Species Values Discussion

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labgnome
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Species Values Discussion

#1 Post by labgnome » Thu May 02, 2019 5:17 pm

So th topic of species "values" has been brought up in this topic here. The idea being a way to give species certain things they like or don't like. Currently we have one implemented in Free Orion: "Xenophobic". This trait generates unhappiness between the species and surrounding colonies of different species. Taking it as a starting point I propose a system of species values based around happiness effects. Each value will generate a different happiness (or unhappiness) effect based on a different criteria.

I have put together a list of potential values to apply to various species. What I am proposing is setting up values in a system similar to Ethics in Stellaris. Each value will be a trait and have a corresponding opposite value. Species cannot have opposing values, but can have multiple different values. In this proposal the traits are grouped in positive values that generate happiness and their corresponding opposite negative values that generate unhappiness. Positive values aren't meant to be "good" and negative values aren't meant to be "bad", the distinction in on weather or not they increase or reduce happiness.

Positive Values:
  • Gregarious: the opposite of Xenophobic. Generates happiness on surrounding colonies of other species.
  • Warrior: the opposite of Pacifist. Generates happiness based on the number of troops and when at war.
  • Cosmopolitan: the opposite of Isolationist. Generates happiness when near another empire's supply range and when in an alliance.
  • Tribal: the opposite of Unified. Generates happiness based on distance of colonies of the same species.
  • Industrial: the opposite of Environmentalist. Generates happiness based on the fraction of planets set to production.
  • Elite: the opposite of Lowbrow. Generates happiness based on the fraction of planets set to research.
  • Conformist: the opposite of Deviant. Generates happiness based on the fraction of planets set to influence.
Gregarious species like to make friends and will reach out to other species. Warrior species like combat, conflict and strong military.
Cosmopolitan species like foreign and alien cultures. Tribal species have diverse cultures and their communities value their autonomy and so like to spread out. Industrial species like industry and production. Elite species like academia and research. Conformist species like social stability and control.

Negative Values:
  • Xenophobic: the opposite of Gregarious. Generates unhappiness on surrounding colonies of other species.
  • Pacifist: the opposite of Warrior. Generates unhappiness based on the number of troops and when at war.
  • Isolationist: the opposite of Cosmopolitan. Generates unhappiness when near another empire's supply range and when in an alliance.
  • Unified: the opposite of Tribal. Generates unhappiness based on distance of colonies of the same species.
  • Environmentalist: the opposite of Industrial. Generates unhappiness based on the fraction of planets set to production.
  • Lowbrow: the opposite of Elite. Generates unhappiness based on the fraction of planets set to research.
  • Deviant: the opposite of Conformist. Generates unhappiness based on the fraction of planets set to influence.
Xenophobic,which we already have, dislikes other species and will not make friends. Pacifist species dislike combat and anything to do with the military. Isolationist species prefer to keep to themselves and dislike having to be deal with other cultures. Unified species all have a singular culture and enjoy that unity, and their communities do not like being separated far from each other. Environmentalist species dislike industry, and prefer natural environments. Lowbrow species dislike academia and any kind of intellectual elitism. Deviant species dislike social control and see social stability as overrated.

I would suggest that there should be unhappiness generated if an empire has species with opposing values, or a mutual negative opinion effect of some kind.

Anyway,I am hoping thsi generates some discussion on the topic so we can flesh it out.
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Oberlus
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Re: Species Values Discussion

#2 Post by Oberlus » Thu May 02, 2019 5:31 pm

My thoughts:

I don't see the values as negative or positive. I understand Xenophobic is seen as a net malus, but that doesn't need to stand true when we get influence and governments in place. I mean, there could be certain forms of government that benefit from having a xenophobic species at charge (easier to wage war, to do terror, etc.)
So, I would not use that kind of classification.


I must admit I like much more Eleazar's proposal of values (ethos), that is a compendium of what he and many others were discussing in depth years ago. I copy them here:
Many of the elements of an ethos (Issues) will be pairs of opposites, such as the following off-the-top-of-my-head examples:

Environmentalism <-> Industrial development
Honesty <-> Spying
Killing <-> Preservation of Life
Peace <-> War
Diversity <-> Monoculture
Slavery <-> Full Enfranchisement
Idealistic <-> Pragmatic

Other elements (Values) have no opposite:

Science
Wealth
Happiness
Exploration
Expansion
Development
Military Might
PS: I would remove some, at least those that we can't figure out a meaningful gameplay effect.

