Author Topic: Setup suggestions and ideas.  (Read 3574 times)

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Online alex_brunius

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Setup suggestions and ideas.
« on: February 14, 2014, 06:12:07 PM »
I'm currently aiming for 4 nation Earth start (all nations with several additional players as ministers and other roles recruited), and tech somewhere between Conventional and TN start but closer to conventional.

This means most research fields except some techs in construction/production, Logistics/Ground combat and geo survey sensors will be unavailable at start.
To try to speed up unlocking of further fields nations can make credit investments into specific fields ( Roleplay: hiring private industries and universities to construct theoretical TN labs), or wait until the fields are automatically unlocked as further TN technology spreads (somewhat randomly).

The scenario will be a post apocalyptic scenario and there will also be investment opportunity to expand inwards on Earth by diplomatic/relief aid means.

To speed up the start most of the industry will still be conventional but some will already be upgraded, I'm thinking a base 100 mines + 100 factories per nation, but is open to suggestions for a different amount.
The main thing is it should be balanced with the amount of labs / pop/wealth to provide for an interesting start. I'm thinking perhaps around 400mil pop and 6-10 labs each.

To enforce a peaceful safezone around Earth there will be a UN style organization that will control peacekeeping ground forces as well as be in control of all defensive satellites and silos that will be built (regard them as collectively owned and controlled). Defensive use is automatic (AMM/PD), offensive use authorized only by a majority vote in the council. Overpowering them may be possible but should not be easy and should probably require cooperation of several nations as well as the element of surprise.

Anything outside the safezone (approx 10mil km) will be free for all to explore, claim protect and fight over (This means the moon is included in the safezone).
There will be espionage incentives to build up both shipyards and labs on other bodies later on, as well as the very natural resource incentive.

Each nation will be a bit unique. Either set by me or by chosen perks.
Perks could be for example starting with one extra lab, one extra Ground Training Facility, one extra academy and so on.

Pretty much everything the SM powers allow for will be possible to trade between nations. With this + investment of credits into important areas I hope to make credits an important commodity early game too.


To clarify what I intend to do is an RPG, a role playing game.

You will take the role of ONE character and write stories about this character to give life to the decisions taken and experiences in the universe. Your characters will collaborate with the other characters in the faction that holds other important key positions like admiral, minister of production, head of state and so on, both to provide different insights into the world/story we are building together, and to try to maneuver the nation to a good position among a competition of other nations and unknown threats.

This is a community game, this means everyone being part of it is expected to contribute with stories and internal debate, to as large degree as possible in character.
To allow for internal debate Erik Luken has offered to help with setting up private subforums that only members of each nation will have access to.
I hope it's possible to make in character debates on these forums public after a certain amount of ingame years have passed (so that it's no longer relevant to the current events taking place).
This game hopefully will go on for months and the initial speed I aim for is one ingame year per week of real time.


Mission: Survive, explore and find out what the main goal/scenario is about later on... (if there is one).

I am NOT taking any signups yet. This thread is mostly to brainstorm ideas and get some feedback on if experienced Aurora community members think the setup and starting installations are balanced (100mines+100factories+600CI+400mil pop+8labs per nation).
« Last Edit: February 14, 2014, 06:30:46 PM by alex_brunius »
 

Offline Cripes Amighty

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Re: Setup suggestions and ideas.
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2014, 11:56:47 PM »
Few questions:
  • Will the UN be an actual playable empire that the SM (you) controls? If that's true, are they able to construct mobile ships?
  • Any general idea on how close to conventional you want it to be (ie. roughly how much RP you're going to give each empire? 0-50k, 50k-100k, etc)?
  • Will the players be able to determine the setup of the empire, or are you writing up the different nations by yourself and then letting people pick? By setup, I mean the smaller things like the perks you mentioned, the government type, commander nationality, etc. I understand that the installations would be predetermined. Just getting some clarification on this.
  • Do you have any idea of the kind/number of ministers that you would have? Are you aiming for a general number of people per empire?
  • Will the mineral content of Earth be magnified to support four empires? Or will the provide incentive to get out of the cradle as soon as possible?

As for setup suggestions, I would vote for the highest number of research labs possible (10 from your writeup). Even with technology dissipation, it'll still take a good amount of time before anything major happens in game. 10 research labs won't accelerate the game beyond control. I think it's a relatively nice number to start off with.

