Wonders/Secret Projects

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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Wonders/Secret Projects

#1 Post by Impaler » Tue May 11, 2004 11:17 am

Their hasent been much discusion on the topic of Wonders (Civ II) Secret Projects (SMAC). I am asuming we will be including them as their a very fun aspect of the Civ based games and could realy help FreeOrion. First do you like/dislike the idea of including them and secondly do you like/dislike the following idea of mine conserning them.


In Civ 3 they introduced "small wonders" that everyone can build unlike the "big Wonders" that can be built only once. I began thinking of perhaps a Hybrid system. Each wonder provieds 2 benifits or groups of benifits called the PRIMARY and SECONDARY effects. Primary effects would be the most desirable with the secondary being well secondary in importance.

For example the "Galactic Exchange" has the Primary benifit of "all worlds produce +10% Money" and the Secondary Benefit "+30% Money from This planet". So as you can see the Primary benifit gets you the lions share of the Benifits but the Secondary is not trivial either.

Now come the neat part, the FIRST player to build the Project/Wonder gets the primary AND secondary effects. Imediatly upon completion all other players get the option to also build the project (even if they havent yet got the unlocking tecnologies for it). They also have the cost reduced by 25%. BUT when they not the first builder you only get the secondary effect, thus everyone but the first builder has a "knock off" version of that project and not the "real McCoy". Thus the secondary effect is like a conselation prize for runners up, and it also helps the smaller players compete as the projects their working on become cheaper (an example of my Goose Princible, sumarized as "its easier to follow then to lead")

Now another twist. Empires can "share" the secondary effects of their Projects with empires that havent built that project at all. The empire that was the first builder (the one with the BIG version) is the only one that can do this, its set up as a diplomatic trade relation, you can negotiate anything in return you like such as tecnology, money or other trade relationships. In addition having the sharing relationship reduces the cost to build the Projects knock off by an additional 25%. The owner of the Project can at any time end the relationship a the other empire losses the secondary effects and cost reductions. Thus the First builder always retain a strong negotiating advantage for the use of their Project after they build it.

If the First Builder shares the Project with an Empire that already Built it knock off of that project (thus gaining the Secondary effect for themselves) then its the PRIMARY effect that is lent and now both empires have the full effect of the Project, but only so long as the FirstBuilder chosses to share the project, if they wish they can end the sharing and the other empire reverts back to only having the Secondary effects.

These changes will greatly enhance the fun associated with Wonders, their still a very competitive race to be first, not only for the valuable effects of the project but because you perminently deny the Primary effect to your enemies and gain a valuable barganing chip. On the other side of the coin lossing a project has a conselation prize and if a friendly empire secured the project insted of you theirs still potential for you to reap the full rewards of the project if you can get in a good diplomatic standing with them and complet the now cheaper knock off project for yourself.
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noelte
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#2 Post by noelte » Tue May 11, 2004 11:32 am

Hmm, one thing i like at your primary/secondary effect is, that this way, you don't run into trouble if someone else complete that project first and you magicly shift to another project. reducing cost is also a good idea. But i won't unlock the wonder to all the others.

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#3 Post by drek » Tue May 11, 2004 12:31 pm

If the whole infrastructure thing that PC proposed passes, then every buildable structure is essentially a Wonder, in that each building will be expensive and rare.

I like the idea of giving the first structure built a bonus. A gold star next to it's name, a brief (text) cutscene congrating the player, and a small numerical advantage over other buildings of the same type seems good to me.

Since more than wonder can exist in a galaxy, there needs to be rules for duplicates. What if I already own an Exchange, then conquer a planet with an enemy Exhange?

Also, I believe that we should be thinking of ways of comboing buildings. Effects local to the planet ought to be avoided in most cases, imho.

