Expansion\DLC plans?

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Arioch
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Re: Expansion\DLC plans?

Postby Arioch » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:41 am

McCloy wrote:Sounds great. I was hoping there'd be a new race along the same lines, focusing on bio-tech. As to how they look, I hope they are drawn very alien. Let your imagination go crazy and a bit darker. I was thinking 'big worm things' with triangular lamprey maws, with no eyes but with unknown sensory organs. They have tentacle-like appendages. No legs.

The adult forms are a colonial organism, so pretty alien. The juveniles can be seen here (the three "Gardeners"):
https://www.deviantart.com/ariochiv/art ... -632488187

McCloy wrote:That's good news about terraforming. It should be a long process to go from barren rock to garden, with many stages along the way. There should also be a "wet" route. For instance, an Iceball --> Glaciated --> Ocean --> Island --> Garden. And a " dry" route that ends up with Arid, Steppe, Garden, etc.

There should be number of different targets and a number of different paths. Not everyone wants a Garden.

McCloy wrote:What about a new planet type called PRIMORDIAL? Basically a primordial planet would be like the Earth after its planetary formation. Somewhere in its first 750 million years. Storms. Lots of rock. Volcanoes. Earthquakes. Debris field. Many shallow water lakes. Some lava rivers. It's warm but cooling. Too much CO2, particulate, and water vapour in the atmosphere for us to breathe.

A primordial Earth before the end of bombardment would be uninhabitable. A primordial Earth afterward would not, I think, be meaningfully different in game terms from a Garden with no life on it. We don't really model the oxygen content of an atmosphere (realistically, no lifeless planet should have any significant amount of oxygen).

nathanebht
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Re: Expansion\DLC plans?

Postby nathanebht » Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:49 pm

Arioch wrote:
nathanebht wrote:A new aquatic bio-engineering faction? Do they have squishy ships that grow bigger as they age?

The ships are mechanical, but some of the systems are bioengineered, and the race itself is bioengineered. They are terraforming specialists, their ideal target being the Coral World.

nathanebht wrote:What details can you provide on the terraforming revamp Arioch? Very curious what it will become.

The main difference (keeping in mind that these are concepts and not final designs) is that instead of just switching from one planet type to another, there are multiple incremental stages, each of which has incremental benefits and also distinct graphical states.


Couldn't the different terraforming stages also give us more planet types? That would be a nice bonus. More varied initial planet conditions that then can be terraformed into each race's ideal.

I've used terraforming in game before but its usually very close to the end of a game. Currently, terraforming is also kinda tedious. Finding which of your planets you can now improve. Queue it on each. Later queueing to fill the added build slots. Could the new terraforming be automatic and not a build item?

zolobolo
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Re: Expansion\DLC plans?

Postby zolobolo » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:33 pm

Arioch wrote:The adult forms are a colonial organism, so pretty alien. The juveniles can be seen here (the three "Gardeners"):
https://www.deviantart.com/ariochiv/art ... -632488187


Yep those look pretty alien - need to get used to them: what is the third form though - doesn't seem like enslaved or harmonised version, maybe militia?

It would not be a bad thing to leave out tanks from a race and just have militia from the getgo instead that has another purpose like Gremak Slave Drivers do

The planned faction sounds perfect, can hardy wait to see them in action :)

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Re: Expansion\DLC plans?

Postby zolobolo » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:35 pm

Arioch wrote:Not everyone wants a Garden.

I actually considered Hive World as the most desireable so far

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Arioch
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Re: Expansion\DLC plans?

Postby Arioch » Wed Jan 23, 2019 8:39 pm

The idea is that because it takes longer and provides more incremental benefits, early stages of terraforming can be available earlier in the game.

Each race has an ideal planet type, and the incremental terraforming stages step you towards that ideal. Have a race's ideal be one of the intermediate steps might be a bit confusing and unnecessarily complex. We try to design the system so you can't terraform "away" from your ideal.

nathanebht wrote:Currently, terraforming is also kinda tedious. Finding which of your planets you can now improve. Queue it on each. Later queueing to fill the added build slots. Could the new terraforming be automatic and not a build item?

