Author Topic: Imperia: New 4X Game I am designing - MOO2 meets Crusader Kings II  (Read 3906 times)

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Offline Texashawk

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Hey all,

Not sure if this is the right place for this sort of thing, but I wanted to show off some early screens of a 4X game I am designing called Imperia. Basically, instead of being an all-powerful emperor, you can only do so much per turn, and you need to work with your viceroys, primes (department heads), and governors as well as your people to make sure your orders are carried out correctly and timely. This will be a free game that I will be putting on SourceForge shortly and it will be an ongoing work in progress. So far, the universe generator works, the economy and character generator works, and the character interaction system is pretty much complete. While your empire more or less runs itself at the moment, you can influence your viceroys/governors to make changes to your planets/systems/sectors. This is version 0.190 (which should tell you how far I have to go) but it's already playable and once I get the economy better balanced I'll post for download!

Anyway, attached are some screens. Let me know what you think!

And Eric, if this is in the wrong place, please feel free to move/delete it.

Steve
 

Offline Texashawk

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Re: Imperia: New 4X Game I am designing - MOO2 meets Crusader Kings II
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2014, 02:18:13 AM »
And here are a few more screens:
 

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Imperia: New 4X Game I am designing - MOO2 meets Crusader Kings II
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2014, 08:54:20 AM »
Looks good. What's "Empire Posup"?
 

Offline Texashawk

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Re: Imperia: New 4X Game I am designing - MOO2 meets Crusader Kings II
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2014, 01:42:59 PM »
Looks good. What's "Empire Posup"?

Thanks Eric!! Posup is short for "Popular Support"; it measures how much popular support you the emperor have in the empire with the 'common folk'. Characters also have a Posup that is scoped to their position; for example, a viceroy's Posup will only measure how his or her people on the planet feel about him, while a sector governor will measure everyone in their sector. Characters with a low Posup have a greater chance of 'bad things' happening to them. For the emperor, Posup is a large measure of their overall Power; the higher the Power of the Emperor, the more likely actions they take will be successful (this represents not wanting to appear to stand in the way of a popular and successful Emperor). This is a very different experience than a typical space 4X - it really is much more Crusader Kings than MOO in a way, especially early, when your character is young and actions are limited. Your actions define whether you rule in a nationalist, pragmatic, or tyrannical way and your influence pools reflect this over time.
 

Offline Erik Luken

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Re: Imperia: New 4X Game I am designing - MOO2 meets Crusader Kings II
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2014, 01:50:02 PM »
Maybe change it to "PopSup". That seems to be more readable. To me at least. :)
 

Offline Texashawk

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Re: Imperia: New 4X Game I am designing - MOO2 meets Crusader Kings II
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2014, 02:38:53 PM »
IMPERIA CONCEPT: ADMIN RATING/EDICT SYSTEM

So in Imperia you as an emperor have an ADM (admin) rating that determines what you can do on any given turn. When you are just starting out as an 18-year old new emperor you might have 6-8 ADM points to use per turn (and they do not 'carry over').

There are essentially 3 ways you can use ADM: by contacting a character directly, by proposing an Edict, or by taking a personal action. It costs 1-2 ADM to contact a character directly, and is useful for asking for small 'tweaks' to how they manage their planet/system/sector. The downside is that they can say 'no' - after all, this isn't you proposing law, it's just you and a character having a conversation and you asking for something in a friendly manner. Edicts, by contrast, ARE law, and they MUST be followed. The downside to Edicts is that they cost a lot more ADM to propose (4-8), they cost planetary ADM to prepare and enact, and if a character who is along the possible 'chain' of implementing the Edict doesn't like you very much, they can make sure your Edict stays 'in committee' for quite a while. Here is a list of the types of domestic Edicts that can be enacted:

  • Change Planet Name
    Add Secondary Designation
    Change/Assign Primary Designation
    Prohibit Economic Sector Expansion
    Eliminate Economic Sector
    Build Starship Production Center
    Encourage Tourism
    Build Starbase
    Change System Capital
    Change Sector Capital
    Add /Change System to Sector
    Survey Planet
    Colonize Planet
    Survey System
    Set Up Manufacturing Outpost
    Set Up Agriculture Outpost
    Set Up Scientific Outpost
    Cede Garrison Control to Viceroy
    Reclaim Garrison Control
    Cede System Garrison to Sys Gov
    Reclaim System Garrison Control
    Designate Planet As Trade Hub
    Designate Planet As Culture Hub
    Build Starport
    Abandon Planet
    Abandon System
    Abandon Sector
    Declare Imperial Law
    Survey Planet For Materials
    Survey Planet For Minerals

As you can see, much more comprehensive than simply dealing with a character directly. Proclaiming an Edict and structuring it so that it will be successful is a large part of your success in Imperia.

