Pre-configured Game Setups

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knelson
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Pre-configured Game Setups

#1 Post by knelson » Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:56 pm

First of all, I want to say that I love this game. It is very addicting and has caused me to waste many days playing. As a matter of fact once I finish this post I will begin another. :lol:

I have found that one of the most challenging aspects of the game is to choose the correct settings to make for a challenging game.

As a newcomer it took me several days of trial and error before I was able to find a setup that I could ever come close to winning.

I think one of the best features that could be added to this game would be to have pre-configured settings for a player to choose.

From the main menu they get a button that says "Scenario Game". Once a player selects that button they get a screen with a selection of choices for example:

Cadet - Easy
Lieutenant - Trained
Captain - Seasoned
Major - Professional
Colonel - Veteran
General - Tough
Master - Impossible

The development team would determine what setting would be appropriate for each scenario. This is a small list and a longer list would be best, taking advantage of all the possible settings. (i.e. Lots of monsters, Lots of Natives, Low of Specials)

When they click OK they are taken to the the Galaxy Setup screen where the fields have been pre-populated with the pre-configured settings. They still would have the option of tweaking the settings or they can just select OK to begin the game.

This would give beginning and intermediate players a quick start to playing the game. It would also give a goal to veteran plays to win and move on to the next level.

This feature should be relatively easy to implement since it would only affect a few screens and not the main programming itself.

I'm sure if the development team got together on this topic that my suggestion can be expanded upon and made even better.

Thanks,

Keith

AndrewW
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Re: Pre-configured Game Setups

#2 Post by AndrewW » Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:21 am

For more of a scenario one could also preset the seed to give a particular setup, which could be useful at some point for some sort of tutorial.

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MatGB
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Re: Pre-configured Game Setups

#3 Post by MatGB » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:59 pm

Overall, this sounds like a reasonable idea but...[
knelson wrote: This feature should be relatively easy to implement since it would only affect a few screens and not the main programming itself.
Relatively easy compared to what, exactly?

First, pick a setting that works well. Then, every single time there's a releases due, recheck that the changes made in whatever content scripts haven't messed them up. Then also, somehow, make sure without fail that those setting work exactly the same way across all platforms, including potentially different Linux distros.

Implementing different sets of recommended settings is probably fairly easy, way beyond me but like you said shouldn't be hard to setup.

The difficult bit is working out what those settings/scenarios should be and making sure they're consistent over time.

On the other hand, part of Vezzra's idea when galaxy generation was switched to Python was to allow for scenario creation, and I've zero clue how or if this could be adapted.

I like the idea, and we definitely need to do more in terms of help chosing settings, etc. But I don't think this is the simple job you hoped it would be ;-)
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

knelson
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Re: Pre-configured Game Setups

#4 Post by knelson » Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:57 am

One of the best features of this game is the ability to modify the setup. I can remember when I first started playing I found it impossible to win. It was all because of my choices in the initial setup to the game. It wasn't until I searched the forum for tips that I actually found a setup that was both challenging and winnable.

Every time you start a new game you are presented with a Galaxy Setup Screen where you have many choices to choose from. Depending on your selections, the game can range from being easy to win to simply impossible.

The pre-configured settings are all from the Galaxy Setup Screen:

Systems
Galaxy Shape
Galaxy Age
Starlane Frequency
Planet Density
Specials Frequency
Monster Frequency
Native Frequency
Max AI Aggression
Starting Species
Number of AI Players

So instead of you having to manually make the choices you hit a button and it pre-populates the page with the appropriate settings.

Here is an example for the Cadet - Easy scenario:

Systems - 100
Galaxy Shape - Elliptical
Galaxy Age - Mature
Starlane Frequency - Medium
Planet Density - Low
Specials Frequency - High
Monster Frequency - None
Native Frequency - High
Max AI Aggression - Beginner Mode
Starting Species - Trith
Number of AI Players - 2
MatGB wrote:Overall, this sounds like a reasonable idea but...[
Relatively easy compared to what, exactly?

First, pick a setting that works well. Then, every single time there's a releases due, recheck that the changes made in whatever content scripts haven't messed them up. Then also, somehow, make sure without fail that those setting work exactly the same way across all platforms, including potentially different Linux distros.
This should be easy to implement as compared to a new feature. You shouldn't have to worry about all the things you mentioned. You are not modifying how the game is played just the startup configuration.

