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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:21 pm 
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I've been playing with the different options to start new games.

I tried the low planet density options and I couldn't tell the difference from the medium
density option. I checked the file where it is defined and the difference is
between medium 70% chance of no planet in an orbit to high 77% chance of no planet in an orbit.
I changed it to 85% and got closer to the sparse galaxy that I was hoping for.
I might even change it to 90% and play a game.


The file is default/python/universe_generation/universe_tables.ps
The line to change is line 56.

I've posted a pull request #550 with the 85% number in case people want to try and comment on the change.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:00 pm 
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It doesn't massively effect the chance of a system having a planet, it reduces the number of planets in most systems.

I'd prefer not to make it even harder in this way (especially given the AI has problems with this sort of thing on the existing settings). I would be happier if we reduced the chance of a star in a given system, but only if we also ensured that all systems with stars (including black hole and neutron stars) include at least an asteroid belt if not more.

Deep space is one thing, empty stellar systems annoy me.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:28 pm 
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Most of the AIs fared well enough. All 8 reached and colonized the colonizable planets in their section of the galaxy.

I understand your point that in the real world most stars probably have enough debris to form a gas giant or two.
However, the label on the box says low planet density, so I expect low planet density realistic or not.

Part of my point is that with the steps high density 50%, medium density 70% and low density 77%,
the difference between low and medium density is imperceptible. If there is an option it should
make a game difference, even if it violates real world mechanics.

What I was trying to do was setup the game to be more difficult, by making the resource distribution
more sparse. This brings me toa second point un-related to my first point.

The website receives many reports from beginners. At a very rough cut they range between.
a. An experienced 4X player, who quickly and enjoyable figures out an optimal path through research tree
, understands that colonization is race and then complains that the AI is inadequate.
b. A novice to the genre who is over-whelmed by the learning curve, and has set themselves up for failure and frustration.
Some of these players don't read the Pedia, as they assume it just adds color and not critical information.

We need to clearly indicate to all players which options add difficulty.

dbenage's beginner's hints are a good thing, along these lines.

I have played some games that seemed to have a perfect learning curve. They introduced mechanics
just after I started to understand the first mechanic, but before I was bored. I think that some of
them cheated and detected some indicators of user frustration and used that to dial up/down the
difficulty.

Other games allow you to turn mechanics off and clearly indicate that these add difficulty.
We can't do that with most mechanics, except on the galaxy generation screen.

I was thinking a bar of presets across the top of the galaxy setup screen,
ranging from cakewalk (small galaxy, 1 passive AI, no specials of any kind, no fog of war) to the current defaults.
The intent is tutorialesque without have to write scenario code.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 8:24 pm 
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Medium
Code:
2016-03-20 20:06:58.747112 [debug] Server : Galaxy Setup Data:
2016-03-20 20:06:58.747128 [debug] Server : ...Seed: 0
2016-03-20 20:06:58.747143 [debug] Server : ...Size: 150
2016-03-20 20:06:58.747158 [debug] Server : ...Shape: disc
2016-03-20 20:06:58.747172 [debug] Server : ...Age: medium
2016-03-20 20:06:58.747186 [debug] Server : ...Starlane Frequency: medium
2016-03-20 20:06:58.747200 [debug] Server : ...Planet Density: medium
2016-03-20 20:06:58.747214 [debug] Server : ...Specials Frequency: medium
2016-03-20 20:06:58.747228 [debug] Server : ...Monster Frequency: medium
2016-03-20 20:06:58.747242 [debug] Server : ...Native Frequency: medium
2016-03-20 20:06:58.747258 [debug] Server : ...Max AI Aggression: maniacal


