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Re: Terraforming costs v fractional production—new system ne

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 6:42 am
by Dilvish
dbenage-cx wrote:
Dilvish wrote:It seems to me it could be possible to just have the C++ enumeration as generic types
I feel the real functionality desired here is the ability to define (a variable number of) planet types at runtime. (e.g. BuildingType, PartType).
I am not understanding where you see the lack.

Regarding "variable number" the enumerated "raw" types would be up to some maximum number (say, 10 times larger than anything you think anyone would actually want to do) and only the number of types actually specified via scripting would be usable. And even the enumerated raw types aspect is not really necessary, but would simply mean a lesser amount of code change.

Other than "variable number", which is now explicitly discussed, how is the scriptable definition I had already talked about not exactly "define... at runtime"?

Re: Terraforming costs v fractional production—new system ne

Posted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:29 pm
by Dilvish
Dilvish wrote:Vezzra ... claiming it for himself. Sorry, but what can I do? Sometimes he's just like that.
I think I didn't put enough winks and smiley's into that post, so just to clarify for any newcomers who don't really know Vezzra yet, or just anyone for whom my humor was too quirky, I was just fooling around putting some extra words into Vezzra's mouth, he's really not "just like that" at all. :oops: :D

Re: Terraforming costs v fractional production—new system ne

Posted: Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:25 pm
by Vezzra
labgnome wrote:
Dilvish wrote:edit: p.s. labgnome, reading the thread a bit more, I notice that it looks like Vezzra really should have credited you with the idea rather than claiming it for himself. Sorry, but what can I do? Sometimes he's just like that.
I'm not too upset, I mean I like the idea, so I'm more interested in seeing that people who can actually do programing are interested in it. Plus, I wouldn't be surprised if both of us had be mulling the possibility for just as long.
Erm, as Dilvish mentioned himself in the meantime, that was a joke anyway. I mean, it's commendable that you wouldn't have been upset if I actually had tried to pass your idea as mine (something I'd never do of course :mrgreen:). But please don't take this particular statement of him seriously... ;)

Otherwise I'd really have to be worried. I mean, he did threaten to send assassins after me once. That too was a joke of course... at least I think it was... Dilvish??? :shock:

:mrgreen:

Ok, on a more serious note, you're actually right, the idea to make things like planet types scriptable had crossed my mind in the past. I haven't given it much thought though. But I do think that it's an interesting idea.

Re: Terraforming costs v fractional production—new system ne

Posted: Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:26 pm
by Ophiuchus
Oberlus wrote:
Vezzra wrote:
Dilvish wrote:...it seems to me that this multiplicity of terraforming options would perpetually take up a lot of space in the BuildDesignatorWnd. I think that is a nontrivial difference, and makes an extra building like the terraforming-outpost worthwhile in order to avoid that clutter.
Hm, I can see where that's probably a matter of personal preference - to me having 9 buildings instead of one doesn't feel like a big issue. And as a player I'd rather have the flexibility to choose which planet type I want to terraform to without having to decide on a species yet.

But that's just me.
I too. I have no problem at all hiding buildings unless I need to build something, and then there is already enough different buildings to force you browse in the list. So adding 9 new terraforming buildings will not be a problem for me.
I personally like to keep the interface from cluttering, so having always nine extra options in the build menu is a problem for me. I propose adding yet another building which gates the build of the terraforming buildings. So the planet type target buildings are only shown in the build menu if you have the "global ecosystem destabilizer" building built or on the build queue. Or you could call it "special global operations office" if one wants to use it to gate other buildings but terraforming. This building is basically like: show me the verbose options for this planet.

If you like, a destabilized planet without target building could randomly choose left or right the along the environment wheel for transformation.

That uncontrolled destabilization could also be an earlier tech and the target buildings would be unlocked later, one could also make a certain planet type harder to create by terraforming (i.e. more research necessary for targeting e.g. terran planet type) for balancing the species.

