DESIGN: Buildings / Build Queues / Infrastructure

Past public reviews and discussions.
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Hexxium
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#256 Post by Hexxium » Wed May 26, 2004 11:37 pm

Nature of the build queue:

I'd like to add yet another option for the penalty ;) (this may be what Satyagraha meant with his post)

3: Semi-local. Queues are local to a system or planet, PP can be imported at a penalty based on distance or infrastructure or local industry.

I can also think of a variation of that (yes it is similar), let's call it, uhm...

3a: Semi-Global. Queues are local to a system or planet. Queued projects have a max. PP/turn investment. A system/planet first spends its PP on the first project in the queue (if available). If there are excess PP after the max. investment, they are thrown into a global pool. Then they are distributed among the local projects that didn't have enough PP to reach the max PP/turn investment. There's a tax on PP imported that way (money or PP utility ratio worse than 1:1).
That distribution may be equal for all planets or based on some factor (e.g. high infrastructure worlds import more). There may be an "import priority" checkbox for each system/planet, so excess PP are distributed among that planets/systems first.
If there are still excess PP, repeat the whole process for the second project in each local queue.

Advantages:
- industry worlds still grow fastest/most efficiently, as they should imo
- excess industry can be used to speed up building/development on low industry plenets, at a penalty
- if PP distribution is based on infrastructure, "older" worlds grow faster than "new" worlds, in general
- using an "import priority" checkbox provides a way to speed up development of single planets
- I think the biggest advantage is that it's easily adjustable for balancing purposes (there are lots of ways for finetuning it), and still simple for the player: Local industry builds local projects, excess industry output contributes to other worlds' production.

Disadvantages:
- Obviously this system is tied to the max PP/turn investment model.
- This system doesn't consider using PP for infrastructure growth yet, unless that would be a project in the local queues.
- In low industry empires, there will hardly be planets that can produce 2 small projects in one turn, no matter how much PP they produce, because after spending PP on the first project the rest is exported. On the other hand that promotes "intelligent" project placement, and if we'll have the "expensive buildings" model it should only be a problem for small ships.

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Krikkitone
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#257 Post by Krikkitone » Thu May 27, 2004 5:36 am

OK My opinions and arguments for such of the various options

Nature of the build queue:

4: Global. As with the research queue, all Industry points are thrown into the same pot and spent without distance penalty anywhere in the empire. There is some penalty for building on worlds with low infrastructure (PP tax and/or limits to what can be built)

I prefer this because of the ease of establishing an Empire wide priority on resource management.. If I want to make sure I am working on Project X as fast As I can, All I have to do is move it to the top of the queue, rather than moving around to different planets to get extra resources. (a Planetary UI is possible to add to an Imperial queue, but an Imperial UI is impossible to add to a Planetary/System queue)

If there is to be anyway of shipping resources from one world to another, an Imperial queue is needed to figure out who gets first dibs on them. That does simplify away distance considerations, but I think that complex logistics management is something to avoid.

Nature of buildings:
1: Although I don’t recall anyone proposing it, let’s say moo2/civ buildings style buildings are the first option
2: One building per planet, from a short list of archetypical buildings
3: A few buildings per planet (it’s been said “at most 5, on average 2”)

I prefer option 4. Each type of building is limited to a small number per empire.. that keeps them actually special and allows 'Super Worlds' with most of the 'Buildings' for your entire Empire.

Nature of building effects:

2: Buildings generally have area effects, including a) the entire empire b) the entire system and c) the entire system plus systems connected by starlane. Effects generally do not stack, and can be comboed with other effects for a sum greater than the parts. (like M:tG cards)

I support two basically for the reasons above our buildings should be Somewhat like the Small wonders of Civ 3 (except with the limit being more than 1 or 1 per area, etc.)

Nature of Build Projects
1: As per civ/moo2. Each project costs a number of resources. There may be some limits imposed on the amount of PP invested per turn based on infrastructure and/or shipyard sizes.

