Unity Pods and Goody Huts

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Impaler
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Unity Pods and Goody Huts

#1 Post by Impaler » Thu Jun 02, 2005 2:43 pm

Every civ game has had some version of the "Goody Hut" In SMAC it was of corse the Unity Pod. The incredible thrill and excitment involved in "poping" these things makes the early exploration phase of the game much more enjoyable then it would otherwise be. I strongly feel we should have some kind of "pandora's suprise box" that players have the option to open or not, with a wide range of good and pad suprises inside.

I was resently reading some Arthur C. Clarke and reread the story of the Sentinel, that sturuck me as and excelent mechanism for a suprize box. Scatered across many worlds are the anchient pyrimid shaped structures left by the Orions and their vassal race. The Sentinels are modest in size (a few meters tall) but contain spactionl / temporal pockets capable of holding ANYTHING even a large space ship. Some contain automated machinery capable of radicaly changing the surface of a planet. Others contain horrible space monsters (or perhaps they were just Orion pet taxis?). Still others contain individuals from long extinct species who will join any one who opens their Sentinel (are they the greatest minds of their time preserved as gifts to the future or the most dangerous of criminals ment to be imprisoned for all of time?). Vast resorce cashes have been found in Orion Sentinels along with advanced tecnologies, whole ships and strange hostile life forms. Opening a Sentinel is a deliberate act as each one is sealed and protected against the ravages of time.

Basicaly I am calling for a rather well established time tested feature of Civ/SMAC here but I have a few new ideas as well. First off because of our server based game play it would be wise to pre-determie all the contents of the Sentinels at map creation rather then roll them when opened, it would avoid any possible cheating. The second benifit to this would be to alow the play to "study" a Sentinel to see what is in it. Study a sentinel is a very laborious task (it might not even be possible untill mid game, but ofcorse most will likly be opened by then). Players can choose to fully explore and colonize a planet without opening the Sentinel.
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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Unity Pods and Goody Huts

#2 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Jun 02, 2005 4:29 pm

Impaler wrote:First off because of our server based game play it would be wise to pre-determie all the contents of the Sentinels at map creation rather then roll them when opened, it would avoid any possible cheating.
For single player games, we don't necessarily need to prevent cheating... Pre-rolling goody hut contents (stored as a seed number or somesuch for each) could be a game option. If you want to have a legitimate score or accomplishment in the game, you'd pre-roll everything, but for just a fun game on your own, you may as well have the server generate the results while processing the turn, allowing you to reload if you want...

I suppose that brings up another issue, which is the instant feedback you get for opening huts in Civ / SMAC. Since FO is server based, you wouldn't get the results of opening a hut until after you've finished a turn and gotten back the result. This delayed result might somewhat reduce the "incredible thrill and excitment" for the player, unfortunately. (And no, we can't really send the info to the player so they'd get results immediately.)

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#3 Post by skdiw » Thu Jun 02, 2005 8:33 pm

reoccuring huts in open space on top of huts on planets is better.

i don't think one turn delay is gonna be a problem at all.
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Re: Unity Pods and Goody Huts

#4 Post by Dreamer » Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:19 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:For single player games, we don't necessarily need to prevent cheating...
Agree. Personally I don't cheat but I don't like cheating prevention for single players. It's the players game, not yours. Fun is the objetive.
Geoff the Medio wrote:This delayed result might somewhat reduce the "incredible thrill and excitment" for the player, unfortunately.
Not necessarily, it woul probably just make the player click "Next turn" faster :wink: .

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utilae
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#5 Post by utilae » Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:12 am

Nice idea. In order to open the 'goody box' or whatever it is, maybe you have to research it (gotta figure out how to open a box where its contents are stored in another dimension). The research won't be long though, ie up to 5 turns max (although in a very rare case the 'goody box' could take as much as 30 turns to open).

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#6 Post by Dreamer » Fri Jun 03, 2005 4:09 am

Utilae: as usual, you are aiming for a much more complex game than me. But I have always defended diversity as a good thing... so I will have to shut up :wink: :?

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#7 Post by Kharagh » Fri Jun 03, 2005 7:36 am

Great idea, Impaler, it will add more thrill and diversity to the game. I personally always loved the goddies you get in all kind of games.

I don't think it will be a big problem if you get the result one turn later. It will just increase the eagerness of the player to get into the next turn, which in my eyes isn't a bad thing.

I like utilae's proposal of having to spend some reseach to get the thing open, too.

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#8 Post by yaromir » Fri Jun 03, 2005 2:44 pm

Love it too.

Only suggestion is I'd like to be very few of these and they should be very important. Probably something that you can't possibly get any other way, like an orion's ship, magnate civ, Gaia, 5th X...

Wouldn't this be, technicly speaking, a planetery special?
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#9 Post by Pasi » Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:54 am

yaromir wrote: Only suggestion is I'd like to be very few of these and they should be very important. Probably something that you can't possibly get any other way, like an orion's ship, magnate civ, Gaia, 5th X...
I think so too... BUT ... it shouldn't be any sort of "ultimate" thingy, like a huge undestructible battleship that could go anywhere in a single turn ...

Maybe the race should reach some level in "box opening tech" before they could open a certain box... then the box contents could be linked better to the current tech level etc... :?:
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#10 Post by yaromir » Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:10 pm

or they could appear as "alien artifacts" ala SMAC, but yield more than just hurried production or technology.

