Author Topic: Pulsar 4X Ideas  (Read 11071 times)

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Offline SnopyDogy

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2012, 06:40:19 PM »
Regarding making Tech Lockout an emergent property, one way to do this would be to make certain Tech line require different resources over others.  A good example would be fuel for Different Engines Techs.  If you don’t have the fuel required for an Engine Tech line A on you home world, then you will develop Engine Tech B, by the time you have enough fuel to make Engine Tech A viable for use you will be well down the Tech line for Engine B, and then we have the situation Antagonist was talking about.  This seems more natural to me than just randomly removing certain line at the start of every game, this way there is a game world reason for why a particular tech was adopted.

Another way would be to make the scientists more specialised, so instead of being Specialised in Propulsion, they might be Specialised in Propulsion->Jump Tech, say.  This way you would be more limited at the start of the game when it comes to which techs are the most efficient to learn.  You could also make it so that they get 100% of the bonus for the Broad Tech group (e. g.  Propulsion) and %200 for the Specific Line (i. e.  Jump Tech).
 

Offline SnopyDogy

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2012, 08:31:11 PM »
Redshirt’s talk about consolidating Auroras Many different screens down into a small number of more manageable ones got me thinking about how we could use scripting and AI to eliminate some of them altogether, or at least save us from having to use the all the time.

Take for example the battle control window. What if we used some (Scriptable?) AI code to automatically make weapon assignments and target assignment, and then add in commands like “Engage Enemy” or “Engage enemy at close quarters” in the Task groups window. Between these two it would be possible to give one order to a task group and have it logically engage an enemy without further user interaction. While not possible or desirable for all battles it could streamline some, such as those where you have overwhelming force, or no hope of winning in the first place.

Another idea I had was about a “Simulator” play mode for simulating battles. I.e. you could just gen a random system, add some ships and play a battle without having to play the rest of the game. It would also be great if you could switch from the main game into the “simulator” mode to say, test out some new class designs before you cast them in stone by building actual ships based on that class (I’ve lost track of the number of time I have discovered that I put the wrong fire control on one of my ships in the middle of a fight, or forgot them altogether). I.e. Use a star system from the current game, use your current ships and use actual enemy (or friend) races from that game in a “simulation”. This would also be useful for testing AI scripts and the like.
 

Offline Redshirt

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2012, 10:26:16 AM »
Yes on the simulator- we could also include pre-made scenarios for fun.

For combat assignments- in addition to "engage enemy", there should probably be settings for "focused fire" and "distributed fire" (when you really want to take out the mothership, or pick off as many incoming FAC as possible.) Maybe have primary and secondary target designations as well. And settings to protect ship(s) of class X at all costs- gotta have good escort support for your dropships if they're landing under fire.
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Offline Elster

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2012, 09:04:34 AM »
Hi, I think that for the motion of very fast objects like spaceships or some planets like Mercury Newtonian mechanics isn't enough, you need to use the General or at least the Restricted theory of relativity.   Maybe its a bit too complicated or hardcore to model, but it would be awesome to be able to model the effects of time dilation or length contraction, and see how a crew that spends 20 years in space to reach a far away star system only ages 5 years for example.   Or to be able to build transgenerational spaceships bound for distant star systems. 

Also, I personally don't like to much the idea of instant travelling between systems using gates of wormholes, at least during the initial expansion phase, it makes it to easy and routinely to reach another star and don't makes the player to take the colonization of the solar systems they find to seriously.   Also if expansion is more difficult you don't have to have a map with 1000+ solar systems, because you'll only be able to reach a few dozens of them.
 

Offline sublight

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2012, 01:48:07 PM »
I think we can neglect relativity for all planets, comets, and in-system space travel.

