Removing Food?

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

Moderators: Oberlus, Oberlus

Message
Author
User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12457
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

Re: Removing Food?

#46 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:54 pm

eleazar wrote:What i miss is the tooltip (and graph bar) on the planet making the food explaining how much it is making and what bonuses are being applied to it's food production. Just like it used to. This has nothing to do with where that food is going.
"Food production" doesn't exist anymore (see thread title), so there is no such information to display. What can be displayed is what bonuses to other planets' target populations are being caused by a particular planet (or tech, building, or ship).

User avatar
eleazar
Design & Graphics Lead Emeritus
Posts: 3858
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:09 pm
Location: USA — midwest

Re: Removing Food?

#47 Post by eleazar » Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:37 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:What i miss is the tooltip (and graph bar) on the planet making the food explaining how much it is making and what bonuses are being applied to it's food production. Just like it used to. This has nothing to do with where that food is going.
"Food production" doesn't exist anymore (see thread title), so there is no such information to display. What can be displayed is what bonuses to other planets' target populations are being caused by a particular planet (or tech, building, or ship).
We still have a "farming" focus. If you are unable to think of a planet set to the "farming" focus as "producing food", then please provide alternate terms.

Yeah we've talked about changing the label, but that hasn't been done, and none of the alternate names really stuck, so in the mean time, i don't see why my use of the term "food" should prevent you from getting my point.

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12457
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

Re: Removing Food?

#48 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:10 am

I'm not particularly concerned about what it's called. The point is that food as a resource doesn't exist.

User avatar
eleazar
Design & Graphics Lead Emeritus
Posts: 3858
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:09 pm
Location: USA — midwest

Re: Removing Food?

#49 Post by eleazar » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:39 am

I've looked at the effects. Unless i'm grossly misreading them (which is possible):
A planet set to the farming focus contributes to the population of adjacent colonies according to three factors:
  • The population of the farming planet
    The habitability of the farming planet
    The species farming pick
You are telling me there's nothing there that could and should be graphed and explained via tooltips?? Nothing to quantify?

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12457
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

Re: Removing Food?

#50 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:53 am

eleazar wrote:Nothing to quantify?
There are things to quantify, just not in the same way as a resource output meter value.

Earlier I suggested listing the objects acted on by the meter effects of an object (such as a farming planet) in a tooltip. This list could include the size of those effects, like the list of effects modifying a meter. It could also be set up to show only the list of targets on which a particular meter type is modified (eg. population). Plotting a bar for such a list, or just the size of one (the largest, average, or assuming they're all the same) alongside resource outputs doesn't really make sense, though.

Displaying the sum of all such effects makes more sense, as that's more of a measure of the total impact. I don't think this really works as a bar, though... It's not necessarily comparable to other resource outputs, and won't have a well-defined maximum possible value in most cases for how such effects can work.

I know it was nice to have a (seemingly simple) single number on each planet for food output to look at and judge how good the planet is, but that number could be misleading. Due to supply exchange limits and the lack of a purpose for surplus food beyond what was needed to maintain population, any surplus was essentially wasted, so getting +10 more food production didn't necessarily mean it was actually +10 more useful (though the same also applies for any blockadable resource). With the current system, a list of planets receiving the bonus actually means that much bonus is being applied. (This system will need to change a bit though, see below...)

Whether a sum of applied bonuses is useful depends a bit on the details of how it is determined which planets get to apply bonuses to which other planets. Right now there are no limits, so the sum of effects from a planet is always exactly what it seems and probably would be good to display. But as discussed, that's going to have to change, because unlimited stacking of bonuses makes it impossible to set a scale for planet populations.

Hard caps would make interpreting the bonuses' value difficult... It could show max bonus possible from this planet if caps were ignored, but the effective bonus might be 0 if other planets bring a target up to the cap anyway.

Only using the largest available bonus might work, with all other potential bonuses not showing up in tooltips, though if that's set up as a sorting condition in the species of the planet being boosted, then that messes up the accounting since the source object would be the planet receiving the bonus, not the planet with the farming focus set. In that case, there would in fact be nothing to show in a tooltip for the planet with "farming" set. A new "largest available only" stacking mechanism would be needed to resolve that, which I mentioned earlier.

Even with the largest-only stacking, just showing which effects are applied isn't the whole story... If things work out so there are a lot of equal-magnitude effects, that could lead to some arbitrary situations of effectively randomly picking which source object gets to be shown in tooltips as acting on which targets. So, I think listing the target in all potential source objects' tooltips would probably be better... This would be a bit like in a starcraft game, where a protoss building appears as powered or not, and it doesn't attempt to specify which in-range pylon provides that power.

