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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2004 11:06 pm 
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Cosmic Dragon
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drek wrote:
The word "Biology" is a bad idea, I think. It could apply to too many other game concepts, aside from farming, health, and population.

It should be Environment & Life Biology, which would include anything to do with the planets environment and those that live in the environment. It would cover a larger base. I think that if we have a category for farming and then one for growth, well we are just gonna end up with 20 categories.

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The word Research seems redundant, since it applies to any category: maybe "Secrets" or "Learning?"

It should be Information Collection & Analysis or something breifer that means the same thing. I would like to emphasize that this category would cover research, scouting and anything regarding the gathering and analysis of information.

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Materials is better than "Resources" since we often refer to all of the items produced by planets as resources.

This should just go into planet development or economics.

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Geoff: I dont see why you feel the word StateCraft is limited in that way, as far as I know it has a broad conotation (can anyone else back me up on this?). Were you alraedy familiar with the word and gave it a differnt conotation or are you just now learning of it and give it this conotation from "feel"?

I wonder how the player will know what this word means when they see it, let alone what it contains in the form of technology. Statecraft seems like it has now real boundaries of what it really covers.

Aquitaine wrote:
Personally, I think having categories with words like 'Sociology' or 'Biology' tells the player nothing. This line of thinking is based on the player going 'okay, so I want to develop micro-growth-organisms to enhance my farming, and that's going to be under microbiology, so...'

Really, the player is going to go 'want better farms. oh look, farming.'

I think if we have categories like farming, we will have too many categories. We need broader categories like Sociology. What would be in the farming category anyway, just things that increase the farming meter.

Aquitaine wrote:
Even if something in the farm / growth category has nothing to do with actual farming, it's a space opera. It's going to help the food meter. That's the kind of simplicity and non-realism I'm looking for here.

Seems too simple, to just increase the farming meter. And I am getting sick of the 'it's a space opera phrase", lol :).


Last edited by utilae on Tue Oct 05, 2004 3:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 1:27 am 
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Space Squid
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Okay, I'm a little fried from trying to go over this entire discussion in an hour, BUT I want to throw something in. (No, it's not a new list of categories =] )

I propose a criterion by which the categories be refined. The most important thing is to remember why we want categories in the first place.

guest wrote:
The tech categories, like file directories, exist to make things easy to find for the players. We shouldn't be quibbling over what fits into what category from the stance of "real" science and engineering.


Aquitaine wrote:
I think having categories with words like 'Sociology' or 'Biology' tells the player nothing. This line of thinking is based on the player going 'okay, so I want to develop micro-growth-organisms to enhance my farming, and that's going to be under microbiology, so...'

Really, the player is going to go 'want better farms. oh look, farming.'


I contend that the categories exist to define general tasks about an empire that the player wants to enhance. Examples:
"I want to blow the crap out of people better" -> Military
"I want my people to sustain their lives better" -> Farming or Bioengineering
"I want everyone to think my empire rocks and like me" -> Diplomacy
"I want my people to be crazy rich and have lotsa cool stuff" -> Economy
"I want my people to understand the universe" -> Theory or Math or Whatever


These aren't exhaustive and I'm also not suggesting we use these particular categories. What I DO suggest is that we choose a category scheme that can outline a general task or ideal for an empire.

This is why I have beef with categories like "Energy". I'm not convinced that powering your spacecraft, your shields, and your toaster is a unified task that a player really wants to have as a potential "focus". The applications are just too diverse.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 1:36 am 
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Space Squid
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While the above post isn't too original in thought, I wanted to say explicitly to see if there was general agreement.

I have another suggestion about tech methodologies that might also influence category selection.

A number of posts have pointed out real-life "cross-pollination" between scientific disciplines, as with the Vulcanized rubber, etc.

I think that we can do something interesting with task-focused categories and the theory-application model. I think liberally sprinkling theories around and then having them unlock multiple applications in other categories as well as their own is a good way to get cross-pollination. One effect, for good or ill, would be that players who only concentrate on very few categories don't get quite as many techs in their chosen categories but advance to higher techs more quickly.

