Author Topic: Pulsar 4X Ideas  (Read 11540 times)

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Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #45 on: October 30, 2012, 03:28:38 PM »
Some thought about the wealth system could be improved upon in the sense that the term Wealth is removed as something that you can store. The only thing you actually can do with wealth (currency) is to borrow or lend it from one sector of an economy to another.

In terms of a game like this then wealth would simply be the sum of the produced goods and services in the private industry and how well that is distributed in the society to meet the demands of the people. The industry that is not used for wealth production can be  used for non productive industry like warships for the empire. An empires real wealth should just be a value of its total industry and technological advancements versus population size and demand. The constraints of the economy would be energy and minerals and to some extent technological advancements.

Trade between two interstellar empires could lead to one being more beneficiary than the other. But all in all it could also lead to higher wealth in both societies and should also lead to some benefits on technological development when the trade is fair and balanced.

Somehow Wealth should be a civilian controlled value from civilian industry and should vary from world to world depending how well developed and organized it is. Industry could then be used and subcontracted by the government or resources (workers, specialists, goods etc..) could be diverted to government facilities at other parts of the empire.

Things like research should mainly be provided by the people (as a resource) and channeled by the government (the player). Just building the facilities should not be enough. Aurora models this to some extent by providing the labs and forcing you to recruit scientists from academies from which you then need to pay wealth to operate. The major problem in Aurora is that the economy is extremely simplistic and as long as you have the minerals and a labor force you can just keep building financial centers. How these actually create wealth I really don't get... wealth is earned through scientific and industrial progress and efficiency.

In the real human society real wealth comes from the people creating it in the private sector, not in the government sector. Depending on the government type Wealth could be produced and consumed differently.

I would not propose a system that is much more complex than the one in Aurora, but I would like to see a system where wealth could not really be stored in a society as a whole. It should always be a balance between income and expenditure and when the expenditure outweighs the income you would actually start to erode the total wealth and will eventually collapse the whole system. That is when morale, revolts and revolutions enters the picture... ;)

Just some food for thought...
 

Offline sublight

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #46 on: November 01, 2012, 04:20:14 PM »
@MattyD:
That is one of the best finite element maps of sphere. Great find! Only trouble is, that would have to be a one-size-fits-all solution to planet mapping. I can't think of any way to scale just the triangles of that to different sized planets without subdividing it back up to the original hexes. Are people ok with a map tile representing vastly different areas from one planet to another? For example, applying the same map to both the Earth and the Moon would make the Earth tiles 13x larger than a lunar tile.

If we want to keep tile size some what consistent we could try using two polar-projection maps of north/south hemespheres for each planet. For example:


If we exclude dwarf planets, small moons, asteroids, etc from having a map (those are single-region objects that can't be shared) then:

1 tile/hemisphere:  1,200+ km radius: Triton, Europa
3 tile/hemisphere:  1,697+ km radius: Moon, Io, Callisto, Mercury, Ganymede
7 tile/hemisphere:  2,939+ km radius: Mars
15 tile/hemisphere: 4,490+ km radius: Venus, Earth
31 tile/hemisphere:  6,573+ km radius: Any alien rocky planet even larger than earth.

A bit clunkier, but this would hold size range per tile to 6-18 million square km per tile for a 3x maximum area difference.

Q: Anyone have thoughts on if a uniform map or a uniform tile area is better?

As for minerals:
a) each region has a couple of minerals
b) each region shares the same planetary mineral pool, but each region has a unique accessibility bonus/penalty for each mineral.


@Wealth:
I imagine financial centers generate paper-assets (stocks, mortgages) that facilitate and encourage wealth generation/consumption.

The simplest way to model renting civilian industry would be to grant the 'unemployed' manufacturing sector conventional-industry like productivity that can be rented in part or in whole at double the normal imperial production rate cost. Placing a cap on stored wealth would also be easy to implement.


Keep the ideas coming.  8)
 

Offline ardem

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #47 on: November 01, 2012, 11:24:00 PM »
Ground Combat
A 3D model with a very large Hex and pentagon Grid would be the best, adjustable hex and pentagon Grid dependent on the size of the planet. Hexes can be water/ice/land you could expand more

Like a socerball


Or you could go the standard grid but I think soccerball gives you easier movement concepts.
http://csem.engin.umich.edu/kdi/newgrid.php

But I do not ascribe to do 'Light of Altair' City development and huge icons popping out of the planet to be that break the immersion of a 'serious game'. Cities could be a Hex type, but would rather see abstract art like Flags or unit counters to signify combat troops and operations.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 12:18:10 AM by ardem »
 

Offline Ektoras

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #48 on: November 02, 2012, 12:18:02 AM »
I really like planets maps, they will add another dimension. I prefer the 3D sphere, it feels more like a planet.  Grid size could be a parameter set by the user, as a bigger grid would mean he has to spend more time in ground combat.

