DESIGN: Buildings / Build Queues / Infrastructure

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skdiw
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#106 Post by skdiw » Fri May 07, 2004 9:13 pm

Aquitaine wrote: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.
I saw the code before long time ago when it was proposed in the programming thread. It looks very elementry and it doens't seem the algorithm will be flexible enough to support "go around" techs or mods without significant alteration of a pretty fundamental lvl of the program. Unless the code has been changed, it will not support any off-road, techs, nor any sophiscated military targeting AI. To use moo3 term and like moo3, we are hardwire into this problem.
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.


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.
I think some generic number is fine, but a nicer graphical display will be better. I think you can press a key on the keyboard and it will display different properties of each system kinda like a filter system. On default, you just see the basic more pertinant information like fleet dots thing that we have already and then you can press a key to display detail about resources/industry, another key on military/defense... Toggling is good too to help trim down the number of layers of windows down to main and a additional window.
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
That's way too much. Make it simple and say lvl 7 shields have the same cost as lvl 5 but just stronger. We had debates over cost-benefit trade-off of techs and it's too complicated. Either make cost constant and have benefits increase over higher techs or other way around, but don't have the ratio where both variables are increasing or have it change :shock:.
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
[...]
I dont have a photographic memory so I don't remember where Mola is. You end up double clicking the the name to open up the window to find more info on it to remind you what you were planning so it isn't that much different than doing it from the main screen. I think we gonna have planet list anyway for organization, but it won't really save that much headache.
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
Moo3 again, except extended to planetary defense. Most ppl don't understand it and end up hating the system. I don't like moo3's system because too much player intervention is required so it kinda defeats the point because while the concept sounds very simple, unless very carefully done, the AI is horrendous and a ton more complicated than ppl imagine.

I rather try making building so simple that we don't necessary need category or other management aids. But I'm good with "borders," which programming team shot it down unfortunately, or category management aids, which must be done very clean and unambiguous.
:mrgreen:

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Rapunzel
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#107 Post by Rapunzel » Sat May 08, 2004 11:01 am

not quite moo3 were the features were undocumented and nobody could figure out how they worked, only after month of testing we had some basic idea of how it could work.
But again I think you are right at least in the point that splitting the tree would make it very difficult to handel, at least if it's not thought through from the beginning.
skidiw wrote:I dont have a photographic memory so I don't remember where Mola is
you could show it on a little map alongside, or show in on the galactic view or werever you see apropriate. The Idea was that there are to values of interrest.
1. the target defense level (how secure is this going to be)
2. the current defense level (how much defense has been build up yet)

skidiw wrote:the AI is horrendous and a ton more complicated than ppl imagine
You mena the AI playing other empires, or the AI helping you build your own? If you meant the Ai for other empires i will shurely agree with you, if you ment the AI help build in this specific point i will shurely disagree.
You need an internal buildque for the defensife buildings on all planet and then pic the nex of the line yet unbuild (scan from lvl0 to the desired lvl and pic the first of these yet not build) put that in the buildque. If you are finished and trhere is more defense buildings than there should be (because the player changed devlvl) scrap them) I see no AI in here.

Edit:
I mean the point is that I would like some controll over my planetary defence. I would like to select were I need defence and were not.
if I have to choose between hard to program and not worth playing I would choose har to program since what would I have otherwise.
Dieser Text basiert ausschließlich auf frei erfundener Interpunktion und Orthographie. Jegliche Uebereinstimmungen mit geltenden Regelungen sind rein zufaellig und wurden nicht beabsichtigt.

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#108 Post by drek » Sat May 08, 2004 12:02 pm

I don't like moo3's system because too much player intervention is required so it kinda defeats the point because while the concept sounds very simple, unless very carefully done, the AI is horrendous and a ton more complicated than ppl imagine.

I rather try making building so simple that we don't necessary need category or other management aids.
Yes. I agree with these statements.