I think that something as dramatic as changing the type of a planet should be a choice that requires some significant investment of resources. If all of your planets automatically slowly morphed into identical Garden worlds, I think that would be kind of boring. I think terraforming should probably be something you only want to do on select planets, and so it should take some effort. Also, even if terraforming happened automatically, you would still have the micromanagement of having to go to each world as it improved and fill new slots, etc.

My concept is to have each terraforming stage cost a certain number of "points", and to have there be a number of different ways to generate those points: a build project, yes, but also certain infrastructure (orbital mirrors, atmosphere processor buildings, etc., depending on the terraforming target), and in some cases (Gardeners) population yields. So depending on how badly you want it, terraforming can be something that you push hard for on a certain world, or it might be something that you have happen in the background over a longer period of time.

zolobolo wrote:
Arioch wrote:The adult forms are a colonial organism, so pretty alien. The juveniles can be seen here (the three "Gardeners"):
https://www.deviantart.com/ariochiv/art ... -632488187

Yep those look pretty alien - need to get used to them: what is the third form though - doesn't seem like enslaved or harmonised version, maybe militia?

It would not be a bad thing to leave out tanks from a race and just have militia from the getgo instead that has another purpose like Gremak Slave Drivers do

From left to right they are Worker, Hunter and Soldier forms. The Worker is the generic population. The Hunter is a specialized form that produces more food but less labor, has better fighting ability and can act as a raider. The Soldier is essentially a living tank.

McCloy
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Re: Expansion\DLC plans?

Postby McCloy » Thu Jan 24, 2019 8:29 am

Arioch wrote:
McCloy wrote:Sounds great. I was hoping there'd be a new race along the same lines, focusing on bio-tech. As to how they look, I hope they are drawn very alien. Let your imagination go crazy and a bit darker. I was thinking 'big worm things' with triangular lamprey maws, with no eyes but with unknown sensory organs. They have tentacle-like appendages. No legs.

The adult forms are a colonial organism, so pretty alien. The juveniles can be seen here (the three "Gardeners"):
https://www.deviantart.com/ariochiv/art ... -632488187


The Gardeners shown in the pic are definitely along the lines of what I was thinking, so yeah, I'm totally down with them.


McCloy wrote:That's good news about terraforming. It should be a long process to go from barren rock to garden, with many stages along the way. There should also be a "wet" route. For instance, an Iceball --> Glaciated --> Ocean --> Island --> Garden. And a " dry" route that ends up with Arid, Steppe, Garden, etc.

Arioch wrote:There should be number of different targets and a number of different paths. Not everyone wants a Garden.


I agree. Is there a spread sheet online anywhere for what the ideal biome or kind of world each race would thrive in the best. I know there are the homeworld descriptions as a guide, but there must be other world types which races would also find optimal, or at least almost as good.


McCloy wrote:What about a new planet type called PRIMORDIAL? Basically a primordial planet would be like the Earth after its planetary formation. Somewhere in its first 750 million years. Storms. Lots of rock. Volcanoes. Earthquakes. Debris field. Many shallow water lakes. Some lava rivers. It's warm but cooling. Too much CO2, particulate, and water vapour in the atmosphere for us to breathe.

Arioch wrote:A primordial Earth before the end of bombardment would be uninhabitable. A primordial Earth afterward would not, I think, be meaningfully different in game terms from a Garden with no life on it. We don't really model the oxygen content of an atmosphere (realistically, no lifeless planet should have any significant amount of oxygen).


