DESIGN: Buildings / Build Queues / Infrastructure

Past public reviews and discussions.
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Lyx
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#91 Post by Lyx » Thu May 06, 2004 12:54 am

Since i basically agree with the opinion of the leads(not having to decide on every single building but being able to micromanage single important buildings), theres something else which i would like to add:

Taking some micromanagement away will only make the game "boring" if there is nothing which fills the "gap". So, other interesting tasks of an empire-leader may fill the vacuum. Politics, culture and other events for example provide lots of inspiration for new ideas.
So, while some may fear that lowering the micromanagement scale means that the "individual" feel and caring about your empire may fade, quite the opposite "can" be the case: with removing unnecessary repetitive micromanagement there will be room for other interesting tasks/decisions.

- Lyx

edit: i forgot something: IF the player does less micromanagement with buildings then imho he/she shouldn't be allowed to build the affected buildings anyways(and possibly not be bothered with seeing lots of stats for every single building too) - maybe its just me, but i found the moo3-approach VERY confusing(having a macromanagement-micromanagement-hybrid for the SAME buildings).
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PowerCrazy
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#92 Post by PowerCrazy » Thu May 06, 2004 4:36 am

Well assuming we go with the minimal buildings approach, the tech descriptions as well as the techs will be written to accomodate. Thus "automated factory" Would be like "Automated factories". And the weather controller would be abstracted to a tech advance. Players wouldn't have a building with a stat attached to it, they would just have the tech. If it was something that the player could build like a wonder or whatever then it would be specified in the tech description.

As far as what the player will be doing. Well Anything other than clicking on hundreds of planets and telling them which building to build over and over again is an improvement. But obviously, diplomacy, empire planning, fleet creation, etc will be availible. Also there will still need to be empire optimization. Changing planets foci, making sure you have the correct ratio of mining to industry planets, etc.
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Daveybaby
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#93 Post by Daveybaby » Thu May 06, 2004 8:59 am

Ragnar wrote: Maybe the levels would be more like:
1=no defense
2=missile base
3=missile base + shield
4=missile base + shield + beam battery
5=missile base X2 + shield + beam battery X2
Do we want to add bunker networks or something in there that helps ground troops or leave that as a special building?
I was proposing that the player could globally customise each defense level to whatever they liked, this way you get the best of both worlds - minimal micromanagement *and* absolute player control. Although it does potentially raise issues w.r.t. changing the spec of a defence level and half of your planets suddenly all have to build lots of new defences.

PowerCrazy wrote:So as the planet is developing it is also defending itself. Thus a planet will have defences scaled about like this.
lvl 1 1-20%
lvl 2 21-40%
lvl 3 41-60%
lvl 4 61-80%
lvl 5 81-99%
(lvl 6 100%)
I am assuming that it takes a LONG time for you to get a 100% infrastructure rating. Thus a planet like that is VERY valuable.
I like this idea - but in itself its not enough.

The level of defences required at a system depends on 2 things - (1) How important the planet is to you, and (2) Where the planet is located (because it might be in a strategically important location, or might be near a threatended border, or might be totally safe in the middle of your empire).

Your proposal addresses point (1) but not point (2). If combined with a player defined defence level for a system then you can address both issues.
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skdiw
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#94 Post by skdiw » Thu May 06, 2004 4:37 pm

Daveybaby wrote:
Ragnar wrote: Maybe the levels would be more like:
1=no defense
2=missile base
3=missile base + shield
4=missile base + shield + beam battery
5=missile base X2 + shield + beam battery X2
Do we want to add bunker networks or something in there that helps ground troops or leave that as a special building?
I was proposing that the player could globally customise each defense level to whatever they liked, this way you get the best of both worlds - minimal micromanagement *and* absolute player control. Although it does potentially raise issues w.r.t. changing the spec of a defence level and half of your planets suddenly all have to build lots of new defences.
The last part you say is the problem. You end up ordering your planets to build defense on your newly undeveloped backwater planets where it should be industrial focused. You end up have to go to each of these planets and check.

PowerCrazy wrote:So as the planet is developing it is also defending itself. Thus a planet will have defences scaled about like this.
lvl 1 1-20%
lvl 2 21-40%
lvl 3 41-60%
lvl 4 61-80%
lvl 5 81-99%
(lvl 6 100%)
I am assuming that it takes a LONG time for you to get a 100% infrastructure rating. Thus a planet like that is VERY valuable.
I like this idea - but in itself its not enough.

