Universal Macro Constants

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Bigjoe5
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Universal Macro Constants

#1 Post by Bigjoe5 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 1:27 am

I was just thinking that we've been doing a lot of changing the standard amount of production lately, and eleazar's suggested changing it again to 0.2 to raise population to 60... How about we define a constant in shared_macros.txt called "PRODUCTION_PER_POPULATION" or something like that, and have all population-dependent bonuses be multiplied by it. That way, whenever we want to scale population-dependent production by a certain factor, we can just change one number as opposed to going through and changing every single effect.

There could also be "PRODUCTION_PER_INFRASTRUCTURE" or something like that if we introduce infrastructure-dependent bonuses, which would allow us to easily balance the maximum bonus against the maximum infrastructure level.
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Re: Universal Macro Constants

#2 Post by eleazar » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:40 am

Something like that would be handy. Can "buildcost" take mathematical arguments?

Besides changing our minds it would probably be handy to be able to scale production/research costs -- at least somewhat -- to the size of the galaxy.
Bigjoe5 wrote:and eleazar's suggested changing it again to 0.2 to raise population to 60...
I wasn't really suggesting that-- that was just an example of what we could do, now that population is unhitched from a "food consumption" variable.

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Re: Universal Macro Constants

#3 Post by Bigjoe5 » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:54 am

eleazar wrote:Something like that would be handy. Can "buildcost" take mathematical arguments?
Seems not. Tacking " + 5" on the end of the buildcost for cultural archives causes a parse error. Perhaps Geoff could add that functionality.
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Re: Universal Macro Constants

#4 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:46 am

Bigjoe5 wrote:
eleazar wrote:Something like that would be handy. Can "buildcost" take mathematical arguments?
Seems not. Tacking " + 5" on the end of the buildcost for cultural archives causes a parse error. Perhaps Geoff could add that functionality.
Not likely... The build cost is currently just a number, not a "ValueRef" or value reference like are used in condition or effect definitions. ValueRefs are evaluated at run-time (potentially) based on the gamestate. Things that are just a number have to have a set value when the content file is parsed, but there's no existing mechanism to evaluate arithmetic at parse-time. Adding one would be complicated.

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Re: Universal Macro Constants

#5 Post by eleazar » Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:07 am

OK, bigjoe has build some elaborate macros to help adjust production from one central location. A good idea, but the execution confuses me.

If i'm reading it right, and i want 0.1 production units per population, i actually need to set PRODUCTION_PER_POP to 0.05, because later on it will be multiplied by 2. Am i following that right?
If you want to make infrastructure half as effective as population for techs that "favour population over infrastructure", then shouldn't POP_PRODUCTION_PER_INFRA be
'''0.5 * [[PRODUCTION_PER_INFRA]]'''

The complexity seem to be in part to allow a meter to be either adjusted by infrastructure or population-- whichever is greater.

Which seems to be of dubious usefulness. While you might have the research meter boosted by techs/buildings/specials multiplied by population, or techs/buildings/specials, multiplied by infrastructure, it seems unlikely or unnecesary for a single t/b/s to boost by either population or infrastructure.

It seems better from a game-design perspective, setting aside scripting complexity, if any given t/b/s provides a bonus based intrinsically on population or infrastructure. The idea that robots used infrastructure rather than population for bonuses has been bandied around in the past, but if that's what we're trying to do, it should be hard-cut, set to the "robotic" tag.

What i describe above seems to match the macros, but doesn't seem to match the output i get from the game.

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Re: Universal Macro Constants

#6 Post by Bigjoe5 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:33 pm

eleazar wrote:If i'm reading it right, and i want 0.1 production units per population, i actually need to set PRODUCTION_PER_POP to 0.05, because later on it will be multiplied by 2. Am i following that right?
Not entirely... that's only true for effects that favour population, in which case by actually using the macro, you're choosing to double the bonus from population.
eleazar wrote:If you want to make infrastructure half as effective as population for techs that "favour population over infrastructure", then shouldn't POP_PRODUCTION_PER_INFRA be
'''0.5 * [[PRODUCTION_PER_INFRA]]'''
What I wanted was to make population twice as effective for such techs, which is why it is the way it is. I don't see much of a benefit over doing it either way, so feel free to change it if you prefer.
eleazar wrote:The complexity seem to be in part to allow a meter to be either adjusted by infrastructure or population-- whichever is greater.

