DESIGN: HoI Tech Tree Model

Past public reviews and discussions.
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Sandlapper
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#121 Post by Sandlapper » Sun Jan 25, 2004 10:15 pm

A new idea just struck me that may appeal to some. We discussed earlier having prerequisites to develope an application. How about having a material as a prerequisite? Perhaps have a type of metal or gem that is required to proceed, but perhaps DOES NOT RESIDE on your homeworld, and must be acquired off world. Have the game engine provide a nearby source, so the application can eventually be researched. I think this would add another interesting element to the game. Perhaps the world you need for this "element" has been occupied by another race. Normally you would avoid engaging in combat, BUT you need this element to proceed in your research, SO invade I must.

What sayeth you guys? :o

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Aquitaine
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#122 Post by Aquitaine » Mon Jan 26, 2004 2:42 am

It's premature to talk about anything like that when we have no mechanism for something like 'a material that isn't present on your homeworld.'

We can't answer our current design questions with systems we haven't designed yet, so you'd have to spec out exactly how this 'material' system would work for it to be considered. And it sounds like it'd be a little more complicated than is necessary.

It would be possible, I should think, with the 'event engine' that we have planned, to do something like 'event B unlocks theory X and you only get event B once you take a world with property Y,' but that's still down the road a ways.
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#123 Post by Sandlapper » Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:33 am

'event B unlocks theory X and you only get event B once you take a world with property Y,'
That's works, but I was thinking along ' Theory X and material A unlocks application X" and at this point in research you may or may not be in possession of material A. Your homeworld or any other worlds you possess MAY not have this material A and you cannot proceed until you procure it.
The game engine merely needs to check if player A possesses a "material A" world to proceed with application X. To simplify things, we can say that all Very Rich worlds contain material A, and if you possess a Very Rich world you may proceed with research on application X. Or we can make a material A specific world like a Rich, Poor, Barren world.

This would tie the research of the tech tree directly into the strategy of gameplay. I need tech X, but I must get Material A first. So I must change strategy and procure material A. This is sorta like a space monster, affecting your strategy unexpectently; however, once procured it benefits your tech tree research. Only possible significant negative, is possibly having to go to war to procure material A.

I would not make this common in the tech tree; make somewhat rare such as space monster appearances. I would also make the application a significant tech in the tech tree, so as to spur a desire to procure this material A. I would not make it a needed tech in the tree, so that it could be ignored if one chose to.

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utilae
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#124 Post by utilae » Mon Jan 26, 2004 6:39 am

This technology/material idea sounds like it will be too complex.

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Daveybaby
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#125 Post by Daveybaby » Mon Jan 26, 2004 10:00 am

Sounds very much like the resources model from CivIII. Its a very tricky thing to get right - if your tech model/tree isnt perfectly balanced, you could end up unable to progress at all just because your start point wasnt close enough to a planet with a particular resource.

Random events should never put the player in a position where they are guaranteed to lose the game and cant do anything about it.

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#126 Post by emrys » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:21 pm

Daveybaby wrote:Sounds very much like the resources model from CivIII. Its a very tricky thing to get right - if your tech model/tree isnt perfectly balanced, you could end up unable to progress at all just because your start point wasnt close enough to a planet with a particular resource.

Random events should never put the player in a position where they are guaranteed to lose the game and cant do anything about it.
I agree. I think the general idea of things on the game map influencing the tech tree, and the specific idea of localised materials being required is possible given the model we're working with, but at this stage of the game development it's probably to early to be able to tell what kind of impact the ideas would have, and they'd probably be extremely dependant on how the game ends up turning out, so perhaps it should be chalked up on the 'ideas to look at again later when we're closer to a fleshed out game' list.

@Sandlapper: Possibly drop a thread into brainstorming for this if you want to run with it a bit further before pausing.

