New DLC

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zolobolo
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Re: New DLC

Postby zolobolo » Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:13 pm

Arioch wrote:Yes, the idea is that the spike is some sort of gravitational drive, and so there is a gravitational lensing effect around it.

Very cool :) Is the lense effect going to be moving somewhat?

Arioch wrote:I think that normally for your race only one direction is going to be beneficial, and you should be able to see from the UI what the benefit will be (numbers highlighted in green). The only reason you might want to go in the other direction is if you have a minority species with unusual requirements (like the Spicemongers) that you want to make a specialty planet for.

Yeah its the same difficulty as with moving pops, its context sensitive to the race selected :)

You coudl say only terraformation for the main race is supported and this might work as kind of balancing mechnic so that the player needs to choose between optimising their planets to their main race or leaving them ideal for specific minor races... just need to make sure all the minor races prefer non-optimised planets only otherwise it gets realy complicated again :)
This would also be good to decrease the temptation to terraform all planets (micro and repertitive) but the same sub-goal of course can also be achived with high terraformation cost

Does the showel icon represent terraofmration effort or the earch moving tech?
It would be perfect for representing earth.moving and heating and the other terrarofrming relevant tech could get their owne icon maybe? :) THis would make it a bit moe easy to tell which planet stage needs what kind of techs and color coding of the tech icon itslef might represent if the tech has already been researched

Love the overview of the stages and that only changes to specific stage benefit are highliget green - excellent dashbaord concept in the works here

zolobolo
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Re: New DLC

Postby zolobolo » Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:21 pm

Did you think abouth spicing up other elements via terraforming?

e.g.: End-game terraforming tech enabling living on hyperspace nodes by transforming them into a sort of artificial planet or Harpies invading again sytems and over time conducting a kind of irreversable terraformation to planets in that system that leaves them hollow and explited from all resource. They could still be colonised but could end up gradually having no fertility and minerals casuing porlonged Harpy occupation to be very detrimental if you want that system over time :)

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Arioch
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Re: New DLC

Postby Arioch » Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:22 am

zolobolo wrote:Does the showel icon represent terraofmration effort or the earch moving tech?
It would be perfect for representing earth.moving and heating and the other terrarofrming relevant tech could get their owne icon maybe? :) THis would make it a bit moe easy to tell which planet stage needs what kind of techs and color coding of the tech icon itslef might represent if the tech has already been researched

The cost of terraforming projects is paid in terraforming points, or "shovels." You can produce shovels directly via a production project (similar to City Planning or Research), but you can also produce them passively by building terraforming infrastructure, such as atmosphere processing plants, solar mirrors or shades. Also, some population types (such as the Gardeners Workers) also generate shovels. The terraforming target is selected by its own button, so it can run independently of the production queue.

zolobolo
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Re: New DLC

Postby zolobolo » Mon Nov 30, 2020 4:38 pm

So "terraforming Points" wouldnt works like a new general reasource that can be produced on any planet and spent independently from production correct?

It would make sense to have the effect of this production only be applicable to the planet where it is produced (oterwise we can build terraforming infrastructure on useless planets and upgrade more valuable planets with them which would feel strange)
On the other hand if TP can only be spent where it is produced would there still be a sense to keep the infrastructure after a planet has already been terraformed? This issue of havign to remove the infra structure once planet is terraformed might be resolved by:
1. Auto-removing the infra structure ocne terraformation takes place (downside is disappearing art which is a shame :) and that it need to e rebuilt every time new terraformation step it conducted on the planet). The latter issue might be mitigated by only removing the terraofrming infra once the planet has reached max level
2. Terraforming infra not taking up standard improvement slots at all thus not need to remove them (this means that there is no real decision invovled then though as far as capacity goes)
3. Terraforming infra to produce something else beyond TP to make them usefull even afterwards AND/OR make them permanent and indestructable

Giving the function its own menu is for sure a less complicated approach (this is also how we end up with hunderds to thousands of functions in ERP system :)) but it does weight the UI down a bit especially if showels is a global resource in which case you need to make space for twi additional menu points on an already well occupied bar (though you have one less icon there of course withouth the pop mod ;)

If it seems to crowded up there, could it be integrated well into the planetary production menu? Seems like a palce that might be suited to sort planets by available shovel/shovel production and an icon could lead into this detailed menu similarly how pop transfer works. Not of coruse the production menu is only complimentary to the main planetary production menu, but it such a case it would be the only location for a new function of the game which migth be tricky if most players are not confortable with it

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Arioch
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Re: New DLC

Postby Arioch » Mon Nov 30, 2020 8:28 pm

Terraforming is meant to be something that's a trade-off; you trade productivity of a planet in the short term for greater habitability in the long term. The transformations will have multiple stages that are fairly expensive in terms of shovels, and which are spread across the entire length of the tech tree, with the first steps available fairly early, and top-tier transformations available in late game. The design goal is that terraforming isn't something that you'll want to do on every planet, but sparingly on key worlds which aren't very useful early game but which have promise for later game.

