Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.
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Ophiuchus
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Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#1 Post by Ophiuchus » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:27 pm

Constantly updated info for adding government using FOCS using goverment buildings:

The goal is to have some prototype which is playable, shows the mechanisms for and is like an addon - easy to add to the current state of your freeorion.
(I think we dont have enough addon/plugin structure ready, so probably I have to rely on the player merging the code. But it will be scripting only, so compilation is not required.)

The scripting-only implementation branch is https://github.com/agrrr3/freeorion/tre ... government
Im looking for feedback: Players feedback, ideas and comments.
To try: copy the attached current default folders (zip contains default/ with subfolders scripting/ and stringtables/) over to your freeorion folder. Or use the git, Luke.


State of implementation (Overview):
  • One can build governments. Species become unhappy if not represented in government.
  • Defense and foreign policies have game effects.
  • AI doesnt become unhappy and doesnt use the governments at all.
State of implementation (Details):
  • One can build the "Imperial Warlord Constitution" on your capital for choosing warlord government type
  • * One can build the "The Warlords Camp" for warlord government seat
  • ** the DEFENSE function will give malus/bonus on the troops (depending on the seat's species defense troops level)
  • * One can build the "The Negotiators Mansion" for negotiators seat
  • ** the FOREIGN function will give scanning facilities a malus/bonus on detection range (depending on the seat's species detection level)
  • All governments - anarchy, autocrat, democracy, warlord and the council of the wise there.
  • More flexible governments are more expensive (democracy is five times as expensive to build than the autocrat).
  • If the government type/constitution building is scrapped/not there, the function building effects are not activated. Also the function buildings autodestruct (this may change)
  • for human player for anarchy -5 happyness; -13 happyness if having a kind of constitutional government
  • happyness bonus for metabolism representatives +2 per function. bonus +1/function for species representatives
  • the code is nicely decomposed into macros, so additions are easy
Rationale:
In FreeOrion species are important and differentiate the (start/mid-game) experience. We treat species like a single person/entity. If our empire has a government, it would consist of representatives from the different species.

To add more flavor I want to add government slots/positions. For each slot, the player can decide .There are different types of governments one can choose (and switch between). Depending on the government type there are different slots open.

I also think that boni/mali granted should apply to government functions (e.g. military, interior ministry, ministry of education). So a government position encompasses one or multiple functions (e.g. in absolutism there is only one slot encompassing all government functions).

The effects could be multiple, but I think having other species but Trith in the government would scare the shit out of Trith/make them very unhappy.

Implementation challenge:

With FOCS I think its possible to do this. With real coding a much nicer UI would be possible. The policy cards idea could probably also be used to implement such a thing.

implementation on the capital:
One implementation which provides an almost nice interface would use specials on the capital for slots (if your government is warlord you would have one special for the slot for the warlord and one special for slot of the negotiator) and depending on the specials one could build buildings for choosing species (so if no such building exists, for the warlord slot one could build the egassem warlord or the trith warlord or the ...). Problem is that you need to provide a lot of buildings (number of existing roles times number of existing species) so I wouldnt do this.

implementation on species planets:
Instead of having multiple buildings for the different species, one can build the unique building (e.g. the warlord residence) on the planet with the correct species (so if the warlord residence is on an egassem planet, one would have the egassem effects of the warlord).



Nomenclature:
  • Government type - defines which Government Slots are in effect. E.g. Anarchy...
  • Government type building - A building at the capital which defines which Government type is in effect.
  • Government Slot / Position / Role - A collection of government functions like the Warlord
  • Ministry/Government function/Policy - A facet of government like defense, or education.
  • Government Seat - a building which determines which planet's species will take a certain government position (e.g. The Warlords Camp)
For the moment I plan the following government functions:
  • D - ministry of defense (control of outposts: species mali/boni for detection, stealth, defensive troops)
  • E - ministry of education (ease of research for certain topics e.g. the telepathy boon)
  • F - foreign ministry (foreign intelligence, interaction with foreign empires and natives)
  • I - Interior ministry (police, secret service)
  • P - propaganda ministry (happiness)

For the moment I plan the following government types:
  • Anarchy - no government slots
  • Absolutism - a single government slot: overlord[DEFIP]
  • Warlord - two slots: warlord[DEIP] negotiator [F]
  • Council of the wise - three slots: the teacher [EP] the explorer [F] the preserver [DI]
  • Democracy - five slots (one for each ministry)
Todo:
  • Maybe group the labels/effects for happyness boni/mali.
  • Messages/labels for happyness bonus and autocracy/autocrat are missing.
  • Almost all function effects have to be designed.
  • Polishing (graphics for government types and government seats, help greatly appreciated)
  • Polishing (encyclopedia entries for government functions/effects, help greatly appreciated)
  • Probably some upkeep cost for government seats (so democracy is more expensive to keep than others)? Or balance types so that there arealways tradeoffs between the types.
Last edited by Ophiuchus on Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:59 am, edited 14 times in total.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

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Oberlus
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Re: Scripted Government

#2 Post by Oberlus » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:17 pm

Obviously, this is a very interesting topic!


