Terraforming and different species

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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Geoff the Medio
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#16 Post by Geoff the Medio »

All: Everything I've said is still based on the idea that every planet will have only a single race. Aquitaine has made quite clear that this is the decided / preferred design.

The justification of this choice was to avoid the situation where you get +4.5% to farming because 36% of your population is one race, and -3.2% to industry because 17.2% of your population is another race, etc. This would happen regardless of whether such bonuses are calculated by the %'s of each race in the empire as a whole, or for the %'s of each race on a multiracial planet. With single race per planet, and local-only race effects, bonuses will easy-to-understand, like "+5 farming because the planet's race is the rabbit-kin".

utilae: I don't see why picking which race to colonize a planet with is really that much micromanagement. You only make the decision once per planet. And I don't see how hiding important information from the player is helping things; if we have different races prefer different planets, it's going to matter to the player which race is on which planet whether we make it easy or hard to figure out exactly what the benefits or drawbacks are of having each particular race on the planet...

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#17 Post by utilae »

Geoff the Medio wrote: I don't see why picking which race to colonize a planet with is really that much micromanagement. You only make the decision once per planet.
I would think you only make a decision for your race. So if you are the Sillicoids, you choose which planets each of your Sillicoid colony ships is going to colonise. I see that your saying if you had a planet that has some Psilon along with your Sillicoids, you may want to move the Psilons around as well as your own Sillicoids. There's still micromanagement there though.
Geoff the Medio wrote: And I don't see how hiding important information from the player is helping things; if we have different races prefer different planets, it's going to matter to the player which race is on which planet whether we make it easy or hard to figure out exactly what the benefits or drawbacks are of having each particular race on the planet...
Is infromation about captured races on your planet really that important? Sure if the Psilons were going to take the planet back you would want to know, but nothing else.
Geoff the Medio wrote: All: Everything I've said is still based on the idea that every planet will have only a single race. Aquitaine has made quite clear that this is the decided / preferred design.
So, this just elimates the whole problem then. Geoff, why do you want to show information relating to mixed race populated planets when each planet is going to have one race. So, in FreeOrion there will be no planets with more than one race.

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#18 Post by Geoff the Medio »

utilae wrote:Geoff, why do you want to show information relating to mixed race populated planets when each planet is going to have one race.
I don't! And I never said I did! You / guiguibah / Implaer seem to have assumed that's what I was talking about, when it wasn't. I'm not sure why though...

Anyway, my original point was that if you had two planets, one populated with race A, and the other populated with race B, the player could build colony ships with either of those races on them, and a colony founded with a colony ship would have the race of the planet that build the colony ship. The player would need to know which race was better suited to any available planets, so as to pick which race to found the new colony with.

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#19 Post by utilae »

Geoff the Medio wrote: Anyway, my original point was that if you had two planets, one populated with race A, and the other populated with race B, the player could build colony ships with either of those races on them, and a colony founded with a colony ship would have the race of the planet that build the colony ship. The player would need to know which race was better suited to any available planets, so as to pick which race to found the new colony with.
Sorry to be annoying :) but if that is your point, isn't it defeated by the fact that there will only be one race per planet (as you said).

Assuming we are to have more than one race per planet, I see why you would want to be able to choose where the captured race lives, but I think it is probably still too much work for so little gain. Is choosing where the Psilons will live a major strategic decision that will help your empire win the war? There race bonuses should not be that significant, therefore it should just be simplified.

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#20 Post by Geoff the Medio »

utilae wrote:Sorry to be annoying :) but if that is your point, isn't it defeated by the fact that there will only be one race per planet (as you said).
... No? My point is about which race you put on a planet... how is this defeated by having only one race per planet? You still have to pick which race to put on the planet. Not which races (plural)... which single race. You pick between multiple races you have available at different planets, and you put one of those available races onto a new planet. I don't see what's hard to understand about this...
Is choosing where the Psilons will live a major strategic decision that will help your empire win the war? There race bonuses should not be that significant, therefore it should just be simplified.
If that's the case, then we shouldn't bother having races at all, since they don't matter.

I'm assuming races are sufficiently different to warrant the player thinking about which race to put where.

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#21 Post by guiguibaah »

Anyway, my original point was that if you had two planets, one populated with race A, and the other populated with race B, the player could build colony ships with either of those races on them, and a colony founded with a colony ship would have the race of the planet that build the colony ship.
Yes, that would be a simple of way of going about creating multiple - racial empires. It could get interesting, where the planet of the race you captured doesn't have a large industrial base to crank out colony ships, so, for a while, you'd make the focus of that planet primary and seconday industry.

