Paradigm shift growth special buildings

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davoidinca
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Paradigm shift growth special buildings

#1 Post by davoidinca » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:49 pm

Here are a bunch of ideas I've been kicking around. Comments and suggestions welcome.

Tech level parity: Keeping up with the Jones'. Once a tech is researched by one race all other races only require 90% cost to achieve it. If two races have it then it only requires 80% cost to achieve, etc. This will tighten up the tech race and give the other races a better chance to catchup. Note this does happen in the real world! Maybe 80% cost after the first race and -10% thereafter? User adjustable?

Terraforming a world with a growth special could be a problem. If terraformed, the unique conditions of a world would be disrupted and the growth special would go away (can you say eco-terrorism?).
Maybe have this as an user selected option. Terraforming makes the special; 1) go away and it doesn't come back, 2) go away but could? be restored when the terraforming is reversed, 3) go away but will come back when the terraforming is reversed, 4) has no effect, 5) random all specials have the same consequences, 6) random all specials of the same type have the same consequences (each type could be different), 7) random each world could be different.

Infrastructural based on population. A population can only support so many buildings. A small population can support a mine and not much else. Where a large population can support many buildings. Setting the Planetary Focus to Growth will cause an increase in growth of population on that planet even if there is no growth special (addition) and increase the populations on all planets if there is a special (as it is now). Setting the Planetary Focus to Defense will slow population growth. Each building will need a size number. This will give players some choices early in the game as to what do they want to do with a planet.

Paradigm shift, growth special buildings: This would make every game unique depending on the mix of who got what growth special.
The idea is to have a prerequisite building for each growth special that would give you access to new and deadly tech in addition to its growth benefits. Just like a neutron star is a prerequisite for the neutronium Extractor which is a prerequisite for the neutronium Forge.
Examples:
Probiotic soup is a prerequisite for the Organic Cooker building (new). Which in turn is a prerequisite for Orbital Incubator, etc. This would allow you to build Solar Concentrator weapons (make that all weapons not just lasers).
Ambient Superconductors: is a prerequisite for the Superconductor Spinning building (new). Which in turn is a prerequisite for Energy Compressor, etc. Weapons, mega-lasers? Maybe stealth systems? Speed systems?
Ferric Minerals (Silmaline Crystals?): is a prerequisite for the asteroid Processor building. Silmaline Crystals as a prerequisite for crystal hull? Asteroid hulls are cheap!
Monopole magnets: is a prerequisite for the Monopole Containment building (new). Which in turn is a prerequisite for Geo-Integration Facility, etc. Mass Drivers (change the current mass drives to missiles)
Postitronium Ash: is a prerequisite for the Postironium Mine building (new). Which in turn is a prerequisite for Robotic Processing Unit (new), which is a prerequisite for the Nanorobotic Processing Unit, etc. This would allow you to build (good) fighters.
Additional growth specials could unlock better systems, see Silmaline crystals above.
User selectable start. 1) Start with a specific special. 2) Start with a specific special nearby. 3) Start with a random special. 4) Start with a random special nearby. 5) Start completely random as it is now.
--Davoid

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Re: Paradigm shift growth special buildings

#2 Post by The Silent One » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:45 am

Hi Davoidinca, welcome to the forums! :)
Thanks for your suggestions. Depending on the feedback from the community, you could put up one or more feature requests on our github repository (https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/issues.
Davoidinca wrote:Once a tech is researched by one race all other races only require 90% cost to achieve it.
This would be game-stabilising and so sounds like a good idea to me, definitely so if it can be en- or disabled by game rule.
Davoidinca wrote:Setting the Planetary Focus to Growth will cause an increase in growth of population on that planet even if there is no growth special
While using the growth focus for a population growth boost seems like a fine idea, I don't understand what exactly you propose in regard to connecting population and infrastructure. The building/size number suggestions sounds like too much micromanagement.
Davoidinca wrote:The idea is to have a prerequisite building for each growth special that would give you access to new and deadly tech
Having growth specials unlock certain parts of the tech tree sounds compelling, but is something that would need to be balanced thoroughly so it doesn't break the game. It should only affect limited areas of the tech tree and the advantage gained by having the special should not be too great.
If I provided any images, code, scripts or other content here, it's released under GPL 2.0 and CC-BY-SA 3.0.

