We colonize an Earth-like planet with 2 million people...

  • Thread starter jimmylegss
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  • #26
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How about this, you control 3.5 by 5.5 km tiles of city centres (or strategic places). And for the area's around that, you use a brush tool. So where industry is allowed and high rise vs low rise. I just like the idea of building stuff up close with more details. I missed that in civ (+ having some human element/story type thing). The world feels more real and alive that way. So you could have like 30-40 of those 3.5-5km tiles.
So 2 zoom levels for just strategical situation where you use the same graphic files? Plus one zoom on the city?

One thing - 30-40 cities? As far as I remember some strategy games after having so many provinces where you can really make decision I started becoming somewhat lost.

Edit:
Why not use Unity and start out with something like this?

https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/21650

It seems for a few thousand you can get full feature unity?

You download this for like 75$

Not sure what the downsides of Unity are, but several pretty good games have been made using Unity now.

Anyway, im creating some drawings of graphical feel, since I have seas of time on my hands (and some nice starting capital). This could really turn into something!
I have no experience with it. Looks really cool. Wait a bit with any buying, to have a chance to think about it.

General idea of an AI (from free civ)
http://freeciv.wikia.com/wiki/AI_Documentation
 
  • #27
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I like your idea on economics. What do you think about three factions? Also like your idea of a lot of tiny factions (preferably with different specialties)

How about starting with three factions, the militant, science focused, building (hivemind type) focused. Like I mentioned already.
Honestly - with those factions I have mixed feelings. It sound simple and leaving player with clear choices... but I wonder about realism...

Let's say that you are being dropped on such planet and on the way are arranging to make a faction out of similar minded people. What would you get? ;)

I can imagine conflict in the future as:
-direct democracy vs. technocratic leaning professional clique;
-is enhancing human being ok or not;
-economic freedom vs. egalitarianism;
-level of supervision in society (total surveillance ok or not?);
-individual freedom vs. responsible behaviour enforced by state; (addiction to new era mind affecting drugs and virtual reality)
-religion or Earth originated nationalism would be presumably on wane, but someone may want to give it one more try;
-corporation states, or entities half way between corporation state a monarchy (just imagine that you have money and can create your business/country).

If except of sandworms you are taking some psi-like ideas from Dune, then there is a place for some quasi religious movements

Idea:
-select your place on an ideological map from the above
-other computer factions would select it too
-you divide the group of potential followers, who consider your ideology as the right one

-you proceed to landing

(for events purposes you are one of the predefined faction pending on your stances, and event applies to a faction that is ex. the most egalitarian)


But you start out like 50 years in, so there has been some time to develop things and build a few starting cities. And population is like 30 million people total for entire world?

And then a few % farming each.
Fun of editing your faction + fun of selecting faction - lost.

Anyway - where people come from? New ships? Normal reproduction? Artificial womb babies?


But science has like 75% services of teaching, preserving science and research/engineering. They are maybe 6 million people?
The Hive is focussed on cheap labor and is like 75% manufacturing (a lot of stuff has to be build, since civilzations have to be rebuild almost from the ground?). A bit like how China's economy has been running on 50% investment or so for a long time now. They are starting with 11 million people?
Militant is a bit of each, but focused in 50% services (with a lot in military obviously) and 40% or so manufacturing and building. They are starting with 4 million? Their main specialty is fighting.

So now you have 21 million. And then the fourth one, those murderous maniacs are about 4 million strong as well? Or they could be split up in several groups and very spread out. They keep things interesting, and keep the tension up.
Just make the faction free civ equivalent of barbarians that appear from nowhere?

And then finaly have like half a dozen of city state type factions. Like Slav type people. They are very tough and could operate well in remote regions or something. French sounding faction good with culture and having them as friendly gives happiness bonus or something (yeah i know cliche). So basically each small faction has a specialty or so. They will be about 6 million big then.
Good to know that I'm very tough and can operate well in remote regions ;)
I consider nation based groups as a bit anachronistic in such setting.