Yeah, post-bombardment primordial Earth. In game terms, I see it as a step up from Barren, though not as keen as some the better types. It would be a rougher, rawer place, though at least more hospitable than an Inferno. Maybe there's a higher chance for Metal Richness, accompanied by increased tectonic instability. I suppose it would be Barren but with an atmosphere. Not a frozen or pressurized fiery hell, but having a swirling mess of clouds much nastier than what we have now. Stable and flat land might be limited. All the basic ingredients of terraforming would be there to push it toward glaciated, arid, or island. I don't know if anyone would find such a world unique, even visually. I personally would and think it's missing from space strat games. My humble hunch tells me there's many more 'primordial' planets in the galaxy.

nathanebht
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Re: Expansion\DLC plans?

Postby nathanebht » Thu Jan 24, 2019 12:40 pm

Arioch wrote:I think that something as dramatic as changing the type of a planet should be a choice that requires some significant investment of resources. If all of your planets automatically slowly morphed into identical Garden worlds, I think that would be kind of boring. I think terraforming should probably be something you only want to do on select planets, and so it should take some effort. Also, even if terraforming happened automatically, you would still have the micromanagement of having to go to each world as it improved and fill new slots, etc.


If you play with a lot of planets 100+, then queue management gets to be a bit much. And I don't even get to terraforming usually.

Hmm, not sure why I would terraform only select planets? Always want all the metal or research I can produce.

Thanks for sharing some details. Hope the expansion/dlc development goes well.

Dragar
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Re: Expansion\DLC plans?

Postby Dragar » Thu Jan 24, 2019 1:06 pm

If you play with a lot of planets 100+, then queue management gets to be a bit much.


Given how the economy works, I actually find many planets quite manageable compared to comparable games. Most planets should just be set on Mining/Research, while a few core worlds pump out ships (and are the only ones with a queue to manage).

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Re: Expansion\DLC plans?

Postby nathanebht » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:04 am

Dragar wrote:
If you play with a lot of planets 100+, then queue management gets to be a bit much.


Given how the economy works, I actually find many planets quite manageable compared to comparable games. Most planets should just be set on Mining/Research, while a few core worlds pump out ships (and are the only ones with a queue to manage).


Oh, SiS is much better on the amount of tedious tasks than most 4x games. If there were no queue fillers and the queue had one or two more slots, think it would be even better.

When you end up with 30+ planets the amount of clicks starts adding up.
- Checking on and then moving population around to max your build slots
- Checking on and then moving population around to max your total population growth
- Checking for empty planet build slots
- Removing and re-adding the queue fillers
- Having a planet do a lot of ship refits (thank goodness for the top left pull down menu)

zolobolo
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Re: Expansion\DLC plans?

Postby zolobolo » Sat Jan 26, 2019 8:54 pm

nathanebht wrote:When you end up with 30+ planets the amount of clicks starts adding up.
- Checking on and then moving population around to max your build slots
- Checking on and then moving population around to max your total population growth
- Checking for empty planet build slots
- Removing and re-adding the queue fillers
- Having a planet do a lot of ship refits (thank goodness for the top left pull down menu)

Here is how I get around the above:
- Use the following mod to quickly tell which planet has which type of pops available and how many there are: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=759
- Filter the meanu that comes with the above mod accoridng to planet type so you can simply spread out pop types suited to particular planet types
- Do no strive to spread out the pop quickly as it takes time to reach optimal reproduction rate anyhow - this negates the need to constantly check for reproduction rates though some efficiency is lost that is sure
- For small planets, fill up the queue right off the bat and insert Automatic poruction in the end - this way you will never have to worry abouth these planets again as even if a new building slot becomes avaialble, the automation process will build the additional building and then reinsert the most appropriate project filler (do this all the time for small mining colonies)
- Only use refit via production on the rarest occasion (when there are no wars going on and you see a sepcific area whre the fleet is lacking behind). Producing more ships is more efficient then refitting the ones you have. The latter should be done via coin and metal and the limited production capacity should be constantly working on pumping out new ships. Another case where I use refitting via produciton is for captured ships, but these are usually quite advanced already and mostly do not need furhter upgrades (they could get some but the resource is usually not worth it)

Bonus shortcuts:
- Enable advanced menu, and click your own faction to be controlled by the AI for a second to have the AI take care of pop distribution and growth optimisation) - just don't forget to turn off the AI right after that :)
- Switch to the enemy planet and scrap their bases, and defenses when sniping the planet to forgoe the manual sieging effort when carrying heavy guns

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Re: Expansion\DLC plans?

