Terraforming

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AMX
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Re: Terraforming

Postby AMX » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:41 am

Arioch wrote:But I'm also not sure how useful that information would be. The max pop calculation doesn't penalize you for having sub-optimal races in the mix.

One of my pops unexpectedly suffering from overcrowding seems like enough of a penalty to me.

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Arioch
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Re: Terraforming

Postby Arioch » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:03 am

AMX wrote:One of my pops unexpectedly suffering from overcrowding seems like enough of a penalty to me.

I think that's unlikely to happen unexpectedly. If you transform Desert into an Island world and the native Spicemongers don't like it, that probably shouldn't come as a surprise.

gaerzi
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Re: Terraforming

Postby gaerzi » Mon Jan 20, 2020 3:05 pm

Just a little mention if some of the existing population would end up in an overpopulated situation. No need to list which populations or how many, just that it would cause problems.

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Mithramuse
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Re: Terraforming

Postby Mithramuse » Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:20 am

Arioch wrote:That said, Sven and I talked about the possibility of a special Ocean world transformation for the Gardeners that's analogous to the Island-Coral World custom transformation, and I'm starting to think that makes sense. But we have to be careful about making these transformations too good, or they just become unbalancing and ultimately boring.


Generate low density matter on top of the Ocean, to allow large floating islands? It's Waterworld! :D

--Mithramuse

DDPD
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Re: Terraforming

Postby DDPD » Thu Jan 30, 2020 4:06 am

Any idea when we might be able to start testing the new stuff?

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Arioch
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Re: Terraforming

Postby Arioch » Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:22 pm

DDPD wrote:Any idea when we might be able to start testing the new stuff?

Nope.

andy
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Re: Terraforming

Postby andy » Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:05 pm

In my experience, investing in military is (1) easier, (2) less risky/more deterrent and (3) more likely to win the game faster through conquest than by investing in terraforming.

Maybe in a protracted game with balanced opponents, I'd make it to the end of the tech tree and find usefulness in terraforming but that had never happened. If I don't have enough military, AIs attack me and I lose. If I have equal or more military, than I can out-maneuver the AIs and win.

Maybe if the terraforming option came a bit sooner in the game (or the AIs were less aggressive in a game where I was behind), I'd have to consider the cost-benefit of terraforming more often.

DanTheTerrible
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Re: Terraforming

Postby DanTheTerrible » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:26 pm

andy wrote:In my experience, investing in military is (1) easier, (2) less risky/more deterrent and (3) more likely to win the game faster through conquest than by investing in terraforming.

Maybe in a protracted game with balanced opponents, I'd make it to the end of the tech tree and find usefulness in terraforming but that had never happened. If I don't have enough military, AIs attack me and I lose. If I have equal or more military, than I can out-maneuver the AIs and win.

Maybe if the terraforming option came a bit sooner in the game (or the AIs were less aggressive in a game where I was behind), I'd have to consider the cost-benefit of terraforming more often.


I made a comment above on much the same lines. Arioch's reply indicates much of the point is to make the easiest terraforming technologies available much earlier in the tech tree. I bet that while you may never have found terraforming useful, you have researched Bionomics in several games, which gives you a generic +1 bonus to population on all worlds. The intent seems to be to replace that generic bonus with more realistic terraforming options available at least as early as bionomics, and probably earlier than that.

The more I think about it and follow this thread, the more I regret my previous negative comment. I'm starting to think this going to be pretty cool. While there are other things I'd kind of like to see the Devs focus on, there is much to be said for encouraging Devs to develop bits they find fun to work on, rather than completely dedicate themselves to making fans happy at the price of boredom and burnout.

andy
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Re: Terraforming

Postby andy » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:12 pm

Yeah, I read about the planned overhaul. I'm looking forward to it. And, yes, bionomics is early enough and cheap enough to merit getting in most of my games. I'd say it's positioned well.

DanTheTerrible
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Jungle or forest planets?

Postby DanTheTerrible » Sat Feb 22, 2020 10:50 am

Has there ever been any discussion or consideration of including a jungle planet type? I imagine this as a planet whose only zone is forest, or perhaps a combination of a large forest zone with a small coastal zone, since surface water seems necessary for extensive vegetation. Forest planets would be similar but cooler, with an ice zone.

gaerzi
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Re: Jungle or forest planets?

Postby gaerzi » Sat Feb 22, 2020 11:15 am

DanTheTerrible wrote:Has there ever been any discussion or consideration of including a jungle planet type? I imagine this as a planet whose only zone is forest, or perhaps a combination of a large forest zone with a small coastal zone, since surface water seems necessary for extensive vegetation. Forest planets would be similar but cooler, with an ice zone.


The whole monobiome planet is a staple of science fiction (and Star Wars is especially guilty of this), but doesn't really make much sense. I figure a jungle planet could be a mix of shallow seas, mangroves, and slightly drier areas, so in SIS terms: reef + swamp + forest.

