Quick Feature: Infrastructure

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drek
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#61 Post by drek » Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:00 am

We don't know if building production is local or via the pool yet. I have no idea which direction Aq/Tyreth is leaning in.
Could also just the "production meter" for this. It's just an on-off switch, but like smac, if it falls below a certain level (say if it goes to 0) then you can't build anything at the planet. The bonuses from meters don't have to be just increasing the resource production..
That might be a good idea. Simpler than adding yet another number (total infra) to the UI.

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PowerCrazy
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#62 Post by PowerCrazy » Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:03 am

Drek: You got my proposal mostly correct except that the focus would determine the infrastructure as well. The 0-100% would just be what is shown to the player.

My idea is almost identical to B except that all the infrastructure levels are just combined into one % bar. Either method is fine for me.

Actually you might just call B a refinement of the original Infrastructure Idea.

In regard to your post above, I still think that building production should be local, and ships be global.
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Krikkitone
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#63 Post by Krikkitone » Fri Jul 02, 2004 5:11 pm

PowerCrazy wrote: In regard to your post above, I still think that building production should be local, and ships be global.
If buildings use local resources only, then they should Not use PP because that effectively restricts their location to Industrial worlds. (which is OK if we go with a few Industrial worlds Being the Only Important worlds) but not otherwise.

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Geoff the Medio
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#64 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:33 pm

I envision all projects, be they wonder buildings, ships, or even technology research, taking various amount of all resources for a set number of turns.

In food/production/minerals/research/money,

-A particular ship would take 10/50/40/20/30 per turn for 12 turns
-A farming related building would take 60/40/40/50/50 per turn for 20 turns
-A technology to build better mines would take 0/20/60/80/40 per turn for 15 turns

Alternatively, an area of effect farming bonus building could require a lot of production to build, but instead of building it at a farming world, you'd build it at an industrial world near several farming worlds.

Also, I hope that our wonder buildings not just have bonuses, but rather also have significant penalties associated with them, area of effect or otherwise (not just upkeep costs). The area of effect farming building could give +2 farming within 30 light years, but would give -1 happiness, and attrack space monsters in the same area.

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PowerCrazy
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#65 Post by PowerCrazy » Sat Jul 03, 2004 7:47 am

Krikkitone wrote: If buildings use local resources only, then they should Not use PP because that effectively restricts their location to Industrial worlds. (which is OK if we go with a few Industrial worlds Being the Only Important worlds) but not otherwise.
Exactly.
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Geoff the Medio
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#66 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sat Jul 03, 2004 9:21 am

drek, looking over your "quick list of meters" first post, ( viewtopic.php?p=12414#12414 ) I noticed that a lot of your non-resource meter values tend to depend on eachother or specific external influences.
drek wrote:Health: Nutrients divided by population is the base [...] Esp. low and high health scores effect happiness

Enviroment: Enviroment vs. enviromental preference is the base of the enviroment meter. [...] Heavily effects Farming and Health. Minor effect on Happiness.

Happiness: Based on Government picks, heavily modified by enviroment, health.
This isn't necessarily bad, but there are a few issues that interdependent meters bring up...

-This breaks with the SMAC convention of each meter measuring an independent societal effect. In SMAC, if you had a low EFFIC, it didn't bleed over into your ECON score directly... you'd loose some of your extra income to inefficiencty, but this wasn't represented by changing the ECON score itself.

-It might be hard to balance interlocking effects. Changing one thing changes several others in different amounts, leading to unpredictable consequences.

-It would be very difficult to represent graphically, or for the player to understand, all of the interactions between various meters. The player needs to understand what's going on to make strategic decisions.

-Similarly, if a meter depends on an external factor, as in health on food supply, understanding how and knowing when it's changing would be difficult for the player. Instead, the heath meter could determine the severity and nature of the populace's reaction to food shortages. The meter value itself wouldn't need to directly depend on the external factor.

