Terrain worlds

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

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M4lV
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Re: Terrain worlds

#31 Post by M4lV »

SowerCleaver wrote:Well, that's good to know, but I was discussing how to distinguish the two EPs in the game, not analyzing how "real" Ocean planets would work.

For purposes of penalizing humans, it may be sufficient to say Ocean planet has 0% or near 0% landmass.
Since when should that distinction not dependent at least a bit to how "real" oceans work? What's speaking against making those two EPs only distinct by saying they are not feasible for humans or strongly humanoid races (no fish or reptilian races) to evolve (i.e. be their homeplanet) but extremely suitable for colonization? That would be distinction enough for me and justify for both of them to be in-game separately apart from the obvious nicer looks of the game.

By analyzing real mechanism, every simulation gets better (a good simulation should always try to model reality as we see or as we want (keep in mind the logical coherence and attractiveness for the player later on) to see it as best as possible), especially when there's no extra-price to pay for implementing those. It is always a nice thing to have in a game, to be as close to a reasonable set of rules in your universe as possible. These little things show that a team knows his stuff beyond coding and art creation plus the player later on can try to learn from it or at least he poses question as to why this is the way it is and starts to find the universe more interesting. At least that's my understanding of building a universe and gaming within this universe.

@Krikkitone: Of course life could be otherwise built-up, like on a silicium basis or something. That's exactly where we should stick the whole thing down. Are we assuming life develops similar to earth conditions on planets similar to earth (those desert, water, ice, swamp and tundra planets I put together into one class in mind) or do we say it can be anything?

You're talking about gameplay. Well, that's valid, I do too. Now I got a question for you: Does it serve anything that you make Water worlds uninhabitable or even only partly uninhabitable for humans? Where's the overview and fun in that when you have a name for the class of a planet but can't ever be sure if your population survives on that planet? You know where I'm getting at?
Perhaps methane and carbon dioxide are combined and water is the waste product
That's exactly how our earth's oceans developed. Now it's your turn ;). No, what I want to say here is, that we need a set of global rules for the game (and we're currently evolving it here right now), so that the more intelligent gamer later on feels he is in a coherent and mostly logically consistent universe. It adds up to the fun, believe me. Plus, it helps for the manual later on when certain things should be explained why they are the way they are. It helps when the term "gameplay requirement" does not occur too often (as it's seen as a more or less lame excuse when used too often). Jumping around between logic levels the way they suit best for the moment has the inherent danger of creating weird gameplay perceptions later on. I'm just giving a hint here.. ;)

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Tortanick
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Re: Terrain worlds

#32 Post by Tortanick »

SowerCleaver wrote: I now remember you are opposed to including humans into the "stock" species -- that explains why you want to merge Terran EP into Ocean EP! :) I want both Terran and Ocean EPs, so that I can play humans and octopi/fish/dolphins or whatever.
lol, but no; the two issues are unrelated.

And useing the "excuse" gameplay requirement isn't a bad thing at all. If there was a good gameplay reason for Terran worlds I wouldn't have even worried about the issue. I only brought it up since the actual names chosen for planet types have no effect on the gameplay at all.

SowerCleaver
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Re: Terrain worlds

#33 Post by SowerCleaver »

Krikkitone wrote:One note... as for playing octopods/dolphins. The idea is that if you took the Dolphins/octopi on earth today and genetically modified them with sufficient intelligence and tool using capacity to become a space faring species, they would still prefer Terran to Ocean worlds..

the disadvantage with Ocean, Tundra, Desert, and Swamp is definitely that they also in common usage define areas of Earth.. but when applied to a planet EP... well Ocean EP dwellers would probably prefer the part of our planet that we called oceans, but they would still hate the composition of the water there.
Agree on those points. When I referred to octopi and dolphins, I just meant sentient life under the water. Always cool to have those. Think about it -- their spaceship will be packed with pressurized water, sort of a space fishbowl! 8)

Anyways, this is a bit off topic, but now I think I have a better understanding of the concept "Habitability"

Example: For humans,

- "Paradise" habitability (don't know the official names) -- Terran EP with Gaia special: The MAJORITY of the planet is great/superb for the species and the EXTREME POINTS are optimal for the species. Poles are like Connecticut and equators are like Mexico. In between are the ever-spring fields. No hurricane, no earthquake, fertile black soil.

- "Homeworld" habitability -- Terran EP : The MAJORITY of the planet is optimal for the species and the EXTREME POINTS are sub-optimal for the species. Just like the Earth.

- "Next best" habitability -- Ocean EP : The MAJORITY of the planet is sub-optimal for the species and the EXTREME POINTS are harsh for the species. Need to construct floating platform. Equatorial regions are too dangerous because of constant hurricanes, and poles have toxic liquid materials.

- "Worse" habitability -- Desert EP: The EXTREME POINTS are harsh for the species and the MAJORITY of the planet is uninhabitable for the species. Arrakis of Dune -- humans can survive only in poles, with significant technological assistance.

- All other EPs are "Uninhabitable", unless tech advancement is made.

