Online voice chat meeting, Monday October 26th 2020

Discussion about the project in general, organization, website, or any other details that aren't directly about the game.
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Vezzra
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Online voice chat meeting, Monday October 26th 2020

#1 Post by Vezzra »

EDIT: Correction: time is not 6pm, but 7pm UTC, which is now 8pm Vienna/Berlin time! /EDIT

As per our new schedule for the online voice chat meetings (last Monday of the month), the next meeting will be tomorrow, Monday October 26th 2020.

Usual time (7pm UCT or 8pm Vienna/Berlin time) and Jitsi room:

https://meet.jit.si/ThoroughNovembersConvertPossibly

Like last time, I don't have any specific topics for the agenda. If anyone wants to suggest topics, feel free to do so here in this thread. Otherwise we'll just talk about whatever people bring up in the meeting.

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Oberlus
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Re: Online voice chat meeting, Monday October 26th 2020

#2 Post by Oberlus »

Maybe:

- Issue: current influence upkeep equation does not grow faster than number of colonies or population, and so defeats it's exponential-growth control purpose. Is any developer planning to introduce distance-based influence upkeep (either as the default upkeep, my preferred choice, or as one that can be adopted via policies, as long as the default upkeep is something different from current one).

- Issue: lack of obvious tech choices to unlock policies or policy slots (sometimes the tech that seems fluff-wise adequate is not right regarding tech cost: too early or too late for correct balance; sometimes there is no adequate tech at all). Any ideas for new techs in the current tech tree?

o01eg
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Re: Online voice chat meeting, Monday October 26th 2020

#3 Post by o01eg »

Some plans about future development:

- Godot client.

- FOCS replacements.
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Vezzra
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Re: Online voice chat meeting, Monday October 26th 2020

#4 Post by Vezzra »

Attention, correction: I've given the wrong UTC time, 8pm Vienna/Berlin time is now 7pm UTC, not 6pm UTC!

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Vezzra
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Re: Online voice chat meeting, Monday October 26th 2020

#5 Post by Vezzra »

Here is a report about what we decided/agreed upon in our discussion on the proposed topics:
Issue: current influence upkeep equation does not grow faster than number of colonies or population, and so defeats it's exponential-growth control purpose. Is any developer planning to introduce distance-based influence upkeep (either as the default upkeep, my preferred choice, or as one that can be adopted via policies, as long as the default upkeep is something different from current one).
We reached agreement to try the following, and see how that is going to work:

At the start of the game, IP costs are just based on number of colonies. The formula should be exponential, but scale in a way so that the first few colonies have only moderate IP costs, but after that IP costs should ramp up quite drastically. To address this, the player needs to adopt one of several policies which alter the way IP costs are calculated.

One of these policies could be distance-based (with higher costs for colonies which are not supply connected), maybe two number-based (one better for supply connected empires, one better for distributed supply disconnected empires) etc. All these policies will offer significantly better IP costs. The player would choose policies depending on their situation/intended strategy etc.

The starting formula might be something like this: (# of colonies ^2) * 0.2.

The policies for colony IP costs need to be unlocked by comparatively cheap, early game techs, so players can get them before the default IP costs formula cripples their empire.
Issue: lack of obvious tech choices to unlock policies or policy slots (sometimes the tech that seems fluff-wise adequate is not right regarding tech cost: too early or too late for correct balance; sometimes there is no adequate tech at all). Any ideas for new techs in the current tech tree?
There is definitely a need for new techs. We didn't come up with ideas for specific techs, but we agreed that we probably need a new tech category for the Influence/Administration etc. stuff: Sociology. There is most likely a lot of stuff currently in the tech tree that should be moved into that category as well.

Meaning, we're looking at a bit of tech tree cleanup/reorganisation here, which can't be put off until the big tech tree revision.
Godot client
The main question here was how to go about network communications between the FO server and a FO Godot client, and how to integrate the Godot Finite State Machine with the FO FSM.

We came to the conclusion that the best approach probably is to keep the FO FSM, expose an API for it to Godot and build the Godot client on top of that. That requires to sync the Godot FSM (which essentially are Godot's "scenes") with the FO FSM. However, it doesn't look like we can match Godot's scenes 1:1 with the states of the FO FSM anyway, so this approach seems to be a good compromise.
FOCS replacements
That question came up because of a small exchange between me and o01eg in the comment section of one of the PRs on github. I mentioned that there is the idea of replacing FOCS with Python (to get rid of our custom built parser, which depends on the Boost parser lib, which has it's own set of issues). o01eg pointed out that replacing our parser with Python will cause issues with background parsing because of Pythons Global Interpreter Lock.

However, considering that replacing the parser will be a quite huge undertaking, which currently no one is willing to tackle anyway, this is something in the far future. So we decided that there is no need to decide anything regarding this right now. For the time being FOCS and our own parser is going to stay.

I hope I've covered the most important things and didn't miss too much. If you want to add or correct something, feel free to do so. :D

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LienRag
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Re: Online voice chat meeting, Monday October 26th 2020

#6 Post by LienRag »

Vezzra wrote: Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:56 pm Here is a report about what we decided/agreed upon in our discussion on the proposed topics:


The starting formula might be something like this: (# of colonies ^2) * 0.2.

The policies for colony IP costs need to be unlocked by comparatively cheap, early game techs, so players can get them before the default IP costs formula cripples their empire.

Is the proposed formula for global Influence upkeep cost or one by planet ?
Not having a cost by planet is a bit problematic imho (as it leaves a player less agency) but if it's a per-planet Influence upkeep calculation, why do you need to square it since it will already be multiplied by the number of planets ?

Also, I get the functional need for the Influence-cost-modifying Policies you mention, but where's the fun/challenge in them if a player only has to choose a Policy that fits his Empire shape ?

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Oberlus
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Re: Online voice chat meeting, Monday October 26th 2020

#7 Post by Oberlus »


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Vezzra
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Re: Online voice chat meeting, Monday October 26th 2020

#8 Post by Vezzra »

LienRag wrote: Thu Nov 05, 2020 1:42 amIs the proposed formula for global Influence upkeep cost or one by planet ?
Well, good question.

The answer of course is that the formula as given is what the global influence upkeep costs should roughly look like. But the actual computation needs to be per planet (colony), so more accurately it would have to be: colony ip costs = #_of_colonies * constant_factor

Of course, (x^2) * c != (x*c)^2, but the point here is the kind of curve/exponential increase we get. But see the thread Oberlus linked to for further discussion of the formulas.
Also, I get the functional need for the Influence-cost-modifying Policies you mention, but where's the fun/challenge in them if a player only has to choose a Policy that fits his Empire shape ?
The fact that there is no policy that's optimal for all kind of "empire shapes", and that switching policies comes with a cost. Meaning, you have to decide how you want to expand, and how you want to "shape" your empire, then choose which policy you want to go for that's best for your intended strategy.

Of course you can try to switch back and forth between different policies, but as I said, that will come with a cost, and frequent switching of course needs to be made not viable, so you have to stick to a certain choosen strategy. Only switching if there is a really good reason.

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