I like your idea of leaving corporations out when playing with those civs. That is just impossibly complex. Allthoug you could add in some form of debt?
For practical reasons you may try with corporations. Assume medium level of self governance to your cities, and some of those could be charter cities partially owned by corporations. For practical reasons - a bit different AI behaviour + if there is too many of them they can try to secede.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charter_city

With diplomatic stuff, the science and hivemind faction should be sort of tense against eachother from the start. With military (and potentially those wildings and city states) in the middle of it. If for example you make peace with those rebels in the mountains, you would no longer need militant faction, and that would hurt their economy. So then they would try to rile things up again.



No storage facilities for each commodity/product? I like the idea of sabotage and manipulating markets and cutting off area's from supply. You could make it so that at like point A (where a mine would be located) every so often a commodity is generated, and then taken to location B through some transportation line. Where it is stored or used up right away (if there is a shortage). But you want to exceed demand a little bit with supply. So obviously you always want some stockpile (or inventory), in case one of those transports is intercepted, or mine goes down or something. So location B is slowly using that thing up (or quicker if you use it to build something?) and has a certain limited storage capacity. If that capacity is destroyed, it means a shortage. For example, cut a city with limited farms off from food supply and bad things will happen. I like some mechanics of offworld trading company (allthough I don't like how they did the buying/selling and market element).
I just think about complexity of this idea... :(

(the worst thing that it is both very interesting and very complex)


As for AI, im not very good at mathematics, but you could take a lot of smaller bell curves for each thing, that all interact with eachother, creating one large bellcurve? And then give each AI some personality? So at each turn there would be some optimal decision based on cost, information available etc. And then add in some irrational decisions with a RNG. But im way out of my dept here lol.

So that makes it easier ot create an AI for each entity. As they all have clear objectives and act according to biases their personality gives them.

The small city state like factions just play to survive and hitch on to whoever seems most reasonable.
See the link to free civ AI.

I think about making clear that cities have serious autonomy, thus:
-player don't have to spend plenty of time with them;
-they do what's optimal for them (which makes decision system easier).

Personality - paradoxically would not be such a big issue. In free civ algorithm there are some arbitrary (presumably empirically checked) values which are being optimized. It would not be a big deal to say that one AI is obsessed about stockpiling reserves, while other invest everything.

You could split the game up in objectives? For example, the first one for science and hivemind (the two main superpowers) to deal with rebels, and later militants (as they could become obsolete and their army could become a problem). When that is dealt with, and you grow larger, possibly a next objective is to deal with something on the far side of planet? Or some virus/disease alien life.
Challenges?
1) There would be some resources at start. Sooner or later one would run out of them and by this time would have to have working industrial base.
2) Change of sources of resources (just exploiting the easily accessible one) and trade routes (just building a few rail lines and no longer ships are crucial.
3) Economic crises - this decentralized system with poor AI is asking for waves of overproductions /underproduction
4) New powers try to appear and non-state actors (think about a libertarian leaning city state that is a tax haven and the main source of recreational substances...
5) Real economic disruptions - realistically at start food production would be the priority. After a short while there would be spare capacities. Same with new tech which suddenly boost something.

As the last? Fighting against singularity from within... ;)

Epidemics can be good, especially if it target both humans and their crops.
Causing a environmental disaster would also not be bad...
 
  • #28
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132
Some more ideas:
10) If you make small fields then any realistic artillery would have a few fields range (an 155mm artillery shell, M982 Excalibur - has got range of 40 km, while a naval battle with anti ship missiles would be fought on distance of a few hundred km)
11) I still think about international law.
11.1) There should be some law preventing hogging all land by someone and placing one city on someone else land
-your landing place = your land, with range of let's say 5 fields
-in early times of game any settlement would give some 5 fields around, later when the density would go up, the control range would go down to ex. 3
11.2) No WMD
11.3) I think about possibility of allowing war but making some serious limits to its lethality (how to have rules for literally a cut-throat competition and not make too much damage). What about that two least populated continents are fair game and anyone can wage his wars there, while the more populated ones are to be left intact?
 
  • #29
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0
I actually thought about building in a simple RTS element lol. Like rome total war, but a lot simpler. There are actually a whole bunch of prebuilt RTS games in those engines. You could download, edit and attach them. With very overpowered weapons in the beginning and cool sound effects and explosions (not so detailed enviroment and units, otherwhise it is impossible). Like if some area is invaded you gotta fight. But if you bomb one of your own houses with civilians in it? So whatever you do or do not kill in this rts element affects what will happen outside.

