realistic planet population

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

Moderator: Oberlus

Space Kraken
Posts: 195
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 4:11 pm
Location: Austria

realistic planet population

#1 Post by Satyagraha »

one thing i didn´t like about moo2 was that you never really had the feeling of being the emperor of "real" people. they were just some part of the statistcs... start a colony on a planet without food and have them starve a bit? deport millions of ppl from their homes because they are needed elsewhere? f.e. to protect your new heavy-g, toxic, radited planet of death from alien invasion? some moral penalties, but it just doesn´t feel "real" if nobody ever complains, no unrest, revolutions etc. a better, more realistic social system would be fun, with stuff like lvl of education, happiness, culture, propaghanda, celebrations, freedom vs oppression etc. that have a real effect on the game.

User avatar
Creative Contributor
Posts: 1542
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 6:52 pm

#2 Post by Krikkitone »

I definitely agree, this is also another way to stop the runaway win. Because the power of your people grows as your own power grows, thier management becomes a hurdle that grows rather than shrinks as the game goes on.

Especially with regards to the food, I always figured starvation should result in immediate attempts of rebellion.

Dyson Forest
Posts: 234
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:24 am
Location: Northern Wisconsin

#3 Post by Ranos »

Something like this was used in MOO3. People would get angry and there were a dozen possible reasons why. Piracy, not liking another race that had populations on the planet and other good reasons. You could build rec centers to help with this, but that was the only way to make people happy, unless you could solve the problem they were complaining about.

Designer Emeritus
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 8:07 am

#4 Post by drek »

Sounds like a Molydeus game. (populus, dungeon keeper, black and white, etc.)

I've often thought that it would be cool if each unit of population was classed into a Faction. This Faction would determine which story events transpired, as well as the population unit's reaction to various in-game events. The player's approval ratings with each Faction determines whether the events are good or bad.

For example:

DrekCorp: The interstellar starlane monopoly DrekCorp employs this segment of the population.

Enemies: Independent Traders Union, Smuggler's Guild.
Friends: Interstellar Bank One,
Example Events:
* DrekCorp asks for less trade sanctions against the Slarti Empire (cause the player of the Slarti Empire is in good with Drekcorp...)
* DrekCorp insists the ITU be put out of business on Mars
* DrekCorp donates a million credits to your political committee

Church of Xeno This population unit holds a strong belief in the Church of Xeno--a bunch of rabid peaceniks who believe that all sentient beings are sacred in the eyes of the Holy.

Enemies: The Earth First Foundation
Friends: Alien Empires
Example Events
* Church of Xeno protests the war vs. the Adoy Empire.
* Church of Xeno recognizes the sentience of the Nightfish, and demands that McDrekky chain of restaurants stop serving them as lunch. (agreeing to this angers DrekCorp but makes Church of Xeno happy)
* Scandal! High ranking Church of Xeno bishop caught in bed with a Nightfish! (if the player is associated with the Xenos, he takes a popularity hit with the common man)

But in the end it's too micromanagy for FO's scale. A political mod with only a few starsystems, focusing in on politics and story, would be cool.

Designer Emeritus
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 8:07 am

#5 Post by drek »


a little off-topic, but it would be cool if the players were in command of these factions. If you get enough population units aligned to your faction on a planet, you get to elect that planet's Senator. The goal of the game would be to get enough Senators to impose your faction leader as Emperor.

It could be like Empire of the Fallen Sun, but focusing in more on politics. There'd still be fleets, terraforming, colonization, etc. etc. but most of the conflict would occur through events and action in the settled core of an ancient empire. Maybe, as the game progresses, events get heated enough to spill into open civil war.

To borrow something from Emrich's orginal Moo3 design, Events would be cards you could play (many of them themed for your faction). Like the "Dirty Trick" card could be used to prompt a Scandal for another Faction.

