Gaian Planets (a modification)

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Geoff the Medio
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#16 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:32 am

I'm not a fan of the checkerboard mishmash of different planet textures suggestion, but treating Gaia as a special makes sense.

So, what I propose is that Gaia planets be treated internally as a regular planet, which has a particular environment type (Barren, Terran, Inferno, etc.). When uncolonized, the planet type is constant and unaffected by the special. When colonized, if the planet's type is not already "correct", the Gaia special will change it to the type most suiable for habitation by the colonizing race. This could happen instantly, or after a delay of several turns during which something interesting happens.

Likely we don't want transitional graphics or animation, for during a single turn transition or over multiple turns. Rather, the change would be noted in a sitrep to the player. Before the change (before colonization or conquest), the planet would appear as its initial environment type to players. After the change, it would appear as the new environment type.

That said, a fade between two environment graphics over several turns (with the "actual" state still being a sudden change at the end or in the middle), could be done if there's significant desire...

Some additional visual indication of the planet's Gaia-ness can be used, besides a special icon on the sidepanel. If it is to be a halo or palette change of some sort, examples will be needed.

As for environment rating of a Gaia planet, does it need to have a separate rating from a regular planet of whatever type is liked by its colonizers?

If yes, and we have an "Optimal" environment rating above "Good" or "Superb" or whatever, does this need to be exclusive to Gaia planets, or might other specials exist that make planets particularly suited to various races? A few standard variation specials for planet types, like "Forrested Terran", "Extra-High-Energy Radiated" or "Deep Ocean" could exist, which some races find extra comfortable, giving them "Optimal" on what would otherwise be a "Good" or "Superb" planet. (I think this has been suggested elsehwere...)

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#17 Post by eleazar » Mon Apr 09, 2007 6:01 am

Tyreth wrote:I like this idea Eleazar, Gaia does make more sense as a planetary special. I also like your idea of a surrounding halo of terraforming crystals or something similar.

I've added it to the programming work page...
Cool.
Geoff wrote:I'm not a fan of the checkerboard mishmash of different planet textures suggestion...
Nor am i.
Geoff wrote:So, what I propose is that Gaia planets be treated internally as a regular planet, which has a particular environment type (Barren, Terran, Inferno, etc.). When uncolonized, the planet type is constant and unaffected by the special. When colonized, if the planet's type is not already "correct", the Gaia special will change it to the type most suiable for habitation by the colonizing race. This could happen instantly, or after a delay of several turns during which something interesting happens.

Likely we don't want transitional graphics or animation, for during a single turn transition or over multiple turns. Rather, the change would be noted in a sitrep to the player. Before the change (before colonization or conquest), the planet would appear as its initial environment type to players. After the change, it would appear as the new environment type.
That's exactly what i want to see, with the qualification that i'd like the change of EPs happen no faster than 1 step per turn for dramatic effect.
geoff wrote:Some additional visual indication of the planet's Gaia-ness can be used, besides a special icon on the sidepanel. If it is to be a halo or palette change of some sort, examples will be needed.
In my first post in this thread, i linked to this image:
Image
It is a much more heavy-handed visual marker than other specials will get. Perhaps not an ideal solution, depending on how cool and special we want Gaians to be. If this is the ultimate Planetary special, than a green nanite halo may be justified.
geoff wrote:As for environment rating of a Gaia planet, does it need to have a separate rating from a regular planet of whatever type is liked by its colonizers?

If yes, and we have an "Optimal" environment rating above "Good" or "Superb" or whatever, does this need to be exclusive to Gaia planets, or might other specials exist that make planets particularly suited to various races? A few standard variation specials for planet types, like "Forrested Terran", "Extra-High-Energy Radiated" or "Deep Ocean" could exist, which some races find extra comfortable, giving them "Optimal" on what would otherwise be a "Good" or "Superb" planet. (I think this has been suggested elsehwere...)
I'm a little confused by this part. We already have an ""Optimal" environment rating above "Good" or "Superb" or whatever". See the first part of my first post in this thread.

