Public Review: v0.30 Nuts and Bolts

Past public reviews and discussions.
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Aquitaine
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Public Review: v0.30 Nuts and Bolts

#1 Post by Aquitaine » Tue Jul 27, 2004 2:30 pm

Read over the v0.30 requirements doc: http://www.freeorion.org/index.php?titl ... quirements

I have to take some responsibility for the design process on v0.30 going a little haywire. This is partially due to the fact that we simply dealt with larger issues in v0.30 than we ever had before, and partially due to the fact that I just didn't have the time IRL to moderate and administrate as much as I should have. Nonetheless, we did have a lot of productive discussion and debate, and I think we've got an excellent foundation for FreeOrion.

But with the sheer number of things that went into v0.30, some details may have slipped through the crack. The design team ended up writing a lot that hadn't been through the public review process, either because the issue was not large enough to warrant one, or we were too exhausted from previous reviews. So this is your opportunity to go over the v0.30 document, raise questions, look at formulae, and, essentially, make us defend the requirements document.

This is not the time to gripe or complain if you just hate the system. I'm talking about clarity and I'm talking about balance. If you don't understand something or you think the implementation or wording could be a little better, this is the space for it. This review will start off undirected, and then I will peek in after a couple days and see if any one subject needs either another thread or some more focus in this one.

Thanks to everyone for their patience!

Aquitaine
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#2 Post by drek » Tue Jul 27, 2004 6:20 pm

Thanks for the public review.

In particular, the following sections haven't recieved a stamp from public review:

* effects
* the various forumlas and numbers used by infra/meter growth
* some of the bonuses/penalties in that section (esp. the industry bonuses/penalties to planets based on size)
* the entire nutrient distribution section

If anyone has any better/different ideas for any of the above, I think this would be the perfect thread to voice 'em.

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Geoff the Medio
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#3 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Jul 27, 2004 7:51 pm

Since there are no specifically outlined "options" to vote on, I assume suggesting new variations on existing systems is acceptable.

Regarding Nutrient Distribution, I'd prefer a more continuous scale of health / growth bonuses / penalties due to food availability.

I suggest:

If a planet's food supply is less than its population, the planet's health meter is capped, and the health meter has a penalty applied:

(health penalty) = -20 * ( (pop) - (food) ) / pop)

(health cap) = 10 * (food) / (pop)


If a planet's food supply is greater than or equal to its population, and less than or equal to twice its population, health is capped, but there is no health bonus or penalty:

(health cap) = 10 * (food) / (pop)


If a planet's food supply is more than twice its population, there is no specific health cap, and health receives a bonus:

(health bonus) = 20 * ( (food) - 2 * (pop) ) / (pop)

(health cap) = 100


A max bonus for extra food could be set... say +40, after which extra food is no help.


Edit: Fixed up numbers so 20 farming (meaning 2 food / pop point) is "breakeven", as it should be.

Regarding the construction meter,

I think the construction meter should grow at a constant rate, say 0.5 / turn, up to its max value. Meters are "production per unit of population", so meter growth is "increase in production per unit of population", so the construction meter is a measure something "per units of population". It seems unnecessary to include the population in the rate of growth of something that is itself a measure "per units of population". I also don't see what the advantage of the more complicated growth formula is for gameplay. The meter growth already starts slow, and grows with construction... what's the need to change the rate of growth of the rate of growth of meters...?
Last edited by Geoff the Medio on Wed Jul 28, 2004 12:04 am, edited 3 times in total.

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#4 Post by Ragnar » Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:58 pm

It looks really good. I have no major issues, couple of minor comments.

On Health and nutrients: Why a +25 health for terrible? Unless there is some other common negative factor (besides starving and poorly fed) I am missing, you won't get below 20. I would think a terrible enviro colony would need to be well fed to grow without some tech bonus or other "player intervention" factor. I would think there would be techs or other factors that give more bonuses here, so mid game you would never have unhealthy colonies. - Just needs some balancing/tweeking.
Related is the passes for nutrient disto. It would seem to me on the third pass that the planets that produce the surplus should get first dibs on being well fed. I understand the logic of older first in the other passes, but what about those terrible envio. colonies that produce no food? There should be a way to override the older planets get dibs, in order to pump up the growth rate of new colonies on crappy worlds.

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#5 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Jul 27, 2004 11:17 pm

The migration section is pointless at this time. Unless the system will be fleshed out in a meaningful way, it should be removed.

The following comments on planet environments should be removed or coloured green, as they have no meaning at this time:
"An Asteroid Mining Base can be built here."
"A Gas Giant Tap can be built here."

Adding, in green, "Later, effects may depend on star colour" or somesuch would be good, after "Star colors have no gameplay effect..."

Starlane generation has not been sufficiently discussed and decided on to have any use for the different options for frequencies for different lengths of starlanes. Until that happens, the only option here should be a single number for starlane frequency.

The descriptive text for the approximate radius of various different planet slots seems a bit odd. Why not use 0 = mercury distance, 1 = venus, 2 = earth, 3 = mars, 4 = asteroid belt, 5 = jupiter (and so on).

Regarding Ragnar's comment, I think the health bonuses are too big for all environment preferences. I previously commented on the value for optimal, but it applies to all of them.

I'd like to see an additional star colour: "Planetary Nebula", or just "Nebula", which is a big cloud of gas that hasn't yet condensed into a star and planets. This can wait for after v0.3 though, at which time I'd like to redo the whole star colour system.

