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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 1:31 am 
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based on the discussion with Geoff, ive re-thought the apps/buildings i was working on and tried to scale them up a bit. i know have 20 apps-building pairs of a more wonderific nature, scattered fairly evenly through-out the tech tree. also there are 10 basic direct-effect apps with no buildings. 2 in each tree's first tier. i included a few of the samples and a couple of the ideas i got from looking at the other tech-tree threads from last year.

ill paste the excerpts from the eng_stringtable.txt for easy reading, but the xml ill just link - theyre too big.

the effects im keeping fairly simple for now. i dont think the effects and conditions are worked out enough yet to worry much about them. i gather the idea is to just get some apps and buildings in the tree and flesh out the effects after. in particular, im modifying the current values in some techs even though i know this is a no-no. currently i dont see any way to directly boost the development of any one resource. construction can be increased, but this applies equally to all meters. it might make more sense if the formula for meter growth had the max value as a factor.

i.e. instead of:
Meter Change = Current Construction / (10 + Current Resource Meter)
something like:
Meter Change = Current Construction / (10 + Current Resource Meter) * (Max Resource Meter - Current Resource Meter) / 50

so that raising the max value thru a building or app would have an immediate effect on growth. as it is however, where i intend to kickstart meters with low values, i use a plus to max, and a tiny plus to current, with an activation only on low values. the intention is to make the value rise more quickly to a minimum threshhold. im sure there will be a better way to do this later.

Quote:
CON_GRAVITY_WELLS
Controlled gravity wells

CON_GRAVITY_WELLS_DESC
To be able to turn a planet's gravity on or off like a light switch, but in a narrow well, would require a costly expedition to the planet core to install a massive null gravity generator. But how useful! Industry would have all the benefits of low-G and zero-G, without the drawbacks. And reverse gravity wells would make space launches cost practically nothing.

CON_MEGALITH
Megalith Construction

CON_MEGALITH_DESC
Mastering advanced orbital construction techniques, scientists create methods to enable construction of the awe inspiring Megalith.

CON_ORBITAL_FACT
Orbital Factories

CON_ORBITAL_FACT_DESC
Since all colonies begin in space, and raw materals are largely imported from off-world. it would seem absurd to abandon orbit, where the manufacturing work so badly needed for upstart colonies can be done more cheaply anyways. And yet this is just what colonists have been doing up until now. By equipping new colonies with pre-built orbital factory kits, we can help make use of the natural resource of low orbit.

CON_PLANET_RING
Planetary Ring

CON_PLANET_RING_DESC
A fantastic possibility. Space elevators are now a relatively modest task. We could place several in a ring around a world like spokes in a wheel, then connect them together by enormous chains of satelites and space stations, including the many already existing ones.

CON_SPACE_ELEVATOR
Space Elevator

CON_SPACE_ELEVATOR_DESC
The only way to fly. Dispense with the expensive, inefficient, and highly dangerous rocket launches to escape velocity. We can now build a massive elevator from the ground to low orbit.

CON_SUBTER_CONST
Subterranean Construction

CON_SUBTER_CONST_DESC
When space is at a premium, the holy grail of construction is the ability to build down as easily as up. Modern techniques can finally make this possible.

ECO_COLONIAL_ECO
Colonial Economic Blueprinting

ECO_COLONIAL_ECO_DESC
With advanced economic planning now a reality, the economy for an entire developing world can be blueprinted with the same precision as a physical building. Upstart markets can now tap into their raw potential for growth, without getting mired in the traditionally immature "wild frontier" mentality.

ECO_COMM_UNION
Commercial Union of the Colonies

ECO_COMM_UNION_DESC
A break-through in the application of economic spectroscopy, bio-memetics, digital psychology and advanced game theory, a research paper published by an unknown genius under the modest title of 'Economic Unity in the Colonial Age' has the potential to transform the empire's entire economy. All it needs is a little time--and a lot of funding.