I like the numbers of 100 for CFs or mines, although I think that there should be slightly more mines than CFs. Otherwise it just seems like annoying mineral shortages come up a lot more often then they have to. So maybe something like 100 CFs and 125 mines or 75 CFs and 100 mines. 600 conventional industry also seems like a nice number.

I like the idea of perks. However, I think with the listed options (research lab, GFTC, academy), everyone is going to choose the research lab. If the perks are predetermined, whoever gets the GFTC is going to lag behind the rest of the empires, especially because ground forces won't matter on Earth with the UN's watchful eye.

Some good perks might be an additional free tech right off the bat that determines that nation's playstyle. Specifically I would focus on the Construction/Production tech line. There could be three options of either Research Rate 240 (5000 RP), Expand Civilian Economy 20% level 1 (5000 RP), or both Mining and Construction 12 (combined 6000 RP). They're relatively equal and they create rather unique empires. One is heavily industrial, one is focused on scientific advancement, and the other promotes private industry (which would normally not be that great, but with your talk of an enhanced wealth system, it could make a huge difference).

Just some ideas.
 

Offline 3_14159

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Re: Setup suggestions and ideas.
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2014, 07:42:12 AM »
I'm currently aiming for 4 nation Earth start (all nations with several additional players as ministers and other roles recruited), and tech somewhere between Conventional and TN start but closer to conventional.
Sounds great!

Quote
To speed up the start most of the industry will still be conventional but some will already be upgraded, I'm thinking a base 100 mines + 100 factories per nation, but is open to suggestions for a different amount.
The main thing is it should be balanced with the amount of labs / pop/wealth to provide for an interesting start. I'm thinking perhaps around 400mil pop and 6-10 labs each.
The question of labs will be interesting, and we can set the labs depending on how fast you want advancement to be. Disregarding the possible unavailability of tech, the RP needed to get off Sol will be around ten to twenty thousand RPs. Each lab will produce 240RPs per annum in the beginning. So, fourty years minimum for one lab, and four for ten labs, not counting scientist boni. Warships will probably need around the same number of RPs before becoming useful. Depending on the speed you want, 8-12 labs per faction might be best.

Quote
Each nation will be a bit unique. Either set by me or by chosen perks.
Perks could be for example starting with one extra lab, one extra Ground Training Facility, one extra academy and so on.
I'm going to agree with Cripes, here. The extra lab would probably be the most powerful bonus. It depends on whether your goal is to differentiate the starting conditions, or differentiate the factions later on. The former could be done by assigning them additional BP they can spend on whatever they want (for example, 2400BP = 20CF = 1 lab, and so on) and a few RP with them being exchangable 1:1 [1].
The latter could be done by including advantages or disadvantages for a longer time, quasi in-built traits for the empires. Sadly, I do not have ideas there for the moment.

Quote
I hope it's possible to make in character debates on these forums public after a certain amount of ingame years have passed (so that it's no longer relevant to the current events taking place).
This should be possible. If you make one forum per faction, you can then just move the thread where something was discussed to the public forum.

So, your total list of house-rules is as follows, correctly?
  • Unlocking of TN techs (through credits or randomly)
  • Relief/Diplomatic aid for earth expansion
  • Espionage
  • UN
  • Trade/Diplomacy

[1] This is the exchange suggested by the build points needed: 1 CP per annum costs 10 CP investment; 1RP per annum costs 10CP investment.
 

Offline Stardust

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Re: Setup suggestions and ideas.
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2014, 11:34:33 AM »
Looking forward to this.

I think something like an interstellar news network type of subforum, where nations can make public announcements and field questions, would be fun.

With regards to diplomacy, allow nations to request private subforums with other nations to discuss mutual interests.

Thanks for taking the initiative to give this a try.
 

Online alex_brunius

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Re: Setup suggestions and ideas.
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2014, 04:54:05 PM »
  • Will the UN be an actual playable empire that the SM (you) controls? If that's true, are they able to construct mobile ships?

The idea in my game is that SM will control everything based on orders and rules of engagement sent each ingame year (or shorter if war / other evens require so). The focus will be on role playing.
They won't build mobile ships, since this isn't required to enforce the peace on Earth.

