Author Topic: Considering Changes to Terraforming  (Read 3445 times)

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Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Considering Changes to Terraforming
« Reply #45 on: January 07, 2017, 02:05:48 PM »
Personally, I rather like this suggestion. I'm not sure on the exact implementation, that could be discussed. It would tie to my suggestion of different wealth generation per unit of population based on planet type and atmosphere. I don't know if Steve likes the idea though.

I do feel however that the process should be rather simple to handle for the players. Which is why I feel that flat bonuses/maluses to basic characteristics, like wealth generation, or morale, work best rather than too complex systems.
The entire thing could be visualized as simple planetary "traits", like anomalies are now. These traits could be innate, or they could possibly change or be added  if you do something specific, like terraforming.

I do like the idea of biospheres and some type of descriptive element to planets. It could be affected by atmosphere, tectonics, water, axial tilt, perhaps even the magnetic field. If I implement this (probably not immediately but a definite possibility for the future) it would also make sense for those different biospheres to have an impact on the population, such as the suggested bonus or penalty for wealth generation.

 

Offline Black

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Re: Considering Changes to Terraforming
« Reply #46 on: January 08, 2017, 02:07:09 PM »
Would it be possible to use infrastructure to increase maximum population on 100% water worlds? Something like floating or underwater cities (Atlantis in Stargate or Mon Calamari and Selkath cities in Star Wars)?
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Considering Changes to Terraforming
« Reply #47 on: January 08, 2017, 02:44:50 PM »
Would it be possible to use infrastructure to increase maximum population on 100% water worlds? Something like floating or underwater cities (Atlantis in Stargate or Mon Calamari and Selkath cities in Star Wars)?

1% is still quite a lot for terrestrial worlds. For a 100% water planet the size of Earth that would be 120 million inhabitants. I will add some tech lines though to increase pop and water planets could be included.
 

Offline Person012345

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Re: Considering Changes to Terraforming
« Reply #48 on: January 12, 2017, 03:57:50 AM »
I've been thinking further about tidally locked worlds. I agree they should have much less available living space. However, the major issue with tidally locked worlds is that they have one side very hot as it faces the sun and one side very cold and always dark as it faces away.

That raises a few questions. For example, if one side is very hot and the other very cold, does that mean there is always a narrow, 'Goldilocks' zone which has liveable temperatures even if it is close to the star. In other words, should tidally-locked worlds actually have perhaps 10% normal capacity and no colony cost penalty for temperature? The colonists would live in that narrow band between light and dark.

Another consideration is that a tidally-locked planet that is normally too cold, might actually become more habitable by being tidal-locked because one side is heated up into the habitable zone.

Interested to hear opinions in this area. I want to keep it relatively simple though :)

Tidally-locked moons are a different issue as they always face their parent planet but effectively rotate with respect to the star so are treated as a normal world. Also, in VB6 Aurora all moons are tidal-locked for simplicity. In C# Aurora, there is a calculation and some of the outer moons are not tidal-locked. All the major moons in Sol are tidal-locked, but with my current formula a few of the small outer moons around the gas giants are not tidal-locked.

I like this idea. There could also be tidally-locked-planet-specific techs that increase the pop cap on them (geothermal techs for example, any life existing on the dark side would likely utilise energy from volcanic vents, much like in the very deep sea).
 

Offline hubgbf

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Re: Considering Changes to Terraforming
« Reply #49 on: January 20, 2017, 10:42:02 AM »
Hi,

What about radiation ?
Depending on the star's type and distance (and presence of a planetary magnetic field), a planet can be as deadly as a microwave oven, isn't it?

Gravity is a problem to long-term survivability on an asteroid, radiation is a short term problem.
The more radiation, the more protection needed (additionnal infrastructure? Shield technology and perhaps a new shielded infrastructure?)

As ships do not need radiation shielding in aurora, surely due to transnewtonian technology, it shouldn't be a huge problem. Yet I wonder how a ship in aurora can stay without a sweat near a big and active sun, or neutron star, or black hole.
 

