Strategic Resources

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drek
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Strategic Resources

#1 Post by drek » Fri Jul 02, 2004 3:42 am

This is an old idea--since we are getting close the v3 design doc I thought I'd bring it up again.

Certain planet specials would be strategic resources, as in Civ3. The resources allow the player build a semi-wonder on that planet that improves an aspect of technology.

For example, DrekCrystals might improve lasers (+X to damage) if you build a DrekCrystal Polishing Fab. (of course, there'd be some civilian strategic resources as well, like the spices, furs, etc in Civ3)

The idea is to promote specialization. If an enemy player sees through intell that you have a DrekCrystal Polishing Fab, he knows that your fleet is probably using lasers extensivly.

a: He can outfit the counter to lasers to his ships
b: And/or he could order a military strike or spy mission against the Polishing Fab, to greatly reduce the power of your ships.

Multiple resourcing buildings would give your empire strategic resources to trade, as in Civ3.

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Geoff the Medio
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#2 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Jul 02, 2004 4:54 am

If you have resources that allow a certain class of weapon, the standard Civ objection to the system arises, namely that it's weird how a single source is enough for your entire civ/empire, no matter how large or how many units/ships you're making that need the resource, and further, that you for some reason can't trade the resource without another source, despite each source being an apparently infinite font for your own empire. This is verging on a realism argument, I realize, but also has a strong counterintuitive aspect.

It's obvious that having separate classes of "macro" minerals needed in different proportions is too complicated when there are already 5 resources (which, BTW, I think should be needed in some amount for all building... even food and research for ships). It might not be so bad if the "specialized" resources had production rates dictated by the special... so you could extract 4 units of Arrakian Spice per turn, which would let you maintain 2 Reverend Mother heros at 1 unit / turn, spend 1 unit / turn to allow you to build Fremen super-commando ground troops (which require 10 industry, 5 food, 2 research, 0 minearals and 10 money and 1 unit of spice for 10 turns to make), and sell 1 unit per turn to the Klingons. These 4 units would come from a single source, which would be rated at 4 units / turn. If you found another source, giving 5 units / turn, you'd have 9 units / turn available. Stockpiling is debatable.

Resources could have various limitations on them... such as a temple giving a bonus to or unlocking a certain type of equipment that's produced locally, but not affect the same equipment produced elsewhere. Other resources could be shipped around the empire and/or traded... (these would be the ones to put extraction limits on, perhaps)

Having too many variables for resources would be too complicated though. The player might have a hard time keeping track of whether this or that resource can be traded or shared or if there is an extraction limit on it.

Probably, resources shouldn't be required for most "mainstream" equipmenet and buildings. Giving bonuses to certain classes of weapon or building or giving empire-wide bonuses is fine. Needing oil to make battleships sucks (or a special mineral to make a class of weapon, access to which is vital to be competitive), and makes the game too random. It would, however, be acceptable to have resources let you make some "special effect" ship equipment, or, as you said, enhansed versions of what you already could make.

I also had some related thoughts in the nature of exploration thread:
viewtopic.php?p=11909#11909

From that thread:

Specials/resources aren't apparent immediately when exploring, and may occur on uninhabitable planets. You have to colonize the planet to find them, but doing this for every planet would be prohibitively expensive, since the colonies will never be self-sufficient. Thus, to know where to colonize, you have to explore around and find hints of some sort.

Alternatively, we could include a starbase of some sort, that can harvest a resource from an uninhabitable asteroid belt or planet... but which also costs you to maintain. (These starbases could also allow you to mine asteroid fields or any uninhabitable planet actually... especially in systems without inhabited/able planets (which I think there should be many of))

Things like ancient ruins might indicate that a particular world is worth colonizing, even if it's otherwise useless. However, the presence of ruins in a system wouldn't necessarily prove there would be anything useful in the system. they might be useless... And worlds without ruins could have stuff as well. In this case, other worlds' ruins, when investigated by colonists or a survey ship, could give a sitrep notification that such and such a world in such and such a system nearby might have something, so you should put the resources into investigating it. This might tell you exactly what the benefit will, or just that something important is clearly in that system based on starmaps found in the ruins.

Another altnernative is that a particular ruin does nothing on its own, but if you colonize four worlds, each of which have a similar looking ruin, then you get a big benefit from their combined effect. The sitrep could tell you that the survey ships have found identical ruins on several worlds, and that the reserachers think there's some linkage between them worth colonizing to harness.


(Just throwing out some ideas. Most of this isn't meant to "promote specialization", as such, but might make things more interesting, especially early game exploration)

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#3 Post by drek » Fri Jul 02, 2004 6:15 am

If you have resources that allow a certain class of weapon, the standard Civ objection to the system arises
These resources would only improve techs/ship parts. They don't unlock ship parts/techs.