If my relativistic understanding is correct then in order for an object to shrink to 99.9% of its original length and slow to 99.9% of normal aging it would have to accelerate to roughly 0.045c, or 13,500 km/s. With newtonian Kinetic weapons planned we won't be allowing ships to travel nearly this fast. :)

Reaction drive speeds will be limited by Sorium energy density (tentatively pegged at 10% natural uranium).
Reaction less drives have been proposed, but will likely be limited by stellar mass, technology, or some other constant.
Interstellar travel will be non-instantaneous. Steve's Newtonian FTL Hyperdrive rules will probably be used as a starting point.

Still... that does raise a few interesting points.
Should all space travel be restricted to sublight speeds? A 'warp' drive that only makes 0.9c would greatly slow the game, but could make an interesting twist.

Also, should ship crew ages be tracked? I'm not sure we want to slow the game so much that the crew's age becomes as important as maintenance life, even if the choices of relativistic time dilation vs rotations through cryogenic sleep to prolong crew life add a more realistic, grittier, feel.
 

Offline niflheimr

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2012, 04:07:41 PM »
FTL warp with enough restrictions to make it fun is my opinion . at .9 c we are talking weeks in RL just to travel a couple dozen LY . Not to mention crew morale if you send the for a combat mission that will take 20 years in travel time alone.
 

Offline ThatBlondeGuy

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2012, 04:26:19 AM »
Redesigning ground combat, and occupation so that each planet has a number of 'regions' - think of each region as a hex - the number of regions is determined by planet size. This will allow for a more tactical approach to ground combat, by ordering some troops to station Region X, Y, Z while Some troops assault the defending forces at Region V. It will  make ground combat and occupation of territory much more fluid, and even enable that installations, and other notable features on a planet are located in certain regions. Enabling you to decide to stirke the heart of production, or mining.. etc.. etc. This should also allow conquering populations to be easier, and will also make multi-civ starts easier due to the fact that each nation/civ/race has a starting region/regions on the planet.

Anyway this idea was just something I had in passing as I was playing Victoria 2 on one monitor, and Aurora on the other.
 

Offline Antagonist

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2012, 03:23:15 AM »
Dividing the planet into hexes also has advantages in economies and climate.

I'm not a huge fan of systems where you build a factory and it occupies an entire hex and nothing else can be built there, but perhaps we can think of some way to structure development.  It should be automatable however since you no longer want to micromanage planets when you get to 20+.

As for climate... it is possible to assign some hexes as ice, some desert, some temperate, some ocean. This will influence the albido of the word with some detail. Any atmosphere albido will just build on top of that.

What I am concerned of is that this is quite some work for little benefit.  The tactical combat perhaps, but it still involves a whole new set of UI's to pull off.

Later versions perhaps.
 

Offline ThatBlondeGuy

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #38 on: October 29, 2012, 05:10:18 AM »
I wasn't saying that you build a factory and it occupies the entire hex ala Gal Civ II (if i recall that uses that system for ground construction)) more that each hex houses a number of installations/areas think of it like a colony in Aurora at the moment, and each planet only has a number of these hexes/places for colonies, and civs. If you own multiple Hexes on one planet everything you have still comes under one administrative tab - with exception to ground combat that still uses hexes. I'm not sure i'm explaining this at all well... I'm going to be quiet now :P
 

Offline Antagonist

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2012, 05:27:26 AM »
A number of slots per hex could work...

One thing that irks me about Aurora is the way that planets literally seem to have unlimited space, for colonists or for factories and construction. Just adding arbitrary limits on how many installations can be on a planet seems a non-ideal solution to me, but since you can fit the entire economic powerhouse of your 1000 planet empire on your homeworld is a tad jarring.

What I like about slots per hex rather than a building that takes the whole hex (how is that ever explained?), is that the number of slots can also be customized by the terrain. Mountainous regions might be able to support less buildings than plains, as well as less living and farming area for population (living space isn't what limits how many people we can fit in an area, logistics for supply and food actually does).  Perhaps even types of slots? No farming area in Antarctica, but you can place your sensors or other bases there etc.  Research can improve the number of slots various hexes provide.