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Re: Paradigm shift growth special buildings

#3 Post by Oberlus » Tue Jan 01, 2019 1:47 pm

Interesting suggestions. Welcome Davoidinca.
davoidinca wrote:
Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:49 pm
Tech level parity: Keeping up with the Jones'. Once a tech is researched by one race all other races only require 90% cost to achieve it. If two races have it then it only requires 80% cost to achieve, etc. This will tighten up the tech race and give the other races a better chance to catchup. Note this does happen in the real world! Maybe 80% cost after the first race and -10% thereafter? User adjustable?
In future versions on FO, with the addition of the resource Influence, there will be espionage projects to get information from enemy Empires (including techs), as well as alliance treaties, trade and the such that could increase the research capabilities of allied Empires, plus the chances to get techs (or RPs) from invading enemy colonies. All this would help to tighten up the tech race, and should be balanced with this suggestion of yours to avoid making full industry over-powered.
Which also should take into account the number of enemy empires (if there are 50 empires and you get a -10% from each...) and maybe not consider the empires that have not been met yet.
Unless it is carefully balanced (not sure if possible), it could kill the purpose of tech espionage. IMO, this effect of tighten up the rech race should be tackled via espionage, invasion, trade and alliances better than through an "automatic" effect, to help diversity of strategies.
Infrastructural based on population. A population can only support so many buildings. A small population can support a mine and not much else. Where a large population can support many buildings. [...]
Each building will need a size number. This will give players some choices early in the game as to what do they want to do with a planet.
I like the concept, but I'd need more explanation (or examples). At first, I thought it could have little effect on gameplay (most planets need no buildings, or just shipyard+drydock, and late game you have huge populations and you could build whatever) or make it very hard to get last tier ships and bonus buildings (if you put strong requirements on population).
Setting the Planetary Focus to Growth will cause an increase in growth of population on that planet even if there is no growth special
I like this, but I think with current implementation (without other of the OP suggestions) it would have little use: extra population in the planet but no industry/research focus to take benefit from it.
Setting the Planetary Focus to Defense will slow population growth.
This would have little effect on gameplay, defense-focused colonies are not getting production/research(/influence) from their populations.
have a prerequisite building for each growth special that would give you access to new and deadly tech in addition to its growth benefits. Just like a neutron star is a prerequisite for the neutronium Extractor which is a prerequisite for the neutronium Forge.
I like this. The same that we can't build certain hulls without certain "resources" (asteroid belts for asteroid hulls, blue/white stars for most energy hulls and black hole for solar hulls), this suggestion would introduce more of this kind of stuff and tie it to techs. If properly balanced, I'm sure it could make strategy choices more interesting.

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Re: Paradigm shift growth special buildings

#4 Post by davoidinca » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:09 pm

I'm having trouble getting the quoting to work. I'm new at this please bear with me.
Stating the obvious. Give the players interesting choices. I have a tendency to get lost in the details, so this is a reminder to myself.

Oberlus » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:47 am
Keeping up with the Jones'. ...should take into account the number of enemy empires...

Good point. How about this. If 10% of the races have this tech then the others get as discount. If 20% of the races have it the others get another incremental discount, etc. In your example with 50 races, 5 would be needed for the 1st discount, 10 for the 2nd etc. There needs to be some limits, 50% maximum discount, minimum of one discount per step (If the galaxy only has 3 races and one race completes research on a tech the other races get the 1st discount, not the 1st, 2nd and 3d). Espionage tech could modify the discounts, number of races, number of contacted races. Just a thought.

Infrastructure, population and growth special buildings. The fundamental idea is to give the players more places to defend and targets to attack (interesting choices). Building everything at your home world keeps everything a bit too safe. Yea the marauding hordes chew up some of your production, but hey 6 of one ½ dozen of another. Putting some limits on buildings (based on population is one way, growth special buildings are another) would force interesting choices, Do I defend the Orbital Solar collector? Or the Cellular Growth Chamber? Or the Energy Compressor?