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Arioch
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Re: Terraforming

Postby Arioch » Sat Feb 22, 2020 5:32 pm

We do plan on adding a Swamp planet (which would be a generic version of the type Gremal represents). I think it is possible to have a lot of surface water but to have it mostly in very shallow lakes and wetlands. Earth during the Carboniferous era was an example in which there was almost a monobiome of wetlands (at least in the Americas), so it is possible.

Forests which cover the planet are possible if it's wet and warm enough, but generally this means having a lot of surface water. The "Paradise" type sort of represents this.

In Outsider I have the idea of a world that's mostly covered by a forest of giant fungal trees, and doesn't have any large bodies of water; all the water is in a subterranean aquifer; because it's an ancient planet, much of the crust is porous sedimentary rock like limestone, and can contain as much or more water as Earth has in its oceans. But I think a world like this, if it were to appear in Outsider, would probably be a unique world rather than a regular type.

DanTheTerrible
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Postby DanTheTerrible » Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:45 am

Are there any plans to add a playable race to SiS that is native to barren planets? I hate to make MoO references but I am really thinking silicoids here. It seems to me the fundamental differences between such a race and SiS's common carbon/water races would be cool and interesting. I know there are non-playable species in SiS that can inhabit these planets, but I mean a major playable empire.

To make these guys really feel distinct, I suggest they be basically allergic to water. I would give them a population multiplier of zero in any liquid water zone, such as ocean, reefs, or vents. And they can't colonize any planet with such a zone unless they have habitation dome tech. Perhaps they eat ore instead of food for sustenance, but get a bonus to ore production. They get a good population multiplier in airless zones, and get a smaller number in inferno zones, and possibly a small non-zero multiplier in ice zones. They may or may not be able to colonize inferno planets, that's a major game balance factor. Arguably, inferno planets usually have substantial water vapor present, which they can't tolerate easily. The heat might also be a problem.

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Arioch
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Re: Terraforming

Postby Arioch » Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:32 pm

We have some ideas for playable factions that have more unusual environmental requirements. We're trying to be as creative with them (both from a lore and gameplay standpoint) as we can.

I think a plausible "lithovore" race that lived on airless worlds would need to have an incredibly slow metabolism (there's not a lot of chemical energy in rocks), which is why we have the Wrem as a minor race... I have the feeling that this would not be a very fun mechanism for a playable faction. Being exclusively limited to Barren worlds would actually be a significant disadvantage, I think, with our current planet generation ratios, and so that would be a double-whammy.

Perhaps a photosynthetic race might make more sense, but it still begs the question of how chemical interactions of the degree required for the evolution of a vigorous, intelligent lifeform can happen in a dry, airless environment.

A mineral being that evolved on a molten inferno world solves that problem, but then you have a problem of being even more limited in available planets... so I think they would need some kind of early access to terraforming methods to create Inferno worlds. But then you essentially have the Mycon from Star Control.

DanTheTerrible
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Re: Terraforming

Postby DanTheTerrible » Sun Feb 23, 2020 8:50 pm

Arioch wrote:We have some ideas for playable factions that have more unusual environmental requirements. We're trying to be as creative with them (both from a lore and gameplay standpoint) as we can.

I think a plausible "lithovore" race that lived on airless worlds would need to have an incredibly slow metabolism (there's not a lot of chemical energy in rocks), which is why we have the Wrem as a minor race... I have the feeling that this would not be a very fun mechanism for a playable faction. Being exclusively limited to Barren worlds would actually be a significant disadvantage, I think, with our current planet generation ratios, and so that would be a double-whammy.

Perhaps a photosynthetic race might make more sense, but it still begs the question of how chemical interactions of the degree required for the evolution of a vigorous, intelligent lifeform can happen in a dry, airless environment.

A mineral being that evolved on a molten inferno world solves that problem, but then you have a problem of being even more limited in available planets... so I think they would need some kind of early access to terraforming methods to create Inferno worlds. But then you essentially have the Mycon from Star Control.


Perhaps the creatures get energy from nuclear or radioactive processes? Since most radioactive metals are going to be valuable, this explains why they need to consume metal to survive -- its not structural metal like steel or aluminum but its valuable stuff everyone wants. Surely there is plenty of energy density in a living nuclear reactor? They don't need air, or even sunlight. If you accept my "allergic to water" theory, they could use arid, desert, and maybe glacier planets, but not ocean or iceball or island, and maybe not garden or gaia or swamp planets. Why allergic to water? Heck if I know -- rusting seems kind of implausible, but perhaps water poisons their natural nuclear reactions somehow.

Edit: ok, how does this sound -- their bodies use deuterium as a neutron moderator, and being exposed to water causes their bodies to uptake hydrogen and replace the deuterium with it. Hydrogen is a far less effective moderator, and too much in their tissues causes their energy level to drop until they die. Think of it like carbon monoxide poisoning in humans.


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