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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 9:58 am 
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Some thoughts from my last couple of games:

Industrial center
Not sure if it has been discussed before, but I think they should work as an AOE building, meaning that they only have an effect over a couple of starlane jumps. Say 3 jumps for the level 1 building, 5 for lvl 2, and 7 for lvl3. Only one industrial center would be allowed per empire, and if a IC is conquered, it is destroyed. That way placement of the industrial center (and setting the industry focus on worlds around it) becomes more of a strategic choice. Could be same for other production booster buildings.

Bombardement
Bombard ground troops instead of, or in addition to population. Diminishing the population of a colony you are about to conquer usually doesn't make sense, except if you're playing a xenophobic race, or if you want to make room for a different species. On the other hand, reducing ground troop numbers by bombarding can save troop ships and allow the player to conquer a colony even if he is short on troops.

UI to aim buildings
There is some buildings that could use an interface that allows them to be targeted. Examples are the stargate, the planetary star drive, the starlane bore techs, and of course the mythical big berta planetary gun...
Could be done by left-clicking buildings on the sidepanel, a colored frame around it signifies selection, then right-clicking a star system. Some icon shows the building has been set to a target. There is a right-click option to untarget the building.

UI for bombardement/blockade on the sidepanel
As an indication that the troop meter isn't growing etc..

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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 2:18 pm 
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Geoff had some ideas about having ICs be limited in some way so that they only affect X population or X planets, with a growth system that having 2 would give you more than twice the affect, I was always cautious about it but not opposed, I think it got put aside because it would require AI work and we never got back to it.

When I started ICs worked on a radius setup, which I never liked, I'm not sure about #of jumps, it could work and I'd been thinking similar for gas giant, solar and black hole generators but I also quite like for the IC that it's simply the "Industry Ministry" and you only need one to share knowledge of best practice, etc.

I was thinking about it for GGs because there are so many GG only systems and it would be an interesting use: Vezzra (I think) once proposed we have a stacking system for them so that once you've built enough all planets get the bonus which I do like but we'd need to reduce the bonus if we did that (which I'm thinking of anyway).

Definitely want a bombardmenet weapon that reduces troop numbers, it's been on my list of things to play with the scripts for for ages but I keep finding something more important. Being able to target specific buildings, or even a random one, would be quite cool but a balance pain: also currently there's little point, if you're in orbit you're going to invade, but if we get it that raids are more useful / long term viable (perhaps if Influence is spent absorbing worlds, etc)

And yes, a UI thing showing that troops aren't growing would be useful right now, experienced players know you can orbit a world and stop troop numbers growing (very useful for nearby Guardians in the early game) but it's not indicated in any way in the UI.

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 10:28 am 
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@MatGB, I think The Silent one meant UI for targetting an action from a building (like stargate), not UI to target a building during bombardment.

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 10:54 am 
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em3 wrote:
@MatGB, I think The Silent one meant UI for targetting an action from a building (like stargate), not UI to target a building during bombardment.
That's correct, thanks for clarifying.

I will do some work on the UI with regard to blockaded planets and put it up for discussion here hopefully later today.

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 11:54 am 
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Adding UI features that allow for selection of targets of various effects has been on the todo list for ages IIRC. If you're going to dig into this, I suggest not only focus on buildings, but to try and solve the problem on a more basic level: we currently can't script manually triggered effects. E.g. the Nova Bomb, for things like this currently we need to resort to awkward workarounds like those "trigger buildings" which cost 1PP.

Being able to define effects which can be manually triggered, and also being able to select targets for things like the Planetary Starlane Drive or the Starlane Bore would be a huge improvement.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 2:12 pm 
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Ah, yes, I did misunderstand, and agree completely: I loath the current stargate UI (and use it a lot), and there are other things I really can't stand, making the planetary beacon core part was another workaround that shouldn't have been needed.

At one point Big Joe was talking about introducing a system 'bombard' button for the Nova Bomb, that would also work for the Black Hole Collapser (which would need frantic balancing at that point, currently it's almost unusable but very cool, if we made it usable it'd be hideous), if anyone fancies coming up with a UI approach to all the currently scripted proofs of concept that need work that'd be awesome (but make sure the trigger mechanism is frlexible and documented because I foresee many uses not yet thought about).

