What to do about Infrastructure?

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yandonman
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#46 Post by yandonman » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:50 pm

...upgrades physically replace an original building which would prevent them from building the other upgrade options on the original building.
This is not a bad idea. It is simple and easy to understand (a very positive thing), however, I still see the homeworld housing a large number of the non-staryard buildings, as it's usually the most defensible planet. Industry Center, Solar Orbital Generator, Genetic Database (?), etc.

So, on this point, we have 3 "viable" options: Which way do we want to go?
  • Upgrade buildings
  • Buildings require consume and require infrastructure to build
  • Buildings require a simplified "infrastructure slots" concept (basically, it's the same underlying infrastructure meter concept, just presented in a novel fashion)
On infrastructure being another variable in the rate of production (and/or research): It was like this for a while, and gameplay wise, it didn't add anything. Lore wise, it made sense, but it wasn't fun because it was basically hidden/background math. The current "population is the primary variable in PP/RP" is simpler to understand. In my play-testing, I definitely prefer infrastructure not playing a role in RP or PP.
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BraveSirKevin
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#47 Post by BraveSirKevin » Mon Aug 19, 2013 12:54 am

yandonman wrote:
...upgrades physically replace an original building which would prevent them from building the other upgrade options on the original building.
This is not a bad idea. It is simple and easy to understand (a very positive thing), however, I still see the homeworld housing a large number of the non-staryard buildings, as it's usually the most defensible planet. Industry Center, Solar Orbital Generator, Genetic Database (?), etc.
This is all entirely my own opinion, but it seems that you'd expect those buildings to land up there... not because of the defensibility of it, but because it's the capitol. From a gameplay point of view, putting them all in the most obvious place means its easy to check whether you've remembered to build a particular building, and from a common sense point of view, the capitol is where all the administrative buildings go . Arbitrarily forcing people to place them elsewhere would just add to the micromanagement aspect because they would then have to keep track of where they built the other stuff if they've remembered to build the other stuff...

I'm not really fond of the idea of outlawing building things everywhere or lumping all one's major buildings at the capitol. I think there should be intuitive, natural reasons to not do those things, and the game design should make taking that route the sub-optimal path that only noobs opt for. Just to illustrate my point: in Starcraft 2, you can cover your entire base with turrets if you want, but it costs lots of resources and takes time and is ultimately completely wasteful because as soon as your opponent's wise to what you're doing he stops building an airforce and marches in with marines instead. In FreeOrion building scanning facilities at every system is a costly exercise that is mostly wasteful because only the ones at the perimeter are doing anything useful. Unless everyone in the galaxy is following the same bad strategy, choosing to take that route has put the player at a major disadvantage.

Solar Orbital Generators would only really land up at a capital if the capital's orbiting a blue/white star or if there's no better star to put it at... I like this particular example because there's an intuitive reason for not putting it right at the heart of the empire, and a bunch of strategic decisions that have to be made around it (such as "do I steal the pink player's white star for the bonus, or do I just leave him be and build it at the yellow star?"). In the same vein, there are lots of other intuitive ways to keep buildings from being all at the same place. A Genome Bank could require the planet housing it to be set to the Research Focus in order to function, while an Industrial Center requires an Industry Focus. Certain highly specialised buildings could function better if they're placed at some appropriate special or are placed on a certain type of planet or are under a certain kind of star. That allows options and rewards clever game play without artificially imposing counter-intuitive limits.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#48 Post by yandonman » Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:46 am

Solar Orbital Generators would only really land up at a capital if the capital's orbiting a blue/white star or if there's no better star to put it at...
S.O.G affects all of your industry focused planets, independent of where you place it. So there are no ill effects of placing in any particular spot.


without artificially imposing counter-intuitive limits
I agree with this goal.


One way to avoid a counter-intuitive limit would be to be very explicit about the cost. Such as adding an infrastructure icon + number next to the building in the Production Queue window to indicate the cost (similar to how PP and time are displayed). (I would post an example, but forum won't let me??)
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#49 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:13 am

yandonman wrote:(I would post an example, but forum won't let me??)
I suspect this was because the board attachment quota (200 MiB) was reached. I've bumped it up a bit.

In future, try posting an explicit error message or problem description rather than the equivalent of "It's broken?"

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MatGB
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#50 Post by MatGB » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:06 am

yandonman wrote: On infrastructure being another variable in the rate of production (and/or research): It was like this for a while, and gameplay wise, it didn't add anything. Lore wise, it made sense, but it wasn't fun because it was basically hidden/background math.

Yes. True. Because as Sloth said it was based on getting the best bonus out of various options and was complicated to even explain. Forget the complications or best options. Have some boosts based on pop, others on inf, and keep it simple while still making things use the stat.
The current "population is the primary variable in PP/RP" is simpler to understand.
And it should remain the primary variable, but it doesn't have to be the only variable
In my play-testing, I definitely prefer infrastructure not playing a role in RP or PP.
Except you haven't playtested with a very simple one or the other affects things mechanic, only with the old, complex and annoying this might do one thing or the other depending on what's best system.

