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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 1:08 am 
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I would call it better trade, taxes or economy (the part that is not included in production).
And use the mechanics of detection (radars) to implement the effects or areas of influence, although it would need tinkering to make competing areas do not overlap.
If using the trade mechanics (I guess it is similar to PPs and RPs), does it mean pacific conquering of planets would not be supported by that influence meter?


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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 3:16 pm 
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It's more likely to be linked to supply over detection, I'm planning some work on the numbers for detection and the techs involved if they need to also be balanced for a new mechanic as well as for combat/strategy then it'll be a bigger headache.

As to what, exactly, Influence will and won't be used for over time, well, we don't fully know yet, but regular contributors to the forum tend to get a fair bit of input when they're constructive even if they're even worse at coding than me (this is, I'm told, possible), so if it's something that someone specs out and argues for convincingly enough then it'll probably be considered if possible.

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PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 6:57 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
Isn't influence something about cultures (societies) absorbing/being absorbed by other cultures, as in GalCiv2?
No, our idea/concept of "Influence" is very different from GalCiv2. It is going to be much more general, encompassing more than just the ability to influence other empires/species/cultures. There is a thread on our Top Priority Game Design forum which is dedicated to the topic of the planned Influence and Happiness game mechanics. See this post where I tried to come up with some kind of definition of what I think "Influence" should be. To quote the core definition:
Vezzra wrote:
"Influence" represents an abstraction of several concepts/aspects that make up what maybe can be called the "exertion of power", in a very broad sense. It subsumes all the resources, efforts, structures, organizations you need to govern, adminstrate, organize your empire and everything within it, to influence your citizens (propaganda, policing, etc.) and other empires (the entire diplomacy thing as well as intelligence, espionage, sabotage etc.).
You're welcome to join into that discussion, however, if you intend to do so, I strongly recommend to read through the entire "Influence and Happiness, V2" thread. I know it has grown quite large, but it's necessary to get you up to speed.
Oberlus wrote:
I don't know how the influence of my empire can fill up my fuel tanks, keep ships on shape or pay the wages of the soldiers.
To expand on what Geoff already said: Influence doesn't fill your tanks or keeps your ships in shape. These concepts are covered/abstracted by the supply mechanic (a very obvious application of that concept is the weapon upgrade mechanic). If we decide to pay upkeep for ships with influence, the idea is that these influence costs represent the resources, efforts, personnel, infrastructure required to administrate/coordinate/etc. your space navy (which includes e.g. training and paying your crews, to express this in human concepts, so yes, influence does pay your soldiers).
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If you tie up the costs of a huge fleet to having huge (cultural?) influence, you will be asking players to always go for both "strategic" lines that will be just one, it would make no sense to go for only one of them.
On the contrary, as both draw from the same resource, they actually compete for it. If you have a huge fleet, it will use up a lot of influence, which will leave you with less "influence points" (IP) available for influence projects (there will be all kinds of these, what you call "cultural influence" is going to be part of that). Meaning, it will be very difficult/almost impossible to maximize both - you'll have to decide if you go for a strategy that focuses on diplomacy and "cultural influence", or military conquest.


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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 12:50 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
Oberlus wrote:
Isn't influence something about cultures (societies) absorbing/being absorbed by other cultures, as in GalCiv2?
No, our idea/concept of "Influence" is very different from GalCiv2. It is going to be much more general, encompassing more than just the ability to influence other empires/species/cultures. There is a thread on our Top Priority Game Design forum which is dedicated to the topic of the planned Influence and Happiness game mechanics. See this post where I tried to come up with some kind of definition of what I think "Influence" should be. To quote the core definition:
Vezzra wrote:
"Influence" represents an abstraction of several concepts/aspects that make up what maybe can be called the "exertion of power", in a very broad sense. It subsumes all the resources, efforts, structures, organizations you need to govern, adminstrate, organize your empire and everything within it, to influence your citizens (propaganda, policing, etc.) and other empires (the entire diplomacy thing as well as intelligence, espionage, sabotage etc.).
You're welcome to join into that discussion, however, if you intend to do so, I strongly recommend to read through the entire "Influence and Happiness, V2" thread. I know it has grown quite large, but it's necessary to get you up to speed.
Oberlus wrote:
I don't know how the influence of my empire can fill up my fuel tanks, keep ships on shape or pay the wages of the soldiers.
To expand on what Geoff already said: Influence doesn't fill your tanks or keeps your ships in shape. These concepts are covered/abstracted by the supply mechanic (a very obvious application of that concept is the weapon upgrade mechanic). If we decide to pay upkeep for ships with influence, the idea is that these influence costs represent the resources, efforts, personnel, infrastructure required to administrate/coordinate/etc. your space navy (which includes e.g. training and paying your crews, to express this in human concepts, so yes, influence does pay your soldiers).
Quote:
If you tie up the costs of a huge fleet to having huge (cultural?) influence, you will be asking players to always go for both "strategic" lines that will be just one, it would make no sense to go for only one of them.
On the contrary, as both draw from the same resource, they actually compete for it. If you have a huge fleet, it will use up a lot of influence, which will leave you with less "influence points" (IP) available for influence projects (there will be all kinds of these, what you call "cultural influence" is going to be part of that). Meaning, it will be very difficult/almost impossible to maximize both - you'll have to decide if you go for a strategy that focuses on diplomacy and "cultural influence", or military conquest.


