FreeOrion

Forums for the FreeOrion project
It is currently Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:13 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 11:06 pm 
Offline
Design & Graphics Lead Emeritus
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 3858
Location: USA — midwest
Note: the following idea works just as well with my proposed adjustment to the wheel, or the current wheel. Examples make reference to the current wheel.

I've thought some about how terraforming could work making it generic enough to work for any race with any EP (Environmental Preference). This is the simplest thing i could come up with.

There is a foundational Tech called "Terraforming". This give you the option to research a Terraforming Applied Tech specific to Each Planet type. "Desert Planet Terraforming" allows you to terraform a planet that's adjacent to "Desert" on the EP Wheel— into a Desert planet.

However, the cost to research the tech for a given planet type increases with each step away from your EP. For instance, as a Human it would be quickest to research "Terran Terraforming", and next easiest to get "Ocean" or "Desert Terraforming."

The reasoning behind this is that different planet types loose their uniqueness if a player can easily terraform them all at once. However any kind of branching tree involving Terraforming techs would only be fair to or make sense for a limited number of EPs. Rather than make a different tree for each EP, the same tree can be used, but the RP changed. The after-the-fact rationalization is that it's just harder to perfect terraforming for worlds unlike your own. The tech description shouldn't go so much into the process, (since the origin can be from either side of the wheel) but more about a description of the environment.

I suppose that a planet should only be terraformable if you've already established at least a token colony. At the very least the player should need to have a colony in the system before terraforming can commence.

I believe it's most consistant with the game as established that there be no half-and-half type planets, but when the terraforming is complete the planet suddenly becomes a different planet type.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:13 am 
Offline
Cosmic Dragon
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2003 12:37 am
Posts: 2175
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Instead of having a tech for each planet type, what about having a terraforming tech that allows X terraforming steps around the wheel.
eg
2 Step Terraforming allows you to terraform a planet typeA to a planet of typeB which is less than 2 steps around the wheel from the start position.

4 Step Terraforming allows you to terraform a greater distance around the wheel.

Also to terraform further around the wheel would take longer than to terraform to a closer target.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 12:24 am 
Offline
Design & Graphics Lead Emeritus
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 3858
Location: USA — midwest
Interesting idea.

Suppose you had 2 races in your empire, one that perfer Terran and one that perfered Inferno. Could a "2-step" terraform go in either dirention, essentially being the only tech you need to make any planet idea for one or the other race?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 3:15 am 
Offline
Cosmic Dragon
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2003 12:37 am
Posts: 2175
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Possibly. Maybe that can be another factor. A terraforming tech that can only terraform in one direction.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:44 am 
Offline
Design & Graphics Lead Emeritus
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 3858
Location: USA — midwest
I think with my concept you could get a similar effect. If your desired EP was "A", and you researched terraforming to "A" and terraforming to "B", you could select an planet of type "C" and tell it to terraform to "A". The game should be smart enough to terraform up to "B" and then to "A"

Different Techs for terraforming "clockwise" and "counterclockwise" various steps is starting to sound rather abstract.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 7:16 am 
Online
Programming, Design, Admin
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Posts: 12001
Location: Munich
eleazar wrote:
... the cost to research the tech for a given planet type increases with each step away from your EP. For instance, as a Human it would be quickest to research "Terran Terraforming", and next easiest to get "Ocean" or "Desert Terraforming."

What is "your EP" in a multi-race empire?

As suggested in the Gaia thread, it might be better to have each planet have a natural environment, and have costs / time / ability to terraform depend on how far you want the planet to move away from that natural environment.

This would make it hard to terraform far from a planet's natural environment, making different planet types still semi-unique, without having to change RP costs for techs depending on some "your" EP that is ill-defined. Buidling in assumptions about single-race or dominant-race empires is bad, IMO.

Quote:
I suppose that a planet should only be terraformable if you've already established at least a token colony. At the very least the player should need to have a colony in the system before terraforming can commence.