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Rapunzel
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#109 Post by Rapunzel » Sat May 08, 2004 6:08 pm

we could scrap planetary defense all together.
ergo no micromanegment on that basis and we only have special buildings a user would have to choose carefully.
Systemdefence could still be possible through systemships/interstellarships/mines/Satelites/Spacestations/...
Dieser Text basiert ausschließlich auf frei erfundener Interpunktion und Orthographie. Jegliche Uebereinstimmungen mit geltenden Regelungen sind rein zufaellig und wurden nicht beabsichtigt.

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skdiw
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#110 Post by skdiw » Sat May 08, 2004 10:11 pm

Rapunzel wrote:we could scrap planetary defense all together.
ergo no micromanegment on that basis and we only have special buildings a user would have to choose carefully.
Systemdefence could still be possible through systemships/interstellarships/mines/Satelites/Spacestations/...
I lumped satellites, mins, stations, and system ships into defense.

I can live with only system defense and no planetary defense. But what are you going to do if a rival capture a planet in your system.
:mrgreen:

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Rapunzel
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#111 Post by Rapunzel » Sun May 09, 2004 8:58 am

Systemships would shurely be able to try and blockade the rivals planet and the other way arround. mines would be in place. Satteleites as well and Stations would also remain at the position asighned to them when build. This assumes that there is something like a Systemview in which you can place thinks and on which the battles take place.
Othervise you could only have defense on specific locations and would have to conquere every single one to have control over it, like the starbase and the 10 Satelites guarding that other starlane.
Systemships otherwise would be like starships only that hey can't leave.

If you cramp everythink into something like "general system defence" i just don't know what I have.
Dieser Text basiert ausschließlich auf frei erfundener Interpunktion und Orthographie. Jegliche Uebereinstimmungen mit geltenden Regelungen sind rein zufaellig und wurden nicht beabsichtigt.

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#112 Post by Black_Emperor » Sun May 09, 2004 8:29 pm

Well, this is the building concept of my 'dream 4x-game', so why not post it here?

Basic Buildings:

Farms produce organics
Mines mine minerals
Power Plants generates energy
Factories turn ressources into Production
Research Labs generate RPs
Housing houses your population

These are the basic buildings on your planet. You can build as much of them as fits on the planet. Housing is automatically built by your population. The more people on the planet, the more housing is needed.

Special Buildings:

On every planet you can build up to 9 (nine) special buildings, no matter the size. Of course they need space, too, but there's a definitve maximum of 9. Special Buildings may affect Research Output (Planetary Supercomputer) on this planet or, as tech advances, affect the entire system or other systems up to a radius.
This way you can specialize your planets and make strategic decision of what planets you need where.
Defensive Buildings like Missile Batteries could come in different levels. Upgradable of course. Defense would mainly be relocated to oribtal facilites or ships.

Moons:

While I'm at it, this is the concept for moons. Each moon can be assigned a special task.

Farming Compound
Research Compound
Mining Compound
Colony (adds to total size of planet)
Shipyard
1 Extra Special Building
ect.

The planet would have to produce a 'Moon Colony' to colonize a moon. costly but worth it. This way you could also be able to colonize Gas Giants if they have moons. One Moon would automatically be a 'Colony' and act as a base planet. From a Gas Giants Moon it would be possible to 'mine' a Gas Giant.

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#113 Post by Satyagraha » Sun May 09, 2004 8:59 pm

@ Black_Emperor: your suggestion is what most ppl agree on here, so i guess it will be like that.


about defenses: i think we are starting to move in circles here... i´ll quickly summarise my opinion, which hasn´t changed much since the beginning:

1) abstracted, weak natural defenses that grow with infrastructure/tech.
2) starbases as expensive special defenses that are equipped like ships. they don´t use slots (because they are orbitals) and are displayed on map, like shipyards etc.

some other thoughts on starbases:
starbases should carry everything that is important for combat (weapons, detection, repair docks...), while planets build everything that is important for economy, environments, efficency etc. this is why starbases should also be displayed on map, together with fleeticons they would give a good overview of what is most important during wartimes.

