Fractal Softworks Forum

Starsector => General Discussion => Topic started by: Redmoe on April 01, 2021, 09:19:37 AM

Title: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Redmoe on April 01, 2021, 09:19:37 AM
Did the calculation on the population of Core sector based colony sizes. By this metric, the Core sector is between 177 million and 1.7 billion total population.

The whole of the sector could fit on a size 10^8 planet in the lower estimate and a size 10^9 in the upper estimate. For comparison that's the population of Brazil at the lower estimate and the population of the China and the USA combined in the higher estimate.

Made some graphs from the data:

(https://imgur.com/Yidha8v.png)

There are 62 populated planets in the system (including decivilized population planets). Three are decivilized by default (not counting generated decivilized). The average planet size is 10^5, and there is only one size 10^8 planet in the whole system (Chicomoztoc, Aztlan Star System capital of the Hegemony).

(https://imgur.com/zjFTDRN.png)

The distribution of the planets by ownership is pretty even, with independent and pirate colonies making up a large portion.

(https://imgur.com/PXaxYr0.png)

However, when you organize planets by population size, the only size 10^8 planet makes up over 50% of the sector population (Chico).

(https://imgur.com/J0h9mLm.png)

Which means that when looking at the sizes of factions by population, the Hegemony pulls far ahead of the rest with it's size 10^8 and other large colonies. Tri-tachyon is tiny by comparison (making them the literal 1%). Sindrian Diktat, while only having 3 planets, has two size 10^7 thus they punch up way above their planet count.

(https://i.imgur.com/nn966eW.png)
Here's a graph with Chico left out. As can see, the other factions with larger numbers of size 7 planets begin to pull way ahead of the Hegemony.

(https://imgur.com/T1RSn9R.png)
If you take out the factor of 10, you get a graph that looks fairly balanced with how powerful each faction is framed. Hegemony and Persean are head to head, Tri-Tachyon small but still powerful, and Sindria a minor regional power.

I'd take this all with a grain of salt. Interesting seeing how much the difference of a power of 10 makes. Makes size 10^9 and 10^10 seem impossible for the sector, so glad they got capped.

There are worlds with the decivilized modifier or had population before. Rough estimates of their population:

Maxios (5-6), former capital of Maxios system it is now looted and devolved into chaos. Would have been as large as Novis Maxios at least.
Crom Croch (3-4), a mining colony destroyed after the collapse.
Hannah Pacha (6-7), description says millions dead so at least 10^6.
Opis (7-8), capital of Askonia system, was destroyed by a planet-killer causing the Askonia crisis. Considering the large refugee population on the other planets in the system, very large population.
Killa (3-4), attack on their domes and left decivilized.
Mariaath (6-7), was devastated by the Luddite attack and had a strong enough military to oppose Hegemony expansion was fairly sizeable. at least bigger than it's current state.
Zorrah (3-4), used for resource gathering by the Hegemony so unlikely to have ever had a large presence if any.

Using these very coarse assumptions, 12 million to 1.2 billion lives have been lost.

It would take 177 10^6 (1 million people) colonies for the Player to have as much population as the core sector using the lower estimate. It would take about 17 colonies if the players colonies are counted for 9.99 million while the rest of the sector counted 177 million.

(poorly organized) Data:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1KSDkr3VSk_XvkW8mc6H2diKau_6583W5h7mFDSd6djk/edit?usp=sharing (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1KSDkr3VSk_XvkW8mc6H2diKau_6583W5h7mFDSd6djk/edit?usp=sharing)
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: pairedeciseaux on April 01, 2021, 10:35:57 AM
Nicely done! (with appropriate choice of color)

So according to these estimates, total population across all Tri-Tachyon colonies is between 1.2 million and 12 million humans. Does that sound right?

Considering player fleet may have between 1000 and 3000 crew (ok, more or less), that's an interesting perspective.

Also, I'm a bit concerned about size 3 colonies. I mean, how many people are required just to operate the spaceport? I feel like Hegemony inspection should be dispatched there to check for unlawful equipment.

Call the lore master immediately, people of the Sector need to know the truth!  :D

Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Chronia on April 01, 2021, 10:43:37 AM
Cool! This is really well presented. I was just thinking about this the other day but was way too lazy to put the numbers together myself; thanks for doing it!

It also really explains why player colony sizes were capped at 6 in the 0.95a - where would all the people be coming from if it was allowed to be any bigger!
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Igncom1 on April 01, 2021, 10:48:56 AM
And this is just the settled peoples living on the worlds and stations!
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Redmoe on April 01, 2021, 10:57:45 AM
Nicely done! (with appropriate choice of color)

So according to these estimates, total population across all Tri-Tachyon colonies is between 1.2 million and 12 million humans. Does that sound right?

Considering player fleet may have between 1000 and 3000 crew (ok, more or less), that's an interesting perspective.

Also, I'm a bit concerned about size 3 colonies. I mean, how many people are required just to operate the spaceport? I feel like Hegemony inspection should be dispatched there to check for unlawful equipment.

Call the lore master immediately, people of the Sector need to know the truth!  :D



yep that's about right! tri-tachyon not having a size 7 colony really hurts their numbers, to begin with they don't have a lot of planets.

Cool! This is really well presented. I was just thinking about this the other day but was way too lazy to put the numbers together myself; thanks for doing it!

It also really explains why player colony sizes were capped at 6 in the 0.95a - where would all the people be coming from if it was allowed to be any bigger!

your welcome! was worried someone else might get around to it /already did it tbh
And this is just the settled peoples living on the worlds and stations!
!
yep! only the core sector which can start with some extra random decivilized. I added a list of the known destroyed worlds to try and get a estimate on how many have been lost.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: snarst on April 01, 2021, 02:08:30 PM
Wait are you telling me that all the core worlds combined are at best not even 15% of earths current population?
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Rody_ on April 01, 2021, 02:16:48 PM
Wow, I never really thought about how Chico is home to literally half the population in the Sector. Great work!
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Redmoe on April 01, 2021, 02:23:08 PM
Wait are you telling me that all the core worlds combined are at best not even 15% of earths current population?
by the population size factor, yes. But I'd take it with a grain of salt since it's a gameplay abstraction.
Wow, I never really thought about how Chico is home to literally half the population in the Sector. Great work!
Yeah I was surprised by too! That 1 factor difference makes a giant difference! Although Chico seems small when compared to the Earth's 7 billion, by the standards of the Persean system it really is a hive world!
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Kanil on April 01, 2021, 03:33:06 PM
The sector definitely seems underpopulated when you look at the numbers. A lot of planets certainly aren't written like they're the size of a single city rather than an entire world, but if you just think of it more abstractly with a size 6 planet as being bigger than a 5 and smaller than a 7, then it seems a lot less odd.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Redmoe on April 01, 2021, 03:48:45 PM
The sector definitely seems underpopulated when you look at the numbers. A lot of planets certainly aren't written like they're the size of a single city rather than an entire world, but if you just think of it more abstractly with a size 6 planet as being bigger than a 5 and smaller than a 7, then it seems a lot less odd.
yeah it doesn't seem supported by lore and is likely just a gameplay abstraction. even chico being sub a billion seems rather low.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Igncom1 on April 01, 2021, 03:57:43 PM
Well to be fair we went most of human history below 1 billion people. And with all the automated technology and forges it stands to reason that you might not even need that many to begin with.

