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How will we feed our billions?

In Galactic Civilizations III, we presume that by the time we are colonizing planets, our home world has reached an equilibrium between food production and population.  But let's face it: when we colonize other planets, it'll take many years for those planets to build up sufficient farming infrastructure to produce for the kinds of populations you have on your home world.

 

Surplus Food

Galactic Civilizations III will be treating food a bit differently to reflect the awareness of just how important a large population is on your planets. 

When Galactic Civilizations III first shipped, players built farms on planets and that would increase that planet's population.  Because it was so easy to increase your population, our conversion between population to production was: production = the square root of population.

When Galactic Civilizations III v2.0 came out, we changed this so that food became a global resource that was then consumed by cities.  You could build as many farms as you wanted elsewhere, and then build cities on another planet that used that food. Because this made increasing population more challenging (requiring two tiles -- a farming tile and a city tile), the formula was changed to production = population.  This proved better on paper than in practice because on larger maps, players had no problem dedicating entire worlds just to farming, no matter how terrible the planet or how unrealistic that would be. This worked well for building other planets to huge populations, but it created production quantities that were balance breaking. 

Throughout the v2.x series, we have tinkered with the formulas for what it takes to build a farm and what it takes to build a city, to the point where players were becoming frustrated when they discovered they didn't have the right resource to build something.

For v3.0, we have created a much simpler - and we think, more intuitive - system.  Good planets have arable land tiles.  The better the planet, the more of these tiles it will have.  You can choose to build farms on them or you can bulldoze them and build whatever you want.  This reflects the fact that Ceti Alpha V (a class 6 world) is never going to have farms while even a wonderful planet like Earth (class 10) can't have its entire surface farmed (and we do abstract farming to an extent in that your initial colony is self-sufficient in food). 

Thus, population = production.  Arable land produces food without you having to do anything at all, but you can also build them up with various levels of farms and use that surplus food elsewhere.  Some worlds will have no arable land.  Others will have several.

image

In this example, my home planet starts with 2 arable tiles, which produces 2 food right away.

Now, unlike other resources, unused food doesn't accumulate.  As my wife regularly reminds me, food spoils and I should stop eating it when it does.  But it does mean that with a few good early planets, you can start building cities on planets without having to have built a single farm.  It's proving to be a really interesting mechanic.

image

There are two good planets here.  One with 3 food tiles and one with 1 food tile and an elerium deposit.
Which one should I colonize first?

In the above example, getting the Elerium deposit means I can instantly build enhanced lasers, which have military significance.  But if I settle the other planet, I can build a city on my home planet immediately.  This creates some interesting strategic choices that simply did not exist before.

Galactic Civilizations III v3.0 is due for release in April.


Comments (Page 2)
on Feb 21, 2018

This isn't Banished. I don't want to have to plan for winter, especially winter on dozens of planets with different seasons!

on Feb 21, 2018

R.I.P. wild grain. With its +3 on and +1 adjacent population bonus it was always a good spot for a city with a more than self sustaining ring of farms.

on Feb 21, 2018

I think you're ALL missing the point.    

Did you notice that we're currently on version 2.8 and they're going to 3.0?

What happened to 2.9?  

Personally, I think we need to put this on the TV series Ancient Aliens and bring this up as a conspiracy theory.

on Feb 21, 2018

Al_Kesselring1

I think you're ALL missing the point.    

Did you notice that we're currently on version 2.8 and they're going to 3.0?

What happened to 2.9?  

Personally, I think we need to put this on the TV series Ancient Aliens and bring this up as a conspiracy theory.

 

ver, 2.9 is in the same place as Windows 9.

on Feb 21, 2018

Taslios


Quoting admiralWillyWilber,

I mean farms produce food every year unless you use winter crops which is twice a year. Storage would still need to last six months. Maybe the year could be decided on a random basis on how long it takes the planet to go around the sun. Just saying different planets have different day, and year lengths.



What would this mechanic actually add?    

Realism is only of value when it improves the game play.

What this adds is for food to act like food. Farms don't produce food only once, and done. Farms produce food yearly or twice a year. Silicon, or synthetics can mine constantly; while carbon have a one time food resource. Every argument was shot down by realism, so now i'm bringing realism farms don't produce food once, but continously every year, or twice a year.