  • Any general idea on how close to conventional you want it to be (ie. roughly how much RP you're going to give each empire? 0-50k, 50k-100k, etc)?

...

Some good perks might be an additional free tech right off the bat that determines that nation's playstyle. Specifically I would focus on the Construction/Production tech line. There could be three options of either Research Rate 240 (5000 RP), Expand Civilian Economy 20% level 1 (5000 RP), or both Mining and Construction 12 (combined 6000 RP). They're relatively equal and they create rather unique empires.

TN tech will be researched at the start and some installations converted + more research labs then a conventional start normally has, but not much RP to distribute.
It is a good point that research would be the most interesting perk of those lined out, so perhaps nations will be made unique instead by starting with one extra branch of research unlocked and a few thousand RP in it. Or by extra Industry / Mining that are more desirable boosts.
Ill give it some more thought.

  • Will the players be able to determine the setup of the empire, or are you writing up the different nations by yourself and then letting people pick? By setup, I mean the smaller things like the perks you mentioned, the government type, commander nationality, etc. I understand that the installations would be predetermined. Just getting some clarification on this.

Geographic areas controlled and main nationalities will be a set part of the story.

  • Do you have any idea of the kind/number of ministers that you would have? Are you aiming for a general number of people per empire?

This should be up to the Head of state to chose. The first task is to set up a cabinet of open roles, recruit players and determine how much and what influence they should have.
Id probably say minimum amount of 3 players per nation, and recommend minister influence depending on how open the government type is.
It is also flexible so that we could recruit more players later on if there are more colonies or more fleets to control.

  • Will the mineral content of Earth be magnified to support four empires? Or will the provide incentive to get out of the cradle as soon as possible?

Not by a huge amount. The starting amount and minimum accessibility has been raised by quite a bit the latest patches and to start exploring with primitive TN ships on Tech 1 or 2 not much minerals are needed. For example from the 6.4 mechanics "Homeworld minerals have been boosted. Minimum amount is now 50,000, minimum accessibility is 0.4 and there should be generally more minerals overall."

Id rather start with too little then too much, it's easier and more fair to RP and say that additional reserves have been found compared to removing some.



Depending on the speed you want, 8-12 labs per faction might be best.
10 sounds like a good round number then.


So, your total list of house-rules is as follows, correctly?
  • Unlocking of TN techs (through credits and randomly)
  • Relief/Diplomatic aid for earth expansion
  • Espionage
  • UN
  • Trade/Diplomacy

I'm also thinking of adding multinational corporations that can develop some building/research capacity and take part in trade of mainly ship components. These would be based in open government types but have facilities throughout Earth and be able to buy/build/sell components they get their hands on to the highest bidders. Is that something that you guys think sounds interesting and could be worth the extra time & administration?


I think something like an interstellar news network type of subforum, where nations can make public announcements and field questions, would be fun.

With regards to diplomacy, allow nations to request private subforums with other nations to discuss mutual interests.
Each sub forum has unlimited number of threads. One thread for announcement and questions each should be enough.

I think diplomacy between nations should be handled either directly between the Head of States (PMs) or if that responsibility is delegated to for example a minister of foreign relations (that could handle diplomacy and espionage).

Thanks for your Ideas.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 05:13:17 PM by alex_brunius »
 

Offline Cripes Amighty

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Re: Setup suggestions and ideas.
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2014, 06:35:14 PM »
Thanks for the clarifications. I'm really looking forward to this.

I'm also thinking of adding multinational corporations that can develop some building/research capacity and take part in trade of mainly ship components. These would be based in open government types but have facilities throughout Earth and be able to buy/build/sell components they get their hands on to the highest bidders. Is that something that you guys think sounds interesting and could be worth the extra time & administration?

This sounds kinda iffy. My opinion is that you either go all or nothing with corporations (meaning focus entirely on corporations or leave them out). I just think that having a bunch of different mini-empires would add more to manage, and I think you'll already have a lot to manage already. However, that is entirely up to you.

I would think though, that if you want to have the same results, you could create a separate list of some existing corporations with a small back story. Every once in a while (random rolls or something similar) they come up with a new component in an area they specialize in. That way you still have the effects you described above without all the in-game micromanaging of installations that would probably just be more of a hassle.
 