Also if influence pays ship upkeep, it provides an easy answer to what happens when you don't pay upkeep...desertion, the ships just leave. (become pirates/defect to other empires, etc.)


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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 1:04 pm 
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Krikkitone wrote:
Also if influence pays ship upkeep, it provides an easy answer to what happens when you don't pay upkeep...desertion, the ships just leave. (become pirates/defect to other empires, etc.)
Exactly. Also, it gives a good explanation to allows for some delay before the consequences of not paying upkeep hit: crews won't start to desert/riot if they don't get paid immediately, but if that condition persists, you're going to be in big trouble. Far better than those mechanics where your assets evaporate the moment you can't pay maintenance just because an important industrial system has been cut off for only one or two turns...


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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 2:19 pm 
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I definitely want pirates added to the game. So many ideas there,s o little time...

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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 7:39 pm 
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Vezzra, now I like that Influence concep. Thank you very much for tose points (now I can stop reading the other thread).
I guess my main problem is with the etimology of the word (influence: the power to produce effects by indirect means, or the power to persuade, or to obtain advantages due to one's status, rank, etc.:). I would like it better if you call it Economy (the management of the resources of a community, country, etc., esp. with a view to its productivity). Anyhow, this beautiful concept you guys have designed seems to be perfect for Fleet Upkeep as well as other sources of economic expenditures (in the sense of management of resources, not money per se).


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 12:31 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
I guess my main problem is with the etimology of the word (influence: the power to produce effects by indirect means, or the power to persuade, or to obtain advantages due to one's status, rank, etc.:). I would like it better if you call it Economy (the management of the resources of a community, country, etc., esp. with a view to its productivity).
TBH, it's quite hard to come up with a good term that's equally satisfying for everyone. "Economy" is, for my taste, a bit to narrow, as this new resource is also supposed to pay for diplomatic actions, intelligence operations (espionage and sabotage), covers concepts like propaganda etc. "Influence" has been agreed upon as to come closest to what that entire thing is supposed to cover - making people/persons/citizens of your empire (or other empires) do things (although that's probably also a bit too narrow, you can see the difficulty ;)).

"Money", as we use it in our world, is basically one of the means to make people do things, if you want to look at it this way. Or, more generally speaking, an "economy" is basically one of the (possible) systems that ensures the "people" of a "society" do things in an organized way. What concepts such as an "economy", "people" and a "society" are is probably vastly different for us humans, or species as alien as sentient plants, living rocks, ethereal energy based entities, smart dust, etc.

Others might feel that other terms fit the bill better, and that's totally ok. When you try to abstract and generalize on such a level, it's probably impossible to come up with the ultimate term. But we have to settle for something, and "influence" has been the consensus.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 12:43 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
"Economy" is, for my taste, a bit to narrow, as this new resource is also supposed to pay for diplomatic actions, intelligence operations (espionage and sabotage), covers concepts like propaganda etc.
Additionally, or perhaps more so, "economy", or even "money", presume a society that needs to exchange goods and services with itself in a way that may be totally irrelevant for some / many of the species (eg. Beige Goo, George). The means by which an empire enacts its power to influence others may include them having a "good economy", a "bad economy", or no "economy", as appropriate.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 2:15 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Vezzra wrote:
"Economy" is, for my taste, a bit to narrow, as this new resource is also supposed to pay for diplomatic actions, intelligence operations (espionage and sabotage), covers concepts like propaganda etc.
Additionally, or perhaps more so, "economy", or even "money", presume a society that needs to exchange goods and services with itself in a way that may be totally irrelevant for some / many of the species (eg. Beige Goo, George). The means by which an empire enacts its power to influence others may include them having a "good economy", a "bad economy", or no "economy", as appropriate.

Or indeed variant human cultures: the Inca didn't use money, for example, and until Smallpox were pretty succesful. Just finished Charles Stross's Nightmare Stacks, there's a nice description in there of the culture shock of a person from a society that has never had money trying to fit into ours. I really like the idea of Influence as a catch all that doesn't presuppose the existence of a money using society because so many cultures, let alone alien species, would look at the idea as utterly baffling.

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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 2:44 pm 
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Guys, take out money from the picture. It ain't relevant nor necessary for Economy to exists.

