realistic planet population

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

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Impaler
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#31 Post by Impaler » Thu Jun 10, 2004 4:15 pm

Yes I am afraid Drek and the leading Powers to be in the Free Orion Delopment team have a rock solid "no sliders" policy (though Personaly I feel they were used to great effect in MOO1). By which they mean the GUI tool by which a player can click and drag a bar pixel by pixel and produce some variable input with each tiny movment.

I dont belive thats what was realy ment though.

A scale like thats for the effects of goverments in SMAC (-3,-2,-1,0,+1,+2,+3,+4 Economy Level) has been a very welcome idea though and were exploring ways to integrate many parts of the game into it.

Its important in this discussion to destinguish EFFECTS from SOCIAL CHOICES (and by Social choices I acutaly mean all the stuff SMAC covers and maybe more, policies, economics, values, ect ect). Effects will most likly be on a SMAC type scale as I described above, each choice will have a combination of + and - effects which combine with your inherent race based bonuses to give you a final output (modified again by local conditions).

How we chosse to organize or distinguish the choices themselves is a semi-seperate topic. We could use the SMAC system of a few independent catagories with 3-8 options in each (my preference) or something like a branching of sub choices (Pick A, B, C or D. If A, then Pick E, F, G or H. If B then Pick I, J, K, L ect ect...). Maybe pool ALL the choices and you can pick any X number of them with X incressing as the game progresses (many being mutualy exclusive ofcorse).
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#32 Post by drek » Thu Jun 10, 2004 5:32 pm

I'm not amoung the Power that Be's, and I don't think there's a rock solid rule against sliders.

The guildline should be: if it smells like a slider, there's probably a better way of doing things.
Last edited by drek on Thu Jun 10, 2004 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#33 Post by Aquitaine » Thu Jun 10, 2004 5:52 pm

Sliders are one step below realism in terms of 'things that are exciting to discuss over and over again' but they're not quite as verboten. The reason why monsieur Drek is opposed to them is that, every time in the past where we've considered them, we've been able to come up with something better -- so it's sort of become a symbol for 'the easier and sometimes sloppier way out.'

Personally, I didn't like them so much in MOO. They seem necessary in HoI but all of Paradox's games suffer from poor UI decisions, and that's one of them; they made them necessary.

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noelte
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#34 Post by noelte » Thu Jun 10, 2004 5:59 pm

Aquitaine wrote:... verboten...
is that an english term? Or something taken from german as "ueber..." or "blitz"?

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#35 Post by Daveybaby » Fri Jun 11, 2004 8:50 am

its german
verboten = forbidden IIRC
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#36 Post by Aquitaine » Fri Jun 11, 2004 1:46 pm

that would make realism arguments UBER VERBOTEN.

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#37 Post by Daveybaby » Fri Jun 11, 2004 6:34 pm

Anyhow, while i personally dont have a problem with sliders (if they do the job required for that particular task then use 'em IMO, no point in getting all religious about it :P ) i feel that this is one area where choosing between fixed choices is the way to go.

These are the big, top level decisions that are being made here. As such, they will potentially have significant impacts on many subsidiary areas of gameplay. Choosing between discrete government types allows much more useful concrete information to be presented to the player so that they can make informed choices. IMO this is an area where you really want to be stealing wholesale from SMAC.
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#38 Post by Krikkitone » Tue Jun 15, 2004 5:07 pm

Well when I say sliders I mean a way that the player can chose from one of several interval values for a social choice. (in the extreme, it may be a slider that has 1000 different positions ie you set it to the 0.1% of maximum 'representativeness' possible. OR it could be a +1, 0, -1 value.)

A government would then be described by a series of values, ie 'representativeness'=4, freedom=2, etc.