Hmm, I wonder if there is a real limitation on how many factories you can have on a continent. I assume that logistics concerns would be a problem (fresh water, transport, workers, food), before you run out of area.  Instead of building slots, logistic slots? Split between farming for populations, or industry for factories.  I don't see why you would limit the number of military bases on a continent (America seems to be proving this IRL already, since logistics costs is included in the base costs), but certainly limits on how many millions or billions of people you can support.

Somewhat related, it did always annoy me how useless civilian industry is in Aurora. The government factories and labs etc should be specialized with full control, but as IRL proves, you can always subcontract.  The factory that makes refrigerator parts can always for a large enough contract be able to retool to make missile parts, even if not as efficiently as a dedicated government factory.  As population and civ industry grows, all planets should have SOME of that translate to factory, part and ship building, research points.  A 6 billion pop world that can't so much as slap a shuttle together till you import some factories just doesn't seem right to me.  Having proper factories tho should always be better than a civ-industry powered world.  This might even encourage you to spread out your construction a little if every world you have can contribute by default.

This will need to be thought about some more.  I am not willing to add a mechanic like this just to add a mechanic to this, it should be well-designed, fun and add to the game.  But I'm feeling a little more warm to it than before.
 

Offline MattyD

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #40 on: October 29, 2012, 10:54:36 AM »
If you assume that any military factory has to be supported by a set amount of civilian industry depending on political system and race, and that each terrain type has an ideal amount of population it can support, modified by distance from ideal gravity, temperature and atmosphere than you get a nice mechanic that encourages terraforming beyond the minimum to achieve colony cost 0.

A hydrosphere could also modify this, imagine an ideal planet all of water - what a disappointment that would be, only a limited amount of real estate.


There could be bands of ideal equatorial land, with worse and worse prospects the higher north and south you go.

Any excess population will have a reduce impact on production levels from that hex until perhaps a negative bonus is achieved - how effective is are the Judge Dread Megacities for instance.
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Offline jseah

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2012, 11:12:21 AM »
A way to track and move hydrospheres would be nice.  Would make a nice incentive to make "megalifters" since even if an Aurora standard freighter can move more TN minerals than you can use, compared to even a tiny moon's hydrosphere, that's a literal drop in the ocean. 

But imagine that.  You find an goldilocks planet but it has too much water vapour and carbon dioxide.  Aka. it's Venus.  And it has no moon. 
Reprocess the carbon dioxide into enough oxygen, keep the carbon and dump the excess oxygen into the star.  As the temperature drops, the water vapour condenses starting a runaway drop in temperature that results in a warm and humid oceanic planet. 

Then your megalifters come in and simply scoop away gigatons of ocean, while at the same time you survey for alkali metals and trace metals needed for plants.  Asteroids found are crashed into the planet. 
A rocky asteroid is parked in orbit and the oceanic ice used to pad it out into a small moon.  The carbon excess from the CO2 removal is also used here. 


That sounds like a megaproject I totally should do if I find any space 4X that supports that kind of flexibility.  Venus to second Earth vanity project.  =D
 

Offline sublight

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2012, 12:43:05 PM »
I like MattyD's idea of population/production limits per region rather than 'slots'. I'm skeptical of how well the Aurora system of hundreds of installations covering over a dozen categories could be stuffed into region-slots.

Mega projects sound cool, and will be added. Whenever we get around to coding that we'll probably start by adding asteroid transformation/re positioning projects.

Back to planet maps. We'll want to start coding some form of this soon, so ideas are needed. The biggest question is philosophy and scale. The two competing ideas seem to be continental regions vs planetary hex mapping.

Continental regions are an excellent abstract way to add planetary control/development detail while keeping the focus on interstellar drama. As a further plus, with only a small number of regions, regional activities could be added to planetary models in the system view if/when 3D modeling of that gets coded. I think this approach stays the closest to the classic Aurora universe. On the small planet scale armies can practically invade directly from one region to another in direct assaults, while the real interest is in the deep-space fights.

Planetary maps invite the potential for ground-combat maneuvering, and space becomes that much bigger when young colonies are just a cluster of development on an empty frontier. This expanded dimension allows a game of equivalent complexity to play out over a smaller galactic map, making ground combat and colony/system exploration/expansion a much greater part of the game.