ECO_DEEP_GREEN
Deep Green

ECO_DEEP_GREEN_DESC
The quantum fractal nature of the equations of economic spectroscopy make all but the relatively superficial analyses impractical for most markets. However a massive computer, designed from the ground up to handle the unusual algorithms, could supply the entire empire with economic foresight and stability.

ECO_ECO_ETHER
Economic Etherealization

ECO_ECO_ETHER_DESC
In the Exodus age of vast possiblities, it is regrettable that the economic systems of the world have been largely dragged kicking and screaming away from the old paper and pencil, trading floor mentality. It is time to dispense with out-dated, corporeal economic systems once and for all and transcend to a purer plane of digital information and virtual presence. This transition will boost the markets of all worlds, especially those largest.

ECO_PARADISE
Paradise Planet

ECO_PARADISE_DESC
This would be ultimate paradise, a planet-sized tourist resort. It would require converting the entire economic structure of a world, but the benefits to the empire would be far-reaching.

GRO_CADUCEAN
The Caducean Institute

GRO_CADUCEAN_DESC
An institute that is at once the greatest medical academy, and greatest center for treatment of disease, the Caducean Institute will supply the empire with the highest quality of health care for generations to come.

GRO_GENOME_BANK
Genome Bank

GRO_GENOME_BANK_DESC
The unkown variables in genomic calculations for our species remain severe for all but the simplest genetic repairs, not to mention the changes that a genetic modification can potentially have on the larger environment. To truly realize the benefits of genetic medicine, a massive genome database must be collected for all the species of the empire. It will be the single largest database ever constructed, a wonder to behold.

GRO_LIVING_PLANET
The Living Planet

GRO_LIVING_PLANET_DESC
If it were possible to completely understand the ecology of a single planet, and map out its entire web of interdependance, both sentient and non-sentient, a single computer program, run on a vast planet-spanning network could regulate the planet's entire biosphere. Besides furnishing the world with substantially increased farming and population growth, this Living Planet could be a huge boon to biological research throughout the empire.

GRO_ORBITAL_GARDENS
Orbital Gardens

GRO_ORBITAL_GARDENS_DESC
A marvel of engineering and design, the Orbital Gardens feature samples of flora gathered from throughout the known galaxy, each culitvated within the wide range of artificial environments re-created within this small artificial moon.

GRO_URBAN_FARM
Urban Farming

GRO_URBAN_FARM_DESC
On industrialized worlds, where arable land is rare to non-existent, the capability to produce food in hydroponic or aeroponic envioronments tightly packed into multi-storey buildings becomes critical to maintain food output.

GRO_WASTE_RESEQU
Waste Resequencing

GRO_WASTE_RESEQU_DESC
Farming on colonial worlds can seen an insurmountable task in the early going. By learning better how to genetically resequence a colonies own biological waste, the necessary nutrients can be cheaply produced locally, if somewhat unpleasantly.

LRN_COLLECTIVE_NET
Collective Thought Network

LRN_COLLECTIVE_NET_DESC
By transferring the mind into cyberspace, thousands of minds can act as one, solving problems and making breakthroughs that no single mind could.

LRN_DISTRIB_THOUGHT
Distributed Thought Computing

LRN_DISTRIB_THOUGHT_DESC
The average citizen literally wastes his mind away, one of the finest computing devices in the universe. By tapping into the idle brain cycles of a sufficiently large population through a network of simple cybernetic transceivers, the research centers of a world can gain access to cheap and plentiful raw computing power.

LRN_ENCLAVE_VOID
Enclave of the Void

LRN_ENCLAVE_VOID_DESC
Study of the Void Mind could be accelerated by genetically engineering the populace of an entire world to be attuned to the Void. This priestly class could transform the entire social structure of their world to better understand and channel the wisdom of the Void Mind to the entire empire.

LRN_EXODUS_EDUC
Exodus Education

LRN_EXODUS_EDUC_DESC
Since the brightest among our population are being drawn to the Exodus to the stars, now is the time to re-vamp our education system on the colonies. The traditional school systems are woefully inadequate for these adventurers. Education must be re-thought for the Exodus society. Learning is no longer limited to the classroom, neither to the young. A new era in education will help develop research among the younger colonies and their brilliant citizenry.

