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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Skills and Story Points (07/08/19)

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Author Topic: Population Growth  (Read 11858 times)

Thana

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Re: Population Growth
« Reply #45 on: November 22, 2017, 08:22:51 PM »

(The developer who manages to create an engine that creates good emergent storytelling and quest design will have my undying adoration!)

Same! Not entirely sure it's possible, though supposedly CK2 is pretty darn good in this regard.

Yeah, it's definitely among the best games for that.

I have this idea bouncing in my head of a mission-based CRPG whose missions would be constructed of modules (recruitment, planning/preparation, entry, execution, exit, getting paid) and each would have random variables. It was for Shadowrun originally I guess, so you might find that when you go execute your mission, your target location might be surrounded by a crowd of protestors, or your run might be interrupted by another group coming in to do the same or some other objective at your location, that sort of things. It'd be really tough to balance right, but conceptually not outlandishly difficult to execute, I believe.

(Sorry for the tangent.)
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Drokkath

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Re: Population Growth
« Reply #46 on: November 23, 2017, 08:10:11 AM »

I'm probably one of the rare few who is more interested in having a outpost of my own for mostly storage reasons as I'm not much of a strategy type and definitely very far from trader type.
I just use brutal methods of tearing enemy fleets to shreds, loot and then shoot up some more thus creating a lot of headaches for an enemy faction. After I'm done with a couple shows of carnage only then I sell stuff I've collected.

Merely just giving a small insight to how I've been playing from my perspective is all, no wrongs, no rights, just a simple post by someone who enjoys this game in a different way and loves it.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 08:11:49 AM by Drokkath »
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For I dipt in to the future, far as my gazer eye could see; Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be.

Alex

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Re: Population Growth
« Reply #47 on: November 23, 2017, 12:50:10 PM »

I have this idea bouncing in my head of a mission-based CRPG whose missions would be constructed of modules (recruitment, planning/preparation, entry, execution, exit, getting paid) and each would have random variables. It was for Shadowrun originally I guess, so you might find that when you go execute your mission, your target location might be surrounded by a crowd of protestors, or your run might be interrupted by another group coming in to do the same or some other objective at your location, that sort of things. It'd be really tough to balance right, but conceptually not outlandishly difficult to execute, I believe.

(Sorry for the tangent.)

No worries, it's fun stuff to think about :)

Hmm. I wonder how it would feel - with a fairly rigid structure like that, it might end up more obviously "X things can happen at these particular points", so not so much emergent stories but randomized content. I mean, if the approach is to implement a set of variations for the specific piece of the sequence, that's at odds with what "emergent" means, right? Which if I had to define quickly would be something like "unexpected but compelling results from the interaction of different rules".

But say the variations in the different pieces were based on some prior events in other missions, all operating based on some set of rules... then it gets more interesting. Yeah, it's fun stuff to think about.
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Drokkath

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Re: Population Growth
« Reply #48 on: November 23, 2017, 02:05:21 PM »

It's indeed fun to think about. Sure made me think of SS' future today and I'd be borderline lying if said that "I'm not interested in that" to the outpost/space-station concept.
The idea of being able to set up a base of your own is something the game definitely should have at some point and then players are free to not only explore but find a viable star system and plunk down a base of sorts and have it fit for whatever role the market needs to be focused on doing.

Just started talking writing about it in a short way and I'm already now picturing and thinking of some build mode map screen where one can build/set up an initial state of a station and where and what it must orbit around. After that part is done one could see one's fleet move to the location if necessary or just fly there a bit later and order the market to be constructed in the ghostly visage of sorts or something along those lines.

Anyhow this is just my 2 cents spit-balling on the idea and how I see why it could work.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2017, 02:17:47 PM by Drokkath »
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For I dipt in to the future, far as my gazer eye could see; Saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be.

Gothars

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Re: Population Growth
« Reply #49 on: November 24, 2017, 12:34:03 AM »

I have this idea bouncing in my head of a mission-based CRPG whose missions would be constructed of modules (recruitment, planning/preparation, entry, execution, exit, getting paid) and each would have random variables. It was for Shadowrun originally I guess, so you might find that when you go execute your mission, your target location might be surrounded by a crowd of protestors, or your run might be interrupted by another group coming in to do the same or some other objective at your location, that sort of things. It'd be really tough to balance right, but conceptually not outlandishly difficult to execute, I believe.

(Sorry for the tangent.)

No worries, it's fun stuff to think about :)

Hmm. I wonder how it would feel - with a fairly rigid structure like that, it might end up more obviously "X things can happen at these particular points", so not so much emergent stories but randomized content. I mean, if the approach is to implement a set of variations for the specific piece of the sequence, that's at odds with what "emergent" means, right? Which if I had to define quickly would be something like "unexpected but compelling results from the interaction of different rules".

But say the variations in the different pieces were based on some prior events in other missions, all operating based on some set of rules... then it gets more interesting. Yeah, it's fun stuff to think about.