There could be one little problem, though, with races being excluded from mixing. Suppose there's this Super-farming swamp world you colonised with Sillicoids, who are terrible farmers and despise swamps. 20 turns pass and you capture the Sakkra, who have great farming bonuses and love swamps. I can see some players wanting to be able to relocate all Sillicoids, so that they can now take full advantage of the planet's bonus. In which case, there could either be

A: Sorry, it's permanently colonised, you can't do anything about it, or..
B: Evict ALL sillicoids. Landing a colony ship with Sakkra would allow them to rebuild the planet from scratch.

(I like option B, in some ways that it adds an extra element of strategic thinking... If you completely evict the population from the planet, you lose all your industry and stuff built upon it... So is the sacrifice of relocating Sillicoids and losing your industry worth for a bonus worth it?)


- - - -

That said, it would be interesting if there was a place or a planet in the game that allowed the races to mingle... Perhaps only on the Homeworld, or on some "Unique Planetary Building Wonder" that gives you MORE bonuses based on the number of races within your empire. IE: 1 race gives 1 bonus... 2 gives 2, 3 gives 4, 4 gives 8, 5 gives 16, etc....) To give the "Mos Eisely" sort of feel. (For game purposes, the planet the worder is built on still only has 1 predominant race to it, but gives the feel that others are on it.)

This could give rise to something they had in Birth of the Federation and Moo3, with "lesser races".
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#22 Post by utilae »

Geoff the Medio wrote: ... No? My point is about which race you put on a planet... how is this defeated by having only one race per planet? You still have to pick which race to put on the planet.
I understand your point, but it still fails. Since you can only have one race per planet, how are you ever going to even have two races to send around in colony ships.

That "one race per planet" rule is the problem. If your the sillicoids and you invade a Psilon planet your going to have both sillicoids and Psilons on that planet. In fact I don't even see how we can have only one race per planet when invading requires at least two races to be on a planet at the same time. Unless the Psilons get evicted in colony ships. This however would require an expense on your part and the alternative is death. Even then you cannot really control that colony ship. Well maybe, but the Psilons will never provide for your empire in this case.
Geoff the Medio wrote: If that's the case, then we shouldn't bother having races at all, since they don't matter.

I'm assuming races are sufficiently different to warrant the player thinking about which race to put where.
What I mean is that the racial bonuses for your empire should have a great effect on your empire. Having a few Psilons or Sakkra on the right planet shouldn't affect the game in such away that it is the difference between winning and loosing.

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#23 Post by Geoff the Medio »

guiguibaah wrote:I can see some players wanting to be able to relocate all Sillicoids, so that they can now take full advantage of the planet's bonus. In which case, there could either be

A: Sorry, it's permanently colonised, you can't do anything about it, or..
B: Evict ALL sillicoids. Landing a colony ship with Sakkra would allow them to rebuild the planet from scratch.
If a player wants to change the race of a planet, they could
a) set the planet for emigration, and create another colony elsewhere for that race, and set it as an immigration target, then spend trade (ie. influence) to get the population to move, and wait until they've all moved away
b) kill the existing population by some means, such as releasing a virus or using your ground troops to kill them all (genocide), orbital bombardment (though this will make the planet less useful for recolonization with another race), or cut off all food imports and let them starve
c) as suggested by utilae, build a bunch of colony ships to depopulate the planet, though this would be rather slow and expensive

Note that natives on a planet would work basically the same way.
That said, it would be interesting if there was a place or a planet in the game that allowed the races to mingle...
Systems have more than one planet. You could just have a different race on each planet in a system and get some bonus that way, rather than having to make a special kind of planet that complicates things...
utilae wrote:I understand your point, but it still fails. Since you can only have one race per planet, how are you ever going to even have two races to send around in colony ships.
You clearly don't understand... but I don't see how much more clearly I can explain it... maybe bold and italics?

PLANET 1 has RACE 1. PLANET 2 has RACE 2. IF PLANET 1 builds a colony ship, the colony ship will contain RACE 1. IF PLANET 2 builds a colony ship, the colony ship will contain RACE 2.

