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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 6:19 am 
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This discussion was split from the tech icons thread. There's probably a bit of mixed topics in some posts that belong in the other thread, but I don't feel like going through and editing every post.

I won't go into the off-topic details of name-changes I'm pondering, but the icon for the resource produced by trade meters should suggest social control, political power or influence, because those are what it really gives your empire, regardless of whether it's measured in dollars, leaves, credits or no specific unit; or whether it's expended as a salary or by manipulating the press or hive consciousness or popular media or with spies...

Perhaps a clenched fist or marionette bar and strings of some sort?


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 Post subject: Re: Tech Icons
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:12 pm 
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From what I can tell from Geoff's post taxes would be one of many instruments, not the goal. Say the government of A wants empire B to have a smaller military.

They could create an export tax throughout A on a vital rare component used for weapons.

They could buy that same component from civilian contractors in empire B at an inflated price.

In both cases its not about money its about control, I must say I am very intrigued at where Geoff is heading with this, trade/economics as an instrument of socio-political control could rather than increasing your income could be very fun :twisted:


I've been thinking about my proposal, and I'm not too sure it works (well it never did being too complicated), it looks more like a rebellion than control, ah well instincts, win some lose some.


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 Post subject: Re: Tech Icons
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:48 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
but the icon for the resource produced by trade meters should suggest social control, political power or influence, because those are what it really gives your empire...

That's one way to look at things, but it's not a distinguishing mark of trade/money. It could be said with equal validity that "research is about power and control, because those are what it really gives your empire..." Or substitute "Production".

We don't want to devise icons to represent a the most abstract and non-unique quality of the resource/category.

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 Post subject: Re: Tech Icons
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:24 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
but the icon for the resource produced by trade meters should suggest social control, political power or influence, because those are what it really gives your empire...

That's one way to look at things, but it's not a distinguishing mark of trade/money. It could be said with equal validity that "research is about power and control, because those are what it really gives your empire..." Or substitute "Production".

As long as a planet is under imperial control, it doesn't matter, for industry or research output, how much control or influence an empire has over its population's thought and opinions. If there aren't any factories or well-equipped research labs producing those resources, a very-obedient population will remain unproductive.

Influence / control would let you counteract or cause unhappiness, and intearct with / modify the factors that cause it, amongst other things.


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 Post subject: Re: Tech Icons
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 7:57 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
but the icon for the resource produced by trade meters should suggest social control, political power or influence, because those are what it really gives your empire...

That's one way to look at things, but it's not a distinguishing mark of trade/money. It could be said with equal validity that "research is about power and control, because those are what it really gives your empire..." Or substitute "Production".

As long as a planet is under imperial control, it doesn't matter, for industry or research output, how much control or influence an empire has over its population's thought and opinions. If there aren't any factories or well-equipped research labs producing those resources, a very-obedient population will remain unproductive.

Influence / control would let you counteract or cause unhappiness, and intearct with / modify the factors that cause it, amongst other things.

Either you have secretly decided that "trade" doesn't produce "money", but some sort of nebulous "social power" instead, (which should be presumably be mentioned) or i have no idea what you are talking about.

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 Post subject: Re: Tech Icons
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:15 pm 
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I must admit that Geoff's previous post confused the hell out of me but from his previous posts economics providing a "nebulous social power" sounds about right. It could be a lot of fun to play economics like the real governments do :) rather than just using it to make money.


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 Post subject: Re: Tech Icons
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 8:45 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Either you have secretly decided that "trade" doesn't produce "money", but some sort of nebulous "social power" instead, (which should be presumably be mentioned) or i have no idea what you are talking about.

I haven't decided that, but I'm leaning towards it, and was attempting to explain why it makes sense for trade / social power but not the research or production cases you brought up.

The government doesn't care whether it has 50 dollars or -50 trillion; it cares about whether it can convince people to sit in offices and fill out paperwork, to pick up a gun and shoot at the official bad people of the decade, or to not riot on the streets because the people are unhappy about what the paperwork says or what's being done or not doen to the bad people. "Money" can sometimes be used to convince people to do these things, but they could also be convinced by other means, such as media manipulation, infiltration of local community groups, etc. And socieities can / do exist that don't use any sort of "money" as a medium of exchange.


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 Post subject: Re: Tech Icons
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 9:48 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
Either you have secretly decided that "trade" doesn't produce "money", but some sort of nebulous "social power" instead, (which should be presumably be mentioned) or i have no idea what you are talking about.

I haven't decided that, but I'm leaning towards it, and was attempting to explain why it makes sense for trade / social power but not the research or production cases you brought up.

It would have saved a lot of trouble if you started out saying that.
Though i really don't see the point of revising icons to fit ideas that you are simply "leaning towards."

Geoff the Medio wrote:
The government doesn't care whether it has 50 dollars or -50 trillion; it cares about whether it can convince people to sit in offices and fill out paperwork...

Yes, "Control" is the end, and Money" is just one possible means to that end. The same is true of any "resource".


Geoff the Medio wrote:
And socieities can / do exist that don't use any sort of "money" as a medium of exchange.

Sure, but such societies are neither large, nor complex— if you use a broader definition of money:
    any good or token that functions as a medium of exchange that is generally accepted in payment for goods and services
But of course, human society man not be a sufficient model, for alien societies. It's hard to imaging that a hive-mind would use something like our modern money internally.
However it would still have a need for generally useful and valuable substances, corresponding to our precious metals, diamonds, oil, etc. So it's not that far fetched for a hive-mind entity to spend part of it's efforts on the collection/generation of stuff that outsiders would consider "money".
This scenario actually makes more sense that the idea that a hive-mind entity would need to exercise some sort of "social control" over it's members.