Online alex_brunius

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Re: Setup suggestions and ideas.
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2014, 04:05:12 AM »
This sounds kinda iffy. My opinion is that you either go all or nothing with corporations (meaning focus entirely on corporations or leave them out). I just think that having a bunch of different mini-empires would add more to manage, and I think you'll already have a lot to manage already. However, that is entirely up to you.

I would think though, that if you want to have the same results, you could create a separate list of some existing corporations with a small back story. Every once in a while (random rolls or something similar) they come up with a new component in an area they specialize in. That way you still have the effects you described above without all the in-game micromanaging of installations that would probably just be more of a hassle.

If they are included they would not be in game at all as Empires, only exist in my spreadsheets and use SM add / Instant research to add whatever they are selling + disassemble to remove anything they are buying ( ofcourse limited by their credits/factories/labs according to spreadsheets).

I think they could spice up trade and contribute to making Wealth/Credits more useful.
 

Offline Cripes Amighty

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Re: Setup suggestions and ideas.
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2014, 01:23:07 PM »
If they are included they would not be in game at all as Empires, only exist in my spreadsheets and use SM add / Instant research to add whatever they are selling + disassemble to remove anything they are buying ( ofcourse limited by their credits/factories/labs according to spreadsheets).

I think they could spice up trade and contribute to making Wealth/Credits more useful.

Sorry, I misunderstood it when I read it. I think that would actually be a great addition to the game.
 

Online alex_brunius

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Re: Setup suggestions and ideas.
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2014, 07:34:35 AM »
Any thoughts on tech trading?

Should it be totally free and open or would that risk to see for example two empires have 100% cooperation and quickly outpace the others that don't cooperate?

Should there be limits in time or any costs involved in directly transferring technology? Any ideas?
 

Offline Zincat

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Re: Setup suggestions and ideas.
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2014, 08:12:23 AM »
First let me say that I really like this concept/idea/playthrough :) Second, if you didn't read it through already I suggest you read the Coldest War let's play by bgreman on the somethingawful forums. Excellent example, though there the players control just one nation, and the GM controls another.

That said I see a lot of problems with having 4 nations. Like, a LOT of problems.

Be it trading, tech trading, military cooperations, alliances or the like, there are too many possibilities of one or two nations being knocked off really quickly, thus halving the people who can play or so. Perhaps not killed, but effectively neutered as far as the possibility to expand goes.

Two nations cooperating could easily and quickly dispatch the other 2, be it through tech, wealth, or military assault. There is not much the other 2 nations could do, especially if they do not see it coming. Wars in aurora can last just a few hours, so the other 2 nations could realistically not defend themselves. And once you've lost all your ships/ installations away from earth, starting again from scratch is basically impossible. Also you risk a few charismatic/sneaky characters influencing the game too much with that, thus ruining the fun for others.
I am also against any "arbitrary" ban on trading or such, because it does not make sense.

A few possible way to deal with that:
- have just 2 players-controlled nations. If you want, you can control a third. This way you do not risk the players knocking themselves out too quickly, because they are in direct competition and have no reason to trust each other.
- Have more than 2 nations available, but give them "limitations". For example you could have a "peaceful, democratic" nation where the public opinion is very much against war unless first attacked, and another "xenophobic, isolationist" nation which does not trade/cooperate except in some rare cases. Basically, every nation has some situations which limit the players in some way thus preventing the race-to-win.
- Implement via RP a "spy system", which ensures a certain probability that player deals become public and thus become known to the other nations. This only works of course if you enforce all deals to pass through you. But it does not really works if the players decide to help each other outside the accepted channels, like via PM.

Regardless, having more than 2 players controlled nations could become ugly for a number of reasons in my opinion. I do heartily approve of the game concept though :P

Edit:
A couple of other reasons to keep the number of player controlled nations down:
- it would be hard to keep everything going (orders, queues, exploraion and the like) with ONE player controlled nation (because the players must agree upon the orders and such), let alone 4. I mean, it's possible but.... how much time you want to dedicate to this? :p
- in this game, like ALL other community games I've ever saw online, there WILL be defections. People stopping because of real life/boredom/no internet/whatever. With 4 player controlled nations, just a couple of defections could end up in a zombie nation, devoid of all important command positions. I think keeping the nation number low would help in ensuring a healthy amount of players per nation.