Offline 83athom

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Re: Considering Changes to Terraforming
« Reply #50 on: January 20, 2017, 12:13:36 PM »
As ships do not need radiation shielding in aurora, surely due to transnewtonian technology, it shouldn't be a huge problem. Yet I wonder how a ship in aurora can stay without a sweat near a big and active sun, or neutron star, or black hole.
Duranium (what all hull and infrastructure is made of in game) is a radiation shielding material (like lead but better).
Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 

Offline iceball3

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Re: Considering Changes to Terraforming
« Reply #51 on: January 22, 2017, 02:36:34 PM »
Duranium (what all hull and infrastructure is made of in game) is a radiation shielding material (like lead but better).
However, miraculously is completely bypassed by mesons (damaging radiation) and microwaves (tentative, might just be conducting via outer-surface electronics, antennas, etc inwards).

Hey Steve, with the new population limits, could the population cap of a world (with or without infrastructure, pending the endurance of inhabitants) be pushed upwards by freezing it's oceans?

Also, about tidally locked worlds, couldn't there be, with heavy terraforming, worlds where the bright side or the dark side are either suitable for being lived on?
Also also, wouldn't tidally locked worlds have no bearing on population hard caps for concerning infrastructure, given that infrastructure can allow people to live within the extreme caustic heat of venus and on the frigid coldness of pluto?
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Considering Changes to Terraforming
« Reply #52 on: January 23, 2017, 03:50:37 PM »
However, miraculously is completely bypassed by mesons (damaging radiation) and microwaves (tentative, might just be conducting via outer-surface electronics, antennas, etc inwards).

Hey Steve, with the new population limits, could the population cap of a world (with or without infrastructure, pending the endurance of inhabitants) be pushed upwards by freezing it's oceans?

Also, about tidally locked worlds, couldn't there be, with heavy terraforming, worlds where the bright side or the dark side are either suitable for being lived on?
Also also, wouldn't tidally locked worlds have no bearing on population hard caps for concerning infrastructure, given that infrastructure can allow people to live within the extreme caustic heat of venus and on the frigid coldness of pluto?

Freezing Oceans is a possibility.

Tidelocked assumes that in some cases it is the twilight area and sometimes the sun-facing side. In both cases, the reduced colony cost for temperature and the reduced pop cap would apply. If you use infrastructure, it would have to be at the full colony cost, not the reduced one, so it probably wouldn't be worth it.
 

Offline iceball3

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Re: Considering Changes to Terraforming
« Reply #53 on: January 25, 2017, 04:41:11 PM »
Tidelocked assumes that in some cases it is the twilight area and sometimes the sun-facing side. In both cases, the reduced colony cost for temperature and the reduced pop cap would apply. If you use infrastructure, it would have to be at the full colony cost, not the reduced one, so it probably wouldn't be worth it.
How about using infrastructure to extend the twilight zones, instead?
The idea being that if you get a twilit zone to colony cost 0, just outside of the habitable zone is probably not going to be too expensive to keep hospitibal, yeah?
Maybe have it so tidally locked planets have a static colony cost until you hit the tidal-lock cap, in which case, infrastructure has diminishing returns, with lowest efficiency capped down from the coldest/hottest places on the planet?
 

Offline Shipright

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Re: Considering Changes to Terraforming
« Reply #54 on: January 28, 2017, 10:19:41 AM »
Since we are talking about biospheres again, I will dredge my ideas on that up from the dead!

Something that always bothers me about planet management is that there is lots of detail in terraforming regarding atmosphere and temperature and other base factors but no attention to the biosphere. Or in other words while its nice to have a planet modified to exactly what I need for an atmosphere to be breathable, what I am basically left with is a dead desert that the game treats as a paradise as far as game play goes. So I propose adding another metric to terraforming that reflects the size, complexity and health of the biosphere.

So that's the basic idea, here are some detailed thoughts.