The luddites find that hard, obviously!
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Histidine on April 01, 2021, 05:58:52 PM
Good Ludd
If you just look at the colony counts and don't think too hard about the order-of-magnitude implications of the market sizes (like I did), League looks like a near-peer competitor to Hegemony, and Diktat like its dictator proxy state. But by population, the Diktat is almost as big as the League, which is just big enough to be a moderate inconvenience to the Hegemony.

Although mapping population to strength clearly has its limits (RL example: compare India with the US). Tri-Tachyon did stand a credible chance of winning the Second AI War against the 100 times larger Hegemony.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Voyager I on April 01, 2021, 06:30:21 PM
It's also worth considering that most of the worlds in the sector are pioneer colonies that were abandoned halfway through development.  I would imagine that they are, in general, not that welcoming Human life outside of the developed areas.  An entire planet with the population of New York City is still going to feel crowded if the majority of the population is stuffed into a developed habitable zone roughly the size of New York City.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Redmoe on April 01, 2021, 06:44:29 PM
Good Ludd
If you just look at the colony counts and don't think too hard about the order-of-magnitude implications of the market sizes (like I did), League looks like a near-peer competitor to Hegemony, and Diktat like its dictator proxy state. But by population, the Diktat is almost as big as the League, which is just big enough to be a moderate inconvenience to the Hegemony.

Although mapping population to strength clearly has its limits (RL example: compare India with the US). Tri-Tachyon did stand a credible chance of winning the Second AI War against the 100 times larger Hegemony.
Yep, def made me want go rewatch Powers of 10. Diktat did have the advantage of Opis blowing up and creating a refugee crisis. I also feel like their high pop might be a hold over from being the second system ever added. Probably the real reason they get a higher pop is to gameplay balance how few planets they have. Population also has diminishing returns on industrial base in game (Chico doesn't produce 100 times everyone for example), so they look more balanced on the market screen. I def feel the planet count graph more accurately depicts the power dynamics described in lore. Might add another graph that counts without the powers of 10 to see what the distribution is like.
It's also worth considering that most of the worlds in the sector are pioneer colonies that were abandoned halfway through development.  I would imagine that they are, in general, not that welcoming Human life outside of the developed areas.  An entire planet with the population of New York City is still going to feel crowded if the majority of the population is stuffed into a developed habitable zone roughly the size of New York City.
Good point! A lot of even the inhabited ones are harsh planets. Even Chico has pollution and a thin atmosphere. The Collapse did a ton of damage, and the wars since haven't helped. Most planets aren't even self-sufficient food wise so a high mortality rate is a given.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Duloth on April 01, 2021, 07:08:04 PM
Chico has a thin atmosphere; and what little of it thats left is polluted. People are probably constantly dying of cancer and toxic fumes left and right, with everyone living inside domes as much as possible. Its surprising that it has as much population as it does.

In the long run, barring politics, Gilead would end up as the most populated world, as its the only one people would naturally -want- to live on, and be able to survive long-term without tech assistance.

Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: DeusVauly on April 01, 2021, 08:56:02 PM
IMO I think the total population size works out because in the lore the  Persean Sector was the frontier of the Dominion, I can imagine the would-be colonizers spread themselves out pretty thin in order to lay claim over the best pieces of land on various planets assuming that it was inevitable that more migrants would travel through the gates for new opportunities, thus you would have a few billion people spread over hundreds of planets in the sector, then the collapse happened and the various devastating cataclysms that followed, 200 years of famine, large scale warfare, and constant instability must of whittled down the population a great deal.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Scorpixel on April 01, 2021, 11:11:42 PM
Thank you for putting into graphs what i constantly though about regarding the sector's lore!
And yes, the total population seem pitiful, but remember those points:

-Human population normally does not grow fast, the demographic transition being the anomaly.

-The Persean sector is closer to the early than the modern New World, colonisation effort was still in progress and several projects were left unfinished during the collapse.

-Most of those worlds are barely habitable and probably not welcoming to human life, even relatively good ones like Eventide or Catachan Jangala.

-Gilead being the VIP club of the space Papal states mean you can't really just go there, just like not everyone can live in a little rural house and rather has to find work in an overcrowded industrial zone.

-The pictures we're given of Chicomoztoc is that of large domes on the planet's surface, cramming the entirety of Russia or Brazil into that will surely look like what's depicted in the flavour text. Most of the planet is probably a barren wasteland.

Population gives power, but there are other factors. It seem the Hegemony is running with similar issues to that of Earth in The Expanse, and the initial advance of the XIVth most likely tripped on itself when fleet officiers suddenly became governors.
Add this to the armada already on wits end at arrival and even minor resistance would be problematic, the already stable and local League was therefore extremely advantaged.

TT's power lie in it's prior position as a dominating corporation even when the Domain was around, they're the only ones with the good and/or questionnable stuff.
The Church is, well, the medieval Church in space, and the Diktat has the geographical advantage of three major worlds in a single system between all the other powers.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Thaago on April 01, 2021, 11:18:19 PM
I feel like the Diktat is a retired player who found a nice system right in the middle of the core... great access, good migration, overlapping defense fleets!

The data visualization is really cool, thanks for making and sharing! :D
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: SCC on April 02, 2021, 01:48:33 AM
I imagine Chicomoztoc is a hive world not because of its big population, but rather because how it's built. Consider land on this planet, how would you zone it? This is the future: let's assume we have infrastructure similar to current (say, trains for freight and planes for people), but from The Future: trains are super efficient (maybe they're all maglev or something), planes are replaced with space shuttles because lol, what atmosphere? Moving stuff and people around is easier and cheaper, than on Earth. Now, back to zoning: why would you not give away big swathes of land? Nobody lives there, there's no nature to preserve, there's no cultural significance. You can farm, but the soil is poor, contaminated and uncompetitive. There are some natural resources, but mining companies can grab them on their own. After that, you are left with lots of quickly traversible land with no purpose. If some company needed and wanted to buy an area about the size of United Kingdom (assuming Chicomoztoc is Earth-sized), or about 0,048% of the planet's surface... Why wouldn't you let them? You have enough land to do that over two thousand times more. Maybe automated factories are just this big, or they are cheaper this way. People likely would still live in shielded cities, because it's cheaper to make one big habitable space, than multiple smaller ones, and because transport is cheap (what air drag?).