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#127 Post by emrys » Mon Jan 26, 2004 12:23 pm

Aquitaine wrote:The creative/uncreative question (or any means of diversifying the research tree based on racial bonuses or penalties) is beyond the scope of the current question.
p.s. what is the current question again? Just so we can tell if we've answered it yet :)

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#128 Post by krum » Mon Jan 26, 2004 1:10 pm

emrys wrote:
Aquitaine wrote:The creative/uncreative question (or any means of diversifying the research tree based on racial bonuses or penalties) is beyond the scope of the current question.
p.s. what is the current question again? Just so we can tell if we've answered it yet :)
It's just that this is about race picks, and races are a lot further down the road.

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#129 Post by emrys » Mon Jan 26, 2004 1:51 pm

I think we need to bear in mind the difference between A) deciding on the existence/effect of specific race picks, which is definitely a topic for later, and b) Designing parts of the game to support different emphases or styles which as a side point could later lead to the design of race pick choices, which is something which we need to consider as we design each piece, cos it'll be too late if we get to the race pick point and suddenly realise that there are no areas of variation possible.

So creative/uncreative race picks= off the discussion agenda. But, need to support multiple paths/and or variations in research focus and depth I'd say are on the menu. (And have probably been discussed enough by now to need a drawing together by Aquitaine, breaking up into coherent chunks, so they can be reviewed, poor Aq).

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#130 Post by Aquitaine » Mon Jan 26, 2004 4:32 pm

Yeah, sometime this week I'll try and make an actual review thread. I just need, like, an hour of nothing else to do...:)
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#131 Post by emrys » Mon Jan 26, 2004 5:02 pm

Aquitaine wrote:I just need, like, an hour of nothing else to do...:)
You do realise that's practically a demand that we expand this thread to twice it's size :D

EDIT: legitimate, productive design posts only of course. I'd never advocated the S word.

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#132 Post by Sandlapper » Mon Jan 26, 2004 9:58 pm

Just to clarify some earlier points.

@ Daveybaby
you could end up unable to progress at all just because your start point wasnt close enough to a planet with a particular resource.

Random events should never put the player in a position where they are guaranteed to lose the game and cant do anything about it.
To quote myself earlier:
I would also make the application a significant tech in the tech tree, so as to spur a desire to procure this material A. I would not make it a needed tech in the tree, so that it could be ignored if one chose to.
The attempt here is to offer an irressistable "carrot" in the tech tree that alters overall strategy in gameplay. A case of ' Do I keep the bird in hand, or do I release it and pursue the two in the bush'. If one choses to ignore this significant tech, so be it. Material A does NOT have to be had to win a game. The effect to the tech tree is the same as an Artifacts world, it is NOT required to win a game, but an Artifacts world sure is nice to have and sometimes worth fighting over.

As for being complex, all we are doing is asking if player A has material A in his/her possession, that's it. The difference is location to acquire it, instead of material A being in the tech tree ala 'Theory x' , it's on a certain type planet. Again to simplify things, we can make it a pre-existing planet type like Very Rich or Artifacts. It is quite possible to begin the game on a material A type homeworld and already possess it.

Again, material A is a KEY to unlock a significant (OPTIONAL) tech in the tech tree, and NOT a requirement for either the tech tree or winning the game. It is to interject a random event into the tech tree ala a space monster or space wonder.

This idea struck me as novel and easy to implement, and wanted to put it on the table before the tech tree thread closed. I am NOT trying to push it, just simply thought it do-able,effective, and easily so. If there is no support for it , I have NO problem with dropping the proposal.

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#133 Post by Daveybaby » Mon Jan 26, 2004 10:46 pm

Thats fair enough. As long as its a bonus and not a prerequisite to advancement then it shouldnt be a problem.

Of course, if its too big a bonus then it can effectively become a prerequisite to victory. So its still important to have balance. :-)

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#134 Post by emrys » Wed Jan 28, 2004 5:03 pm

Arrrgggghhhhh, Public Review Thread Ahoy. And we barely managed to add two more posts. I feel shamed. ;)

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#135 Post by Paul1980au » Tue Feb 24, 2004 6:07 am

Bonus idea sounds like a good path to go after.

Alien relics like in space empires 4 is another angle to consider.

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