Which seems to be of dubious usefulness. While you might have the research meter boosted by techs/buildings/specials multiplied by population, or techs/buildings/specials, multiplied by infrastructure, it seems unlikely or unnecesary for a single t/b/s to boost by either population or infrastructure.
Do you think it's a bad idea to try to create a dichotomy between Construction and Biology?
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Re: Universal Macro Constants

#7 Post by eleazar » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:55 am

Bigjoe5 wrote:
eleazar wrote:The complexity seem to be in part to allow a meter to be either adjusted by infrastructure or population-- whichever is greater.

Which seems to be of dubious usefulness. While you might have the research meter boosted by techs/buildings/specials multiplied by population, or techs/buildings/specials, multiplied by infrastructure, it seems unlikely or unnecesary for a single t/b/s to boost by either population or infrastructure.
Do you think it's a bad idea to try to create a dichotomy between Construction and Biology?
I dunno, make your case. (or link to it)

How is following your Construction dichotomy, and thus raising production meter via raising infrastructure
going to feel different and offer different strategies than
following your Biology dichotomy, and thus raising production meter via raising population?

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Re: Universal Macro Constants

#8 Post by Bigjoe5 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 1:23 pm

eleazar wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote:
eleazar wrote:The complexity seem to be in part to allow a meter to be either adjusted by infrastructure or population-- whichever is greater.

Which seems to be of dubious usefulness. While you might have the research meter boosted by techs/buildings/specials multiplied by population, or techs/buildings/specials, multiplied by infrastructure, it seems unlikely or unnecesary for a single t/b/s to boost by either population or infrastructure.
Do you think it's a bad idea to try to create a dichotomy between Construction and Biology?
I dunno, make your case. (or link to it)

How is following your Construction dichotomy, and thus raising production meter via raising infrastructure
going to feel different and offer different strategies than
following your Biology dichotomy, and thus raising production meter via raising population?
That's not the part that's going to feel different - not much at least. It will mean a different way of expanding though, since techs that increase population do so mainly on less good planets, and techs that increase infrastructure do so mainly on Good planets, but that's not really the point.

The point of treating population and infrastructure like this is so that the player can choose one path or the other. Before, it was hard to see how a player could get by without researching both, but it's much more reasonable to choose just one now, since you can still max out resource production either way (though potentially some resources would max out a bit higher than others, depending on which branch you chose, but that's definitely a less significant motivation to research both than existed before).

Then the variation between the two options can be created by the difference in applications in each category - Bio and Construction can each have their own set of content to unlock, with different strategic implications, but also with some redundancy between them, to further decrease the motivation to research both.
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Re: Universal Macro Constants

#9 Post by eleazar » Sat Jul 14, 2012 4:17 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:
eleazar wrote:...How is following your Construction dichotomy, and thus raising production meter via raising infrastructure
going to feel different and offer different strategies than
following your Biology dichotomy, and thus raising production meter via raising population?
That's not the part that's going to feel different - not much at least. It will mean a different way of expanding though, since techs that increase population do so mainly on less good planets, and techs that increase infrastructure do so mainly on Good planets, but that's not really the point.

The point of treating population and infrastructure like this is so that the player can choose one path or the other. Before, it was hard to see how a player could get by without researching both, but it's much more reasonable to choose just one now, since you can still max out resource production either way (though potentially some resources would max out a bit higher than others, depending on which branch you chose, but that's definitely a less significant motivation to research both than existed before).

Then the variation between the two options can be created by the difference in applications in each category - Bio and Construction can each have their own set of content to unlock, with different strategic implications, but also with some redundancy between them, to further decrease the motivation to research both.
If you imagine unspecified and interesting strategic choices between bio and construction techs trees, but boosting the meters are not part of that (or not much), then leave them out of the dichotomous part of the tree. They can have their own branch, or sit with something else. Not only would you be bloating the number of techs by adding to both lines tech that do pretty much the same thing, but you are watering down your dichotomy by including techs that pretty much mirror each other in end result.


A real infrastructure/population dichotomy (not that i necessarily endorse this idea) would be something like: most factors that boost industry and based on infrastructure, while most factors that boost influence and based on population. If you follow a path of growing infrastructure or growing population, you get different results.

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Re: Universal Macro Constants

#10 Post by Bigjoe5 » Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:19 am

eleazar wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote: That's not the part that's going to feel different - not much at least. It will mean a different way of expanding though, since techs that increase population do so mainly on less good planets, and techs that increase infrastructure do so mainly on Good planets, but that's not really the point.