So, to sum it up, I think doing, say, 2 player controlled nations would be more realistic and more likely to succeed in the long run.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2014, 08:52:52 AM by Zincat »
 

Offline Alfapiomega

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Re: Setup suggestions and ideas.
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2014, 09:05:42 AM »
First let me say that I really like this concept/idea/playthrough :) Second, if you didn't read it through already I suggest you read the Coldest War let's play by bgreman on the somethingawful forums. Excellent example, though there the players control just one nation, and the GM controls another.

That said I see a lot of problems with having 4 nations. Like, a LOT of problems.

Be it trading, tech trading, military cooperations, alliances or the like, there are too many possibilities of one or two nations being knocked off really quickly, thus halving the people who can play or so. Perhaps not killed, but effectively neutered as far as the possibility to expand goes.

Two nations cooperating could easily and quickly dispatch the other 2, be it through tech, wealth, or military assault. There is not much the other 2 nations could do, especially if they do not see it coming. Wars in aurora can last just a few hours, so the other 2 nations could realistically not defend themselves. And once you've lost all your ships/ installations away from earth, starting again from scratch is basically impossible. Also you risk a few charismatic/sneaky characters influencing the game too much with that, thus ruining the fun for others.
I am also against any "arbitrary" ban on trading or such, because it does not make sense.

A few possible way to deal with that:
- have just 2 players-controlled nations. If you want, you can control a third. This way you do not risk the players knocking themselves out too quickly, because they are in direct competition and have no reason to trust each other.
- Have more than 2 nations available, but give them "limitations". For example you could have a "peaceful, democratic" nation where the public opinion is very much against war unless first attacked, and another "xenophobic, isolationist" nation which does not trade/cooperate except in some rare cases. Basically, every nation has some situations which limit the players in some way thus preventing the race-to-win.
- Implement via RP a "spy system", which ensures a certain probability that player deals become public and thus become known to the other nations. This only works of course if you enforce all deals to pass through you. But it does not really works if the players decide to help each other outside the accepted channels, like via PM.

Regardless, having more than 2 players controlled nations could become ugly for a number of reasons in my opinion. I do heartily approve of the game concept though :P

Edit:
A couple of other reasons to keep the number of player controlled nations down:
- it would be hard to keep everything going (orders, queues, exploraion and the like) with ONE player controlled nation (because the players must agree upon the orders and such), let alone 4. I mean, it's possible but.... how much time you want to dedicate to this? :p
- in this game, like ALL other community games I've ever saw online, there WILL be defections. People stopping because of real life/boredom/no internet/whatever. With 4 player controlled nations, just a couple of defections could end up in a zombie nation, devoid of all important command positions. I think keeping the nation number low would help in ensuring a healthy amount of players per nation.

So, to sum it up, I think doing, say, 2 player controlled nations would be more realistic and more likely to succeed in the long run.

A simple solution would be as well to have people aware of this and make sure players do not want to cheat in such way. If you create I.e. Russia, USA, EU and China it would be likely that USA and EU comes closer together. So instead you can create Russia, USA-EU, China and United nations of Africa :)
"Everything is possible until you make a choice. "
 

Offline Sematary

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Re: Setup suggestions and ideas.
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2014, 10:33:39 AM »
A simple solution would be as well to have people aware of this and make sure players do not want to cheat in such way. If you create I.e. Russia, USA, EU and China it would be likely that USA and EU comes closer together. So instead you can create Russia, USA-EU, China and United nations of Africa :)
Or as the US and EU ally, China and Russia ally. Honestly I see this going either one of two ways, one it quickly becomes a free for all or two no one is willing to commit enough forces to destroy anyone, both of those options are survivable.
 

Offline Zincat

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Re: Setup suggestions and ideas.
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2014, 12:28:18 PM »
A simple solution would be as well to have people aware of this and make sure players do not want to cheat in such way. If you create I.e. Russia, USA, EU and China it would be likely that USA and EU comes closer together. So instead you can create Russia, USA-EU, China and United nations of Africa :)

I am sorry but no matter how you name the nations, in a competitive game people WILL try to minmax, even if they are roleplaying. Minmaxing here means: Cooperate far more than nations would in a real scenario.

