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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 12:26 am 
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Space Dragon
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Okay, so looking at this. I think I had intended to comment here a while back, but I got lost to the aethers.

Anyway I will say I like the idea of a single-step terraforming building. I also think it opens up a lot of possibilities. If terraforming was single step, didn't have to go trough the "wheel of habitability" and wasn't based on the environmental preference of a particular species there are a lot of things this opens up:
  • Easier adding or removing types of planets
  • More species with custom or special colonization profiles
  • Terraforming as a viable expansion strategy

My thoughts so far:
  1. It should stay a building
  2. Cost should be determined by planet type
  3. Time should be determined by planet size (make smaller planets better grabs)
  4. Should be buildable at outposts

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:48 am 
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Posted an initial PR of a single use building for discussion.

Current implementation utilizes special capacity over a new (in)stability meter.
Not that I do not favor the meter, this just seemed a quicker addition with some existing UI support (and prevents adding more parser conflicts with other PRs).

For a first pass, build cost was changed to: 200 * PlanetSize * Multiplier
Since distance from type was removed from that equation (currently will always be original type), build time changed to: 6 + PlanetSize

When the planet is terraformed to the next type, it is given an Unstable Environment special, with capacity = DistanceFromOriginal + PlanetSize.
The current effects of this special reduce the happiness, industry, and research of the planet to 80%.
Each turn, the building decreases the special capacity by one, removing it when depleted.
The environment is not changed while the planet contains the special.

Some feedback appreciated:
Should cost regain some increase for target type (dropping variable build time), or can this be better addressed through increased effects on special?
Is the duration between terraform changes too short, should it have some random aspect added?
I feel the current effects on the special are minimal, suggestions for other effects/increases welcome.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:45 pm 
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dbenage-cx wrote:
Some feedback appreciated ...
Haven't tested anything (don't have the time currently), but just from looking at the PR: apparently you kept the single terraforming building approach, the major change is that you no longer need to produce the building for each step, but only produce it once, and that one building will do all the terraforming until good environment is achieved. The second change is the Unstable Enviroment special, which adds some flavor and makes the process more interesting.

Which means two major issues remain: 1) Terraforming can only be done on full colonies, not outposts. So, unless you have a species that can survive on a planet, you can't terraform it (no "remote terraforming" possible). But that would be an essential feature if the terraforming approach should ever become a viable alternative to the growth techs approach. 2) The issues with special case species like the Exobots, which don't have a good environment, or if we ever had species that don't adhere to the evironment, remain.

Or do you plan to introduce separate terraforming buildings for each planet type in a later step?

Regarding the effects of the Unstable Environment special: I wouldn't reduce industry and research, but max pop instead.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 15, 2018 5:51 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
Or do you plan to introduce separate terraforming buildings for each planet type in a later step?

Regarding the effects of the Unstable Environment special: I wouldn't reduce industry and research, but max pop instead.
This and that.

Or, if I'm not misunderstanding too many things of the current game mechanics,

Make the minimum population of every outpost and colony 0.1 (or whatever), and use the same mechanics for outposts that for colonies so that outposts can actually have a species with associated population ¿meter?. Thus, you can outpost a Radiated planet with a Human outpost (or with a colony ship that would start losing pop as soon as it is deployed, so a waste of resources) and decide to build there an exobot colony (eliminating first the human population) or terraform it (towards the current species, that is human, so towards Terran). Colony building could be allowed in colonies with population less (or equal?) to 1, to allow its buildings in the outposts that would now be colonies, but maybe some new coding would be needed to actually remove the outpost species population when building a different species colony building.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:28 am 
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Thanks for feedback, I was thinking remote/outpost terraforming would be a separate PR/issue and admittedly had not given much thought on how to implement it.
If not added, I'll have at least a general plan for implementation of these while redesigning the existing terraform.

From other thread (and I need to re-read the entirety of both this and the other thread)
ovarwa wrote:
Maybe have terraforming happen automatically, based on infrastructure

I'm leaning towards this for colonized planets, only basing on stability (as meter) instead of infrastructure.
An option is to have some environment tilt meter to affect the direction of terraform, with low stability increasing the chances for a transformation.
A new building type would increase tilt value and lower stability each turn until target type is reached.
A new ship part type could work same as building type for populated allied planets, use ship species for unpopulated, and decrease tilt and stability for hostile populated.
Another new building type (or tech with considerations) could then provide an increase for stability, as a defense measure from hostile ships.

Quote:
2)The issues with special case species like the Exobots, which don't have a good environment

I do not follow what the issue here is, the initial implementation follows the species preferred environment, regardless if that environment is Good or otherwise.

Quote:
... or if we ever had species that don't adhere to the evironment.

Would have to see how such worked first, but I would expect if it is not affected by planet type then if the planet is terraformed or not is not of much concern.
If I misunderstand this part, could you elaborate?

Quote:
Regarding the effects of the Unstable Environment special: I wouldn't reduce industry and research, but max pop instead.

