Public review II: Buildings

Past public reviews and discussions.
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Geoff the Medio
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#31 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:06 am

drek wrote:If queues are local, will it be possible to share production between worlds when building large projects
These are somewhat independent questions... Local queue with empire production pool would be possible, though probably awkward (requiring import restrictions / tax to make sense and/or some way to prioritize the things in the local queues for their shares of the empire production pool... which is almost a quasi-global queue again... )
Another question, for both kinds of queues: what happens to unspent PP? Do I have to ensure that every drop of PP is spent? If so, it would seem easier to manage in a global queue.
This would be easier with a global queue, however PP could also be usable for nonqueued, "default" activities, like infrastructure developement. There's also stuff like fleet maintainance ands supply... even if PP aren't shared or things queued globally, these sorts of things could be taken from wherever they're free.
Are farming/mining/money worlds screwed as far as building large buildings is concerned? I'd like to be able to place a farming semi-wonder on a farm world--but with local queues I'd either have to deal with a system for sharing production between worlds (like supply convoys) or temporarily switch to Industry focus to build up the wonder. Correct or incorrect?
Maybe you should think of this as requring you to plan and put an industry world near your big farming worlds, so that you can build the wonder to help the farms... like in SMAC how an echelon mirror doesn't benefit from other echelon mirrors, requiring solar panels around it to get the best results...
I don't understand why having one queue that always assumes the fastest location, and sorts your alternatives in descending order of build speed, wouldn't work;
People were talking about most buildings being area of effect. In this case, you wouldn't want to build in the fastest available location, rather the most strategic spot. [...]
There should be a capacity to specify a build location for something in the global queue, such as a building. The "assumes the fastest location" method would work best for ships, where there is a reserve (bad) or ships have travel time to their rally point, and that's included in the calculation of "fastest location" (good).

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#32 Post by drek » Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:18 am

[edit: Cut and paste into brainstorming]
Last edited by drek on Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:44 am, edited 2 times in total.

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#33 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:22 am

drek wrote:re: using Infrastructure locally and PP into a global pool for ship production
There's still the issue of how much PP can be used at a particular shipyard... limited or not? if not -> imbalanced, if so -> complicated

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#34 Post by PowerCrazy » Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:39 am

drek wrote:My plan!
You are a guru of my scattered posts.

That is what I'm saying. The only place we differ (I think) is you want industrial projects to take X amount of PP for Y turns similiar to research, I want the more traditional X PP in any amount of time. If you agree with my plan I'm sure you could see the X PP for Y turns restriction being unecessary.

Also there would be a PP "oppurtunity cost" While the planet is building something we can assume that all of its resources are focused on building that thing and so it is not contributing to the empire, or at least lower its output some, or someother game balance trick.


To geoff: I think drek agrees that the best way would be a limited number of PP/turn/shipyard. That would encourage the player to build an optimal amount of shipyards, without settign an arbitrary limit to how long it take to build a ship. (moo2 had a big problem with this maximum of one ship/turn)

OK sorry Aquitaine for this being off topic. I'll continue this discussion in Dreks Brainstorming thread.

1:Global Build queue
2:Pre-placement
3:sharing production for ships ONLY. (pending a better way to share production)
Aquitaine is my Hero.... ;)

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#35 Post by drek » Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:52 am

naw, if Industry going into a global queue then it's X Industry for Y turns. I can't see any other sane way of making it work.

Balancing # of shipyards vs amount of Industry being generated plantside would be a pain in the arse. That goes for any global queue idea, not just PCs.

I have no absolutely no idea how to limit shipyard capacity in a sane fashion, and wonder if it's even desirable. Shipyards are, in addition to objects in the game world, rally points on the UI. I don't see the point in forcing the player to build crap all over the known the galaxy, then dragging to a central point.

If the player wants to make a huge armada at a single shipyard, let em. It'll save dozens of clicks.

(if shipyards generated PP rather than the planet, it would be a different story. But that would involve ditching the Industry focus, probably too radical a change to the basic economy for consideration.)

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#36 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Jun 30, 2004 6:04 am

For all pro-pool people: Reading over the thread, there haven't been a lot of reasons to support pooled production that weren't shot down, or weren't essentially "because I also want global queues" I think it's been explained how a global queue without pooling could work, so could pro-poolers give some reasons to support pooling in of itself?

tzlaine had that limited local production for a shipyard encourages lots of shipyards

guiguibaah had strategy reasons that (arguably) didn't hold water

drek refered to the simplicity of having a single number for production

There are ok reasons, but compared to the downsides, seem trivial to me... Are there other, as-yet-unstated-in-this-thread reasons that are more significant? (not micro...)
drek wrote:If the player wants to make a huge armada at a single shipyard, let em. It'll save dozens of clicks.
I wonder about the production / placement of shipyards then... If you can build as many ships as you want in minimal/constant time at any shipyard by spending pooled PP, and you can build a shipyard anywhere you want with pooled PP as well, then you can effectively build as many ships as you want anywhere you want. This seems like a bad idea to me... but I suspect you disagree...? If not, maybe X for Y turns to build a shipyard would be enough to fix this...?