This can be a function of your terraforming tech levels. Initially you'd need a decent-sized colony with a high construction meter. Later you could just have a colony in-system. Later you could have terraforming ships that can work independently.

Quote:
I believe it's most consistant with the game as established that there be no half-and-half type planets, but when the terraforming is complete the planet suddenly becomes a different planet type.

On what do you base this assertion? I'm drawing a blank regarding what precedents are relevant...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 9:56 pm 
Offline
Space Floater

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:22 am
Posts: 37
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Just to throw in some complexity, what about upkeep of a terraformed planet? Lets say we terraform Mercury into an Earth-like planet, that's not exactly a stable state. I'd imagine that work would have to be done to keep it Terran. Same thing for terraforming an outer planet to ocean from a frozen ice ball. Work would need to be done to keep it from freezing over again.

So, to keep a planet at it's terraformed level, either production must be expended or a building must be built (which can be destroyed). This means that each planet class needs to hold it's base state (radioactive hunk of rock) and it's terraformed state (gaia paradise).

Rates of change would need to be setup for moving from one type to another without artificial aide. For instance, Sol would burn a Terran atmosphere off of Mercury pretty quickly, probably in only a few years but a terraformed Mars might remain Terran for several hundred or thousands of years before returning to desert or barren.

One thing I'm wondering about though is how does a world that's been terraformed to desert return to an ocean world? Supposedly the water has been removed. Does this mean that worlds might revert to the barren state closest to their natural state unless their natural state is very "strong"?

If we consider the revised wheel that eleazar recently proposed, we could say that the coloured areas are difficult to move through naturally. The points in between are energy minima and are quite easy to settle in. If a world has a natural state and a value defining how much it wishes to be in this state (Mercury "wants" to be a hellish wasteland, Mars has a low strength, it's "content" at many places on the Wheel) then that value can be used to pull a natural transition past the barren points and closer to it's preferred state.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:42 am 
Offline
Design & Graphics Lead Emeritus
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 3858
Location: USA — midwest
jmercer wrote:
Just to throw in some complexity, what about upkeep of a terraformed planet?

Your reasoning is sound, but you've started from the wrong premise. For this project complexity should only exist to serve fun, or enhance strategy, not create a more realistic simulation.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
... the cost to research the tech for a given planet type increases with each step away from your EP. For instance, as a Human it would be quickest to research "Terran Terraforming", and next easiest to get "Ocean" or "Desert Terraforming."

What is "your EP" in a multi-race empire?

The EP of your primary race. Since you (i assume) don't take over the entire tech tree when you conquor one alien inhabited planet, i don't see why you should get their terraforming tech bonuses/maluses.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
As suggested in the Gaia thread, it might be better to have each planet have a natural environment, and have costs / time / ability to terraform depend on how far you want the planet to move away from that natural environment.

This would make it hard to terraform far from a planet's natural environment, making different planet types still semi-unique, without having to change RP costs for techs depending on some "your" EP that is ill-defined. Buidling in assumptions about single-race or dominant-race empires is bad, IMO.

Obviously under any sane terraforming system, it will cost more and/or take longer to terraform 4 steps rather than 1 'round the wheel. But surely there are simpler ways than keeping track of an orignal type, and increasing the cost with the distance from it.

I make no claim to have it all figured out how multiple races can be part of the same empire, but i think it's premature to say the starting race you choose should have no long-term effect on your empire. You seem to be working from dominant race assumption in this thread. At least i haven't seen any discussion on the subject, except in regards to migration. Perhaps you should start a new thread.

Geoff the Medio wrote:
...Later you could have terraforming ships that can work independently.

I like the idea of Terraforming ships. :)

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Quote:
I believe it's most consistant with the game as established that there be no half-and-half type planets, but when the terraforming is complete the planet suddenly becomes a different planet type.

On what do you base this assertion? I'm drawing a blank regarding what precedents are relevant...

The following is also a general response to jmercer.