Understood in its broadest sense, Economy refers to the not-necessarily-social domain associated with the production, use, and management of resources. Those resources can be monetary or not, material or not. Economy encompasses anything related with resources, production and the management of all of it, which always implies the exchange of things (even if it is just energy and raw materials as inputs and some effect or material product and garbage as outputs). Ecology and sustainability, energy and raw materials production and distribution...
Communism is an economy system (as well as social). The entire functioning of a biosphere can be understood as an economic system even without intelligent actors (species) involved.

With your Empire's Economy (even the economy of a mass of centipetoids, as long as they do things like mining, building stuff or consuming energy of any sort) you support
- the upkeep of your army, both the "pilots" (whatever kind of upkeep: food for biological space monsters, money (i.e. debt) for human capitalists, whatever an Egassem wants for being the pilot of a space ship instead of swimming confortably in a lava lake) as well as the other kinds of maintenance (e.g. fuel: any kind of energy that move your ships).
- the energetic and material costs (if any) of keeping your population in shape, happy and healthy,
- the costs of your diplomatic actions (if spying is ever implemented, it doesn't matter if it is a human spy, some sort of infiltrated nanobots or a team of far away clairvoyants that only eats raw photons; the thing is that the costs would be supported by the Economy).
- your influence campaigns on the enemy planets (again).
Summing up, anything that needs resources (material and/or energy) and its management to achieve something.

I find Economy too narrow because the effects usually associated to social influence (propaganda, social appeal, any form of psychological manoeuvre, bureaucracy, culture traits, etc.; even if that makes no sense at all against different species) are studied in other fields and seems weird to use a single label for all this. But it seems even weirder to use "Influence" to talk about production and management, upkeep, etc. Again, I'm not talking about human money here.

Geoff wrote:
Additionally, or perhaps more so, "economy", or even "money", presume a society that needs to exchange goods and services with itself in a way that may be totally irrelevant for some / many of the species (eg. Beige Goo, George).
If they don't exchange anything at all, as if everything they do is completely self-sustained, why they need a supply line or any kind of upkeep? I think we here are confusing money (or monetary economy) with the general term of economy.

Geoff wrote:
The means by which an empire enacts its power to influence others may include them having a "good economy", a "bad economy", or no "economy", as appropriate.
No money ok, but no production and management of resources neither? Well, if you talking about the races that already got Transcendence, OK, otherwise I think you need production and management of resources (i.e. Economy) to put stuff in orbit.
Anyways, would we here talking about realism?


Summing up, I see as Economy what you describe as Influence (that wouldn't be based on money), but agree on everything else and I can easily live with that name for that concept.

My ideal solution right now (still didn't finished the old thread about Influence) for this non-existent problem would be to have Economy for the upkeeps of anything (not only military) using the PPs/RPs mechanics (i.e., it is something that the empire produces constantly and must be used; if short on in, you can choose what upkeeps don't get attention) and Influence similar to the detection mechanics (need to finish my homework for this).


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 3:21 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
...I think you need production and management of resources (i.e. Economy) to put stuff in orbit.
There is already an industry meter and interface to allocate it to produce ships and buildings. The point is not to add another system to model this again. Rather, the idea is to add a system for "soft power", like making planet populations like, join, or rebel against yourself or other empires (and perhaps make it more or less viable for other empires (players) to remain at war/peace with eachother depending on how the relevant species' react), convincing your ships to fight for you or others' ships to fight against them, maybe recruiting leaders / heroes, or the noted espionage actions.

Really, your own description is not too far off:
Oberlus wrote:
influence: the power to produce effects by indirect means, or the power to persuade, or to obtain advantages due to one's status, rank, etc.

An empire's ability to do those sorts of things is only marginally related to its "economy". More relevant are culture, propaganda, telepathic abilities, psychology, or strategically placed agents working within another empire or on a neutral planet.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 3:53 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
There is already an industry meter and interface to allocate it to produce ships and buildings. The point is not to add another system to model this again.
Of course. I was arguing about the what means Economy and if it does exists without money, not making a point about a missing mechanic.

As I said, I agree with your whole concept and the particular effects you assign to it. It makes total sense. I'm just not comfortable with it being named Influence because that is a narrower concept. As for what you say of it, the concept includes part of the general economy of the empire as well as social/political influence. But language is mutable. I'll be fine with it being named Influence.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 4:23 pm 
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Oberlus wrote:
As I said, I agree with your whole concept and the particular effects you assign to it. It makes total sense. I'm just not comfortable with it being named Influence because that is a narrower concept. As for what you say of it, the concept includes part of the general economy of the empire as well as social/political influence. But language is mutable. I'll be fine with it being named Influence.


I wonder why anyone did not suggest word that means just all of that, and even more.
It is used by George almost every day, the word is "hgdfjsahgangang"!!

Cheers!

PS. Who cares how it is pronounced, stop arguing about irrelevant things and start coding :) Cant wait to see it implemented!


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 4:49 pm 
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I think we all agree that "Economy" does not necessarily include "Money". However, money is a key part of the economy we know best, which is why people tend to think "Money" when they hear "Economy" (and why we often resort to money as an example when talking about economy as a concept).


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