If we don't want later techs to be better than early ones, though, this might be bad. (As I believe I saw mentioned in another thread or on the Wiki, but I can't find it now.)

Anyone else in favor of cross-pollination?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 11:35 am 
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How about top level categories named after the 4 X's:

(1) Explore: Sensors, Engines, Fuel, Computers, Research

(2) Expand : Colonisation, Terraforming, Farming, Population Growth, Population Happiness

(3) Exploit : Manufacturing, Mining etc - economy stuff in general.

(4) Exterminate : Ship Hulls, Armour, Troops, Weapons, Tactics etc

Its not much better or worse than any of the other groupings, but its a different twist on the 4x theme.

Theres a fair bit of play possible between categories, e.g. ship hulls could easily go into the Explore category.

Was thinking about adding a fifth, 'experience' related category, which could be used for things like pop happiness, religion, diplomacy, leaders, etc. But we all know how that turned out last time :wink: .

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 1:47 pm 
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Daveybaby wrote:
How about top level categories named after the 4 X's
[...]Its not much better or worse than any of the other groupings...
The plan is for 8-10... not 4.

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...but its a different twist on the 4x theme.
Isn't it what SMAC did?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 2:24 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
The plan is for 8-10... not 4.

Well most of the suggestions i've seen in this thread have had a grand total of 5 categories...

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Isn't it what SMAC did?

You may well be right... its been so many years since i played it that i cant actually remember. If youre correct then at least that would explain where i got the idea from :lol:

Edit : werent they given letters B,C,D,E - standing for Build, Conquer, Discover, Explore or something? Pretty close to the 4x's i guess.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 3:38 pm 
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Aquitain has desided on 5 Catagories for all non-military Tec stuff (that the first 3X's) and an as of yet indeterminate (though presumably it must be between 3-5 to keep with within 8-10 total) number for all Military stuff.

Were doing some Brainstorming on potential military Catagories if you want to look into thouse.

With the Catagories general outline and total numbers chossen the only thing thats realy open for debate (and I am hesitent to use the word) is the exact naming of these catagories for maximum understandability of function.

So for one last stab at it before I give this Thread a bonvoyag

Growth
Industry
Development
Goverment
Science

Personaly I prefer "Society" or "StateCraft" to Goverment as we are going to hace SMAC style "goverment" choices for the player (presumably the reserch that grants them is going to go in this catagory) and their could be confusion over this. Its my Philosophy that the game should never use the same word to describe 2 differnt things.

Growth sounds better to me because "Farming" sounds so utterly UN-Space Operaish. It sounds like it would make a great catagory for Cilization of some other such game with a medievil setting. I would prefer Biology because this sounds more Sci-Fi to my ears then anything else thus proposed. I think our intended audiance is smart enough to make the connection and giving them "Farming" as a catagory would just be insulting. Its possible to over do it with the KISS principle, for example would you find "Kill Stuff" an apropriate name for a military catagory when something like "Conquest" works just as well?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 4:28 pm 
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I'm going to lock this thread tomorrow morning before I head out of town and then review it again with Tyreth and the Design Team and come up with our preliminary list. I don't think there's any point to trying to get a consensus here, and this is also much more likely to change in the future than most things we do that way.

-Aq

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2004 6:58 pm 
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Daveybaby wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
The plan is for 8-10... not 4.

Well most of the suggestions i've seen in this thread have had a grand total of 5 categories...

If you read carefully, you'll note that the categories for this thread were limited to non-military stuff, and to exclude terraforming as well (later). The military stuff would be in addition to these ~5.

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Edit : werent they given letters B,C,D,E - standing for Build, Conquer, Discover, Explore or something? Pretty close to the 4x's i guess.

Yes.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2004 7:14 pm 
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The final list will be posted this weekend.

Thread locked.

-Aq

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