I prefer 1,
No fixed (minimum) investment required because that has the diffucult business of what to do with thos Extra PP that don't fit 'exactly' into a Project.
Total cost: Basically Fixed (although might have some local influence on it
Time: Determined by Max per turn Investment, determined in turn Strongly by Local Conditions

Nature of defensive structures:

1: There’s nothing special about defensive structures. They are handled like other structures. Ship, space stations that are built as ships and (later on) ground units provide defense. Any static ground defenses are immobile ground units.

3: Each planet has a Defensive Level (rated 1-5). When the player selects a defensive level on a world, the planet builds up (or scraps down) to the new level.

I'd favor 3 as a management mechanism for 1 as the engine (basically to allow for easy mass management, with the player adding ships to compensate.)

Powercrazy’s Infrastructure
As a replacement for all the wee buildings that use to define worlds in moo2, Powercrazy suggested “Infrastructure”.


3: Infrastructure is a score for each Focus resource, defining the amount of resources generated by each population point. When the Focus of a world is changed, Infrastructure (over the course of some number of turns) adjusts to the new Focus choice.

I favor this so that we don't have sudden 'Infrastructure changes'.. a change in Focus should be an immediate change in Goals, not an immediate change in Reality.
I'd also eliminate the Italics so that the Infrastructure was nmore like MOO1 Factories, each generated a fixed amount and required a certain population to work, rather than MOO2 Factories in which the same investment had differential effects on different planets.

Infrastructure Improvement

4: Building infrastructure is another type of build project. The player gives each planet a position in the queue, with orders to build up infrastructure to a certain level.

I favor 4 (with the possibility of simplifying it so that All planets have the exact same priority in the queue if it is Imperial). This allows Infrastructure building (and hence changing focus) to actually have a cost and gives the player a priority to assign that cost





One other set of options to add
Nature of 'Off planet production' Penalty

1. Distance Penalty (any planet that has Excess production ships it to the nearest world that can use it with a Distance related Penalty..this may include planned routes (like Civ 2s food caravans)

2. Export Penalty (Excess drops to a fraction of its current value before being shipped around at no charge)

3. Import Penalty (the higher the amount invested in a project is above what local conditions allow, the less effective it is)

4. Import Cap Only so much can be put into a project (period)

I favor a version of 3
3 and 4 have the advantage of working with a global priority queue (they can assume Everything is exported and there is just a limit on how much can be 're imported')
This has the advantage that the limit doesn't have to be the local PP (which is basically the local Industrial Infrastructure).. the 'limit' can be determined another Infrastructure type, planet size, project type, population.

My plan would basically be 4 but with a duplicate 'Rush' project for Every Build Project, it would cost more but allow an additional investment per turn above the standard level

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Aquitaine
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#258 Post by Aquitaine » Thu May 27, 2004 1:44 pm

Many thanks to Drek for helping to wrap this up. I simply haven't had the time IRL to give this thread the attention it deserves.

But I'm going to put it to public review ASAP. I have a few questions, though.

I notice a lot of discussion is on the nature of defensive buildings and shipyards. I did not anticipate that, and it is not within the scope of what I want to accomplish with this thread. That said, there has been a lot of talk about it, so I guess I'd ask, why do you feel that we need to tackle this now, specifically? I understand planning for the future and wanting to know where such things will go, but some of the suggested plans are quite specific.
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#259 Post by drek » Thu May 27, 2004 2:00 pm

Personally, I think if there are special defensive building slots they should wait until the ground troop version to be decided upon/implemented. I only included them in the mix because of the lengthy discussion in this thread.

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#260 Post by Krikkitone » Thu May 27, 2004 3:21 pm

Aquitaine wrote:Many thanks to Drek for helping to wrap this up. I simply haven't had the time IRL to give this thread the attention it deserves.

But I'm going to put it to public review ASAP. I have a few questions, though.