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Krikkitone
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Re: Terrain worlds

#34 Post by Krikkitone »

For "Terran Dwellers"

HW level= Terran
Next best = Ocean OR Tundra
Worse = Swamp OR Desert
even worse = Toxic OR Barren
worst = Inferno OR Radiated

This is Very easy to see because it is a ring
Terran-Ocean-Swamp-Toxic-Inferno-Radiated-Barren-Desert-Tundra-Terran*

*loops at this point to the beginning

The closer an environment is on the ring the better it is

the general idea already mentioned, is that each EP is looking at the planet overall, with some areas on it that are worse or better than others


The point is that from an Environmental Engineering standpoint all environments are equivalent
Terraforming, Infernoforming, Deserforming, and Oceaforming are all basically the same, they move the environment around the wheel to the desired position (or at least closer to it)

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eleazar
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Re: Terrain worlds

#35 Post by eleazar »

SowerCleaver wrote:Example: For humans,

- "Paradise" habitability (don't know the official names) -- Terran EP with Gaia special: The MAJORITY of the planet is great/superb for the species and the EXTREME POINTS are optimal for the species. Poles are like Connecticut and equators are like Mexico. In between are the ever-spring fields. No hurricane, no earthquake, fertile black soil.

- "Homeworld" habitability -- Terran EP : The MAJORITY of the planet is optimal for the species and the EXTREME POINTS are sub-optimal for the species. Just like the Earth.

- "Next best" habitability -- Ocean EP : The MAJORITY of the planet is sub-optimal for the species and the EXTREME POINTS are harsh for the species. Need to construct floating platform. Equatorial regions are too dangerous because of constant hurricanes, and poles have toxic liquid materials.

- "Worse" habitability -- Desert EP: The EXTREME POINTS are harsh for the species and the MAJORITY of the planet is uninhabitable for the species. Arrakis of Dune -- humans can survive only in poles, with significant technological assistance.

- All other EPs are "Uninhabitable", unless tech advancement is made.
It's reasonable to look at things that way, and more or less meshes with the "facts" of the game, but of course planets are not divided up into regions by the game— this is the sort of detailing that occurs in the players imagination.

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Robbie.Price
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Re: Terrain worlds

#36 Post by Robbie.Price »

Goodmorning all,

I think the easiest solution to the terren vs ocean problem is to ignore the fact that Earth has gigantic oceans.

Define Terren as being Grass - planes, with highly significant landmass, and open bodies of both fresh and Saline water.
(ocean worlds would not have both Fresh And Saline water, only one or the other, this would make Human living very hard, human life without salt is death, and equally without fresh water is a bear. *and getting a populations worth of fresh water out of salt water would be technically difficult.*)

The fact that Earth Proper is mostly oceanic can be a single exception, which the 'HW' status overpowers. Non earth Terren planets would be more land mass less ocean, but *shrug*

The biggest point for a planet being 'terren' should be the ready availability of bodies of both saline and non saline liquid water in quantity. With this definition one has a clear distiction between an ocean world, and earth-like worlds.

The fact that 'Ocean' races would be happy to live at THIS particular terren planet. *shrug*.

One could also note that plants living on the surface hold large quantities of carbon out of the ocean, as well as large amounts of Nitrides, and other minerals which on an Ocean planet would be dissolved. So we could claim that even earth like plannets have oceans which are too diluted (too much water not enough aqueous minerals/elements due to those minerals being locked away in surface plants/animals. rocks.)

best wishes.

does that help clear up the issue??

That's just my two cents.

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Re: Terrain worlds

#37 Post by marhawkman »

So I guess the point of this thread is to decide what to call "terran" in-game?

"Class M" is obviously out. (me thinks M was chosen largely at random anyways)

What is the defining feature of Earth? Non-swampy areas covered in plant life? Balance between terrain types?

Anyways, a word to convey that it's a mix of plains and forest would do nicely. Sadly I can't think of any....
Computer programming is fun.

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Tortanick
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Re: Terrain worlds

#38 Post by Tortanick »

marhawkman wrote:What is the defining feature of Earth? Non-swampy areas covered in plant life? Balance between terrain types?
Well that's certainly the part Humans like best. Or maybe we're just bias because that's the part we come from ;)

Greenlands? Maritime (that's basically the climate for Europe, although its really a word for climate not environment). Although IMO both Planes or Forest would be an improvement.

M4lV
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Re: Terrain worlds

#39 Post by M4lV »

M comes from Minshara-class, a "Vulcan" word for terran planets in Star Trek.

I think what basically allows for calling a planet terran is enough landmass (bigger than 20%), enough water (bigger than 20%) and a mean temperature above 0° Celsius because only then water is liquid hence life like we know ("terran" life) can develop. It should also not be hotter than 20° (on earth currently it's something like 15°) because then water sublimation would lead to dryness hence no "terran life" again.

That should make a lot of swamp planets also terran but there's no problem in that if all other indicators above are met since swamps can be dried out pretty easily hence colonization will make it pretty habitable over time.