...Chicomoztoc is supposedly all underground arcologies, so nothing like what I just thought of. Oops.
If you just look at the colony counts and don't think too hard about the order-of-magnitude implications of the market sizes (like I did),
It's an easy mistake, because the game says size 8 is ten times bigger than 7, and 7 is ten times bigger than 6, but in practice it's closer to simple linear progression, with size 7 being 16% bigger than size 6, and size 8 being 14% bigger than size 7.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Igncom1 on April 02, 2021, 01:53:15 AM
Is it the nano-forges or the fuel cores that basically 'grow' their own facility? Figures that due to how technology works even small colonies can have disproportionately massive amounts of production.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Redmoe on April 02, 2021, 06:45:02 AM
I imagine Chicomoztoc is a hive world not because of its big population, but rather because how it's built. Consider land on this planet, how would you zone it? This is the future: let's assume we have infrastructure similar to current (say, trains for freight and planes for people), but from The Future: trains are super efficient (maybe they're all maglev or something), planes are replaced with space shuttles because lol, what atmosphere? Moving stuff and people around is easier and cheaper, than on Earth. Now, back to zoning: why would you not give away big swathes of land? Nobody lives there, there's no nature to preserve, there's no cultural significance. You can farm, but the soil is poor, contaminated and uncompetitive. There are some natural resources, but mining companies can grab them on their own. After that, you are left with lots of quickly traversible land with no purpose. If some company needed and wanted to buy an area about the size of United Kingdom (assuming Chicomoztoc is Earth-sized), or about 0,048% of the planet's surface... Why wouldn't you let them? You have enough land to do that over two thousand times more. Maybe automated factories are just this big, or they are cheaper this way. People likely would still live in shielded cities, because it's cheaper to make one big habitable space, than multiple smaller ones, and because transport is cheap (what air drag?).

...Chicomoztoc is supposedly all underground arcologies, so nothing like what I just thought of. Oops.
If you just look at the colony counts and don't think too hard about the order-of-magnitude implications of the market sizes (like I did),


It's an easy mistake, because the game says size 8 is ten times bigger than 7, and 7 is ten times bigger than 6, but in practice it's closer to simple linear progression, with size 7 being 16% bigger than size 6, and size 8 being 14% bigger than size 7.
That's a good point about much of even the more habitable planets having large swaths that wouldn't foster life. Even Eventide, a size 7 and on the nicer scale, is a tidally locked planet only livable because of solar mirrors that still don't cover the whole world.

I feel like the Diktat is a retired player who found a nice system right in the middle of the core... great access, good migration, overlapping defense fleets!

The data visualization is really cool, thanks for making and sharing! :D

NP. Andara def lucked out with the lobsters. The planets themselves, less so considering Sindira is a hell rock.

Is it the nano-forges or the fuel cores that basically 'grow' their own facility? Figures that due to how technology works even small colonies can have disproportionately massive amounts of production.
Fuel-cores grow yes. And they can work on a planet with only 1000-10,000 people so seems like they are very automated.

Thank you for putting into graphs what i constantly though about regarding the sector's lore!
And yes, the total population seem pitiful, but remember those points:

-Human population normally does not grow fast, the demographic transition being the anomaly.

-The Persean sector is closer to the early than the modern New World, colonisation effort was still in progress and several projects were left unfinished during the collapse.

-Most of those worlds are barely habitable and probably not welcoming to human life, even relatively good ones like Eventide or Catachan Jangala.

-Gilead being the VIP club of the space Papal states mean you can't really just go there, just like not everyone can live in a little rural house and rather has to find work in an overcrowded industrial zone.

-The pictures we're given of Chicomoztoc is that of large domes on the planet's surface, cramming the entirety of Russia or Brazil into that will surely look like what's depicted in the flavour text. Most of the planet is probably a barren wasteland.

Population gives power, but there are other factors. It seem the Hegemony is running with similar issues to that of Earth in The Expanse, and the initial advance of the XIVth most likely tripped on itself when fleet officiers suddenly became governors.
Add this to the armada already on wits end at arrival and even minor resistance would be problematic, the already stable and local League was therefore extremely advantaged.

TT's power lie in it's prior position as a dominating corporation even when the Domain was around, they're the only ones with the good and/or questionnable stuff.
The Church is, well, the medieval Church in space, and the Diktat has the geographical advantage of three major worlds in a single system between all the other powers.
That's a good point about Chico. Re-read the lore, they are only ever called hive-cities, not hive worlds so the population is disproportionately crowded into the more livable areas.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: snarst on April 02, 2021, 09:13:06 AM
-Human population normally does not grow fast, the demographic transition being the anomaly.

I'm curious, in the lore is the population of the sector continuing to dropping with the constant warfare?
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Voyager I on April 02, 2021, 09:33:11 AM
Population growth is probably also a huge problem in terms of quality of life for the sector's common folk since the technology to expand society isn't available anymore.  The arcology is starting to get a little crowded after a century?  Well, too bad, the only people that knew how to build them lived on the other side of the gate.

Might explain why people are so eager for a chance to ships despite the terrifying mortality rate.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: David on April 02, 2021, 10:31:07 AM
Very cool thread!


[I have a bit of a hang-up about how a lot of fantastic worldbuilding - scifi or not - doesn't have much respect for scale. (He says, writing for a game with hyperspace, popping between planets in mere days, and other absurdities. But at least it's not pretending to be an entire galaxy!) ... like, saying 'a thousand planets' sounds cool and is fun to drop as a line, but just imagine trying to comprehend what that means. If each of those planets has a billion people on it, that's a trillion people. No one really deals with the consequence of that number of people, the number of cultures and subcultures and ideas that would spin out from them all the time. It's too big. (Admittedly, some good science fiction does deal with trying to comprehend inhuman scales. We're, uh, not doing that here.)

It requires such massive abstraction that... well, the go-to would be Star Wars, right? How many planets are in Star Wars? Answers vary, but like: a thousand? a million? 50 million? How many have we seen across the whole of the behemoth of Star Wars IP- a couple hundred, maybe 0.002 percent of the alleged total? The difference between the stated number and experienced number hits me as a bit much, especially when we're asked to believe we're dealing with the top dogs of this universe. It can feel like begging for gravitas by throwing zeroes at you without earning them. (But who knows, maybe most of these planets have like 50 people and are super boring.) Anyway, to convey the universe, each planet is not treated as a planet, but is effectively treated as a single region or city. It has to be cut down like that so each planet has like 2 biomes and perhaps 3 significant locations, max, otherwise it's too much for human comprehension.