Terraforming points will be like labor (wrenches) in that they are automatically spent on the local planet's chosen project, and they can't be pooled or stockpiled. Terraforming infrastructure will take up regular building and orbital slots, so they won't be "free". When the current terraforming stage is completed, the next stage might not yet be available, so you will need to decide whether you want to keep the terraforming infrastructure in place; I don't it would make sense to automatically remove them.

Since terraforming points are not pooled and can only be spent on the local transformation, I don't think there will be a need to add a counter to the main header or the Planetary Report lines. You'll be able to see the shovel output on the terraforming indicator, and there will be the usual detailed breakdown pane as with other resource types. The current resource UI's should not need to change.


terraforming_target1.jpg
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zolobolo
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Re: New DLC

Postby zolobolo » Tue Dec 01, 2020 7:27 am

Sounds great: no new ui button on the main pane means everything is integreatedinto existing elements and no spawning fucntions like in Stellaris :)

No central pool is what makes sense as far as I can tell as well: need to build he infra right there where it is needed and no simple exploits of ranking the points up

If the upgrade button is avaialble right from within the planetary production queue that is fully integrated then :)

Spreading out the tech is also wise as it allows all factions to play around with terraforming right in the beginning to some extent which makes sense and could be good source of role-playing going around with humans eg and terraforming worlds on a base level

If gardener pop can have TP production other pops can as well - is it planned to give some base value to mos factions or some oto minor faction to make them even more diverse? Tech could also be use to enable the production of TP of your main faction pop if they dont start out with it... naturalyl much lower value then that of the Gardeners to make the latter stand out with the new mechanic

Suggest to have one or two unique planet types that can only be achieved via terraforming to really entice the research and investment on long term even if those unique types are just slight modifications of existing top-tier planet types (e.g: Engineered/Optimised Garden World; AI managed Hive World; Eden World (Garden World with pre-build massive structures to house people in mountains, slopes etc)

bjg
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Re: New DLC

Postby bjg » Tue Dec 01, 2020 3:44 pm

Arioch wrote:Terraforming points will be like labor (wrenches) in that they are automatically spent on the local planet's chosen project, and they can't be pooled or stockpiled. Terraforming infrastructure will take up regular building and orbital slots, so they won't be "free". When the current terraforming stage is completed, the next stage might not yet be available, so you will need to decide whether you want to keep the terraforming infrastructure in place; I don't it would make sense to automatically remove them.

It might be interesting or just annoying - a risky move.

zolobolo
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Re: New DLC

Postby zolobolo » Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:57 am

I think the new mechanic has a good chance of being engaging and not anoying

Things that help make it engaging:
1. Options available early game to engage with the system (if research is prioratized at least). If already available in a very limited degree to at least some of the races even better
2. Command AND overview of progress available from the main build menu

I belive that some art goes a long way fo making research engaging but admittedly such tech did not get art which migth be the case here well

Possible annoyance factors:
1. If terraforming infrastructure is worth building AND destroying after each terraformation (ton of micro)
2. If terraforming is worth doing on most planets. In an average game the player can be expected to easily have 10! planets so this is quite a micro especially combined with the first point

The decision to pick which couple of planets to terraform should be key. Only a couple of planets should be worth the effort to upgrade (research, time coin) but the benefits should be high enough to do it for these planets.

I think having unique planets at the end of the chain would make it easier to make the effort worth it
If the effort is simply very high (several techs needed, terraforming infra bulding drawing away coin, and 10-12 turns needed for each terraofrming step) that deinsentivise terraformation of a bunch of planets all at once at least in early to mid game in medium to huge galaxies.

It is also important to not make individual efforts too high (too long research, too long wait timefor shovel pileup for next level) - the sum of all elements is enough if high :)

If the terraforming tech does not need decomissioning after they are built, that should make the entire process streamlined annd engaging

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Arioch
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Re: New DLC

Postby Arioch » Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:56 am

It will take some balancing work to try to make sure that the feature feels useful but not overpowered, but ultimately it's an optional feature in the sense that I don't think any terraforming should be required to win the game, so as long as it's not so overpowered that it feels required, I don't think there's much risk of it making the play experience less enjoyable.

bjg
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Re: New DLC

Postby bjg » Thu Dec 03, 2020 3:58 pm

Arioch wrote:It will take some balancing work to try to make sure that the feature feels useful but not overpowered, but ultimately it's an optional feature in the sense that I don't think any terraforming should be required to win the game, so as long as it's not so overpowered that it feels required, I don't think there's much risk of it making the play experience less enjoyable.

