Portable Production?

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EntropyAvatar
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Portable Production?

#1 Post by EntropyAvatar » Sun Oct 19, 2003 9:29 pm

We often come back to this question, so I thought it deserves it's own topic...

Fundamentally, do production points have to be spent where they are produced, or can they be spent throughout the empire?

Of course, we wouldn't want an extreme at either end. If production points are fundamentally local, then there should be some mechanism for transfering production between colonies at a loss (probably through an imperial treasury). If production is fundamentally portable, then there has to be some limit or penalty to prevent the player from concentrating an empire's entire production on some backwater colony.

MoO's 1, 2 (and 3?), Warlords and the Civ series are basically local production. Most other strategy games that I can think of have portable production.

I think portable production has many advantages. It fundamentally reduces micromanagement, since you aren't trying to keep every planet 'busy'. All our other resources (food, minerals and research) are portable. Focused, non-industrial colonies need some way of recieving production so they can expand and maintain their own infrastructure.

The only drawback I see to portable production is the need to prevent over-concentration of spending. I'm sure diminishing returns, build rate limits or some other mechanism can handle this problem.

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Krikkitone
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#2 Post by Krikkitone » Mon Oct 20, 2003 6:12 am

well..my idea was made in the economy thread, basically
portable production with limits as follows

available 'base' production equal to Industry +/- surplus deficit of other resources (Wealth)

exceeeding that amount has a diminishing returns rate that is tied to industry.
P=[S + (M-1) * I * ln (1 + S/I)] / M

P=excess production received

S=excess Spending put in

I= Local Industry times some factor (higher factor faster diminishing returns, lower factor faster diminishing returns)

M=minimum rate (ie 20 means you get at least 1 production for every 20 spent)

I'd also put in a delay.. so that on a world with 100 local production (wealth)... you could only increase the spending by say a certain factor what it was at last time (so if you wanted to start spending 1000 per turn on it, and hadn't been spending any before, the actual amount spent would be 100,200,400,800,1000,1000...)

the delay factor would depend on the size of the empire for a nice 'lumbering giant' penalty

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skdiw
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#3 Post by skdiw » Tue Oct 21, 2003 9:25 am

I would just do a simple Ax+B factor, where x=excess pp, A=efficiency rate like 0.95, B=some fixed overhead. Plus, if we do decay on the stockpile, I think these two penalties combined is significant enough.

Delay is good too.
:mrgreen:

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Obiwan
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#4 Post by Obiwan » Tue Oct 21, 2003 12:51 pm

Moo2 had 'Trade Goods' to produce wealth.
How about 'Subcontracted Industrial Production' to feed a pool of production points. As long as you have anough freighters and your trade routes are open, then facilities could benifit. How much they benifit could be tied in to upgrades, research and efficient communication facilities.

If Im being simplistic, dumb or something (I know Im not up to speedon this) please feel free to poke me in the back of the head and carry on.

Jono

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#5 Post by discord » Tue Oct 21, 2003 3:17 pm

obiwan: *poke*
what you just described is actualy rather...no precisely the system use in MoO2, just using different terms for it.

trade goods='Subcontracted Industrial Production'
and open tradelanes? well a system that was blockaded could not use the 'pool/wealth' thing.

and actualy, yes production should definitly be portable, it is here on earth, so why not on a interstellar scale?

//discord

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Obiwan
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#6 Post by Obiwan » Tue Oct 21, 2003 10:55 pm

:oops: :roll: oops yer obviously aiming at something a bit more involved. carry on

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#7 Post by EntropyAvatar » Tue Oct 21, 2003 11:17 pm

No need to be embarrased at all. There's nothing wrong with a Moo2 type system. I think it's a good example of the 'fixed production with a mechanism for sharing' approach.

I just happen to believe that a 'shared production with a mechanism for limiting' is a better approach overall.

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utilae
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#8 Post by utilae » Tue Oct 21, 2003 11:49 pm

skdiw wrote:I would just do a simple Ax+B factor, where x=excess pp, A=efficiency rate like 0.95, B=some fixed overhead. Plus, if we do decay on the stockpile, I think these two penalties combined is significant enough.
Is AX+B the universal formula, the answer to all formula type problems? :lol:

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Ablaze
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#9 Post by Ablaze » Wed Oct 22, 2003 2:57 am

That's just because Ax+B doesn’t really mean very much. It just means that the function increases linearly at some rate and starts out at some value. That can describe almost any relationship in some way.
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skdiw
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#10 Post by skdiw » Wed Oct 22, 2003 1:57 pm

utilae wrote:
skdiw wrote:I would just do a simple Ax+B factor, where x=excess pp, A=efficiency rate like 0.95, B=some fixed overhead. Plus, if we do decay on the stockpile, I think these two penalties combined is significant enough.
Is AX+B the universal formula, the answer to all formula type problems? :lol:
shhh! (It's going to be my secret in finding a cure for cancer.)

