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Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 9:03 am
by Impaler
We discussed using "Forest" to replace "Terran" on a seperate thread a time back. What do people think of that idea now?

Personaly I'm for includeing just about any planet type so long as we have the Artwork to go with it. Particularly the Obiwan Surface shoots. I realy like how they all have that same Rock on the left side so as you terraform them its like its still the same planet but different. Please keep this up in subsiquent pictures such as an Asteroid Field or Methanic planet.

Another area we need to think about is Gaia, we currently dont have any artwork for it. Gaia is described as being a Living Sentient Planet that adapts itself to its host species. The "native" state of the planet in my mind would be a covering of some kind of weird living material. We could take the current Radiated picture and perhaps add a bit more color (orange or purple) and call that Gaia.

Amonial sounds weird as a planet. It actualy sounds to me to be a type of Gas-Giant much like Neptune or Uranus. I think several types of Gas Giant should be included, say 3, Jovian (Red), Saturnian (Yellow), Neptunian (Blue). Or they could be named for chemistry is we want to avoid references to our solar system. This will give us a bit more variety then having only one single Gas-Giant for the whole universe.

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 10:15 am
by Daveybaby
Forest planets are great. But theyre not terran. If you want to rename terran, call it 'mixed' or 'varied' or something.

Terran planets arent just forrest. They contain a mixture of Forest/Jungle, Desert, Ocean, Tundra and Plains. So while you would have a planet type devoted to each of the these terrains, you could also have a 'terran/varied' type that is a mixture of all of the above.

Reason? Well you could map your species habitability preferences to different planet types, e.g:
Insectoids prefer desert planets
Aquatics prefer ocean planets
Humanoid prefer plains planets
ermmm.... squirreloids prefer forest planets.
and so on.

And conversely aquatics are going to have a hard time living on a desert planets without some severe terraforming efforts, and so on.

So, what the terran/mixed planet type gives you is a planet type that all of the above races can settle without trouble. As such it could give a potential source of conflict early in the game before terraforming techs are discovered. Everybody likes terran planets, so youre possibly going to fight over them. A Good Thing.

w.r.t. Gaia planets - Not sure i like the 'living sentient planet' thing. The gaia thing was used in the moo1/moo2 to denote a kind of 'ultra-terran' planet. However, note that ALL races had the same environmental preferences in Moo1/2 (except silicoids which had no preferences), and so gaia was equally valuable to most of the races.

If (assumption) FO was to use a system more like the moo3 one, where different species have different environmental preferences, then you would want one 'gaia' type per species. Think of a gaia world as one which has been 'fine tuned' to exactly meet a species specific environmental needs, over and above the basic terraforming circle.

Think of it as if humans colonised an earth-like planet. The planet is perfectly habitable, but it is still a bit too cold to be comfortable outside without heavy coats. So you use the gaia modification which makes the planet like the first day of spring, every day.

Scenario: Race1 and Race2 both prefer desert planets. They are, however, still different species and would have different ideals about exactly what *type* of desert planet they like. So late in the game a Race1 gets a terraforming tech to produce gaias. They use the tech on a standard desert planet and now this planet is more suitable for Race1 (higher pop, more food produced, faster pop growth or somesuch). However it is NOT more suitable for Race2, who would still see the planet as a standard desert planet. Race2 would have to apply their own version of the gaia tech in order to get the bonus, which would, of course, remove the gaia bonus for Race1.

If Race3 (who prefer forests) were to colonise the desert planet, they would first have to terraform the planet to a forest type before they could apply their gaia modification.

Gaia planets

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2005 5:02 pm
by guiguibaah
Obiwan made some Gaian pictures - The picture would be of a standard desert, but in the background was a giant monolith that was left over by a previous race. This monolith, as Daveybaby posted, would alter the planet to the occupant's best desires. I don't know if the change was immediate or if it took some time.

Now, what would be really interesting, is this: The giant monolith is destroyed. When this happens, the planet either...

A) Reverts to the "standard" planet type. So if it was Gaia-Ocean it would revert to Ocean.


B) The planet buckles and begins to shift wildly, causing the planet to become "glassed" or "ghosted". Very few people can live on a ghosted planet, and ghosted planets are despised by all races.


C) Monoliths cannot be destroyed.

Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 7:29 pm
by Dreamer
As a quick comment. The reason why there is alwais trouble placing "terran" on the scale is because we are limiting ourselves to an earthling point of view. For a full catagorization of planet diversity (galaxy-wide), earth is just another ocean planet (75% is a lot) with some diversity on other ecosystems. I assume that when we talk about forest, deserts, and other planet environments we asume that every planet has in fact some diversity and we are naming it for the mayor one.

Strictly speaking, forest, desert and even tunfra are all part of a general Terran category, since we are talking of a planet with a certain atmosphere and temperature. Think about how different earth is with all other planets on the solar system and then expand that to a complete galaxy. I don't think that 80% of the planets will be so earth-like that it can be called forest, desert, terran, etc. Maybe having only terran category and then use different pictures for each planet (a forest, a desert, etc)?

Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2005 11:32 pm
by utilae
Here's a solution.

Planets can have one or more terrain types:
Desert, Forest, Ocean, Ice, Snow, Grass, Mountain

A planet of one type is categorised as the 'type', eg Ocean. If there is more than one type it is called Mixed. For a mixed planet, you can mouse over the word mixed and be shown, eg
Planet A is Mixed:
Ocean (75%), Forest (25%)

Maybe your race prefers at least a certain percentage of certain types, eg
Race A prefers at least:
Ocean (25%)
Forest (25%)

So since Planet A meets Race A's min requirements, the planet is graded a Habitability rating, eg
Habitability = B

So since

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 5:59 am
by Impaler
Scenario: Race1 and Race2 both prefer desert planets. They are, however, still different species and would have different ideals about exactly what *type* of desert planet they like. So late in the game a Race1 gets a terraforming tech to produce gaias. They use the tech on a standard desert planet and now this planet is more suitable for Race1 (higher pop, more food produced, faster pop growth or somesuch). However it is NOT more suitable for Race2, who would still see the planet as a standard desert planet. Race2 would have to apply their own version of the gaia tech in order to get the bonus, which would, of course, remove the gaia bonus for Race1.
This reminds me of the Bios-shere principle I proposed ages ago when we were determining the basics of Habitability. Basicaly Planetary conditions/types will alow for you to create "Biosphere" on a planet that is unique to your race. Biosphere determines your population capacity. A concoured planet cant be lived on untill the Bioshpere is changed to your native type.

Utilae: Though your proposal makes sense I dont think it has much of a chance as it would add quite a bit of complexity for little actualy pay off. We already have plans for reduced habitability of the marginal Environments. So for example if Humans had a "Forest" as ideal they would still be rather happy on an Ocean planet.

How about having some races that have 2 optimal environments that are always adjacent on the wheel. The other environments would still be reduced in desirability based on how far they are from the CLOSEST optimal setting. So for example Humans are Forest/Ocean preference and get full capacity on either of thouse and Adiquite on Desert and Swamp.

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:39 am
by Impaler
Heres my wheel sugjestion

Forest ----------.
... | ................. |
Desert ..........Ocean
... | ................. |
Barren ......... Tundra
... | ................. |
Asteroid....... Methanic
... | ................. |
Inferno ------ Acidic


Red-Giants, Yellow Giants, Blue Giants

Asteroid replaces Radiated (it would becomes a planet Modifier). Asteroids are airless and low gravity and get lots of radiation from space so their quite close. I think integrating them into the wheel will make them easier and more fun to deal with. The Radiated image Obiwan made would become the Gaia planet picture. Forest replaces Terran and encompases Jungle and swampy worlds basicaly anything thats modest in temperature and with moderate water. Toxic gets a name change to Acid as Toxic displayes a Terran bias (the planet is great for thouse that live their and its our environment which is toxic to them). Three types of Gass Giant loosly based on Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune give some more variety here.

Posted: Wed Aug 03, 2005 8:45 am
by Rob
My god...
you are so complicated... and unscientific.

There Are some Simple "one dimensional" scaled factors that coud describe the surface of any planet.

1. Water/Ice coverage
<=0% hyperarid
<=20% arid
<= 40% semiarid
<= 60% humid planet
<= 80% wet planet

Can not be changed, would be billions of billion tons to transport.