For example:

Galactic Exchange
Type: Economic
Effects:
* Allows the empire to buy and sell from the "Galactic Market" at 10% markup (instead of the normal 20%)
* For each starlane, Travel type building, and Economic type building located in the system, total empire money production is increased by 1%

First to Build bonus: +5% total empire money production
In-system duplication: Having two Exchanges in the same system gives no bonus, beyond the fact the second exchange is an Economic type building
In-Empire duplication: Only the Exchange that would produces the highest money production bonus functions normally. Non-functioning Exchanges are flagged in the Siterep. (and should probably be scrapped by the player)

The exchange combos with Travel type buildings, so here's a couple as examples:

Wormhole Generator
Type: Travel
* A wormhole is created to the closest blackhole type star
First to Build bonus: Travel along the created wormhole is 100% faster
In-system duplication: A wormhole is created to the second closest blackhole type star. Upkeep is 50% higher than the orginal generator.
In-Empire duplication: No penalty.

Starlane Gate-Launcher
Type: Travel
* Friendly ships *exitting* this system are granted one extra turn's worth of travel
* Unfriendly ships entering the system take 2 point of Energy damage from Gate defenses
First to build bonus: Gate defenses do 4 points of Energy damage
In-system duplication: Gate defenses do an additional 1 pt of Energy damage for each additional Gate-Launcher
In-Empire duplication: No penalty.


So you'd want to build an Exchange in a starlane hub system with lots of economy and travel buildings.

A more advanced look at the concept, the Exchange might only combo with economy buildings....but many of the other economy buildings (like a Galaxy class Starport for example) might combo with starlanes and travel buildings. So the player (and the AI) would be advantaged to plan out chains of buildings that enhance each other.


Eh sorry, this turned into a combo rant. Anyway, we do need to plan out how buildings will function.

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#4 Post by Rapunzel » Tue May 11, 2004 2:28 pm

this is defenetly a part of the "DESIGN: Buildings / Build Queues / Infrastructure" thread in Gamedesighn and should be discussed there.
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#5 Post by Lyx » Tue May 11, 2004 3:14 pm

At first thought, this idea did seem interesting - but on second thought it seems unnecessary to me.

I dislike the idea of wonders, because their "effects" are mostly just a double of whats already in the game, thus, it only make the game more complex without adding new features.

Lets take a look at the "effects" of wonders:

"First player to research it gets an advantage"
This is already the case with every researched technology. Whoever researches something first has an advantage over the others(because they get it later).

"The one who researched it first can trade it with other races"
In case not all races are able to research ALL technologies (like in MOO2, where you pick one-of-three which you want to research, but cannot pick all), then this is already the case. There will automatically be technologies, which only one or two players have, and therefore are the "main-traders" of them.

"empire-wide effects"
already in the game i guess - with just normal technologies.

"loosing players get compensated"
Agreed. However, this to me seems the only effect of wonders, which isn't already in the game anyways. I think loosing players should be compensated in a different way, instead of creating a whole wonder-system just to compensate loosing players.

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#6 Post by Impaler » Tue May 11, 2004 3:17 pm

Wonders are significantly differnt from nomal "buildings"

First each Empire can build only 1 unlike buildings which can be built over and over again, only by Concuest would their be the possibility of having 2 in the same Empire. I had not previously considered what would happen then but I would recomend that either the concoured Wonder is imediatly destroyed and converted into Cash for the Concourer or the Concourer gets the Secondary Effect duplicated.

Also I dont see anything wrong with locations specific bonuses, BUT if we wish the "Wonder" need not have ANY specific location it could simply be an Empire wide thing (and thus all points in your empire could contribute to building it at no penalty). This would also remove the issue with capturing another empires wonder as it now has no location to concour. Given that this eliminates a potential point of complexity and that the location specific bonuses are rairly very good I would propose we do just that.
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#7 Post by Impaler » Tue May 11, 2004 3:54 pm

Lynx: Have you played any Civ Games that use Wonders? If so you would see that many of your objections are false.