Each planet has only one race. Each colony ship has only one race of colonists on it. The the player can pick which race to put on a new colony when it is made by picking which colony ship to use to make the new colony.
If your the sillicoids and you invade a Psilon planet your going to have both sillicoids and Psilons on that planet.
No. You'll have a planet that has Psilons on it controlled by an empire ruled by Sillicods. If you want to put Sillicoids on the Psilon planet, you have to remove the Psilons first. You could build a bunch of colony ships to do this, but it's be rather slow and expensive to depopulate a planet that way. If you did use colony ships, the crew of those ships would still be loyal to your empire, so you'd still control the ship, irregardless of the race of the colonists on the ship.

This, and other ideas, is discussed on my Musings page on the Wiki.

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#24 Post by utilae »

Geoff the Medio wrote: PLANET 1 has RACE 1. PLANET 2 has RACE 2. IF PLANET 1 builds a colony ship, the colony ship will contain RACE 1. IF PLANET 2 builds a colony ship, the colony ship will contain RACE 2.

Each planet has only one race. Each colony ship has only one race of colonists on it. The the player can pick which race to put on a new colony when it is made by picking which colony ship to use to make the new colony.
You say that your empire owns the Psilons, yet only the Psilons are on the planet. So, wouldn't the Psilons just be able to do what they want. The sillicoids are not on the planet, so the Psilon empire could even claim the planet as their own. So effectively without much of a sillicoid presence on the planet, the chance of revolt is very high or the planet is not in sillicoid control. If even then you can go and pick up some colonists on this planet, then you should be able to do that to any enemy planet with insufficient defenses (abductions).
Geoff the Medio wrote:
If your the sillicoids and you invade a Psilon planet your going to have both sillicoids and Psilons on that planet.
No. You'll have a planet that has Psilons on it controlled by an empire ruled by Sillicods. If you want to put Sillicoids on the Psilon planet, you have to remove the Psilons first. You could build a bunch of colony ships to do this, but it's be rather slow and expensive to depopulate a planet that way. If you did use colony ships, the crew of those ships would still be loyal to your empire, so you'd still control the ship, irregardless of the race of the colonists on the ship.
Unless you have some kind of mind control devices or a sillicoid presence on that planet, the Psilons will revolt and not be of the sillicoid empire.

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#25 Post by Geoff the Medio »

utilae wrote:You say that your empire owns the Psilons, yet only the Psilons are on the planet. So, wouldn't the Psilons just be able to do what they want.
Yes, pretty much. If you just invaded another empire's planet, it would in general not be of much use to you. The population wouldn't just submit, it'd be in revolt and refuse to do any work. You're still nominally the owner of the planet though... in that you invaded and replaced the government with your own. The small number of imperial government officials don't count towards the population of the planet, or affect what race it has (and wouldn't be explicitly mentioned anyway... it'd just be assumed you somehow establish some government on the planet).

In order to really use the planet, you'd need to do something to make the populace work. You could drop a ton of ground troops to quell the rebellion, but these still don't count as actual colonists or affect the planet's race. You could use some sort of mind control device as you suggest. Or you could have buttered up the populace before you invaded, by propeganda or cultural factors, so that they were actually happy that you invaded and gladly started working for you when you finally removed their oppressively rulers for them. Alternatively, you could maybe spend a lot of trade to start convincing the populace of the planet that your empire isn't so bad, and maybe they should work for you.

We could also say that unless you actually drop some ground troops to take over the planet, it's not really yours. You could invade the system and achieve space superiority, but taking a planet requires ground troops, so if you have ground troops, then they're running the planet, until such time that the population likes you enough to stay loyal even without ground troops. If you removed the troops, the planet would immediately revolt and declare itself loyal to its original owner... or possibly be "in revolt" with no clear owner (ie. neither player can control the planet until one clearly establishes control of the surface with troops. Obviously the empire to which the planet's populace is loyal wouldn't need very many troops to achieve control... many fewer than the invader would.)
The sillicoids are not on the planet, so the Psilon empire could even claim the planet as their own. So effectively without much of a sillicoid presence on the planet, the chance of revolt is very high or the planet is not in sillicoid control.
The population is still Psilon, but the government is run by the invading Sillicoids. There is a high chance of rebellion, unless you've arranged ahead of time for them to want you to be there. If you haven't, it might be better to kill all the Psilons and repopulate the planet, since if you leave them, they'll stay rebellious unless you spend a lot of effort to convince them to do otherwise.
If even then you can go and pick up some colonists on this planet, then you should be able to do that to any enemy planet with insufficient defenses (abductions).
You can always use ground troops to force colonists onto colony ships. Alternatively, you could spend a lot of trade to convince them to get on the ships willingly (or to brainwash them into doing so). I suppose you could fly your colony ships to the planets of some other empire and land some ground troops, then kidnap a bunch of colonists... but if you can do that, then you might as well just invade and take over the planet. After you leave, it'll probably revert to it's original owners, just like an actually invaded planet would if you don't leave enough ground troops.