1.) I propose three metrics for biosphere; mass, health and complexity. Size is a measure of the organic mass of the biosphere. Health is simply a measurement of the abstract condition of whatever biosphere there is. Complexity is a measure of the abstract maturity and value of that biosphere (say in diversity and number of species). So for instance a newly terraformed Mars could have a very healthy biosphere but it might only be fields of simple algae brought by human colonists after only 25 years of settlement so have a very low mass and complexity. On the other hand you discover a new unsettled paradise planet that has a healthy biosphere but also a very large and complex one after billions of years of life developing. Then you might find an ancient desert world that has a very complex biosphere but because it has a small hydrosphere/low temperature/low gravity/active tectonics it has little mass or heath. Each metric affects the same gameplay mechanisms, but you can only get so much benefit from any one while multiple together make for a larger benefit. I believe the obvious current game mechanic that a biosphere would affect is planet morale and population growth rate but an agriculture resource would also be great.

2.) Right now there are no consequences to any industrial activity on a planet. You can mine Earth hollow and nobody will bat an eye. If we gave industrial facilities a pollution value that would provide a very interesting planet management game play device. I have contemplated two ways to work this:

-We can have each industrial facility provide a very slight atmospheric modification and conversely biosphere health and complexity would be affected negatively by the rate of change in atmosphere. You could counteract this using the current in game terraforming facilities or via new research options providing for cleaner industry in several tech levels (giving our Biology/Genetics scientists something useful to do) This would have the added benefit that if you discover an alien world with a very healthy and complex biosphere based on methane you would destroy it if you changed it over to oxygen based in the space of 20 years very much like real life. Environmentalists beware.

-Use a generic pollution metric based on values for each facility and that in turn affects the biosphere. Add a new facility that can counteract these effects on top of the mentioned research.

3.) Biosphere mass is added to a planet via terraforming facilities. We can measure this in weight of biomass and have an optimal mass based on the size of the body and the hydrosphere or whatever other factors we decide are "good" or "bad" for the biosphere. We can restrict this to certain types of atmospheres (Methane over 20% does won't support a biosphere for example), gravity conditions, temperatures, etc. which would let us make sure native biospheres only show up in the real world "habitable zone" of systems or heavily terraformed ones outside of it. Or we could let them develop anywhere making for some truly alien environments. Once biosphere mass is introduced to a planet it has a natural growth rate up to whatever the optimal mass for that planet is. You can rely on that alone or continue to augment it with terraforming facilities, but if you go over the optimal mass you will will negatively affect health and complexity (basically you are over farming). You lose mass through planetary conflict or bombardment or by having a health rate below whatever value chosen (say lose a certain rate at health value 75%, and lose it at a much greater rate at health value under 50%).

4.) Biosphere health is a measure of the whatever biosphere there is based on original planetary conditions in comparison to current ones. The original baseline conditions will gradually shift to current conditions over time. You can rapidly terraform a planet with a native biosphere and cause great degradation, or slowly change it over a century and lose some biosphere but let it adapt to the new conditions over time for the most part. If we are using the atmospheric change mechanism for industrial pollution it will affect biosphere health as above. If we use a generic "pollution" metric it will just degrade the health by the level of pollution combined with whatever terraforming changes are happening.

5.) Biosphere complexity is both naturally occurring and player controlled. It increases naturally at a rate determined by the relationship between mass and health but very slowly (this is naturally a billion year process after all). The player can artificially increase the complexity via a new team mission "environmental seeding" or "species introduction" or whatever which simulates scientists introducing species from other worlds to this one or creating new one is labs specifically for this world (which also gives your biology/genetics scientists something useful to do).

6.) My intended result of this is to make adding biosphere mass and maintaining biosphere health relatively easy to do within the scope of a normal game, while complexity being something you can only affect so much during that same game span. This would mean barring playing through thousands of years Mars will never be as diverse as a an unspoiled Earth and when you discover an alien world with a billion year old biosphere with very high complexity this is something extremely valuable that is to be coveted and protected. Earth of course being one of those. Once you let a world like that be destroyed through conflict or mismanagement there is no getting it back to that level again. I think that all player homeworlds would have such biospheres meaning instead of glassing every NPR world you meet it would be worth it to use ground force invasions (right now there is little reason beyond RP to use ground invasions).