LRN_LOOKING_GLASS
The Looking Glass

LRN_LOOKING_GLASS_DESC
A window into Space-Time, the Looking Glass will be the ultimate museum. Instead of excavating the the ancient ruins of our ancestors, we can just open a window into time! Great leaders of the past will no longer be accessible only thru books and holo-vids. The citizenry of the entire empire will come flocking to see. And pay.

LRN_MONUMENT_EXODUS
Monument to Exodus

LRN_MONUMENT_EXODUS_DESC
The greatest of the worlds artists and engineers will be called together to produce a design for a fitting tribute to the accomplishments of our people, and usher in the Exodus Age.

LRN_PSICORP
PsiCorp

LRN_PSICORP_DESC
It is now possible to identify the nascent psionic abilites inherent in rare citizens through-out the empire. But to truly cultivate their gifts, it would be necessary to create an academy dedicated to psionics. Then a highly trained task-force of the Psi elite could be assigned to the empire's research projects as conduits and amplifiers for our greatests minds.

PRO_ART_BLACK_HOLE
Artifical Black Hole

PRO_ART_BLACK_HOLE_DESC
To carefully collapse a singularity in a distant solar orbit would be an incredibly useful thing. Expensive, yes. But imagine the benefit of a convenient located source of unlimited power.

PRO_EXOBOTS
Exobots

PRO_EXOBOTS_DESC
Exobots, as they become commonly known, are a marvel of form meets function. They are robots designed to fulfill nearly any manufacturing job, in fields as wide ranging as electronics to large-scale construction. Easily mass produced, they serve best on colonies that lack the infrastructure and work force to dedicate to specialized factories. Every colony receives a standard issue team of exobots, boosting their construction during the early development phase.

PRO_FUSION_PLANTS
Fusion Plants

PRO_FUSION_PLANTS_DESC
Fusion plants, while expensive to produce and maintain, easily pay for themselves on industrialized worlds with ever increasing power demands. Reliance on old fission based nuclear plants will gradually become a thing of the past.

PRO_HYPER_DAMN
Hyperspatial Damn

PRO_HYPER_DAMN_DESC
Once the greatest fear of N-dimensional physicists, now the noblest goal. To deliberately create a hyperspatial rift between our universe and the next, but inside a dimensional bubble, safely separate from our own space-time. Once this is accomplished, it would be a relatively simple matter to tap into the enormous flow of energy that would travel across the rift.

PRO_MINI_SUN
Miniature Sun

PRO_MINI_SUN_DESC
Domination of the night sky is within our grasp. A magnetically contained, self-perpetuating fusion reaction could be safely built and placed in coincident orbit above a planet's night facing hemisphere.

PRO_REMOTE_CONST
Remote Construction

PRO_REMOTE_CONST_DESC
Once matter becomes as transferable as data, why not build a network of matter 'servers'? Our colonies that lack the necessary infrastructure for large-scale construction could be shipped construction 'clients' that, in effect, download the materials and designs from a team of centrally located professionals.

BLD_GRAVITY_WELLS
Controlled gravity wells

BLD_GRAVITY_WELLS_DESC
Install a null gravity generator on a world, greatly boosting industry and commerce in the system.

BLD_MEGALITH
Megalith

BLD_MEGALITH_DESC
A marvel of Exodus-era Architecture, the Megalith is an abnormally massive Starscrapper, kilometers in diameter. The Megalith is an inspiration to architects sector-wide and is often the crown jewel of a powerful real estate mogul's empire.

BLD_PLANET_RING
Planetary Ring

BLD_PLANET_RING_DESC
A massive ring of satelites completely encircling a world, tethered to the planet by 12 space elevators around the equator. These are used for housing, micro-gravity construction and inter-world trade.

BLD_SPACE_ELEVATOR
Space Elevator

BLD_SPACE_ELEVATOR_DESC
An enormous and practically unbreakable line of cable tethered to a satelite in geo-stationary low orbit on one end, and a launch platform on the planet-bound end. The space elevator boosts the trade for the entire system.