Let's take a small example and say that you want to change a planet's name. In any other 4X, you simply type in the name and that's that. In Imperia, simply changing a name can have far-reaching effects (after all, how would we feel in America if the government suddenly wanted to change the country's name to, say, Goldberg?). The base ADM cost for this Edict is 5 ADM points and $5,000,000 to enact. A system capital might have 5-10 ADM and a sector capital might have 15+ ADM, so they could simply utilize their own planetary government to enact the change and that would be that. But what about a small, outlying planet that barely has a functional government? Say they have 2 ADM. They don't have enough ADM to enact the change themselves. What can you do?

  • You can wait and let them build up their government sector until they have enough ADM to enact on their own, or...
  • You can get their system capital or sector capital involved., or if the need is great enough, you can always use the Imperial Capital planet's ADM (which is always MUCH higher - 200-400 ADM)


Not all systems have a system capital - some sectors are one-system sectors and having a sector capital overrides a system capital. But if the system does have a system capital and they have some unallocated ADM, you can use some of theirs. It will be less efficient (it takes roughly 1.5 ADM points from a system capital per 1 ADM point you would spend on the planet) and it will take more time, but you can make it work. But... what if the system governor HATES YOUR GUTS!!! He or she can ensure that it takes YEARS to change that name!! So NOW what do you do?

You can go 'above their head' and use ADM from the sector capital (at even less efficiency and more time) and there is no guarantee the sector governor will be any more obliging, OR...
You can manipulate the system governor into doing what you want!! You can do this a lot of ways! You can...

  • ..bribe them (maybe, if they're honest they will refuse and like you even less),
  • ..or you can give them an Imperial title (this costs personal money and takes most of your ADM, but they will always love it),
  • ..or you can create an informer network on the planet in order to discover secrets about the system governor and blackmail them,
  • ..or you can respond to their needs and requests in line with their personality traits and behaviors to improve their loyalty,
  • ..or you can attempt to remove them from their office and promote someone more loyal to you and more friendly to your policies (but this does not always work and is seen as Tyrannical)
  • ..or you can have them assassinated, at great cost to your reputation and Tyrannical rating.

You have another ally at this point for particularly important Edicts: your Influence pools. You don't have to, but you can, spend 3 different types of Influence from your pools to speed up the Edict's process with different effects. The types are:

  • Nationalist - this is your 'rally the Empire to the cause' influence. Basically, you are taking your Edict to the people, and if they love you, it is very effective.
  • Pragmatic - this is your 'everyday' influence, working the backchannels of your government, and generally being a good politician. This pool's effects are abstracted mainly in your Power rating - your efforts have more weight if your have the Power to follow through. This will be your most common Influence, and the fastest to recharge.
  • Tyrannical - this is your 'do it or I'll do something bad to you/your family/your planet' influence. Much more 'effective' short term, but can have far-reaching effects if used too often without the Power to back it up. Very small pool initially, but the way your emperor acts (badly and without morals) can add to this pool over time.

Alternatively, you can structure the Edict to use only planet and sector ADM, thus cutting out the system governor - but taking more time and ADM (total of 8 ADM and 5 months base vs. 6 ADM and 4 months base if the system gov was used) but if the sector governor LOVES you they might just speed the Edict through the planning and committee stages... actually saving more time in the end, even though it cost more ADM! But what if the sector capital's ADM is already being used for other Edicts and there isn't any more to spare?

Expand the sector government of course!! Just ask the planetary viceroy of the sector capital to expand the government, add more workers (at a cost, of course) expand the ADM rating for the sector capital, thus allowing your planet's change name request to be able to be added! If the viceroy is willing, of course...