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 6:04 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
..., I suggest not only focus on buildings, but to try and solve the problem on a more basic level: we currently can't script manually triggered effects. E.g. the Nova Bomb, for things like this currently we need to resort to awkward workarounds like those "trigger buildings" which cost 1PP.
Building targeting I think I could handle, the other is probably beyond my abilities and I would rather leave it to someone who will/can do it properly.

My ongoing work on the planet blockade UI is here:
https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/pull/1570

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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 1:12 pm 
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The Silent One wrote:
Building targeting I think I could handle, the other is probably beyond my abilities and I would rather leave it to someone who will/can do it properly.
Would doing building targetting only really be that much simpler? I mean, you can't just hardcode this, you need to make it scriptable, as the effects we're talking about here are all scripted. So you need to interface with FOCS anyway. And you probably need to provide the means so content scripters can define a scope condition specifying the set of allowed targets. E.g. the Starlane Bore should only be able to create starlanes that don't cross other starlanes, so the player should not be able to select systems for starlane creation where the resulting starlane would cross another one. Or the Planetary Starlane Drive should only be able to target neighbor systems.

Manual activation of effects also needs to be covered, as the desired effects only can activate when the player manually selects a target. That most likely will include manual activation without having to also select a target (as that's the more basic, simpler case).

At that level you already have to generalize your implementation to the point where I don't see how much more complicated extending the thing to include ship parts would be.

Or am I missing something...?


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 2:35 pm 
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I think the real hassle will be to provide means for selection of targetting source.

With building - that's simple. Buildings are listed on the system panel and could be clicked (double clicked? popup menu?).

With ship parts - that's a bit more complex. Maybe adding a popup menu for each ship that has at least one targetting part? Or maybe instead allow scripts to register additional actions on systems (like bombard, invade etc)?

While under the hood they can be governed by the same module - the ui implementation will probably differ.

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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 11:39 am 
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The Silent One wrote:
Industrial center
Not sure if it has been discussed before, but I think they should work as an AOE building, meaning that they only have an effect over a couple of starlane jumps. Say 3 jumps for the level 1 building, 5 for lvl 2, and 7 for lvl3. Only one industrial center would be allowed per empire, and if a IC is conquered, it is destroyed. That way placement of the industrial center (and setting the industry focus on worlds around it) becomes more of a strategic choice. Could be same for other production booster buildings.

The way I see it (and it fits the current implementation), ICs are not so much factories as the headquarters of a governmental or multinational agency in charge of industrial policy. For instance, both the UN and the WHO operate worldwide, yet they both have only one HQ based in NY and Geneva, respectively. And I like it like that, I think your proposed change would only add micromanagement without any obvious improvement in gameplay. Remember the KISS principle.
Quote:
Bombardement
Bombard ground troops instead of, or in addition to population. Diminishing the population of a colony you are about to conquer usually doesn't make sense

It at least makes sense historically, whether the conquerors wanted it or not. For instance, I don't believe the Allies in WW2 did want the French people any harm, yet the allied bombing campaigns in France during its reconquest from Nazi Germany did claim the lives of about 70,000 French civilians.


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 2:50 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
At that level you already have to generalize your implementation to the point where I don't see how much more complicated extending the thing to include ship parts would be.
Or am I missing something...?
No, I think I underestimated the impli-/complications of the whole thing. I'll need to mull it over, maybe spend some time on concepts.

Jaumito wrote:
The way I see it (and it fits the current implementation), ICs are not so much factories as the headquarters of a governmental or multinational agency in charge of industrial policy. For instance, both the UN and the WHO operate worldwide, yet they both have only one HQ based in NY and Geneva, respectively. And I like it like that, I think your proposed change would only add micromanagement without any obvious improvement in gameplay. Remember the KISS principle.
If I had a thing for tattoos, it'd probably be KISS ;)

...but I disagree about the micromanagement. Currently industrial centers don't add to the game. You research the tech and just build the IC somewhere where the enemy can't take it over too easily. No fun in that.
Making industrial centers local needs you to make an important and long-lasting decision (especially once we increase the cost for buildings) - which region of my empire would be suited best for industrial development (number of planets, resources, gas giants and asteroid belts present)? After you've made the decision, relocating the IC comes at a cost (rebuild PP price and loss of bonus for some turns while the new IC is being build). So there's a strategic decision.

