Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.

Greetings!

So the team is starting work on the next major expansion pack.  But we also want to keep an eye on the base game.

Right now, the recent Steam reviews for GalCiv are pretty awful with most of the people reviewing it doing so because they don't like some of the changes in v2.5.  So if there are changes you would like in 2.7 and beyond, this would be the place to ask.

The Steam review system is something I have and will continue to complain about because frankly, it absolutely destroys games.  When it's less than 70, a game might as well not exist.  So I'll be explicit, if you want us to keep working on GalCiv III, please leave a Steam review.  If not, don't. If you already have, thank you!

As many of you know, I am AI biased. But I know I'm in a minority because there is another space strategy game outselling GalCiv III and, suffice to say, AI is not its focus. 

It is clear that narratives in games matter.  GalCiv has a quest system ala Fallen Enchantress/Sorcerer King.  But we have tried to avoid doing that because we don't want the game to be a series of scripted narratives.  We don't plan to change that position in the base game but we are looking at releasing DLC that will do that if players want it. 

Now, the next major expansion pack focuses on politics and government.  So we'll set all that aside for now.  Otherwise, it's all open. What would you like to see?


Comments (Page 10)
on Oct 07, 2017

In the real world its like 40n.

on Oct 07, 2017

3N seems like more of a problem than 100N in an empire builder game. I mean Earth starts out with one developed tile and nine empty ones. Currently you can cover the planet in farms and cities. Even if you limited it to one cities, you'd still be able to cover it in factories and labs. Plus their are building upgrades, as well as tech improvements throughout the game. 3N seems very impractical.

Like in some ways it seems like there are too many buildings as it is. If planets are barely supposed to advance during the game, you may need to consider greatly reducing the amount of buildings.

 

on Oct 08, 2017

There's a lot of PopulationtoProductionExponent between the current 1.0 and the earlier 0.5.

Why not nerf it back down, but not so cripplingly far, so that there is a production falloff with ever increasing populations.

This value was nerfed because there was a problem- farms were king.

Then you add cities, and the crippling effect of this parameter set at 0.5 made them hardly worth the trouble.

If the game mechanics have crashed, then treat them like you would your computer.  Restore it to the last stable state and make different choices.

on Oct 08, 2017

Frogboy

Broadly speaking, the goal is for a planet to remain within a certain, manageble level of development.

If a planet starts at N production, we don't want it to go beyond 3N by end of the game. 3N is a huge jump.

But we have frequently seen cases where people are getting 100N or 200N.
Well I learned to love vanilla for its 100N's.I love to play like the Asgard from stargate, not particulary wide spread, but technologicly so advanced that the predominant powers don't want to pick a fight with them either.

But if this is what you want, there are other possible conclusions from above calculation.

For reference:

zuPloed

----- Derivation -----

The manufacturing formula is this:

M = (M0 + NM * etaM) * ( M0% + NM% * etaM% )

where
M ist the total manufacturing in the end
M0 is the flat manufacturing received from none-improvement bonusses
M0% is the flat manufacturing recieved from none manufacturing bonusses
NM is the number of tiles occupied be flat bonus improvements
NM% is the nmber of tiles occupied by percent bonus improvements
etaM and etaM% are the per tile efficiencies of improvements.
N0 is the number of available tiles and must be the sum of NM and NM%

Thus we can substitute NM% = N0 - NM in M, We want to find NM such that M is at a maximum. Thus we calculate the derivative of M with respect to NM and equate it to zero:

0 = etaM * ( M0% + etaM% * ( N0 - NM ) ) - etaM% * ( M0 + etaM * NM )

solving this for NM yields the optimal NM:

NM = 0.5 * [ N0 + M0% / etaM% - M0 / etaM ]
I suggested increasing the tile efficiency of %-improvements, in order to achieve a balance. The flipside - decreasing tile efficiency of the flat improvements - does the same thing to the balance between flat and %. Thus you could also change cities to give 1.5+0.25/level population - or you could decrease the population to production multiplier to 0.5.