Some concepts that could be added with it:
- "Revolution": the Empire (the player) losses a planet, that can then become (i) a new AI-driven Empire, (ii) part of an existing empire, or (iii) an independent planet like the ones from natives.
- "Government overthrown": the dominating species loss control of the Empire (the player doesn't necessarily loss any planet), the government type could be changed without the player's consent and the one or more species performing the overthrown gets all the slots of the government.
I thought of this two primarily as a con for xenophobic races and/or oppressive forms of government.

Ophiuchus wrote:having other species but Trith in the government would scare the shit out of Trith/make them very unhappy
This opens some great ways to help balance/characterise xenophobic races.
Other possibilities apart from affecting happiness for empires that start from a xenophobic race:
- Completely forbid non-starting species on the government.
- Increase the chances (if any) of revolution and/or overthrown.
unrepresented species get a happiness malus
I'd say that unrepresented species get an (stronger) happiness (as well as other kind of) malus for every kind of government, and democracy would be the less affected by this maluses.
I'd like to make a more complete suggestion about government types with their cons and pros, once I get some free time.

Telepathic species could develop some sort of Hive Mind / Unification (MoO2) government type. Or maybe not just telepathic species, but those that develop some appropriate techs (and then telepathic just can get those way faster, as it is done with Psionics tech).

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Re: Scripted Government

#3 Post by Ophiuchus » Sun Jun 04, 2017 3:15 pm

Oberlus wrote:Some concepts that could be added with it:
- "Revolution": the Empire (the player) losses a planet, that can then become (i) a new AI-driven Empire, (ii) part of an existing empire, or (iii) an independent planet like the ones from natives.
- "Government overthrown": the dominating species loss control of the Empire (the player doesn't necessarily loss any planet), the government type could be changed without the player's consent and the one or more species performing the overthrown gets all the slots of the government.
I thought of this two primarily as a con for xenophobic races and/or oppressive forms of government.
I think this should be handled through future happiness mechanics, so I only change happiness and happiness should effect rebels and so on.
Oberlus wrote:I'd say that unrepresented species get an (stronger) happiness (as well as other kind of) malus for every kind of government, and democracy would be the less affected by this maluses.
Agree, being represented should be good for happiness. Probably will add a modifier not only for species, but for organism type as well. Question is if anarchy (with nobody being represented and everybody doing ones own business) is bad for happiness or not (cause there is nobody telling you what to do). I am inclined that it is not bad.
I'd like to make a more complete suggestion about government types with their cons and pros, once I get some free time.
I'd like to see :)
Telepathic species could develop some sort of Hive Mind / Unification (MoO2) government type. Or maybe not just telepathic species, but those that develop some appropriate techs (and then telepathic just can get those way faster, as it is done with Psionics tech).
Actually I think the telepathic learning bonus should only apply if a telepath has the education ministry.

So the concept could mean for some existing species effects that they should only apply if the species has the right ministry.

I also think effects should not be single-species dependent (because there are too many species), but some general properties of species (like lithic, xenophobic, good troops, stealthy, ...). Maybe it would be interesting to introduce more general properties(?) - probably the forums contain such ideas.

At the moment I'm toying with species influencing defensive troops for ministry of defense (especially on outposts).

The foreign ministry could influence detection range for espionage stations (e.g. outposts, or maybe scout ship parts?).

Propaganda should influence happiness mostly.

Maybe extra xenophobic harassment if xenophobs are holding the interior ministry.

A cruel species in the interior ministry should lower happiness.
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Re: Scripted Government

#4 Post by Oberlus » Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:39 pm

For the moment I plan the following government functions:

D - ministry of defense (control of outposts: species mali/boni for detection, stealth, defensive troops)
E - ministry of education (ease of research for certain topics e.g. the telepathy boon)
F - foreign ministry (foreign intelligence, interaction with foreign empires and natives)
I - Interior ministry (police, secret service)
P - propaganda ministry (happiness)
I'd give E also the ability to boost general RPs (depending on the minister's species), not only for certain techs.
I'd also have a Ministry of Industry to boost general PPs or certain kind of production projects (like making colonisers cheaper or even cheaper production techs).