I tried some various approaches to this with an altered version of current implementation.
I found it difficult to determine a suitable range to adjust pop without causing a negative target pop and still present some malus.
It would be preferrable to have a bonus prior to transformation, but this suffers even more from determining what the final total might be.
When reworked, will use some pop adjustment, but will need to be mindful of cases like temporal anomaly or phototrophic species.

Quote:
Make the minimum population of every outpost and colony 0.1

In many cases the determination if an owned planet is an outpost or colony is if it has a population.
It could be beneficial to tag them in some manner, but does not sound like a trivial change, so I'd shy away from it for these purposes.
I would also prefer to have as few additions to producible items list as possible (I also do not like having a building for each planet type, but do not see a viable alternative without UI adjustments).

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:15 am 
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What about associating a species to the outpost? population 0, but with a species. Then, you can make the terraforming building to work towards the environment of the outpot's species and there's no need for the many buildings.
Although, 9 buildings is not too much compared to the many ones for the species in late game. An adjustment to the UI would address that too.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:20 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
What about associating a species to the outpost? population 0, but with a species. Then, you can make the terraforming building to work towards the environment of the outpot's species and there's no need for the many buildings.
Although, 9 buildings is not too much compared to the many ones for the species in late game. An adjustment to the UI would address that too.

Same as before - in many cases effects kick in iFF there is a species. There multiple formulations to check for outpost/colony right now.
I wanted once to unify those but wasnt sure about the small differences in the many formulations so i stopped.

Also I'm not completely sure that having species without population is possible ATM, but one could what happens by scripting. I totally would like to have outpost with species, maybe there could be intermediate level outpost types which give only some of the effects of a full-blown colony: garrison (full ground troop bonus), surveilance station (stealth and detection bonus),...

Anyway before we could move in that direction, in my opinion we would have to unify all those effects into a macro condition like COND_OUTPOST and COND_COLONY before.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:53 pm 
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Here is a derivation from some of the above ideas that I think might be workable:

A new colony ship part, "Terraforming Outpost Pod" which has a population capacity of 0.02 (or whatever is just above the threshold for the c++ backend to depopulate). When colonizing, the part would impose the ship species like normal and would also add a "Terraforming Outpost" building, which would regulate the population with the same kind of scripting (perhaps even using the same macros) as are used by the Concentration Camp and the Evacuation System. This Terraforming Outpost would keep the population level fixed, based on current Environment, until some target Environment is reached and the population is allowed to float normally (I'd propose Adequate, but could perhaps base off of the empires growth techs). Depending on how we priced the part, we might want to also have the Terraforming Outpost clamp the colony industry and research at zero like some of our other content does, probably clamping defense, shields and troops also, and it may or may not have the terraforming function built into it (though I think it should, both from an idea-cohesion standpoint and to keep the cost up to reduce the likelihood of these getting abused in some way). Once the target Environment is reached the Terraforming Outpost replaces itself with a regular Terraforming building (assuming the target is below Good and the species has a Good Environment) and you have a regular colony.

How does that sound so far, about how it would be used and the high level details of its operation?

As far as actually implementing it, having this building get created upon colonization, it looks like it gets a bit trickier. While waiting for feedback on that I have a couple ideas for how to work it that I'll think about more, one purely via scripting but it is a bit of a cudgel and I probably won't go that route, another is some modifications to the c++ colonization code to allow this kind of additional effect from a colonization part, which is an idea I like much better.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:06 pm 
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As a followup idea, which would be easier to implement and probably a bit more elegant-- instead of using special ship colonization parts, you'd have this generic Terraforming Outpost building which could be built at any outpost and which would have the above mentioned effects once the outpost gains a species.

Then you could just build a regular colony outpost and let the population get regulated by the terraforming outpost (just need to get the effect priorities right).

Or, this had come to mind first, but I'm not sure there is really a significant need for it, you could also have a new type of colony building, for each of the existing ones (generated by the same script, with all the same parameters except starting pop and cost, and an additional Location requirement that it could only be built at an outpost containing a Terraforming Outpost building), for creating a "Terraforming Staff" colony building. The cost could possibly be cheaper than a regular colony since you'd have to have already built the Terraforming Outpost which would regulate pop and keep the colony from being productive for a longer period than a normal colony.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:52 pm 
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Space Dragon
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Vezzra wrote:
Or do you plan to introduce separate terraforming buildings for each planet type in a later step?

I think this is actually the most concise solution. We already have a building for each type of species for them to colonize outposts without ships, so a building to remote terraform for each type of planet would also fit.

If we do go this rout there are still a few questions:
  • Do we want to restrict the player to having to terrafrom types for species they have the correct environmental preference for?
  • Do we want to differentiate terraforming for colonies and outposts?
  • If so, do we want to keep the old system for colonized planets?
  • If so, which should come first in technology?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:36 am 
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Can it get species from another building?

eg: I have a outposted barren world.
I start the terrarform outpost building, top of queue.
I start a chato colony building, bottom of the queue. (restricting down to only one colony building per planet to make sure it doesn't get confused with multiple colony buildings).

So based upon the species of the colony building the terraformer starts going, in this case towards chato pref: toxic.
Some time later I can shuffle chato in the build priority.

