To start off, I’d like to clarify what I mean by “economy” here – just the underlying simulation that moves around commodities and is responsible for matching up supply and demand across the Sector. This does not include things like trade disruptions, which are events that cause price changes. These are certainly part of a more expansive and player-centric definition of “economy”, but for this post, I’d like to focus purely on the commodity distribution algorithm.
So, what does the algorithm need to do? We’ve got markets and commodities, and each market has a supply (i.e. production) and a demand (i.e. consumption) for each. What we need to do is figure out where commodities will end up, given the supply/demand situation. For example, if one market is producing food, its output should be distributed among food-consuming markets according to their demand.
There are some further complications, but the above is the gist of it – fairly straightforward supply and demand stuff, though getting it to actually work out is anything but. Read the rest of this entry »
As usual, after a major release there’s some time to polish up some things that there just hasn’t been time for up to that point. In fact, a lot of the upcoming 0.7.2a is turning out to be about “paying off” technical and design debt – things that are “good enough for now”, but do have to be addressed at some point.
One such is phase cloaking. There’s a post from a while back on how the current mechanics came to be if you’re interested in the details, but let’s summarize:
Way, way back, the original idea for phase ships was something submarine-like, being able to hide on the battlefield and deliver surprise attacks. That sounds like fun but didn’t turn out to be practical, so phase cloaking changed to become a way to avoid damage instead – shift to another dimension, let enemy fire pass through/over your ship, uncloak, and fire back. That essential concept remains unchanged in this new iteration; the changes are looking to address some specific issues with the implementation.
Or “David gets Alex to basically write half the blog post by quoting his emails”.
Right, so let’s take a peek into the process of back and forth commentary and iteration Alex and I go through when adding a new weapon to Starsector. I think this may give some insight into how this game gets made and how working on one small piece of it rolls odds and ends off into other areas of development.
Our story begins with a simple request for a new weapon asset.