Let's make an example, we have nations A, B, C, D all player controlled. It's relatively early, and there are a few small colonies mostly in sol, some warships, some mining operations on various planets.

There is basically no risks for, say, nations C and D to ally and crush the others assets outside earth. The ally and trade techs. Then, let's say a combined C and D task force suddenly attacks B. B's fleets and colonies get obliterated by the 2 to 1 odds. Even if A and B ally on the spot, A's ships are likely too far to help. After B's fleets are done for, the combined C and D fleet kills A's ships at 2 to 1 odds as well.

In a real world scenario this would never work. You could not be sure if A and B know of your plan. You would not totally trust your partner. You would not think that the UN would stay silent before this. What if the UN suddenly attacks your nation on earth? But here there are no risks, thus this tactic has very high chance to succeed.

Now, with two nations (coalitions?) none of this would obviously happen. Also, as stated before, more players per nations. But I'd rather like the 2 player controlled + 1 Gm controlled setup.

Nations A and B are player controlled, C is GM controlled. A and B can trade with each other, but they do not know if the other is also trading with C. For that matter, they do not know if C is playing them for fools against each other. This would instill a sense on mistrust, and would always keep everyone on their toes.

Anyway, this was just my opinion and obviously Alex_Brunius will choose what to do. Back to basic suggestion, another 2 or so:
- Besides having TN researched, I would go against giving the players initial RP to distribute. We all know which techs are the most important at the start. Not giving any RP would force people to be creative, and maybe to trade, depending on which starting researchers they have. Would add incentive to cooperate with, spy, and betray the other nations.
-I would also as stated before add an house rules to espionage. If a team manages to do something, there's a flat chance (40%?) that the nation who was targeted will know (General! Nation A stole the plans for our new ships!)
 

Online alex_brunius

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Re: Setup suggestions and ideas.
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2014, 04:38:31 PM »
Be it trading, tech trading, military cooperations, alliances or the like, there are too many possibilities of one or two nations being knocked off really quickly, thus halving the people who can play or so. Perhaps not killed, but effectively neutered as far as the possibility to expand goes.

Your right that it will be pretty easy to knock out a nations expansion, especially so early on when they are vulnerable. Their shipyards on Earth should be protected by UN though.

This is only a big problem if Earth has no minerals left. If that should happen I hope that credits are so much worth that the nations credits on Earth are desirable enough by others to trade minerals in exchange. Here having civilian corporations could also be a nice move that trade minerals in for desperate nations that can pay good money for them.


- Have more than 2 nations available, but give them "limitations". For example you could have a "peaceful, democratic" nation where the public opinion is very much against war unless first attacked, and another "xenophobic, isolationist" nation which does not trade/cooperate except in some rare cases. Basically, every nation has some situations which limit the players in some way thus preventing the race-to-win.

Some of this is already part of the plan. Open democratic nations can receive bonuses for trade deals with and growth of civilian corporations but in turn be prevented from starting any offensive wars not approved by the population and voters. ( Basically any war except against hostile murder robots).

- Implement via RP a "spy system", which ensures a certain probability that player deals become public and thus become known to the other nations. This only works of course if you enforce all deals to pass through you. But it does not really works if the players decide to help each other outside the accepted channels, like via PM.

Since I will be doing all the updates based on orders given on the forums all deals have to pass through GM by the nature of the game. Espionage will be in and it might even be possible orders to go to war are leaked to the enemy before shots can be fired.

In a real world scenario this would never work. You could not be sure if A and B know of your plan. You would not totally trust your partner. You would not think that the UN would stay silent before this. What if the UN suddenly attacks your nation on earth? But here there are no risks, thus this tactic has very high chance to succeed.
-I would also as stated before add an house rules to espionage. If a team manages to do something, there's a flat chance (40%?) that the nation who was targeted will know (General! Nation A stole the plans for our new ships!)

I hope such things could also happen in the game through espionage rules and through some voting in the UN organization. Espionage is a great game mechanic for building mistrust even within the same nation. ( Can we be sure that the Admiral will not run off with the fleet loyal to him and claim planet "Eden" far away to be an entirely new nation where he is head of state? ). Secrets will not be safe and all info needs to go through the GM.