The two different issues involved would be
1. How many numbers (how many dimensions will the government model have)... [this takes careful work figuring out the minimum that will give the required flexibility]
2. How much gradiation is in each number, is it a 'slider' with 100 to 1000 values or is it a series of choices (in the 5 to 20 range)

If it is a series of choices, I would want to keep it fixed to a 'numerical value' system rather than SMAC's 'Type' system. (and of course for a 100 to 1000 position slider it would Have to be a 'numerical value' system)

A 'Coordinate Societal Model' I think allows more in-game flexibility and better understandability of effects than SMAC's 'Type model'

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#39 Post by Prokonsul Piotrus » Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:12 pm

Well said, Krikkitone. In the end, the SMAC model is nothing but a set of foru sliders with 3 positions each (or 4 with 3, I dont remember the details).

If the UI would make it feasible, I wouldn't mind if our looked more like SMAC instead of MOO, but I'd like it to be able to represents dozens, if not hundreds of possible combinations, and positions in between (like 'moving from x to y, but not there yet).

Krikkitone - in what game do u think similar model was best implemented?
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#40 Post by Impaler » Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:37 pm

1000's of options is definatly the wrong way to go, the SMAC goverment choices (Police State, Democracy, Fundamentalism ect) can not in any way able to be put on a scale, each is unique. The EFFECT of the goverment choice will move the faction up or down on SEVERAL simple scales. Their are esentialy 3x3x3 =27 combinations for most of the game with another late game choice opening up well past the point when the game is usualy desided. The only thing I woud change from the SMAC system would be..

* Use about 8 goverment choices rather then 4 in each catagory and eliminate the "nutral" default choice. Each race would start in a particular choice with perhaps 1 or 2 options for imediate change. Example Humans start in a "Democracy" and have "Despotism" as an option right from the start, they can never take "Hive" though. As they progress more (but not all) options open up to you depending on your race.

* Add efects outside of the Social Meters, such as under the "Anarchy" option your HeadQuarters disapears and you suffer no penalty for not having one. Conversly under "OverMind" lossing your headquarters is Disasterous. Or you only get to have 1 leader under a "Despotism" goverment. These effects will have a strong influence on how the player is ABLE to play the game as some of the levers of power may be outside his control.
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Krikkitone
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#41 Post by Krikkitone » Fri Jun 18, 2004 4:42 pm

I think I prefer the values to be simple Numbers,

This allows
1. More flexibility (being a little less democratic somewhat more Despotic, etc.)
2. Greater simplicity/balancibility

The problem in both cases is making sure that the choices in one set of options/values makes sense in combination with choices from other sets of options/values.

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#42 Post by Daveybaby » Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:42 pm

I'm with impaler on this one, this stuff just doesnt fit sliders very well.

I mean, communism isnt '15 more' than capitalism on any scale. They are two completely different things.
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#43 Post by Krikkitone » Mon Jun 21, 2004 7:57 pm

Actually I'd strongly disagree,

Communism/Trusts (the purely economic aspect) IS '15 more' than Free Market Capitalism on some scale , one where Oligopoly Capitalism is say '5 more' down the scale and Socialism/Monopolies is '10 more' down the scale.

Now you might only need say 4 to 8 options (so it would be 5 down instead of 15 down, but that is where one simplifies the slider system into a 'semi-slider system' of scaled options)

Police State, Democracy are indeed diferent things (and not incompatable, so they are seperate 'dimensions') ie Freedom + Representativeness.. but
Democracy v. Autocracy (all people rule v. one man rule)
is easily a scale
Police State v. Libertarian (strict enforcement of laws for everything v. minimal to no laws)
is easily a scale
Communism v. Free Market (centralized control of economy through government or massive trusts v. competing control of the economy)


It is quite possible to have a Democratic Police State (Athens/Singapore). They refer to two seperate things, and can quite easily (here is the main point) have two seperate game effects. [not sure what, that is to be figured out]

I agree the 'Dimensions' have to be carefully chosen so that they don't mimic each other or produce self contradictory useless results... but it is quite possible that a few combinations will be undesirable. (ie a Free Market + Police State in reality might be rather unstable but this IS a game). They also have to be chosen so that alien psychologies/societies are accomodated. (a unified Telepathic entity might be modelled by the most extreme form of 'Police State' and 'Democracy' at the same time.)

Some extreme ends of the scales (like 'Mind Control' or 'Telepathic Union') would be limited to having the appropriate technology or Race.

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