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#114 Post by drek » Mon May 10, 2004 3:26 am

Satyagraha wrote:@ Black_Emperor: your suggestion is what most ppl agree on here, so i guess it will be like that.
I beg to differ. The various resource producing buildings is exactly what would be abstracted away using the infrastructure idea.

Re: moon colonies. My thought was that a moon would simply provide an extra slot for a special building. Moons of a useable size (Luna-sized) would be uncommon; any moon that's smaller is too small to deal with considering the scale of the game.

I don't know that gas gaints should colonizable. There's UI issues in displaying a complex moon system within the system interface.

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#115 Post by skdiw » Mon May 10, 2004 6:44 am

Satyagraha wrote:@ Black_Emperor: your suggestion is what most ppl agree on here, so i guess it will be like that.
:shock: I am looking foward to a legendary 4X game, not Simplanet.

Black's suggestion is way too involved. Though, I agree with one part about special building where he said it would add more strategic military targets with special buildings. Instead of players killing industry worlds or special resource worlds, special buildings adds additional incentive to target planets that has them.

Having 9 slots for specials buildings barely differs from just building basic buildings yourself. I imagine special buildings being a few that requires more strategic plannings. I don't think there should be a restriction on number of slots. If you wanted to put all your eggs into one basket, that's the player's choice.

Special buildings should be a handful at the start, and a few additional ones added on by techs. That way the game feels like the player is really doing something very important in the beginning of the game chosing which buildings to build first like what you experience in typical strat game, and not overwhelmed by builds later on because fewer buildings will be available. The focus of buildings should be the interaction between systems and other buildings rather than being isolated. That way, the amount of micro stays rather constant over time since the player will be occupied deciding what order to build early on, and then the arrangement of them with a few additional buildings later on. For example, lets say you decide on turn one to concentrate on research growth as your strat toward galaxy domination. You decide to build "Supercomputers" special building to give your research infrustructure +1 research to all planets in that system. Research infrastructure are automatically build using research focus. Then 100 turns later when you have 10 systems, instead of having supercomputers in every system like every other game, say you can only allowed to have 1 special building in the empire so you'll want that supercomputer building in a system where it benefits you the most. So already, that requires some good 4x planning. Lets also say that supercomputer gives your +2 research if neighboring system has "Adv. Training Facility" special building. So now, the placement of just 2 bildings or the relocation of one in your empire requires a lot of thinking and very little clicks to execute. Using just a handful of special buildings, we can create a lot of interesting strategic opitions for the player and enemy while keeping micro indepedent to the number of system you own. In addition, compartmentalize layout of star systems is encouraged this way so that it's easier for the player to keep track which region of his empire is doing what. The work and the fun of the game should be up in your head and not with your hands on the keyboard and mouse.

I think a player should only have to deal with only a hanful of buildings per empire at any time. Maybe also a few additinal ones for each system, but that's pushing it already imo. I much rather work some rules out for buildings per empire rather than allowing system-wide buildings too. Focus are for building infrastructure for each planets.

I think moons should be automatically accounted for. So maybe the planet gets 1 additonal populations point and +1 mineral if the planet has a moon.
:mrgreen:

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#116 Post by drek » Mon May 10, 2004 9:11 am

say you can only allowed to have 1 special building in the empire so you'll want that supercomputer building in a system where it benefits you the most.
Interesting stuff.

Rather than hard coding behaviors (you need building X to make building Y work at it's best), I'd rather see buildings that compliment each other through game rules. A bit like combos in a Magic: TG deck, the player would have freedom to mix/match different buildings--designing different combinations that work well together.

For example, a building that slows enemy travel in connecting starlanes would work well with a building that causes damage to *all* ships in connecting starlanes. Finally, you'd have a building for repairing damaged ships faster in the protected system.

There'd be some counter buildings....the above combo might be countered by a buildings that speeds travel or directly disables starlane effects.

Buildings should also be combo-able with ship technologies. A certain building might improve the damaging power of all "Tachyon Phaser" weapons, for example.