I assume police would affect rebelion chances; secret service would be taking care of enemy spies; and foreing intelligence affects sabotages, tech stealing and extra scouting (i.e. w/o ships nor radar buildings). Am I right?

I noticed influence is missing in that list, who will be affecting influence meters from those slots? I'll say P for influence projects concerning own population as well as cultural domination projects; F for diplomacy and spionage projects; although for the influence-based upkeep thingy (soldiers wages, ships maintenance, etc.) I guess D or the possible Industry Ministry would be the appropriate ones.
The fact that the influence meter seems to span over almost every concept/ministry bothers me. I still think that influence concept should be something better delimited and enclosed, less general.

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Re: Scripted Government

#5 Post by Ophiuchus » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:40 pm

@MatGB Hi Mat, Hi all - i think with the current state of the branch one could have some fun giving it a test ride.
Government mostly lowers the happiness for a human player and gives some benefits. Hope for test feedback.

Info if needed is collected in the original post.
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#6 Post by labgnome » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:02 am

Ophiuchus wrote:Constantly updated info for adding government using FOCS using goverment buildings:

The goal is to have some prototype which is playable, shows the mechanisms for and is like an addon - easy to add to the current state of your freeorion.
(I think we dont have enough addon/plugin structure ready, so probably I have to rely on the player merging the code. But it will be scripting only, so compilation is not required.)

The scripting-only implementation branch is https://github.com/agrrr3/freeorion/tre ... government
Im looking for feedback: Players feedback, ideas and comments.
To try: copy the attached current default folders (zip contains default/ with subfolders scripting/ and stringtables/) over to your freeorion folder. Or use the git, Luke.
I will try to look at this, but in all honestly, I have given up on understanding github, ever. This is however something I would be really interested in.
Rationale:
In FreeOrion species are important and differentiate the (start/mid-game) experience. We treat species like a single person/entity. If our empire has a government, it would consist of representatives from the different species.
I also think that boni/mali granted should apply to government functions (e.g. military, interior ministry, ministry of education). So a government position encompasses one or multiple functions (e.g. in absolutism there is only one slot encompassing all government functions).
implementation on species planets:
Instead of having multiple buildings for the different species, one can build the unique building (e.g. the warlord residence) on the planet with the correct species (so if the warlord residence is on an egassem planet, one would have the egassem effects of the warlord).
This all sounds like you might be wanting some kind of a leader mechanic. Pax Imperia had a nice simple one, and I also like the one Stellaris uses. But this really sounds like we might be wanting to implement "leaders" as a functionality in FO.
For the moment I plan the following government functions:
  • D - ministry of defense (control of outposts: species mali/boni for detection, stealth, defensive troops)
  • E - ministry of education (ease of research for certain topics e.g. the telepathy boon)
  • F - foreign ministry (foreign intelligence, interaction with foreign empires and natives)
  • I - Interior ministry (police, secret service)
  • P - propaganda ministry (happiness)
On the first one: are we talking applying the bonuses of whatever species holds the capitol to outposts? Or something else?

Right now:
  • research is pretty open ended, and I generally like that.
  • "intelligence" doesn't really exist outside of detection.
  • None and part of your empire is about it for interacting with the natives.
  • police and secret service do not exist at all, and I'm not sure what they would do in-game if they did
  • happiness just controls weather or not they can build the shipyard
So I'm not quite sure how these proposed government ministries/slots would affect game play. Really more in-line with most other 4X games that use a government mechanics, you should probably have things that effect research and production, the two main "currencies" in the game, probably also supply. It might also be a good idea to have things like weather or not you use planetary stealth or build exobots be government decisions. Those all strike me as being more relevant to the game experience. Most of the rest are supposing functions for mechanics that don't yet exist, or mechanics themselves that don't exist in the game.
For the moment I plan the following government types:
  • Anarchy - no government slots
  • Absolutism - a single government slot: overlord[DEFIP]
  • Warlord - two slots: warlord[DEIP] negotiator [F]
  • Council of the wise - three slots: the teacher [EP] the explorer [F] the preserver [DI]
  • Democracy - five slots (one for each ministry)
So one criticism I'm going to give just looking at this is that the different governments seem to just be arranged from worst to best. In my own experience I will say that outside of roleplaying, I'm probably always going to go for the "best" government. And right now FO doesn't really curb your ability to produce, so even if I have to settle early on, I'll probably use democracy by the time I get towards the end-game. Maybe different governments that are equivalently "good", but have different types of slots? I also don't think you should have an "everything" government option like you've made Democracy, as just by virtue of existing, everyone is going to try to get it.
Todo:
  • Maybe group the labels/effects for happyness boni/mali.
  • Messages/labels for happyness bonus and autocracy/autocrat are missing.
  • Almost all function effects have to be designed.
  • Polishing (graphics for government types and government seats, help greatly appreciated)
  • Polishing (encyclopedia entries for government functions/effects, help greatly appreciated)
  • Probably some upkeep cost for government seats (so democracy is more expensive to keep than others)? Or balance types so that there arealways tradeoffs between the types.
I'm on-board for things like 'pedia entries. But I don't know that I'm sold on your concept. As far as making governments "cost", there were people working on an influence mechanic the was supposed to lead into things like government ad diplomacy. Is that still a thing? That would probably be what you are looking for. However I will say that by virtue of being a "gets everything" government, I don't think Democracy is able to be balanced against the other government types. No matter how costly you make it it's going to be too desirable.
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#7 Post by Jaumito » Thu Feb 15, 2018 2:57 am