I also think seeing an armada converge from across your empire to a rally point would be quite satisfying.. more so than having it be nonexistant one turn, and then all there the next at one planet... (minor issue though)

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#37 Post by vishnou00 » Wed Jun 30, 2004 7:48 am

I thought of editing my first post, but I'll just reply the thread.

#1 System build queue (oops, make that planetary with system pooling)

Since there is no strategic difference in the position of the planets in a system, a whole system's production is pooled, the queue too.
With a good interface to manage similar planets/system. (a good step toward such an interface would be macro-orders, imho).


#2 Pre-placement

Things are built locally (in a system) using local production capacity, so it must be pre-placed (system chosen). The actual planet in the system where the building is placed (if applicable) could be pre-placed or post-placed, I don't care much. Post-placement would only add a step, but it could be post-placed with pre-post-placement (i.e. you choose on production start, but in can be changed before completion). But it would still be in the same system.


#3 Intra-system production pooling (for buildings) would be automatic (with no penalty)
Inter-system production pooling (for buildings) would use supply lines

An idea that covers intersystem production pooling and stockpiling of leftovers. It's been deemed too complicated, but I don't think it is. The collaboration between systems could be done with a system similar to the the supply routes described in this thread.


It may seem too implicate too much micromanagement, and talking about micromanagement may be too offtopic, so I enclose what I have to in an easely skippable quote if you find it too offtopic.
vishnou00 about the problem of micromanagement wrote:After two weeks on this forum, I understood tzlaine's (and probably others') concerns about micromanagement and "AI helper".


About the AI helper:
The point is, if it's manageable, the player is the best to do it, as no AI can compete with a human given an infinite amount of time. If a player rely on an AI to do this management, he is effectively not playing the game, not enjoying it and is boring to the other players (in a multiplayer game) and himself. He just shouldn't play that game.

The reason why one would turn to an AI is the issue that should be addressed. If it's because the management is time consuming, it's an interface problem. If it's because it's insignificant (the player don't care) it's a game design problem. The two combined (insignificance*time consumption) gives an indicator of game suckiness, or micromanagement. So if a feature is time consuming but equally significant, it is not a problem because it is only management, or playing a strategy game (which is the goal). If the feature is too time consuming for its significance, it should be made more significant or less time consuming.

My conclusion is that when playing a game with an epic scale (lots of difference of control between the humble beginning and the glorious ending) you end up with a lot more of significant things to do, but those things aren't less significant than in the beginning. In the endgame, tools to do things more quickly should be used to reduced time-consumption.

The alternative is to reduce the number of things to do, like the current trend globalisation of production. This, imo, reduce the sense of epicness, as you don't have more control, you just have the same control over something bigger (and the depiction of something bigger is lot less engaging than the depiction of a bigger number of same-sized object).

I think the significance of the parts of your empire should be constant to all the players (or spectators) and scale in number with the progression of a game, not the significance of your empire as a whole being constant (and parts having decreasing significance as the game progress), as external viewers (other players/spectators) may only see a part of your empire.


But this is a personal point of view and others can disagree, but I think the decision should be made as to what direction should the evolution of a game be: more elements to manage with interface tools to keep time constant, or a constant number of elements to manage.

I don't think this "we'll manage with better tools" opens the door addition that consumes incredible amount of time for their significance (ala civ franchise), even on a small scale. If things are insignificant on a small scale, they won't be anymore significant on a large scale, they shouldn't exist.


Now addressing specific posts of this thread:

noelte:
I thought
Aquitaine wrote:
  • We only want control over building things that matter: in this case, ships, wonders, or 'semi-wonders,' which are essentially things that are Really Important and occupy a planetary slot but aren't totally unique.
meant buildings were "ships, wonders, or 'semi-wonders'".
I'd refer to that idea for collaboration of production and limitation on output capacity of the shipyards.

Aquitaine: I'm sorry, but why no system queue? Well, I already wrote why I like them (it's more like system free pooling).

Geoff de Medio: would you help me revive this thread? :)

Ragnar and PowerCrazy: an idea to support the shipyard concept would require special attention to have it streamlined enough to require little attention, but some auto/abstracted-convoy should do the trick. It wouldn't be SMAC/Civ style supply convoy, they require way to much attention to setup.
I find the PP/turn limit weird to balance. A supply system would give player more control over the limit (softening the limit) and would be more natural to balance.

drek: you could've linked your thread of into brainstorming, like so.