And then a day and night element, and a supply element. So during day, with a lot of supplies (so close to your area) your way ahead usually, and it's a slaughter house. But then when night comes, it can get nasty, especially if you go too far in and supplies get cut off.

How about this, making simple puzzel like missions for espionage as well? Build in like 15-20x of those. Make them short but really hard in ascending order, and build them in such a way that you cannot load and save constantly. Or you can only retry them limited times and if you fail it is a big set back. But if you succeed it gets you way ahead (like getting some crucial piece of info, or killing some leader and blaming it on someone else). So it allows player to either set spying on auto with unspectacalur results (more general info), or do one of those manually and take some big risks (based on skill/cleverness though, not luck), and get way ahead. High risk/reward.

It could be a cool mechanism for when your losing the game. More fun to think about then to actually design and code 20 of those though lol.

As for player choice, I really wanted to limit that (with regards to starting position and what your civ will be like) and go in another route. Instead you give a more detailed realistic world and a political/story element which was lacking in civ. It seems pretty difficult to combine the two. You take something away, but in return y ou make the world more alive and personal. A bit like Crusader kings? Sort of a mix between crusader kings/civ/rome total war. But simplify the political elements from crusader kings.

I just think about complexity of this idea... :(

(the worst thing that it is both very interesting and very complex)
Why very complex? Seems like a simple formula, just let cities take resources from place with lowest combined distance and cost value.

Your right though that 40 tiles is too much to manage. Have to think about how to really turn this into a good gameplay mechanic, if putting it in at all.

Or how about this, if you start a new place somewhere, you have to build it in third zoom level (the closest) of like a 3.5-4.5 mile (fixed camera and everything). Taking into account various risks (doesn't seem too hard to give AI a few pre auto builds that depend on various inputs of enviroment?). But once it starts blooming past a certain level, you only control on the second zoom level where roughly what is allowed to be built outside that level 3 zoom level. And only set like patrols/outposts on border of that area if the world is unsafe.

Reading that AI document, it seems that if you put a lot more clear limitions (meaning it would be pretty stupid to do it) on what can be done, it is easier to program an AI? In civilization you can make wildly different choices. Like you can go full science with a smaller amount of cities while trying to keep peace. Or full attack mode with a ton of cities. Or somewhere in the middle. Or just generating a shitload of money with that venice city state civ. The more you limit this, the simpler it is to create an AI?

So for example you cannot just attack someone. It is a slow progression towards attack (because your citizens need to be behind it as well, otherwhise you could get revolution, or those thought leaders will simply stop becoming your allies/stop following you if they do not agree). But you can do small sneak attacks or something.

The way I thought about game progression is this. It almost runs it self, like you can survive a long time without being any good in the game (but you will get nowhere and be reduced slowly to a small city state with less and less influence and control over fewer people, and almost no chance of winning over time and getting to later stages). But along the way you can exploit your enemies to get a little bit ahead each time. Unless you do something really stupid, then you lose a lot suddenly.

So a bit like betting on horse races or betting on stocks? Every once in a while the odds will be really in your favor. ANd then you pounce and win a bit of terrain? A very different style from CIV though. But that could be fun too? And every once in a while you get a chance to get majorly ahead if you plan some devious tactic really well.

So you could program the other civs to play perfectly with small steps ahead. So to win terrain from them you also have to do most of these small steps right, but also the big steps every once in a while. The AI does not have to be very clever this way. And the only way by taking over the AI would be to plan those bigger steps out right (very abstract I know :) . )

Then when your lategame and obviously way ahead, you could add in other threats. Like terrorism? Or let your size become a risk of being split up in a lot of smaller pieces. Or some super intelligence you have to battle, or possibly aliens coming down or something. So it does not become boring.

Then how about this, if you really got it perfect (lot's of control, certain level of tech without it destroying you and certain amount of openness in society (so little opression), the game says 'to be continued'. Could make a few different type of utopia's. And you make a second multiplanetary part that continues on this one :) .