Here's another consequence of above calculation btw:

Since citizens increase M0% (because they don't take up any tiles), they shift the optimal balance towards flat improvements. If you want a worker/scientist to promote using the %-based improvements, they should give a flat bonus (and thus increase M0 instead).

----------

You can also fullfill your 3N goal. In the formula you can limit M0%+NM%*etaM% to not exceed sqrt(3)*M0%. If you want citizens and tech to not let this value be exceeded you split M0% into M0%start (the M0% value without any citizens and tech) and M0%tech (the bonus through citizens and tech).

Example:

M0%start is 100%. M0%tech is 30% (a citizen) + 15% (one of the governance specializations). Now this factor 3N depends on the planet class, let's say the planet class is 15, then you want NM% = 7 for a balanced planet. Hence we get

M% = M0%start + M0%tech + NM%*etaM% = 1 + 0.45 + 7*etaM%

sqrt(3) is roughly 1.73, thus etaM% should not exceed 4% for the highest upgrade tier of a factory (~2.5% + 0.75%/level). Now you rebalance the flat bonusses against this. Using the optimum NM formula:

NM = 0.5 * [ N0 + M0% / etaM% - M0 / etaM ]

NM is 15 (planetclass) - 1 (colony capital) - 7 (NM%)
N0 is 14
M0% is 145% (sum of M0%start and M0%tech)
etaM% is 4%

If M0 is 8 (1 production and 3 population form colony capital, 1 from a specialization tech and 3 from asteroids)

then etaM has to be 0.22 meaning 0.22 population from 1 city and 2 farms. Thus a viable value for a city is approximately: .5 pop + .1/level. (neglecting higher tier farms)

This calculation neglects the other outputs from the city, thus either it's efficiency (etaM) has to be even lower or the % efficiency (etaM%) has to be higher.

----------

My opinion on this calculation: 3N is not a practical value. Should be 10N at least.

on Oct 08, 2017

Frogboy

Broadly speaking, the goal is for a planet to remain within a certain, manageble level of development.

If a planet starts at N production, we don't want it to go beyond 3N by end of the game.  3N is a huge jump.

But we have frequently seen cases where people are getting 100N or 200N.

 

Hi,

This does seem rather an extraordinary aim given the much higher population and high level buildings available later on and, as has already been pointed out, self defeating  in terms of the game's popularity since a significant component of the enjoyment is building up massive planets.

Also, I'm not quite clear exactly what N refers to. Obviously, if you start with 0.5 population or indeed (if you scandalously modify a constructor) zero then the production with be hugely less than when you get to the initial population limit (and would be even if you were still using square roots). 

So does N refer to the maximum possible output when the then population limit has been reached or something else? 

Cheers,

Jon

 

on Oct 08, 2017

Go4Celerity

There's a lot of PopulationtoProductionExponent between the current 1.0 and the earlier 0.5.

I did not add this change into my GST mod, knew it would break things (as the devs should have tbh). I settled for:-

    <PopulationToProductionExponent>0.8</PopulationToProductionExponent>
    <PopulationToProductionMultiplier>0.8</PopulationToProductionMultiplier>

Add to that I have graded City improvements (1 pop to start 4 at end game). I feel this is a happy medium between Cities, Asteroids and % Improvements. I can just about hold my ground on Gifted/Genius, but, I am not really a min/max kinda guy so do not know the perfect setup

on Oct 08, 2017

Go4Celerity

There's a lot of PopulationtoProductionExponent between the current 1.0 and the earlier 0.5.

[...]

If the game mechanics have crashed, then treat them like you would your computer. Restore it to the last stable state and make different choices.

The functional relation doesn't really matter that much. It only makes calculating it more tedious. I think linear is best because it is easiest to see the benefit as a player. See what another poster above said about having a pocket calculator nearby.

[...]

And before exponent .5 we used linear in vanilla, which was engaging. The problem is, that by now so many other variables changed, that reproducing the vanilla equivalent of linear pop to production is not trivial anymore. Now we have to do math.

on Oct 08, 2017

All these ideas ideas show linear thought of one item.
The idea of many things affecting many things and each thing has consequence one makes a pivot table of all known factors.