If I code up a few changes for a few items, thinking something like just Industry Centre and the Generators, would you at least give it a try before dismissing it as too complicated due to experience of a completely different setup rightly abandoned?
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#51 Post by BraveSirKevin » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:14 am

yandonman wrote: S.O.G affects all of your industry focused planets, independent of where you place it. So there are no ill effects of placing in any particular spot.
Sorry. I was under the impression that the solar orbital generator provided a bonus based on the star in the system in which it was placed... Which would make sense, if it's a single building and is exporting the power it generates. Guess I should have let the pink player keep his white star after all! :lol:

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#52 Post by Vezzra » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:15 pm

BraveSirKevin wrote:I was under the impression that the solar orbital generator provided a bonus based on the star in the system in which it was placed... Which would make sense, if it's a single building and is exporting the power it generates.
Which is exactly how it works, your impression was quite right :D

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#53 Post by Dilvish » Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:53 pm

BraveSirKevin wrote:Guess I should have let the pink player keep his white star after all! :lol:
No, you were absolutely right to take the white star. Even if you didn't need it yourself, it's always good to deprive an enemy of a strategic asset.
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#54 Post by eleazar » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:43 pm

BraveSirKevin wrote:A more logical and intuitive way to force people to spread their production around would be to have upgrades physically replace an original building which would prevent them from building the other upgrade options on the original building. So an orbital drydock would physically replace the basic shipyard, and a geo-integration facility would replace the orbital drydock, so a system with a geo-integration facility could not also have an orbital incubator and ships with organic hulls would have to be produced elsewhere. For buildings that apply cumulative buffs, some could be labelled as undesirable, requiring them to be built outside of the capital, while others could be a kind of luxury that would only be present in well developed colonies with an ideal environment.
I'm generally in favor of having linked series of buildings (like most of the shipyards) as upgrades rather than concurrent builds. Not so much for the sake of infrastructure, (though it does lighten the need for a building limit) but because:
  • It lessens the clutter of buildings, makes it easier to see what you have of importance.
    It simplifies reading the prerequisites that require the buildings
Though i'm not sure that we currently have a non-clunky way to script that.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#55 Post by BraveSirKevin » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:28 pm

This thread seems to be far more focused on sorting out the building limit question than on addressing the question posed in the title.

I get the impression that building limits got tied to infrastructure at some point when people decided that the excess of buildings was a problem and also realised that infrastructure was becoming increasingly irrelevant as a metric, but I think the two problems should be handled separately. Part of the reason that infrastructure has become so confusing and meaningless is because of the attempts to use it to discourage the lumping together of useful buildings. This has led to a situation where any planet with special buildings lands up having less infrastructure than a planet with nothing and thus ruins the usefulness of infrastructure as a meaningful factor in determining the output of a colony.
eleazar wrote:Though i'm not sure that we currently have a non-clunky way to script that.
You need the base building to add the building to the production queue, but as far as I can tell, you don't need it there during the construction. As soon as any PP have been expended on constructing the upgrade the original building gets demolished. That is already an event that causes several things to happen (it starts the build counter, highlights the project in the queue, marks it as being in progress etc.) so would not be simple to have it call a function to check if there's a need to demolish a building and perform the demolition at the same time? I'm not a python programmer so I won't attempt to code it, but the way I imagine it working would be a property in the building object that contains the ID of the building it upgrades, or 0 if it's not an upgrade. The function would demolish the flagged building or nothing if the value is 0.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#56 Post by Bigjoe5 » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:53 pm

BraveSirKevin wrote:You need the base building to add the building to the production queue, but as far as I can tell, you don't need it there during the construction.
You do, in fact, need it there during construction. If a building's location conditions are no longer met while it is under construction, it will cease to be allocated PP.

When I first added shipyards to the game, I actually did make each destroy the previous, and also so that the previous shipyards couldn't be built when an upgrade was present. The scripting was incredibly tedious and ugly, due to all the conditions for a building destroying itself, and being able to or not able to be constructed. But one of the most unexpected (at least to me) inelegancies that came out of it was all the extra conditions needed for ship hull location conditions. When Orbital Drydock sticks around, you can just say, "OK, Basic Hull requires Basic Shipyard". When it gets replaced by the next upgrade, then you have to say, "OK, Basic Hull requires Basic Shipyard, OR Orbital Drydock OR Geo-Integration Facility, etc...".

I would consider rather than forcing particular buildings to not be built together, that we continue with the trend of limiting where particular upgrades or streams of upgrades can be built (for example, on an asteroid belt, or in systems with a star of a particular intensity). That way the player would be more likely to have various specialized shipyards in different locations, as opposed to clumping them all in one place.

However, that's still really off-topic from the original point of infrastructure, about which I unfortunately don't have much to say at the moment, except feel free to try something new and see if it works.
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OllyG
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#57 Post by OllyG » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:43 am

I would prefer it if infrastructure was dropped. Everyone seems to be struggling to find a use for it, but why? The game seems to be working fine as it is. Infrastructure seems to exist for its own sake, not because it is making the game any more fun.
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#58 Post by Hihoo » Mon Nov 11, 2013 12:11 pm

This whole discussion is awe-inspiringly sophisticated and looking sternly away from more pressing matters.

Thanks for a great game though.

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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#59 Post by MarcThibeault » Mon May 12, 2014 6:34 pm

I believe that infrastructure shouldn't matter much more than affecting the speed at which a planet's meters can change, adjust. More infra = faster meter adjustment.

It would affect how quick the population grows, how quick prod/research meters increase/decrease between turns when needed. Same with troops, defense and shields (And hopefully trade!).

Simply put, it affects how quick change can take place on a planet. A world with a massive amount of infra should be able to rearrange itself into a research or a production world way faster than a world with just a little bit of infra. What do you think?
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Re: What to do about Infrastructure?

#60 Post by MatGB » Mon May 12, 2014 6:59 pm

Actually, I quite like that idea. Details would need a bit of work, but the basic principle is good, possibly faster changes unlocked by techs? Force/Energy structures is one of those techs that is so powerful once you realise how good it is but not obvious at first—especially since we reset the metres to zero on conquest now.
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