That is true for a new buyer. The old player will be missing something he is use to and given something new instead. In order to don't cause a negative reaction the new needs to be way more enjoyable than the old (not just more realistic or logical).

zolobolo
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Re: New DLC

Postby zolobolo » Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:06 pm

I didnt considered that: the existing mechanic is very simple and comes in very late into the game so would think that almost no-one would wish it back if there is a more fleshed-out system there to replace it AND you can engage with it much earlier

zolobolo
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Re: New DLC

Postby zolobolo » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:20 pm

Arioch wrote:ultimately it's an optional feature in the sense that I don't think any terraforming should be required to win the game, so as long as it's not so overpowered that it feels required, I don't think there's much risk of it making the play experience less enjoyable.


Yes, well I assume the player wants to interact with the new mechanic, if they avoid it altogether ther is no chance of being annoying

Exmaple is asteroid bases and ion cannons: I avoid them as it doesnt seem to make sense using them but they dont annoy me. Its just a shame for the art and coding effort that went into them :)

If the mechanic enables powerful combos but is not necessary that of course is the perfect balance

Did you think on how the AI can use terraforming? Maybe the script can be told to concentrate on top X planets based on total number of planets owned and ignore colonisation on all other planets... But telling the AI script which tech to research for furuter terraforming is not trivial: The AI would need to be aware of planets it owns and might own in the near future (known to them but not owned yet)

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Arioch
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Re: New DLC

Postby Arioch » Thu Dec 03, 2020 8:20 pm

bjg wrote:
Arioch wrote:It will take some balancing work to try to make sure that the feature feels useful but not overpowered, but ultimately it's an optional feature in the sense that I don't think any terraforming should be required to win the game, so as long as it's not so overpowered that it feels required, I don't think there's much risk of it making the play experience less enjoyable.

That is true for a new buyer. The old player will be missing something he is use to and given something new instead. In order to don't cause a negative reaction the new needs to be way more enjoyable than the old (not just more realistic or logical).

That's a risk with any change to the game, and no change will please everyone. I don't find the current terraforming system fun; chief among my concerns are:

  • it comes too late to have much of an impact on the outcome of a playthrough
  • the logic behind which techs allow which transformations is not intuitive or clear from the tech descriptions
  • you can create planets out of nothing and transform them into the most optimal planet for the cost a few cruisers, so the end result doesn't feel satisfying or earned, and it presents no interesting decisions
  • since you can create 4 optimal planets per star system, a large galaxy will have thousands of planets for you to manage, which the game's systems are not designed to handle
Do you enjoy the current terraforming system?

zolobolo
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Re: New DLC

Postby zolobolo » Thu Dec 03, 2020 9:30 pm

Arioch wrote:
  • it comes too late to have much of an impact on the outcome of a playthrough
  • the logic behind which techs allow which transformations is not intuitive or clear from the tech descriptions
  • you can create planets out of nothing and transform them into the most optimal planet for the cost a few cruisers, so the end result doesn't feel satisfying or earned, and it presents no interesting decisions
  • since you can create 4 optimal planets per star system, a large galaxy will have thousands of planets for you to manage, which the game's systems are not designed to handle
Do you enjoy the current terraforming system?

Agree with all of the above and never get to the curent terraforming function in my games (100 stars all enemies, nromal difficulty) but if I would I wouldnt use it :)

bjg
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Re: New DLC

Postby bjg » Fri Dec 04, 2020 4:44 pm

Arioch wrote:it comes too late to have much of an impact on the outcome of a playthrough
For me it's rather midgame, but I play rather big maps.
BTW, if you truly belief that old mechanics belong to the the late game, may be you leave it be and just add the new (early game) once?
Arioch wrote:the logic behind which techs allow which transformations is not intuitive or clear from the tech descriptions
True, but I've already have figured it out (with a help of Sven's forum posts ;) ).
Arioch wrote:you can create planets out of nothing and transform them into the most optimal planet for the cost a few cruisers, so the end result doesn't feel satisfying or earned, and it presents no interesting decisions
Out of energy, which is cheap and abundant late game.
As for correlation between earned and satisfying - it's not so strong in life and definitely overrated in games. :lol:
Arioch wrote:since you can create 4 optimal planets per star system, a large galaxy will have thousands of planets for you to manage, which the game's systems are not designed to handle
Is that the biggest reason for the change? 8-)
Arioch wrote:Do you enjoy the current terraforming system?
I enjoy the game, the terraforming doesn't specially annoy me - so I do enjoy the current system.


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