And regardless of all that, what would be shown in these scenarios is not a simple meter modification of a planet from its own species, so some extra work will be needed to add such a widget. The existing meter value and accounting display widgets don't just drop into place and function in this way, so did need to be removed before being replaced with something new.

User avatar
em3
Vacuum Dragon
Posts: 597
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:51 pm

Re: Removing Food?

#51 Post by em3 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:43 am

Still, there is a need for some quantifiable quality of a farming planet. Because either we assume that every planet with farming focus gives the same boost (becomes a food pylon, to paraphrase the Starcraft example[1]), or there will be a need to choose which planet to set as farming-focused planet not only in terms of location (as there could be many planets in one system), but also in terms of effectiveness (potential or else).

1. I'm aware that food/farming is a population boost, not a requirement as energy for Protoss.
[...] for Man has earned his right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone totally batshit insane. - Randall Munroe, title text to xkcd #556

User avatar
MikkoM
Space Dragon
Posts: 318
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:32 pm
Location: Finland

Re: Removing Food?

#52 Post by MikkoM » Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:37 pm

...and there was great confusion :?:

But for now a few questions about this:
eleazar wrote:A planet set to the farming focus contributes to the population of adjacent colonies according to three factors:
How are the adjacent colonies defined? Are they star systems that are linked to the food producing planet by starlanes? And can the area be made larger by farming technology for example? Also how will the player know which his/her systems are fed/boosted by the farming worlds? Will there be some sort of an indicator/icon for this?

Also, about starvation. If in this new system a farming world is conquered or blocked from those adjacent colonies it used to feed/boost, wouldn`t there still be a population drop so in other words starvation on those adjacent colonies, since the farming colony wouldn`t feed/boost them anymore? Now personally I don`t have anything against this kind of starvation, but I currently can`t really understand how this new system removes the "starvation problems".

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12457
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

Re: Removing Food?

#53 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:48 pm

MikkoM wrote:[If a] farming world is conquered or blocked from those adjacent colonies it used to feed/boost, wouldn`t there still be a population drop so in other words starvation on those adjacent colonies[?]
Yes, but starvation now can't eliminate all of a planet's population, assuming it has at least some minimal level of inherent target population, which it should in most cases. There's also less hard-to-understand history between several interacting meters that could lead to things like losing population even after food supply is restored, or require additional special case rules to avoid.

metallurge
Space Floater
Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:55 pm

Re: Removing Food?

#54 Post by metallurge » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:38 pm

Just found this thread. I had been imagining that the food elimination was a debugging tool for diagnosing the starvation issues, but from this, I gather it's a feature.

Just as an FYI, I am still seeing starvation if planets are isolated/blockaded, even in the recent/current SVNs. IMHO, if this is a possible in-game scenario, it's kindof odd to not allow the player to be taking steps against it, other than militarily keeping starlanes open. In the old game, if this (blockades) happened, I could have scattered food-producing worlds widely, so that if part of my empire was cut off, I had some redundancy in my supply network and things just didn't instantly fall apart. Which would give me time to switch focus on all the stranded planets to farming, if need be.

More generally, it seems to me from a game-balance perspective, you need more things to be dividing your planets' attention on. Only having Mining-Industry, and Research reduces the complexity of the game significantly. This has deeper effects as well, since I now no longer care about researching food production technologies, and can focus more quickly on building mining-industry and the things I can produce with it.

It seems to me that the general problem y'all are having with food is more properly a problem with not really having a stockpiling user interface. Perhaps what you really need is a "Depot" building type, perhaps with food and mineral subtypes?

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12457
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

Re: Removing Food?

#55 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:56 pm

metallurge wrote:I am still seeing starvation if planets are isolated/blockaded
What do you mean by "seeing starvation"?
...it's kindof odd to not allow the player to be taking steps against it, other than militarily keeping starlanes open. In the old game, if this (blockades) happened, I could have scattered food-producing worlds widely, so that if part of my empire was cut off, I had some redundancy in my supply network and things just didn't instantly fall apart. Which would give me time to switch focus on all the stranded planets to farming, if need be.
I don't understand your comments here... If there's a blockade of a planet that was importing food (old system) or getting population boosts from other planet (new system), in both cases population loss would result. How does redundancy in food supply help prevent population loss if a planet can't import anything regardless of supply being available elsewhere?
More generally, it seems to me from a game-balance perspective, you need more things to be dividing your planets' attention on. Only having Mining-Industry, and Research reduces the complexity of the game significantly. This has deeper effects as well, since I now no longer care about researching food production technologies, and can focus more quickly on building mining-industry and the things I can produce with it.
There is still a farming focus, though it might be renamed, and the new system actually requires more planets to be farming (or equivalent) than the old system, as you can no longer feed / support a whole empire with just a few high-output farming planets. Researching (possibly to-be-added) techs to increase planet population boosts is or will be still important.

