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Author Topic: Colony Management  (Read 43331 times)

Gothars

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Re: Colony Management
« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2017, 03:14:49 PM »

I don't have much to add, I think it sounds all rather wonderful :) The beautiful artwork for the structures&industries deserves special mention!


Maybe it's worth some thought to implement a mechanic that discourages exchanging administrators too frequently. Without that, I imagine there would be some scenarios where you had to switch them around for every minor shift in military thread or economic potential, if you want to play optimally. Something like a small "settled in" stat bonus that admins get after some time would help with that, as would a severance benefit you'd have to pay them for re-assignment.

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naufrago

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Re: Colony Management
« Reply #31 on: December 22, 2017, 03:29:42 PM »

Yo, been a while since i've said anything, but I've been keeping tabs on the development. Game is looking better than ever, and shaping up to be a game i've always wanted to play.

Anyway, i'm curious whether you'll implement some sort of measures to prevent players from scooping up some of the surplus, then selling it directly back to the market. Would you consider that viable, or would you try to act against that behavior? Didn't see any mention of that sort of thing in your blog posts, so i though i'd bring it up.

EDIT: wow, just looked and it's been over 4 years since i last posted. hard to believe it's been that long.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 03:31:54 PM by naufrago »
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Alex

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Re: Colony Management
« Reply #32 on: December 22, 2017, 04:10:04 PM »

Will we be able to kill the smugglers who come to our planet without loosing reputation with the independent? Because as it stands, the independent are one of the best ways to get capital ships, given they don't require a commission. And I like having capital ships, but I don't like allowing criminals to undermine my own markets.

At this point, I'm not even sure that killing smugglers would have a positive effect. I do want to take another look at how reputation works especially re: independents and pirates, though.

Also, I am looking forward to this so much. There's something slightly painful about floating above a needle-in-a-haystack, completely-habitable, resource-rich world and thinking "yea, survey data on you will be worth a few hundred thousand to the right buyer, and then I'll never come back here again... what a waste." That'll completely change once this is added.

More than you think, I wouldn't expect to be able to sell the survey data for very much anymore :)


@Midnight Kitsune: I mean, no matter the design, even if it's absolutely amazing, there are still ways to screw it up in the execution. I'll do my best to avoid the various pitfalls!

-Salaries and newbies: SS already has a BRUTAL start, even with the tutorial that no one ever takes. And now with salaries, I feel like it is going to cause even more death spirals because now the new player is going to have TWO monthly supply drains to worry about at least. Many times I read about players that struggle to make ends meet. Now they are gonna have to worry about packing enough supplies, fuel and now credits.

Hmm, I strongly disagree here. Anecdotal evidence suggests lots of people do the tutorial and that it - alongside other things - has helped *massively* with the early game difficulty. Of course, some people still have trouble, but that fraction of people that does seems to be far less.

Also, how will salaries and monthly income be payed out? Per day? Week? Month? I would suggest that both of these be given at once and at the same interval so that newbie players don't screw themselves by spending all their money on supplies and fuel and ships and not saving for when that monthly paycheck comes due

It's monthly, both for income and expenses.


Copy the seed for that sectorgen and store it in a document someplace safe so that you CAN come back to it later!

Seeds from 0.8.1 are super unlikely to produce the same results in the next release, btw. That process is extremely fragile by nature and even a slight difference in Sector generation will cause the same seed to diverge completely from what it used to do.


... especially with aptitudes being a tax that NO ONE ELSE pays.
The aptitude tax is awful, and as Midnight says, no one else gets to pay it.

Hmm - I have to be honest, I don't really get the "no-one else has to pay it" sentiment - they're just different mechanics. Maybe the reason for a level cap of 20 is to represent that they do have to invest in aptitudes etc behind the scenes, but it's not something the player needs to be bothered with. But even that I think isn't a great way to look at it because, again, just entirely different mechanics. Apples and oranges, you know?


The main thing I am concerned about is skill changes.  There are not enough skill points now, and we will get even less later?!

I don't want to talk about it too much, but the reduction of skill points alongside reducing the number of skills and the increase in the relative power of combat skills would be a very substantial buff to combat skills, which is part of the reason for the (potential) changes. Just seeing "less points" without thinking about how it relates to the other changes is going to give the wrong idea. I mean, if the reduced number of points gives you more or similar power across the board because you can get more per point, then that's an important part to consider.

It would also, naturally, result in a lower level cap for officers, since a cap of 20 would be kind of absurd at that point, both in terms of power relative to the player and in terms of absolute power.


Meanwhile, I look at my officers' ships with great envy and wish I can pilot them, but cannot because only I am allowed to take the critical buffer skills and not my officers.  (And if I do not and get skills like an officer, my character is much weaker.)