 One concern with planet maps and ground combat is AI's ability to handle them.
 

Offline ardem

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #49 on: November 02, 2012, 12:22:35 AM »
AI would be ok would big grid sizes, however smaller grid sizes and more terrain features would make AI harder to conquer. I think start with big ones and see how far you can go with limited AI.

But the AI should play it like Risk, which is put your most amount of troops able to attack a single hex at one time, within the boundaries of terrain.

How you determine terrain and the combat bonuses or modifiers will determine the real depths. Not so much as movement such as TOAW other top down strategy games.
 

Offline Antagonist

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #50 on: November 02, 2012, 02:56:51 AM »
If you wanna go the hex route I would advise applying icosahedron subdivision.

It is the best way I have found to subdivide a sphere into varying resolutions of grids.  You'll still sit with some variation in grid size with every step adding more hexes, but you'll have that problem no matter what you do.

You start with an Icosahedron (think a d12), then split triangles till you get to your needed resolution, then turn the triangles to hexagons (and pentagons, that is unfortunately unavoidable). At low resolutions it will look like a soccerball, as pictured above.  I have to say this is the same technique traveller uses.

Google 'Light of Altair' to see images of how another game studio does this, cept they use a electrons on the sphere model that they then triangulate.  The advantage of THIS method is far far far greater ability to custimize the number of grids per planet, though with the disadvantage of some irregular sized grids: while most are hexes, seen some squares or even triangles using this method.
 

Offline MattyD

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #51 on: November 02, 2012, 08:34:23 AM »
Surely we are getting ahead of ourselves a little here, what do we want planetary maps for? is ground combat going to feature in initial releases...

Why not have something like this:

For a given diameter there will be a set number of long and lat slots. Then depending on the planets magnetic field, water present, star type we can create a base colony cost at the equator. Now the temps will change with latitude so on some planets it might be favourable to settle at the poles while on others only a goldilocks band at the equatorial zone. I would like some variation to colony cost as well, not all areas in the same zones are as viable.

As the planet is terraformed more to the ideal, more and more slots will become colony cost 0.



Numbers are colony cost for a world a little on the cold side.

               [3.1]                    +25
          [1.3][1.6][1.9]               +10
     [0.6][0.8][0.7][0.9][0.8]          +4  The temp at latitudes
[0.3][0.0][0.9][1.2][0.0][0.3][0.2]      0  affects colony cost,
     [0.7][0.8][0.4][0.6][0.3]          +4  for example here
          [1.1][1.4][1.3]               +10 increases by a %
               [2.9]                    +25

edit: I posted in courier because it would be quicker than knocking up an image. I got that wrong.


This should be simpler to code, and preserves some sense of long and lat for future expansion. I like the idea that a whole planet is available once you have the colony cost down to 0. This way, once you begin terraforming small pockets of viable land will open up. If we assume that each pocket might have in ideal circumstances enough land to house say 5 million workers and that as a democracy 50% of labour has to be civilian it means I can place 50 CF in this one slot and nothing else.

As long as we have lat and longs we can keep the same data and expand it when we want to move ground forces around on the dirt.

« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 09:38:03 AM by MattyD »
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Offline sublight

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #52 on: November 02, 2012, 02:06:44 PM »
We are currently putting finishing touches on system generation, so logically next will be planet generation code. For that, we need to first decide how/if regions will be mapped and what information is tracked at a region level rather than a planetary level. Any 'temporary' solution included in the initial beta release is likely to become permanent, so in the interest of the think-twice code-once philosophy I'd prefer to code now whatever we need to support ground combat and colony management latter.

Two concerns are:
1) Balancing detail, game play, and save database size. There will be hundreds of mapped bodies.
2) Balancing ease of coding and game play. The simpler the code, the earlier the release.

Grid Maps:
Similar to MattyD's latest example.
Pro: Easy to code and generate, scales well.
Con: Easy to make too big, less interesting to look at, will have some distortion between latitudes or along map edges.