Re: Terraforming costs v fractional production—new system needed

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:41 am
by Ophiuchus
Was just thinking about planet destabilisation. How about that the first terraforming tech creates enough destability so that it usually does one step terraforming but has a good chance of doing two steps (unintended side issues like its common when trying to change ecosystems), but empires may opt not researching the cleaner tech.

Tech list
  1. Planetary Ecosystem Destabilization (allows to destabilize environment, will result in uncontrolled changes one or two steps along the wheel)
  2. Ecosystem Targetting (allows to set a preferred environment, high chance environment changes into direction of the targetted environment; destabilized environments may still move away from the targetted environment)
  3. Controlled Terraforming (allows to dissipate untargetted destabilization and makes ecosystem targetting perfect (keeps up destabilization as long as necessary, prevents moving away from target, dissipates destabilization after finished terraforming))

Re: Terraforming costs v fractional production—new system needed

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:25 pm
by Vezzra
I think we need to keep two things separate here: one is to enhance the terraforming game mechanic/make it more interesting, the other one is the UI/micromanagement issues.

The first one can be addressed by suggestions like having earlier/cheaper techs that are more unstable/deliver (more) unpredictable results, and later techs which allow for "safer"/more predictable terraforming. I like and second that idea, by the way. :D

The proper solution for the second one would be to implement UI changes that allow for certain player input when queuing a building (or any build items actually). So you only need one terraforming building and choose the type of environment you want to terraform a planet to when you enqueue that building. Or, another example, we could finally script buildings which allow to creation of a starlane between two systems choosen by the player (instead of the create one random starlane/create all possible starlanes approach we have now).

Everything else is just a hack to get around the limitations of the engine, and we should avoid such hacks as much as possible.

Re: Terraforming costs v fractional production—new system needed

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:15 pm
by Oberlus
Vezzra wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:25 pm
The first one can be addressed by suggestions like having earlier/cheaper techs that are more unstable/deliver (more) unpredictable results, and later techs which allow for "safer"/more predictable terraforming. I like and second that idea, by the way. :D
Me too!
Vezzra wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:25 pm
The proper solution for the second one would be to implement UI changes that allow for certain player input when queuing a building (or any build items actually). So you only need one terraforming building and choose the type of environment you want to terraform a planet to when you enqueue that building. Or, another example, we could finally script buildings which allow to creation of a starlane between two systems choosen by the player (instead of the create one random starlane/create all possible starlanes approach we have now).
That would be great, IMO.

Re: Terraforming costs v fractional production—new system needed

Posted: Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:46 am
by Telos
Currently, the game has all 9 planet types be perfectly symmetrical, aside from the asymmetries that arise from which races prefer which, and the availability of Exobots for just some. Currently terraforming just steps clockwise or counterclockwise around this ring with each single-step (a particular distance away from starting type) costing the same amount regardless of where on the ring it is.

Intuitively though, there are lots of asymmetries between these different planet types. For example, it'd be relatively easy for a nuclear-capable species to turn any livable planet into a toxic or irradiated hellscape, whereas turning a toxic or irradiated hellscape into a livable terran-like world is far beyond our current technological capacities.

It could be interesting to set up a terraforming system that intuitively reflected some of these asymmetries.

Roughly 4 of the planet types (Terran, Ocean, Swamp, Desert) seem to be involve familiar life, and maintaining balances in temperature, atmosphere, and water-cycle that are fairly friendly to familiar life. These all seem to be delicate complex systems that it would take a great deal of effort and planning to orchestrate.

Roughly 3 of the planet types (Toxic, Radiated, Barren) seem primarily just to characterize the atmosphere of the planet, without specifying much about temperature, water content, ecosystems, etc... These all intuitively seem to be states that could be brought about quickly by crude weaponry, without much planning or careful orchestration. One could easily imagine a variant of FreeOrion in which the various population-killing ship weapons are supplemented or replaced with atmosphere-killing weapons that quickly generate one of these types. So these types intuitively don't seem to be ones that should require long complex terraforming projects to bring about.