Yeah, that's part of the driver for the changes. I'd like to make combat more appealing and fix a few cases where non-combat skills feel too must-have (such as Salvaging if you want to salvage, for example).


Maybe it's worth some thought to implement a mechanic that discourages exchanging administrators too frequently. Without that, I imagine there would be some scenarios where you had to switch them around for every minor shift in military thread or economic potential, if you want to play optimally. Something like a small "settled in" stat bonus that admins get after some time would help with that, as would a severance benefit you'd have to pay them for re-assignment.

Was thinking about this, yeah! Or something like an ETA of a month or so before the admin's bonuses start to apply. Don't want to do it until there's a problem to solve, though, if that makes sense.

I don't have much to add, I think it sounds all rather wonderful :) The beautiful artwork for the structures&industries deserves special mention!

I have to say, I'm quite a fan of those myself :) (Don't tell anyone, but there are several variations for a number of these, depending on market size and a few other factors.)


Yo, been a while since i've said anything, but I've been keeping tabs on the development. Game is looking better than ever, and shaping up to be a game i've always wanted to play.
...
EDIT: wow, just looked and it's been over 4 years since i last posted. hard to believe it's been that long.

Hey, welcome back (and thank you)! ... has it been that long, really? Doesn't feel like it.

Anyway, i'm curious whether you'll implement some sort of measures to prevent players from scooping up some of the surplus, then selling it directly back to the market. Would you consider that viable, or would you try to act against that behavior? Didn't see any mention of that sort of thing in your blog posts, so i though i'd bring it up.

I think that'd be viable, yeah - if the LR market gives you stuff, then can't exactly prevent you from selling it. The key would be to make sure the player doesn't miss out on anything by not constantly going around to pick up and sell the surplus - so, either make sure it accumulates, or gets sold off at market value and produces more income if there's local Commerce, or something along those lines.

Also, if a market is producing much surplus, it means that the price will be lower.
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Igncom1

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Re: Colony Management
« Reply #33 on: December 22, 2017, 04:38:44 PM »

I'm certainly excited to be able to give it a go.

I was just playing today and found a nice water world with moderate amounts of resources and a breathable atmosphere right next to another system with a large jungle world.  Currently that's just some nice money if I get surveying skills and such, but soon stuff like that will be the seed of my own interstellar empire!

I like fighting the fleet battles, but I am going love building something for a change as well.

Can we colonize worlds in the name of, or for, a faction? Or is it always as a new faction?

How will factions feel about me setting up colonies? Will that be based upon my relations with them before I start playing Dictator?

Will other NPC's found their own factions?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 06:03:26 PM by Igncom1 »
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bowman

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Re: Colony Management
« Reply #34 on: December 22, 2017, 04:45:19 PM »

I'm gonna go ahead and ask the question I'm sure we are all wondering: Can we make food illegal? (more seriously, are illegal goods limited to the ~5 that exist for all other factions right now or can we make any good in the game we happen to feel like illegal for our faction?)

At any rate, looking forward to more about colonies and starsector in general. Your blog posts are crack to me, love the way you analyze and plan any mechanic you add to the game: something I think a lot of developers could learn from.
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Inventor Raccoon

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Re: Colony Management
« Reply #35 on: December 22, 2017, 05:07:29 PM »

I'd probably recommend adding a grace period at the start of the game where you don't have to pay salaries (or add a temporary source of income like the inheritance you mentioned, that runs out after a couple of months)
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Alex

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Re: Colony Management
« Reply #36 on: December 22, 2017, 06:12:03 PM »

I like fighting the fleet battles, but I am going love building something for a change as well.

Yeah, hopefully it'll be a nice change of pace.

Can we colonize worlds in the name of, or for a faction? Or is it always as a faction?

I don't know - that sort of thing would make sense in the context of a commission, but fleshed-out commissions themselves aren't all that important to making all this work, so they're more of an optional extra than a base necessity.

How will factions feel about me setting up colonies? Will that be based upon my relations with them before I start playing Dictator?

I think that'll probably depend on the faction and on what you're doing, but no specifics just yet :)


Will other NPC's found their own factions?

Almost certainly not.


I'm gonna go ahead and ask the question I'm sure we are all wondering: Can we make food illegal? (more seriously, are illegal goods limited to the ~5 that exist for all other factions right now or can we make any good in the game we happen to feel like illegal for our faction?)

Hah! No way, that'd be weird. Illegal stuff would be limited to a predetermined set. To be honest, I'm not sure how big an impact it's going to have - right now that's entirely unimplemented, and the widget you see in the market screen is just a mockup.