Starsector absolutely does this same thing, though reduced by a few orders of magnitude. Each planet has basically one thing going on, because that's the comprehensible scope of the game. The social scale of the game feels more like, I dunno, the seas of southeast Asia in the 17th century - getting between islands takes a couple days, crossing the span of the reasonably known world might take on the order of months, depending. This provides that human scale; a player can feel like they know the Persean Sector. Likewise, I feel like it's a lot more believable for one super cool space captain to have a large effect on a shared human demographic unit of somewhere around 200-2000 million people than doing the same in a population of trillions.]

[Ooh, in an alternate universe, it'd be cool if Starsector was set in just one solar system with similar game scale. ... Something like "Against A Dark Background"...]
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Igncom1 on April 02, 2021, 10:37:59 AM
I can't remember the same, but one of the PL systems has a whole drama thing going on between all it's planet states and the various monarchs or whatever it was that rules over it.

You could have a whole setting just out of the interaction of those planets in of themselves, let alone the rest of the sector at large.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Shadowkiller on April 02, 2021, 10:45:26 AM
Having all of starsector in a single solar system immediately reminds me of Firefly. And given that one comparison I can definitely see it working.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Redmoe on April 02, 2021, 11:16:09 AM
Very cool thread!


[I have a bit of a hang-up about how a lot of fantastic worldbuilding - scifi or not - doesn't have much respect for scale. (He says, writing for a game with hyperspace, popping between planets in mere days, and other absurdities. But at least it's not pretending to be an entire galaxy!) ... like, saying 'a thousand planets' sounds cool and is fun to drop as a line, but just imagine trying to comprehend what that means. If each of those planets has a billion people on it, that's a trillion people. No one really deals with the consequence of that number of people, the number of cultures and subcultures and ideas that would spin out from them all the time. It's too big. (Admittedly, some good science fiction does deal with trying to comprehend inhuman scales. We're, uh, not doing that here.)

It requires such massive abstraction that... well, the go-to would be Star Wars, right? How many planets are in Star Wars? Answers vary, but like: a thousand? a million? 50 million? How many have we seen across the whole of the behemoth of Star Wars IP- a couple hundred, maybe 0.002 percent of the alleged total? The difference between the stated number and experienced number hits me as a bit much, especially when we're asked to believe we're dealing with the top dogs of this universe. It can feel like begging for gravitas by throwing zeroes at you without earning them. (But who knows, maybe most of these planets have like 50 people and are super boring.) Anyway, to convey the universe, each planet is not treated as a planet, but is effectively treated as a single region or city. It has to be cut down like that so each planet has like 2 biomes and perhaps 3 significant locations, max, otherwise it's too much for human comprehension.

Starsector absolutely does this same thing, though reduced by a few orders of magnitude. Each planet has basically one thing going on, because that's the comprehensible scope of the game. The social scale of the game feels more like, I dunno, the seas of southeast Asia in the 17th century - getting between islands takes a couple days, crossing the span of the reasonably known world might take on the order of months, depending. This provides that human scale; a player can feel like they know the Persean Sector. Likewise, I feel like it's a lot more believable for one super cool space captain to have a large effect on a shared human demographic unit of somewhere around 200-2000 million people than doing the same in a population of trillions.]

[Ooh, in an alternate universe, it'd be cool if Starsector was set in just one solar system with similar game scale. ... Something like "Against A Dark Background"...]
Thanks for writing such an amazingly lived in place! At certain scale numbers just becomes meaningless, more isn't better. You get planets that are one biome and planets of hats. Sci-fi has to straddle a line between hard science numbers (sizes, distances, population) and how inhumanly alien they would be in practice, which Starsector's world does a great job at.

Speaking of one system, sometimes miss when it was Starfarer's just Corvus, made everyone feel like they were at each other's throats and much more local conflicts. But I wouldn't trade it for what we have now!

Having all of starsector in a single solar system immediately reminds me of Firefly. And given that one comparison I can definitely see it working.

If I knew how to mod better want to remake old Corvus updated to the new version, where you got all the factions in the same system. I feel like the detection mechanics would be really fun with such a dense concertation and multi-side fights.

I can't remember the same, but one of the PL systems has a whole drama thing going on between all it's planet states and the various monarchs or whatever it was that rules over it.

You could have a whole setting just out of the interaction of those planets in of themselves, let alone the rest of the sector at large.
Persean is filled with drama and semi-failed states, def ripe for a whole setting.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: SCC on April 02, 2021, 12:07:59 PM
[I have a bit of a hang-up about how a lot of fantastic worldbuilding - scifi or not - doesn't have much respect for scale.
Not just worldbuilding...

It has to be cut down like that so each planet has like 2 biomes and perhaps 3 significant locations, max, otherwise it's too much for human comprehension.
I remember telling Alex to cull the number of planets for some reason, at some point, because some were functionally identical to one another.

[Ooh, in an alternate universe, it'd be cool if Starsector was set in just one solar system with similar game scale. ... Something like "Against A Dark Background"...]
Starsector could easily be set in a single star system! The issue, of course, would be that hyperspace travel and star system mechanics would have to be reworked, the planets would have to be replaced with space stations, swarms of habitats, some cool megastructures... Which would be bad for average person's expectations, since you gotta have different cities planets, can't have space opera without that!


That's a good point about much of even the more habitable planets having large swaths that wouldn't foster life. Even Eventide, a size 7 and on the nicer scale, is a tidally locked planet only livable because of solar mirrors that still don't cover the whole world.
Since interstellar trade is normal, it would make sense that the planets with the best soil export their food and planets with worse soil are noncompetitive.
That's a good point about Chico. Re-read the lore, they are only ever called hive-cities, not hive worlds so the population is disproportionately crowded into the more livable areas.
Sooo I could possibly be still right nevertheless! Maybe.

I wonder if I could write "you go for a walk" text bit for every colony in the game...
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Simulated Knave on May 17, 2021, 08:43:02 PM
This was really neat.

I repeated some of the math myself, and will repost it just so people are aware of the ranges etc.

Roughly:
The Hegemony has a population from 112 million to 1.12 billion
The Persean League has a population from 22.6 million to 226 million
The Sindrians and the Luddic Church have populations from 20.1 million to 199 million.
Tri-Tachyon has a population from 1.22 million to 12.2 million.
The independents are from 561K to 6.1 million
The Pirates are from 243K to 2.76 million
The Luddic Path range from 110K to 1.18 million

If I were guessing, I'd suspect the Hegemony is probably about as big as any two of the three second-tier factions. Of the 3rd tier ones, I'd say Tri-Tachyon and the Indeps are both at pretty much their maximum population.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: ElPresidente on May 18, 2021, 03:37:21 AM
I personally never liked the way colony population/market size is tracked and handled.
I'd completely remove the way it's counted (power of 10) and instead put in tiers with more normalized numbers, so there aren't that huge jumps and gaps.