This allows for multiple paths to victory. Some may be better but if you do not do all the steps correctly then your path may not be as good as another.

With the randomness of the maps these paths are less defined causing more variation so what worked before may not work now.

That is the goal.

on Oct 08, 2017

Why not using a simpler system? Like that (surely more than 3N, but the difference between a just colonized planet with one low tech building and a fully settled planet with a lot of high tier buildings may well be 100N in my opinion):

- Every tier 1 building produces 1 point of output flat (factories 1 point of production, research labs 1 point of research, markets 1 point of wealth)

- Specialization occurs through adjacencies. Every building gives 1 point of adjacency bonus. So a single factory gives only 1 point of production. Two clustered together give each other 1 point of adjacency bonus, so total output is 4. Three factories custered together then gives a total output of 9, four give 16, and so on (it's not quadratic after that, since not every factory can give adjacency bonuses to every other, but only to adjacent ones).

- You need 1 population to operate 1 building. If you have less population then all your people have to work too much which decreases overall efficiency (produced output) by a factor of (pop present / pop needed) ^ 2. If you have too much pop then there is unemployment which decreases efficiency also by a factor of (pop needed / pop present) ^2. Other morale effects like rebellion could happen also more easily.

- Research unlocks higher tier buildings which give 2, 3, 4 points of flat output each. Adjacency bonuses stay at 1 point per adjacent building of the correct type. Research may also increase general productivity, giving an overall % bonus to output.

- Higher tier buildings may need more pop to operate effectively.

- Hub buildings may give higher adjacency bonuses.

- Tile bonuses still exist, but only for the tile itself, not for adjacent tiles (since I find it kind of frustrating nearly never to be able to use tile bonuses efficiently because placing buildings because of tile ajdacency bonuses usually throws away building type adjacencies).

- Special buildings may give more than one kind of output (like research + wealth).

- Population is housed in the colony capital and cities. Cities have no adjacency bonuses as such, but if built on a tile with a bonus spreads this exact bonus to all adjacent tiles (example: building a city on a +2 production tile gives all production buildings around the city a +2 production adjacency bonus).

- Special resources like Snuggler Colony and the like are classified according to their adjacency bonus. You mine them by putting a building of the correct type on the tile with the resource, what also produces its normal output. So no tiles are lost due to resources being present on a planet, but you need double pop to operate such a tile effectively (that's 2 pop instead of 1 for a tier 1 building). Higher tier buildings multiply the special resource output by their tier.

- There is no distinction between social and military production buildings. Instead bring back a slider per planet that determines how much of the overall production of a planet goes into social (building things on the planet and paying for projects) and military (building ships in a sponsored shipyard) production. If there is no sponsored shipyard everything goes into social production.

on Oct 08, 2017

And apart from the economic discussion there is one other thing that I would very much like to see in a future version of the game:

Replace the life support system by fuel. Introduce fuel components that you have to build into your ships and introduce fuel supply modules that you have to put on shipyards and starbases. Your ships can then load fuel there and that gives them a certain range, but every point of movement (above 1) uses one fuel unit. If fuel is used up a ship can only move 1 tile per round. Ships have to return to the next refueling point or can be refueled by a tank ship.

Fuel modules have a certain capacity in how much fuel they can provide per round so that it would not be possible to refuel a large fleet on a remote outpost with a tiny fuel supply. Operating and protecting supply lines would be a real (and interesting) issue in such a system.

on Oct 08, 2017

Has anyone else looked at the Crusade tech tree and thought "This looks stupid"? It just seems so arbitrary and inconsistent, especially when compared to the base game tech tree.

It would be nice if the Crusade tech tree were a bit more sensible.

on Oct 08, 2017

lyssailcor

Why not using a simpler system?....

lyssailcor - your post is brilliant. In terms of Crusade planet mechanics, very simple, elegant solutions.

It's also possible to offer optional tile bonuses. For example, a tile could offer +2 Research OR +2 Influence, depending on what building was built on it. This could make planet production (or specialization) more efficient. Adjacency would stay the same.

