Talk:V3 ScratchPad

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Revision as of 04:20, 10 July 2004 by Geoff the Medio (Talk | contribs) (formatting)

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The Term "Meter"

I don't see why we shouldn't use the term "meter" when explaining what determines the amount of resources / social effects on a planet. We don't need to have a big title on the meter display box that say "PLANET METERS" and subheading for "RESOURCE METERS" and "SOCIAL METERS" or anything... but refering to the "farming meter" is clear enough...

Range & Granularity

Instead of 0-10 with 0.25 or smaller increments, how about meter values range from 0-255. For resource meters, the production would be (eg farming)

(food produced) = (population) * (farming meter) / 10

Each populatin point needs 1 food / turn to not die, so (farming meter) = 10 is the break-even point. We need the (unfortunate) "/ 10" so that there are meter values other than 0 for which the planet doesn't produce enough food to be self sufficient. I think a "/ 10" in production is easier to understand that making people consume food at a rate other than 1 / turn... (consumption of 1 / turn is a good definition for a unit of food, imho)

This way, there is good granularity, but we can have simple meter bonuses that are integers. We can have "soft limits" to meter values, so that in practice they never get over 100... but the extra range is there if needed for balance.

Meter Effect Consistency

Resource meters other than farming work the same same, eg:

(minerals mined) = (population) * (mining meter) / 10

This is essential so that different resources have the same relative value, and the player can "think" under the assumption that +5 in mining is always just as good as +5 in farming... (and that the relative value of a bonus doesn't change if the meters have different current values).

Focus Effects & General Meter Levels

Meter range 0-255
Food meter break even at (farming meter) = 10
Farming secondary focus or balanced primary should give break even on food

Resource meters have default / initial value of 0
At start of game:
Primary Specialized Focus gives + 30 to one resource meter
Primary Balanced Focus gives + 10 to all resource meters
Secondary Specialized Focus gives +15 to one resource meter
Secondary Balanced Focus gives +5 to all resource meters

Techs/buildings can independently add or subtract to the default value, or the effect of any of the 4 focuses on each meter. Eg: WonderFarms gives +5 to farming on farming specialed primary focus, +2 to farming on balanced prim. focus, +2 to spec. sec. focus, and +1 to bal. sec. focus.

Farming Emergent Properties: primary/secondary focus, mining as "not farming" example focus

  • farming/farming -> loads of extra food, can feed 3.5 additoinal similar sized worlds completely
  • farming/balanced -> still lots of extra, can feed 2.5 more worlds
  • farming/mining -> 2 more worlds
  • balanced/farming -> 1.5 more worlds
  • balanced/balanced -> 0.5 more worlds (or tops up a world on mining/balanced)
  • balanced/mining -> self-sufficient, no extra
  • mining/farming -> 0.5 more worlds
  • mining/balanced -> half feeds self, needs some imports
  • mining/mining -> no food, needs full imports

If there are 5 resources, 4 of them aren't farming, so having the "extra worlds" that can be fed by a farming/farming world at just under 4 seems reasonable. Maybe some tweaking could be done so that after you start getting bonuses, you still need a bunch of farming/farming worlds lying around... or maybe not.

Specific Meters for v0.3

Do we want meters in v0.3 that don't do anything until later versions? Trade, Happiness, etc. are pointless for now. It's probably better to have it well understood that there will be more meters added, so that UIs don't get desgined around the number of meters we think up now, only to have to be rebuilt later when we finalize other game systems and any meters that affect them.

For v0.3:

  • Farming
  • Mining
  • Industry
  • Money
  • Research
  • Construction
  • Health/Growth

Resource Meter Growth / Construction Meter

The whole construction meter accumulator business is kinda thrown out of wack if there are 0-255 and +1 a small amount.

It was suggested to use a population-like growth, but this is not a good idea. Population grows as (hopefully):

(Pop Change) = ( (Max Pop) - (Cur Pop) ) / (Max Pop) * (Growth Meter Factor)
(New Pop) = Min( (Pop) + (Pop Change), (Max Pop) )

This doesn't work for resource meters, though, since you can change the "Max Meter Value" With focus settings, meaning you can change the rate of growth by chaning the focus setting, meaning you have to to be competitive.

I think resource meter growth should depend on the construction meter and fall with the current meter value somewhat like so:

(Meter Value Change) = (Construction Meter) / ( (Current Meter Value) + 10)
(New Meter Value) = Min( (Meter Value) + (Meter Value Change), (Max Meter Value) )

(I haven't thought in detail about the exact form of this or the number 10, but you get the basic idea)