How this improves gameplay is that instead of being only once. It is now twice a year. This would be more competive against synthetics which can mine promethium every turn which does not rot. This could also be done automatically like mining, but requires a farm instead of a starbase.

on Feb 22, 2018

If Stardock are choosing to go to the "use it or lose it" approach with food, then admiralWillyWilber's point is bang on: If Stardock are going to keep the different "food" methods, then carbon will be at a disadvantage if it's surplus foods dies while synthetics's surplus food ie promethium just goes up and up in storage.

So: either adopt the approach I advocate - all species create food the same way, ultimately. Give it different names to make it "different" if you like, but it works the same. This allows Stardock to keep the "use that food or it starts to stink real bad and get poisened" approach frogboy says they've come to and apply it to all species.

Or keep carbon food as "soilable" after a certain period but give carbon farms a certain buff to compensate (and the speed at which food is produced is a good place to start).

Alternatively, food production speed becomes a disadvantage if you play as carbon. Which is fine if it's one of few reasons and anyway is countered somewhat by a carbon advantage. But you don't want to have a species that has so many disadvantages that you're a fool to play as that species.

 

 

on Feb 22, 2018

The food hasn't changed in the sense some are talking.  Food was always use it or lose it (you can't build an inventory).

To summarize:

  1. Planets now spawn with arable land tiles that give +1 food just for existing. No build up required which means you can build cities without ever building a single farm potentially.
  2. Only arable tiles can be farmed on which increases their food output.  
  3. Arable tiles can be bulldozed over if you don't want them.

The net result is that most players will end up being able to build more cities but you won't (realistically) be able to have hundreds of food per turn anymore by those min/maxing the system.

on Feb 22, 2018

Will the bulldozing mechanism mean that non-carbon civs can do a scorched earth policy on an advancing carbon civ eventually making it impossible for that civ to expand it's population?  Might need a tech or mechanism to establish new or former arable tiles.

on Feb 22, 2018
New would destroy the balance they are making so would go for the re-establish former A tiles.
on Feb 22, 2018

Ignore Post, please delete

just removing my email notifications for this thread

https://forums.stardock.com/487643/page/1/#3704793

on Feb 23, 2018

1Wildcat

Will the bulldozing mechanism mean that non-carbon civs can do a scorched earth policy on an advancing carbon civ eventually making it impossible for that civ to expand it's population?  Might need a tech or mechanism to establish new or former arable tiles.

Yeeep!

on Feb 23, 2018

Triple_Crown

Apparently you have chosen to stick with the middle ages peasants scenario. How sad.

 

I do not know how well this mechanic serves technically, I will assume its good adjustment to the game. But from realism perspective its a completely ridiculous change. Arable land in 23rd century? LOOL 

Vertical greenhouses with plants that do not touch a single grain of sand is todays tech already.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_tvJtUHnmU

 

Arable land... LOOOOOL

I look forward to those massive Martian farms.

on Feb 23, 2018

One other change:

You can upgrade your colony capital without food to support higher populations.

on Feb 23, 2018

mrblondini

This is game about setting up a galactic empire, not a science-fiction version of Farmville 2! The detail is impressive, PalaceGuardian, but it's going to get in the way of getting a victory in the game because it lends itself to more micro-managing (do I grow vegetables or fruit on this spot? Fruit. What fruit, bananas or peaches? etc etc).

 

lol, You misunderstand and complicate my point, which is not about different types of food, but more than one way to generate food. Adding a fishery for food production from the planets oceans is not to give you a food resource called fish but to increase the food resource already used in game. Same that a hydroponic module for starbases isn't to give you a food vegetable icon but to increase your food output. Do you think the starbase manufacturing module complicates the game?

 

More types of food generation buildings or modules are needed to ease the dependency on tile farming and it would help the AI and not complicate a damn thing. If you find that complicating perhaps you should take up checkers.

 

Currently in game we can add modules to increase manufacturing, economy, and research. But not food.

on Feb 23, 2018

iRedEarth

R.I.P. wild grain. With its +3 on and +1 adjacent population bonus it was always a good spot for a city with a more than self sustaining ring of farms.

 

They could still keep these for building farms anyway, and they should get creative with it as well. I want to see some that are alien creatures comparable with cows or what not. Should give you not just a food bonus but a +soldiering bonus for the protein.