The point of treating population and infrastructure like this is so that the player can choose one path or the other. Before, it was hard to see how a player could get by without researching both, but it's much more reasonable to choose just one now, since you can still max out resource production either way (though potentially some resources would max out a bit higher than others, depending on which branch you chose, but that's definitely a less significant motivation to research both than existed before).

Then the variation between the two options can be created by the difference in applications in each category - Bio and Construction can each have their own set of content to unlock, with different strategic implications, but also with some redundancy between them, to further decrease the motivation to research both.
If you imagine unspecified and interesting strategic choices between bio and construction techs trees, but boosting the meters are not part of that (or not much), then leave them out of the dichotomous part of the tree. They can have their own branch, or sit with something else. Not only would you be bloating the number of techs by adding to both lines tech that do pretty much the same thing, but you are watering down your dichotomy by including techs that pretty much mirror each other in end result.
That's the point - by having a single tech give bonuses based on the greater of infrastructure or population, you don't need to have one tech in the construction category to give a bonus based on population and one to give a bonus based on infrastructure. There are no techs that mirror one another. As far as I know, there aren't currently even any resource production techs in either Growth or Construction. The point is that they're all outside of those categories, so the player can research and get a benefit from them regardless of whether he's focused on Bio or Construction.

eleazar wrote:A real infrastructure/population dichotomy (not that i necessarily endorse this idea) would be something like: most factors that boost industry and based on infrastructure, while most factors that boost influence and based on population. If you follow a path of growing infrastructure or growing population, you get different results.
A dichotomy based primarily on what type of resource can be produced more effectively doesn't seem very interesting - I'd much rather see significant differences in what the resources are used for.
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Re: Universal Macro Constants

#11 Post by eleazar » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:53 pm

Bigjoe5 wrote:
eleazar wrote:...If you imagine unspecified and interesting strategic choices between bio and construction techs trees, but boosting the meters are not part of that (or not much), then leave them out of the dichotomous part of the tree. They can have their own branch, or sit with something else. Not only would you be bloating the number of techs by adding to both lines tech that do pretty much the same thing, but you are watering down your dichotomy by including techs that pretty much mirror each other in end result.
That's the point - by having a single tech give bonuses based on the greater of infrastructure or population, you don't need to have one tech in the construction category to give a bonus based on population and one to give a bonus based on infrastructure. There are no techs that mirror one another. As far as I know, there aren't currently even any resource production techs in either Growth or Construction. The point is that they're all outside of those categories, so the player can research and get a benefit from them regardless of whether he's focused on Bio or Construction.
Population and infrastructure both primarily exist (at the moment) to boost production. You have techs that exist to raise either one or the other-- that's the mirroring i'm talking about -- only one step removed from production.

Infrastructure is a meter that has never had sufficient functionality to justify its existance. (though theoretically it could have) Giving it functionality that mirrors population does not help.

IMHO resource and ship supply should be both be controlled by the "supply" meter. It has always been a stretch to derive planetary supply from infrastructure, especially with a more obviously named meter around. Weather ship & planet supply should be totally merged, or ship supply is a set amount beyond planet supply can be argued.

So if infrastructure doesn't do anything different from population why does that meter exist?
Bigjoe5 wrote:
eleazar wrote:A real infrastructure/population dichotomy (not that i necessarily endorse this idea) would be something like: most factors that boost industry and based on infrastructure, while most factors that boost influence and based on population. If you follow a path of growing infrastructure or growing population, you get different results.
A dichotomy based primarily on what type of resource can be produced more effectively doesn't seem very interesting - I'd much rather see significant differences in what the resources are used for.
Um, was that ever in question? Industry, Research, and "influence" were never intended to be used for remotely similar things.

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Re: Universal Macro Constants

#12 Post by em3 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:28 pm

eleazar wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote:A dichotomy based primarily on what type of resource can be produced more effectively doesn't seem very interesting - I'd much rather see significant differences in what the resources are used for.
Um, was that ever in question? Industry, Research, and "influence" were never intended to be used for remotely similar things.
It seems Bigjoe5 was picturing a situation where, for example, influence would have some additional flavour depending on whether you focused on population growth or infrastructure growth.
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Re: Universal Macro Constants

#13 Post by Bigjoe5 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:19 pm

eleazar wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote: That's the point - by having a single tech give bonuses based on the greater of infrastructure or population, you don't need to have one tech in the construction category to give a bonus based on population and one to give a bonus based on infrastructure. There are no techs that mirror one another. As far as I know, there aren't currently even any resource production techs in either Growth or Construction. The point is that they're all outside of those categories, so the player can research and get a benefit from them regardless of whether he's focused on Bio or Construction.
Population and infrastructure both primarily exist (at the moment) to boost production. You have techs that exist to raise either one or the other-- that's the mirroring i'm talking about -- only one step removed from production.

