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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts (09/24/21)

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Author Topic: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector  (Read 4397 times)

DeusVauly

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Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
« Reply #15 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.
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Scorpixel

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Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
« Reply #16 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.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2021, 11:55:13 PM by Scorpixel »
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Thaago

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Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
« Reply #17 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
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SCC

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Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
« Reply #18 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.

Igncom1

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Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
« Reply #19 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.
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Redmoe

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Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
« Reply #20 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.
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snarst

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Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
« Reply #21 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?
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Voyager I

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Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
« Reply #22 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.
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David

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Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
« Reply #23 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"...]
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Igncom1

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Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
« Reply #24 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.
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Shadowkiller

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Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
« Reply #25 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.
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Redmoe

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Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
« Reply #26 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.
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SCC

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Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
« Reply #27 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...

Simulated Knave

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Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
« Reply #28 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.
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ElPresidente

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Re: Calculating the Population Size of the Core Sector
« Reply #29 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
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