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Krikkitone
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Re: Species Values Discussion

#3 Post by Krikkitone » Thu May 02, 2019 5:50 pm

I would agree with "Issue" Values

Basically the Empire's (current and past) actions are rated from 100 to -100 on a scale of values, and a species gains Happiness/Unhappiness based on which end of the scale it wants

So
War v. Peace (empire gains points with Combats-more if they are around another empire's worlds, loses points any turn not in combat, loses points if declaring peace)
Positive WarPeace values increase opinion in War species and decrease opinion in Peace Species
Negative WarPeace values decrease opinion in War species and increase opinion in Peace Species

Xenophobia v. Gregarious (empire gains score based on killing non dominant populations, loses score based on nondominant populations in the empire)

Isolation v. Engagement (empire gains points if not in any alliances/diplomatic agreements, empire loses points by making and staying in alliances)


Diversity v. Unity [later for when we have governments]
Equality v. Elite [later for when we have governments and Slavery]


Ideally they would be balanced (War v. peace equally good strategies over the course of the whole game)

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labgnome
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Re: Species Values Discussion

#4 Post by labgnome » Thu May 02, 2019 6:31 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 5:31 pm
My thoughts:

I don't see the values as negative or positive. I understand Xenophobic is seen as a net malus, but that doesn't need to stand true when we get influence and governments in place. I mean, there could be certain forms of government that benefit from having a xenophobic species at charge (easier to wage war, to do terror, etc.)
So, I would not use that kind of classification.
Good point. I was just trying to think of a way to group the clusters of opposite value sets. It's rather unfortunate wording. Maybe happiness and unhappiness values?
I must admit I like much more Eleazar's proposal of values (ethos), that is a compendium of what he and many others were discussing in depth years ago.
I looked it over. I think there are some ideas there but not a lot of it relevant to how the game works now. As you mentioned some of them don't even seem to have meaningful gameplay effects.
PS: I would remove some, at least those that we can't figure out a meaningful gameplay effect.
So there are the ones that have meaningful gameplay effects for sure.

Environmentalism <-> Industrial development
Peace <-> War

Science
Military Might


I would disagree that none of these have opposites, for instance I can definitely see opposites to Science and Military Might being possible. The Environmentalism/Industrial Development is already covered in my system, and so is the Peace/War.

Some of these might have gameplay effects depending on how you interpret them.

Honesty <-> Spying
Killing <-> Preservation of Life
Diversity <-> Monoculture

Exploration
Expansion
Development


Currently if we are assuming that the happiness mechanic is how we gage how much a species likes or dislikes something, then there really sin't a meaningful way to "value" happiness. Honesty/Spying might be the hardest to actually implement, which is why I wean for the simpler liking vs. disliking influence. The Killing/Preservation of Life might be Xenophobic/Gregarious. Diversity/Monoculture could also be Xenophobic/Gregarious, or it could be Cosmopolitan/Isolationst or even Tribal/Unified, without knowing how it's supposed to effect the game it's hard to say. Exploration might be doable, maybe a happiness effect based on how much of the map is explored. I'd also argue that you could have an opposite to expansion, like I kind-of do with Tribal vs. Unified. I could see development being doable, maybe as a happiness effect from the number of buildings.

I do still think that all "values" should have opposites. Maybe Explorer <-> Coward for exploration and Developed <-> Naturalist for development? That's two more sets of values for four more total.
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labgnome
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Re: Species Values Discussion

#5 Post by labgnome » Thu May 02, 2019 6:40 pm

Krikkitone wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 5:50 pm
Basically the Empire's (current and past) actions are rated from 100 to -100 on a scale of values, and a species gains Happiness/Unhappiness based on which end of the scale it wants
I don't think I'm for adding any more meters to the game than we really have to, and certainly not one for each value. I also think this could be server by just having it be happiness or opinion. Really I think it would be simpler to have the values generate opinion, rather than each value pair having a seperate meter. Especially since I'd like us to have a large number of values.
Equality v. Elite [later for when we have governments and Slavery]
As we don't really simulate citizens I don't know that we can meaningfully simulate slavery.

Also should I change the name of the pro-research value to something else, maybe Intellectual?
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Re: Species Values Discussion

#6 Post by Krikkitone » Thu May 02, 2019 7:19 pm

labgnome wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 6:40 pm
As we don't really simulate citizens I don't know that we can meaningfully simulate slavery.
The basics for Slavery were to have Slave planets..
higher output
(less happiness or they generate far more rebels if they do become unhappy)
..and of course less happiness for that species if they are entirely 'slave planets' in your empire.
labgnome wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 6:40 pm
I don't think I'm for adding any more meters to the game than we really have to, and certainly not one for each value. I also think this could be server by just having it be happiness or opinion. Really I think it would be simpler to have the values generate opinion, rather than each value pair having a seperate meter. Especially since I'd like us to have a large number of values.

I guess if it goes directly to Species Opinion, and Species opinion has a breakdown of (-10 you are warlike or +15 you are peaceful) for a peaceful species
Last edited by Krikkitone on Thu May 02, 2019 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Oberlus
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Re: Species Values Discussion

#7 Post by Oberlus » Thu May 02, 2019 7:23 pm

labgnome wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 6:40 pm
As we don't really simulate citizens I don't know that we can meaningfully simulate slavery.
It would be a tag, special or something like that in the planets with enslaved species.