Galaxy shape options seem to have been somewhat reduced from the current version... How about:
-elliptical
-rings and spokes
-concentric rings
-solid string
-branching tree
-core and sattelites

Rename "Radiated" to "Irradiated"

Contradiction:
"Each empire will start the game with one planet of at least large size, with 20 population set to ‘balanced’ and 3 missile bases."
"At the start of the game each Homeworld's Current Population is set to 75% of Max Population."

This should not be done: "2. Combine all fleets at each system into consolidated fleets for each empire." It's fine for fleets to fight as a single massed fleet, but when the battle's over, or if there isn't one, the fleets should remain as the player set them.

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#6 Post by Tyreth » Wed Jul 28, 2004 2:07 am

I've changed the growth population formula to work with maxpop+1 so that growth doesn't plateau just below 25.

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#7 Post by drek » Wed Jul 28, 2004 4:09 am

Why a +25 health for terrible? Unless there is some other common negative factor (besides starving and poorly fed) I am missing, you won't get below 20.
imho:
A colony on a terrible world should grow, but at a snail's pace.

The other negative factors (aside from those caused by food) will be introduced in later versions: Events, specials, plantary bombings, etc.

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#8 Post by Ragnar » Wed Jul 28, 2004 9:29 pm

It looks like the tech and production are going exactly like in HOI, with what was decided for the extra RP and PP. (By the way, you guys influenced me to go out and get HOI, great game!) With that: on the interface we should have a button to cancel but instead of a button to "prioritze" we should drag and drop the project in order to set the priority. This is one annoying thing on HOI, is that the project is alway placed on the top. I think drag and drop would be the ideal tool to arrange your priorities and future scheduleing.
May be OT and already squashed, but I would also like to see a button to "rush". By "rush" I mean cut time in half and tripple cost as the only option when selected. The button can be unselected to go back to normal if you loose production or whatever. This would apply to both production and reasearch. I think this would allow some specialized empires to gain in the tech or production race at a high cost without greatly unbalancing, since you could only half the time, not build in 1 turn. If rushing was already killed, just forget I mentioned it. :) The fleshing out of the empirial queues and playing HOI lately got me thinking on this subject.

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#9 Post by Aquitaine » Wed Jul 28, 2004 10:15 pm

FYI, the design doc does not specify in great detail how the interface should be done (i.e. we won't say 'drag and drop versus button'). This is because we recognize that we are game designers and not graphic/UI designers -- we just say what has to be accomplished and leave the details to the experts.

Although I do agree with you, as much as I like some of Paradox's stuff, their UIs are awful.
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#10 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Aug 01, 2004 1:26 am

For planet environements, gaia, should slot 5 have "40" or "-40" (like slots 2 through 7 have)?

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colonies

#11 Post by Manilla Moxy » Sun Aug 01, 2004 1:59 am

Why not make colonies grow depending on how close another colony is?

Say Homeworld is 10/10 pop.
New Colony A is in same system of Homeworld.
So Colony A get growth bonus.

(H,A)


Say Homeworld is 10/10 pop.
Colony A is 2/10 pop.
New Colony B is 1 stalane away from Homeworld system
So Colony B grows notmally

(H,A) - (B)


Say Homeworld is 10/10 pop.
Colony A is 2/10 pop.
Colony B is 1/10 pop.
New Colony C is 4 starlanes away from Colony B system, 5 from homeworld.
Colony C grows with penalty

(H,A) - (B) - ( ) - ( ) - ( ) - (C)


Say same as above, New Colony C is 4 stalanes away from Colony B, 1 starlane away from Enemy!
Colony C grows with bigger penalty.

(H,A) - (B) - ( ) - ( ) - ( ) - (C) - (E,E,E,E!!)


Say Homeworld 10/10 Pop
Colony A 4/10 pop
Colony B 2/10 pop
Colony C 2/10 pop
New Colony D is 1 starlane away from B, 3 from C.
Colony D grows normally.

(H,A) - (B) - (D) - ( ) - ( ) - (C) - (E,E,E,E!!)


This way empire grows slowly outward, and not hop-hop-hop-hop mess. If you see juicy planet in system 6 starlanes away, you weigh in the cost of colony being far away, but having sweet specials, like natives and mineral uber rich!!!!! Farther away colony is to other big colony, harder it is to build!
It's cool man!

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#12 Post by drek » Sun Aug 01, 2004 3:07 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:For planet environements, gaia, should slot 5 have "40" or "-40" (like slots 2 through 7 have)?
Yeah, you caught a typo I must have made when coverting rtf-->wiki. Thanks.
This way empire grows slowly outward, and not hop-hop-hop-hop mess. If you see juicy planet in system 6 starlanes away, you weigh in the cost of colony being far away, but having sweet specials, like natives and mineral uber rich!!!!! Farther away colony is to other big colony, harder it is to build!
Outside the scope of this review.

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#13 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Aug 09, 2004 2:38 am

What does this mean: "Planetary environment preference > X" (possible requirement to make a building on a planet) Does this mean that the empire that owns the planet must have a given environment preference? Or does it mean the planet environment must be within X environments on the EP wheel of the empire's preferred environment, or some other environment (the preferred environment for the building itself)?

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#14 Post by Daveybaby » Mon Aug 09, 2004 8:35 am

I would imagine that this could potentially apply to terraforming buildings, i.e. if you had a building which converts (say) a radiated world to a barren one, then it would be sensible to restrict it to being built on radiated (or worse) worlds (if for no other reason than to reduce UI clutter and/or prevent people from mistakenly placing ineffective buildings).

That was my take on things - i may be mistaken, and of course this all depends on how terraforming is going to work.
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#15 Post by noelte » Mon Aug 09, 2004 8:44 am

Daveybaby wrote:...terraforming buildings, ...
Wouldn't it be better to have terraforming projects rather than buildings? makes more sence to me
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