Streamlined Colonization

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Streamlined Colonization

#46 Post by Geoff the Medio »

eleazar wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:That said, colony and outpost ships may need to be made more expensive, and may need to get even more expensive as the number of colonies / outposts owned increases.
Why?
Colony ships likely need to be more expensive for balance reasons, and to slow down initial growth. Consider the original MOO, in which colony ships cost ~60 times what a scout costs. FreeOrion's colony ships are very cheap, at ~4 times the cost of a scout. The existing upkeep mechanism isn't going to have much of an impact on that, but colony ships have ways they could be made much more expensive as number of colonies increases without making all ships more expensive (the colony pod part cost increasing separately).

Also, having colony ships be a lot more expensive leaves a lot more room for alternative means of colonization to be made cheaper and thus more preferable for players to use.

Zireael
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Re: Streamlined Colonization

#47 Post by Zireael »

Alternative methods of colonization sound brilliant. So does increasing cost of a colony pod.

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Krikkitone
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Re: Streamlined Colonization

#48 Post by Krikkitone »

How about 2 options

1. colony ship (built on populated world... then moves to an empty world and makes a colony)

2. colony base (built on empty, supply connected world with no enemy forces present in system...makes a colony on that world) slightly cheaper

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Bigjoe5
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Re: Streamlined Colonization

#49 Post by Bigjoe5 »

Krikkitone wrote:How about 2 options

1. colony ship (built on populated world... then moves to an empty world and makes a colony)

2. colony base (built on empty, supply connected world with no enemy forces present in system...makes a colony on that world) slightly cheaper
That's exactly this without the intermediate same-system option.
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Krikkitone
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Re: Streamlined Colonization

#50 Post by Krikkitone »

Bigjoe5 wrote:
Krikkitone wrote:How about 2 options

1. colony ship (built on populated world... then moves to an empty world and makes a colony)

2. colony base (built on empty, supply connected world with no enemy forces present in system...makes a colony on that world) slightly cheaper
That's exactly this without the intermediate same-system option.
Well, if the idea is to minimize micromanagement, then it shouldn't be 'unlocked'.

I would have both available immediately. (meaning there is no good reason for the 'same system option')... you would put an outpost in a system to
1. extend supply lines (quickly/cheaply or when not iterested in colonizing)
2. extend supply lines so you can have forces to stop someone else from colonizing

and you would only use the colony ship when colonizing outside of supply lines.

(you might use the colony ship more early on, and less later, but the alternative would be there from the beginning)

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Bigjoe5
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Re: Streamlined Colonization

#51 Post by Bigjoe5 »

Krikkitone wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote:
Krikkitone wrote:How about 2 options

1. colony ship (built on populated world... then moves to an empty world and makes a colony)

2. colony base (built on empty, supply connected world with no enemy forces present in system...makes a colony on that world) slightly cheaper
That's exactly this without the intermediate same-system option.
Well, if the idea is to minimize micromanagement, then it shouldn't be 'unlocked'.
The idea is to have game mechanics that promote micromanagement in the early game when it's fun, and get rid of it as the game progresses and it starts to get tedious. Unlocking different content types that bend previously existing rules as the game progresses is one particular way to accomplish this.
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Krikkitone
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Re: Streamlined Colonization

#52 Post by Krikkitone »

Bigjoe5 wrote:
Krikkitone wrote: Well, if the idea is to minimize micromanagement, then it shouldn't be 'unlocked'.
The idea is to have game mechanics that promote micromanagement in the early game when it's fun, and get rid of it as the game progresses and it starts to get tedious. Unlocking different content types that bend previously existing rules as the game progresses is one particular way to accomplish this.
'micromanagement' ... if defined in the sense of multiple steps to accomplish what one would do, is never fun

If defined in the 'changes for small benefit' then it can be fun in the early game.

Having to go through all the steps eleazar listed out to get a planet colonized, Unless I have a particular tech seems annoying.

If I have to go through an action there should be a benefit for doing so that is Not more easily available.

The only way I can see that with colonization is if there is some risk I can't "get" the colony there.
So the only reason for the game to make me go through those steps is
1. If there is a military threat
2. If I can't see the planet
3. If the planet is out of range enough that #1 may change by the time I get there... or I can't actually get there.