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em3
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Re: Species Values Discussion

#8 Post by em3 » Thu May 02, 2019 7:38 pm

Krikkitone wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 7:19 pm
Also should I change the name of the pro-research value to something else, maybe Intellectual?
I'd say Scientific vs Superstitious.
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Re: Species Values Discussion

#9 Post by labgnome » Thu May 02, 2019 9:26 pm

Krikkitone wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 7:19 pm

I guess if it goes directly to Species Opinion, and Species opinion has a breakdown of (-10 you are warlike or +15 you are peaceful) for a peaceful species
That's mostly what I was thinking.
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Re: Species Values Discussion

#10 Post by labgnome » Thu May 02, 2019 9:29 pm

em3 wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 7:38 pm
Krikkitone wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 7:19 pm
Also should I change the name of the pro-research value to something else, maybe Intellectual?
I'd say Scientific vs Superstitious.
How about Intellectual vs. Superstitious?
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Re: Species Values Discussion

#11 Post by em3 » Fri May 03, 2019 10:14 am

Not a native speaker myself, but I don't think intellectual necessary relates to invention. Rather it's about studying, teaching and learning.

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictio ... tellectual

Maybe curious or open-minded?
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Re: Species Values Discussion

#12 Post by Oberlus » Fri May 03, 2019 10:28 am

em3 wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 10:14 am
Not a native speaker myself
Same here. I'm struggling with thesaurus (synonyms and antonyms).

Scientific: systematic, objective, methodic, discovered by experimentation.
Directly related to research.

Open-minded: receptive, tolerant, impartial, approachable.
Not directly related to research, good also for relations/diplomacy.

Superstitious: unfounded, unproven; OR gullible, credulous, apprehensive (afraid, anxious, suspicious, fearful).
That one maybe only for natives. I don't think that would help civilisations to get to spacefaring state by themselves.

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Re: Species Values Discussion

#13 Post by Oberlus » Fri May 03, 2019 11:02 am

Aiming at a more concrete proposal for gameplay effects based on Values:

Design principles:
  1. Ideally, Values should not be just "+50% this / -50% that". In most cases we already have that kind of traits in the species (industry, research, population...). Adding more of these will bring in neither new ways to play the game nor more fun, just more meter modifiers to pile up and make balance difficult.
  2. Having a value should give bonuses and maluses when compared to not having that value, and aprox. inverted bonuses and maluses when having the opposite value.
    Example: Warlike / Neutral (no trait) / Pacifist.
    If warlike gives you bonus at war and malus at peace, pacifist gives you bonus at peace and malus at war, and neutral gives you nothing in either case.
    Or warlike gives you bonus at war (nothing at peace), pacifist gives you bonus at peace, and neutral gives you nothing.
  3. Expecting some opposition against maluses, bonuses given by each extreme of each spectre should be balanced on their own (without requiring the maluses) so that if we finally decide to drop the maluses we don't need to rework the bonuses.
  4. Values with no opposites (that is, you can have several of them because they are not mutually exclussive) must include bonuses AND maluses, otherwise we will always want to have all of them (say Scientific, Military Might and Development). If these maluses are seen as unfunny by the players, then there should be no Values without its opposite.
___________

Expansionists: "Grow, and multiply, and fill the Space".
Bonus (moderate) to happiness and population growth on new colonies (put a special that fades away after some time?).
Cheaper (moderate) cost of colony ships and colony buildings.
Malus (small) to happiness on all colonies with maximum population (so you better build more colony ships, increase maximum pop. on the planets, eradicate neighbours to take their planets...).

Useful Value for wide-empire strategies and for galaxy settings with few players per system (early pacific expansion).

In the future, it would be great (make sense, help balancing, slow down expansion) if creating a colony ship would reduce population on that colony. Currently, we don't have that because AI wasn't able to manage it (but shouldn't be hard to do so? @Morlic ?).

Could Expansionism Value have an opposite Value?
___________

Honest <-> (neutral) <-> Sneaky

Honest/Honorable:
Malus (small to moderate) to happiness when producing espionage or terror projects.
Malus (small to big) to happiness and influence production when breaking treats (declaring war on an ally without provocation: big malus)
Bonus (small) to influence production (when people is proud of their government actions, they contribute more).

Sneaky/Shifty/Devious:
Cheaper (small) cost of espionage and terror projects.
Malus (small) to counter-espionage (your people are easier to corrupt)
___________

Willing to propose more, no time for now.

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Re: Species Values Discussion

#14 Post by em3 » Fri May 03, 2019 11:05 am

Oberlus wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 10:28 am
Open-minded: receptive, tolerant, impartial, approachable.
Not directly related to research, good also for relations/diplomacy.
Bad for resisting heresy.
Oberlus wrote:
Fri May 03, 2019 10:28 am
Superstitious: unfounded, unproven; OR gullible, credulous, apprehensive (afraid, anxious, suspicious, fearful).
That one maybe only for natives. I don't think that would help civilisations to get to spacefaring state by themselves.
Oh surely, it didn't help. But we are discussing something like common traits, right? The must be outliers, or more reasonable societies within a species...

Otherwise we end up with a planet of hats.
[...] for Man has earned his right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone totally batshit insane. - Randall Munroe, title text to xkcd #556

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Re: Species Values Discussion

#15 Post by em3 » Fri May 03, 2019 11:12 am

As for research ...
Maybe conservatives should have a malus for research, but reduced costs of refinements?
[...] for Man has earned his right to hold this planet against all comers, by virtue of occasionally producing someone totally batshit insane. - Randall Munroe, title text to xkcd #556

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