I notice a lot of discussion is on the nature of defensive buildings and shipyards. I did not anticipate that, and it is not within the scope of what I want to accomplish with this thread. That said, there has been a lot of talk about it, so I guess I'd ask, why do you feel that we need to tackle this now, specifically? I understand planning for the future and wanting to know where such things will go, but some of the suggested plans are quite specific.
I think that's for two reasons, one..defensive buildings fit under the some type of structure category, and two..shipyards are both structures and have to do with shipbuilding (something that would be in the build queue)

Since we all remember what wierd strategic combat effects various decisions on those things affected in other games (declining importance of them in MOO2 due to limited numbers, MOB centers of MOO3, etc.) We all wanted to show how our individual model of Queues/Buildings would accomodate them. After all, this is one of those 'alter all future decisions' like the choosing of the Focus system, or the population system was. (The only thing that I imagine could be a bigger decision is the structure of the turn order as one of the brainstorming threads show)

So for that we do need to consider if we take X option on how 'builds' work will that force us into a path we Don't want for Ships, shipyards, or Planetary Defense. The actual options that Are left to us probably should remain open until we get to a later version..but some of them will be closed off by any decision made now.

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#261 Post by Ragnar » Thu May 27, 2004 3:22 pm

Defenses and shipyard could be buildings or infrastructure and are therefore related. These subjects are obviously passionate topics, and decisions about buildings and infrastructure could effect how the defenses work.

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#262 Post by Aquitaine » Thu May 27, 2004 5:40 pm

Ragnar wrote:Defenses and shipyard could be buildings or infrastructure and are therefore related. These subjects are obviously passionate topics, and decisions about buildings and infrastructure could effect how the defenses work.
They 'could be' buildings and therefore 'could be' related, and whether they're passionate or not doesn't make a difference to me in having to compile all of this stuff.

I agree that it's worth considering how such structures will work when we think about the system, but I do not think that the review will include a piece specifically for defensive structures.
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#263 Post by Ragnar » Thu May 27, 2004 6:45 pm

I think Krikkitone said it better (we posted at the same time): we don't want these decisions to 'tie our hands' for defence later. In fact, I agree it should be a separate discussion. I weighed in when someone suggested defense should be a building or infrastructure. I think it should be a seperate (third) function of the planet.

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#264 Post by PowerCrazy » Fri May 28, 2004 6:59 am

Krikkitone wrote:Note: we Must avoid Infrastructure growth based on local Industrial production, otherwise that means all New worlds will have to be set at Industrial Focus for fastest Infrastructure Growth.
As has been informally decided Planets will have 5 foci. Balanced, Industry, Mining, Food, and Science.

All of these planets will have infrastructure. Obviously a farming planets infrastructure wil be different from an industrial planets infrastructure, however as far as sharing PP with the rest of the empire is concerned the two planets are equivalent. Thus my 100 infra farming planet can have a starbase built on it with no penelty just as my 100 infra industrial planet can. The only difference between the two is this:

Farming planet: +9 food to imperial stockpile
+1 of the other resources

Industrial Planet: +9 PP to imperial Stockpile
+1 of the other resources.

Or whatever we decide the numbers should be.


Thus there is no reason a farming planet ever needs to be industrial for the purpose of infrastructure. I have my own ideas about penelties to planets for being conquered, or changing focus etc. But that will come after our economic system is worked out.
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#265 Post by noelte » Fri May 28, 2004 8:02 am

PowerCrazy wrote:Thus my 100 infra farming planet can have a starbase built on it with no penelty just as my 100 infra industrial planet can. The only difference between the two is this:

Farming planet: +9 food to imperial stockpile
+1 of the other resources

Industrial Planet: +9 PP to imperial Stockpile
+1 of the other resources.
Is it really so? I mean will building a starbase (if we can do such thing) cost the same on a farming as on a industrial planet? That way the diversity on where your different foci world on the galaxy are, isn't important. I thought, industrial planets could build there defences much quicker than farming planets. If so, you would have to defend new farming planets with your fleet for some time.