The whole growth special prerequisite/building/tech tree branch is to provide variety. If you are fighting a race that has biotech you build ships with lots of Flak Cannons to deal with the fighters. If you are dealing with a race that has energy tech (Mega Lasers) you would put Mirror Armor on your ships. Asteroid tech, big guns. Grav Tech (Mega Mass drivers), lots of cheap armor. Each game would be a bit different.

Come to think of it Mega-lasers, Mirror Armor and Mega Mass Drivers are some suggestions.
--Davoid

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Re: Paradigm shift growth special buildings

#5 Post by o01eg » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:45 pm

davoidinca wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:09 pm
Good point. How about this. If 10% of the races have this tech then the others get as discount. If 20% of the races have it the others get another incremental discount, etc. In your example with 50 races, 5 would be needed for the 1st discount, 10 for the 2nd etc. There needs to be some limits, 50% maximum discount, minimum of one discount per step (If the galaxy only has 3 races and one race completes research on a tech the other races get the 1st discount, not the 1st, 2nd and 3d). Espionage tech could modify the discounts, number of races, number of contacted races. Just a thought.
FreeCiv has same idea with tech_leakage option.
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Re: Paradigm shift growth special buildings

#6 Post by Jaumito » Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:02 am

davoidinca wrote:
Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:09 pm
Good point. How about this. If 10% of the races have this tech then the others get as discount. If 20% of the races have it the others get another incremental discount, etc. In your example with 50 races, 5 would be needed for the 1st discount, 10 for the 2nd etc. There needs to be some limits, 50% maximum discount, minimum of one discount per step (If the galaxy only has 3 races and one race completes research on a tech the other races get the 1st discount, not the 1st, 2nd and 3d).
Much simpler: if N species have researched the tech, you get a SQRT(N) * 10% discount.

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Re: Paradigm shift growth special buildings

#7 Post by Oberlus » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:14 am

Jaumito wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:02 am
Much simpler: if N species have researched the tech, you get a SQRT(N) * 10% discount.
With N>100 you would get free techs after 100 other empires have them.

And regardless of the way the tech leak is computed based on number of enemy empires that have a tech, I still think it is kinda awkward to be getting a boost to your research just because some unknown empires that I can't even see have all got some techs. There should be some kind on interaction to the tech leak to actually happen (war, trade, espionage...).

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Re: Paradigm shift growth special buildings

#8 Post by Jaumito » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:52 am

Oberlus wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:14 am
Jaumito wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:02 am
Much simpler: if N species have researched the tech, you get a SQRT(N) * 10% discount.
With N>100 you would get free techs after 100 other empires have them.
How often do you play games with that many empires? If it actually happens, then something along the lines of SQRT(N) * (10 / SQRT(E)) %, where E is the total number of empires, will solve the problem.
And regardless of the way the tech leak is computed based on number of enemy empires that have a tech, I still think it is kinda awkward to be getting a boost to your research just because some unknown empires that I can't even see have all got some techs. There should be some kind on interaction to the tech leak to actually happen (war, trade, espionage...).
Completely agree. I was just pointing out a simpler way to solve a specific issue.

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Re: Paradigm shift growth special buildings

#9 Post by Oberlus » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:58 am

Jaumito wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:52 am
How often do you play games with that many empires? If it actually happens, then something along the lines of SQRT(N) * (10 / SQRT(E)) %, where E is the total number of empires, will solve the problem.
My most populated game had 30 AIs. 100 would be insane. But I know of insane people, and picking up the right formula (like the one you suggest here) from start is as expensive as choosing one that only works for the common case.
Jaumito wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:52 am
And regardless of the way the tech leak is computed...
Completely agree. I was just pointing out a simpler way to solve a specific issue.
Indeed. I intended to address the whole thread (not just your comment) with that last comment of mine.

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Re: Paradigm shift growth special buildings

#10 Post by Vezzra » Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:25 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:14 am
There should be some kind on interaction to the tech leak to actually happen (war, trade, espionage...).
This.

The "tech leak" mechanic is a very interesting idea, and sounds like a good approach to address issues of the "tech race" (in particular some empires getting too far ahead of the others). However, instead of just basing research cost discounts on number of empires that have a aprticular tech researched and total empires in the game, I'd rather pursue an approach taking into account the interaction your empire has with the other empires.