/end daydream

Creative Contributor
Posts: 244
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 12:58 pm
Location: Bulgaria

#6 Post by krum »

Ethoi :)

Space Kraken
Posts: 195
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 4:11 pm
Location: Austria

#7 Post by Satyagraha »

there are some interesting experiments going on with games like SMAC, Civ3 etc, called "democracy game". It´s not a mod, but a special way to play the game. never tried it, but seems to be funny. Many players, many factions, some roleplaying. Have a look at a SMAC democracy forum: ... orumid=157

Creative Contributor
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2003 2:35 am
Location: Texas

#8 Post by PowerCrazy »

ugh. Endless managment is your 'reward' for doing well in the game? I've always hated the mentality that the bigger you are the more unhappy people get. Why are people unhappy because I colonized an additional planet? tsk, tsk.

I mean I like those games Civ, Moo, SMAC, but there HAS to be a better way. Paying maintenance for a fleet would be good. you need a bigger fleet for defense when you are big. Otherwise the smaller empires with their smaller fleets will start picking you away. Tech stagnation is fine. As your society becomes more homogenous your creative intuition is hurt, thus you discover things more slowly. Overall hatred toward you grows from other empires, thus trade is hurt, as well as diplomatic ties. Etc.

Just anything other than a stupid number that says "Hey we don't want you growing too fast" Unrest, HFoG. I don't like to "feel" limited.

SMAC did this quite well. As you grew more powerful the mind worms would attack you more often. This is the correct way to do it.
Aquitaine is my Hero.... ;)

Space Krill
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 1:41 pm
Location: Canada

Large Empires

#9 Post by Blueicus »

Despite what others say, In my opinion the OCN concept for Civ 3 had potential. As your empire gets larger, the opportunity for additional waste and corruption grows (as you simply cannot have your eyes everywhere). A large empire, either geographically or population-wise is most likely going to have greater administrative challenges than a smaller empire. This penaltiy could be decreased as the technology and government is employed to reduce the administrative hassles of having a large government (such as better communications equipment, better recordkeeping, better anti-corruption controls, etc.)

I may not have played enough 4x games, but I've rarely seen a game that has the unhappiness of a population grow as the size and population of the empire increases (one can say that in the Civ series such a thing happens since every citizen generated in a city after a certain number is inherently unhappy unless there are buildings or luxuries to placate the population).

P.S. I just remember that GalCivs has something similar as well that affects planet morale.

Space Krill
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 11:31 pm
Location: Sol III

#10 Post by Black_Emperor »

In GalCiv you had a severe problem when your population grew too high. Overpopulation led to a drop of morale. The only way to fight this was to build colony ships and disband them in space... At no penalty...
Please don't do something like that!

Creative Contributor
Posts: 1060
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 12:40 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona USA

#11 Post by Impaler »

I think this has potential as a Goverment type, perhaps call it "Factional" or something. The subdivision of population would ocour only under this goverment type and only then would you have to deal with all these disgruntaled factions and presumable recive some kind of Bonus to your empire based on which ones your making happy/angry at any particular time. Thus it would be a very "winging it" type of Social Engiering and could give you a lot of flexibility (flexibility is a very valuable thing most people overlook when considering how "powerfull" a Race is)
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

Space Floater
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:30 pm

#12 Post by Kostik666 »

hmm.... from what i read, this system of factions, and complex government looks like a lot of fun manipulating the rules.

but!! the question is do you want to spend so much time on it?

i think it would be nice to have variety in government type, and actually give more info into what they do (more than moo3 - which told me none about the government type) like some actual percent or number values

also, some races should have optional government types, say im a human, and i want to proclaim myself king, from a democracy, and id be allowed to, but somthing like a klackon or other hive society cant go and become all democratic.

what im saying is 5-10 different government types....(optional) ---^

Creative Contributor
Posts: 1060
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 12:40 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona USA

#13 Post by Impaler »

Yes that sounds apropriate, just as in SMAC ware each faction has some Social Enginering options it cant take, Races would have goverments they cant take as an option (even after discovering the apropriate tec).