User avatar
eleazar
Design & Graphics Lead Emeritus
Posts: 3858
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:09 pm
Location: USA — midwest

Re: Removing Food?

#56 Post by eleazar » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:13 pm

MikkoM wrote:=
eleazar wrote:A planet set to the farming focus contributes to the population of adjacent colonies according to three factors:
How are the adjacent colonies defined?
If i read it right, the farming focus only benefits colonies in the same system or one jump away. Presumably only if there are no blockades.
MikkoM wrote:And can the area be made larger by farming technology for example?
Not currently. I don't know Geoff's plans, but there's no reason the effects couldn't be written that way, except it makes it significantly harder to tell where the population bonuses are coming from.
MikkoM wrote:Also how will the player know which his/her systems are fed/boosted by the farming worlds? Will there be some sort of an indicator/icon for this?
That's my main problem with it-- i can conceive of now way to give the player a nice convenient overview of what's going on.
Currently (as of the most recent mac binary) the population tooltip lists (sorta) planets that contribute to the max population, like so: "Good Farming +#.##" or "Bad Farming +#.##", etc.

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12457
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

Re: Removing Food?

#57 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:21 pm

eleazar wrote:Currently (as of the most recent mac binary) the population tooltip lists (sorta) planets that contribute to the max population, like so: "Good Farming +#.##" or "Bad Farming +#.##", etc.
If you weren't using custom accounting labels, it would have listed the source object that produced those modifications. In the SVN version, it does so even with custom accounting labels. I'm also working on an indicator to list all other objects that are modified by an object's effects on a particular meter (such as target population).

Details about "how is adjacent defined" and "how far away" aren't fully worked out yet. Presently I don't think any consideration is made for blockades, but changing the conditions will make it do so.

User avatar
Bigjoe5
Designer and Programmer
Posts: 2058
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 6:33 pm
Location: Orion

Re: Removing Food?

#58 Post by Bigjoe5 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:33 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:There is still a farming focus, though it might be renamed, and the new system actually requires more planets to be farming (or equivalent) than the old system, as you can no longer feed / support a whole empire with just a few high-output farming planets. Researching (possibly to-be-added) techs to increase planet population boosts is or will be still important.
If that's the intention, it's definitely not working at the moment. I no longer find farming planets at all useful.
Warning: Antarans in dimensional portal are closer than they appear.

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12457
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

Re: Removing Food?

#59 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:42 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:...it's definitely not working at the moment. I no longer find farming planets at all useful.
The transition is not complete, as at present, the population levels of planets are all the same as though they were all well-fed in the previous system, but without the need to have farming planets.

Useful would be suggestions about how to make farming planets more useful... Increased bonus range, increased bonuses to other planets' populations, reduction in free population on planets without requiring a farming planet to be nearby in order to motivate having those farming planets, etc. Right now it should be possible to use completely unrelated species to boost each others' populations by use of farming, which I expected to restrict, but perhaps that's not necessary?

User avatar
eleazar
Design & Graphics Lead Emeritus
Posts: 3858
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:09 pm
Location: USA — midwest

Re: Removing Food?

#60 Post by eleazar » Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:48 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:There is still a farming focus, though it might be renamed, and the new system actually requires more planets to be farming (or equivalent) than the old system, as you can no longer feed / support a whole empire with just a few high-output farming planets. Researching (possibly to-be-added) techs to increase planet population boosts is or will be still important.
If that's the intention, it's definitely not working at the moment. I no longer find farming planets at all useful.
I agree-- growth seems very slow. 125 turns into a game, and the only planets i have that are remotely close to the target population are my homeworld and conquered native worlds. Even for my oldest colonies, i'm lucky if they are half way to the target population. For most of the game i had a scattering of planets on farming, but switched them all, since raising the theoretical cap seemed pointless.

I realize this is all due to balancing issues, but there it is.

Post Reply