Tier 1 Colony - up to 1 million people
Tier 2 Colony - up to 5 million people
Tier 3 - up to 10 million
Tier 4 - up to 20 million
Tier 5 - up to 40 million
Tier 6- up to 80 million
Tier 7 - up to 120 million
Tier 8 - up to 240 million
Tier 9 - up to half a billion
Tier 10 - billion and above
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Igncom1 on May 18, 2021, 04:20:01 AM
But that scale wouldn't even account for real life earth with our 8 or so billion people.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Blue_Bear on May 18, 2021, 04:42:29 AM
The main takeaway I get from this is that the loss of life in the sector from conflict/piracy alone should have crippled it by now.

Think about the amount of fleets with 3,000 + individuals on board who get wiped out in a single battle, sure some people probably get away in escape pods, but how many? Who rescues them?

I guess on the other hand its a good explanation for why in Vanilla there are so few true conflicts, the loss of life in a real invasion would have the potential to cripple a faction manpower wise for a generation...
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Megas on May 18, 2021, 04:51:26 AM
Quote
Think about the amount of fleets with 3,000 + individuals on board who get wiped out in a single battle, sure some people probably get away in escape pods, but how many? Who rescues them?
Think about how the game conjures as many of them as it wants out of nothing, at any given moment.  The game does not flinch from spewing unlimited endgame fleets and fringe zombie (pirate/pather) bases to sacrifice to the bit-thirsty player demon god.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Vextor on May 18, 2021, 05:06:00 AM
I wouldn't beat myself over calculating the sector's population size since it's heavily affected by gameplay mechanics. Just like the MCs in other games can eat 500 bullets then heal by taking 4 deeps breaths, but falls over when they get shot in the shoulder in a cutscene and limp for the level's remaining duration.

Also the kind of war policy and production the Persean sector indulges in, I'd assume the the population is in the tens of billions at least.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Pratapon51 on May 18, 2021, 12:08:01 PM
Better turn off your brain about how deserters regularly make off with entire battlefleets and a full complement of capital ships.  ;D
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: robepriority on May 18, 2021, 12:52:52 PM
I wonder if just slapping on an extra 2 magnitudes would solve these scale problems.

Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: ElPresidente on May 18, 2021, 12:56:35 PM
But that scale wouldn't even account for real life earth with our 8 or so billion people.

That's a rough example.
You can change numbers, add more tiers.


Also, given that the gate-collapse was an apocalyptic event, massive population decline doesn't seem far off.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Scorpixel on May 18, 2021, 03:29:52 PM
The gates closings were a cataclysmic event, it being called "The Collapse" is not an understatement.
Remember that the Core is all that barely survived due to the concentration of colonies in a somewhat functional state, everywhere else with planetary ruins, dead stations, ships and debris fields were lost to it, even what is left is made-up of unfinished, half-ruined projects.

A modern society can run with 1% of it's population in the military without issue, that would be 1.7/17 millions, more than enough to field everything in canon (=! pirate swarm/Nex fleets), and that's without considering how much more advanced the sector is compared to us.
Normal soldiers are beyond useless in space warfare. What are they going to do, shoot at the ship in orbit?

It's also far better to make a story, we're supposed to be in a "After the end" setting, which would get severely hurt if it went "Oh yes, the situation is dire, humanity is barely surviving over scraps, there's only nine hundred bajillion of us left!"

Too many stories throw-in wild numbers and low/high ball it horribly, here we see known humanity at (lowest estimate) half of what it was for most of written history, or early 20th century (highest), those are scales we can relate with, and immediately make us think "that's not good isn't it?"
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: JUDGE! slowpersun on May 18, 2021, 04:23:58 PM
Quote
Think about the amount of fleets with 3,000 + individuals on board who get wiped out in a single battle, sure some people probably get away in escape pods, but how many? Who rescues them?
Think about how the game conjures as many of them as it wants out of nothing, at any given moment.  The game does not flinch from spewing unlimited endgame fleets and fringe zombie (pirate/pather) bases to sacrifice to the bit-thirsty player demon god.

From both a code design perspective and also just keeping CPU usage down, this is practically required unless you have a competent team dropping code.  Paradox's Stellaris transitioned from it's stupid and tedious but CPU efficient tile resource mini-game to pure numbers with WAAAY to much cross-checking, and essentially castrated an otherwise enjoyable experience by the average player's mid-game (other gameplay changes also contributed, but this is by far the dominant problem spawned by that change).  Paradox employees literally had to code in an option to control (ie, speed up) when certain galactic events might start occurring, since the game wouldn't otherwise ever get to the Mean Time to Happen point that would otherwise trigger the event.  That game basically turns your computer into a space heater now after half of a game, and Paradox is still trying to fix or at least mitigate this issue like 8 updates later.  But hey, at least you can play Stellaris on your Xbox!

Stellaris in general is actually a pretty good example of how design by committee is generally not a good idea, and a terrible terrible idea if you change the entire team a few times just for good measure.  But then again, Paradox has got shareholders to pay, so a significant portion of their poor design choices prolly stems from pressure to just sell crap as long as someone is buying (DLC model, but with "free" updates).

Fortunately, Alex is less bound by such parameters.  Just also has less money and employees...
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Megas on May 18, 2021, 04:36:44 PM
Starsector can handle more than 500 (even with an old computer), unless maybe all ships are carriers (which are now relatively low-tier ships not worth using late-game in this release).

If map size will not be raised, then fleets need to be shrunk to what they were in the pre-0.7a days.  None of this capital (and now officer) spam.  But if capital spam stays, along with high DP cost ships like Ziggurat and Paragon, then map size should be raised to at least 500, preferably 600 or maybe 800.  And PPT raised across the board.  PPT has more-or-less stayed the same as in the 0.6a days when the biggest fleet was Hegemony System Defense Fleet, no bigger than a 200k bounty.

Bonus DP from objectives are irrelevant for the player since in any fight that is not trivial (one player cannot steamroll), the enemy will steal then hold those points.  The best the player can do is capture points immediately and deploy ships before the enemy with superior forces steal them for the rest of the fight.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: ElPresidente on May 18, 2021, 11:40:05 PM
Bonus DP from objectives are irrelevant for the player since in any fight that is not trivial (one player cannot steamroll), the enemy will steal then hold those points.  The best the player can do is capture points immediately and deploy ships before the enemy with superior forces steal them for the rest of the fight.