Please don't reply just to address some off-topic things I wrote, reply in a new thread in brainstorming.

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#38 Post by emrys » Wed Jun 30, 2004 11:45 am

First, disclaimer:

I kind of like the direction Drek/powercrazy are heading in brainstorming, mostly because it produces the same effect as the variant on production I'm voting for, but perhaps people will be happier with the route by which they reach the result.

Second, vote:

#1: Where should you make the decisions about the remaining things we want control over,

Where the player wants to, from an imperial scope for things they think of when at that scope, at a local scope for things they think of when looking at that level.

Should you build them somewhere specifically, or build them in purgatory and place them afterwards,

Things should certainly have to have a definite location before any work starts on them, the build in purgatory idea just leads to headaches...

Should you be able to pool multiple planets' production capacities?

Yes and No!

No pooling (purely local building) seems likely to make it hard to prioritise things across the empire, and to lead to poor scaling of the players decision making time with the size of the empire, and also probably to things that annoy me like having to start colonies off as industrial to build them up, or switch a devloped research world to industrial in order to build a building or such strangeness.

Complete pooling (single empire production queue) seems likely to lead us off into the wilderness of absurd building rates at brand new worlds and homogeneous empires with players' indifferent as to the fate of individual worlds because they are all interchangeable.

So, some level of pooling would be good, but complete pooling would be bad. So I'd argue we should have interplanetary 'assistance'.

Projects of all kinds could be costed by Drek's method of X pp per turn for Y turns. Locations could have a maximum pp per turn expenditure, which would limit the largest project they could run, and for planets would be based off their general infrastructure rating, such that an equally developed industrial, research etc. planet would have the same spending cap. Shipyards would have their own PP per turn limits, and limit on the number of concurrent projects.

Projects would be placed into the empire level queue by the method suggested by Aquitaine and others (e.g. put projects into queue at empire level, and game suggests most likely location which you can override, or you can place them in from the planet/system/shipyard localised view and that location is used, from the more localised views you see the relevant subset of the empire level list.) Thus you have both empire and local level prioritisation in one.

All PP production would be pooled, and then distributed down the imperial list in priority order, with the per turn PP cost being applied to each project.

This means that there is a limited level of transfer of production to those projects at the top of the list, and any production produced but not spent at a particular location is not wasted but naturally distributed to those locations which are spending more than they produce.

So industrial powerhouses could help out other worlds (or fund shipyards), but you couldn't funnel all your empire's output into a few locations to suddenly build huge fleets on newly colonised border worlds.

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#39 Post by Aquitaine » Wed Jun 30, 2004 1:19 pm

It's PUBLIC REVIEW XIX: Dangeresque 3...

I will make a separate infrastructure review. I think we can skip the DESIGN: process for it since it's a fairly straightforward issue (hopefully I won't regret saying that).

Drek's point regarding checking individual queues is well made. I hadn't thought of it in that capacity. Also, if we go the 'pool production' route, then we do have a challenge to ensure that specific planets are still interesting to the player, but that's a solveable problem. Checking every queue every other turn is less solveable.

I also think we would have to do it like research - X PP for Y turns - because otherwise it is impossible to balance.

vishnou00: No system queue because it didn't get the requisite level of support in the original thread. I personally find it interesting, but it has advantages and disadvantages from both local and Imperial level stuff, and it seems to me as though it has more of the disadvantages (it's not quite local so you have to deal with placing things in multiple locations, but it's not quite global so you still have to check lots of systems).

Drek pretty much addressed all of my complaints about PP pooling. For those of you who are still against the idea, try to pick out what you like least about it so we can finish hashing this out.
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#40 Post by tzlaine » Wed Jun 30, 2004 1:51 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:tzlaine had that limited local production for a shipyard encourages lots of shipyards

guiguibaah had strategy reasons that (arguably) didn't hold water

drek refered to the simplicity of having a single number for production
It also means that there is no conceptual difference between the research and industry systems, which makes the game easier to comprehend on its face. KISS.
There are ok reasons, but compared to the downsides, seem trivial to me... Are there other, as-yet-unstated-in-this-thread reasons that are more significant? (not micro...)
Well actually, regarding micro...
That said, tzlaine's micro-phobic reason for pooling production in the first place is flawed, given the limited number of special buildings, and thus minimal micro required, as Aquitaine has stated.
The thing is, as I mentioned in my original post, the limited number of buildings does remove the micromanagement aspect of producing buildings with local queues with unpooled PP, but does nothing to reduce the micro with regard to ships. In fact, local queues will not only lead to tens-to-hundreds of shipyards (a point you conceded above), but also tens-to-hundreds of queues in which ships are produced. You end up with tens to hundreds of queues building important items that you have to micromanage.