-If a meter exists primarily to measure an effect that influences several other meters, it might be better to do without the meter, and just adjust the other meters directly. (Example: environment meter)

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#67 Post by drek » Sat Jul 03, 2004 10:23 am

to geoff's post above, replied here:

viewtopic.php?p=12646#12646

Mildly important post, I believe we are getting close to the time when effects/meters/stuff like that will be set in stone.

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#68 Post by Krikkitone » Sun Jul 04, 2004 2:30 am

Well the one remaining issue I have with the meter=infrastructure system (besides the lack of cost)

is the lack of granularity.

Instead of 0 to 10, I'd have the meters go from 0 to 100 (with output increasing by ~20% (multiplicative) with each meter) This would provide for greater ability to balance effects through small tweaks (ie should Rich planet be +7 or +8 on mining is a lot easier than +1 or +2)

It would allow a long range of effects (so that through out a tech tree the 'common range' of a meter could move from 0-20 up to 80-100 for its max value).. In that case Higher Tech expensive colony ships could probably allow new colonys to start out at levels of a meter higher than 0.

As long as the meters went to actual output, instead of efficiency, then population becomes something that allows more 'meter' ie 'infrastructure' rather than being something that comes with it. [I'd probably have the change in resource meters be gradual as well]

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#69 Post by drek » Sun Jul 04, 2004 3:30 am

I like 0 through 10, so that each level of a meter can be easily represented on the UI.

We could have increases that are less than a full meter level. +.25, for example. (or meters really could be 1-100, but boxed levels of a meter represent 10 points on the UI. Either way.)

We do need to decide:

Population*meter=output like in v.2

--or--

Population increases max meter. Meter=output, as Geoff advocated earlier.

Slightly offtopic, we still need something to do with excess food (and possibly minerals.)

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Geoff the Medio
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#70 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Jul 04, 2004 3:49 am

drek wrote:Population increases max meter. Meter=output, as Geoff advocated earlier.
Do you refer to this post?
Geoff the Medio wrote:Why is it necessary to have a rating for generic infrastructure? Seems to me this could be abstracted as part of the population number. The capacity to produce each resource could depend on focus settings or meters...

consider Krikkitone's proposal here (where infrastructure is categorized, not generic):
viewtopic.php?p=11953#11953
I was not clear in the preamble before the link. Krikkitone's proposal was essentially that focus determined what % of the population worked to produce each resource. The total # of each resource produced did depend on population as:

(food produced) = (population) * (farming %)

The only difference between this and the current proposal,

(food produced) = (population) * (farming meter)

is that the total resource production is not always equal to population. With meters, one unit of population produces multiple resources in different amounts, and the sum of all the resource meters is not constant (at 100% in Krikk's proposal I linked to).

I'm currently suggesting this:

viewtopic.php?p=12665#12665

(Which covers focus and resource production among other things).

I do like the proposed change to allow meters to vary by units less than 1, as well, which isn't in the linked post. I think it's important that the values of meters be distinguishable by a quick glance, and that each value of the meter is significantly different from the adjacent values. This means:
-The smallest meter value gradation should be visible on a standard meter display
-There should be only one size of (full) meter value unit marker (meaning no big icons counting for 10 smaller icons in the meter dislpay, allowing a small UI space to show big numbers graphically.)
-The range of values, and size of gradation has to be such that each distinct value of the meter is significantly different from the adjacent values. (1 is different from 2. 85 is the same as 84. 7.25 vs. 7.50 is debatable...)

Conclusion: I'm leaning towards 1 full unit being the smallest gradation, with ~10 being the max meter value. I could see going to 1/2 unit gradations, or resetting the scale to -10 to +10 with 1 unit gradations. (Choice depending on whether we can think up enough different effects for most meters to make this practial, and whether we think 0 should be the bottom, or if meters could go -ve, as in SMAC. Resource meters probably shouldn't be allowed to go -ve, and the display for -ve meters would be more complicated / space consuming)


Edit: I did have a rather different proposal quite some time ago, outlined here:

viewtopic.php?p=11855#11855

(intermixed with a proposed way to limit local spending at a planet by some function of PP produced locally). This proposal did more or less decouple resource production from population. It did so by saying that PP/food/minerals/reserach produced was equal to the number of facilities (factories/farms/mines/labs etc) on the planet, and building facilities took PP, and that facilities cost PP for maintainance/repair. It also had a nice way to model improved tech, as facilities could be upgraded, costing PP as well. I'm fairly sure that a system like this won't be acceptable to most however, and am not currently promoting it... (alas).