- it would be hard to keep everything going (orders, queues, exploraion and the like) with ONE player controlled nation (because the players must agree upon the orders and such), let alone 4. I mean, it's possible but.... how much time you want to dedicate to this? :p
- in this game, like ALL other community games I've ever saw online, there WILL be defections. People stopping because of real life/boredom/no internet/whatever. With 4 player controlled nations, just a couple of defections could end up in a zombie nation, devoid of all important command positions. I think keeping the nation number low would help in ensuring a healthy amount of players per nation.

The only mandatory and first post any HoS will have to appoint will be vice HoS / successor. Judging from interests in these games we will have no problems filling up defectors quickly, but the way I see it worst case you end up with what your asking for, a GM controlled nation extra on Earth :)
For anyone being late with orders the plan is that turn will be carried out anyways based on previous orders or what I think is reasonable ( minimal changes ).


I am sorry but no matter how you name the nations, in a competitive game people WILL try to minmax, even if they are roleplaying. Minmaxing here means: Cooperate far more than nations would in a real scenario.

This is also partially the reason I want to focus on persons and roleplaying an individual instead of being directly in charge of a nation.

If you instead try to "minmax" your character to have as much power / influence (or whatever your characters goals are) as possible that may even be totally against what is best for the nation!
( Spymasters trading away state secrets behind the back of Head of State because they have been promised a prominent role as leader of a colony for a competing nation further down the line ).
( Minister of Transportation/Production playing a corrupt corporate associate trading away most of that part of the budget as "bribes" to civilian transport companies ).
( ViceAdmiral being a compassionate character refusing orders to fire since an hostile vessel was shown as picking up prisoners of war and rescuing civilians ).


This is just my vision of what I want to do, some of it may prove to hard to manage though... but I have seen people attempting similar setups with even even more playable nations, so what the heck! :)
You are also right that much of it of course depends on the players. To tell a good story we have to work together and always try to think of what the character your playing and writing lore around would do, not how to "exploit" the game mechanics for advantages inside aurora.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2014, 05:03:26 PM by alex_brunius »
 

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Re: Setup suggestions and ideas.
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2014, 06:17:36 PM »
I am sorry but no matter how you name the nations, in a competitive game people WILL try to minmax, even if they are roleplaying. Minmaxing here means: Cooperate far more than nations would in a real scenario.

Let's make an example, we have nations A, B, C, D all player controlled. It's relatively early, and there are a few small colonies mostly in sol, some warships, some mining operations on various planets.

There is basically no risks for, say, nations C and D to ally and crush the others assets outside earth. The ally and trade techs. Then, let's say a combined C and D task force suddenly attacks B. B's fleets and colonies get obliterated by the 2 to 1 odds. Even if A and B ally on the spot, A's ships are likely too far to help. After B's fleets are done for, the combined C and D fleet kills A's ships at 2 to 1 odds as well.

In a real world scenario this would never work. You could not be sure if A and B know of your plan. You would not totally trust your partner. You would not think that the UN would stay silent before this. What if the UN suddenly attacks your nation on earth? But here there are no risks, thus this tactic has very high chance to succeed.

Now, with two nations (coalitions?) none of this would obviously happen. Also, as stated before, more players per nations. But I'd rather like the 2 player controlled + 1 Gm controlled setup.

Nations A and B are player controlled, C is GM controlled. A and B can trade with each other, but they do not know if the other is also trading with C. For that matter, they do not know if C is playing them for fools against each other. This would instill a sense on mistrust, and would always keep everyone on their toes.

Anyway, this was just my opinion and obviously Alex_Brunius will choose what to do. Back to basic suggestion, another 2 or so:
- Besides having TN researched, I would go against giving the players initial RP to distribute. We all know which techs are the most important at the start. Not giving any RP would force people to be creative, and maybe to trade, depending on which starting researchers they have. Would add incentive to cooperate with, spy, and betray the other nations.
-I would also as stated before add an house rules to espionage. If a team manages to do something, there's a flat chance (40%?) that the nation who was targeted will know (General! Nation A stole the plans for our new ships!)

I am not sure I accept your premise and I disagree with your proposed solution. I think that a two nation only (three if there is one controlled by GM) set up would actually promote warfare between the two as they will be direct rivals in everything. With multiple nations alliances will (hopefully) be in flux as things that make sense at one point stop making sense later.
 

 

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