And I really want a story element. Like certain characters are triggered with different world conditions (level of tech, utopia/dystopia, playing style etc), all with dialogue to deal with various events, and some standard dialogue. And then various amounts of friendships or backstabbings to add some drama :) . So if you build some polluting opressive dystopia that would trigger different characters, and different events (depending on what you do to these characters). If you only do this somewhat right, it gets the player emotionally involved (even if it is not great). And it is cheap to put a lot of this in (unlike graphics or complicated gameplay dynamics). This way you could bias the AI to take certain actions. And it could make it easier to predict what AI will do (and to build AI, as certain AI algoritms are basically player activated this way). And all you need is write lines of dialogue and background info on characters. And draw up a lot of different type of faces with 3-4 emotions each.

Honestly if you do this, this year there are like nine 4x games coming out with a sci fi theme. So if you want to stick out with a low budget, you really gotta come up with something fresh that works. Same old thing is not gonna cut it. Paradoxically that means having a team :) which is expensive. Im afraid by the time I could possibly finish something like this, the space theme is completely worn out. With like 20 types of different 4x games.
 
  • #30
284
132
I actually thought about building in a simple RTS element lol. Like rome total war, but a lot simpler. There are actually a whole bunch of prebuilt RTS games in those engines. You could download, edit and attach them. With very overpowered weapons in the beginning and cool sound effects and explosions (not so detailed enviroment and units, otherwhise it is impossible). Like if some area is invaded you gotta fight. But if you bomb one of your own houses with civilians in it? So whatever you do or do not kill in this rts element affects what will happen outside.

And then a day and night element, and a supply element. So during day, with a lot of supplies (so close to your area) your way ahead usually, and it's a slaughter house. But then when night comes, it can get nasty, especially if you go too far in and supplies get cut off.

How about this, making simple puzzel like missions for espionage as well? Build in like 15-20x of those. Make them short but really hard in ascending order, and build them in such a way that you cannot load and save constantly. Or you can only retry them limited times and if you fail it is a big set back. But if you succeed it gets you way ahead (like getting some crucial piece of info, or killing some leader and blaming it on someone else). So it allows player to either set spying on auto with unspectacalur results (more general info), or do one of those manually and take some big risks (based on skill/cleverness though, not luck), and get way ahead. High risk/reward.

Honestly if you do this, this year there are like nine 4x games coming out with a sci fi theme. So if you want to stick out with a low budget, you really gotta come up with something fresh that works. Same old thing is not gonna cut it. Paradoxically that means having a team :) which is expensive. Im afraid by the time I could possibly finish something like this, the space theme is completely worn out. With like 20 types of different 4x games.
Better build a big team for all your ideas ;)

Concerning cool but damn hard to implement ideas for those micro games to implement - have you played Streets of Simcity?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streets_of_SimCity
(I mean idea of playing in what you built for a different purpose)


Space theme would be worn out? So do it in fantasy setting :D (kidding)

It could be a cool mechanism for when your losing the game. More fun to think about then to actually design and code 20 of those though lol.

As for player choice, I really wanted to limit that (with regards to starting position and what your civ will be like) and go in another route. Instead you give a more detailed realistic world and a political/story element which was lacking in civ. It seems pretty difficult to combine the two. You take something away, but in return y ou make the world more alive and personal. A bit like Crusader kings? Sort of a mix between crusader kings/civ/rome total war. But simplify the political elements from crusader kings.
Have you seen a file from Europa Universalis (presumably based on the same engine Crusader Kings too)? Where all semi-random events are placed?

Why very complex? Seems like a simple formula, just let cities take resources from place with lowest combined distance and cost value.
Why? It would be more or less simple to write an algorithm that asses profitability of dozen possible investment project and pick up the best... but it would be based on contemporary prices. So to make reasonable decision now, the AI would have to guess future price level...

[The rest of answer to be placed later]
 
  • #31
284
132
Honestly if you do this, this year there are like nine 4x games coming out with a sci fi theme. So if you want to stick out with a low budget, you really gotta come up with something fresh that works. Same old thing is not gonna cut it. Paradoxically that means having a team :) which is expensive. Im afraid by the time I could possibly finish something like this, the space theme is completely worn out. With like 20 types of different 4x games.
So do NOT make it one of plenty of 4x.
1) no explore - you know mostly planet from start, just some natural resources are not known
2) no exterminate - no normal combat between civilized states
3) instead plenty of using economic power, mass media, sabotage, etc.
4) make internal politics a minor nightmare, with hyperactive masses and local politicians disregarding bigger picture
 

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