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#266 Post by emrys » Fri May 28, 2004 12:22 pm

That's really the question, either the rate of building things on a planet is:

1) linked in some way to the industry (i.e. PP) output of a planet: Effect, industrial planets build stuff quicker than non-industrial planets (e.g. farm/research/mining/money), some people like this. But, side-effect is that players may be tempted to make all world's industrial focussed to start with, then switch to another once they've "built them up".

2) linked in some way to a generic infrastructure rating (e.g. powercrazy's one, or the highest of the five of Krikkitone's etc.). Effect, an equivalent developed farming and industrial world build stuff at the same rate (n.b. you still need to industrial world to supply the PP to spend on the farming world though!). This way people will not be tempted to start off as industry and switch to the focus they actually wanted, so less min-maxing there, but aesthetically many people think you ought to be encourage to build stuff mostly on industry worlds...

3) not linked to anything, build anywhere, (and probably at anyrate/the same rate). Most people hate this because it seems likely to allow you to funnels an entire empire's output into one backwater location at a time, so serious gaming of the system is likely to occur.



Personally, I envisage that the numerical majority of the construction projects in FO will be ships (add possibly troops/ or spies or similar), and I'd like them to be built at one of a few, system-level, shipyard complexes (ground troop training complexes, spy centres). The rate of building would be based on an attribute of the complex (e.g. build capacity), not of any planet they might be associated with (shipyards might even not be associated with a particular planet). If we wanted we could still say that shipyards only function effectively if they are associated with an industrial planet, and can only be built at all if they are associated with a planet with a generic infrastructure of a certain minimum.

Given that, I don't think it seems so silly that an advanced farming world can build a (minor)Wonder (about the only things of significance I see being built on planets specifically) as quickly as an advanced industrial world, since I'd see those being huge collaberative projects with many worlds involved anyway. So i'd go for option 2 to avoid the risk of encouraging sillyness with new colonies all being industrial for a while.

@Aquitaine: To support what others have said about why defences and shipyards have come up, I think we just keep seeing that the way the build queue/production system is designed, is inevitably going to influence the viable options we have for how we do defences, shipyards etc. (equally the other way round, design choices for shipyards or defences may well end up necessitating changes to the build queue design). So we've generally been trying to assess just what constraints we'd be placing on ourselves if we go with particular options at this stage, and of course what things that look like they may be problems with ideas, might not be if we make particular choices later on.

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#267 Post by Satyagraha » Fri May 28, 2004 1:28 pm

if we manage food like in Civ/SMAC (excess food determines growth), focus on farming would be a viable option as well. it will make the population grow faster, and soon the planet will have a decent industry as well. The planet won´t get "stuck" when it comes to generation of PP, and there won´t be any excess food.

here is an illustration of my suggestion of handling PP on a semi-local level:
Image

what do you think?

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#268 Post by Krikkitone » Fri May 28, 2004 4:59 pm

emrys wrote:
Given that, I don't think it seems so silly that an advanced farming world can build a (minor)Wonder (about the only things of significance I see being built on planets specifically) as quickly as an advanced industrial world, since I'd see those being huge collaberative projects with many worlds involved anyway. So i'd go for option 2 to avoid the risk of encouraging sillyness with new colonies all being industrial for a while.
Also, with 5 seperate Infrastructures each project could be tied to a seperate Infrastructure (so each Infrastructure Improvement could be tied to itself, and some Buildings and Ships/Shipyards could still be tied to Industrial Infrastructure, while others could be tied to other Infrastructures.. a farming related Building tied to Farming Infrastructure, a research Building tied to Research Infrastructure. Some things could be tied to 'Total Infrastructure', the generic one.)



I think consuming some excess food might Help growth, but I definitely think it shouldn't 'build' population units like in Civ/SMAC. I think it would be better to work on supporting uninhabitable world populations and then increasing max population through terraforming.

And Food is something we actually want to stockpile given the probable catastrophic consequences of a temporary shortfall.