The remaining 2 terrain types (Tundra and Inferno) seem primarily just to characterize the extreme temperature of a planet, without specifying anything about atmosphere, water, etc... Altering these generally would require immense changes in energy flow on a planet. Many frozen planets are so far from stars that there would be no feasible way of thawing the whole thing. Many infernos are so close to stars, and/or so strongly churned by gravitational tidal forces from nearby masses, that there would be no feasible way of cooling them. If you could cool an inferno, e.g., by adding enough reflective gases to its atmosphere to prevent intake of solar energy, there's no obvious reason to think the result would be one of the game's "neighboring" types (toxic or radiated) rather than any of the 5 other non-frigid types. Similarly, if you could add enough greenhouse gases to thaw a tundra, that seems just as likely to produce a terran or ocean world as a barren world.

So, turning this into concrete proposals.

1. Add 3 atmosphere-degradation weapons that can turn planets toxic, barren, or irradiated. Have the normal use of these weapons produce an on-planet special that eventually heals the planet back to its original type and disappears. Make "maintainer" buildings available on toxic, barren, and irradiated worlds that have this special, which allow you to prevent the world from naturally reverting to its original type.

2. Add global warming and global cooling projects that can turn the 7 intermediate temperature types to the extreme, or that can budge an extreme to a random (or perhaps chosen) intermediate type. Probably make Inferno tend to cool to Toxic, Barren, Radiated, Swamp or Desert, and Tundra typically thaw to Barren, Desert, Terran, or Ocean.

3. Add an atmosphere normalization project that can take inhospitable atmospheres (Toxic, Radiated and Barren) and shift towards a random (or perhaps chosen) one of the 4 conventionally livable planet types.

4. Add terraforming projects to shift between the 4 conventionally livable types, somewhat similar to what the game currently has. Intuitively though, Swamp probably should go between Terran and Ocean, yielding a neat ordering in terms of land/water ratios, from Desert (low water), to Terran, to Swamp, to Ocean (high water).

Alternatively, you could remove some of the micromanagement by following the suggestion of just making there be 9 terraforming projects (one for each destination type, visible once a gateway terraforming center has been built on any outpost) and have the computed cost/time for the project vary as calculated in 1-4 above. So, e.g., it's quick and cheap to wreck an atmosphere (especially if bombardment weapons have already wrecked it that way), slow and cheap to change temperature, and slow and costly to establish a complex ecosystem, especially if starting at a thermal extreme or with an inhospitable atmosphere.

Re: Terraforming costs v fractional production—new system needed

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:52 am
by Oberlus
Telos wrote:
Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:46 am
Intuitively though, there are lots of asymmetries between these different planet types. For example, it'd be relatively easy for a nuclear-capable species to turn any livable planet into a toxic or irradiated hellscape, whereas turning a toxic or irradiated hellscape into a livable terran-like world is far beyond our current technological capacities.

It could be interesting to set up a terraforming system that intuitively reflected some of these asymmetries.

[...]
Here you are wading across the water of realism. Realism is seldom considered in this game, unless it brings in a better gameplay experience or it does not create any burden and it is undisputable (which is probably impossible). I will put some examples of dispute about your expectations regarding planet terraforming:

A toxic planet (e.g. venus) could be covered by satellites that reflect out all sun's light until temperature goes down enough, water can be brought again with ice asteroids or even making it from oxygen and hydrogen; in a radiated planet (that usually is such because it has no magnetic field to fence off the sun's radiations), something could be done with the planet's nucleus or its atmosphere reduce radiation on the surface.
Roughly 4 of the planet types (Terran, Ocean, Swamp, Desert) seem to be involve familiar life, and maintaining balances in temperature, atmosphere, and water-cycle that are fairly friendly to familiar life. These all seem to be delicate complex systems that it would take a great deal of effort and planning to orchestrate.
Realism-wise, an ocean planet is nothing similar to a terran planet. In an ocean planet there is no dry surfaces, so there is no rain falling on the ground and taking stuff into the water, so several chemical processes that naturally occurs in Earth's surface would not happen in an ocean world. Earth's fishes and algae wouldn't survive in there.
Also, tundra planet (ice planet) should be included in this list (unless we are talking about temperatures too close to 0 K).
Roughly 3 of the planet types (Toxic, Radiated, Barren) seem primarily just to characterize the atmosphere of the planet, without specifying much about temperature, water content, ecosystems, etc... These all intuitively seem to be states that could be brought about quickly by crude weaponry, without much planning or careful orchestration.
More could be assumed about this environments characteristics: barren planets are supposed to have no atmosphere, low temperatures (or at least not high enough to be an inferno planet) and be covered by regolith (no organic resources). Composition could be any combination of ices, rocks and metal. Toxic can be assumed to be venus-like planets where the atmosphere is dense, hot and acid, with no liquid water (only remnants in high layers of atmosphere). Radiated should be something very similar to barren, unless we assume barren planets have an active magnetic field (why not).
The remaining 2 terrain types (Tundra and Inferno) seem primarily just to characterize the extreme temperature of a planet, without specifying anything about atmosphere, water, etc... Altering these generally would require immense changes in energy flow on a planet.Many frozen planets are so far from stars that there would be no feasible way of thawing the whole thing. Many infernos are so close to stars, and/or so strongly churned by gravitational tidal forces from nearby masses, that there would be no feasible way of cooling them. If you could cool an inferno, e.g., by adding enough reflective gases to its atmosphere to prevent intake of solar energy, there's no obvious reason to think the result would be one of the game's "neighboring" types (toxic or radiated) rather than any of the 5 other non-frigid types.
Appart from modifications of the atmosphere to boost greenhouse effect or albedo, in both cases, changing the orbit could help. Since we can move planets between solar systems in FreeOrion, we can change orbits within a system.
if you could add enough greenhouse gases to thaw a tundra, that seems just as likely to produce a terran or ocean world as a barren world.
The main and only reason if simplicity.

The thing is current system of environments is anything but realistic, and developing a realistic environment system that also takes into account planet composition (not the same a rocky-icy barren than a rocky-metal one than a icy-metal one...; not the same a gas giant than an ice giant, etc.) could be interesting but I doubt that many players would like it. I myself have been fiddling with all this stuff, because I'm a realism-aholic, but the level of complexity it could and should reach to be "really" realistic is too much for most people.

Regarding the actual suggestions you make at the end, I see they are still deeply unrealistic, brings in no better gameplay (no new strategies, just different ways to do the same strategies, with same or worse micromanagement requirements) and brings in some extra complexity.

However, I do love asymmetries and I'd love to see something that makes some environments better (in general, for most species) than others, so that there would be an asymmetric colonisation pressure. Would be nice to hear what developers thing about that single point.

Re: Terraforming costs v fractional production—new system needed

Posted: Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:54 pm
by Vezzra
Oberlus wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:52 am
However, I do love asymmetries and I'd love to see something that makes some environments better (in general, for most species) than others, so that there would be an asymmetric colonisation pressure. Would be nice to hear what developers thing about that single point.
Probably more interesting, but certainly harder/more complex to balance. Personally I think such things should be done at a later development stage, once all the core mechanics are in place. Something that needs to be balanced very carefully tends to get thrown off more easily when new stuff gets added (or existing stuff gets changed/revised). So, add all the important/essential stuff first, then do the polishing/fine tuning.

Re: Terraforming costs v fractional production—new system needed

Posted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:52 pm
by Jaumito
Oberlus wrote:
Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:52 am
However, I do love asymmetries and I'd love to see something that makes some environments better (in general, for most species) than others, so that there would be an asymmetric colonisation pressure.
One way to achieve something similar would be to introduce gravity as an extra environmental variable. Say, your species like its planets Terran and small, which would make Ocean/Desert/tiny/medium ones the next best things, and Radiated/huge the absolute worst - probably uncolonizable, even with maxed tech.

I've been doing experiments on sensitivity to gravity myself lately, even produced a playable species (low gravity but environmentally immune), but with the current mechanics it's not easy to balance when you want to mix environment types with planet sizes. Not losing hope to make it work, though. :)