These settings should be pretty much stable and the only changes most likely will be additions. (i.e. New Galaxy shapes and Species where added)

Keith

Crius
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Re: Pre-configured Game Setups

#5 Post by Crius » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:14 am

I think what would also help is a little tooltip to explain the effect of each choice.

For instance on low planet density it makes it harder to find habitable planets early on - but it seems to make it harder for the AI than a Player.

Actually, while writing this I'm thinking what about a difficulty score per choice, starting at +1 and weighted? In the end the score is tallied up and you have your end difficulty.

Systems: larger is easier.
Galaxy Shape: some shapes are easier (eg: ring)
Galaxy Age: younger galaxies easier on phototropic races (more blue stars)
Starlane Frequency: lower is easier
Planet Density: lower is easier
Specials Frequency: higher is easier
Monster Frequency: lower is easier
Native Frequency: higher is easier
Max AI Aggression: lower is easier
Starting Species: lower is easier
Number of AI Players: lower is easier

Without getting into numbers, lets say I took a bunch of choices and this is what each one scored:
Systems: +2
Galaxy Shape: +1
Galaxy Age: +1
Starlane Frequency: +3
Planet Density: +4
Specials Frequency: +3
Monster Frequency: +1
Native Frequency: +2
Max AI Aggression: +10
Starting Species: +3
Number of AI Players: +2

Total Difficulty: 32 (Max: 40)

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MatGB
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Re: Pre-configured Game Setups

#6 Post by MatGB » Fri Nov 27, 2015 6:02 pm

knelson wrote: This should be easy to implement as compared to a new feature. You shouldn't have to worry about all the things you mentioned. You are not modifying how the game is played just the startup configuration.

These settings should be pretty much stable and the only changes most likely will be additions. (i.e. New Galaxy shapes and Species where added)
We're talking at cross purposes, so here's a specific example.

Your above suggestion is to have Trith as the starting species on easy level. That, currently, makes some sense, they're probably overpowered (actually, in the Test releases they are overpowered as I messed up how self sustaining works a bit and haven't had time to fix it). But at some point, soon, hopefully this release cycle, shipbuilding won't be possible until a planet has reached a certain happiness threshold.

Trith are Xenophobes, they get fairly substantial happiness penalties. Implement a change to the core mechanics that makes Trith really difficult to manage and harder to play (as they're meant to be) then suddenly having them as an entry level species is a REALLY bad plan.

That's just looking at things from the blunt instrument "here's some suggested settings" approach (which, I'd suggest, could be a simple selector on the existing screen rather than a new interstitial).

But, you were talking about scenarios. To me, that implies a level of pre scripting and a fair amount of testing. A set of recommended settings isn't a scenario, which is why I think we're talking past each other a bit.
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

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Kassiopeija
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Re: Pre-configured Game Setups

#7 Post by Kassiopeija » Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:13 am

I generally like the idea that the starting screen is improved.

This would be especially helpful for new players, perhaps evading possible errors in setup that will make no sense and lead to an unsatisfactory game experience. Remember we had one guy here complaining that, on a 35 systems galaxy, the AI will stomp him around turn 1200....

So the starting screen should be divided into a standard & advanced screen. In the advanced screen you can adjust all parameter manually.
In the standard version the game will make some auto-choices for you, for example:

- Every added opponent will at least, add n-number of systems (to allow the AI to develop)
- I also think that there should be a setting which manipulates tech-speed. You could have settings of fast, normal, slow, epic etc... And those would autoset after a specific number of systems has been crossed (ie: 0-99=fast, 100-249=normal...). The thing is that if you really want to play an epic game you'll finish with the tree even before having met all opponents)
- Or an overall map-developing speed: that will increase the amount of monsters, but decrease starlanes & specials.
- Difficulty settings:
First of I don't like the idea that races should be involved into this because they should be balanced to be equally strong, as objective as that could be achieved.
But some of the other propositions do make sense, it is however important to note that there are things that stifle the AI more than the player, esp. if it is an experienced player.

And, for sure, the starting screen needs alot more flavour, esp. racial pics, some hints on how to play & lore.

Chopper
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Re: Pre-configured Game Setups

#8 Post by Chopper » Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:02 pm

Kassiopeija wrote:I generally like the idea that the starting screen is improved.

This would be especially helpful for new players, perhaps evading possible errors in setup that will make no sense and lead to an unsatisfactory game experience. Remember we had one guy here complaining that, on a 35 systems galaxy, the AI will stomp him around turn 1200....
A starting screen with built in simple setups would be great. Especially if like me you don't understand half the settings.
Go hear to read about Testogen and what it can do for you.

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