Rare corners of the Earth

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

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utilae
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Rare corners of the Earth

#1 Post by utilae »

Here's an idea. What if each world had a very small isolated area that when discovered provides some kind of technological break through. Basically this area would be the last part of the world discovered, so a small world would be explored fully quicker than a large world.

An example of this is the bacteria found on Mt Arabus in Anartica, that is now gonna make dna tech better.

marhawkman
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#2 Post by marhawkman »

That is kinda wierd.... The main thing I can think of is that you'd have it only spawn one per planet... that doesn't really sound reasonable unless somebody intentionally put them there.

The tech bonus idea is cool, though.
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solrac776
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#3 Post by solrac776 »

Wouldn't having it on a planet-scale be too small for a 4X game? Maybe it should be distant corners of the galaxy? But then we're really just talking about finding planet specials.

I think that a planet-scale special would make more sense if we had the player's actively exploring the surface of individual planets.

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#4 Post by marhawkman »

solrac776 wrote:Wouldn't having it on a planet-scale be too small for a 4X game? Maybe it should be distant corners of the galaxy? But then we're really just talking about finding planet specials.

I think that a planet-scale special would make more sense if we had the player's actively exploring the surface of individual planets.
After re-thinking this I suppose we could make it so that even though the special is there on the planet the event giving you the tech isn't triggered until the population reaches a certain percentage.
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Geoff the Medio
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#5 Post by Geoff the Medio »

viewtopic.php?t=747

In particular:
the other possibility:

2) Exploration is fun, and should be made to represent an involving activity and as interesting as possible, at least at the start of the game.

In this case, it seems reasonble to delay the availability of information about a system. When a scout arrives in the system, it would likely immediately know the number, size and perhaps environment of the planets. It would not, however necessarily know all the more interesting details, such as mineral richness and natives, and especially not ruins or specials.

In order to learn more about the planets in the system, it would be necessary to have the scout stay in the system for several turns. Thus a decision is created for the scouting player between getting to the next system to check for habitable planets, and thoroughly searching the current system for any extra information.

I imagine it would be necessary to have a few extra perks to spending a couple turns scanning a system... I would imagine that you'd be able to locate any hiding / sleeping space monsters in the system, without waking them. Thus you would know whether you need to send a good combat ship to clear out the monster before sending a colony ship that it would otherwise eat.

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#6 Post by marhawkman »

Ah. That's cool too. But Utilae's ideas was about making(some) planetary specials only visible/usable after your people have actually spent time expanding and physically exploring the planet.
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Geoff the Medio
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#7 Post by Geoff the Medio »

marhawkman wrote:Ah. That's cool too. But Utilae's ideas was about making(some) planetary specials only visible/usable after your people have actually spent time expanding and physically exploring the planet.
That is, or could easily be, covered in the linked thread.

It's actually a bit underwhemling in practice though... as you'd essentially just randomly discover stuff on planets you'd already colonized... as those are the ones with lots of people on them, including some who go explore their planet and find stuff.

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#8 Post by marhawkman »

Well it's one of those things that makes sense from a realism standpoint. It seems unlikely that you could find EVERYTHING simply by scanning a planet from orbit. I think it'd be very interesting to make it so that most specials weren't noticed until after your people spent time exploring.
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Geoff the Medio
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#9 Post by Geoff the Medio »

It would perhaps be interesting to have most specials, including perhaps any resources if such are implemented, not be apparent until a planet is settled. Most such stuff should be obvious fairly soon after colonization though, as the player needs to decide whether to develop a planet significantly with that knowledge available. It's sort of unfun to spend a huge amount of resources developing a planet and only then discover that there's some delayed-onset massive negative special that's made your effort go to waste. As well, any specials that affect resource production, positively or negatively, independent of population would presumably be apparently immediately after colonization. Other specials that have some condition for activation, like minimum population or a meter level, could be not discovered until that condition is met, though these should be rarer, given the above unfun issue.

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#10 Post by marhawkman »

Yeah I suppose a sliding scale could be used based on how "good" the special is. Maybe make the uber-awesome ones like tech advances or special minerals require 75% or more.
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Geoff the Medio
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#11 Post by Geoff the Medio »

An interesting point is that if you can't detect specials from orbit, then other empires can't tell what specials you have on which planets. This makes espionage important, so as to figure out which planets your enemies have their important strategic resources on, etc.

There could also be improved scanning technology that can detect such specials from orbit.

Or there could be a convoluted detection level required to see specials... where all objects you own have a detection meter that determines what they can see, and all objects have a stealth meter, that determines how easy they are to see. Being on the same planet could give a +10 bonus, and non-obvious planetary specials could have stealth meters such that just flying by the planet isn't enough, but colonization and the +10 bonus is enough to see them.

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#12 Post by marhawkman »

hmm... that sounds great!!
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#13 Post by solrac776 »

Isn't that just a bit too complicated? We might think that this is a great idea, but would enough players care for it to make it worthwhlie to implement?

And if you colonize a planet and you discover one of these specials, do you get to change your mind and colonize somewhere else if you don't like the special?

Also, this increases the randomness in the game. When exploring and colonizing, you already have to hope that you find a habitable planet. With these extra specials, you now have to worry about whether the planet will still be suitable AFTER you colonize it.

This essentially is just another class of random events.

These type of specials would also be a stress in a small universe and in heavily-contested universes. Basically, in any game in which a player is likely to only get a small share of the number of habitable planets. Then the player's luck could be made or broken by whether or not he gets a complimentary special and by how many his opponents get. And when habitable planets are that limited in number, he can't afford not to colonize a planet with a negative special.

And we already have planet-specific specials. Is another class of them really necessary?

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#14 Post by marhawkman »

Actually the idea was to change the way specials work in order to require either:

a: habitation to locate
or
b: highly advanced scanners. So you could find them without colonizing if you had enough ships with scanners. :) The idea of having all specials immediately dtectable has always seemed counterintuitive to me.
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#15 Post by MikkoM »

I also don´t like the idea of detecting all specials from the planets orbit as this removes the element of surprise when colonizing planets. Also some specials, like the bacteria mentioned in the original message or some ancient ruins, could be so small in size that it would require very advanced scanners to detect them.

And what comes to the exploration part I think it is fun too, but I don´t think scanning a single system should take more than just a couple of turns, because if it does the player would likely be forced to build an armada of scout ships so that he/she can find enough suitable planets for colonization before other species colonize them.

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