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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Gault.Drakkor
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#16 Post by Gault.Drakkor » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:05 am

If I were wanting any sort of governance. It would be something that would help me.
There will be micro management to handle late game. Just based upon total number of planets available, better AI etc. Having some automation to assist that would be good.

Advisors:
what is top 10 planets to outpost- why?
what are the top n planets to conquer -why?
etc.
Governors:
Build a government building: that governs its supply range, has a PP budget a set of guidelines, and it just takes care of that region. The regional governor would be making such choices as what to outpost what to colonize, planet focus, additional buildings etc. ideally with something of an estimate of ROI.

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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#17 Post by Ophiuchus » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:25 am

Gault.Drakkor wrote:I have some concerns:

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

The benevolent Emperor god-king dictator controller.
Oh a real life argument :) . Ill bite because it is so easy to answer with fluff.

You seem to have forgotten that the real power is never in government but always in the hands of groups or individuals which dont change if the government changes. In freeorion we know that this individual is the client-god. The government is only a mediator of the will of real power groups and pass the decisions on. Giving government functions to species representatives is there to give them the feeling that they are important and the decisions made are in their interest. If they dont get government functions they will be very unhappy and maybe refuse to carry out certain projects or in future maybe start rebellions. Also envy is one of the universal motivitational basic forces of all intelligent life so one feels happier if no one else feels happier, which is one of the many reason why anarchy works so well in a multi-multi-species empire.
How is your idea not just a stat stick masquerading as government?
How are numbers representations in RAM not just masquerading as ships or planets? How can you have planets full of species but no individuals? Why is the animation in the classic war simulation game "chess" so lame but the resolution and colorspace so great? I'm afraid the answer to these questions can not be found in the game or the source code but only within ourselves.


Regarding your suggestions for advisors, that is not the freeorion way. If they could make suboptimal choices one could be better of with micromanagement. You can find a lot of that discussion about handling micromanagement in the forum. The need for advisors can be seen as a game flaw. The freeorion way is to change the game in a way that micromanagement is futile. E.g. a single building giving a boost vs having to build the building on every planet. So it would be great if you could more precisely voice your micromanagement concerns in a different thread and we can see if something can be done about it.
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Dilvish
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#18 Post by Dilvish » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:13 pm

Ophiuchus wrote: ...Why is the animation in the classic war simulation game "chess" so lame but the resolution and colorspace so great? I'm afraid the answer to these questions can not be found in the game or the source code but only within ourselves.
:D

Regarding your suggestions for advisors, that is not the freeorion way. If they could make suboptimal choices one could be better of with micromanagement. You can find a lot of that discussion about handling micromanagement in the forum. The need for advisors can be seen as a game flaw.
I think you are perhaps painting with too broad strokes here. What can be an enjoyable decision-making task at an early stage of the game can get to be a bit of a chore once the empire is much larger, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the task is inherently micromanagement. For example, the idea of being able to present a prioritized list of colonization or invasion candidates sounds fine to me-- in a large galaxy later in the game it can get difficult to keep all the best candidates in mind.

The current Objects Window already can be used to facilitate that, but an ability to have a scriptable filter & evaluation for ordering a list sounds helpful and fine to me, and presenting such things outside of the Objects Window as an "Advisor" could potentially be a fun bit of flavor. And I'm sure such lists really would wind up being just "for consideration" kinds of lists, to facilitate strategic decisions, not something that would likely work well to just always follow the order presented.
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Gault.Drakkor
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#19 Post by Gault.Drakkor » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:33 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:
Gault.Drakkor wrote:I have some concerns:
How is your idea not just a stat stick masquerading as government?
How are numbers representations in RAM not just masquerading as ships or planets? How can you have planets full of species but no individuals? Why is the animation in the classic war simulation game "chess" so lame but the resolution and colorspace so great? I'm afraid the answer to these questions can not be found in the game or the source code but only within ourselves.
You have taken step too far back. I want it to be what it says on the tin.
I want a hammer to be something that does blunt damage, not be a shirt. I don't want death rays increasing happiness, or spawning puppies. I want my industrial centers to do industrial things. I want my governments to govern.

Call it something else:
Governmental departments /Ministries etc. Something that implies that it is part of government but not the government and I would be OK with that.

I am objecting because you are calling something that does not function as the definition of the name implies it should.
Ophiuchus wrote: Regarding your suggestions for advisors, that is not the freeorion way. If they could make suboptimal choices one could be better of with micromanagement. So it would be great if you could more precisely voice your micromanagement concerns in a different thread and we can see if something can be done about it.
Two ideas and you are merging the two.
My advisors only give you lists of suggestions, not the same as doing.
My governor idea would do automation given some constraints.

A government at the empire level should be making decisions, changing game state, which is the subject, and thus on topic.
( I do agree that late game micromanagement is a different topic. )

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Krikkitone
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#20 Post by Krikkitone » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:08 am

Regarding governments "governing"

That is where bonuses/penalties come in.