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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 12:21 am 
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My thought on this is similar to some others in that it's more likely to negatively affect the AIs. The AI team will now have to add a whole new code section to evaluate and locate the Industrial Center. Which means that the humans will probably get further ahead because they'll learn it quickly and base decisions on prior knowledge.


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 1:18 am 
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defaultuser wrote:
My thought on this is similar to some others in that it's more likely to negatively affect the AIs. The AI team will now have to add a whole new code section to evaluate and locate the Industrial Center. Which means that the humans will probably get further ahead because they'll learn it quickly and base decisions on prior knowledge.
On a very short term basis the AI might be at a disadvantage, until we give it some handling, but I actually expect the kind of determination being discussed could be made at least as well by an AI as by a human and would really not be too difficult to code up. (The human would probably have an advantage assessing the relative security of a proposed location, but the AI might easily have an advantage assessing the relative value of the proposed location).

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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 8:01 am 
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The Silent One wrote:
...but I disagree about the micromanagement. Currently industrial centers don't add to the game. You research the tech and just build the IC somewhere where the enemy can't take it over too easily. No fun in that.

No fun? Why then stop at Industrial Centers, since there are other buildings that use the same mechanics? Should the CTN, Enclave of the Void, or Genome Bank made local too? Even less fun, (from a technical point of view) all the tech that give global bonuses without the "Unlock Building" part, implicitly assume you got for free a relevant "building" on your homeworld. Should that change too, to stay consistent with that logic? Sure, that would open lots of opportunities for "strategic" planning... but it'd also make the game a logistics nightmare.
Quote:
Making industrial centers local needs you to make an important and long-lasting decision (especially once we increase the cost for buildings) - which region of my empire would be suited best for industrial development (number of planets, resources, gas giants and asteroid belts present)? After you've made the decision, relocating the IC comes at a cost (rebuild PP price and loss of bonus for some turns while the new IC is being build). So there's a strategic decision.

What you call a strategic decision, I only call finetuning of your production output, and I can live without that extra bit of tuning. Unless it comes with a wizard tool that would give me all the relevant information about the expected production output changes as I hover the mouse pointer over a system. Still, I keep believing it's a bad idea, as I foresee that if relocatable buildings with a local area effect like that were implemented, players would end up relocating all their fat, productive planets in the same area instead. That would be really weird :lol:


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 11:33 am 
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Jaumito wrote:
Why then stop at Industrial Centers, since there are other buildings that use the same mechanics? Should the CTN, Enclave of the Void, or Genome Bank made local too?
Extending the AOE concept to other buildings, not necessarily all buildings, is worth a thought.

Jaumito wrote:
Even less fun, (from a technical point of view) all the tech that give global bonuses without the "Unlock Building" part, implicitly assume you got for free a relevant "building" on your homeworld. Should that change too, to stay consistent with that logic?
I don't think so; it's a different matter because there's no building involved. I have no problem with boni that are unlocked by research only; but if there is a building involved, then it should matter where to build it.

Jaumito wrote:
Still, I keep believing it's a bad idea, as I foresee that if relocatable buildings with a local area effect like that were implemented, players would end up relocating all their fat, productive planets in the same area instead. That would be really weird :lol:
In late-game, the IC's would have a much farther, on the highest refinement level maybe even unlimited range. That would make planet relocation unfeasible or even completely unnecessary.

The strategic decision(s) involved don't end with the placement and re-placement of the IC. If ICs are placed somewhere else than on the homeworld, because there is a different location where they generate more production, they become a priority target for hostile empires. While the homeworld, deep in the core of the hostile empire, may be too well defended, the heart of the enemy's production may be vulnerable for a strike and a good alternative, so to speak. Don't take on the enemy directly, cripple his production. Or his research.

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