At any rate, looking forward to more about colonies and starsector in general. Your blog posts are crack to me, love the way you analyze and plan any mechanic you add to the game: something I think a lot of developers could learn from.

Thank you!

(I'd bet most developers think about things in much the same way, pretty much anything that ends up in almost any game probably ended up that way for a reason and after some deliberation. I mean, I'm sure there are exceptions, and the lack of time can be a real issue, but still, I don't think there's anything particularly unique about the way I approach things.)


I'd probably recommend adding a grace period at the start of the game where you don't have to pay salaries (or add a temporary source of income like the inheritance you mentioned, that runs out after a couple of months)

Yeah, we'll see. Like I said in the blog post, it might be more than balanced out by the reliable - and lower - prices of supplies and fuel. But it could be a nice way to make the early game more forgiving, regardless.
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Originem

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Re: Colony Management
« Reply #37 on: December 22, 2017, 07:00:25 PM »

All things well done!
But, how about the optimization? There is too much OOM now while playing game with lot's of mods. (have to restart the game regularly to prevent savings's failure) If added more new features, the memory is at risk.
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Alex

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Re: Colony Management
« Reply #38 on: December 22, 2017, 07:29:03 PM »

All things well done!
But, how about the optimization? There is too much OOM now while playing game with lot's of mods. (have to restart the game regularly to prevent savings's failure) If added more new features, the memory is at risk.

Should be better, actually - none of the stuff here has a large memory footprint, and the new economy is not prone to having more data to keep track of as time goes on, like the old one was.

That said, if a particular mod has a memory leak, then that's not something I can do anything about. So it's a question whether having X amount of mods adds up to being "too much" (in which case stuff I do can/will make a difference) or whether one of the mods has an issue (in which case, nothing I can do that would help).
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Drokkath

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Re: Colony Management
« Reply #39 on: December 22, 2017, 08:18:28 PM »

I'm just hoping that concept of colony element to the game remains as an extension to the base game because over the years my will to play strategy and do math has withered almost to zero. I have more fun in SS when I steamroll over fleets of ships with one modded-in god-like commando ship than looking at pages and pages of micromanagement that'll drive me insane sooner or later.

If anything I'll probably still will just set up one colony for my own in-game fellow aliens and hopefully keep it going with Console Commands plus some light modding to make it all as much stressless for my brain as I can. Too much strategy has only driven me away from doing strategy to point of hating the very idea of strategy and use a proverbial sledgehammer to nuke the opposition and call it even. x_x


I'd love to have robots and/or custom (alien) crew on my ships instead of the regular human crew. Currently I treat human crew as an element that is supposed to be robots and/or fellow aliens on my ships. The closest I can get to alien element without changing crew sprites currently is turning that human crew into Mutons in my mind and treat both crew and marines as two-in-one unit.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 08:43:28 PM by Drokkath »
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Midnight Kitsune

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Re: Colony Management
« Reply #40 on: December 22, 2017, 10:32:13 PM »

@Midnight Kitsune: I mean, no matter the design, even if it's absolutely amazing, there are still ways to screw it up in the execution. I'll do my best to avoid the various pitfalls!

I understand and respect that. It is just that I've always been a bit of a perfectionist and pessimist and I try to see things from the newer players perspectives.

-Salaries and newbies: SS already has a BRUTAL start, even with the tutorial that no one ever takes. And now with salaries, I feel like it is going to cause even more death spirals because now the new player is going to have TWO monthly supply drains to worry about at least. Many times I read about players that struggle to make ends meet. Now they are gonna have to worry about packing enough supplies, fuel and now credits.
Hmm, I strongly disagree here. Anecdotal evidence suggests lots of people do the tutorial and that it - alongside other things - has helped *massively* with the early game difficulty. Of course, some people still have trouble, but that fraction of people that does seems to be far less.

Oh I do agree that many players were helped by the tutorial however for every one or two that might have issues here, there are 4, 5 or 10 on other forums (4chan, Something Awful, Discord) that have issues as well. And in many of these places you can post anonymously and it allows people to be quite a bit more open and forthcoming, if a bit crude and crash. I see many complain about the early game and many modders also agree that the early game is quite brutal and that the game has an inverted difficulty curve (that is no doubt caused by in part the game's incompleteness)

... especially with aptitudes being a tax that NO ONE ELSE pays.
The aptitude tax is awful, and as Midnight says, no one else gets to pay it.
Hmm - I have to be honest, I don't really get the "no-one else has to pay it" sentiment - they're just different mechanics. Maybe the reason for a level cap of 20 is to represent that they do have to invest in aptitudes etc behind the scenes, but it's not something the player needs to be bothered with. But even that I think isn't a great way to look at it because, again, just entirely different mechanics. Apples and oranges, you know?