There are LOTS of decisions the player doesn't make.
-Should lower tax rates be extended to supply ships made in the past 5 years or the past 10?
-Should reproduction between different genetic groups of a certain species be a capital crime, tolerated, or mandatory?
-Should there be a shift in the time keeping mechanism partway through planetary rotation to optimize certain social benefits for weather effects?

These are not decisions you will EVER make in Free Orion if it at all stays close, these decisions are handled by your society (I'll avoid the term government) ie the little simulated individuals populating your planets.

Those decisions should have some effect on your empire, but right now we have only two ways to model those effects
1- Species (certain species do things certain ways so they give certain benefits/penalties when they are part of your society)
2-Techs (certain techs changes the way your society works in certain ways giving it certain benefits)

Governments would be another tool....

But if the name seems limiting, then I propose "Social Institutions" for the parts that make up your society.

So you could have a Democracy Institution + Imperial Institution + Mass Media Institution + Mind Link Institution + Market Institutions, etc. all at once

Each would give benefits+ penalties.... and the costs/effect could interact (ie just Imperial and Just Democracy is different than Imperial+Democracy, and just Democracy and just Mind Link is different than Democracy+Mind Link)

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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#21 Post by Gault.Drakkor » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:57 am

Krikkitone wrote: There are LOTS of decisions the player doesn't make.
Those decisions should have some effect on your empire, but right now we have only two ways to model those effects
1- Species (certain species do things certain ways so they give certain benefits/penalties when they are part of your society)
2-Techs (certain techs changes the way your society works in certain ways giving it certain benefits)
Agreed.

Your empire starts with one planet, one empire government, and it expands out. If you KISS, there is only one transmit, one planetary government, one religion, one nation, one people, for that empire. Whatever governmental form is rolled into the species.
If you are saying you want your Cray to be different from my Cray? Alright. sounds like species level race picks.

Krikkitone wrote:
These are not decisions you will EVER make in Free Orion if it at all stays close, these decisions are handled by your society (I'll avoid the term government) ie the little simulated individuals populating your planets.
I took unqualified 'government' to mean the empire government which is well defined ATM. If this discussion is about setting, modelling the planetary / regional / city / local governments. OK, lot more free reign there, just label it as such.
If the subject had been along those lines, i would have glanced over the thread, and carried on my way.
Krikkitone wrote: But if the name seems limiting, then I propose "Social Institutions" for the parts that make up your society.

So you could have a Democracy Institution + Imperial Institution + Mass Media Institution + Mind Link Institution + Market Institutions, etc.
Cool.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#22 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:14 am

Krikkitone wrote:But if the name seems limiting, then I propose "Social Institutions" for the parts that make up your society.
They can likely / should be called "Policies". My guess is there will be a few categories of them, like "Sociological", "Economic", "Military", and similar, in which there will be a few slots, with a particular policy being usable only in a particular slot type. There will may be ways to varying how many slots of what types are available to an empire. Changing policies will have an influence cost. Certain species will like or dislike certain policies. Watch some Civ6 gameplay videos for what I think is a good starting point for this system.

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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#23 Post by Ophiuchus » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:26 pm

Yes this is about imperial decisions (interaction of planets/systems/species in your empire). And i think empire government is not defined at all at the moment or very different from the client-god (and it would mean completely different things if you consider the species' fluff). Just because you move the chess pieces doesnt mean that you are the king (the king is inside the game-universe i.e. on the board). And just because something is a democracy doesnt prevent it from being (indistinguishable from) an empire (e.g. US intelligence and foreign policy).

I think those imperial decisions should not make any difference if you have just a single planet, but this should change with the number of planets/systems/species. E.g. in my government approach if you have a single species, if you have a government you would give all functions to this species, so basically the starting choice is anarchy or non-anarchy, all the governments have the same effect. As soon as you have more species the effects start to differentiate with the government seat and government type choice.
Geoff the Medio wrote:
Krikkitone wrote:But if the name seems limiting, then I propose "Social Institutions" for the parts that make up your society.
They can likely / should be called "Policies". My guess is there will be a few categories of them, like "Sociological", "Economic", "Military", and similar, in which there will be a few slots, with a particular policy being usable only in a particular slot type. There will may be ways to varying how many slots of what types are available to an empire. Changing policies will have an influence cost. Certain species will like or dislike certain policies. Watch some Civ6 gameplay videos for what I think is a good starting point for this system.
One thing central my "government" suggestion is the composability of basic parts into bigger ones (actually two levels). So the composables need names fitting to the basic names. The lower composite is chosen by the game developers and the higher level one is chosen by the client (with some restrictions).

So guessing some names and designs...
  • government functions (effect determined by function and species/planet) < government seat (choose a species/a planet per seat) < government type (choose one of five types determining the seats)
  • government functions (effect determined by function and species/planet) < government department (choose a species/a planet per department) < imperial administration (choose one of five types determining the departments)
  • social functions < social institution < society
  • policy card (unique effects per card) < policy (multiple slots per policy category) < policy category (fixed set of policy categories)
Because I use species as the bases of government functions, I think not all of those names would be befitting the mechanic.