(I also hope zuPloed is a game designer. It took a while to grasp, but those balance concepts would make empire building much more engaging. Unfortunately, GC3 seems to have an update path of "balance one, unbalance another." I'd guess it would take several iterations to get your calculations right. But I'd buy your game.)

on Oct 08, 2017

deleted due to formatting issues.

on Oct 08, 2017

lyssailcor


- Every tier 1 building produces 1 point of output flat (factories 1 point of production, research labs 1 point of research, markets 1 point of wealth)

I'm ok with this, since it's straightforward. Pop then gives no raw production at all, or very small (say 0.1/pop).

lyssailcor

- Specialization occurs through adjacencies. Every building gives 1 point of adjacency bonus. So a single factory gives only 1 point of production. Two clustered together give each other 1 point of adjacency bonus, so total output is 4. Three factories custered together then gives a total output of 9, four give 16, and so on (it's not quadratic after that, since not every factory can give adjacency bonuses to every other, but only to adjacent ones).

 


I'm not OK here. It should be very difficult for an adjacency bonus to give the same amount of bonus as the base building. That leads to severely overpowered improvements quickly, and massive imbalance.  It's really not OK for a triplet factory in that scenario to have 3x the production of 3 lone buildings.  (e.g (3 x 1) + (3 x 2) >> 3 x 1). At best, I'd leave the adjacency bonus to be 0.5/level, and I think closer to 0.33/level would be best (so that the "optimal triplet" gives 60% more production total, 5 vs 3). The base idea is sound, but you really don't want the kind of scaling you're talking about - that leads us back to far too high numbers.  This concept should apply to all base stat buildings - Social/Military Production, Research, and Wealth.  Tourism, Influence, and Approval are different, and should be handled differently (i.e. since there are far fewer of them, adjacency should *really* matter, and I'm all on board for having them get at least a +1/level equivalent or maybe even more).

on Oct 08, 2017

lyssailcor


- You need 1 population to operate 1 building. If you have less population then all your people have to work too much which decreases overall efficiency (produced output) by a factor of (pop present / pop needed) ^ 2. If you have too much pop then there is unemployment which decreases efficiency also by a factor of (pop needed / pop present) ^2. Other morale effects like rebellion could happen also more easily.

- Higher tier buildings may need more pop to operate effectively.

 

I can buy this, even though I'm not 100% on board with solely using pop to allow for improvement constructions. However, pop requirement should ONLY be for the "base" improvement types (Production/Research/Wealth and maybe Influence), and never for anything like specialty buildings or Tourism/Food/Approval or the like.

Also, a big NO to requiring more pop for higher tier buildings. They already require more tech, so that's the cost for them. In addition, it makes neither logical sense nor game sense - increasing tech means better productivity (in all senses) for the same amount of population, and requiring more pop for a better improvement virtually nullifies the whole point of researching the higher tech.

Low tier Research, Production, Approval, Food, and Influence buildings should have low maintenance (say 0.5), and each tier should double this. This makes more sense than increasing population requirements, as high tech is expensive, but not pop-intensive.  Wealth and Tourism improvements should NOT charge maintenance, for what should be obvious reasons.

Approval still needs to matter significantly. I'd not do a linear one (e.g. NOT Approval/Pop), but maybe a step function, like every full 10% below 100% knocks off 10% of total production. This is easier to understand - full production should be at 100% approval, and being less happy should lower production, rather than the bifurcated "about 50% gives bonus, below gives penalty" current model. It's far easier to balance my way.

lyssailcor

- Hub buildings may give higher adjacency bonuses.

Certainly, though I'd be careful about what the base value and per-level bonus of the hub building it. Hub buildings' PRIMARY benefit should be through adjacencies, and they themselves should provide low-level bonuses even when surrounded by 6 other improvements. For example, something like a Power Plant should maybe give +3 adjacency, but itself only give +1 Production as a base, NO per-level bonus.  More powerful versions of this improvement should up the adjacency bonus, but not the bonuses on the building itself.