The most important factors determining the discount you get to research a tech that other empires already have would be diplomatic relationship/stance, treaties, distance (basically, the more and closer exchange takes place between two empires, the stronger the "tech leak" effect should be). This could be further influenced by buildings, specials, certain techs, policies, espionage etc.

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Re: Paradigm shift growth special buildings

#11 Post by Atarlost » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:21 am

Tech leak rate isn't just based on diplomacy and espionage spending, but also on how valuable the people with the tech consider denying it to you, how open your respective societies are, how similar your languages and mathematical notations are, the ramifications of the technology, and a large measure of luck.

If a tech is known to people you don't know about, but which your neighbors who have the tech are, they will have less reason to secure it. China tried to hold Gunpowder closely because it was their special advantage, but by the time the French and English were interacting with the Native Americans they thought nothing of handing out guns to fight each other with because the Spanish and Prussians and Russians and Ottomans and Genoese and Venetians and Poles and everyone else they knew except the Native Americans already had gunpowder. The lack of interactions between the Native Americans and non-colonial European and Asian powers did not prevent those powers from influencing how willing the powers they were in contact with were to share technology.

The first step to realistic tech dispersion is to do a doctoral thesis on the spread of technology. But since that's way too much work it makes the most sense to use a simple and easy to understand mechanic that works well for the game. 4x games need either rubber banding or a very short tech tree to keep the game contested into the late game so there's a good reason to have a tech leakage mechanic. Putting too much effort into making it realistic is less useful because you start out by getting a postgraduate degree in the history of technology for every realistic detail you come up with there's another you didn't.

It is generally diplomatically isolated nations that need tech leakage the most to remain or become relevant.

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Re: Paradigm shift growth special buildings

#12 Post by Ophiuchus » Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:10 pm

+1 for some simple general tech leakage mechanic, where you can set the amount of leakage as a single number per rule in the start screen. That should be enough to find out if leakage actually is helpful to game flow.

Just to throw in one more idea - make leakage depend on time. How about let's say tech gets cheaper every turn some species has it already researched. So e.g. it takes 100 turns until the tech is actually free to research. So make it 1% cheaper every turn.
So if you are researching the same as another empire with the same amount of RP and you are starting 10 turn later you need for the first tech 10% less; you will never catch up but you will make the gap smaller until you are only one tech behind.
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Re: Paradigm shift growth special buildings

#13 Post by Oberlus » Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:46 am

Something else to consider about tech leakage:
One of the dichotomies (strategic choices) in FreeOrion, maybe the most important, is Research vs Production.
If research-focused empires begin seeing how their efforts are shared with the enemy production-focused empires (that from start have some advantage in expansion and conquest), that could be a new balance problem.

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Re: Paradigm shift growth special buildings

#14 Post by Vezzra » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:49 pm

Atarlost wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:21 am
The first step to realistic tech dispersion is to do a doctoral thesis on the spread of technology. But since that's way too much work it makes the most sense to use a simple and easy to understand mechanic that works well for the game.
Exactly. This does not only apply to a "tech leak" mechanic, but to practically all game mechanics. Which is why this project has adopted a very strict "realism doesn't matter" design philosophy.
4x games need either rubber banding
What's "rubber banding"?
...or a very short tech tree to keep the game contested into the late game
Why? As long as there are mechanics in place which sufficiently deter certain empires to get too easily too far ahead in research, I don't see the problem with large tech tree. On the contrary, if research is to be an important factor until late game even in very long games, you absolutely need a very large tech tree. Right now we have the problem that you run out of useful things to research in late game. In sufficiently long games it's even quite easy to research the entire tech tree. That's not good IMO, although a problem practically all 4X space games I played had.

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Re: Paradigm shift growth special buildings

#15 Post by Vezzra » Sun Jan 20, 2019 2:51 pm

Ophiuchus wrote:
Sat Jan 19, 2019 1:10 pm
Just to throw in one more idea - make leakage depend on time. How about let's say tech gets cheaper every turn some species has it already researched. So e.g. it takes 100 turns until the tech is actually free to research. So make it 1% cheaper every turn.
Factoring in time certainly is an idea worth considering.

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