7.) This would provide another reason to colonize less than optimal worlds. Earth might become a planet of low impact facilities like research labs, academies, and financial centers while you move all dirty construction facilities and the like to Luna or Titan.

8.) It adds an environmental aspect to the game beyond the usual 4x slash and burn/grow like a tumor game play. Do I get more value out of maintaining a nursery world with an awesome moral and population growth or by mining every spec of Corundium out of the core? It might be the former or the later.

http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php?topic=6383.msg65152#msg65152
 
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Offline DIT_grue

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Re: Considering Changes to Terraforming
« Reply #55 on: January 29, 2017, 12:16:27 AM »
5.) Biosphere complexity is both naturally occurring and player controlled. It increases naturally at a rate determined by the relationship between mass and health but very slowly (this is naturally a billion year process after all). The player can artificially increase the complexity via a new team mission "environmental seeding" or "species introduction" or whatever which simulates scientists introducing species from other worlds to this one or creating new one is labs specifically for this world (which also gives your biology/genetics scientists something useful to do).

6.) My intended result of this is to make adding biosphere mass and maintaining biosphere health relatively easy to do within the scope of a normal game, while complexity being something you can only affect so much during that same game span. This would mean barring playing through thousands of years Mars will never be as diverse as a an unspoiled Earth and when you discover an alien world with a billion year old biosphere with very high complexity this is something extremely valuable that is to be coveted and protected. Earth of course being one of those. Once you let a world like that be destroyed through conflict or mismanagement there is no getting it back to that level again. I think that all player homeworlds would have such biospheres meaning instead of glassing every NPR world you meet it would be worth it to use ground force invasions (right now there is little reason beyond RP to use ground invasions).

Speaking of longer-than-gameplay processes... I've always had a (very minor) wish to include an alternative terraforming process that uses seeded organisms. It would be very cheap, but take far longer than most of us are willing to wait, with no real way of accelerating it.
 

Offline bitbucket

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Re: Considering Changes to Terraforming
« Reply #56 on: January 29, 2017, 03:21:29 PM »
How long the ecological succession to a climax community takes really depends on what the final biome is. A simple grassland can develop in 20-30 years, a tropical forest might take a century, and an old-growth primeval forest the likes of which once covered Europe and eastern North America can take up to 500 years. Across the span of an entire planet you'll have dozens of biomes, all going at their own pace.

For the sake of simplicity we'll have to abstract it down to a few generic metrics. On the one hand, it's nice to see things you start finish in your lifetime; on the other hand, sometimes nature can't be rushed.
 

Offline iceball3

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Re: Considering Changes to Terraforming
« Reply #57 on: January 31, 2017, 03:38:37 AM »
sometimes nature can't be rushed.
You say that, in light of genetics modification that can (potentially) dramatically change the comfortable living temperatures and breathing composition of our colonists.
 

Offline Hazard

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Re: Considering Changes to Terraforming
« Reply #58 on: January 31, 2017, 09:41:24 PM »
It's important to recognise some of the critical components of biosphere health; it's complexity and resilience of the food web across the entire planet from the biggest down to the bacterial layers. Even with GMCs capable of performing the mutagenics necessary to transform thousands of individuals a day the actual size by sheer mass of the Earth's biosphere is mind boggling. Certainly, it's possible to spray mists across fresh and salt bodies of water with specially tailored microorganisms to prepare the planet for more complex life forms, but it will take time for that to develop into something that can actually do so, and more time still to seed the plants, fungi and animals that are needed to properly create a self sustaining biome.

I mean, you could toss a few metric tons of soil bacteria and the like out of spray nozzles onto an area with similar weather and soil patterns as the savannah, then seed the vast oceans of grass and other plants before you let that rest for a bit and establish itself. Then you drop off the herbivorous prey species, leave them alone for a bit, and then, finally, do you drop off the predators. It'll take a long while. And you just did only part of a a single biome.

Sure, that biome will expand as far as it can, but there are limits due to temperature, weather patterns and soil conditions. But you've still got quite a few biomes to go, and it will take time for that biome to expand.
 

 

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