labgnome wrote:
For the moment I plan the following government types:
  • Anarchy - no government slots
  • Absolutism - a single government slot: overlord[DEFIP]
  • Warlord - two slots: warlord[DEIP] negotiator [F]
  • Council of the wise - three slots: the teacher [EP] the explorer [F] the preserver [DI]
  • Democracy - five slots (one for each ministry)
So one criticism I'm going to give just looking at this is that the different governments seem to just be arranged from worst to best.
As a lifelong anarchist, I find this offensive... :lol:

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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#8 Post by labgnome » Thu Feb 15, 2018 8:47 am

Jaumito wrote:
labgnome wrote:
For the moment I plan the following government types:
  • Anarchy - no government slots
  • Absolutism - a single government slot: overlord[DEFIP]
  • Warlord - two slots: warlord[DEIP] negotiator [F]
  • Council of the wise - three slots: the teacher [EP] the explorer [F] the preserver [DI]
  • Democracy - five slots (one for each ministry)
So one criticism I'm going to give just looking at this is that the different governments seem to just be arranged from worst to best.
As a lifelong anarchist, I find this offensive... :lol:
I meant as far as it's 0 slots to 5 slots. Whatever it's called, I'm going to want the option that gives me all 5 slots.
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#9 Post by Vezzra » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:27 am

labgnome wrote:So I'm not quite sure how these proposed government ministries/slots would affect game play [...] Most of the rest are supposing functions for mechanics that don't yet exist, or mechanics themselves that don't exist in the game.
This...
As far as making governments "cost", there were people working on an influence mechanic the was supposed to lead into things like government ad diplomacy.
...and this. That mechanic/framework would be the groundwork on which things like government, leaders, diplomacy, espionage/sabotage etc. will build upon, as they all will in one way or the other interact with/depend on the Influence resource. So, while you all are certainly welcome to toss out ideas about government mechanics etc., please keep in mind that we won't start any serious design efforts on that before the Influence mechanic/framework is in place.
Is that still a thing?
Definitely! Actually, the current plan for the next release after 0.4.8 (which is primarily about the Imperial Stockpile Mechanic) is to design and implement the basic Influence mechanic/framework. We intend that to be the 0.5 release.

At the rate we're currently progressing with the Imperial Stockpile, I hope we can wrap that up until summer at the latest, then work on the whole Influence thing will start. That is going to be one hell of a project, I expect 0.5 not before spring 2019, hopefully fall 2019 at the latest.

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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#10 Post by Ophiuchus » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:41 am

labgnome wrote:Most of the rest are supposing functions for mechanics that don't yet exist, or mechanics themselves that don't exist in the game.
Im not sure i follow you. They are already implemented in the prototype.
Jaumito wrote:
labgnome wrote:
For the moment I plan the following government types:
  • Anarchy - no government slots
  • Absolutism - a single government slot: overlord[DEFIP]
  • Warlord - two slots: warlord[DEIP] negotiator [F]
  • Council of the wise - three slots: the teacher [EP] the explorer [F] the preserver [DI]
  • Democracy - five slots (one for each ministry)
So one criticism I'm going to give just looking at this is that the different governments seem to just be arranged from worst to best.
As a lifelong anarchist, I find this offensive... :lol:
@Jaumito you can relax.. anarchy is best happiness-wise in a multispecies empire :D

Democracy is basically the plain testing facility for the functions as you can turn them on/off independently. I thought thats the KISS thing to do, but we could call it Testability instead and only enable it for testing. And the others also have the same five functions, just bundled.