BLD_COMM_UNION
Commercial Union of the Colonies

BLD_COMM_UNION_DESC
Establish the Commerical Union of the Colonies (CUC). The first empire to complete the CUC gains an empire wide bonus to trade on all worlds.

BLD_DEEP_GREEN
Deep Green

BLD_DEEP_GREEN_DESC
A central economic forecast computer used to boost all the markets in the empire.

BLD_PARADISE
Paradise Planet

BLD_PARADISE_DESC
Convert one world into the Paradise Planet, giving an enormous boost to trade and tourism in the region. This world may never exceed industrial or mining output greater than 30.

BLD_CADUCEAN
The Caducean Institute

BLD_CADUCEAN_DESC
A vast government operated medical academy and hospital, designed to serve the needs of the entire empire.

BLD_GENOME_BANK
Genome Bank

BLD_GENOME_BANK_DESC
The largest database ever conceived. The Genome Bank includes maps of the genomes of every organism known to the empire. This database is invaluable in the treatment of disease and in establishing farming colonies.

BLD_LIVING_PLANET
The Living Planet

BLD_LIVING_PLANET_DESC
Convert a planet into the Living Planet by way of a sentient, almost god-like, cell-based computer program. This planet will be known throughout the empire as a celebration of life and harmony. This world may never exceed industrial or mining output greater than 30.

BLD_ORBITAL_GARDENS
Orbital Gardens

BLD_ORBITAL_GARDENS_DESC
Construct the Orbital Gardens--an enormous moon-like satelite in orbit above a world. It will be a testament throughout the galaxy to your ability to harness your environment. Besides being an excellent tourist attraction, research conducted here helps boost farming on all worlds in your empire.

BLD_COLLECTIVE_NET
Collective Thought Network

BLD_COLLECTIVE_NET_DESC
By transferring the mind into cyberspace, thousands of minds can act as one, solving problems and making breakthroughs that no single mind could.

BLD_ENCLAVE_VOID
Enclave of the Void

BLD_ENCLAVE_VOID_DESC
Convert the population of an entire planet into a priest class, genetically attuned to the Void Mind and dedicated to channeling its wisdom to the empire. This world may never exceed industrial or mining output greater than 30.

BLD_LOOKING_GLASS
The Looking Glass

BLD_LOOKING_GLASS_DESC
Construct the Looking Glass, a space-time museum of galactic fame. Both tourism and science benefit from its exhibits.

BLD_MONUMENT_EXODUS
Monument to Exodus

BLD_MONUMENT_EXODUS_DESC
Construct the mighty Monument to Exodus, a massive orbiting sculpture visible from the ground and to passing ships. Your triumph over the starlanes will never be forgotten and your people will forever be emboldened to colonize new worlds. Increases population growth on all frontier worlds.

BLD_PSICORP
PsiCorp

BLD_PSICORP_DESC
Initiate the PsiCorp program and academy. Psionically gifted citizens throughout the colonies will be trained to develop their abilities to the benefit of the most advanced research programs of the empire.

BLD_ART_BLACK_HOLE
Artifical Black Hole

BLD_ART_BLACK_HOLE_DESC
A constructed singularity in a distant orbit in one system. Its power is harnessed to advance industry for all nearby worlds.

BLD_HYPER_DAMN
Hyperspatial Damn

BLD_HYPER_DAMN_DESC
A tear in the fabric of the universe, safely controlled and harnessed. The hyperspatial damn serves as a source of nearly unlimited energy for the entire sector.

BLD_MINI_SUN
Miniature Sun

BLD_MINI_SUN_DESC
A miniature sun keeps the night sky above the world perpetually twilit. Besides being good for morale, the fusion reactor serves as a convenient source of energy for all planets in the system.

