What to do about Infrastructure?

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eleazar
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#16 Post by eleazar » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:34 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:If there were no infrastructure meter, there would be nothing for ship bombardment of planets to do after shields and defense meters are reduced. I suppose they could attack population, but that seems like it might be better as a distinct action by specialized content.
I think all "bombardment" is better as a distinct action by specialized content. Until we have that, attacking population or target meters, or whatever seems to make as much sense as attacking an infrastructure meter.
Geoff the Medio wrote:Lack of infrastructure will also mean another means will be needed for limiting how many buildings can be put onto a single planet. Presently a few (and could / should be most others) consume some infrastructure when present, and their locations conditions were potentially going to require some level of infrastructure to be present for them to be produced.
Do you think we have a problem with too many buildings on a planet that needs a solving? Even if this is the case, we can have the buildings reduce production directly, or reduce the max population, etc.


To re-summarize, I'm not sure that we should get rid of infrastructure. I am sure that having infrastructure as it is currently: sometimes an alternate to population to boost production is redundant and confusing. I think it is best to remove and/or comment out the infrastructure content until we get a clear and compelling idea what that meter is for.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#17 Post by Sloth » Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:35 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:If there were no infrastructure meter, there would be nothing for ship bombardment of planets to do after shields and defense meters are reduced. I suppose they could attack population, but that seems like it might be better as a distinct action by specialized content.
That was my thought too, but the reply by eleazar convinced me that there is a better solution: "If we really want bombing to cut productivity temporarily, it could directly decrease the current production meter."
Geoff the Medio wrote: Lack of infrastructure will also mean another means will be needed for limiting how many buildings can be put onto a single planet. Presently a few (and could / should be most others) consume some infrastructure when present, and their locations conditions were potentially going to require some level of infrastructure to be present for them to be produced.
Is there a good gameplay reason to limit the number of buildings on a planet? I think it would be a really bad experience for a new player to have to scrap buildings, because he maxed out the number of buildings on his main planet, but then needs another shipyard upgrade/cool building.
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#18 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:53 pm

Sloth wrote:Is there a good gameplay reason to limit the number of buildings on a planet?
I think there was a thread where it was discussed in the last 6 months, and it seemed somewhat agreed it would be beneficial... I don't remember the details of why, though.
I think it would be a really bad experience for a new player to have to scrap buildings, because he maxed out the number of buildings on his main planet, but then needs another shipyard upgrade/cool building.
I don't think this is much of a concern. Rather than requiring scrapping, this would mean players will need to have multiple planets where things can be produced, and it requires the player to pick what to use a particular planet for since they can't do everything at a single location. And consuming infrastructure (or something else?) by placing a building means there's a long-term strategic cost to doing so, in that resource output (or planet defense, or whatever else) is reduced at that location.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#19 Post by Sloth » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:38 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:Rather than requiring scrapping, this would mean players will need to have multiple planets where things can be produced, and it requires the player to pick what to use a particular planet for since they can't do everything at a single location. And consuming infrastructure (or something else?) by placing a building means there's a long-term strategic cost to doing so, in that resource output (or planet defense, or whatever else) is reduced at that location.
The Logistics Facilitator hull needs 5 different shipyards to be build. A new player could easily end up with four of them on one planet, but no room for the fifth.

In general i think planning ahead in the tech tree should be rewarding, but not doing it perfectly shouldn't be punished so harshly.
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#20 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:02 pm

Sloth wrote:The Logistics Facilitator hull needs 5 different shipyards to be build. A new player could easily end up with four of them on one planet, but no room for the fifth.
Shipyard parts don't all need to consume / require infrastructure, and probably shouldn't if many of them are going to be needed at one place.
In general i think planning ahead in the tech tree should be rewarding, but not doing it perfectly shouldn't be punished so harshly.
The point isn't to make it difficult to get all the buildings a player needs to do something; rather, it's to prevent everything from being produced at a single location and giving a generic measure of planet development that makes sense for deciding whether a planet can support a particular building, that will always work. Production output doesn't work as well for this because its purpose varies between species in a way that makes it hard to make one species good at one thing without making them good at several others at the same time. Rephrased, if infrastructure doesn't exist, and all its potential functions are given to the industry meter, then a species that has a lot of production is necessarily also a species that can support a lot of buildings easily, which seems like a problematic loss of a means of differentiating and balancing species.

Also, even if they do have an infrastructure requirement / cost, there's likely no reason all those shipyard addons need to only work in the system (or worse, on the planet) where they're located. The player should be able to produce them nearby (or in some cases anywhere that's convenient), giving another planet some value besides outputting research and production points.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#21 Post by Bigjoe5 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:46 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:Rephrased, if infrastructure doesn't exist, and all its potential functions are given to the industry meter, then a species that has a lot of production is necessarily also a species that can support a lot of buildings easily, which seems like a problematic loss of a means of differentiating and balancing species.
I don't think anyone was suggesting giving all of the infrastructure meter's current functions to industry. In fact, I think it would be fine all of the infrastructure meter's current functions were done away with.