Those would be good reasons to make me build a colony ship, and send it somewhere, and then colonize the planet. As opposed to just colonizing the planet with two clicks (some waiting+investment required for the results but just two clicks performed in the same turn..one for the planet, one for the race)

So whenever those reasons apply ('enemies' present, planet not visible, planet out of range) then you should have to use a colony ship. Low tech shouldn't be one of those reasons.

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Sloth
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Re: Streamlined Colonization

#53 Post by Sloth »

Bigjoe5 wrote: The idea is to have game mechanics that promote micromanagement in the early game when it's fun, and get rid of it as the game progresses and it starts to get tedious. Unlocking different content types that bend previously existing rules as the game progresses is one particular way to accomplish this.
I completely agree with Bigjoe and Geoff on this topic. For new players it's important to not have lots of options that do the same thing.
Krikkitone wrote:'micromanagement' ... if defined in the sense of multiple steps to accomplish what one would do, is never fun
Not if every step includes a meaningful decission.
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Krikkitone
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Re: Streamlined Colonization

#54 Post by Krikkitone »

Sloth wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote: The idea is to have game mechanics that promote micromanagement in the early game when it's fun, and get rid of it as the game progresses and it starts to get tedious. Unlocking different content types that bend previously existing rules as the game progresses is one particular way to accomplish this.
I completely agree with Bigjoe and Geoff on this topic. For new players it's important to not have lots of options that do the same thing.
Krikkitone wrote:'micromanagement' ... if defined in the sense of multiple steps to accomplish what one would do, is never fun
Not if every step includes a meaningful decission.
True, but what meaningful decisions are there in

1. Queue colony ship with proper priority
[wait]
2. select colony ship+send to system
[wait]
3. select planet to colonize

That are not present in
1. select planet to colonize
2. select race to colonize it with
3. queue it with proper priority
[wait]..planet colonized

There are 3 meaningful decisions I can see.
Colonize v. Save the PP
Where do I colonize (basically is planet good, and is it safe)
What race do I colonize with

Colony ships add a wait period where a player can forget what they are doing.. the only time I see that being useful is if the wait period is reflecting some type of tactical situation. (which should exclude the 'colony base')

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Streamlined Colonization

#55 Post by Geoff the Medio »

Krikkitone wrote:...what meaningful decisions are there...
Particularly at the start of the game, there are various choices relating to risk and distance. Do you send ships to protect to colony ship from monsters? Do you colonize quickly close by or wait to find a better planet that might not exist, or which might be further away? Do you make a bunch of colony ships, or focus on invasion ships and capture a native-populated planet? If you have multiple species available but no good colony locations, do you preemptively enqueue the ship and use the best planet available, or do you search for a great planet and then enqueue the species best suited for it? And with the proposed rule-unlocking, do you emphasize unlocking a new, cheaper and more direct way to colonize with buildings on outposts, or focus on other research avenues?

Colony ships will likely always also have a use for placing colonies outside the range where population can access them due to supply connection range limits.

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Vezzra
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Re: Streamlined Colonization

#56 Post by Vezzra »

Based on the discussion so far I'd say let's keep the colony ships for the time being. They seem to offer a greater variety of meaningful options without adding that much complexity. Further playtesting will reveal if that's really the case or if they are a game element that has become superfluous.

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Krikkitone
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Re: Streamlined Colonization

#57 Post by Krikkitone »

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Krikkitone wrote:...what meaningful decisions are there...
Particularly at the start of the game, there are various choices relating to risk and distance. Do you send ships to protect to colony ship from monsters? Do you colonize quickly close by or wait to find a better planet that might not exist, or which might be further away? Do you make a bunch of colony ships, or focus on invasion ships and capture a native-populated planet? If you have multiple species available but no good colony locations, do you preemptively enqueue the ship and use the best planet available, or do you search for a great planet and then enqueue the species best suited for it? And with the proposed rule-unlocking, do you emphasize unlocking a new, cheaper and more direct way to colonize with buildings on outposts, or focus on other research avenues?

Colony ships will likely always also have a use for placing colonies outside the range where population can access them due to supply connection range limits.
All of which are available with an 'from the beginning' colony base. [in Addition to a colony ship which can go outside supply range limits]
(except the tech option, but since the 'point' of a colony base is to avoid micromanagement, it should not cost you a tech. (ie what if you needed a tech to form fleets as opposed to moving each ship individually... that would be bad)

I don't think colony bases should be much cheaper... indeed they should probably cost the same as the colony pod on a colony ship. (the colony ship would cost more only because it has the hull that can take it somewhere else.)