I would like to think that with end-game techs the player will be able to turn planets into Gaias. But the way they are described:
DD wrote:Gaia worlds are, despite the name, not exclusively paradise for Terran dwellers. They are sentient planets designed by long-forgotten ancient creators to reshape themselves to the whims of their inhabitants. Exceedingly rare, extremely valuable-- some cultures worship Gaian planets as gods.
This really sounds more ideal than any planet naturally could be. As i said before, i imagine if humans found such a planet it would be much like earth, but without icecaps, hurricanes, and deserts.
Geoff wrote:A few standard variation specials for planet types, like "Forrested Terran", "Extra-High-Energy Radiated" or "Deep Ocean" could exist, which some races find extra comfortable,
I would be quite pleased if our terraforming/planet types could be more robust than what's in the v.2 & 3 Regs. Presumably each race would have special version of their EP which would only benefit themselves? However at first glance this seems like something that would be better implemented by adding more dimension to the EP wheel— but maybe not.

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#18 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:37 am

eleazar wrote:...the change of EPs [should] happen no faster than 1 step per turn for dramatic effect.
This actually might be rather complicated to script as things are now, as you'd need to have a case for each pair of current and goal environments, which would make a very complicated special... I suppose we could add a new effect to help this though, which would be a special-case Set Planet Environment One Step Towards that would implicitly take into account the current environment and figure out for itself what intermediate stage to go to, and which would eventually reach its goal after multiple applications. Careful consideration of stacking restrictions to prevent multiple steps in one turn would also be required.
We already have an ""Optimal" environment rating above "Good" or "Superb" or whatever".
Yes, but does there need to be?
I would like to think that with end-game techs the player will be able to turn planets into Gaias.
I'd like to think that they wouldn't need to... Why make a self-terraforming planet, when it's easier to just terraform the planet yourself? Why terraform at all if you can fully populate and exploit any planet, regardless of its environment type?
I would be quite pleased if our terraforming/planet types could be more robust than what's in the v.2 & 3 Regs. Presumably each race would have special version of their EP which would only benefit themselves? However at first glance this seems like something that would be better implemented by adding more dimension to the EP wheel— but maybe not.
These specials need not be linked directly to a particular race. Rather, there could be one, two or three such specials total, regardless of number of races, and any race would pick one (perhaps randomly each game) that it would like best. Two races might share, and some specials might be unused (but still present in the game). Such a special would never reduce a planet's quality for anyone, but would be extra-good for a race that is particularly suited to it.

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#19 Post by marhawkman » Mon Apr 09, 2007 9:53 pm

eleazar wrote:
Tyreth wrote:I like this idea Eleazar, Gaia does make more sense as a planetary special. I also like your idea of a surrounding halo of terraforming crystals or something similar.

I've added it to the programming work page...
Cool.
Ditto.
Geoff wrote:So, what I propose is that Gaia planets be treated internally as a regular planet, which has a particular environment type (Barren, Terran, Inferno, etc.). When uncolonized, the planet type is constant and unaffected by the special. When colonized, if the planet's type is not already "correct", the Gaia special will change it to the type most suiable for habitation by the colonizing race. This could happen instantly, or after a delay of several turns during which something interesting happens.

Likely we don't want transitional graphics or animation, for during a single turn transition or over multiple turns. Rather, the change would be noted in a sitrep to the player. Before the change (before colonization or conquest), the planet would appear as its initial environment type to players. After the change, it would appear as the new environment type.
ditto. I favor the idea of showing the fact that its changing by using parts of two pictures.
eleazar wrote:
geoff wrote:Some additional visual indication of the planet's Gaia-ness can be used, besides a special icon on the sidepanel. If it is to be a halo or palette change of some sort, examples will be needed.
It is a much more heavy-handed visual marker than other specials will get. Perhaps not an ideal solution, depending on how cool and special we want Gaians to be. If this is the ultimate Planetary special, than a green nanite halo may be justified.
I had to look twice to notice the halo.
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f297/ ... media2.jpg

there's my idea. obviously a 2-minute paint session isn't quite up to par with the rest of in-game graphics but it's just a demo of what I think Tyreth was suggesting.
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#20 Post by Tyreth » Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:10 pm