Regular Polyhedrons or Archimedean Solids as Maps:
Pro: Preserves spateral relationships and distances on a sphere. Looks stunning if rendered in 3D.
Con: If. Its a big one. 2D projections may be awkward, poor scaling if small maps are used. Given our previous trouble with cross-platform UIs I'm in minor terror of the idea of finding myself trying to personally code/render some of those shapes.

Conclusion: We are not going to commit to using complex geometric shapes for our planetary map unless/until:
a) we find a shape/format that scales easily and can be displayed in a user-friendly 2D projection for the initial release
b) someone finds or writes working sample code for both Windows and OSX/Linux that both renders a geometric figure and records which face a mouse click event is on.

Why? I want us to have planet mapping done and coded by the end of the month preferably, by Christmas at the latest. We'll make the best map system we can in that time, but I don't think planet mapping is worth spending longer on.
 

Offline MattyD

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #53 on: November 02, 2012, 03:43:16 PM »
The only way you could have stunning 3D planets, asteroids, gas giants and so on is to have procedurally generated textures, otherwise the same images are going to come round and round.

That's a lot of coding work for the sake of appearance.

In terms of gameplay, is it worth the trouble? How detailed is ground combat going to have to be to justify the coding?

I would prefer less time spent on eye candy but that's just me.

I suppose it comes down to the size of the universe, this level of individual detail on multiple planets is going to be a nightmare with the scope of Steve's game. If I have 10 colonized systems and I have to assign a governor to each zone, then a planetary governor to oversee them. Then do I have to set the industry up for each zone, station ground forces, arrange PDC's, civilian contracts?

If management takes place on a planetary level just like current Aurora then is it desired to add a layer of micromanagement below that?
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Offline ardem

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #54 on: November 02, 2012, 07:50:51 PM »
Surely we are getting ahead of ourselves a little here, what do we want planetary maps for? is ground combat going to feature in initial releases...

I only mention it cause, once you have an implentation of a map or idea what is done and done and never can be undone. Too many games I seen lack of foresight from developers, even games mods I been apart of and when you get to that next stage you hit the too hard basket.

Regardless of where ground combat is in or out I think a lot would agree there needs to be a form include and perhaps a form more details then Aurora. But hey that might be just me.

Forgetting the planet images being the same (which I think we all been accustom to with static image in aurora) A 3D implentation gives you several advantage that 2D cannot. Even if the implentation was hex colour change and nothing more then that. Visually it easier for the player to understand no matter how much you wrap out a 2D implentation. Also it does create more immersiveness.

This is the ideas thread I hope, even if my ideas are stupid, hope they are atleast valid to post.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 08:23:59 PM by ardem »
 

Offline exdeathbr

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #55 on: December 04, 2012, 04:37:38 PM »
Some idea: Multiplayer Empire.


Some say aurora 4x is very complex, one cool way to reduce the complexity would be allow 2 (or more?) players to play with the same empire, each one focused on some aspect of the empire.
 

Offline niflheimr

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #56 on: December 05, 2012, 09:14:35 AM »
3D planet display - IMHO the easiest way would be to use a common unwrapping method like http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=69961 for latitudes up to 70 degrees or so and two polar projections for the polar caps - sure , it takes a bit more work but you can accurately display all the locations on a planet.

Of course the better option would be displaying everything planet-related in 3d but that would require a bit more coding - and I understand your dread of doing it multi-platform - and the time needed to go through OpenGL or similar api's.

 

Offline IanD

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #57 on: February 18, 2013, 05:09:40 AM »
For space drives can there be two modes? An efficient cruising mode and a combat mode. The first would give a large radius of action, the second the maneuverability required for combat. This could be done by using two different engines or one with two modes which could be activated by a tick box.
IanD
 

Offline Nathan_

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #58 on: February 18, 2013, 10:21:51 AM »
One of the things that I would want to do first though would be to simplify towing which would probably accomplish that, though building just 1 drive for efficiency and power would basically eliminate any engine choices.
 

Offline sublight

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Re: Pulsar 4X Ideas
« Reply #59 on: February 18, 2013, 12:02:39 PM »
I'm open to the idea of replacing the hyper-drive tech branch with an after-burner tech branch to give an increase speed check-box option. Such an engine would have to trade efficacy in both modes for the versatility to keep single-speed engine designs viable.

I'm not sure how the towing system can be simplified. It feels like the best ways to improve that system will add complexity, such as new code and selection options for individual engine activation/deactivation.
 

 

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