Postby nathanebht » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:23 am

zolobolo wrote:
nathanebht wrote:When you end up with 30+ planets the amount of clicks starts adding up.
- Checking on and then moving population around to max your build slots
- Checking on and then moving population around to max your total population growth
- Checking for empty planet build slots
- Removing and re-adding the queue fillers
- Having a planet do a lot of ship refits (thank goodness for the top left pull down menu)

Here is how I get around the above:
- Use the following mod to quickly tell which planet has which type of pops available and how many there are: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=759
- Filter the meanu that comes with the above mod accoridng to planet type so you can simply spread out pop types suited to particular planet types
- Do no strive to spread out the pop quickly as it takes time to reach optimal reproduction rate anyhow - this negates the need to constantly check for reproduction rates though some efficiency is lost that is sure
- For small planets, fill up the queue right off the bat and insert Automatic poruction in the end - this way you will never have to worry abouth these planets again as even if a new building slot becomes avaialble, the automation process will build the additional building and then reinsert the most appropriate project filler (do this all the time for small mining colonies)
- Only use refit via production on the rarest occasion (when there are no wars going on and you see a sepcific area whre the fleet is lacking behind). Producing more ships is more efficient then refitting the ones you have. The latter should be done via coin and metal and the limited production capacity should be constantly working on pumping out new ships. Another case where I use refitting via produciton is for captured ships, but these are usually quite advanced already and mostly do not need furhter upgrades (they could get some but the resource is usually not worth it)

Bonus shortcuts:
- Enable advanced menu, and click your own faction to be controlled by the AI for a second to have the AI take care of pop distribution and growth optimisation) - just don't forget to turn off the AI right after that :)
- Switch to the enemy planet and scrap their bases, and defenses when sniping the planet to forgoe the manual sieging effort when carrying heavy guns


- Already use that mod. Its great. Should be added to the base game.
- I don't use the automated production choice. Don't know what it will do. Will it end up mixing mines with other building types?
- Manual ship refitting only becomes a pain at certain times. I already do much like you describe.
- How do you enable the advanced menu?
- When you "Switch to the enemy planet and scrap their bases, and defenses" sounds like your using a cheat? But not using it to give yourself any real advantage. Would be nice if the automated battle option took advantage of out-ranging an enemies defenses.

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Re: Expansion\DLC plans?

Postby zolobolo » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:57 am

These "cheats" are done with the help of the Developer Options described here: http://stars-in-shadow.com/modding.html
Create an empty file: "show_hidden_options.bool" in the Root directoy of the game and after starting the game again, click on the options text in the options menu to reach it

Automated building option logic considers a lot of variables: it has a priority list of what to chose thus it is situation sensitive. Generally though, if you are not short of any resources (food, coin or metal), it will always start with a factory if there are none yet on the planet (even if you only have one slot left which is admittedly not ideal) and then should fill up the building slots with appropriate buildings to maximize output according to planet resources and staffing capacity

You can switch to enemy planets by enabling the Developer Options and option: "ai_dev" and then ALT+Clicking on an AI controlled system
Once you enable the option, you can also have your own faction controlled by the AI by clicking on the option on the top middle of your galaxy menu

The described workaround of srapping stations and defense is admittedly a workaround: it does not actually put the AI in any sort of disadvantage as it would loose those assets anyhow (if anything it gives the ma slight advantage by gaining some resoruces via the scrapping itself). I just find this worth it to forgoe a lot of tactical rounds during which the planer is "sieging" the planet withouth any dange to attacking ships.