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#269 Post by PowerCrazy » Sat May 29, 2004 8:59 am

emrys wrote:Personally, I envisage that the numerical majority of the construction projects in FO will be ships (add possibly troops/ or spies or similar), and I'd like them to be built at one of a few, system-level, shipyard complexes (ground troop training complexes, spy centres).
This is what I envision as well. The starbase example from above is a rarity. Because even things such as starbases will be rare. They aren't econimcally viable to build everywhere.

We need to shift out of the Moo2-3 mentality of industry is needed to build buildings, and shift back into a Moo1 mentality of industry develops on its own.

@Krikkitone Why do we need five seperate levels of infrastructure for each planet? All planets are equal (except for size) as far as infrastructure is concerned. When you change foci there will be a penelty based on what the planet was and what you want to change it to be. It will most likely be including in the next Design thread. Having 5 seperate levels seems overly complicated and clutering. I'm not sure what we could gain by having 5 levels instead of just 1.
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#270 Post by Krikkitone » Sat May 29, 2004 4:45 pm

5 seperate levels of Infrastructure provide an Easy method to transition Focus.

With a single Infra rating, any time you change Focus it has to drop. Which means that if you change from
Balanced Major to Farming Major, all 5 resources go down or up immediately (because the effect of Focus change is instant)

With 5 different Infrastructure Ratings, your Focus Doesn't determine how much you produce. The Focus of a planet is only a goal that it bulds towards. The actual production in each area is determined by its Infrastructure Rating.

This allows for a time penalty as well as a cost penalty (if Infrastructure Costs to build for changing Focus once a world is developed.)



In a similar manner, Unbounded Infrastructure (where it is not rated as 0-100 but as a effectively unlimited number) provides an easy method for allowing effects of technology+population change to have an adjustment time (and or cost)

If a planet with 100% Infrastructure suddenly increases in population or gets a new tech, a 0-100 model would have to put in a drop in the Infrastructure rating to model the fact that the planet is no longer 'fully developed'. An unlimited Infrastructure would allow the 'cap' of useful infrastructure to be lifted by increased population or technology without complicated

And for the record, MOO1 Industry Did have a cost. It was not seen because you invested in 'Factories' that were capped in the maximum number per population unit by technology.

I'm not proposing a range of different Factories/Farm/Research buildings that you build on a planet, I'm proposing something Very similar to MOO1 except instead of building 'Factories' your Infrastructure Project builds Generic Identical Factories/Farms/Mines/Labs/and Banks? depending on the Focus of the Planet. (Also My model wouldn't involve 'upgrading' those structures, technology would either let you build more or make them more efficient instantly for 0 cost...mostly the Former)

This way a Technology allows you to build more of one of those 5 'Infrastructures' per population unit. An increase in Population would allow you to to build more of all 5 'Infrastructures' per population unit. And a change of Focus would change how many of each 'Infrastructure' you were trying to maintain (based on population needs).

So that the 'Target Value' for an 'Infrastructure' would be
Population*Focus Number for that Infrastructure*Tech Multiplier for that Infrastructure

The output of any Resource would be
Infrastructure of that type*Efficiency Bonuses * Minimum of (100% or Population / Population Needed to support all current Infrastructures)

The last term would probably only be a factor when you were changing Focus on a developed world as the old Infrastructure would be above its Target value but wouldn't be scrapped until it was needed because the last term was less than one..not enough population to support all the 'Infrastrucures'.


None of this would actually require Infrastructures to have a cost, they could just slowly improve with no cost... but No cost implies No trade-off.
The proposal to use leaders I think is to micromanagy. A single project in the Imperial queue (Build Infrastructure Empire-Wide) would provide some degree of Trade-off and Prioiritization of 'Costing' Infrastructure. That would be all the management needed if Infrastructure Costs.

(I'd prefer some more options like the ability to prioritize certain planets/groups of planets or Levels of Development (ie Infrastructure over its 'Target' ratio) as well as the ability to 'Rush' Infrastructure.)

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