To counter the overall flexibility of Democracy the others should have a single special bonus each you wont get with Democracy (and you need to build more buildings with democracy). One other way could be to give not all government types all functions. Or make the costs of government seats exponentially more expensive (first one 30PP, second one 60PP, third one 120PP, fourth one 240PP, fifth one 480PP..; so autocracy with full benefits would cost 30PP, democracy with full benefits 930PP).

In regards of the future of this idea, there is no buy-in from the other developers. But until we have Influence mechanics, there is still waaaaay to go. I certainly will adopt this prototype to influence once it is there. This is scripting-only and can be easily added to any freeorion version and does not need big effort.
So i dont think we will have something similar before 2020 making this obsolete. And its well usuable and IMHO fun for human players.

I will certainly use it for:
  • working on a way for loading "plugins"
  • try out new effects using the functions
  • multiplayer games
Also for technical notes:
  • i think the way of leveraging species bonus is quite nice (consistent, effect is already well understood because of the reused game mechanic)
  • i think the decomposition into type-slot-function is working well: its easy to create different types by combining the same functions into different slots; by packaging them like this you just need a small number of functions for a lot of different choices. Its enough to understand and maintain those few functions to understand the meaning of the types. So i think its easier to balance.
I think there is buy-in to do something similar like this government mechanic. Similar proposed mechanics are "leaders", "cards" etc.. I think the content/effects used in such an alternative mechanism can already be playtested using the prototype.
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#11 Post by labgnome » Sat Feb 17, 2018 2:58 am

Vezzra wrote:
labgnome wrote:As far as making governments "cost", there were people working on an influence mechanic the was supposed to lead into things like government ad diplomacy.
...and this. That mechanic/framework would be the groundwork on which things like government, leaders, diplomacy, espionage/sabotage etc. will build upon, as they all will in one way or the other interact with/depend on the Influence resource. So, while you all are certainly welcome to toss out ideas about government mechanics etc., please keep in mind that we won't start any serious design efforts on that before the Influence mechanic/framework is in place.
I second this. The incoming influence mechanic is probably going to cover a lot of this. I'd also rather see specifics of the mechanics get some more discussion before we try to introduce them to the game. Not everyone is always on the same page on what they want to see but we are usually able to work things out if we hear the different ideas and concerns first, before throwing something into the game.
Vezzra wrote:At the rate we're currently progressing with the Imperial Stockpile, I hope we can wrap that up until summer at the latest, then work on the whole Influence thing will start. That is going to be one hell of a project, I expect 0.5 not before spring 2019, hopefully fall 2019 at the latest.
I have feelings... about the whole stockpile nonsense thing :|
Ophiuchus wrote:@Jaumito you can relax.. anarchy is best happiness-wise in a multispecies empire :D
Two things:
  1. Right now happiness doesn't actually do much. Anything that doesn't stop me form being able to produce shipyards (maybe ships too now?) I'm not going to care about.
  2. This is actually another reason to have forum discussions before putting something like this together. Especially since we have many sci-fi nerds intelligent people here. We can do better on names.
Ophiuchus wrote:Democracy is basically the plain testing facility for the functions as you can turn them on/off independently. I thought thats the KISS thing to do, but we could call it Testability instead and only enable it for testing. And the others also have the same five functions, just bundled.
So this I grok, especially for testing purposes, thought calling it "testability" might not be a bad idea, and once we get governments off the ground restrict from regular gameplay in the say way the Supertesters species is. because yeah, if your going to have a limited number of types of slots the gets all the slots government will probably not just be unbalanced but unbalanceable.
Ophiuchus wrote:To counter the overall flexibility of Democracy the others should have a single special bonus each you wont get with Democracy (and you need to build more buildings with democracy). One other way could be to give not all government types all functions. Or make the costs of government seats exponentially more expensive (first one 30PP, second one 60PP, third one 120PP, fourth one 240PP, fifth one 480PP..; so autocracy with full benefits would cost 30PP, democracy with full benefits 930PP).
So there was a discussion on weapons of all things a couple of years back now, and one thing that came out of it was that a weapon that was too good in too many areas was just not able to be balanced no matter how expensive you made it because there is basically no window between "such a good deal everyone will go for it" and "completely unfordable" and that with how the numbers get late-game we probably can't even reach "completely unfordable". I'd make the same argument for governments as well. I don't think there is a window of cost where your democracy/testability government will actually be a strategic choice. I want all the things. Especially if those things involve options. Weather or not I will use them is irrelevant. However if you are looking for a cost suggestion, I'd say increase all of them by two orders of magnitude.
Ophiuchus wrote:In regards of the future of this idea, there is no buy-in from the other developers. But until we have Influence mechanics, there is still waaaaay to go. I certainly will adopt this prototype to influence once it is there. This is scripting-only and can be easily added to any freeorion version and does not need big effort.
So i dont think we will have something similar before 2020 making this obsolete. And its well usuable and IMHO fun for human players.
I mean I wouldn't feel bad at all if the stockpile ball got dropped so we could have influence sooner, just saying.
Ophiuchus wrote:Also for technical notes:
  • i think the way of leveraging species bonus is quite nice (consistent, effect is already well understood because of the reused game mechanic)
  • i think the decomposition into type-slot-function is working well: its easy to create different types by combining the same functions into different slots; by packaging them like this you just need a small number of functions for a lot of different choices. Its enough to understand and maintain those few functions to understand the meaning of the types. So i think its easier to balance.
I know the previous discussion was about a Civ 6 like system, which (since I still can't compile) I'm going to guess is a step or two away from what you have. It uses slots, but most governments get at least one of all possible types slots, however different governments get different numbers of slot types. The slots correspond to policies, treated as "policy cards" which you unlock from the other tech tree civics tree. I do think differentiating by number of slots creates the impression of the "worst to best" progression of government types, and something that at least feels more balanced should be seriously considered. Early governments do have less slots than later governments, however you are expected to get newer government types as you progress through the game allowing you more bonuses and flexibility in the later game, with every other technology culture level getting three different types of government all of which have the same number but a different arrangement of slots.