I don't think we really need to control the number of buildings that can be produced on a planet - the risk of that planet being taken over or infiltrated should (eventually) be sufficient incentive to build in different locations.
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#22 Post by Dilvish » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:55 am

It seems to me like infrastructure is just barely a limit on buildings currently. If you need buildings that consume infrastructure, then you build them and your infrastructure is hosed, but you're not actually limited Also, you'd better colonize/outpost other planets in the system quick since the zero-infrastructure planet will have poor recovery from attacks. That latter bit is the only nontrivial downside, it seems to me, the loss of infrastructure-based production becomes a very minor issue as techs advance, it seems, certainly in comparison to needing or not needing the respective buildings.
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#23 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:04 am

Dilvish wrote:If you need buildings that consume infrastructure, then you build them and your infrastructure is hosed, but you're not actually limited.
That's likely because buildings haven't yet had any location conditions added that require a certain level of infrastructure.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#24 Post by eleazar » Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:17 pm

I'm not hostile to the idea of a building limit, however at this point in content development, it seems premature to worry about it too much. The lack doesn't seem to be causing significant problems, and as content develops the needs of a building limit system may be different from what we guess now.

If we forgot about infrastructure and tried to make a KISS building limit mechanic, i think we would come up with numerous better, simpler options.


But for now I'll just disconnect infrastructure from production & research. Actually i've already done that but reconfiguring the bonuses and fixing descriptions is slowing me down. The new production values will probably be very different and max out at 100 as i've long promised/threatened.

Until i commit that chunk of work, my normal patch checking/committing and forum commenting activity will continue be limited. Being this long out-of sync with SVN makes me nervous. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#25 Post by qsswin » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:44 am

Dilvish wrote:Also, you'd better colonize/outpost other planets in the system quick since the zero-infrastructure planet will have poor recovery from attacks. That latter bit is the only nontrivial downside, it seems to me, the loss of infrastructure-based production becomes a very minor issue as techs advance, it seems, certainly in comparison to needing or not needing the respective buildings.
Just curious - what do you mean by "poor recovery from attacks"? Does infrastructure influence the restoration rate of shields/defence/troops meters? If it really doesn't do anything now, why does it matter when it gets bombarded?

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#26 Post by Dilvish » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:09 am

qsswin wrote:Just curious - what do you mean by "poor recovery from attacks"? Does infrastructure influence the restoration rate of shields/defence/troops meters? If it really doesn't do anything now, why does it matter when it gets bombarded?
Yes, in the current test builds, infrastructure contributes to planetary shield & defense regen at higher tech levels, & becomes extremely significant in that respect.
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#27 Post by davidescott » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:01 pm

Here is my suggestion for infrastructure.
  • Infrastructure continues to exist
  • Infrastructure points are purchased empire wide from PP and distributed first to planets with infrastructure < population (with some limit like infrastructure cannot increase more than twice the rate of population growth) and then evenly between all planets.
  • When infrastructure < population a penalty is applied to output from that planet
  • When infrastructure > population various benefits could accrue
    • Any building that provides unambiguous benefits (ie Terraforming/Gaia or Lighthouse) would be removed from the game, and the benefit would take effect when the population/infrastructure reached some level. So terraforming from Hostile to Poor occurs when the Population is >5 and the Infrastructure >Population+5. From Poor to Adequate at P>15, I>P+5, etc.. and Gaia when P>30, I>P+15.
    • There might be some happiness loyalty benefit for high infrastructure.
  • To help a strategically important planet along you can build a planet specific infrastructure project, that might add say 5 units of infrastructure to the planet on top of the global amounts.
  • If you don't particularly care when a region develops, just that it does eventually, all you have to do is make sure you are budgeting enough PP to keep your infrastructure growing faster than the population.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#28 Post by Zireael » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:15 am

There's one problem with your idea, david - it's basically going back to the Mining + Production idea. Also, Infrastructure is separate from PP.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#29 Post by eleazar » Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:34 pm

revision 5647
"Removed influence of infrastructure from Industry & Research. WARNING: amount of industry & research produced and descriptions of their modifiers are messed up..."

I wanted to commit in one big lump with all the new production values and descriptions nice and refined, but that was proving challenging. So you'll get it in two stages with a period of wrong descriptions and crazy production values, before i get that part cleaned up.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#30 Post by davidescott » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:08 pm

Zireael wrote:There's one problem with your idea, david - it's basically going back to the Mining + Production idea. Also, Infrastructure is separate from PP.
I guess I don't really know what the "Mining + Production idea" was, so I can't comment on that directly.

Also I get that right now Infrastructure is separate from PP. I think thats part of the problem. Its just exists... but the user cannot control it (beyond not building on a "slow rotation" planet). If you can't control it, it can't be strategic, if it can't be strategic it shouldn't be in a strategy game.

I'm suggesting making infrastructure something the user CAN control, and further integrating it with the stated purpose "to replace all those buildings you had to build in MOO to get a useful planet" by taking the half-dozen such buildings that exist in FreeOrion and connecting their existence to infrastructure.

I disagree with Geoff's insistence that the "freeorion way" to deal with terraforming/gaia (ie positive effect only buildings) is to have an "instant build" once the technology exists or an "area affect" building. I think there is some value to saying that some technologies (like terraforming/gaia) have both a fixed research cost and a variable production cost per planet/system, but are fundamentally optional on each planet. Yes to win in MOO you might have had to build all these buildings and it might have been stupid and annoying, but you could still lose by not building those buildings -- so there is some strategy to the building of those buildings. Much the same could be made of something like Infrastructure. Its something you should be spending PP on, but you can make a strategic decision to delay spending on infrastructure and dealing with a crisis, or strategically overspend on Infrastructure in order to gain some kind of benefit.

In other words infrastructure becomes part of how one expresses a preference between a "tall and deep" vs a "shallow and wide" empire.

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