2016-03-20 20:07:00.842862 [debug] Server : ############################################################
2016-03-20 20:07:00.842955 [debug] Server : ##             Universe generation statistics             ##
2016-03-20 20:07:00.842970 [debug] Server : ############################################################
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843655 [debug] Server : Planet Count Distribution: planets_in_system | num_systems | % of systems
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843708 [debug] Server :           0  |    67 | 44.7%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843725 [debug] Server :           1  |    34 | 22.7%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843742 [debug] Server :           2  |    27 | 18.0%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843758 [debug] Server :           3  |    19 | 12.7%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843773 [debug] Server :           4  |     2 |  1.3%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843789 [debug] Server :           5  |     1 |  0.7%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843800 [debug] Server :
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843833 [debug] Server : Planet Size Distribution: size | count | % of planets
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843850 [debug] Server :       tiny         |    10 |  6.3%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843865 [debug] Server :       small        |    26 | 16.5%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843880 [debug] Server :       medium       |    54 | 34.2%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843895 [debug] Server :       large        |    14 |  8.9%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843909 [debug] Server :       huge         |     2 |  1.3%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843924 [debug] Server :       asteroids    |    26 | 16.5%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843938 [debug] Server :       gasGiant     |    26 | 16.5%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.843952 [debug] Server : ############################################################
2016-03-20 20:07:00.844324 [debug] Server : Planet Type Summary for a total of 158 placed planets
2016-03-20 20:07:00.844342 [debug] Server : swamp         8.9%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.844362 [debug] Server : toxic         7.6%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.844377 [debug] Server : inferno       7.0%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.844391 [debug] Server : radiated      7.0%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.844405 [debug] Server : barren       10.8%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.844419 [debug] Server : tundra        5.1%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.844433 [debug] Server : desert        8.9%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.844448 [debug] Server : terran        4.4%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.844462 [debug] Server : ocean         7.6%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.844476 [debug] Server : asteroids    16.5%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.844490 [debug] Server : gasGiant     16.5%
2016-03-20 20:07:00.844503 [debug] Server : ############################################################

Low:
Code:
2016-03-20 20:10:10.491829 [debug] Server : Galaxy Setup Data:
2016-03-20 20:10:10.491850 [debug] Server : ...Seed: 0
2016-03-20 20:10:10.491866 [debug] Server : ...Size: 150
2016-03-20 20:10:10.491881 [debug] Server : ...Shape: disc
2016-03-20 20:10:10.491896 [debug] Server : ...Age: medium
2016-03-20 20:10:10.491911 [debug] Server : ...Starlane Frequency: medium
2016-03-20 20:10:10.491926 [debug] Server : ...Planet Density: low
2016-03-20 20:10:10.491942 [debug] Server : ...Specials Frequency: medium
2016-03-20 20:10:10.491956 [debug] Server : ...Monster Frequency: medium
2016-03-20 20:10:10.491975 [debug] Server : ...Native Frequency: medium
2016-03-20 20:10:10.491989 [debug] Server : ...Max AI Aggression: maniacal


2016-03-20 20:10:12.488692 [debug] Server : ############################################################
2016-03-20 20:10:12.488712 [debug] Server : ##             Universe generation statistics             ##
2016-03-20 20:10:12.488726 [debug] Server : ############################################################
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489255 [debug] Server : Planet Count Distribution: planets_in_system | num_systems | % of systems
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489291 [debug] Server :           0  |    68 | 45.3%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489312 [debug] Server :           1  |    32 | 21.3%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489331 [debug] Server :           2  |    36 | 24.0%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489349 [debug] Server :           3  |    12 |  8.0%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489369 [debug] Server :           5  |     2 |  1.3%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489381 [debug] Server :
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489398 [debug] Server : Planet Size Distribution: size | count | % of planets
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489415 [debug] Server :       tiny         |     7 |  4.7%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489435 [debug] Server :       small        |    29 | 19.3%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489469 [debug] Server :       medium       |    58 | 38.7%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489489 [debug] Server :       large        |    10 |  6.7%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489506 [debug] Server :       huge         |     0 |  0.0%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489526 [debug] Server :       asteroids    |    19 | 12.7%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489544 [debug] Server :       gasGiant     |    27 | 18.0%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489562 [debug] Server : ############################################################
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489934 [debug] Server : Planet Type Summary for a total of 150 placed planets
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489957 [debug] Server : swamp         4.7%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489977 [debug] Server : toxic         6.7%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.489994 [debug] Server : inferno       5.3%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.490014 [debug] Server : radiated      8.0%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.490031 [debug] Server : barren       10.7%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.490050 [debug] Server : tundra        9.3%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.490067 [debug] Server : desert        8.0%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.490085 [debug] Server : terran        8.0%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.490102 [debug] Server : ocean         8.7%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.490120 [debug] Server : asteroids    12.7%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.490136 [debug] Server : gasGiant     18.0%
2016-03-20 20:10:12.490153 [debug] Server : ############################################################

The crucial difference being 45.3/21.3/24.0/8/0/1.3 for Low compared to 44.7/22.7/18.0/12.7/1.3/0.7 for medium giving differences of +0.6/-1.4/+6.0/-4.7/-1.3/+0.6

Obviously this is one simplistic test based on default settings, but it accords with my experience of playing.