I do think the proposed influence project mechanic is probably a better starting place for modeling/building government functions than buildings. As it's already a hassle to keep track of what buildings you have and where. I've totally had sensor towers I intended to start on turn 10 not happen until turn 90 because they just got lost, or started a colony on the completely wrong outpost.
Ophiuchus wrote:I think there is buy-in to do something similar like this government mechanic. Similar proposed mechanics are "leaders", "cards" etc.. I think the content/effects used in such an alternative mechanism can already be playtested using the prototype.
I mean a government systems that uses a combination of cards and leaders seems to be whats mulling around in other people's heads. But your system sounds to me like what you have might get the most out of having a leader mechanic, where specific leaders can be assigned to these buildings/slots/offices/ministries/whatevers... Some of the FO species do have hive-minded traits, either mechanically (George) or in the fluff (Scylior, Ugmors, Abbadoni...) so in principle any one should be as good as another, but others aren't really supposed to work that way. The reason there isn't any differentiation within species currently is because right now it's just unnecessarily complex. Some species (Egassem, Cray, Dertheans...) should have differences within their species that could potentially affect stuff like government posts.

Something that might be a notable consideration is a special government option/options for telepathic species, Stellaris' gestalt consciousness government options add some interesting flavor to the game and there's been talks about how to make telepaths more interesting in FO so a unique government option might be one way.
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#12 Post by Ophiuchus » Mon Feb 19, 2018 1:35 pm

labgnome wrote:I do think the proposed influence project mechanic is probably a better starting place for modeling/building government functions than buildings.
?? I am getting the impression you dont understand what i am doing here.
The only reason why I am using the buildings for implementation here, because that mechanic already exists and I can use it to select one of the species in the empire.

If i would have done "governments" in the core instead of reusing a well established mechanism, it would have been broken at least five times until now.


What I wanted is to stress the differences between the different species. The possibility to single out some of those to make your empire more unique. The leaders idea is already one step further than what I am aiming for. Also there is no existing mechanism which i could sensibly reuse for that. As you already recognized, using buildings to choose a species is already a stretch. (Just btw finding the buildings in the empire is not so difficult if you forget where they are, the effects give away the building (and government choice is always at your capital), else there is always the objects view).

What could be an existing mechanic for leaders? E.g. One building per leader which under certain circumstances can be added to the build queue at your capital. "Firing a leader" by destroying that building? Having a choice means scripting up a lot of leaders with accompanying descriptions etc. Dont have enough time for making so much content which will probably not integrated into the game. Doesnt make any sense to me. Also I dont like the idea of leaders much. Species currently are already the "individuals" in the game - leaders dont add depth there. If leaders are not important as species we first should do something about species. If leaders are more important than species, species become less important, which is directly opposite to my original idea.

Back to the prototype; The different government types are intended more to fit the bill of being appropiate to your current situation as opposed to being better than the other. You are right, Its definitly easier to argue that if all the available government types are restricted to some slots, that none is "the best".