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OllyG
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Re: Streamlined Colonization

#58 Post by OllyG »

I really like the idea of Colony or Outpost Bases being buildings built on empty planets. I don't like the current 'base' hull. I build it, then it appears and then I have to use it colonise (and I do sometimes forget - or build too many.) Also the AI uses the hull to build decoy ships. I don't like these at all. These hulls are designed for colony and outpost bases, not as decoys. It seems like a cheat to get extra structure into a fleet for low cost.

Having the bases first being buildable in the same system and later at supply connected systems (as a researchable tech) seem like great ideas to me. It would help to make colonising less steps, which seems like a very good goal set out at the start of this thread.

Building and sending colony ships is very tedious, but I think it should be the only way to go at the beginning of the game. There are definitely advantages to not having to send a ship (it can't be destroyed) and disadvantages to building on an unoccupied planet (it can be destroyed and can't run away). Sounds like an increase in tactical choices - which is good for the game.

I think implementing bases as buildings without requiring (or allowing) an outpost to be upgraded should be done first. The choice to not require an outpost first was already made when it was decided that outposts are not just very small colonies but a different thing altogether (with no species).

I do use the cryogenic colony pod (if I research it), the colonies grow a lot quicker (and can immediately build a colony base.) If it is researched and colony bases can be built far afield the colonies should have 3 population instead of 1.

Building on unoccupied plants should be extended to building on stars. Some of the buildings built on planets should be on the star. I cannot think of the name - but the building which gives a boost to production based on the colour of the star should not be on a planet. Problem is who controls the star? (Should be possible to colonise stars with some species but that is another discussion entirely!)

So, I am voting for colony/outpost base hulls to be removed and replaced by a building which can be constructed on an empty planet in the same system, with a later technology making it allowable in a supply connected system.

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Re: Streamlined Colonization

#59 Post by MatGB »

I use the 'base' hull for troop bases for invasion (which I think is a bit unbalanced), and the more advanced AIs do so. Decoys, OTOH, are a horrible idea in terms of production and they're not 'cheap', each 1 increases the cost of all ships being built by 1%, so having 10 in orbit makes all your actually effecitve warships 10% more expensive to build.

I like the idea of in system vehicles, especially "system defence vessels" and space stations, but dislike the current base hull for that purpose (and the ability to take one low troop planet that can build with one troop ship and thus take the whole system the next turn is something I think is a bit OTT-I'd say minimum build time of, say, 3 turns, for all in system ships).

But I definitely dislike the current in-supply colonisation setup, I've regularly ordered a colony ship, had to save the game, come back to it and have it built ten turns later and have zero clue what it was for. If you can build a 'colony base' on any in supply planet and pick the species that will populate it (perhaps need to have at least a ship in system to do so as well? Any ship?), would be a much better approach, especially for people with my memory issues ;-)

It could be captured during build as well? Then it's destroyed, or allowed to complete?
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Re: Streamlined Colonization

#60 Post by Hihoo »

1) Identify planet for colonization
1.5) Possibly build shipyards or wait for population to grow, so ship can be built
2) Enqueue ship of correct species
3) Wait
4) Notice that ship is completed, Send to planet
5) Wait
6) Notice that ship has arrived, colonize
Hi, didn't notice this thread before.
Here are my 5 cents - playing 431 release

ad 1) you have to do this anyway

ad 2) you need just one shipyard per species, little difficulty there

ad 3) why not just erase all species but one from the game concept then ( not to speak of different kinds of planets if this is the game you would prefer - I LOVED "Asteroids") ? - joking


ad 4) thats more than common with games isn't it, it just costs you hitting "next turn" a number of times, if nothing of interest happens meanwhile, which leads us to

ad 5-7) if you don't like reading the sitrep every turn, what kind of game are you envisioning (see above)?

Now to more positive suggestions -

I WOULD like a better description of "fleet has arrived" in the sitrep than just a meaningless number,
so that I could decide immediately if closer attention may be required.

A right mouseclick on an uncolonized planet could offer "send new colony ship" which could switch you to the nearest most appropriate shipyard to make enqueuing more streamlined or -

While enqueuing a new colony-ship, an option to dedicate this ship to the colonization of some specific planet would be nice. It could then colonize this planet on arrival or even (try to) fly there on its own.

Ah yes , and a "I want colonize all empty planets NOW" - button is a must in my view :)
Cheers,

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