Desert species get a agrarian bonus on arid and semiarid planets
"normal" species get a agrarian bonus on semiarid and humid planets
Water species get a agrarian bonus on wet Planet and humid planets

2. Temperature
T < -50°C frigid
-50°C <= T < -20°C icy
-20°C <= T <10°C cold
10°C <= T <40°C temperated
40°C <= T <70°C warm
70°C <= T <100°C hot
T => 90°C burning

Different bonus for different species, Species can love cold, temperated or warm environments. Adjectant tempetratures are still tolerated, but get a malus at agriculture
( ergo: frigid or burning planets can not be used for agriculture )
Planet characteristic temerature can be changed by terraforming ( Lagrange-orbital Umbrella or lense )

3. Atmosphere ( not a scaled factor )
None ( Vacuum )

Allows or dissallows agriculture on this planet, depending on species characteristics. Can be changed by terraforming ( Microoganism, release gases from the soil/regolith, import of gases, what soever. )

Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:06 am
by Daveybaby

And your post isnt complicated at all.

Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:37 pm
by Rob
Daveybaby wrote:...

And your post isnt complicated at all.
I think it is less difficult than

Forest ----------.
... | ................. |
Desert ..........Ocean
... | ................. |
Barren ......... Tundra
... | ................. |
Asteroid....... Methanic
... | ................. |
Inferno ------ Acidic

You desperately try to make a wheel, but there is no such wheel.
The wheel is arbitrary, without a real understandable system.

Why is desert adjectant to forest?
Forrests need more than ~500 mm of rainfall a year.
Desert is below ~100 mm of rainfall a year.
In reality there are large areas of plains or steppe between them.

Even better: You terraform desert twice, voila: You get an ocean out of the desert. Where does all the water come from?

Why is Inferno adjectant to Asteroid?
Inferno sounds lik a hot, dense atmosphere.
Asteroid sounds like cold and vakuum to me.

Adjectant planets seem to be pure coincidence
Beteween two adjectant planets sometimes all aspects change.

There are three things on a Planet which can describe him

Atmosphere, Temperature and Water coverage ( ~humidity )

desert planet
N2/02 + temperated or warm or hot + arid or Semiarid

tundra planet
N2/02 + icy or cold + semiarid or humid or wet

ocean planet
N2/02 + temperated or warm or hot + wet

inferno planet
Any atmosphere + burning + hyperarid

So you have can terraform in much more than 2 directions of a wheel:
-change atmospere ( preferably towards the one your species breaths )

You will be unable to transform a desert into an ocean, but you can melt an iceball into an ocean. Or warm up a tundra planet into a forrest/terran planet....

But that is all just a Proposal. It is your decision.

Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 3:50 pm
by yaromir
Rob, I like your classifications, though I doubt they will be adopted.

Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 4:19 pm
by Daveybaby
While the wheel might not be completely scientific, and there are a few leaps of faith regarding which sort of planet are 'similar to' each other, its still much more straightforward than your system, which is logical and scientific, but overly fussy IMO.

@Impaler: How's this for a slight modification.

Code: Select all

    Terran                      Gaia                    Tundra
     Gaia                         |                      Gaia
          \                       |                    /
            \                     |                  /   
              \                   |                /
               Terran  ----   Oceanic  ----    Tundra
                     \            |           / 
                  |    \          |         /    |
                  |      \        |       /      |  
                  |        \      |     /        |
Desert                       \    |   /                        Methanic
 Gaia   ----    Desert  ----   Barren   ----  Methanic  ----     Gaia  
                             /    |   \
                  |        /      |     \        |
                  |      /        |       \      |  
                  |    /          |         \    |
                Inferno  ---  Radiated   ----  Acidic
                /                 |                \
              /                   |                  \
            /                     |                    \
    Inferno                       |                       Acidic
     Gaia                     Radiated                     Gaia
Removed Barren from the wheel, and put it in the middle, as a kind of 'raw' state. Lose the Asteroid type, because really this is just a small barren planet. I added 'radiated' back in to replace it, but it could just as easily be replaced with something else if you have a preference. Barren can be converted to/from any other type on the wheel, as it is... well, just bare rock with no atmosphere or ecosystem. However, converting from barren to any other type VERY expensive, far more expensive than converting from a type 1 or 2 places away on the wheel.