There should be reasons to switch governments or government functions if your situation changes (e.g. researching a key technology or integrating a new species into your empire).
With democracy with exponential cost that switching would also hurt the most. So if playing with exponential cost, I think in most cases I wouldnt go for democracy because i find a government type almost as fitting (with slightly worse bonus) but with less set up and maintenance cost.
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#13 Post by labgnome » Tue Feb 20, 2018 12:52 am

Ophiuchus wrote:?? I am getting the impression you dont understand what i am doing here.
The only reason why I am using the buildings for implementation here, because that mechanic already exists and I can use it to select one of the species in the empire.

If i would have done "governments" in the core instead of reusing a well established mechanism, it would have been broken at least five times until now.
Probably true, but this is why you should be working with the people who are planning on developing the influence mechanic. What you are describing just sounds, well awkward. Maybe influence and governments can be rolled out at the same time?
Ophiuchus wrote:What I wanted is to stress the differences between the different species. The possibility to single out some of those to make your empire more unique. The leaders idea is already one step further than what I am aiming for. Also there is no existing mechanism which i could sensibly reuse for that. As you already recognized, using buildings to choose a species is already a stretch. (Just btw finding the buildings in the empire is not so difficult if you forget where they are, the effects give away the building (and government choice is always at your capital), else there is always the objects view).
That is actually my whole point. There isn't a good existing mechanism to do it with in the game. Which is again probably the upcoming influence mechanic. "Influence projects", just like construction and research projects will be a thing. And they would probably give rather similar results, without the clunky work-around of buildings on specific planets with empire-wide effects. I mean a governmental system should feel more fundamental than buildings on particular planets to spread-out the bonuses of certain species.

Also: some people like to move their capitol. Which it sounds like this mechanic might interfere with, or might interfere with this mechanic. I mean I have some native species that are kind of favorites of mine to turn my empire over to after I grab them and I know some people like having lots of monoliths. So do I also have to re-build my specific government building? What if I moved my capitol for strategic purposes and my old capitol gets attacked? Does my government fall apart because my enemies got to a planet with a particular office building?
Ophiuchus wrote:What could be an existing mechanic for leaders? E.g. One building per leader which under certain circumstances can be added to the build queue at your capital. "Firing a leader" by destroying that building? Having a choice means scripting up a lot of leaders with accompanying descriptions etc. Dont have enough time for making so much content which will probably not integrated into the game. Doesnt make any sense to me. Also I dont like the idea of leaders much. Species currently are already the "individuals" in the game - leaders dont add depth there. If leaders are not important as species we first should do something about species. If leaders are more important than species, species become less important, which is directly opposite to my original idea.
When I have a big, multi-species empire in my game, I ind of like that it doesn't have one particular species overwhelming the mechanics of everything and the combination of planet and species can play out. I may like playing with certain species, but that doesn't mean I think my whole empire getting a Chato research buff or Egassem troop bonuses (or whatever the blanket attributes are) is a good idea. I mean some day I'd like diplomacy to be a thing, so I don't have to go around with troop-ships everywhere. And I had a similar idea about using ship assets for peaceful planet acquisition. But again, the influence mechanic is probably the best way to handle this as a foundation in both cases. Maybe government buildings and diplomatic ships aren't bad ideas, but really we need mechanics in the game that can be a foundation for those things to be built on top of. I mean there's a lot of questions to ask about how those sorts of things interact. Like should governments cost or produce influence?
Ophiuchus wrote:Back to the prototype; The different government types are intended more to fit the bill of being appropiate to your current situation as opposed to being better than the other. You are right, Its definitly easier to argue that if all the available government types are restricted to some slots, that none is "the best".
See that's intuitive and easy to understand. I mean right now quantitative differences really only mean that I have to wait longer. However, if even in the best case I can't get something that does everything, I will be strategic with my choices. Remember as this game goes on, we need to be able to get new players to grok what we are doing here.
Ophiuchus wrote:There should be reasons to switch governments or government functions if your situation changes (e.g. researching a key technology or integrating a new species into your empire).
With democracy with exponential cost that switching would also hurt the most. So if playing with exponential cost, I think in most cases I wouldnt go for democracy because i find a government type almost as fitting (with slightly worse bonus) but with less set up and maintenance cost.
The problem is right now, your production increases exponentially (basically) in the late game. Sure I might have to wait "until I can afford it", but that's not going to be an obstacle to choosing it on anything other than a small map.
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#14 Post by Ophiuchus » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:47 am

Regarding the choice to use buildings as technical device:
labgnome wrote:What you are describing just sounds, well awkward.
Its a crutch. But its a functional proof-of-principle prototype for leveraging species traits that works. So it doesnt matter if it is beautiful.
That is also the reason the thread is called "Scripted Government", because i dont intend to change the backend for this prototype. The idea is explicitly not that is going into master like this.
Maybe check out the Prototype article on wikipedia. If you are not working as a software developer the reasoning is probably unfamiliar.