However you do it, once you have the needed ADM in place, the Edict goes to 3 stages: planning, committee, and implementation. Depending on the loyalty and 2 other factors of each character in the chain, that time might be more or less in each stage. Each Edict has a primary and a secondary character attribute that contribute to the success and time required to implement. The primary attribute for changing a planet's name is Intelligence and the secondary one is Charisma. If your planetary viceroy and anyone else in the chain have good stats in these attributes (and they like you at least a little!) the time might be less. If you have an exceptionally stupid or boorish viceroy or governor, however, the time in planning and committee will be adversely affected proportional to the amount of ADM that character has in the Edict. For example, to get to the Edict's 5 ADM requirement, if you allocate 2 ADM from the planet and 3 ADM (but costing the system capital 5 ADM due to inefficiency) from the system capital, your planetary viceroy's stats will affect the time by 40% and your system governor's stats will affect the time by 60%.

So you've finally manipulated the Edict to be completed, and now the name change takes effect! You're done thinking about it, right?

Well...

First of all, your citizens might love the new name. In which case your retail sector will explode (people are buying T-shirts, bumper stickers, and other clever merchandise with the new planet's name). You may see a Posup boost. People may have a renewed sense of pride in their planet and their unrest may even drop! Sometimes, people may even migrate to your newly named planet because it's got such a cool name, affecting an entire system or sector economy! You're a hero, and your planetary viceroy is pretty pleased too!!

Or not.

Maybe they hate the name. Maybe they really liked the original name all along. Names have an intrinsic 'cultural value' attached to them and it is possible to get information on how the populace might react to a name change, you can do it anyway. But their Posup might go down. People might even leave the planet (rare, but possible) over it. Your viceroy won't be too pleased about having to change all the software and letterheads to the new planet name, so to speak. In any case, you have your new name, but you have some downside as well.

And all this from just changing a planet's name, which you would take 3 seconds to do in any other 4X game.

But that's Imperia, folks. Welcome to the big chair.



« Last Edit: April 07, 2014, 02:50:19 PM by Texashawk »
 

Offline Texashawk

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Re: Imperia: New 4X Game I am designing - MOO2 meets Crusader Kings II
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2014, 02:51:07 PM »
Maybe change it to "PopSup". That seems to be more readable. To me at least. :)

Honestly, I go back and forth about it. Most people think it stands for Political Support at the moment.  :P
 

Offline Gyrfalcon

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Re: Imperia: New 4X Game I am designing - MOO2 meets Crusader Kings II
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2014, 01:21:36 AM »
I like the idea, and I'll definately play around with it once a download version is available.

With something like the planetary name, will it have a sliding cost based on the age of the colony? I would think that if the planet was colonized last year, it'd be far easier to change the name of it, while if the colony has had its name for the last hundred years, you'd have to work far harder to change the name, and it would have further reaching consequences.
 

Offline Texashawk

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Re: Imperia: New 4X Game I am designing - MOO2 meets Crusader Kings II
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2014, 10:37:53 AM »
Absolutely. Every Edict has a base cost and material need that changes based on the viceroy's stats and also the size of the planet. That is a good idea about how old a planet is influencing how easily the change occurs. I'll add it!! Thanks for the feedback!!
 

Offline Texashawk

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Re: Imperia: New 4X Game I am designing - MOO2 meets Crusader Kings II
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2014, 09:44:38 PM »
FYI, I have added some more screenshots and info in a dedicated blog for Imperia located here: imperiagame.wordpress.com. All further updates will be found here. Thanks!
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Imperia: New 4X Game I am designing - MOO2 meets Crusader Kings II
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2014, 02:54:57 AM »
This game just looks awesome, I have allways wanted something that play like this. This would show how difficult it is to actually run a civilization where you can't act is if you were God pulling the strings.

A question...