A issue I see is that the connection points between modules have to be  rigid to allow exchanging modules. So while what happens during a module can vary, the start and end conditions would always be the same, right?  Like in the boardgame Tsuro, you have varied tiles but the connections are all the same.
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That does seem like it come become predictable and boring pretty fast.
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Thana

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Re: Population Growth
« Reply #50 on: November 24, 2017, 06:15:24 AM »

I have this idea bouncing in my head of a mission-based CRPG whose missions would be constructed of modules (recruitment, planning/preparation, entry, execution, exit, getting paid) and each would have random variables. It was for Shadowrun originally I guess, so you might find that when you go execute your mission, your target location might be surrounded by a crowd of protestors, or your run might be interrupted by another group coming in to do the same or some other objective at your location, that sort of things. It'd be really tough to balance right, but conceptually not outlandishly difficult to execute, I believe.

(Sorry for the tangent.)

No worries, it's fun stuff to think about :)

Hmm. I wonder how it would feel - with a fairly rigid structure like that, it might end up more obviously "X things can happen at these particular points", so not so much emergent stories but randomized content. I mean, if the approach is to implement a set of variations for the specific piece of the sequence, that's at odds with what "emergent" means, right? Which if I had to define quickly would be something like "unexpected but compelling results from the interaction of different rules".

But say the variations in the different pieces were based on some prior events in other missions, all operating based on some set of rules... then it gets more interesting. Yeah, it's fun stuff to think about.


A issue I see is that the connection points between modules have to be  rigid to allow exchanging modules. So while what happens during a module can vary, the start and end conditions would always be the same, right?  Like in the boardgame Tsuro, you have varied tiles but the connections are all the same.
Spoiler
[close]

That does seem like it come become predictable and boring pretty fast.

Yes and no. Things like entry and exit could be incorporated on the same map as generation parameters. (Inside of target building would have its own parameters, as would inside, and entry/exit randomisations might be present on the map from the start or only come into play at a later date. You might see someone already fighting there when you go in, or there might be a power outage during your run, whatever.)

But you are right that giving a sufficient amount of material for the system to create enough variety and still keep the system from becoming too messy to debug would be the biggest problem. If it was just preset modules (entry map A3, entry scenario B3, interior map A5, interior scenario A5, exit scenario A2...), it would be too rigid and become predictable. They'd have to be more along the lines of this:

The target is a city-based research site for a wealthy corp, so there are exterior map modules wealthy_neighbourhood, isolated_zone and high_tech_zone as possibilities. They give modifiers to the map generation algorithm, activity (civilian, police, criminal, miscellaneous, all separate functions that should affect one another) randomisers, entry point generation (you won't find "broken down wall" in a wealthy downtown district unless you've rolled for a heavy attack to be underway when you go in, for example) and so on. Add in chances for effects from past entanglements (you've done a noisy job in this area recently, so any security forces get a bonus to alertness, numbers and equipment, plus there's a chance that AI you *** off may try to trip you up by feeding your opposition damaging info)...

That's the sort of thing I was thinking of. Like I said, it would be a far from trivial coding exercise, but I don't believe it'd be impossible to pull off successfully. But it's not an "oh yeah, maybe add this in too" feature, it'd have to be a central focus.
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Megas

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Re: Population Growth
« Reply #51 on: November 24, 2017, 10:54:36 AM »

One thing I just thought of.  One of the annoying things in 0.8.x is a fleet must have a tanker.  One idea for a filthy-rich player to do is build some disposable outposts just to have fuel stations.  If the stations are good enough to keep fuel (and supplies) stocked by themselves, but not profitable enough and player has too many, he can let it go and player can use the freed outpost as a fuel station.  Have enough supply and fuel generators placed strategically beyond core worlds and player may not need to lug around a couple supertankers anytime he wants to roam and kill things.
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SCC

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Re: Population Growth
« Reply #52 on: November 24, 2017, 03:30:42 PM »

I think the trap here - and I tend to fall into it myself as well - is how would the player know enough to be "smart" about it? If it's got to be "just right", then either they can see the data to begin with, in which case they're not being smart but just checking everything, or they can't see the data and it's going to be fairly random, trial-and-error.

That said, I think it'll still take some effort to get to higher population sizes at any speed unless conditions are good. I mean, your mining outpost may *eventually* get to size 5 but it'd take maybe 100+ cycles for a high-hazard world to do that without ongoing investments. Or, well, it could be a free port and get a considerable boost, but that's making some tradeoffs in other areas.
I don't recall outpost creation window shown anywhere nor a outpost management window/map. I think that if former showed available resources that'll reach outpost in that place (via local, import and smuggling separately) or if the latter could show overlapping market reaches on an interactive map or a map mode with tooltip showing resource availability in pointed star system (or planet, whatever) this could help with some planning.
Additionally it'd be nice if outpost creation window included sector map with market reaches, potential imports, exports, base outpost reach etc. so that you can see immediately impact of creating an outpost in a given location. Besides being flashy you'd know if you have to make some relay outpost or if you could reach more markets if you placed outpost in a worse location (admittedly that's a much less likely case).
Another idea I had is that it would be... hmm, logical? To have star system-wide modifiers for outposts, though really good or bad ones in extreme cases. Things like asteroid belt, dust ring, nebula clouds, orbital laser toster dispensers are pretty obvious, while neutron stars, black holes, rogue planets are... Well, even more obvious, but with harsher effects. And if they're too complicated they can potentially be rolled into normal modifiers, with planetary ones being big lower row and system ones upper, smaller row and only indicating which planetary modifiers are changed/added by system modifiers (e.g. planet with ruins and decent ore deposits, with a smaller asteroid belt icon above the ore deposit icon).
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