I'd also never charge maintenance for either Hub or one-per-planet/civ/galaxy buildings.

lyssailcor

- Tile bonuses still exist, but only for the tile itself, not for adjacent tiles (since I find it kind of frustrating nearly never to be able to use tile bonuses efficiently because placing buildings because of tile ajdacency bonuses usually throws away building type adjacencies).

Absolutely not. This would remove one of the key fun things of the game, and the fact that it's not easy to make it work well is one of the major challenges. You have to accept that you can't always optimize the layout, but when you do, it can be VERY beneficial.  If you remove this feature, then why should any improvement give adjacency bonuses to more than one type?  It's the same concept.

lyssailcor

- Special buildings may give more than one kind of output (like research + wealth).

Of course. I would also add that one-per-civ/one-per galaxy improvements are the things that give % bonuses, rather than flat ones. One-per-planet buildings tend to be Hubs, and thus should be treated as above - if they're not Hubs, then the % rule applies.  But the others should be the thing to really ramp up a single planet's value, so they're the things that absolutely should affect the planet as a whole. Base bonuses in the +50-200% range, and per/level bonuses themselves in the +10-25%/level range. They should themselves give fairly small adjacency (+1 typically or even none), since their value is to the planet as a whole, rather than as a Hub.

lyssailcor

- Population is housed in the colony capital and cities. Cities have no adjacency bonuses as such, but if built on a tile with a bonus spreads this exact bonus to all adjacent tiles (example: building a city on a +2 production tile gives all production buildings around the city a +2 production adjacency bonus).

Sorta.  Cities absolutely should have adjacency bonuses, but only for fewer things than they do now. They should retain Population as their type, and receive modest per-level bonuses from both adjacent pop and tiles (say +0.25/level or less).  Honestly, Approval absolutely should be one of the big things they give adjacency to, and it should be a MINIMUM of +2.  Tourism as well (bare minimum of +1, and I'd even vote for up to +3).  No bonus for wealth, research, production, food, or influence though.  Cities themselves should give a small influence bonus (say +0.5).

And, of course, we should have a series of City-like improvements, in the same way we have series of Factory, et al. ones.  City, Metropolis, Megopolis, mostly with higher pop cap, but few, if any, other improved bonuses. And cities should NEVER cost maintenance, if we're balancing with the new paradigm - their function is to provide a resource (pop), and charging for that resource seems hideously unfair.

lyssailcor

- Special resources like Snuggler Colony and the like are classified according to their adjacency bonus. You mine them by putting a building of the correct type on the tile with the resource, what also produces its normal output. So no tiles are lost due to resources being present on a planet, but you need double pop to operate such a tile effectively (that's 2 pop instead of 1 for a tier 1 building). Higher tier buildings multiply the special resource output by their tier.

I don't see the need for this - the current model works better, and a resource is treated similar to a Hub building - it provides some base bonus (the resource in this case), no per/level bonus, and it's other benefit is via improved adjacency. In this case, we're not charging pop, since it's a resource (and we shouldn't be charging pop for a planet-bound resource if we don't for asteroid-based ones, and I don't think either are a good idea).  Improvements to the resource mine continue with improved tech, and we stick to the current model. Of all the things here, this is the thing NOT currently broken.

You don't "lose" a tile for the resource, any more than you "lose" a tile for the Capital or any other improvement. You get the resource, and it's a Hub.

lyssailcor

- There is no distinction between social and military production buildings. Instead bring back a slider per planet that determines how much of the overall production of a planet goes into social (building things on the planet and paying for projects) and military (building ships in a sponsored shipyard) production. If there is no sponsored shipyard everything goes into social production.

Absolutely not. That brings back micromanaging in a REALLY bad way. The current method of using Missions (for Shipyards) and Projects for Social production is both far more flexible, and far less micro, not to mention that it's easy to see on the Colony summary page what a planet is set to be doing. The slider should remain in the graveyard where it belongs.  If you're not sponsoring a shipyard, then that's "wasted" (really, just unused) production. I have no problem with that, and it's far easier to balance (and less micro) than something like a slider.

 

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