@krikkitone maybe you could come up with some ideas for social functions/institutions? would love to hear

@Gault.Drakkor what would you name the composite of government departments? governmental organisation? how about imperial administration. Also what would be names for the different "imperial administration types". anarchy -> Decentralized, monarchy -> Centralized, democracy -> Atomar, council -> council, warlord -> Militaristic ?

@geoff did i correctly represent policy cards (in their current design)?
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#24 Post by Krikkitone » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:38 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Krikkitone wrote:But if the name seems limiting, then I propose "Social Institutions" for the parts that make up your society.
They can likely / should be called "Policies". My guess is there will be a few categories of them, like "Sociological", "Economic", "Military", and similar, in which there will be a few slots, with a particular policy being usable only in a particular slot type. There will may be ways to varying how many slots of what types are available to an empire. Changing policies will have an influence cost. Certain species will like or dislike certain policies. Watch some Civ6 gameplay videos for what I think is a good starting point for this system.

Well I think Institutions is better than Policies because Policies seems more like "Government" decisions.... wheras Institutions seem more open to a variety of social arrangements.

I could see dividing Influence Projects into
Institutions-largely permanent, would include things like Governments.. usually acquire them and only rarely..with much time and influence do you 'deactivate' them
Policies-"cards" that you acquire with influence and then activate or deactivate as you need (activating+deactivating taking much less influence than getting the card in the first place)

For some Institutions.... add sci fi name onto
Democracy
Monarchy
Law
Culture
Market
Collective/Corporation
Slave
Education
Entertainment

So something like
Deindividualizing Interspecies Education (for helping assimilate other species into a society that is collective/hive minded)
or
Planetary Subjugation Law (for increasing the output/reducing rebellions of slave worlds)
or
Algorithmic Military Entertainment (for increasing the happiness of worlds/troops during war)
or
Galactic Culture (for making diplomacy easier/less likely to cause unhappiness)

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#25 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:18 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:@geoff did i correctly represent policy cards (in their current design)?
No, your multiple-nested layers of choices is more complicated than just putting policy cards in slots. Civ6 also has the player pick a government type, which determine how many of what types of slots are available. Slots are also given by which civ is being played and by building wonders.

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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#26 Post by Ophiuchus » Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:40 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Ophiuchus wrote:@geoff did i correctly represent policy cards (in their current design)?
No, your multiple-nested layers of choices is more complicated than just putting policy cards in slots. Civ6 also has the player pick a government type, which determine how many of what types of slots are available. Slots are also given by which civ is being played and by building wonders.
Hm. From the description I actually do not see more complexity. Sounds the civ-6 one also has two levels of choices:
  • higher level: you choose a government which determines slots are available (almost the same as in my suggestion)
  • lower level: you choose one card per slot (also quite the same - you choose one species per slot)
differences sound like:
  • the slots are a bit more complex than in my suggestion as they interact with the civ choice and scientific tech tree
  • the lower level has a lot more choice which increases with the civic tech tree (in my suggestion you choose the species/planet and there are combinations of the functions)
I had a look at the effects the policy cards offer and most are simple. But I stopped counting at the 100th card (guess in basic edition its about 120). So knowing the possible combinations in going forward through the tech tree sounds two order of magnitude more complex. That you can leverage your species known bonus was exactly an idea to restrict complexity.

As for GUI I definitly would show the government slots in a composed form to the end user (like we have for ship design, with all the functions calculated for the species). For the choice of government type and seats, I imagine something similar to the design view - so you can choose the government type, drag and drop species from the list of empire's species onto the slots and see the calculated result. Buildings wont be necessary.

I can understand that somebody might feel this leveraging of species traits is restricting in the design (as policy cards are basically independent) and maybe boring (choice is smaller). But I bet they are a lot easier to balance than the complexity in civ-6. Of course if one really wanted to inflate complexity, one could increase the number and mixture of functions, and it would be also no problem to add new species traits as tags on the species and effects.

So as far as my research goes I am pretty sure my suggestion is the one less complex for the player (compared to the civ-6 one).

I hope i find time to watch a gameplay video with good explanations so I can understand you better.
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Re: Scripted Government - Please try and give feedback

#27 Post by Ophiuchus » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:42 pm

Dilvish wrote:The current Objects Window already can be used to facilitate that, but an ability to have a scriptable filter & evaluation for ordering a list sounds helpful and fine to me, and presenting such things outside of the Objects Window as an "Advisor" could potentially be a fun bit of flavor. And I'm sure such lists really would wind up being just "for consideration" kinds of lists, to facilitate strategic decisions, not something that would likely work well to just always follow the order presented.
Having way of manually adding a marker tag to objects sounds also helpful (and an alarm: sitrep me about this object in 10 turns). Such a search/advisor-suggestion could also use such markers as mechanic.
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