Will you be able to have your character stand on the battle brigde of your flagship commanding your armada in battle like ancient emperors such as Alexander the Great? What I mean is what opportunity will there be for your character to influence and/or control actual battles in wars? This of course depend on how the ship mechanics will work in game and how involved you as a player will be in this.
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Imperia: New 4X Game I am designing - MOO2 meets Crusader Kings II
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2014, 12:39:22 PM »
I like this concept, not like any other 4x where strategy is all about resource gathering or positioning of forces.
With all the complexity you've put into the edict system it looks like already you have a pretty good contender for a solid political simulator, I would like to see how this abundance of information affects the AI you plan on implementing.
" Why is this godforsaken hellhole worth dying for? "
". . .  We know nothing about them, their language, their history or what they look like.  But we can assume this.  They stand for everything we don't stand for.  Also they told me you guys look like dorks. "
"Stop exploding, you cowards.  "
 

Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Imperia: New 4X Game I am designing - MOO2 meets Crusader Kings II
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2014, 02:35:04 PM »
I actually think that simulation mechanic tend to favor the AI more than games with a more simplified and easily exploited system. There are generally less loopholes to exploit. There are also less obviously bad choices to make, most of the time there are just choices and they are equally good or bad, depending on how you see it. :)

At least that is what I think.

What I like with games such as this is how well they mimic real life events, things you can never do in most other games where populations and politician follow your orders like puppets. How you can just ignore the life of your soldiers or officers and use ships like cannon fodder without any sort of consequence is beyond me. People love to use democracy based philosophies in the game because they often give you the best economical growth and then just ignore basic human rights when it comes to show. It just doesn't rime well.
This is because games tend to just become number crunching and have no soul or empathy tied to them.

One thing I do like with Aurora though is that it does not pretend to do either, it is just a sandbox and the player can just role-play however he wants, limits is whatever the player decide on. Especially when you play multiple factions at the same time.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2014, 02:38:42 PM by Jorgen_CAB »
 

Offline Texashawk

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Re: Imperia: New 4X Game I am designing - MOO2 meets Crusader Kings II
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2014, 03:07:37 AM »
Thanks Jorgen_CAB. I knew I couldn't be the only one who wished 4X games were a little more... realistic. I appreciate your kind words!

As far as tactical battles, while I will probably allow your persona to be at a battle, battle in Imperia will be very abstract, ala Paradox games. I want to focus mainly on the grand strategy and politics, and while that might be something added far, far (far) down the road, it's not a priority at present. That said, I do want some sort of control over combat, but every decision the player makes in Imperia I have to ask the overarching question: Would an emperor do this in their day-to-day tasks? If not, it gets streamlined.

-Steve

This game just looks awesome, I have allways wanted something that play like this. This would show how difficult it is to actually run a civilization where you can't act is if you were God pulling the strings.

A question...

Will you be able to have your character stand on the battle brigde of your flagship commanding your armada in battle like ancient emperors such as Alexander the Great? What I mean is what opportunity will there be for your character to influence and/or control actual battles in wars? This of course depend on how the ship mechanics will work in game and how involved you as a player will be in this.
 

Offline Texashawk

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Re: Imperia: New 4X Game I am designing - MOO2 meets Crusader Kings II
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2014, 03:13:45 AM »
MarcAFK,

Thanks! It will be interesting to program the other empire AI, but honestly a large part of the 'AI' is already in the game in trying to stay ahead and thrive in your own empire! Once events and plots get added, it will add even more to the 'internal' aspect of the game, and at that point the game will be well enough balanced that adding additional empires should be pretty easy. The programming has been designed to essentially generate empires at will; in theory at this point I could generate several empires that run using the same rules and economies as the human empire but they would just 'sit there' as speed bumps without active plan programming. That will come as one of the last versions (probably .7+ or so). I hope that by using dynamic rules and reactions, the AI will be more 'fluid'. There is already some AI programmed with the empire - your viceroys will run the planets without your input, adjusting taxes, building and contracting economic sectors (that they want to support), controlling immigration, trading for materials and food, and building structures that they think they need (like a trade hub or starbase). At this point I'm not sure that I want to give them access to edicts - while you could override them it might be too much like whack-a-mole to delete and change them over 8-15 planets. We'll see.

-Steve

I like this concept, not like any other 4x where strategy is all about resource gathering or positioning of forces.
With all the complexity you've put into the edict system it looks like already you have a pretty good contender for a solid political simulator, I would like to see how this abundance of information affects the AI you plan on implementing.

« Last Edit: April 26, 2014, 03:15:19 AM by Texashawk »
 

 

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