BLD_REMOTE_CONST
Remote Construction

BLD_REMOTE_CONST_DESC
Build a central construction server. A team of construction workers and robots can assemble structures on distant worlds without the need for freighters or construction vessels. Only a small matter-terminal ship is needed. Quickly raises the industry on all worlds to that of an Established world.


the complete xml and strings file are here:
http://neocrat.com/freeorion/

there are no doubt lots of mistakes still. other than a quick proof, making sure the game loads them up ok and clicking around the tech tree to look for crashes, its hard to test much. ill try to go over them a little more carefully, but would like to get some feedback on the ones so far. someone could probably help sex up the names a bit too.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 2:39 am 
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Re: moxy's last post...

I'd test them myself right now... but FO has decided it doesn't want to link itself into an executable for me for uncertain reasons. If that gets fixed, or you can build the newest CVS version of FO yourself, we'll be able to test if they get built correctly and function as intended in-game.

The descriptions are pretty good stylistically. In a few cases the technobabble was a bit questionable... but then again, I wrote the Gravitonics description, so I probably shouldn't complain too much... though I want to.

That said, we could probably do without interjections like "A fantastic possibility." I'd like to maintain a certain... hauty aloofness (?) for lack of a better term, in the descriptions... Meaning keeping them "factual" and formal sounding, rather than opinionated or informal / conversational. (Though exceptions could be made for in-character quotations).

THAT said, Aquitane and Tyreth might disagree about all that, since they were somewhat keen on doing the text content writing in particular, and so problably have their own ideas about how it should sound...

One thing that shouldn't be too controversial is keeping the tense / context of the descriptions nonpersonal / indirect. In BLD_REMOTE_CONST_DESC, you start with "Build a central construction server" which doesn't really fit with the rest, which describe an object, rather than the act of building it, addressing the player, or trying to sound like a command the player would be giving if the building was ordered. If you follow what I mean...

In other issues, I'm a bit concerned about the general lack of negative consequences to most of these buildings though. A few have hard limits on certain resource meters, but it looks like most have nothing bad about them, other than cost and maintenance. This isn't really an issue now though... and might be contentious later, and will definitely need loads of balancing we can't even think about doing now.

Few or no negatives for techs with effects is probably alright in most cases, though.

As for the meter growth formula, it's been a while, but I believe the current meter growth rate was not tied to max meter values intentionally. Partly it's to make switching focus a big deal. If it takes a long time for your meters to regrow, then switching from a highly specialized focus to another specialized focus will be an expensive and lengthy process of meter regrowth. (Presumably we should make most of the good bonuses apply to focused planets only for this to work well). So we don't really want to have buildings make a specific meter grow faster... just making the max it can reach much higher is a significant bonus in of itself... At least in theory. How this all works in practice will be dependent on balancing.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 4:48 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
The descriptions are pretty good stylistically. In a few cases the technobabble was a bit questionable... but then again, I wrote the Gravitonics description, so I probably shouldn't complain too much... though I want to.

That said, we could probably do without interjections like "A fantastic possibility." I'd like to maintain a certain... hauty aloofness (?) for lack of a better term, in the descriptions... Meaning keeping them "factual" and formal sounding, rather than opinionated or informal / conversational. (Though exceptions could be made for in-character quotations).

THAT said, Aquitane and Tyreth might disagree about all that, since they were somewhat keen on doing the text content writing in particular, and so problably have their own ideas about how it should sound...

One thing that shouldn't be too controversial is keeping the tense / context of the descriptions nonpersonal / indirect. In BLD_REMOTE_CONST_DESC, you start with "Build a central construction server" which doesn't really fit with the rest, which describe an object, rather than the act of building it, addressing the player, or trying to sound like a command the player would be giving if the building was ordered. If you follow what I mean...

i dont mind if more creative minds want to play with the copy. i wasnt being strict with the tenses. i think i was loosely thinking of a conversational style, such as a chief govt scientific advisor might make to the heads of state behind closed doors. i actually kind of liked the SMAC style with quotes from people involved with the techs, but i didnt think FO could get away with being too similar.
Quote:
In other issues, I'm a bit concerned about the general lack of negative consequences to most of these buildings though. A few have hard limits on certain resource meters, but it looks like most have nothing bad about them, other than cost and maintenance. This isn't really an issue now though... and might be contentious later, and will definitely need loads of balancing we can't even think about doing now.