Finally, I'd like to point out that every argument against the pooling of PP that has been mentioned in this thread can be applied to the pooling of RP. Planet-level research, anyone?

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#41 Post by noelte » Wed Jun 30, 2004 2:09 pm

I will add something more later/tomorrow, but i want to make a quick responds to zachs last post.

IMO, you can't (shouldn't) compare RP and PP pooling. One thing is about connected minds (non material things) and the other is about producing something. Also KISS doesn't applies. I think cause people are used to see reseach pooled and local production, it rather more difficult for the player to get used to it.

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#42 Post by Aquitaine » Wed Jun 30, 2004 2:26 pm

noelte wrote:I will add something more later/tomorrow, but i want to make a quick responds to zachs last post.

IMO, you can't (shouldn't) compare RP and PP pooling. One thing is about connected minds (non material things) and the other is about producing something. Also KISS doesn't applies. I think cause people are used to see reseach pooled and local production, it rather more difficult for the player to get used to it.
The first part of this is a realism argument (connected minds). I do agree with your point that people 'expect' local production, but that's actually part of the source of my initial stubbornness about doing anything else; it's not MOO if it doesn't have local production!

But I think PP pooling does have its merits. I don't particularly agree with tzlaine that having two identical systems automatically satisfies KISS; research is inherently a different animal because you only ever research anything once, so there would be no point to 'local research' (although Crusader Kings does it, but it's not really comparable). There is no advantage to having something researched in a particular place since research always benefits the whole Empire, whereas production benefits one planet, except for wonders and such.
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#43 Post by tzlaine » Wed Jun 30, 2004 2:42 pm

Ships benefit the entire empire too. But I'm not sure why that is even being brought up, to be honest. I thought the big argument against pooling was game balancing, which applies to RP just as well as PP.

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#44 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Jun 30, 2004 3:32 pm

tzlaine wrote:In fact, local queues will not only lead to tens-to-hundreds of shipyards (a point you conceded above), but also tens-to-hundreds of queues in which ships are produced. You end up with tens to hundreds of queues building important items that you have to micromanage.
*pulling out my hair*
ok... I tried to make it clear that I was asking for reasons to pool PP... not reasons to have a global queue. I'll quote myself:
Geoff the Medio wrote:For all pro-pool people: Reading over the thread, there haven't been a lot of reasons to support pooled production that weren't shot down, or weren't essentially "because I also want global queues" I think it's been explained how a global queue without pooling could work, so could pro-poolers give some reasons to support pooling in of itself?
Could you give reasons to support POOLING PP... Micro is not an issue for pooling. Micro is an issue for local vs. global queues, which is not what I'm asking about. A global queue can be used without pooling.
Finally, I'd like to point out that every argument against the pooling of PP that has been mentioned in this thread can be applied to the pooling of RP. Planet-level research, anyone?
??? Since when? There's no strategic problem with having research available everywhere when complete. Research is not done only in a specific location... it's spread out for the whole empire (as far as I know), so it makes sense to pool RP. Building ships and wonders "should" be done in a specific location, which makes pooling PP problematic...

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#45 Post by tzlaine » Wed Jun 30, 2004 4:19 pm

Could you give reasons to support POOLING PP... Micro is not an issue for pooling. Micro is an issue for local vs. global queues, which is not what I'm asking about. A global queue can be used without pooling.
There's no need to yell.

The reason the micromanagement argument applies to PP pooling is that without pooling, there is de facto no global build queue. Providing a consolidated interface to N local queues, while it is more convenient than going through N screens with individual queues, doesn't actually reduce the level of micromanagement you have to do. You still have to check on and manage items in each of the N queues.
Finally, I'd like to point out that every argument against the pooling of PP that has been mentioned in this thread can be applied to the pooling of RP. Planet-level research, anyone?
??? Since when? There's no strategic problem with having research available everywhere when complete. Research is not done only in a specific location... it's spread out for the whole empire (as far as I know), so it makes sense to pool RP. Building ships and wonders "should" be done in a specific location, which makes pooling PP problematic...
Alright, maybe not every argument against PP pooling applies to RP as well, but the major ones seem to. I was specifically referring to the "game balancing nightmare" that is supposed to accompany PP pooling, due to the radically different empire production rates possible. This specifically applies to the pooling of RP as well, but with RP there seem to be no objections.

Why do you say that building ships and wonders at a certain location makes pooling PP problematic? I don't understand what you mean by that.

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