I noticed this as well. Even if I assign my entire fleet to hold one point, the AI will retreat. 3 capitals, side-by-side, will retreat instead of hold their ground.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Orochi on May 19, 2021, 01:43:58 AM
You guys are really, really underestimating human population growth. The only reason we sat at a billion people for so long was infant mortality, we kept dying off before we could grow up for thousands of years. The moment we hit the twentieth century, the population started climbing, and in little over a hundred years it's hit 7.9 Billion. You might be tempted to point out that we're living in a time of relative peace, but that's actually inconsequential to my point since the greatest areas of population growth are third-world countries that live in conditions much worse than The Persean Sector. Mogadishu is so bad every two weeks I ask someone "Hey have you heard about that terrorist attack in Mogadishu a few days ago?" Without looking at the news and I've yet to be wrong.

Even with epidemics, being ravaged by war and genocide, and a phenomenally low life-expectancy, the population of Africa went from 177 million to 1.2 Billion in Fifty years The biggest reason for that was infant mortality rate dropping so suddenly. And that's still not hitting the resource cap. It's expected to hit 4.7 billion in 2100. That's more than half our current population on one continent.

You all seem to forget that when the going gets tough, humans screw like rabbits. The worse conditions are, the more children people have. Even though we might not have as many children at a time as other species, female humans are capable of pumping out a kid every year starting at like sixteen until their fifties (depending on the individual). Go watch the Duggars if you want to see what that looks like with any kind of access to modern medicine. Of course, that's not taking safety into consideration, but as life gets more dangerous and harder, people start to care less about the 'safety risks' of things like pregnancy. Even with access to birth control, regions with less wealth and less safety still have higher birth rates, as exemplified by every ghetto in the US.

For the Sector to be sitting around a billion people after two hundred years, either conditions are bordering on 'Antartica in the middle of a blizzard with medieval level medicine' bad, or every major population center is enjoying the kind of success of a first-world country while also having hit their resource caps. As long as people aren't getting nuked, it doesn't really matter how many fleets get blown up, it's inconsequential to the population.

To put it in perspective, if we average it together, our population is currently growing at an average of a bit over 1% per year, compounding annually (and decreasing as we approach our resource limit). Even if the Persean Sector's population grew at the same rate, that's at least 1.7 million up to 17.7 million people a year. That's 590 to 5,900  3000 person fleets being destroyed per year with a hundred percent mortality rate. Despite what you might think, humanity just doesn't have the economic prowess to wage a war that can outpace our birthrate unless you specifically target population centers with intent to wipe them out, as evidenced by, once again, Africa, which I will remind you has basically stayed in a perpetual state of war since the turn of the century.

To put it simply, the numbers are in, and Alex got his wrong.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: ElPresidente on May 19, 2021, 05:13:11 AM
You guys are really, really underestimating human population growth. The only reason we sat at a billion people for so long was infant mortality, we kept dying off before we could grow up for thousands of years. The moment we hit the twentieth century, the population started climbing, and in little over a hundred years it's hit 7.9 Billion. You might be tempted to point out that we're living in a time of relative peace, but that's actually inconsequential to my point since the greatest areas of population growth are third-world countries that live in conditions much worse than The Persean Sector. Mogadishu is so bad every two weeks I ask someone "Hey have you heard about that terrorist attack in Mogadishu a few days ago?" Without looking at the news and I've yet to be wrong.

Even with epidemics, being ravaged by war and genocide, and a phenomenally low life-expectancy, the population of Africa went from 177 million to 1.2 Billion in Fifty years The biggest reason for that was infant mortality rate dropping so suddenly. And that's still not hitting the resource cap. It's expected to hit 4.7 billion in 2100. That's more than half our current population on one continent.

That's AFRICA.
Population growth is very variable and also depends on culture, pollution, overpopulation, general atmosphere of society (hope)


Quote
You all seem to forget that when the going gets tough, humans screw like rabbits. The worse conditions are, the more children people have.

Only sometimes.
Look at Europe - it's falling apart, and people AREN'T effing like rabbits. But that's politics, so let's not go there.
I do agree that the Persean sector could use more population. Current number is too low, even acounting for the Collapse.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Megas on May 19, 2021, 05:57:17 AM
Bonus DP from objectives are irrelevant for the player since in any fight that is not trivial (one player cannot steamroll), the enemy will steal then hold those points.  The best the player can do is capture points immediately and deploy ships before the enemy with superior forces steal them for the rest of the fight.

I noticed this as well. Even if I assign my entire fleet to hold one point, the AI will retreat. 3 capitals, side-by-side, will retreat instead of hold their ground.
Which also means if the player loses ships (die in battle, retreat after PPT expires, whatever) after the enemy steals those points, player cannot reinforce, and it is likely to snowball into the player's defeat.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: runetrantor on June 03, 2021, 11:20:57 PM
Quote
Look at Europe - it's falling apart, and people AREN'T effing like rabbits. But that's politics, so let's not go there.

Not only politics. There have been studies that show that the more educated people (And specially the women) are, the less children they have, as seen in many first world regions of Earth where they tend towards 1 child, sometimes 2, sometimes none. 

By that consideration, we could argue some worlds in the sector have low replenishment rates, the ones that are nicer to live in and we could imagine have colleges and other such 'luxuries'. 
On the other hand, we see a TON of worlds where the text we get from them depicts them rather bad to live in, or downright dystopian, like in Syndria's case where its a crowded mess of underground habitats. 

So I can imagine there are worlds in the sector that are more akin to Africa in terms of reproduction rates, than to Europe.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Deshara on June 04, 2021, 12:05:31 AM
[Ooh, in an alternate universe, it'd be cool if Starsector was set in just one solar system with similar game scale. ... Something like "Against A Dark Background"...]

I WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT THIS!! I was in hyperspace in the core around the area where a bunch of systems nearly overlap in hyperspace to the extent that one star's outer jump point was closer to another star than its own internal jump point (maybe a mod randomized some core systems. I'd check but my run is a little precarious atm & the autosave is very aggressive), and I started wondering, what would this game look like if hyperspace was removed & all of the systems were stitched together into 1 supermap, to scale to where they're placed in hyperspace. Like the same way you can fly from Magec to Achaman in sublight, but u could fly from Magec to Al Gebbar. what if u measured how long it takes to fly from the outer point of magec to the inner point of magec in sublight & in hyperspace, got a scale quotient from those, measured how long it took to fly from Magec to Al Gebbar in hyperspace then multiply that by the scale quotient & just put Al Gebbar into the same map as Magec that far to the top-left, then do that for the rest of the systems & delete the hyperspace map

In fact, it just occured to me, that when I look at the sector map, I have no clue what factions rules over what part of the core. I know which systems are ruled by which faction, but my brain has never stitched that information together into a political map of the sector bc everything is separated by hyperspace

Actually, let me just go to one jump point and set a course for the other jump point. In-system at 11 burn it's a 2 day trip, out of system at 11 burn its about a .2 day trip. Oh, is it a 1:10 scale? So, the trip from Galatia to Corvus at 11 burn in hyperspace is a 1 day trip so by sublight that would take 10 days, which is the equivalent of going from Galatia to Westernesse in hyperspace at 11 burn, which, if I actually go do that & resist the urge to use sustained burn and speed up time (& feel my bones strain to escape me with the effort of not pressing a 5 & shift), it took me 45 seconds to get halfway there (ran out of fuel lol), which means that if the game had no hyperspace & was all 1 map it would take at 11 burn a solid minute & a half of burning through the deep black of deadspace, or at a sustained burn of 20 about 45 seconds between systems
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Billhartnell on May 09, 2022, 07:02:16 AM
Very cool thread!