Few or no negatives for techs with effects is probably alright in most cases, though.

i know youre big on the positive/negative effects. as i said, i wasnt trying to flesh out the effects too much yet. i have all kinds of issues with the current state of conditions and effects. altho i like the idea of paying in one dept to gain in another, i like to think it over very carefully in each case. it can be easy to annoy the player to the point of frustration with too many. i think of it being like the govt choices in civ or smac that gave negatives, but these comprised a very small number of the total techs.

Quote:
As for the meter growth formula, it's been a while, but I believe the current meter growth rate was not tied to max meter values intentionally. Partly it's to make switching focus a big deal. If it takes a long time for your meters to regrow, then switching from a highly specialized focus to another specialized focus will be an expensive and lengthy process of meter regrowth. (Presumably we should make most of the good bonuses apply to focused planets only for this to work well). So we don't really want to have buildings make a specific meter grow faster... just making the max it can reach much higher is a significant bonus in of itself... At least in theory. How this all works in practice will be dependent on balancing.

well... switching focus should certainly be discouraged. and i can think of lots of sensible ways to do so. raising max is great sure, but im looking for ways to offer the player choices, and theyre simply arent enough right now. one early choice i was trying to look for was whether to focus on the homeworld, or on the first few colonies, playing a bit more of long game. about the only way i could see to easily do this was using a multiplier (slighlty favoring developed worlds) as opposed to an increment (slightly favoring frontier worlds.) and am i right in thinking theres currently no way to specify a focus-specific building? the <activation> clause only gets checked after the thing is built. i would expect a new root-level child in <building> called <canBeBuilt> or something.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 5:12 am 
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moxy wrote:
i think i was loosely thinking of a conversational style, such as a chief govt scientific advisor might make to the heads of state behind closed doors.

I tried to avoid any sort of 'role playing' in the tech descriptions... We can always add that later, and should probably decide on the relevant context before doing so. And it's easier to add some character's spin on a tech to the pre-existing purely factual text than to go the other way...

Quote:
i actually kind of liked the SMAC style with quotes from people involved with the techs, but i didnt think FO could get away with being too similar.

SMAC has quotes, but it also has a plain text factual fluff description.

(I'm not trying to make a big deal of this, lest you get that impression...)

Quote:
altho i like the idea of paying in one dept to gain in another, i like to think it over very carefully in each case. it can be easy to annoy the player to the point of frustration with too many. i think of it being like the govt choices in civ or smac that gave negatives, but these comprised a very small number of the total techs.

The general Civ / SMAC paradigm of always more buildings = always better is something I'd like to do specifically differently than other games. This should be good because it should make the player much less inclined to just keep building more buildings all the time wherever possible, so reduces the total number of buildings, and also it makes more tradeoffs and hard decisions to consider. Though yes, it will need to be done carefully to avoid too much frustration... though I suspect frustration won't be so much of an issue once the concept of picking and chosing buildings rather than just building them endlessly everywhere is fully entrenched into the game design.

And there was at least one explicit negative from a SMAC facility; a Genejack Factory increased drones at a base.

Quote:
... am i right in thinking theres currently no way to specify a focus-specific building? the <activation> clause only gets checked after the thing is built. i would expect a new root-level child in <building> called <canBeBuilt> or something.

AFAIK there's no build / location restrictions yet. It'll likely be implemented after v0.3, unless tzlaine has something up his sleeve...


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:03 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
(I'm not trying to make a big deal of this, lest you get that impression...)

not at all. i really hadnt put much thought into the style yet. but youre right. neutral is best to start and then later, something to add context and life, be it just a graphic or a bit of text, can be added.