Everyone has lasers. But if you have DrekCrystals, your lasers are better. Basically, these resources would unlock Wonders. If you build the Wonder, you get the bonus.
Another altnernative is that a particular ruin does nothing on its own, but if you colonize four worlds, each of which have a similar looking ruin, then you get a big benefit from their combined effect. The sitrep could tell you that the survey ships have found identical ruins on several worlds, and that the reserachers think there's some linkage between them worth colonizing to harness.
Not much to do with strategic resources, but I'd love to do event-like stories that are kind of quest based like this. Events would let the player know that finding all the ruins would grant progressively larger bonuses, and maybe even trip off some story-like special events if the player manages to aquire a certain number.

Kinda like the Xs in moo3.

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#4 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Jul 02, 2004 6:23 am

Well, who says a strategic resource has to have a single location only? The word "resource" is a bit limiting, perhaps, but the effects could be similar -> if you have all 4 Temples of Mediocrity, your infantry get a +5 to morale!

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#5 Post by drek » Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:03 am

That sounds cool. I like it.

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#6 Post by PowerCrazy » Fri Jul 02, 2004 7:22 am

True, it sounds cool. But I don't want to get into the whole idea of collecting.

Lets see: I have 3 nayrb planets, I need another plus four drek planets, and 2 aquious planets, then i can unlock the super ray and win the game.

It just doesn't seem that great, and lets not forget in civ3 when the only source of oil was on the otherside of the planet, so you were screwed.

Its not necessarilly a bad thing, but it might just turn out to be "nice" but overall useless.
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#7 Post by Geoff the Medio » Fri Jul 02, 2004 8:16 am

I guess it's a try-it-and-see type situation. The main point of bringing it up now is that it increases the chance that the "specials" system will be built with the capacity to support this sort of thing.

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Sounds interesting

#8 Post by guiguibaah » Fri Jul 02, 2004 11:35 pm

This is an interesting idea - I take it that these small wonders could only be built where the resource is found.

Since the resource is planet-based, we could say there's limitless amounts of it to use, so there isn't that weird thing in CIV3.

Could some of these resources be tied into what kind of planet the planet must be to use them?

IE: Drekcrystals - in order to use, planet must be primary mining. Could make things interesting if the world is a lush farm-friendly greenspace. Do you hack it up to get at the precious drekcrystals, or do you forgo the bonus and make the planet your farming utopia (and maybe getting a tourism bonus for the crystals).

Powercrazy Poppers - No planetary restrictions

Geoff Geysers - Planet must be primary industry, secondary research, to take advantage.

Tzlaine Tsunamies - No planetary restrictions. Cannot terraform.
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#9 Post by muxec » Sat Jul 03, 2004 10:56 am

Maybe GalCivs style resources?

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#10 Post by Daveybaby » Tue Jul 06, 2004 9:30 am

I think this could be interesting, but only as long as the resources just provide bonuses, and arent something that is necessary to progress past a certain point in the game (as in Civ3, where lack of access to resource X at time Y effectively becomes a roadblock to your development).
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#11 Post by Satyagraha » Tue Jul 06, 2004 10:51 am

I think the concept of collecting special resources with stacking bonuses is pretty fine. I´m afraid if it doesn´t work like this, we might run into another civ3-problem: "oh noes, i got 4 scources of iron that don´t stack, my opponent got 4 different resources, i´m screwed." resource trading will have a dynamic on it´s own, if players change their strategy, they will try to get the resources that go along with their new strat best. but they might as well bluff and trick their opponents into thinking they are going to change their strat by asking them for certain resources.

how do GalCiv resources work?

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#12 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Jul 06, 2004 4:00 pm

Satyagraha wrote:how do GalCiv resources work?
You built a starbase at a little geometric shape on the map, and got bonuses to different empire stats depending on the kind of resource and how many "modules" you built to enhance the starbase. As far as I could tell, the bonuses were just variations on "+5% to research" (additive).

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Strategic Resources

#13 Post by guiguibaah » Thu Jul 08, 2004 2:25 am

Maybe have the strategic resources an "All or nothing" affair. Whether you have 1 source of 10 billion sources doesn't matter.

Of course, my suggestion to the above would be not to make them as draconian as in Civ 3. IE: If you don't have oil, or Saltpeter for those specific time periods, you are "screwed".

Perhaps, instead, the strategic resources give you small bonuses, as mentioned in posts above. If you have Drek laser crystals, your lasers would be stronger, but not game-balancing stronger (perhaps 10-20% stronger) so the bonus really becomes that - a bonus.
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#14 Post by Daveybaby » Thu Jul 08, 2004 8:37 am

Of course, you could have a mix resource types, i.e.

global, non-stacking resources, such as : access to any source of fantabulum gives your empire a 10% increase in marsupial breeding.

global, stacking resources, such as : every planet in your empire with a source of donkey crystals decreases unrest due to halitosis by a further 5%.

local resources, such as : toilet complexes built on a planet with naturally occurring laxative mountains operate at +50% efficiency.
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#15 Post by Zanzibar » Thu Jul 08, 2004 2:19 pm

We could, arguably have moo3 style specials... some are good, some are bad, and some are neutral. For example, cavernous makes your planet hold more population. On the other hand, huge hostile creatures decrease population growth rate (However, unlike moo 3 I think they should have a bit of a plus, research and/or recreational effects are increased (think animal testing facilities and zoos)). A system like this would definitely make life interesting :)
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