The level of defences required at a system depends on 2 things - (1) How important the planet is to you, and (2) Where the planet is located (because it might be in a strategically important location, or might be near a threatended border, or might be totally safe in the middle of your empire).
Something like as basic defense is good so it prevents that scouting problem I described earlier. But you still need to be able to improve the defense or more defense even beyond "defense lvls." Depending on how our tech works, but more than likely, player gonna want more than 2 of each defenses and maybe a free system ship. You need a faster rate of projected constructions like y = x^2, some powered function so you don't get bottled in the early game, and then having static defense being completely useless in the late-game where instead of scouts, ppl just use a single cruiser to go around and destroy every undeveloped planet.

What I'm suggesting is some sort of natural defense like the "defense lvls" Then if the player wants to improve on it, he hits a button that doubles the amount of previous defense, so you can get a lot of defense in just a few clicks. Each defense lvls got all your best stuff, so if you have researched shields and missile bases, you got shields and missiles. If you researched batteries later, you automatically get batteries.

But we have to be a little careful on balancing, because we passed the game feature that ships can only travel via starlanes (no offroad i believe) so players gonna stack up defenses on chock points, which leads to a stalemate. Unless ppl can create wormholes to go where ever they want later in the game, overpowered defenses can be a huge macro military problem.


Back to topic of buildings. I think the player should just focus his attention on few buildings that have large effects, but limited number of them. Other basic buildings should be automatically determined by your focus so we keep drudgery work down. So in terms of micro, the player only have to worry about focus and defense. In terms of macro, the player have to decide on the placement and the cost-benefits of some mini-wonders you can call it. And to make things more interesting, we can have these mini-wonders have interactive effects so having x and y adds additional z effects. I think our attention should be more focus on few and interesting buildings and leave all the basic infrastructure to the AI guided by chsoen focus and secondary. If we make a good focus system, I think the game will run A LOT smoother and enjoyable.
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utilae
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#95 Post by utilae » Thu May 06, 2004 8:13 pm

PowerCrazy wrote: Defense is determined by your planets infrastructure level. Basically infrastructure level is a number from 1-100 that tells you how "developed" your planet is. It goes up everyturn as the planet builds things and the population grows. Its similiar to Moo1s industry level but you aren't actually doing anything.

This number would also be used by players to determine where to build a ship yard/wonder/special building and to determine where their "sweet spot" planets are.

So as the planet is developing it is also defending itself. Thus a planet will have defences scaled about like this.
lvl 1 1-20%
lvl 2 21-40%
lvl 3 41-60%
lvl 4 61-80%
lvl 5 81-99%
(lvl 6 100%)

I am assuming that it takes a LONG time for you to get a 100% infrastructure rating. Thus a planet like that is VERY valuable.

One advantage if this besides the obvious reduction of management is that it allows non industrial worlds to have defences. Thus my sweet spot farming world would be able to defend itself adequetly from a raiding party. Also I'd assume that the higher the defense lvl the higher the bonus for any ships also defending.
The problem with this idea is that defense is only being built up on older wolrds, such as those in the middle of your empire. Defense at the borders of your empire would be zero to hardly anything, because almost all planets on the borders would be new. This is bad because you want to defend your borders or key areas. And since you have no say, no control over where defenses are built, it reduces your options.

It's too inflexible and it's not useful enough.

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utilae
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#96 Post by utilae » Thu May 06, 2004 8:19 pm

skdiw wrote: we passed the game feature that ships can only travel via starlanes (no offroad i believe)
I don't think so. Thats still open. It better be. :twisted: I hope we have open space, star lanes, 'fast' nebula and 'slow' nebula.

If we have primary focus, secondary focus, etc it would be great if we had some graphics that showed the effects of our choices.

So if you choose prim: farms and secon: industry it would show the ratio of farms/industry to be built. Maybe an expected ratios of different buildings that there are likely to be on the planet in the future.

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Aquitaine
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#97 Post by Aquitaine » Thu May 06, 2004 8:53 pm

At the moment there is no offroading. We will not implement it until we have assurances from the AI team (like, later on, when we have a bigger AI team) that it won't benefit the player unfairly.

That isn't to say we can't have some tech to 'go around' starlanes, but right now, offroading is out.
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#98 Post by Hexxium » Thu May 06, 2004 11:51 pm

It's a bad idea to tie defense to infrastructure, because that eliminates the choice which planets to defend.

A "level of defense" setting for each planet, with determines what facilities (missile base etc.) will be available, seems reasonable to me. Increasing the level should take some time and ressouces. Defense should also require maintenance, of course.