Quote:
The general Civ / SMAC paradigm of always more buildings = always better is something I'd like to do specifically differently than other games. This should be good because it should make the player much less inclined to just keep building more buildings all the time wherever possible, so reduces the total number of buildings, and also it makes more tradeoffs and hard decisions to consider. Though yes, it will need to be done carefully to avoid too much frustration... though I suspect frustration won't be so much of an issue once the concept of picking and chosing buildings rather than just building them endlessly everywhere is fully entrenched into the game design.

this is quite interesting. i didnt quite get exactly what you were getting at. what you are aiming for seems like a different game paradigm. id have to really think about that before drawing any conclusions. as it turns out, the current effects models suits that idea much better. i was frustrated with not being able to do much but setMeter. its bad gameplay to just have a variety of buildings that just do different magnitudes of +setMeter. a combination of +/- would at least provide a greater variety.

i might even take another pass at the apps/bldg list to see if the desc's and effects can be tweaked slightly to fit that model more closely. i think the idea is direct-effect apps have modest general positives with no drawbacks, while buildings generally provide a combination of more specific, better positives with some negatives.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 12:37 am 
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moxy wrote:
as it turns out, the current effects models suits that idea much better. i was frustrated with not being able to do much but setMeter. its bad gameplay to just have a variety of buildings that just do different magnitudes of +setMeter. a combination of +/- would at least provide a greater variety.

The current set of possible effects and conditions is not a consequence of my preferred design paradigm... it's just the subset of ideas that me and drek had a year ago that tzlaine actually implemented in the effects system. I'm very much hoping that we'll get more effects and conditions later... and I've thrown up some ideas here:

http://www.freeorion.org/index.php/User ... re_Effects

Quote:
i think the idea is direct-effect apps have modest general positives with no drawbacks, while buildings generally provide a combination of more specific, better positives with some negatives.

That's my preference... Also, limited area-of-effect (ie. within X distance or on planets with Y environment / focus / size) conditions are good... both positive and negative, to make the decisions about where to place more difficult, and to make a single building have a multi-system relevance, rather than needing each system to have its own copy of each type of building. (Though this is a bit of a stop-gap measure for now, until later when we can hopefully limit the number of a particular building in the galaxy / empire or the distance between them).


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 6:19 pm 
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moxy wrote:
there are no doubt lots of mistakes still. other than a quick proof, making sure the game loads them up ok and clicking around the tech tree to look for crashes, its hard to test much. ill try to go over them a little more carefully, but would like to get some feedback on the ones so far.

I've gotten FO compiled and running again, and pasted in your XML and stringtables. There are definitely some errors with some of the buildings, but I'm not sure which ones, as the game crashes regardless of which building I click on in the production window... even ones that I know are fine (because they worked before I pasted the new ones in). I don't have time immediately to narrow things down (by trying each, one at a time), but I might get to that later. moxy, it'd probly be best if you could get FO compiled and running from CVS yourself, so you can actually test the buildings yourself...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:26 pm 
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ya, i was thwarted on my initial attempts and then got a copy of a recent build from tyreth and have been using that for testing the XML, intending to return to the compiling problems later. so in this build, i can see the apps in the tech tree and queue up the buildings, but nothing after that. i presume the current cvs trunk allows more than that with the buildings? ill take another crack at the source...

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 8:33 pm 
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Do you have a version with the production screen implemented? If so, you can queue up buildings just like techs, and then they'll be built and presumably their effects should work. If not, pm me an email address that can take ~5 MB of attachments, and I'll send you the .exes and GG DLLs I compiled this morning... (which I think is all you'll need if you've already got everything else from CVS)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2005 6:51 pm 
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I've corrected a couple errors in buildings.xml. Also gone thru the strings and made the tone and tense of buildings and techs more consistent with the style geoff started. also spell-corrected the whole thing. these are available here:
http://neocrat.com/freeorion/

should i be checking stuff in? id prefer that

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:44 am 
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I'd prefer you didn't commit anything just yet. I'd like to test stuff out to ensure that no buildings crash the game due to a problem with the XML (as opposed to a game engine crash bug that's not your fault that I haven't yet caught by testing with techs). However, I can't really do that testing right now, as there's a bug with the production queue...

As for the text, there are some stylistic and technical issues that I'd liked fixed due to my being a semi-perfectionist about that sort of thing, but realistically I won't be satisfied unless I rewrite everything myself, which isn't likely to and probably shouldn't happen.