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 Post subject: Re: Tech Icons
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:26 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
...i really don't see the point of revising icons to fit ideas that you are simply "leaning towards."

How about "heavily leaning towards unless I see a good reason to do something else" ?

Quote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:
The government doesn't care whether it has 50 dollars or -50 trillion; it cares about whether it can convince people to sit in offices and fill out paperwork...

Yes, "Control" is the end, and Money" is just one possible means to that end. The same is true of any "resource".

"Control" is not the goal of mining, research, farming or production.

Quote:
Sure, but such societies are neither large, nor complex— if you use a broader definition of money:
    any good or token that functions as a medium of exchange that is generally accepted in payment for goods and services

That is the definition of money... what is it broader than?

And regardless, money defined that way isn't directly useful for convincing people to do things they are (vehemently) morally or culturally opposed to, or convincing them to change their moral or cultural beliefs.

Quote:
[A hive mind] would still have a need for generally useful and valuable substances, corresponding to our precious metals, diamonds, oil, etc. So it's not that far fetched for a hive-mind entity to spend part of it's efforts on the collection/generation of stuff that outsiders would consider "money".

Perhaps, but it wouldn't be "money" to the hive mind... That description sounds like strategic resources.

Quote:
This scenario actually makes more sense that the idea that a hive-mind entity would need to exercise some sort of "social control" over it's members.

Hive mind races will perhaps not be very susceptible to standard social control tools that the game makes available, then.


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 Post subject: Re: Tech Icons
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:30 pm 
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Since this is off topic and interesting, any mods want to split this off into its own thread?

Anyway hive minds and economic/social control: Chances are they'll be resistant to it since they don't have civilians you can manipulate*, but not immune because their economy won't exist in isolation, thanks to trade a network of dependencies and interdependencies would form to other empires who are not hive minds and thus you can do indirect manipulation.

For example you can spend 10 Currency per turn buying Flooberisers from the civilian companies that make them in your empire, that's above market price so you tend to get most of the stock. The hive mind a few systems over is building a large fleet of ships that need plenty of Flooberisers, they have a trade agreement with you so to increase supply they've been buying from your civilian companies, now that the stock is mostly gone it takes longer for them to build their fleet. Success for economic manipulation.

Thinking about this has given me an idea, what if the more you open your borders to trade with other empires the more vulnerable you become to economic manipulation but at the same time the more you trade the more money you get through various taxes and the plain economic benefit of free trade.

* That doesn't mean you can't directly influence the hive mind, it just means you have to do it by offering the player/AI a deal, rather than manipulating its civilian population behind its back.

P.S. eleazar you don't need to justify why a hive mind would have something equivalent to money on hand, just say that they didn't have money but soon after meeting alien empires they adopted the galactic standard currency (or one of them anyway) seeing the value in a commonly accepted medium of exchange. Any hive mind too alien to get its head round the concept is almost certainly too alien to be a normal playable species anyway (feel free to debate this point)


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:57 pm 
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Well there are four things here
1. what The "producing mechanism" of the rousource is called
2. what the resource is called
3. what the resource Does


# 3 I Definitely think should be social control either of your own population or others (this include hive-minds... the effects would just be different.

as for #2 and #1
Money/Dollars works fine for the name of the resource
I'd tend to avoid calling it 'Trade' though.. perhaps 'Economy'/'Economic' or 'Social'


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 Post subject: Re: Tech Icons
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:18 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
...i really don't see the point of revising icons to fit ideas that you are simply "leaning towards."

How about "heavily leaning towards unless I see a good reason to do something else" ?

I won't say you can't arbitrarily make whatever change you see fit, but should you choose to make a change without discussion or input, this is one of the more annoying and least constructive ways you could announce such a change. :? Your original post stated that you were simply considering changing the name of "trade," but apparently there's more involved, but from this thread it doesn't seem anyone has quite the same idea of what that may be.


How about you start over from the beginning and explain "What?" and "Why?"?

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 Post subject: Re: Tech Icons
PostPosted: Sun Mar 23, 2008 11:48 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Your original post stated that you were simply considering changing the name of "trade,"

The original post was (meant to be) about the name of and icon for "money", the resource produced by trade meters. It was not (meant to be) about "trade" itself.

What I'm proposing is that the trade meter should produce a resource called "social power" or "influence" instead of "money" or "credits".

There is no proposed change in how money / influence is used in-game. (This isn't saying much, since it currently isn't used in-game). In a story / fluff sense, everything an empire would otherwise have done with "money" would instead be done by expending "influence" over populations.

The rest of the previous posts is me trying to explain why the new proposal makes more sense from a realism standpoint. There's no gameplay difference.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:03 am 
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So I'm not changing the trade meter icon's picture? Damn.

Well I guess you can get back to me when you figure it out.

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 Post subject: Re: Tech Icons
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:31 am 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
The rest of the previous posts is me trying to explain why the new proposal makes more sense from a realism standpoint. There's no gameplay difference.


So we're not going to be able to stealthily influence other empires behind their backs by playing the markets? :( Or did you just mean that like money, social control is used for nothing _yet_ and once we get round to it all ideas are considered?


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