One could dream up and build a nice UI interface to select one of the empire's species for a government seat. Wont change the game consequences at all.
Also i like the location implication of the buildings (currently only if captured, see below), but one could factor in location effects too. World tree bonus? Be creative. But that is just part of what it is now and if that is not so good it doesnt have to be like this in future.

If keeping location, one could also add a field effect around the seats (transparently colored filled circles) so they are easier to spot on the map. And maybe also have some effect on systems in the field (e.g. a slightly better defense for all own planets in the field).
labgnome wrote:Maybe influence and governments can be rolled out at the same time?
I hope it will. If other people like the idea of leveraging species traits. If its called government but is something completely different, it it doesnt have much to do with this proposal. You can call this proposal the "Composable Species Trait Enhancer" if you like to. Government is a better term, I think. I really dont mind working with the others. But just you get a feeling for the time scale, i scripted up a functional prototype for supply ships and refined it in i think about three weeks. Working together with the team this became the imperial stockpile which is ongoing about a year or something. Also note that i thought that happiness would become much more consequential. Didnt happen yet.
labgnome wrote:I mean a governmental system should feel more fundamental than buildings on particular planets to spread-out the bonuses of certain species.
Just for curiosity... why? In my opinion it is a good trick to improve the game without steepening the learning curve or inflating contents. (I think we shouldnt go for inflating the content before 1.0 release, everything that exists is a maintenance burden and slows us down). Would you have a better name for this mechanic?

And if you say spreading out the bonuses, I think you havent played a game with scripted government yet, because you would know that the existing effects dont apply to everything (e.g. the defense function determines what happens on outposts).

And i hope to get feedback what kind of effect could be leveraged and how. I personally find a straight +X to production/research not very interesting (the population based modifier also is enough i think) so i prefer more specific effects. Also with this mechanic, we could narrow the boni of species in the sense that they do not have to apply universally just because the species is in your empire. They could apply only if the species occupies a fitting position.

As example: the Sly have a boost to refueling their ships on gas giants, it could be extended to other ships if the Sly has the explorer function.

Another example: apply the telepathy research bonus only if a telepath has a research seat. Adding tags to species at which research category they are good is quite easy for example.
labgnome wrote:Also: some people like to move their capitol. Which it sounds like this mechanic might interfere with, or might interfere with this mechanic. I mean I have some native species that are kind of favorites of mine to turn my empire over to after I grab them and I know some people like having lots of monoliths. So do I also have to re-build my specific government building?
The existing government and seat buildings are not influenced by this. If you change government you need to build it on your new capitol.
labgnome wrote:What if I moved my capitol for strategic purposes and my old capitol gets attacked? Does my government fall apart because my enemies got to a planet with a particular office building?
Well what do you think if pentagon gets nuked when all the officials are in there?
Currently the government and seat buildings should get destroyed when the planet is captured; if they do not exist, they dont play out the effects. If government seats are destroyed, they dont give (primarily happiness). If the government type building is destroyed, you are in anarchy, existing buildings dont give bonusses (mostly happiness)
labgnome wrote: I mean there's a lot of questions to ask about how those sorts of things interact. Like should governments cost or produce influence?
Im actually using this discussion to collect design questions which should be asked when going further. E.g.:
  • should species choice be leveraged by the new mechanic XXX
  • should the effects of a XXX be composed of simpler ones or rather single-purpose
  • should location choice be leveraged by the new mechanic XXX
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#15 Post by Gault.Drakkor » Wed Feb 21, 2018 5:12 am

I have some concerns:

How do you reconcile the fact there already is a de-facto government?

The benevolent Emperor god-king dictator controller.

Planet Adhara you are industry now- > they obey.
You will colonize planet Borealis now -> they obey.
Planet Ceti die, now. -> they obey.
This is not a democracy, this is not anarchy, this not oligarchy.
Dictatorship? yes. Monarchy? yes. Secular? sure.

Besides that:
Can the government actually make meaningful game state changing decisions? If no, it is not government.
Can the god-king dictator override without cost? If so the government is toothless and is just an annoyance.
How is your idea not just a stat stick masquerading as government?

While I agree You could certainly model all the planets being operated as one of the many different governmental forms. The empire wide government is already chosen and in game.

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