-metered effects which are more "on/off" than metered effects. (edits)


Last edited by Geoff the Medio on Mon Jul 05, 2004 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 5:41 pm 
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drek wrote:
I made Nutrients/Population=Health so that excess food would have a purpose: improving the growth of your population. [...] But how then do we allow excess food to be consumed to improve Health?
We don't need excess food to improve health. The "Health" meter acts like the "growth" meter in SMAC -> it determines the effect on growth of having extra food. If your health is bad enough, then your colony won't grow, no matter how much extra food it has. (The exact algorithm doesn't need to be like SMAC)


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 6:02 pm 
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drek wrote:
Again, as a requirement from the programing team, effects cannot be terribly complex. Nothing that would require arbitrary code or scripting.


As I guideline for effects being not too complex, assume you have only access to current variables and the previous state of the modified variable (ex: if you need the delta of another variable, it's too complex).

People more involved could confirm/unconfirm/extend/clarify this guideline, but I think it sets reasonable and clear boundaries.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2004 7:34 pm 
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(deleted post contents)

see http://www.freeorion.org/forum/viewtopi ... 2744#12744

or, better yet, the v3_scratchpad or v0.3 design doc on the wiki, as appropriate.


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