If you can do this, no additional buildings needed.

Very similar to what Dilvish is suggesting, but this would be getting species from enqueued but not built building.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:38 am 
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Gault.Drakkor wrote:
Can it get species from another building?
Building yes, item on the production queue, not directly. You could have a bunch of conditions that test individually for each colony building being enqueued, but there's no object to take a species property of or tag from for things that are enqueued but not yet existent in the universe.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:40 pm 
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labgnome wrote:
Vezzra wrote:
Or do you plan to introduce separate terraforming buildings for each planet type in a later step?
I think this is actually the most concise solution. We already have a building for each type of species for them to colonize outposts without ships, so a building to remote terraform for each type of planet would also fit.

If we do go this rout there are still a few questions:


  • Do we want to restrict the player to having to terraform types for species they have the correct environmental preference for?
    No. It is KISSer and I foresee no game balance/playability/unsatisfaction problem with it.
  • Do we want to differentiate terraforming for colonies and outposts?
    I guess we want to allow the terraforming of an already colonised towards an environment different of the good one for the current species (so that you can terraform in advance for a projected new species, say you are planning to get misiorla and want to terraform in advance some strategically located colonies for them). So no.
    Also, outposts could require more PPs for the same "intensity" of terraforming (i.e. same planet size and number of environment changes) because there is less local "workforce" and because its probably a planet that the objective species can't live on yet, so the living conditions are still rather harsh for the species. But I don't know if this improves any balance or playability so it might be a bad idea.
  • If so, do we want to keep the old system for colonized planets?
    I don't know.
    Nevertheless, the project itself (the mechanics: type of project, GUI, etc.) should be the same anyway, right? Only vary (if needed) the requirements and turns/cost, but for both colonies and outposts all the "terraform-to-<environment> buildings" should show up in the list.
  • If so, which should come first in technology?
    Interesting question. Simplest/easiest is both at the same time with the terraforming tech (again, maybe with different costs, greater for outposts).

This last question makes me think about redesigning terraforming techs. What about dividing it into three techs (to allow for up to 1, 2 or 4 environment wheel steps away from original environment) in a growth tech tree more independent of the other growth techs that increases population, to make a more clear choice between improving the species to fit in hostile environments and improving the environments to fit for the species that have to live on it.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:51 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
[list][*]Do we want to restrict the player to having to terraform types for species they have the correct environmental preference for?
No. It is KISSer and I foresee no game balance/playability/unsatisfaction problem with it.
Okay, so like with the species colony building on outposts, they should all be unlocked by a single tech.

Oberlus wrote:
[*]Do we want to differentiate terraforming for colonies and outposts?
I guess we want to allow the terraforming of an already colonised towards an environment different of the good one for the current species (so that you can terraform in advance for a projected new species, say you are planning to get misiorla and want to terraform in advance some strategically located colonies for them). So no.
Also, outposts could require more PPs for the same "intensity" of terraforming (i.e. same planet size and number of environment changes) because there is less local "workforce" and because its probably a planet that the objective species can't live on yet, so the living conditions are still rather harsh for the species. But I don't know if this improves any balance or playability so it might be a bad idea.
So the system I was thinking was costing more production points for "distance" from current type to targeted type, and taking more minimum time based on planet size. Maybe other cost additions or subtractions could be put in later, like increasing for the number of planets you have, or distance from nearest colony, or capitol or something else. However I don't think they would be necessary for initial implementation.

Oberlus wrote:
This last question makes me think about redesigning terraforming techs. What about dividing it into three techs (to allow for up to 1, 2 or 4 environment wheel steps away from original environment) in a growth tech tree more independent of the other growth techs that increases population, to make a more clear choice between improving the species to fit in hostile environments and improving the environments to fit for the species that have to live on it.
There has been a lot of talk about overhauling the tech tree. However I think this idea might be a bit over complex, for now anyways. I could see it as useful, but I don't think we would need it before rolling out the new terraforming to see how it works. It certainly is something to keep in mind for the future.

I will say that for thinking a couple of steps ahead, I actually do think that having the ability to terraform "away" from the preferred type has possibilities. :twisted: Namely I'm thinking to the show Defiance, and the fact that the aliens most destructive technology wasn't their weapons per-say, but the terraforming tech they brought with them. So a terraforming ship-part one or two steps down the road could be an interesting possible type of "planet killer" weapon.

I'm guessing form your replies we should probably just drop the old system altogether if we adopt this new one, which I would be fine with, as I think it could actually open doors. Namely I would like to play around with having a species or two with unique habitability profiles (which could be their "thing").

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:06 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
Make the minimum population of every outpost and colony 0.1 (or whatever), and use the same mechanics for outposts that for colonies so that outposts can actually have a species with associated population ¿meter?. ...
Or we could just have one type of terraforming building for each planet type, and avoid having to deal with all the complexity and issues introduced by making outposts basically low pop colonies.

BTW, orginally outposts have been exactly that, colonies with 0.01 pop (or something in that range). As that had a couple of issues, we changed that years ago and made outposts 0 pop and species-less.


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