The AI is not likely to take advantage of the same tactic though in the future as it has already been discussed that it would need a considerable rework of the movement logic itself. What I have proposed not long ago instead is to:
1. Only allow heavy and small craft type mounts (and maybe rocket types) on planetary defenses
2. Increase range of heavy weapons when used on planetary defenses (giving them unique art in the process to telegraph this ahead): now that I think of it, Mobile Planetoids might also be allowed to carry these unique stationary guns giving them an edge over Super Dreds (as they are currently largely the same and both can destroy planets)

Adjusting the automated resolution mechanic itself to declare the attacker the winner is probably not an option as replay would not work and might be confusing for the player.

zolobolo
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Re: Expansion\DLC plans?

Postby zolobolo » Sun Jan 27, 2019 11:15 am

Arioch wrote:The theme for the next DLC is already pretty set: it's the Gardeners (and aquatic bio-engineering faction) and a terraforming revamp. We just need to formalize the plans for actually getting it done.

Are you planning to put the environmental degradation mechanic through bombing into action for this DLC as well?

Rework of planetary Defenses and the mentioned super starbase might also tie neatly into this faction

In case of super starbase, this might replace the existing two models to cut down on repetition, be slightly more cheaper then the Fortress but boost heavy mounts and the faction starting tech: terraforming module. If it would be unique to this faction, it would be allowed to have their unique style. In this case it would not actually be a super weapon available for all races though

There is also a currently under-utilized element: Asteroid starbases. This might also be tied into the above reworks: giving them a reworked heavy weapon + hangar/missile battery mount, they would instantly become a great (and cheap) defensive installation with their thick armor for the cost of an orbital slot. After this, their pre-requirement of debris can be included for more planets and the AI script adjusted to utilize them: seeing a planet with debris on a contested system would instantly put a smile on the players face as two asteroid bases + 1-2 planetary defense installations could easily stop many fleets or at least decimate the attacker withouth having to invest a furtone on potential and immobile defenses). While asteroid bases would not add much to the visual versitality, they are still +1 model type that can be encoutered and unlike starbases and fortresses (that also have the Imperial insignia on them), they are not faction style specific and thus function better as a generic base type

Having a random event where a planet gains a debris field due to a huge battle coudl also serve the above purpose (as the planet is obviously heavily contested and thus a logical place for defenses).

More effective defenses woudl also be needed if pirate or Harpy raids woukd be reintroduced. They wouldn't be cheapter then today but would be capable of defending key planets gainst such random invasions when needed which would rectify their cost whiel at the same time not necessitate the building of expesinve fortresses to get the job done

Given all the options, planning defenses can be fun as there are several options and combos available and even mixed up by the new factions unique base type

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siyoa
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Re: Expansion\DLC plans?

Postby siyoa » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:37 pm

zolobolo wrote:1. Only allow heavy and small craft type mounts (and maybe rocket types) on planetary defences


I used to have a mod similar to this idea, you wouldn't dare to approach a planet without a few fighter carriers of your own as a counter measure ... I think the mod is long lost, but I can redo it again at some point
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zolobolo
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Re: Expansion\DLC plans?

Postby zolobolo » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:11 pm

siyoa wrote:
zolobolo wrote:1. Only allow heavy and small craft type mounts (and maybe rocket types) on planetary defences


I used to have a mod similar to this idea, you wouldn't dare to approach a planet without a few fighter carriers of your own as a counter measure ... I think the mod is long lost, but I can redo it again at some point

The templates used by the AI also needs updating which might make such a mod more complicated

Tried a mod that was doing the range extention as well (besides a whole lot of other rebalance changes), but it was distracting that the same weapon models are used everywhere when the stats are different

Withouth the range extention, the above is only a half-solution though

Have to admit I do try to avoid mods wherever possible: I usually feel that if a game needs modding it is due to it being broken and move on instead of experimenting. Even though SiS is an exception from this rule, there is still a nagging feeling when changing vanilla that the genuity is lost (like playing board games with house rules: some really enjoy it and some dont like it at all :))


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