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#71 Post by Daveybaby » Tue Jul 06, 2004 10:37 am

This is all good stuff, I can live with any of the above proposals summarised, as long as they utilise option 1 and not 2. Preference is for B, though i'm liking drek's stuff more and more - it seems to suit FO better than the others, somehow.

@Drek : w.r.t. your proposal, what effect would switching focus have on the status of a colony. Would you switch back to 'nascent' for a number of turns?

Hmm... actually i would propose an additional state, (call it 'transitional') during which the outputs of the system are the minimum of those from the old focus to the new one, thus if your primary focus is farming and your secondary is research, and you switch your primary focus to industry - then for a while your system will not produce much in the way of either food or industry, but will still churn out its research (since that has stayed the same).

Similarly, does anyone see a need for the focus of a planet affecting the duration of its 'nascent' status - e.g. farming or mining planets probably shouldnt take as long to develop as an industrial one. Also, possibly farming planets would take longer to recover from 'ruined' status than a mining one (damaged ecology might affect farming but not mining). Or it might take longer to switch from a mining focus to a farming one than vice versa (since mining has damaged the ecology). Okay, all of that is probably OTT, but i'm just checking out possibilities here.
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Geoff the Medio
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#72 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:38 pm

Daveybaby wrote:@Drek : w.r.t. your proposal, what effect would switching focus have on the status of a colony. [...]
Hmm... actually i would propose an additional state, (call it 'transitional') during which the outputs of the system are the minimum of those from the old focus to the new one
drek had originally proposed a "Transitioning Between Foci" state as the penalty for switching focus. It's mentioned in the description for proposal C. I believe it applied a penalty to some or all of the resource meters.

In the "B" option, there is already a penalty built in for focus switching, however. Since any meters above the max meter value are reduced to the max meter value, if you switch focus when all your meters have maxed out (takes a long to time happen naturally), then you lose some built up resource meter points, and don't gain them back immediately in the other meters.
Similarly, does anyone see a need for the focus of a planet affecting the duration of its 'nascent' status
I believe drek was originally advocating a fixed duration nascent status... that was not influenced by anything, including focus.

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#73 Post by Aquitaine » Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:39 pm

I'm re-opening this thread so we can fully flesh out the direction of this system. It looks like the mutant child of Option B and Drek's proposal is the consensus here.

I'm going to go try and write the meters into the design doc, and then figure out how to marry that to this proposal; as these things are spaced out across several threads, it might take me a little while, but I think I'm grasping this, and for my own two cents, I'm with Drek -- I like the Nascent/Ruined/label approach but I see the value in Option B and I think the union of the two should fit nicely.
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#74 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Jul 06, 2004 7:50 pm

Aquitaine wrote:I'm re-opening this thread so we can fully flesh out the direction of this system. It looks like the mutant child of Option B and Drek's proposal is the consensus here.
I've already spammed links to this, but on the off chance you haven't seen it, here's another:

viewtopic.php?t=787

The post doesn't start explicitly about "meters" or "infrastructure", but it gets to them (see "Planet Meters" section) as part of the larger system of events, effects and meters.

Edit: It mentions "nascent colony" specials only in passing, and doesn't flesh out what they are. For v0.3, they could just give -3 (or so) to the construction meter for 10 turns, and resource meters would all start at 0 at a new colony (and unable to grow due to -3 construction penalty)

I was covering the system more so that specific content, such as nascent colonies, except for examples...


Is that sufficiently fleshed out, and if not, what more do you need to know? (Content?)

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#75 Post by Ragnar » Tue Jul 06, 2004 9:24 pm

I'll vote for the mutant child (would that be Drekitone the Medio? :twisted: )

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