I think we will be going for several independent settings like that in SMAC, goverment, economics, values ect ect. Probly 4-8 options in each area but up to half of thouse might be disabled for each race so you in reality get at most only sligtly more combinations then exists in SMAC.

For Example.
Goverment Choices are (trying to remember some earlier ideas we had)

Dispersed (no central goverment, people do things on their own initiative)
Factional (discussed above, make groups happy to get flexible bonuses)
Oligarcy (Bonuses are based heavily on your faction leaders)
Republic (apease your populus and legislature or they rebel)
Despotism (do what ever you want but productivity is lower)
Consensus (you can do only what your people aprove of)
Hive (highly instinctive populus)
Unification (unifying vision that encompasess all)
OverMind (a single telepathic or Digital "OverMind" controls all)

Humans would initial start in a Republic and have options of Despotism and Oligarcy. As they advance a bit they open up other options like Factional and Dispersed but can never open the option of taking a Hive goverment. Klackons would be just the oposite.

I am incressingly seeing the Goverment choice as something that determines HOW you make desisions and control your empire rather then a mix of numerical bonuses. They all effect the relationship between your game input desisions and the "Will of the People" that may push back, each offers a differnt angle on that relationships but none are realy inheriently geared towards traditional advantages like Research or Military (thouse effects would likly fall under differnt "catagories" of Social Enginering like "Economics" or "Labor")
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

Space Kraken
Posts: 195
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 4:11 pm
Location: Austria

#14 Post by Satyagraha »

i´m glad this issue gets attention again, i´d be happy if some of this stuff would be implemented ;)

some thoughts: factions emerge on planets with high infrastructure in form of a special event. That planet will recieve an additional building, for example "Church of Xeno HQ", and a pop-up will give some info about the faction. each faction has 1 very simple goal that changes over time, like "DrekCorp" revolts against a planned change to "Planned Economy". Faction influence & relation to player can be shown on galaxy map.

Over time, more factions will emerge and the player will have to deal with them in a friendly or an agressive way. depending on government type, this may turn out to be easy (just crush them with your fleet) or hard (diplomacy), just like Impaler suggested. i guess we need to keep this very simple, but it would really add to the game.
Impaler wrote: I am incressingly seeing the Goverment choice as something that determines HOW you make desisions and control your empire rather then a mix of numerical bonuses. They all effect the relationship between your game input desisions and the "Will of the People" that may push back, each offers a differnt angle on that relationships

agree a lot.

Creative Contributor
Posts: 1060
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 12:40 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona USA

#15 Post by Impaler »

Here are some expanded lists of effects for goverments, I included some information on how goverments would effect your leaders (seems a logical for goverment to effect them)

Dispersed - No HeadQuarters Facility (thus no potential for its destruction), No Penalties based onthe size of your empire, Not able to use use Empire level Leaders, only planetary Govenors and Fleet Admirals, Parts of your empire spontaniusly ignore your orders and do what they want, your desisions dont cause much unhappyness in your people.

Factional - No HeadQuarters Facility rather several "Faction HQ" facilites apear. Each faction can give a bonus of some type and can be apeased or angered. Population units are loyal to Factions and get angered or apeased as well. Each Faction has 1 leader and possibly 1 or more "deputies" who counts as an Empire level leader you can effect them by trying to "depose" them and thus shift the balance of power in that faction.

Oligarcy - You can use a limited number of Empire Level leaders and all bonuses and penalties they provide are doubled. (Note that you only have access to leaders of your race so their bonuses will be consistent with your races nature, Psilons get brainy guys not warriors). Changing leaders is difficult.

Republic - Their is a Senate combosed of Empire level leaders and you can have a large number of them (atleast 10), their is no "president" (thats you). You can constantly add or remove members from the Senate at a slight cost (they come from and drop back into the "pool"). Empire level buracracy gives you penalties for haveing a large empire and people become angry easily. They might vote the Senators you put in the senate out or in extream cases rebel. Taking actions the people dont like will have a high political cost.