The key point here is that just because empire A was founded by race 1, doesn't mean that any planet with race 1 on it is loyal to empire A. A planet with race 1 could peacefully join empire B due to propeganda or cultural war, or be slowly converted after being invaded and taken over by empire C, etc.

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#26 Post by utilae »

Ok, now I agree with your point of view. It does make sense that the small government administration should not count torward the population. With no troops the planet would revolt next turn, unless your cultures were so alike and they liked you so much and the Psilon rulers were really mean to the Psilon peoples.

To mass depopulate a planet should require either many colony ships or one massive one, a "world ship".

So, in ship design we should be able to design colony ships with a carrying capacity in millions along with fuel range, weapons, research labs, etc.

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#27 Post by Wolverine »

My two cents again. Perhaps issues raised by Geoff could be resolved by those things:
a) Superstructures built on planet like Biospheres would cause the other race to have a tolerable environment even if terraforming process is in motion for the conqueror race.
b) Genetic alternation technology that allows the conquered race to perceive terraformed environment as tolerable.
c) Other technology that allows the conquered race to tolerate the environment (radiation shielding suits/breathing augmentation/pressurised suits, etc.). I guess this technology could remain as one under name such as "Environment tolerance". It would affect not only conquered races, but also starter race of the empire to better handle environments that doesn't suit them well.

Of course introduction of those technologies would depend of technological advancement of the empire and could be introduced in order like: a,c,b. Of course environment on the planet would affect racial bonuses. If we have silicoids that prefer barren and humans that prefer terran, the human terran planet was conquered by sillicoids, then Humans would perceive it as superb, but sillicoids would perceive it as adequate, because they don't breathe and 70% of the planet is water which causes erosion in sillica structures of sillicoids, so their P/R/F output would be at least mediocre. If the planet had Biospheres sillicoids could adjust some of them to their own needs so their output will significantly increase. If the race had developed other mentioned technologies then their P/R/F outputs would also increase. I know this is kind of hassle to programmers, but I think this could be easy solution for the complicated problem.
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#28 Post by Geoff the Medio »

What, the topic? We don't need to discuss that...

Likely there would be several ways to improve the quality of planets.

* You could just terraform the planet, which would be best long term but costly and of little use short term.

* You could build habitation domes, which would give a small bonus to the max population of the planet in the short term, but be a technological and developmental dead end (as opposed to terraforming). Likely this would be abstracted into the construction meter, so after you research "habitation domes", you'd get +5 to max population on all hostile planets with construction meters above 30, or something like that. So you'd found a planet, the spend time developing its construction meter while the population is tiny (population amount doesn't affect meter growth rate in general) and then eventually finish the domes and be able to move in more people

* You could genetically engineer to adapt to the new planet. This would be moderately expensive to set up, possible to get going fairly early (earlier than terraforming, a bit later than habitation dome type stuff), though would have other consequences arising form actually creating a whole new race of colonists for the planet. Specifically how this would work isn't so clear... it could be just another abstracted bonus to health or max population of planets where the race living on them views the environment as hostile, and a penalty to happiness or loyalty because the empire mutated you. Alternatively, you could have a whole system of natural and controlled explict mutation set up, as discussed here. An interesting quirk to this would be that you could wait for a mutation to naturally occur, which would result in a new race being created on the planet which would be better suited to its environment, or you could actively persue a mutation adaptation project, which would alter the race of the colonists on the planet. Getting them to agree to this without rebelling might require some doing. Another quick could be that you can't research the mutation technology until you've had one of your planets naturally have a mutation occur on it.

I'm not sure it's necessary to assume from the get go that we should have both "habitation domes" and "radiation shielding" as well as various other specific technologies for improving the ability of colonists to live on planets that are hostile for them. Is there a particular distinction between what these sorts of technologies would do? If not, it's possible to have different sorts of techs in this area that do the same thing, but with different degrees of effectiveness, and give them different names (ie. level 1 survival tech is called "colonist biosuits" and level 5 is called "habitation domes", both of while make living on hostile planets easier).

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