Thoughts?
 

Offline MattyD

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #43 on: October 29, 2012, 03:07:50 PM »
I'm trying to remember the planetary maps in GDW's 2300AD, I think each planet had a map made up of 36 triangles, which could then be subdivided into hexes.

Heres one for traveler I think: I'm posting a link to another website rather than hosting it which is a little cheeky but I don't think there will be huge traffic. Link to image

Each triangle has 9 hexes per side.


If we stick to just the triangles that should be enough regions for gameplay without over complicating things - mind you, what about mining? are minerals deposited evenly through planet crusts - any mine will be able to reach all of the deposits or do we need mines at regions of high concentration?

The hexes would only be useful for ground combat, but how detailed is it going to be? For the short term, a risk like game moving units into adjacent triangles might be desired.

My expansion is limited, on a long game I may settle < 10 worlds so a little more detail on that side of it suits me fine, it would help personalize the planets a little.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2012, 10:06:47 AM by MattyD »
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Offline Elster

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #44 on: October 30, 2012, 09:13:56 AM »
Regarding to no Faster Than Light travel and communications, I think that It could be added as an option in a checkbox manner, like in Aurora you can start a game without Trans-newtonian technology, this way you can have a completely different experience playing the game.

Another interesting point with that is how can you wage war with no FLT, or how can you maintain an empire.  I think you face the same problems that the Spaniards and English had with their colonial empires, when travel and communications took months to reach the different provinces of their colonial empires.  But again, I think that should be just an option for the more hardcore players.

Regarding the different areas for planets, I'd like to add that these different areas have different colonization costs, for example, it's not the same to live in Antartida or in the middle of the Sahara Desert, than to live in the Mediterranean coast, though the atmosphere of the Earth is the same everywhere the latitude and terrain composition matters a lot, regarding habitability issues.  So I'd make temperature a funtion not only of the albedo, but also of the latitude, and let's not forget that unless the atmosphere is very thick, like Venus or Titan, the albedo depends on diffuse reflectivity of the terrain.  For example water reflects less than a 10% of the light, like forests, sand or soil reflect between a 20 and a 30% and snow reflects between 40 and an 80% depending if it's fresh or not [1].  That means that different areas would have different temperatures, and by modifying these areas by building stuff in them the albedo would also be modified.  Asphalt only reflects about a 4% of the light [2].

To end this post, I would like to comment also that I agree with Antagonist about civilian industry, I think that civilian industry should be directly proportional to population and infrastructure[2], and their main function to create wealth buy producing consumer products that also would increase the happiness of the population, then you should be able to control part of this industry, depending on the policies, political system, species, etc.  In a similar way that games like the Hearts of Iron or the Victoria series model it.  This industry would consume by default a certain amount of resources, like raw materials, energy or food, and maybe little amounts of trans-newtonian materials too, and would produce consumer goods, that would increase maintain happiness and wealth, through taxes to the industry.  This way you don't have to build Financial Centers.  Also it won't be civilian or military industry, just industry, and you as a government can ask the civilians to lend you a certain amount of that industry to produce spaceships and the like, like in real life, the trade-of is that, by using the industry to produce spaceships or other stuff, you loose the capacity to produce consumer goods and wealth, so you have to balance that.

The advantage of doing this is that you don't have to micromanage to much the industry tab and that besides the trans-newtonian materials, wealth, population and fuel, you only add 4 more resources: consumer goods, energy, raw materials and food.

If you think that you need more resources then you can divide the generic consumer goods in pharmaceuticals, luxury products, furs, machinery, etc.

[1] hxxp: en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Albedo
[2] Of course that depends in the end in how realistic you want the game and the amount of time you don't mind to wait while the turn takes place.
[3] I think that infrastructure should be used also to model the transport and communications systems of the planets, for building colonies in  difficult environments I'd use something else, like life support systems, or something like that.
 

 

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