On the other hand, please remember that abstracting too many things into numbers like infrastructure or defense level takes away from the feel of the game. I want to control a galactic empire, not a bunch of numbers ;)

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#99 Post by Elethiomel » Fri May 07, 2004 7:18 am

skidw wrote:The last part you say is the problem. You end up ordering your planets to build defense on your newly undeveloped backwater planets where it should be industrial focused. You end up have to go to each of these planets and check.
If the level of defense is displayed on the galactic map, say as 1-5 dots beneath/above/beside a star, star name, or whatever, you wouldn't have to "drill down" and check all these planets for what defense level they have. Planets should start with level 1 defense by default, so you'd have to change it to build anything. I believe that would fix these issues.

Oh, and hi, everyone. :D

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noelte
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#100 Post by noelte » Fri May 07, 2004 7:54 am

Elethiomel wrote:If the level of defense is displayed on the galactic map, say as 1-5 dots beneath/above/beside a star, star name, or whatever, you wouldn't have to "drill down" and check all these planets for what defense level they have. Planets should start with level 1 defense by default, so you'd have to change it to build anything. I believe that would fix these issues.
But if we do so, this shouldn't be displayed by default. As we already have to display the fleets, if would realy be messed up this way.


new suggestion on managing defences:

say we have different kind of defences

1 - (max 5) missle base
2 - (max 5) beam defence
3 - (max 1) shield
4 - (max 10) ground forces

and by design we allow which amount can be build, say max one shield, 5 missle base and so on. If you discover a new shield tech you can update your already build shield. same to the others. maybe the amount of missle bases depends on your techs and other things.

I think as you have to maintain your defence installations you should be able you decide which defences you need.

In some cases you might use your lvl 5 shield even if you have the knowledge of lvl 7 shield just because of the lower maintain costs

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#101 Post by Elethiomel » Fri May 07, 2004 8:30 am

noelte wrote:
Elethiomel wrote:If the level of defense is displayed on the galactic map, say as 1-5 dots beneath/above/beside a star, star name, or whatever, you wouldn't have to "drill down" and check all these planets for what defense level they have. Planets should start with level 1 defense by default, so you'd have to change it to build anything. I believe that would fix these issues.
But if we do so, this shouldn't be displayed by default. As we already have to display the fleets, if would realy be messed up this way.
What about a toggle button for both? The player might want to turn all extraneous UI clutter off anyway, for screenshots, why not have toggle buttons for display of defense levels and fleets?

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noelte
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#102 Post by noelte » Fri May 07, 2004 8:58 am

my point!

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#103 Post by Elethiomel » Fri May 07, 2004 9:31 am

noelte wrote:my point!
Indeed. Though designers want things explicitly stated, neh? ;)

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#104 Post by drek » Fri May 07, 2004 1:32 pm

To steer away from this defensive building stuff for a bit:

How should infrastructure work? Is there anyone who thinks that we shouldn't be using infrastructure?

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#105 Post by Rapunzel » Fri May 07, 2004 2:03 pm

[quote="noelte]I think as you have to maintain your defence installations you should be able you decide which defences you need.

In some cases you might use your lvl 5 shield even if you have the knowledge of lvl 7 shield just because of the lower maintain costs[/quote]
I totally agree. I cannot think of a way (yet there may be one) of having controll on were I'd like how much defense which does not require at least some micromanagement.

Natural defence depending on development seems nice, but only protect coreworlds and not the chocepoints and borderworld, which actually need it, otherwise I get lots of defence at playces I don't want but still have to pay upkeep for.

So I think asighning every planet a defensive level and having them defined globally is quite low on micro.

on the planetscreen ist could show:
Planetname....build defensive level .... target defensive Level
..Matoria................lvl 2.................................lvl 5
..Mola....................lvl 4................................ lvl 7
[...]

these shoudl then be incremental like this

lvl 0 : nothing
lvl 1 : lvl 0 + Missle Base (Mercuril)
lvl 2 : lvl 1 + Shield (IV)

in addition these could be named by the player and be branching liek this:

lvl 0 : nothing
basic lvl 1 : lvl 0 + Missle Base (MAX)
basic lvl 2 : basic lvl 2 + Schield (IV)
basic lvl 3 : basic lvl 3 + Fighter + Shield (IV) -> Shield (MAX) // this could be an upgrade
border lvl 1 : basic lvl 1 + Beam Base(MAX) + Shield(MAX)
border lvl 2 : border lvl 2 + Fighter (MAX) + Missle base (MAX)


so ah planet assighned "border lvl 2" would start with "basic lvl 1" and build the things in there than go to "border lvl 1" build those. Maybe now update the Misslebase because of tech advancement and then build everything in "border lvl 2".

All these buildings would take time to build but you woud not have to bother with it and would update to watever you change in the "tech level tree". You also have a prety good idea of the actual defence since it tells you which sevels were already completly build.
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