Ships: Cost and Build Time

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Geoff the Medio
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Ships: Cost and Build Time

#1 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Dec 23, 2007 9:20 pm

How should the cost and build time of ships be determined? There are many possibilities, and this thread is to discuss them and hopefully determine which would be the most strategically interesting and fun.

Some points of interest:
* A ship design consists of a hull and various parts put into the hull.

* The hull itself, and each part type could have a cost, with the total cost of all being added up to give the total cost of the ship. This leaves the build time to be determined somehow. Not that in this case, deciding the build time is the same as deciding the max PP per turn that can be put towards building the ship.

* Turns to build could depend on the number of parts in the design, with each part increasing or decreasing the minimum number of turns it takes to build the ship. The differences in build time for each part could be the same, or it could be different for different part types, with both positive and negative changes possible, depending on the part.

* Alternatively, the cost per turn could be the sum of the costs per turn of all parts in a design, with the total time to build (and thus the total cost) depending on something else (perhaps the hull or number of parts?)

* A hull could have a fixed cost and time to build regardless of the parts put in it.

Which of these seems best, or is there another better option? The current system where buildable items have a max PP per turn and a minimum number of turns to build, and a fixed total cost isn't up for debate. How to determine these specific limits of a particular ship design is...

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utilae
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Re: Ships: Cost and Build Time

#2 Post by utilae » Sun Dec 23, 2007 11:52 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:* The hull itself, and each part type could have a cost, with the total cost of all being added up to give the total cost of the ship. This leaves the build time to be determined somehow. Not that in this case, deciding the build time is the same as deciding the max PP per turn that can be put towards building the ship.

This is one viewpoint. In most 4X Space games you build a ship by building a certain amount per turn, ie over 23 turns.

An alternative, is if you had the ability to save up production, once you had enough production you could spend the total cost of the ship and have the ship next turn, or [assembly turns] later. Think of it as giving them all the parts and they put it together.

The advantage of this method is that it gives the player a better gauge of what they have to spend and how much they can spend it on. If the original method was used they could try and build too many ships, and they all take 109 turns, it would be much harder to deal with.

Geoff the Medio wrote:* Turns to build could depend on the number of parts in the design, with each part increasing or decreasing the minimum number of turns it takes to build the ship. The differences in build time for each part could be the same, or it could be different for different part types, with both positive and negative changes possible, depending on the part.

If we go with this method, each component could have X cost and X build time. Ideally then we just have to add up the cost and build times for all components in a ship to get the total cost and build time for the ship.

Geoff the Medio wrote:* A hull could have a fixed cost and time to build regardless of the parts put in it.

The problem here is that some bigger/better components then get a free ride so to speak. The medium hull takes 10 turns regardless of if it has 4x lasers or 1x stellar converter.

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Re: Ships: Cost and Build Time

#3 Post by Tortanick » Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:35 am

Why not just copy how its done on other 4x games, seems to me like this problem is already solved.

(P.S. hull sizes having a fixed costs is a silly idea)

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Re: Ships: Cost and Build Time

#4 Post by pd » Fri Dec 28, 2007 12:45 pm

Could you be more specific, please? How is it done in which games? How does this translate to freeOrion? Why is having a fixed cost per hull a silly idea?

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Re: Ships: Cost and Build Time

#5 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:31 pm

Do any other 4X games have FreeOrion's style of production, where each item has a max PP / turn that can be spent on it, as well as a total cost (or equivalently, a minimum number of turns to build)? If so, how do these games determine the cost and build time of multi-part or cutsomizable buildable items, such as ships designed by the player?

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Re: Ships: Cost and Build Time

#6 Post by Krikkitone » Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:25 pm

I'd say the best way

Cost is determined by adding up the PP costs of all the Parts (the Hull is one of the "parts")
Time is determined by the Hull (and modified by certain Techs+Shipyard Factors)

so the Maximum PP/turn wil be the SMALLER of
Total Cost for the ship/Minimum time for this hull
AND
Total PP/Turn available at this shipyard

so you get the ability to build a Humungous hull but it will take 100 turns to build one of those ships... unless you
1. build it at a shipyard with a 'Planetary Assembler' which cuts the time for humungous ship construction in 1/2
OR
2. get the 'Planetary Assembler' Tech which cuts the time in 1/2

2 is probably the simpler one, since the shipyard expansion will be limiting the total number of PPs per turn that can be put into it

so all Tiny ships take 2~10 turns (depending on Tech) and all Humungous ones take 20~100 turns (depending on Tech) If your shipyards have enough PP to build them.

As a side note, the PP cost of a ship component should get more expensive with increasing tech. The increase in PP cost should be roughly proportional to the increase in per pop PP output (in the beginning of the game you can get about 0.5 to 1.0 PP per pop, so if you can get ~5 PP/Pop towards the end game, then end game ship parts should cost about 5 times more. So that a certain ship size requires a certain number of planets to build and support it, rather than a certain tech level.

So Early game tiny ship takes ~100 total PP, Late game tiny ship takes 500-1000 total PP (because it is more expensive)
Last edited by Krikkitone on Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ships: Cost and Build Time

#7 Post by marhawkman » Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:56 pm

I'd mooch off games like Stars! and SE5 here. :p A hull has a certain cost to build. Each component has a certain cost to build. The total is the cost to build the ship.