[I have a bit of a hang-up about how a lot of fantastic worldbuilding - scifi or not - doesn't have much respect for scale. (He says, writing for a game with hyperspace, popping between planets in mere days, and other absurdities. But at least it's not pretending to be an entire galaxy!) ... like, saying 'a thousand planets' sounds cool and is fun to drop as a line, but just imagine trying to comprehend what that means. If each of those planets has a billion people on it, that's a trillion people. No one really deals with the consequence of that number of people, the number of cultures and subcultures and ideas that would spin out from them all the time. It's too big. (Admittedly, some good science fiction does deal with trying to comprehend inhuman scales. We're, uh, not doing that here.)

It requires such massive abstraction that... well, the go-to would be Star Wars, right? How many planets are in Star Wars? Answers vary, but like: a thousand? a million? 50 million? How many have we seen across the whole of the behemoth of Star Wars IP- a couple hundred, maybe 0.002 percent of the alleged total? The difference between the stated number and experienced number hits me as a bit much, especially when we're asked to believe we're dealing with the top dogs of this universe. It can feel like begging for gravitas by throwing zeroes at you without earning them. (But who knows, maybe most of these planets have like 50 people and are super boring.) Anyway, to convey the universe, each planet is not treated as a planet, but is effectively treated as a single region or city. It has to be cut down like that so each planet has like 2 biomes and perhaps 3 significant locations, max, otherwise it's too much for human comprehension.

Starsector absolutely does this same thing, though reduced by a few orders of magnitude. Each planet has basically one thing going on, because that's the comprehensible scope of the game. The social scale of the game feels more like, I dunno, the seas of southeast Asia in the 17th century - getting between islands takes a couple days, crossing the span of the reasonably known world might take on the order of months, depending. This provides that human scale; a player can feel like they know the Persean Sector. Likewise, I feel like it's a lot more believable for one super cool space captain to have a large effect on a shared human demographic unit of somewhere around 200-2000 million people than doing the same in a population of trillions.]

[Ooh, in an alternate universe, it'd be cool if Starsector was set in just one solar system with similar game scale. ... Something like "Against A Dark Background"...]
What is the lore explanation for the planet population tiers being represented as powers of ten but the income and fleet power they produce scaling almost linearly with the tier number rather than logarithmically? 

Obviously representing the powers of ten in productivity would destroy the faction balance but you could just give the Perseans a T8 planet or give Chico more negative modifiers.

Edit: Since I don't know how to delete this necro-post might as well commit to it. I think the sector's growth is comparable to Australia or Canada, lots of available land but only a tiny portion thereof is suitable to urbanised society. Given this game is Sid Meier's Pirates in space it makes sense that it would be written to have 18th century population figures.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: SCC on May 09, 2022, 09:21:22 AM
What is the lore explanation for the planet population tiers being represented as powers of ten but the income and fleet power they produce scaling almost linearly with the tier number rather than logarithmically? 
The answer: gameplay > lore. I don't like the implementation myself, but I don't think it's going anywhere any time soon.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Igncom1 on May 09, 2022, 12:01:46 PM
Exponential profits meet exponential costs  ;D
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Billhartnell on May 10, 2022, 09:40:50 AM
Exponential profits meet exponential costs  ;D
And exponential margins, though given the almost anarchic state of the post-Collapse sector perhaps we're meant to imagine that a populous planet is like a realm in Crusader Kings 3 (or 2 to a less extent), in which a single ruler can leverage only a small portion of the realm's resources. Administrators demand an absurd amount of money, perhaps the a substantial cut is taken by all lesser officials.

Is exponentiality still reflected in stockpiles though? Does a planet that produces 6 units of food have 1M food in the stockpile while 4 units has around 10k? 
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: dostillevi on May 13, 2022, 03:40:14 PM
You guys are really, really underestimating human population growth. The only reason we sat at a billion people for so long was infant mortality, we kept dying off before we could grow up for thousands of years. The moment we hit the twentieth century, the population started climbing, and in little over a hundred years it's hit 7.9 Billion. You might be tempted to point out that we're living in a time of relative peace, but that's actually inconsequential to my point since the greatest areas of population growth are third-world countries that live in conditions much worse than The Persean Sector. Mogadishu is so bad every two weeks I ask someone "Hey have you heard about that terrorist attack in Mogadishu a few days ago?" Without looking at the news and I've yet to be wrong.

Even with epidemics, being ravaged by war and genocide, and a phenomenally low life-expectancy, the population of Africa went from 177 million to 1.2 Billion in Fifty years The biggest reason for that was infant mortality rate dropping so suddenly. And that's still not hitting the resource cap. It's expected to hit 4.7 billion in 2100. That's more than half our current population on one continent.

You all seem to forget that when the going gets tough, humans screw like rabbits. The worse conditions are, the more children people have. Even though we might not have as many children at a time as other species, female humans are capable of pumping out a kid every year starting at like sixteen until their fifties (depending on the individual). Go watch the Duggars if you want to see what that looks like with any kind of access to modern medicine. Of course, that's not taking safety into consideration, but as life gets more dangerous and harder, people start to care less about the 'safety risks' of things like pregnancy. Even with access to birth control, regions with less wealth and less safety still have higher birth rates, as exemplified by every ghetto in the US.

For the Sector to be sitting around a billion people after two hundred years, either conditions are bordering on 'Antartica in the middle of a blizzard with medieval level medicine' bad, or every major population center is enjoying the kind of success of a first-world country while also having hit their resource caps. As long as people aren't getting nuked, it doesn't really matter how many fleets get blown up, it's inconsequential to the population.