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Krikkitone
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Re: Terrain worlds

#40 Post by Krikkitone »

If we are talking about what to call it... I suggest sticking with Terran... reasonably understandable, and.. the more precise the terminology, the more we get tripped up with realism... so Terran keeps just the right sci fi feel.

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Tortanick
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Re: Terrain worlds

#41 Post by Tortanick »

When its not getting in the way of gameplay, realism is a good thing.

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Krikkitone
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Re: Terrain worlds

#42 Post by Krikkitone »

I agree, but here realism Does get in the way of game play if we define them to realistically

Different realistic environments are VERY non equivalent, in terms of realism, moo2's was probably a more realistic environment model.

But it wasn't as fun as FO seems like it would be.

The real problem isn't the name Terran, the Real problem is the Other names
Tundra
Desert
Swamp
Ocean

these are environments on earth and it sounds like they should only be mildly uncomfortable
perhaps if they were renamed
Tundra-Frigid
Desert-Arid
Swamp-?Putrid?
Ocean-?Murky?Saturated/Flood?Sodden (means soaked through but a low use word)

So it would be

Radiated<->Barren<->Arid<->Frigid<->Terran<->Murky<->Putrid<->Toxic<->Inferno(repeat back to Radiated)

with a little explanation that the terms are relative to terran's preferences

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eleazar
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Re: Terrain worlds

#43 Post by eleazar »

Krikkitone wrote:I agree, but here realism Does get in the way of game play if we define them to realistically

....

The real problem isn't the name Terran, the Real problem is the Other names
Tundra
Desert
Swamp
Ocean

these are environments on earth and it sounds like they should only be mildly uncomfortable
perhaps if they were renamed
Tundra-Frigid
Desert-Arid
Swamp-?Putrid?
Ocean-?Murky?Saturated/Flood?Sodden (means soaked through but a low use word)

So it would be

Radiated<->Barren<->Arid<->Frigid<->Terran<->Murky<->Putrid<->Toxic<->Inferno(repeat back to Radiated)

with a little explanation that the terms are relative to terran's preferences
The names are indeed problematic, but there just aren't a lot of good words to choose from.

I believe two of the main goals in naming (though both are not always met) are:
* clearly understandable (if not scientifically rigorous), and
* non-anthropocentric

It's really implies a MoO like system if we use names like "barren", "frigid", and "putrid" for planets that may be perfectly wonderful for the species you are playing. Improvements in the naming would be IMHO less anthropocentric than what we have, not more.

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Krikkitone
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Re: Terrain worlds

#44 Post by Krikkitone »

Well clearly understandable, I belive means to avoid Terran environments at all costs

Frigid just means cold... Arid just means dry and those are descriptions (relative to the other environments), Barren means lacking any thing, Inferno and Radiated are also nearly one word summaries of the descriptions of those environments. Perhaps Inferno could be renamed Volcanic?... any nice one word term meaning Incredibly hot. (but not necessarily meaning uncomfortable)

The only ones that are problematic I think are Ocean<->Toxic

Toxic could be renamed Venusian easily enough

Then the problem is with Ocean/Swamp or Murky/Putrid

Humid/Aquatic/Marine don't seem to get enough of the idea across for Ocean being a Different EP than Terran
I was thinking somethink like Flooded... but it doesn't sound quite right (although it seems to be the best so far to me)
how about Broth? (maybe for Swamp)
Maybe Hydraulic (yes I know it describes a type of machine, but it contains the fluid idea and definitely is not an environment on earth)
perhaps

Terms I can think of to describe to describe Swamp would be like thick, dense, concentrated: generally describing the atmosphere... maybe Hothouse (sort of a pre-Venus condition... very strong Greenhouse effects, but water still present)


Ocean I Could see staying as the rest

OK final suggestions

Terran
Glacial (Tundra)..emphasizing that it HAS water, but low temp as compared to some other environments
Arid (Desert)... better fits the dry+cool of the description
Barren... lacks liquid/atmosphere/radiation
Radiated
Magma (Inferno)
Torrid (Toxic)... means dry and hot... any liquid here is not water (or Rock as in magma)
Vaporous (Swamp) (due to the fact that there is both a thick atmosphere and liquid water)
Flood (Ocean)

Flood I chose because it seems like a more "severe" version of Ocean... on a Terran world a flood is a temporary event event... on a "Flood" world it is the Environment (so something that lives in the Pacific Ocean would not be content on a Flood World... and vice versa)

And if we really want to make it non anthropomorphic
Terran->Ocean

so it would go
[-Arid-Glacial-Ocean*-Flood-Vaporous-Torrid-Magma-Radiated-Barren-]
*you are here

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eleazar
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Re: Terrain worlds

#45 Post by eleazar »

Krikkitone wrote:Frigid just means cold...
"Cold" compared to what?

Obviously the aliens native to a "frigid" world don't consider it "frigid". They consider it "just right". That's what i mean by "anthropocentric", terms that only make sense from a human point of view.

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