Some stylistic tips though...

Try to avoid reusing a phrase or nonessential word in close proximity...

eg. "Space elevators are now a relatively modest task. It now becomes possible to undertake their natural extension."

The reuse of "now" is irksome to me.

I also prefer a slightly longer more flowing phrasing, joining sentences such as those with an "and" rather than separating them.

Regarding, "The combination of applications as diverse as economic spectroscopy, bio-mimetics, digital psychology and advanced game theory produce a shift in the paradigm of economic thinking. The means to organize economic markets orders of magnitude above any previously envisioned becomes possible."

It should be "produces a shift" and "become possible", as "The combination" is singular, and "The means" is plural, respectively.

Regarding "The final step in economic modernization is to dispense with out-dated, corporeal economic systems once and for all and transcend to a purer plane of digital information and virtual presence."

You have a (to me) irritating propensity to use filler phrases of no or little meaning in combination with powerful words in a way that says nothing while deflating the power of those words... That is, a) please don't throw around "transcend" or "paradigm shift" or other such words in just any tech description to fill space, and b) avoid excessive use of filler colloquialisms like "once and for all" or "not to mention", and c) don't use all-too-common phrases immediately before power words, as it weakens them.

Re: "The Paradise Planet is the ultimate tourist resort, a world whose entire economic structure has been converted to tourism and pleasure seeking. The benefits of such a planet would extend to the citizenry of distant worlds."

Don't change verb tense or aspect without purpose. The planet is, or the planet would be?

Similarly, don't switch up articles and pronouns... eg. are you talking about "the Orbital Gardens" hypothetically, or a specific instance of the gardens, which would be located on "this small moon" in particular, which you can point to?

And so on...

But please don't be offended or take the above to be overly harsh... It's meant to be constructive. And as I said, I'm a semi-perfectionist about this sort of thing, to a degree far more than is likely necessary, and in a specific manner that others might largely disagree with.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 3:15 pm 
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no offense. im a coder, not a copy-writer. but i enjoy a little writing--and i dont like sloppy wording either. and a lot of those glitches or repetitions i know are the result of tweaking the copy, without giving it as full a read afterwards as i would like. im hesitant to take another pass at it tho since youve said aquitaine or tyreth would probably rewrite it all anyways. in my mind its better to have a single creative mind control the copy anyways. maintaining creative consistency is more important than being technically perfect--one of the hardest things to do in OS software.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 7:29 pm 
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On a more practical note, there seems to be a lack of bonuses to the mining meter, which is part of the Production category (since Industry + Mining = Production)

It'd also be good to have a few more bonuses that depend on the focus of the planet. So if a planet has Mining focus, an area-of-effect building would give it a bonus to mining, but if it's balanced or some other non-mining specialized focus, it would not. You can also scale the bonus with focus, so primary mining focus gives +8, primary balanced +3, secondary mining +4 or somesuch. This makes the focus settings of planets still important, even after there are 10 different buildings all potentially increasing the max meters, and avoid all-in-one planets, which ave a bunch of bonuses to everything, eliminating the need for specialization. Ideally it should be better for the player to have 5 planets each double-specialized to a different resource than 5 planets all double-balanced focus, in terms of total production of each resource.

Edit:

For PsiCorp, you have

Code:
       <activation>
         <Condition::FocusType>
           <primary>1</primary>
           <FocusType>FOCUS_RESEARCH</FocusType>
         </Condition::FocusType>
       </activation>

The activation condition tests the source object, meaning the PsiCorp building itself. Unfortunately, it seems that the FocusType condition only tests the actual object being tested for the required FocusType, and not the planet on which it is located in the case of buildings. This is different from StarType, which matches objects in a system with a given colour star. In this case, since buildings don't have focus settings, this activation condition will never be met, rendering that effects group useless. I've emailed tzlaine to request a tweak to change this, but there's no guarantee he'll make it before v0.3... SO, you might want to rethink that activation condition.

[edit]tzlaine says this has been fixed.[/edit]


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