Example:

Schout hull=25 pp
corbomite armor=30 pp
laser=5 pp
gatling neutrino cannon=20 pp (and one unit of neutronium)

total=80 pp

If your shipyard can't do more than 30 per turn then it'll take you 3 turns to build. Maybe have the hull itself have a minimum turns to build?

Maybe have a special shipyard component that allows the shipyard to build things that use Neutronium in their designs?

And of course we'd have differing tech levels of shipyard. some might be able to build as much as 2000 pp in a turn (but would be incredibly expensive to build/maintain.)
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Re: Ships: Cost and Build Time

#8 Post by Robbie.Price » Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:50 pm

Goodmorning all,

I second Marhawkman's idea.

It just makes sense to me as a user. Pay for both outside and inside.

If sized ships have min to build time then pick the longer of the two times, and spend PPs/turn to just finish on time(or maybe 1/2 a day sooner, in case of short term setbacks, ships can still come out 'On-Time').

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Re: Ships: Cost and Build Time

#9 Post by General_Zaber » Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:33 am

My idea on this topic would be that the hull defines how many turns the ship has to be built for, and the components would define how much has to be paid per turn.

Example:
Battleship Hull = 120pp / 10 turns

8 Heavy Rail Guns = 240pp

5 Merculite Missiles (10 Shots) = 500pp

Augmented Engines = 30pp

Battle Pods = 300pp / +2 turns

TOTAL= 1190pp / 12 turns
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Re: Ships: Cost and Build Time

#10 Post by The Silent One » Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:03 pm

General_Zaber wrote:My idea on this topic would be that the hull defines how many turns the ship has to be built for, and the components would define how much has to be paid per turn.

Is there a difference to what krikkitone suggested?
... I like it.
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Re: Ships: Cost and Build Time

#11 Post by General_Zaber » Tue Jan 15, 2008 5:33 am

The Silent One wrote:Is there a difference to what krikkitone suggested?
... I like it.


Oh yeah.
Sorry krikkitone, I didn't read your post properly. Oh well, I added a new example anyway :)
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Re: Ships: Cost and Build Time

#12 Post by marhawkman » Sat Jan 19, 2008 9:32 pm

In hindsight, my idea is near identical to Krikki's. I just added the special materials aspect to it.

In this case it was Neutronium. Your empire has a limited supply of Neutronium and your ship yards need a special module to use neutronium. This leads to a question of when the Neutronium used to build the ship would be deducted from your empire's reserve of it. Hmm... I think it'd be best to only deduct it at end of construction.

N{amount needed}/ T{turns to build}= Nx

If Nx is 0 then the design doesn't need neutronium at all.
If 0 < Nx <=1 then you'd have 1 deducted from reserve during certain turns of construction. If it has 3 turns and only uses 1 N this would be the last turn. for two N and 3 T then it'd be the second and third turns (last and second last).

Obviously this is slightly different if the design uses more units of neutronium than turns to build. but not much.
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Re: Ships: Cost and Build Time

#13 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sat Jan 19, 2008 10:33 pm

It seems reasonable to start with the proposed system:
* Hulls have a base cost in PP
* Parts add some additional cost in PP
* Hulls have a minimum number of turns to build

Assuming that, are there any pros or cons to having parts be able to affect the number of turns to build? I see two ways to do this:

1) Parts have a minimum number of turns to build. There is no difference between the hull's minimum time and a part's minimum time, and the whole ship's minimum time is the largest minimum build time of all parts' and the hull.
eg. Hull build time: 8 turns. Part build times: 2, 5, 9 turns. Total build time: 9 turns.

2) Parts may add additional turns to the build time, if added. Each parts could have a property "adds X turns to build time" where X is an integer. The build time of the ship is the sum of the hull's build time and all the parts' build times.
eg. Hull build time: 8 turns. Part build times: 0, -1, 4 turns. total build time: 11 turns.

(minimum possible build time would be clamped to 1 turn, if negative build time parts are allowed)

Thoughts?

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Re: Ships: Cost and Build Time

#14 Post by Krikkitone » Mon Jan 21, 2008 12:53 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:Assuming that, are there any pros or cons to having parts be able to affect the number of turns to build? I see two ways to do this:


I'd say the major con is complexity. There is the issue with "Battle Pods" but 'Battle Pods' are really just a slightly bigger ship (ie using MOO2 a Battle ship + Battlepods is half way between a Battleship and a Titan)

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Re: Ships: Cost and Build Time

#15 Post by artos_boxcar » Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:09 am

From the way I see it it would be better to use the first method. Since (from what i can understand) production of ships is distributed across the empire, it makes more sense (to me as the player) that all the components of my new Mark VI Titan of Death, the engines, computers, etc. are being built on different factories on different planets, but at the same time.

Secondly, using method 2:
What's to stop me from building a basically empty hulls (ie Huge hull with 1x laser and engines), at a low build time, then sending it back to a shipyard and "refitting" it for whatever role i need it for? In peace time I just stockpile empty hulls, and when i go to war I upgrade them with the latest and greatest weaponry, and BANG, instant fleet. With method 1 it takes me basically the same amount of time wether I have a bunch of fancy weaponry or not.
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