Each base type has a gaia state associated with it. You cannot progress around the wheel from gaia to gaia, but it doesnt cost anything to revert from gaia to its base type. Gaia states are race specific.

Oh, and a helpful hint for creating ascii art bodge diagrams - edit it first in notepad to get it how you want it to look (use SPACES ONLY, no tabs!), then put it in a CODE block so it stays in a fixed space font. Okay, its still not going to be very pretty, but its much less stressful.

Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 4:49 pm
by Dreamer
I also think that there has been a lot of discussion about this wheel. Granted it's very neat for simplicity, but also VERY lacking. I spend some 4-5 hours thinking about this matter and came to the conclussion that there are indeed too many variables in planet composition, atmosphere, temperature, pressure, gravity and the like to reduce it to something as simplistic as the mentioned wheel, but we can't afford a realistic aproach either. Some things to think:

- It's almost impossible to find a planet with the same atmosphere composition that your home planet. Even in mars, wich is relatively similar to earth, you need to build biospheres and isolated spaces were you can carefully adjust the variables mentioned above, so the main questions are in fact how difficult would be to create these biospheres and maintain them.

- We are considering Ocean, Forest, Desert, Swamp, etc to be consisting in atmosphere (oxigen, etc) and only different in climate. Probably you wont get the composition you need and so the atmosphere and liquid will be toxic. (yes, toxic is not a kind of enviroment you can place in the wheel).

- Most important. A barren planet like the moon can be easier to colonize than a planet with atmosphere. A corrosive atmosphere, frequent storms, aggresive wildlife or bacteria and other factors like this can make a planet utterly uncolonizable, even if it meets other general requisites.

So my proposal is this:

1.- We skip completely the composition factor and we stay only with 2 important factors: gravity (obtained from planet size +/- a random value), temperature (obtained from distance to the sum +/- a random value).

2.- We randomly obtain a planet condition to summarize the mentioned factors. A mild planet can have a calm climate and a kind atmosphere (calm desert, plains ocean, forest, etc). While a tought planet can have several difficulties (inferno, toxic, radiated, etc).

3.- We choose an enviroment nickname ("forest", "toxic", etc) and according pictures selecting from a pool of possibilities. For example, given the same variables a forest ans plains can be selected, not inferno. But we can also have a toxic forest, etc. Since gravity is an independent value we need to choose this name only from temperature and conditions.

4.- From all the mentioned variables we obtain a "base difficulty" for the colony. This variable encapsulates all the environment to affect population and infrastructure growth, morale, maintenance costs, etc. in a unique and simple way. Then we don't need to limit population by environment or so, the difficulty affects how much biospheres (when needed) cost. Only available surface to biuld limit the amount of people and infrastructure that can exist in a planet.

An optional idea (to go between point 2 and 3):

2.5.- Instead of disserning how alike 2 planets are for terraforming we can instead choose randomly which is the race that can better addapt to the planet. Then we only need to know how compatible races are to meassure how much an environment suits you. Races like silicoids will not be compatible to every environment, instead they will be very compatible with any other race. Note that this also allows us to know how much a planet infrastructure will be useful to my race if I want to invade it.

Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 4:59 pm
by Daveybaby
I though this was supposed to be a design for a game.

Posted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 7:30 pm
by Dreamer
Well, actually most of my post is reasoning on the topic. In actual game terms it comes to this:

- Create nice planet descriptions and put a probability of appearing according to distance to the sun (slot). A planet don't have to be just "tundra", instead you get "A medium-sized planet covered in ice, known for it's destructive ice stroms".


- Pick a random planet description from a list, according to each system slot (first planet, second, etc).

- Assign to each description fixed values from 1 to 5 to each of this variables: gravity, temperature and base conditions. Use this to calculate total hostility comparing to race ideal values.


- Assign to each description a "best" species for that description. Compare your race to that one.

and that's it.

Note that everything is part of the description, even size. Since there are strong correlations between every possible variable (for example see this loop: distance to the sun and size, size and gravity, gravity and atmosphere, atmosphere and temperature and temperature and distance to the sun...) there is no point in generating a complex model or even an unrealistic wheel. A list of realistic possibilities and where they appear most in terms of distance to the sun should be enought, it also gives the game more variety, more inmersion and richer descriptions.