Infrastructure is a meter that has never had sufficient functionality to justify its existance. (though theoretically it could have) Giving it functionality that mirrors population does not help.

IMHO resource and ship supply should be both be controlled by the "supply" meter. It has always been a stretch to derive planetary supply from infrastructure, especially with a more obviously named meter around. Weather ship & planet supply should be totally merged, or ship supply is a set amount beyond planet supply can be argued.

So if infrastructure doesn't do anything different from population why does that meter exist?
I don`t see why infrastructure and population should *just* influence resource production. Population could do stuff related to troops or espionage as well, and infrastructure could do stuff related to PP allocation on a particular planet, for example. There could also be techs and buildings which have a stronger effect on planets with a high population or infrastructure, or buildings which can only be build on a planet with population or infrastructure exceeding a certain amount. Players with high population should be able do interesting stuff that players with only high infrastructure can`t do, and vice versa, allowing them to use their resources in very different ways.
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Re: Universal Macro Constants

#14 Post by eleazar » Tue Jul 17, 2012 1:26 am

em3 wrote:
eleazar wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote:A dichotomy based primarily on what type of resource can be produced more effectively doesn't seem very interesting - I'd much rather see significant differences in what the resources are used for.
Um, was that ever in question? Industry, Research, and "influence" were never intended to be used for remotely similar things.
It seems Bigjoe5 was picturing a situation where, for example, influence would have some additional flavour depending on whether you focused on population growth or infrastructure growth.
If you are suggesting that influence generated on a high infrastructure planet would in some cases function differently from infrastructure generated on a high population planet -- that's not going to work, any more than certain species RP is more effective for shield techs. There's no distinguishing one PP/influencePoint/RP from another once it is produced.

Bigjoe5 wrote:I don`t see why infrastructure and population should *just* influence resource production.
I'm not saying that. Up till this post that is all you have described it doing. I'm trying to find out in concrete terms how you propose they actually be different.

Bigjoe5 wrote:Population could do stuff related to troops or espionage as well,
Like what? Espionage seems a stretch. You could tie ground troop numbers to population. Not super-compelling, but a possibility.
Bigjoe5 wrote:...and infrastructure could do stuff related to PP allocation on a particular planet, for example.
I'm strongly against added another layer that limits how many PP you can spend per turn. If Geoff can countenance throwing out the current per part/building PP limit system, then we should discuss replacing it with a per planet limit, probably based on infrastructure.
Bigjoe5 wrote:There could also be techs and buildings which have a stronger effect on planets with a high population or infrastructure, or buildings which can only be build on a planet with population or infrastructure exceeding a certain amount.
This IMHO is more stuff that would probably be sensible to do if we had both pop and infrastructure meters, but doesn't justify the existence of both.
Bigjoe5 wrote:Players with high population should be able do interesting stuff that players with only high infrastructure can`t do, and vice versa, allowing them to use their resources in very different ways.
Yeah, you keep making such, vague statements. But with the exception of the PP allocation, you don't seem to be able to list any of these different, interesting things. EDIT: and while PP allocation may be a justification for the infrastructure meter, it certainly isn't' a justification for infrastructure mirroring population in production boosting.

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Re: Universal Macro Constants

#15 Post by eleazar » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:22 am

Other Concerns:
* Describing the effect of techs/buildings/specials that influence production becomes significantly more complicated for tooltips and the 'pedia (clause length at least double). And how do you tell by looking at the tooltip weather production if based on pop or infrastructure?

* On Further consideration, it seems likely population will be pointless for the smaller sized planets. Since population is limited by planet size, but infrastructure is not, infrastructure is likely to be more effective than population at boosting production in most scenarios for tiny, probably small, and maybe even medium sized planets.

* I really don't like the idea of replicating the planet size gradations for infrastructure-- it makes infrastructure even more of clone of population.


I really see no benefit to this "best of production or infrastructure, but weighted toward one of them" approach. An infrastructure meter that does different things that the pop meter, sure theoretically, as long as we can actually assemble sufficiently important effects to tie to it.


I hate to rip out fancy scripting, even when i didn't write it, but i'm not seeing it.

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