Iparaphrase from myself:
Step back and try to see the big picture. What's currently in the design documents obviously been intended to be a extremely simplified representation of planets. Planets distinguished only by size, and position on the wheel, and a few specials. We have only 1 meter for "infrastructure". Obsessing over the status of planet is not what this game is supposed to be about. It's imporant that a game be a consistant whole. It's off ballance simplify planets down to about ten types with a few sizes, and then add lots of minutia like intermediate terraformed states, an original and/or "downhill" state, and cost of upkeep.

Additionally the intermediate planet-type graphics would either be,
1) non-existant,
2) lousy: such as another graphic being transparently overlayed. (trust me, i live and dream in Photoshop. This would look bad)
3) many times more work that making the normal graphics.

As stated elsewhere i personally would prefer a more complex planetary model that breaks down "planet type" into a number of discrete componants like "heat", "atmosphere", "gravity", etc. I always like the "terraforming" aspect of 4X games. But if the planet model is going to be fundimentally simple, a decision already made, then unresolved details should be similarly simple.

If there are any differences between the ease of terraforming different types of planets (aside from technology or EP considerations) then it should be pretty easy to keep straight.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 12:53 pm 
Offline
Space Floater

Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2005 11:22 am
Posts: 37
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Quote:
Your reasoning is sound, but you've started from the wrong premise. For this project complexity should only exist to serve fun, or enhance strategy, not create a more realistic simulation.


I can accept that. What I proposed may have minimally enhanced strategy but that may have been at the cost of fun.

I have one question, if your terraforming goal is 180 degrees from the current state, how do you choose which way you march around the wheel? It may be the case that one route is better suited to you than the other.

Along the same lines, what if your goal is 120 degrees from the current but the short 120 degrees moves through very hostile climates. It may be the case that the long way around allows support of life sooner than the other, especially if the long route moves through climates which are beneficial to your secondary empire race.

One solution to this is to have the user explicitly define the route. Design and present a new widget, something like a slider which moves in a circle (a radio knob is boring), which is easy since you're using GiGi. It can show the current state and the user drags to a desired state which sweeps out a path. As the "terraform to" pointer moves, information about time and cost of the project is displayed.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:33 pm 
Offline
Design & Graphics Lead Emeritus
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:09 pm
Posts: 3858
Location: USA — midwest
jmercer wrote:
I have one question, if your terraforming goal is 180 degrees from the current state, how do you choose which way you march around the wheel? It may be the case that one route is better suited to you than the other.

I hadn't thought about that. The current official wheel has an odd number of planets, so this wouldn't be a problem. With my revised wheel, i suppose if you cared about the direction (If for instance terraforming clockwise would temporarily make the planet a tempting target for a nearby enemy) The simplest thing would be to have the player choose an intermediate goal first, and once that's achieved, terraform again. I suppose there could be a dialog message, but i prefer your UI suggestion below.

jmercer wrote:
Along the same lines, what if your goal is 120 degrees from the current but the short 120 degrees moves through very hostile climates. It may be the case that the long way around allows support of life sooner than the other, especially if the long route moves through climates which are beneficial to your secondary empire race.

One of the purposes of the wheel is to make it easy to tell which climates are hostile, i.e. the further away from the home-planet type the more hostile it is. And planets 3 clicks away from the EP are both equally hostile. Have you seen this?

jmercer wrote:
One solution to this is to have the user explicitly define the route. Design and present a new widget, something like a slider which moves in a circle (a radio knob is boring), which is easy since you're using GiGi. It can show the current state and the user drags to a desired state which sweeps out a path. As the "terraform to" pointer moves, information about time and cost of the project is displayed.

That sounds pretty intuitive. It would reinforce the idea and structure of the wheel as well.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:05 pm 
Offline
Large Juggernaut
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:34 pm
Posts: 938
Location: GA
To simulate "upkeep" we could apply a -% to the planet's output.

_________________
Computer programming is fun.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group