Planet Habitat Displays?

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sven
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby sven » Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:43 pm

Mezmorki wrote:What's the design goal (e.g. dynamic you are trying to create) behind allowing multiple-populations + having a variable CAP based on different region distributions within the planet? It's complex - and why do you hope to get out of that complexity?


From a world-building perspective, I think multi-species colonies are interesting. I spent a lot of time in MOO2 dragging little aliens between one planet and another, watching the pop caps steadily go up as a result; and I had a lot more fun doing so than the mechanic really warrants. As a minigame -- MOO2's habitation mechanic is basically just "collect aliens having all possible habitat specials, and make sure you have at least one of each per-planet". That's a boring game. But, it blends nicely with the idea of a star ruler working to build an interstellar civilization. Collecting a bunch of different aliens and convincing (or forcing) them to work together, then reaping the benefits, feels like the sort of thing a game of this sort ought to be about.

It's a mechanic I'm planning to keep building on as the game develops -- when the morale features start to go in, there should be more strategy involved in population management, and less of a MOO2-ish "more is always better" bend.

I also think the idea that one species' notion of paradise is hopelessly inhospitable to another is a cool sci-fi trope -- one that I wanted to work into the game.

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby Mezmorki » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:10 pm

sven wrote:From a world-building perspective, I think multi-species colonies are interesting. .....


This is all good stuff. Couple of design thoughts:

Relative to my other post about different types of actions, all of this is squarely in the "optimization" action realm. It's a puzzle-like minigame (as you say), and so people's tolerances for this level of nuance will vary. Keep that in mind. If it's too complex, people might be frustrated if they can't understand it or there isn't enough information about it. On the other hand, if you develop a nice UI that supports the feature and makes it "fun" to manipulate and watch the numbers jump around, it can be cool.

Have you had a chance to play Age of Wonder 3 recently? The newest patch (1.5) re-worked the entire happiness system in the game and tied it to race (since you can and often do have multi-race empires). With "race happiness" existing, how you treat each race in your empire impacts their happiness. So if you forcibly migrate one race out of their home, they are going to be disgruntled and the race happiness declines for that race across your entire empire.

So the above notion could be an interesting balance point against trying to optimize what races go/live on what planet.

-----------------------------------------------

I'm wondering about how the mechanics can be simplified here so that playing the mini-game can be more fun and consequential. Before I get to theory crafting, are these the factors in play:

(1) size of the planet
(2) distribution % of the region types across the planet (50% forest, 10% reef, etc.)
(3) species in your empire
(4) each species affinity for different region types
(5) POP CAP is result of taking all of the above into account?

BTW - I love spreadsheets - so if you ever want to share your calculations I'm game for looking things over :)

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby sven » Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:28 pm

Mezmorki wrote:Have you had a chance to play Age of Wonder 3 recently? The newest patch (1.5) re-worked the entire happiness system in the game and tied it to race (since you can and often do have multi-race empires). With "race happiness" existing, how you treat each race in your empire impacts their happiness. So if you forcibly migrate one race out of their home, they are going to be disgruntled and the race happiness declines for that race across your entire empire.


I haven't, but I believe Arioch has. And having diplomatic actions be a significant part of the population balancing mini-game certainly something we're planning to do.

Mezmorki wrote:(1) size of the planet

yup.

Mezmorki wrote:(2) distribution % of the region types across the planet (50% forest, 10% reef, etc.)


yup. though, formally, i'm not sure it needs to be. moo2-uses a "trait" system, where species are flagged as having different perks or penalties, and each planet type has a different cap calculation based off of that trait set. you can think of what's going on behind the scenes in SiS as a trait system as well, though it would be a more complex one than moo2's.

Mezmorki wrote:(3) species in your empire


nope. though perhaps it should. and on a similar note, i think what techs you're researched ought to influence how well you can exploit a particular world, and thus, the attainable pop cap on each world. but, there's currently nothing that does this in the beta build.

Mezmorki wrote:(4) each species affinity for different region types


yup -- as i say above, CAP per species is pretty much multiplication of affinity X habitat size. though, again, i'm not sure the mechanic really *needs* to work like that. from the player's persective, what they should understand is that they're dealing with a moo2-like trait system -- one that leads aquadic species to do well on watery worlds, but less-well on arid worlds. ideally, i think the details of reef % vs. deep ocean % are probably beneath a player's notice. it matters on the implementation side because it provides a mechanic that causes that paradise worlds to be even better for most species than garden or island worlds -- but, i don't see that there's a lot of fun to be had by encouraging players to obsess over those %s.