You get alien artifact and you have to bring it back to one of your worlds. Then you have to research it...
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#11 Post by utilae » Mon Jun 06, 2005 9:15 pm

Maybe you could have some kind of artifact find % that affects the chance of getting a good artifact. And maybe you could increase your artifact find % through tech or something.

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#12 Post by Pasi » Tue Jun 07, 2005 5:31 am

utilae wrote:Maybe you could have some kind of artifact find % that affects the chance of getting a good artifact. And maybe you could increase your artifact find % through tech or something.
Or it could be a sum of all techs you have learned :)
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#13 Post by Impaler » Tue Jun 07, 2005 6:21 am

My thoughts...

Having to wiat untill next turn to see the results of opening a Sentinel dosen't sound so bad, the results would apear in your start of turn briefing. The option to roll Seninel pops at time of poping in Single player dosen't realy sound that great. It will take extra effort simply to alow the option of cheating in Single player games. I dont realy expect many people here are big fans of cheating or that are core audiance is either. I think its better for continuity for Seninels to work identicaly in single and multiplayer.

Haveing to do research to open every single Sentinel seems like too mutch, perhaps just having to research the "Sentinel Key" tecnology once gives you the ability to open them all. Basicaly we are saying that the Seninels have some kind of realy advanced combination lock on them made by the Orions. The seninels were ment to be easily opened IF you knew a bit of Orion tecnology and the code for the lock, they didn't wish for these things to be opened acsidently by lower lifeforms. Once you crack the codes involved it becomes possible to read the entry code directly off the Seninel itself, it becomes a trivialy easy task to open any future sentinels you find. This tecnology also serves as one of the low level rungs of the ladder of tecs that ultimatly answers the question "What happened to the Orions?". Later tecs along this line will alow you to read the contents of a Sentinel at no cost.

I also think Seninels should be rather common occuring on 1 of every 20 or so planets or one every other system aproimatly. Prizes are often mediocure (small pizes of cash, map data, mind worm equivilents). Probably 1 in 10 contains something realy good like tec advancments, the equivilient of a SMAC alien Artifact, or a space ship.

Seninels would be equiivilent to the SMAC Pods, they can not be moved only Ignored, Studies or Opened (remember its a giant Pyrimid). Once opened though you might discover some kind of artifact that could be moved just like the Alien Artifacts of SMAC. If we want to have something equivilent to that I would propose calling it an "Orion Library" much like the Libraryies from David Brines uplift novels it would be a black cube 2 meters on a side. A library is a super inteligent computer loaded with nearly ALL the Orions tecnology. Unfortunatly they are all programed to self destruct in they belive that they have given too much information to a primitive race. Thus the Library can be used for only a limited time before it will self destruct (it heats up glows red and cools off after witch all chemical analysis shows that it is a chunk of pure diamond devoild of information). Basicaly you can "spend" a Library at any time to give you a single level of advancment in any aplication of your choices (mk 3 -> mk 4) or recive a random Theory advancment (Theory advancment is more valuable so I think making it random is a wise idea). Normal rules of tec advancement apply here as has been discussed previously, you dont instantly get the tec, rather you get the tec researched for free in the form of free reserach points towards that project.

Sentinels would logicaly be a Planetary Special, unless anyone sees a problem with codeing that? By itself a Sentinel dose nothing to a planet, it is pure potentiality. When opened it can create almost any concivable thing and spawn other planetary specials.
Last edited by Impaler on Tue Jun 07, 2005 6:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#14 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Jun 07, 2005 6:40 am

Impaler wrote:Sentinels would logicaly be a Planetary Special, unless anyone sees a problem with codeing that?
Right now specials are just a bunch of effects groups, somewhat like a tech. Depending what tzlaine has planned for events, this could be doable as you suggest... But to me, what you propose doesn't sound much like a "special"; it sounds more like an object sitting on a planet... like a type of building, perhaps?

Individually researching every pod you want to open would be far too much effort and time, IMO. They're supposed to be fun bonus prizes, not chores you have to do if you want your allowance, right? And requiring researching wouldn't be a very interseting choice for the player, IMO... You're pretty much always going to do so, if it's required... I suppose it could be made such a huge cost that the chance of a prize isn't worth it for small / non-research empires, but then that's not very fun, IMO... and not really a meaningful choice either.

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#15 Post by yaromir » Tue Jun 07, 2005 5:20 pm

Unfortunatly they are all programed to self destruct in they belive that they have given too much information to a primitive race
Talk about irony. I love it!
Individually researching every pod you want to open would be far too much effort and time,
That's because you are imagining many sentinels, I only think a few. I see others want low-level sentinels that provide little raw resources...etc. For me it was always...whoopty do, 25 creds.

How about making 3 different types of sentinels (all are same size on the outside and different size on the inside, orion technology and all)

Lvl 1 - Resource caches, automatic buidling
Lvl 2 - Knowledge Cubes, magnate civs (if we have them)
Lvl 3 - Space Ships, Gaia, 5th X...etc, some really good bonus that you cannot obtain otherwise

Lvl 1 - Common (with some probability table. Probably more than one should be allowed per planet, but there should be a ceiling)
Lvl 2 - Uncommon (10%?)
Lvl 3 - Rare (2%?)

When you encounter Lvl 1 you get an option to research Lvl 1 sentinels. Once you have that, you can open all Lvl 1's. Same for Lvl 2. Lvl 3 sentinels would require individual research.
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