To put it in perspective, if we average it together, our population is currently growing at an average of a bit over 1% per year, compounding annually (and decreasing as we approach our resource limit). Even if the Persean Sector's population grew at the same rate, that's at least 1.7 million up to 17.7 million people a year. That's 590 to 5,900  3000 person fleets being destroyed per year with a hundred percent mortality rate. Despite what you might think, humanity just doesn't have the economic prowess to wage a war that can outpace our birthrate unless you specifically target population centers with intent to wipe them out, as evidenced by, once again, Africa, which I will remind you has basically stayed in a perpetual state of war since the turn of the century.

To put it simply, the numbers are in, and Alex got his wrong.

That's part of it, the other part is increased lifespans. Not only are children surviving to adulthood far more often, they're also remaining alive through the next 3 to 5 generations after them far more frequently.

That said, the Persian sector isn't just Mogadishu. It's mostly environments that are completely uninhabitable by humans without technological assistance, and that assistance is breaking down. A new person in Africa (or anywhere else on Earth in the 20th century) needs water, food, some degree of shelter, etc. These might be hard to come by, during some periods a lot of people will suffer and die from their lack, but the capacity to produce far more of these basic resources than were used existed. Unfortunately that almost certainly won't be the case in the 21st century.

A new human on almost any Persian world needs the same resources, along with other resources like oxygen that we don't really think about on Earth. In the Persian sector though, not only is the maximum capacity of those resources very clearly limited on most worlds, it's often shrinking. It's not just a matter of people producing more of the basic goods - people *can't* produce more of those goods due to technological limitations. A new human in the Persian sector means everyone else gets by with a bit less, or someone else has to die.

This hit especially hard after the collapse, when worlds lost access to imports necessary to meet basic needs. Vast numbers of people died because the worlds in the sector not only weren't producing the resources needed, they in fact didn't have the capacity to produce those resources at all without additional terraforming, and that terraforming ground to a halt soon after the collapse for the same resource reasons.

I'd argue that most of the sector lives in conditions *FAR WORSE* than Mogadishu (and briefly to your suggestion that Mogadishu represents the parts of Africa with significant population growth, take a look - most of the population growth in Africa is in relatively modern, stable megacities https://africa.businessinsider.com/local/lifestyle/fastest-growing-cities-in-africa-2021/b97e271?op=1). Not only are they worse off than Mogadishu, the maximum productive capacity of most Sector worlds has already been met and is declining, whereas in Africa and elsewhere on Earth, maximum short term production potential is far higher than actual production. In addition, Africa benefited from significant foreign aid and investment in the 20th century, which also isn't available in the Sector. Without efforts to restart terraforming, or to colonize the few *habitable* worlds that aren't already colonized, there's very little room for population growth.

Terraforming and colonization are extremely high risk investments when the Sector is unstable and in conflict. It's much easier to grab some guns and take what someone else already has - and that is also a net negative for population growth.

Edit: Another way to look at it - On Earth, an average human creates more value than they consume during their life. A new human is going to provide more resources in net than they need to survive, and they're able to do this generally through extraction of resources from finite reserves and making them available for circulation in the economy (usually through a specialized economy where only some people and tech do that extraction). The 19th and 20th centuries also saw enormous resource availability gains through innovation, but *almost all* of that innovation came from increasing our ability to access limited resources, not in finding ways to do more with less resources. This enormous growth in resource availability was a significant driver of population growth.

In the sector, this is almost certainly not the case. A new human doesn't have the means to extract more than they consume from the environment. Technology is in decline, and most people don't have the means to access resource reserves on barren or inhospitable worlds. The technology that does allow extraction in those harsh environments is failing, which means the net output of humanity and it's technology is declining, and a new person adds to the consumption, rather than the production, of resources.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: squished_fish on May 17, 2022, 01:58:12 PM
What is the lore explanation for the planet population tiers being represented as powers of ten but the income and fleet power they produce scaling almost linearly with the tier number rather than logarithmically? 

Obviously representing the powers of ten in productivity would destroy the faction balance but you could just give the Perseans a T8 planet or give Chico more negative modifiers.

Edit: Since I don't know how to delete this necro-post might as well commit to it. I think the sector's growth is comparable to Australia or Canada, lots of available land but only a tiny portion thereof is suitable to urbanised society. Given this game is Sid Meier's Pirates in space it makes sense that it would be written to have 18th century population figures.
I imagine this has to do largely with automation and development. The limit to production isn’t necessarily the amount of people standing around but the arable land, urbanized space, etc. Most of the population of any given colony, I imagine, is dedicated just to expanding/maintaining the infrastructure of the colony.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Antelope Syrup on May 17, 2022, 07:23:00 PM
I dont know If anyone has mentioned this yet, but being a size 8 planet means having a population of just 100 million to nearly 1 Billion. Chicomatzoc could have only 102 million people and still technically be size 8. Hypothetically, if every size 7 planet had 99 million people, and Chico had 100 million, it would not be very significant on it's own. I think it's important to take into account this range, and that it's impossible to be absolutely sure just how many people live on size 7 and 8 worlds because of how vast the range is.
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: presidentmattdamon on June 16, 2022, 10:33:52 PM
recalculated this due to a debate on discord, via handcount of all the planets and some math.

3 size 3 (garnir, nomios, kanni)
18 size 4 (asharu, derinkuyu, nortia, skathi, arcadia, kanta's den, olinadu, orthrus, tigra city, cethlenn, donn, epiphany, laicaille, kapteyn, thulian raider base, lost astropolis, port tse, athulf)
25 size 5 (ancyra, cruor, umbra, baetis, hesperus, raesvelg, ragnar complex, agreus, tibicena, nova maxios, coatl, sphinx, salamanca, qaras, culann, asher, chalcedon, nachiketa, eldfell, mairaath, ilm, yesod, suddene, ailmar, cibola)
5 size 6 (jangala, eochu bres, yama, fikenhild, madeira)
7 size 7 (sindria, volturn, tartessus, eventide, gilead, kazeron, mazalot)
1 size 8 (chicomoztoc)

minimum:
Code
3 * 10^3 + 18 * 10^4 + 25 * 10^5 + 5 * 10^6 + 7 * 10^7 + 1 * 10^8
= 177,683,000

maximum:
Code
3 * 9.999 * 10^3 + 18 * 9.9999 * 10^4 + 25 * 9.99999 * 10^5 + 5 * 9.999999 * 10^6 + 7 * 9.9999999 * 10^7 + 1 * 9.99999999 * 10^8
= 1,776,829,941
Title: Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
Post by: Demetrious on June 18, 2022, 10:44:14 AM
Although mapping population to strength clearly has its limits (RL example: compare India with the US). Tri-Tachyon did stand a credible chance of winning the Second AI War against the 100 times larger Hegemony.

It also makes it very clear why Tri-Tach was willing to take such egregious (even for them) risks with fully automated warship fleets.

There's an old saying, "sci-fi writers have no sense of scale." Once again the writing in Starsector has risen above the common pitfalls.  :)