I would like to think that with end-game techs the player will be able to turn planets into Gaias.
I'd like to think that they wouldn't need to... Why make a self-terraforming planet, when it's easier to just terraform the planet yourself? Why terraform at all if you can fully populate and exploit any planet, regardless of its environment type?
This does leave you wondering, though - if we have no reason to ever create a Gaia world, then why did some unknown alien race?

Gaia is more than just a terraformed world. It's a world that has intelligence enough to manage its environment in ways that even an optimally terraformed world cannot.

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#21 Post by marhawkman » Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:26 pm

well... if we keep gaia as one step above "perfect", then there's a reason.
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#22 Post by eleazar » Tue Apr 10, 2007 9:02 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:...the change of EPs [should] happen no faster than 1 step per turn for dramatic effect.
This actually might be rather complicated to script as things are now.....Careful consideration of stacking restrictions to prevent multiple steps in one turn would also be required.
Well, if there are technical difficulties, the one-EP-step-at-a-time could be added as an embellishment at an indefinite future time. I still think it's an improvement without the multi-step thing.
Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:I would be quite pleased if our terraforming/planet types could be more robust than what's in the v.2 & 3 Regs. Presumably each race would have special version of their EP which would only benefit themselves? However at first glance this seems like something that would be better implemented by adding more dimension to the EP wheel— but maybe not.
These specials need not be linked directly to a particular race. Rather, there could be one, two or three such specials total, regardless of number of races, and any race would pick one (perhaps randomly each game) that it would like best. Two races might share, and some specials might be unused (but still present in the game). Such a special would never reduce a planet's quality for anyone, but would be extra-good for a race that is particularly suited to it.
• Random picking would frequently make no sense. A species background and nature would generally imply which sub-EP environment they would prefer. Anyway it would be somewhat confusing if to find a different favored planet sub-type each time you play the same race.

• I object to including specials that have no possible function in a particular game, even it "never reduce a planet's quality for anyone". It's just clutter to inform the player of when an ocean planet is one of the three sub-types, when there are no aliens with ocean as their EP.

• A lesser point: 2 species which developed on different worlds finding precisely the same EP sub-type optimal, seems vanishingly improbably. But more importantly it would generate unfair competition for such worlds relative to species which have a optimal sub-type all to themselves.

marhawkman wrote:I favor the idea of showing the fact that its changing by using parts of two pictures.

no. It could not look good without custom art, and would falsely imply the existence of intermediate steps on the EP wheel.

There's little point in establishing an simple set of rules and distinct game-states, if we then go and camouflage the distinctions with misleading graphics.

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#23 Post by marhawkman » Tue Apr 10, 2007 11:22 pm

What's misleading about having the picture slowly change from one to the other? it doesn't change the text displayed next to it.
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Re: Gaian Planets (a modification)

#24 Post by Krikkitone » Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:50 am

Perhaps 2 specials
Gaia- Terraforms to Existing Races EP AND counts as 1 'Level' Higher

Naturally Optimal World-Counts as 1 level higher IF its EP=race EP

So "Naturally Optimal Terran" is the same as "Gaia Terran" for Humans, but "Naturally Optimal Ocean" is just as good as an Ocean for them. "Naturally Optimal Inferno" is just as terrible as a regular Inferno for them.

"Gaia Ocean/Desert" would be just as good as Terran
"Gaia Inferno/Radiated/Tundra/Barren/Toxic/Swamp" would be just as good as Ocean/Desert
[and of course if Humans were there it would change over the course of a few turns]

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Re: Gaian Planets (a modification)

#25 Post by marhawkman » Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:37 pm

"naturally optimal"'d make a nice planetary special. Hey! we could replace the existing homeworld special with it! Maybe have it also give additional penalty if race trying to live there doesn't like it?