That and the s-curve solves all your gaming formula needs, at least in my games.

Ax+B is the linear region of the s-curve; it is easy to use, understand, and program. The s-curve and the normal pretty much describes everything out there. Maybe include a sinosoid. Everything else is just a subset or a segment or combination of those functions. You can always do power series or fourier but only if you are crazy.

Also, Ax+B make the reasearch and game effects easier to understand. You can color code A and B so when you researched "strip mine upgrade" it does 1.3 (blue) and +6 (green) minerals. And becuase it is universal, the learning curve drops making it easier for players to understand and get into the game.
:mrgreen:

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Aquitaine
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#11 Post by Aquitaine » Thu Oct 23, 2003 6:09 pm

I think localized production is sort of a cornerstone of MOO. We could make it portable, but that would introduce a lot more complexity (especially if we don't like MOO2's approach). It would take away some of the MOO feeling.

This is not reason enough to forget about it, but I'd be looking for a sizeable advantage if we are going to make that sacrifice.

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#12 Post by EntropyAvatar » Fri Oct 24, 2003 1:34 am

Aquitaine wrote:I think localized production is sort of a cornerstone of MOO. We could make it portable, but that would introduce a lot more complexity (especially if we don't like MOO2's approach). It would take away some of the MOO feeling.
Though the MOO games have used local production, I don't see it as anything like an essential design feature. Moreover, FO has already diverged significantly from the MOO games, and the decision on mobile production has to be made in the context of these other changes.

I strongly disagree that portable production would increase complexity. Local production will require more game rules and more decisions of little consequence.

In local production, you constantly need to provide a target for the excess production of each colony and you need to have a mechanism for contributing to the imperial treasury. You also need some limit or disincentive for overly concentrating funds from the treasury. In MOO1, you could only double the local economy. In MOO2, you could only buy one item per turn, and buying an item that was expensive unless significant local production was built up.

In a portable production model, colonies provide you with resources instead of constantly asking you what to do. You spend your resources where you see fit. We still need to provide a rule to limit concentration of spending, but we would need that anyway.

FO is already committed to food and mineral resources. These resources MUST be portable and unless we wish to solve a complex transportation optimization problem each turn movement of these resources must be fairly simple and automatic. Unless we wish to track dozens of simultaneous local research projects, all research across the empire will also be shared.

Portable production makes production a unified resource like the others, rather than a collection of dozens or hundreds of scattered trickles.

Finally, keeping production local would work against planet specialization. In MOO1, colonies were economically isolated (apart from the occasional imperial grant). This cannot be the case for FO. We have introduced several extra resources, every resource is required and we expect that planets will tend to specialize in one or two. Farm worlds provide the food most other worlds will have to import. Mining worlds provide the raw materials that industry everywhere will require.

But who provides for the needs of the farming, mining and research worlds? Unless these activities require no infrastructure, no investment, they will need production. The most natural possible answer is that the production comes from the worlds that specialize in production.

If the other worlds have to build it themselves, they must first build factories and divert population to run those factories and then they can get around to building the other stuff. Every world needs to be farming/industry or mining/industry, just to build up properly.

Gah, this has become rather long-winded. Maybe later I'll try to render it down to a few profound lines :wink:

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#13 Post by skdiw » Fri Oct 24, 2003 9:26 am

Ship maintenence? Spying fees? Overdrive new colonies? Diplomatic trade treaties? I thought protable production aka imperial moneys is a no brainer.
:mrgreen:

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#14 Post by Ablaze » Fri Oct 24, 2003 6:02 pm

That's it skdiw! Imperial monkeys! You can ship them around from planet to planet and use them to overdrive the local production. I can see it now; they can wear miniature crowns and red and gold fur-lined robes.

There can be a slider on each planet for the % of taxes on that planet that goes into producing imperial monkeys. I suggest that that % be auto-adjusted based on the current stockpile of planetary monkeys, so that if a planet has a whole lot if income from taxes and almost no costs then most of the monkeys it produces will be imperial monkeys.
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utilae
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#15 Post by utilae » Sat Oct 25, 2003 4:31 am

Local production
-Production only gets used locally to build an item (on planet A), therefore loosing planet A will mean that whatever was being built on that planet is lost, so is the production.

Portable production
-Production from everywhere gets used to build an item (on planet B), therefore loosing planet A will mean that whatever was being built on planet B will remain, but the production is lost.

Portable production could be thought of as parts being built and distributed throughout the empire.

If production comes from everywhere (portable), does that mean that no matter where you build an item, the production is the same?

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