You're looking at "Low Planets" as number of systems with planets in. I'm looking at Low Planets as being number of planets in any given system. We are thus comparing apples and oranges.

I would be very happy to see a different setting for %age of empty/deep space systems, which appears to be what you want. I play Low planets most of the time, Medium is too many for my preferences, and the AI does struggle with it more than with Medium (it's a lot better than it was a year or so ago).

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:27 pm 
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MatGB wrote:
The crucial difference being 45.3/21.3/24.0/8/0/1.3 for Low compared to 44.7/22.7/18.0/12.7/1.3/0.7 for medium giving differences of +0.6/-1.4/+6.0/-4.7/-1.3/+0.6

Obviously this is one simplistic test based on default settings, but it accords with my experience of playing.

You're looking at "Low Planets" as number of systems with planets in. I'm looking at Low Planets as being number of planets in any given system. We are thus comparing apples and oranges.
Comparing number of systems with planets in it and number of planets in any given system might be comparing apples with oranges. However, according to these numbers, even when looking at the number of planets in any given system the difference between low and medium seems to be marginal. I've calculated the total number of planets placed, and that gave me 150 planets on the low and 158 planets on the medium setting. I think the difference should be a bit more distinct. However, instead of reducing low even more, maybe consider raising medium a bit?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 10:53 pm 
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Possibly, yes. The difference was more pronounced when I jumped it up to 500 systems, and we ought to test with multiple seeds/shapes, I think the "low" results on seed zero are higher due to a random chance 5 planet system—which I didn't get at all on the 500 system test.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:43 pm 
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MatGB wrote:
we ought to test with multiple seeds/shapes
Yep, that's true. But I really don't have the time for that right now, and most likely not in the foreseeable future. My FO todo list has been skyrocketing for quite some time now, I don't even come anywhere near to "keeping up" currently... :(


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 2:18 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
MatGB wrote:
we ought to test with multiple seeds/shapes
Yep, that's true. But I really don't have the time for that right now, and most likely not in the foreseeable future. My FO todo list has been skyrocketing for quite some time now, I don't even come anywhere near to "keeping up" currently... :(

Yup, that's why I started that thread, I can basically find time to test others work or do my own, as we've lots of contributors these days, getting them to do work and testing it is more fun because I can play more.

What I'd like to see: a check in the generation code such that every planet placed has a star and every star placed has a planet (or at least asteroid belt), that removes some annoying inconsistencies and means "deep space" means empty, anything else is usable.

If we then have more deep space systems, I'm good with that as long as the AI can handle it, which they're OK at currently. However, that's way beyond me. If anyone else wants to script it, I'll be happy to run iterative tests.

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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 7:09 pm 
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Could it be possible to introduce a maxcap to the number of planets available into a single system?
If that is tight into the planet density setting, let's say on low no more than 2 planets per system (as an example), then the total number of planets available to the galaxy could maybe savely reduced a bit without the AI having to face some problems with bottleneck map placement (or several empty voids somewhere posing as natural barriers) because it would mean that the planets are dispersed more homogenous throughout the map.


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 1:22 pm 
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I think the better approach in general would be to have two separate settings: "Star System Density" and "Planet Density". The former determines the ratio of star systems versus empty deep space "systems", the latter determines the amount of planets in star systems. And all star systems will have at least one planet (or asteroid belt).

With that approach, you will have far more flexibility: you can have maps with a high number of empty deep space nodes and only a few star systems in between, but those few star systems that are there can still have a high number of planets - or vice versa: only few empty deep space nodes and many star systems, but only a very low number of planets per system.

This will also take care of the issue Mat has brought up repeatedly, having star systems without any planets, which can get annoying in later game (because you have to click on the system to see if there are any planets in it, and once you're dealing with many systems...). Although, to address that issue, we probably should add some visual indicator on the map if a system contains any planets or not.


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