Despotism - Your alowed only a single Empire wide "Despot" Leader and all his bonuses and penalties are QUADRUPLED! Their are also be a few (3) "lutenints" with the standard bonus multiplier. Obviously who you have as Despot will make a big impact on your empire. Your free to opress people quite a lot and can make almost any desision without worrying about rebelion. Watch out for random "blunders" by your Despot (effects are quadroupled vs other players). Also you cant Change your Despot unless you perform a "coup" and make one of the Lutenints the new Despot, your empire suffers horibly durring this period though. When their is an assasination, coup or natural death you pick a new Despot from among the lutenints and then pick a new Lutienent from among the "pool". These periodic disruptions in your empire are your biggest liability.

Consensus - Leaders are treated normaly here but the will of the people is much stronger. Basicaly any action you wish to take MUST be agreeable to your people. You CANT do things that even a modest number of people disagree with. This type of society acts only on what a broad consensus can agree on so actions are rairly bold or risky. Your population stays happy because your unable to make them angry and you recive additional bonuses to happyness and productivity.

Hive - The population is Biologicaly compelled to obey its leadership, rebelion is nearly absent, only things like rampant starvation can overcome their drive to obey. Control is even more complete then Despotism but must be conducted in a more generalized way (I am thinking perhaps no Planetary Govenors?). The whole of the Empire will be lock-step and focused on the same goal at the same time meaning it will lack flexibility.

Unification - Under this goverment you can chosse what type of bonuses you recive at the time you initiate the Unification (similar to Race picks, you get a set number of points to spend). Once thats set though you cant change it unless you go through a painfull "re-Unification" (much like changing goverments but worse, Unifiying or Re-Unifiying is an especialy costly process for your empire). Leaders are treated normaly and the people will be much more willing to follow your lead though they can still rebel or cause you grief if you stray to far from what they want.

OverMind - Your HeadQuarters is especialy important as it now represents the Mind that controls EVERYTHING, not simply a center of leadership. Thus if your HQ is destroyed you IMEDIATLY LOSS THE GAME. Obviously a huge liability so protect it well. Planetary Govenors aren't alowed but you can use several Empire level leaders who represent "facets" or "sub routines" of the Overmind. Obviously their is no rebelions or questioning of your athority as everything else is a mindless extention of the overmind, esentialy the "cells" of your extended body.

Some clarification on leaders.

In the system I am envisioning leaders come from a large "pool" of candidates, thes individuals have no effects untill you give them a position. The pool is constantly being cycled as each leader is created, modified and eventualy removed. All leaders have a life span thats based on your races lifespan (a race pick atribute). Short lived races will have a higher turn over in their leaders then a long lived race (so a balance between flexibility or consistencey). All leaders can be assigned to any type of position. Positions include Empire Level leaders (obviously ware the best ones go), Planetary Govenors/Vicroys and ofcourse Fleet Admirals. Their might also be "spy" positions. In addition to the leaders generated in the "pool" you could (with the proper facilites) make a generic "team" that functionaly equivilent to a leader, all their atributes would be the same though and they would be somewhat mediocure. Their puropse is mainly to fill gaps so if for some reason your pool candidates realy suck or dont have the atributes you want you can get atleast mediocure fill ins (also if spies are a type of leader then "spy teams" that you make would be the cannon fodder for most espionage, and the skilled spy leaders would be your 007's used in the most ambitious and dangerous operations). All leaders and teams would gain skill in time. Their would also be options for random "blunders" that have an imediate negative effect (like a ship or facility destroyed) and a reduction in the leaders skill. Spies could atempt to "Frame" a leader and cause a blunder, because these things can ocure randomly the player wont nessarily know that he is under attack (an important element to good espionage which most games lack). Conversly theirs potential for the oposite thing to happen as well, the leader dose something good and gets a skill bonus.
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

Post Reply