Mezmorki wrote:BTW - I love spreadsheets - so if you ever want to share your calculations I'm game for looking things over :)


I don't think I'll take you up on that quite yet -- I have badly broken ship production costs I should really be fixing. Ask me again when the morale system goes in :)

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Re: Planet Habitat Displays?

Postby Mezmorki » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:15 pm

Totally different way of looking at this ....

But let's say that a particular plant has an area of 10, and that 5 of that area is forestland, 2 desert, and 3 shallow ocean.

From the player's perspective, they are interested in how much population can I cram onto this planet? Each point of area, depending on its type, could have a certain population carrying capacity. For example, consider that we have Human, SquidPeople, and DesertFolk.

Affinity rates:
Humans = 2 pop in forest, 1 pop in desert, 0 pop in shallow ocean (all human cap = 12)
Squidpeople = 2 pop in shallow ocean, 0 in forest, 0 in desert (all squid cap = 6)
DesertFolk = 1 pop in forest, 2 pop in desert, 0 pop in shallow ocean (all desertfolk cap = 9)

Now, if you were able to migrate in the right mix of people, you could maximize the population with 10 humans in the forest, 6 squid in the ocean, and 4 desertfolks in the desert for a total of 20 population.

The question is how to implement this in an easy way .....

What if the planet view actually showed these basic "slots" floating above an enlarged planet picture. The management would be dragging and dropping units of a specific race's population into the various slots (only one race can occupy each slot!). What if the system is as simple as described above? And each slot would just be 1 box for 1 population unit with a 2nd box next to it that would open up if the race you are moving in can live there, or would be greyed out If they can't live there. Essentially, each slot can scale to accommodate 0, 1, or 2 units of population.

OR .... if you want more range of numbers, the overall "size" of each slot just scales dynamically based on the affinity (between 0.8 and 4?). But regardless, each "slot" can only ever be occupied by 1 race to keep it relatively simple. Basically, each slot can accommodate 800k to 4 Mil population depending on the race you are moving in there. I'd personally add more nuance to the system by having some types be totally off-limits to certain races (e.g. aquatic species living in the desert) and others much lower than 800k. Basically, maybe your affinities range from 0 to 3 or something. 0 = not at all habitatable, 1 = normal habitability, 2 = high habitability, 3 = exceptional habitability.

Maybe this will stick?

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Re: Planet Habitat Displays?

Postby sven » Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:20 pm

Mezmorki wrote:Totally different way of looking at this ....

But let's say that a particular plant has an area of 10, and that 5 of that area is forestland, 2 desert, and 3 shallow ocean.

From the player's perspective, they are interested in how much population can I cram onto this planet? Each point of area, depending on its type, could have a certain population carrying capacity. For example, consider that we have Human, SquidPeople, and DesertFolk.



So this is actually how the population model works, more or less. The subtle, but important, detail is that your colonists are constantly rearranging themselves, behind the scenes, to get the effective population cap to be as high as they can manage. So, for example, if moving 300k worth of humans from a forest to a desert would let you pack in more squidpeople, it effectively happens without the need for any interference from the player.

Basically, the kinds of things I think are potentially most interesting about multi-species population management are the high level decisions: "can I afford to do something that's going to makes the Phidi upset, given how many are living in my planets". Or, "is bringing Gremak to this world really a good idea, given how much they hate Ashdar?". Moving a Human from a desert tile to a ocean tile feels decidedly less grand. It's also a heavy micro burden, and one that I can see quickly becoming intractable during the late game.

EDIT: Also, potentially interesting are choices between different species that fill similar habitat niches, but have different kinds of perks. If you have an empire with access to both Phidi (who get a income bonus) and Orthin (who get a tech bonus) which one do you want to try and fill your oceans with?


Mezmorki wrote:Maybe this will stick?


In a way, it already has. The affinity X area model is already there -- it's just subsumed inside a game world "simulation" rather than being a mechanic we're asking players to directly interact with.

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Re: Planet Habitat Displays?

Postby Sziklamester » Tue May 05, 2015 6:44 pm

It would be good more variation on planets and more zones which calculated by a generating process. All planet types just using their description what made and there is no differentation all looks like it's supposed but would be nice with more randomity. Like an arid word with desert/forest or some lake/oceans combination with different atmospheric datas. As gas planets some habitable moon and some more gas planet looks.


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