That's the issue though: Officers are basically slightly weaker PCs that get to pick the fun skills. Their effective level is 30 (because no aptitudes and the bonus starting skill) and are able to get 7 of the 15 possible skills, spread out across 3 trees of skills. Meanwhile the player's effective skill level is anywhere between 36 (min. 2 aptitudes minus the two bonus points) to 30! which is EQUAL to that of the officers! Combine this with no player respec (can respec officers by spacing them and getting another) and HALF the skill tree being filled with three trees of worth of fleet boosting skills that only the player can pick. And even IF aptitudes were removed, players can't pick all of the fleet based skills... Not just this but ENEMY fleets also don't have to deal with this stuff
I don't know, it just never made sense to me that not only were aptitudes stripped of their skills but the player was given a level cap AND officers (not to mention enemy fleets) don't care about alot of stuff that the player has to (now with salaries being another nerf to the player)
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RickyRio

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Re: Colony Management
« Reply #41 on: December 23, 2017, 02:36:59 AM »

A potential skill system rework might involve splitting different disciplines into their own pools of points, perhaps more like a talent tree system with 2-3 trees (combat, non combat, or combat, fleet, industry) that have trade offs WITHIN the tree itself. so you could gain "combat exp" to gain points to spend on combat skills, with possible trade offs between focusing on low-tech ships or high-tech ships or carriers, fleet points could be focused on the trade off of small fleets of high skilled ships (officers) vs the supply cost reductions to make larger fleets work. Industry could be a trade off of mantaining a huge fleet or focusing heavily on outpost construction.

Whats sorta coming to mind is a skill system like solder abilities in XCom and XCom 2 where at each level up you have one of two choices. But I really think combat and non-combat skills need to be decoupled otherwise the opportunity cost trade off leaves the player with an extremely sour choice.
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Carabus

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Re: Colony Management
« Reply #42 on: December 23, 2017, 03:17:02 AM »

Another idea is to split player skills into "Officer skills" (the same skills officers have) and player-only skills and then only allow to spend 20 points on each group. This would make player equal to officers when it comes to Combat skills, and prevent the situation where either combat or fleetwide/industry skills have to be sacrificed by player.
To make player completely equal to officers, aptitudes would have to be free/removed (or added to officers), and there needs to be some ability to respec.
As for respec my idea would be that both player and officers can gain levels infinitely, but every level above level cap gives one "respec point" insteat of skill point. Respec point when activated converts one level of selected existing skill into a skill point to be spent elsewhere. This would allow the characters to evolve as they level up, but with a cap of 20 points spent on skills at any time, although the selected skills may change.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 03:19:03 AM by Carabus »
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HELMUT

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Re: Colony Management
« Reply #43 on: December 23, 2017, 03:25:08 AM »

I'm really exited for this, the outpost system will open quite a few new possibilities. I'd be curious to see how far a player faction can grow and what would be the effects on the global economy. While it seems unlikely the player will be able to reach something the size of the Hegemony or the League by fair means, i'd like to see the effects of some console command induced growth just for the hell of it.

As for the early game "nerf" that MK is talking about, whether or not the salary drain will have a noticeable effect on the actual gameplay, it will definitely add an intimidation factor for beginners. On the other hand, maybe commissions will give the player a monthly salary to offset that. It's too early to tell anyway, and can be subject to change afterwards if needed.

About the skills, fusing a bunch of them is probably the better option, especially for the "not so fun" ones. Even more so since those will probably become increasingly handy with outpost management. As for the aptitudes points that doesn't bring "anything", while i'm personally not really bothered by that issue, i can understand what Megas and MK are saying here. The aptitudes points are not pointless, but they do "feel" pointless which would explain the problem. An easy solution would be giving the aptitudes points a small bonus, similar to the old skill tree. Even a small percentage increase in whatever feels like progression to the player, instead of a "tax". That's also the occasion to condense further some of the current skills.

Oh also... Can i offer AI cores to other factions in the hope they'll cause mischief? Gifting murderbot magnets should totally be a thing.
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Gothars

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Re: Colony Management
« Reply #44 on: December 23, 2017, 04:10:51 AM »

So, could you talk a little about what kind of challenge colony building provides for the player, Alex? The blog post gave me the impression you can either do a good or bad job at it, but right now I don't quite see how you could mess it up. Base building challenge is typically dependent on thoughtful placement of stuff, even if just abstractly on a grid. From what I see positioning of does not seem to be a factor here. Other cases I can think of where positioning is irrelevant (like Heroes of Might and Magic) use bases more as a externalized "skill tree" where you just have to decide what to upgrade first. Aside from AI-core shenanigans, can a colony fail in any way?
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