1 - Unlike normal Research a Wonder can not be stole with spying, likewise in most Civ Games tecnologies only alow the player new options on how to spend their production capacity on THINGS which actualy provide the player with the tangable benifits. Wonder on the otherhand usaly do give the player an imediate tangible benifit (like more money, better troops, free Facilites in all bases). Lastly Wonders generaly do not become tecnologicaly obsolete through the course of the game.

2 - I am not shure if we will have restriction on research like Moo2 (but I would hope not) but in either case the Wonder is not traded like normal tecnology it is "shared" a very differnt kind of relationship then tec trading. Once someone knows a tec they cant loss it but a shared wonder is a continuous relationship subject to the wims of the Owner. Think of it as "renting" a faction wide bonus.

3 - As for Empire wide effect being in the game through normal Tecnologies. Generaly I prefer a system like SMAC, tecnologies dont realy DO anything they only ALOW you to make the things that get you something. Their might be some small empire wide bonuses (like the way some Moo2 tecs incressed your growth rate) but they would be modest and the lions share of such effects will be in the Wonders and they will be MUCH more important.

4 - Compensating lossing players was mostly an aplication of the Goose Principle and a would as Noelte says the half finished Wonder that others have been working on dosent simply go up in smoke OR get magicaly turned into another Wonder (a big flaw in SMAC).

5 - Wonders need not Duplicate other game mechanics, If you look at SMAC you see a wide variety of effects. Most often your reciving a free facility at all bases, a change to social enginering or some unique effect that cant be replicated with ANY of the tecnologies in the game. Often they alow one player to duplicate some of the inherent bonuses of other factions. This can give a lot of strategic flexibility to a player as he advances in the game.

6 - It might also be a wise idea if Wonders are themselves a Research goal in addition to a massive Build project. When you discover the nessary Prerequisites (possibly more then one) you can start construction of the Wonder but must ALSO set the Wonder as a research goal for your Empire, the building and the researching happen simultaniously (like a giant Manhatten Project). Thus the construction of a Wonder would slow you down a bit tecnologicaly as it diverts resorces away from other projects. We might also want to restrict you to building only 1 Wonder at a time.
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#8 Post by Rapunzel » Tue May 11, 2004 8:22 pm

Impaler wrote:Wonders are significantly differnt from nomal "buildings"

First each Empire can build only 1 unlike buildings which can be built over and over agai [...].
still even those types of Buidlings have been discussed and there were sugestions, that they may be the only types of buildings. Moving them arrounf in the empire and such things.

further readings here
viewtopic.php?t=642&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=114

or anywere in that hread of course.

On further notice Wonders are often Buildings as well and could/should be handeled simmilar to them
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#9 Post by Kostik666 » Tue May 11, 2004 9:00 pm

i think that allowing others to follow the "goose" is a good idea, but the effects of "small wonder" should be less, to make a bigger gap between the small and the BIG wonder
>^)

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Wonders Thread

#10 Post by guiguibaah » Tue May 11, 2004 10:49 pm

Here's an old wonders thread

viewtopic.php?t=366
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#11 Post by Impaler » Wed May 12, 2004 3:05 am

Having Random Events or exploration of the Galaxy open the possibility of building a Wonder sounds like a nice idea.

One potential down side though is that the Wonders relative power is no longer linked to the tec tree and the progress of the game, you might discover it right off the bat or very late in the game. If the Cost to produce the Wonder is consistent with its power then you might discover something thats too expensive to build yet, or conversly something that of minimal importance. The upside is that that wonder may not apear in the tec tree at all meaning you have a great monopoly on it (untill someone else explores the system ware you found it).

Also I think their potential for a lot of Diplomatic based Wonders, they become avalible for EVERYONE once the Orion Senate passes a sertain Law. For example "The Orion senate has Ratified Galactic Criminal Law: Galactic Hauge Wonder now Avalible". This would initiate a very interesting race to see who can build it first.
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