I like the idea of doing gaia as a special that autoterraforms the planet.
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#26 Post by eleazar » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:20 am

Species-specific Specials
Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:might other specials exist that make planets particularly suited to various races? A few standard variation specials for planet types, like "Forrested Terran", "Extra-High-Energy Radiated" or "Deep Ocean" could exist, which some races find extra comfortable, giving them "Optimal" on what would otherwise be a "Good" or "Superb" planet. (I think this has been suggested elsehwere...)
I would be quite pleased if our terraforming/planet types could be more robust than what's in the v.2 & 3 Regs. Presumably each race would have special version of their EP which would only benefit themselves? However at first glance this seems like something that would be better implemented by adding more dimension to the EP wheel— but maybe not.
These specials need not be linked directly to a particular race. Rather, there could be one, two or three such specials total, regardless of number of races, and any race would pick one (perhaps randomly each game) that it would like best. Two races might share, and some specials might be unused (but still present in the game). Such a special would never reduce a planet's quality for anyone, but would be extra-good for a race that is particularly suited to it.
After thinking about this general idea, i found a way to do it that overcomes my previous objections.

I think Geoff's main point is to introduce a species specific special (try saying that 10 times fast ;) ) which differentiates the planets.

But rather than hiding the purpose of the special with indirect naming, why not simply call it what it is? For instance, a special which makes Terran planets even better for Humans (probably a max health and max population bonus) would be called "Human Ideal" or more verbosely, "Ideal Human Climate".
There's really no learning curve with that kind of naming. :)

The trick is that IMHO these specials should be invisible to the player— unless he knows about that species. So until you meet (and possible do research on) the Kilrathi, the special "Kilrathi Ideal" will be invisible to you. It would just be lame to discover that the Psylons are in the game 100 turns before you actually met then, because you found a planet with the special "Psylon Ideal".
It would be equally weird if you found that special, but the Psylons weren't in the game.

Naturally Optimal World-Counts as 1 level higher IF its EP=race EP

So "Naturally Optimal Terran" is the same as "Gaia Terran" for Humans, but "Naturally Optimal Ocean" is just as good as an Ocean for them. "Naturally Optimal Inferno" is just as terrible as a regular Inferno for them.
This idea could work with the species specific idea. Since it's theoretically usable by more species, i'd make it a lesser special than the "Species-Name Ideal" special.
The name would need to be changed for clarity. I'd just call it something like "Superb Terran" etc. Also since i would like to be able to terraform a planet to the the "Superb" state, "Naturally" doesn't belong as part of the name.

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Re: Gaian Planets (a modification)

#27 Post by Tortanick » Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:36 am

Here's a random Gaia planet idea:

Every Gaia planet gets two lesser positive planetary specials that they inteligently modify based on what your empire needs, if your low on food they might get the "extra fertile soil" special. As soon as enemy forces arive in the same system they replace their specials with defence oritented ones, like natural caverns to protect from bombing, or "upper atmosphere storms"that interfear with troop ships attempting to land.

It might be a little overcomplicated to have an entire AI just for gaia worlds but I thought I'd throw the idea out there and see what you think.

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Re: Gaian Planets (a modification)

#28 Post by marhawkman » Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:14 pm

Hmm... Maybe if only some planets did that?
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Re: Gaian Planets (a modification)

#29 Post by Tortanick » Sat Apr 05, 2008 6:47 pm

Ok, I thought my last idea was a little far out but this one is even worse :D

What if rather than just help the people on them Gaian planets can get annoyed, too much pollution or one too many wars affecting the surface and the world will go into revolt turning into the worst possible environment.

Even further, once enough Gaian planets are created they could unionise! Annoy too many and they all go on sympathy strike with political ramifications for everyone who set them off.

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Re: Gaian Planets (a modification)

#30 Post by marhawkman » Sun Apr 06, 2008 7:30 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ego%20the% ... g%20Planet

And then if you try to destroy it, it retaliates and demolishes your fleets. :P
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