I'm thinking the tech tree would be fairly extensive. Time to research, plus available slots to build, would limit the player. To get a killer 6 buildings combo set up, a player would have to research a lot of tech and build those six buildings--defeatable by another player rushing with less technology.

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#117 Post by PowerCrazy » Tue May 11, 2004 2:37 am

My defense idea is supposed to be the innate, free, defense that each planet has. Any planet can be augmented with additional player controlled defensive buildings. However, these would be EXPENSIVE. We would need to tweak the game so that if the player found a choke point system where building a starbase was feasible and worthwhile they would be able to, at a cost. Its up to the player to determine if the cost is worth it. I still think the best defense would be other ships. The innate defenses of a planet are just the "defenders advantage." And stop raiding parties from being spammed all over your "sweet spot" planets.
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#118 Post by Satyagraha » Tue May 11, 2004 4:05 am

combos sound nice. having only 1 building of each type/empire would probably need to be balanced depending on galaxy size... time to bring a question up: do we really need different sizes of galaxies?

there are several problems here: the speed of research will vary, which could be fixed, but what about the efficiency of buildings and monuments? a monument that gives a local bonus would be better in a small galaxy, a monument that gives an empire-wide bonus would be better in large galaxies... monuments will be easy to defend in large galaxies, hard in small ones. balancing would be easier if we had a fixed size, and personally i wouldn´t miss the feature to choose the size much.

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#119 Post by Elethiomel » Tue May 11, 2004 7:27 am

Satyagraha wrote:combos sound nice. having only 1 building of each type/empire would probably need to be balanced depending on galaxy size... time to bring a question up: do we really need different sizes of galaxies?

there are several problems here: the speed of research will vary, which could be fixed, but what about the efficiency of buildings and monuments? a monument that gives a local bonus would be better in a small galaxy, a monument that gives an empire-wide bonus would be better in large galaxies... monuments will be easy to defend in large galaxies, hard in small ones. balancing would be easier if we had a fixed size, and personally i wouldn´t miss the feature to choose the size much.
I would - galaxy size is a primary factor in deciding how long a game will be. Having control of game length is absolutely crucial for multiplayer. You want (well, to be more exact "I want", but if I use "you" it seems much more general and convincing, doesn't it?) a game that's as epic in scope as possible while taking up just or less than the time available for it.

If the time available is two evenings a week for 12 months, then I'd like to see a galaxy size that could acommodate that sort of game.

If the time available is a single Sunday afternoon, then I'd like to see a galaxy size that could acommodate that sort of game.

I don't like different tech speeds for different size galaxies. Part of a short, small game is that it isn't tech heavy. Part of a long, large game is that you're fighting for control of hundreds of stars... huge ships with strange technologies in fleets of hundreds clashing above planets filled to the bursting point with population, housed and cared for by advanced terraforming and other technologies.

But that's just what I think.

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#120 Post by Impaler » Tue May 11, 2004 7:44 am

Its seems to be agreed on that the Planets "Focus" will automaticaly expand and "build" the stuff that apropriate to that focus, so once you ahve desided that this is a "faming world" you dont have to come in and make that choice a second time and order "farms" to be built.

Thus any buildings we need would be ones that fall outside of the Focus areas or that have very complex effects.

Perhaps we could also represent these special choices in an abstracted way much like Focus abstracts all of the rather mundane "farms". The player would have a number of "Planetary Protocalls" which are simply switched ON or OFF (or maybe you alocate a sum of Funds). The Protocal then modifies the planet in some way. The effect would build up over time and changing it would come at a penalty just like Focus would.

Major differences from Focus would be that Protocalls are not mutualy exclusive, you can use as many as you like (at ever expanding cost). They also retain the Tec Dependence of Buildings, so discovering "BioEnginering" lets you activate the "Hydroponic Tanks Protocall" of other such things. Their might also be a Focus Dependency too, for example you could only activate some Protocalls if the planets Focus is right, the "Mixed/Nutral" Focus would ofcorse give you access to the most (but not all) Protocalls.

I think that anything we can think up that cant fit under Focus COULD fit under a Planetary Protocall.
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