View Full Version : Feedback: Corporations


Xyth
Aug 29, 2011, 05:11 AM
So far in History Rewritten I've not touched Corporations at all, other than shuffling them around the techtree a little. However, I've recently been trying to design new buildings and resource interactions for the late game and I'm not going to be able to do this effectively without considering Corporations first.

I know that some people dislike the mechanic altogether and certain ones can be pretty overpowered. With HR's new resources the obvious suggestion is to add new Corporations but I'd like people's feedback first on what they like or dislike about the general mechanic and any suggestions you might have to improve it or balance it better.

Howard Mahler
Aug 29, 2011, 12:35 PM
I think the first thing is to try to balance the corporations a little bit, both compared to the rest of the game and with respect to each other.

Sid's Sushi is the obvious offender as being too strong.
A lot of culture and a lot of food!

Also on bigger maps, the effects scale up in two ways:
1. You tend to have more of each resource.
2. You can spread a corporation to more of your cities.

It might be a good idea to have the effect depend on both the number of resources and the number of cities. There should be a minimum effect and a maximum effect, but within that the more resources the bigger the effect per city, but the more cities affected the smaller the effect per city. Just a thought.

Azoth
Aug 29, 2011, 09:09 PM
I know that some people dislike the mechanic altogether and certain ones can be pretty overpowered. With HR's new resources the obvious suggestion is to add new Corporations but I'd like people's feedback first on what they like or dislike about the general mechanic and any suggestions you might have to improve it or balance it better.

Why, Xyth, I thought you'd never ask! ;)
In the past, I have been very critical of the corporation mechanic.

Here are some of its major flaws:

Balance. As Howard says, some corporations are too strong. In particular, Sid Sushi's can deliver upwards of +10 food to every city on any map with a significant coastline.
Variety. Corporations are poorly balanced against each other. In most cases, Sid Sushi's and Mining Inc. are the optimal choice. On maps without water, Sid Sushi's can be replaced with Cereal Mills; and when pursuing a Cultural Victory, Creative Constructions and Civ Jewelers can substitute for Mining Inc. There is no more to corporate strategy than that.
Scale. Corporations are also poorly balanced against other game mechanics. For instance, Civ Jewelers produces +4 culture per Gems, Gold, and Silver resource. In a hypothetical French empire with 6 native resources and 2 imported resources, a single jewelry chain will produce more culture for Paris than Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and all the city theatres and cinemas combined!
Exclusivity. Corporations let leading civilizations get ahead and leave trailing civilizations in the dust. Once a corporation is founded, no other civilization has access to it. This is a serious problem; unlike religions, all corporations are not created equal. No empire without corporations can compete with the likes of Sid Sushi's and Mining Inc.
Redundancy. Corporation mechanics are unnecessarily complex. Heavy corporate costs are cancelled out by the Corporation Headquarters gold bonus. Trading gold for gold in this fashion is just not very interesting.
Flavour. Even thought Civilization BtS features real civilizations, real leaders, and real World Wonders, the designers introduced fictional corporations with terrible names. Creative Constructions, anyone?


That said, corporations have great potential to enliven the late game.
I suggest a complete overhaul of the mechanic, as follows.

1. Replace the seven fictional corporations with seven historical corporations. Balance their yields and throw the new HR resources into the mix. Here is a first draft:

General Mills Incorporated
[founded in 1886, based in America, agriculture]
requires Great Scientist
supplies Corn; produces +0.5:food:, +1.0:science: per Corn, Olives, Potato, Rice, and Wheat

the East India Company
[founded in 1600, based in India, tropical goods]
requires Great Merchant
supplies Spices; produces +0.5:food:, +1.0:gold: per Banana, Elephant, Incense, Salt, and Spices

Cadbury Brothers
[founded in 1824, based in England, confectionery]
requires Great Merchant
supplies Cocoa; produces +0.5:food:, +1.0:culture: per Cocoa, Coffee, Sugar, Tea, and Wine

the Rio Tinto Company
[founded in 1881, based in Spain, mining]
requires Great Engineer
supplies Copper; produces +0.5:hammers:, +1.0:science: per Coal, Copper, Iron, Marble, and Stone

Cartier S.A.
[founded in 1847, based in France, jewelery]
requires Great Artist
supplies Gems; produces +0.5:hammers:, +1.0:gold: per Amber, Gems, Gold, Jade, and Silver

the Silk Road
[founded in antiquity, based in China, textiles]
requires Great Merchant
supplies Silk; produces +0.5:hammers:, +1.0:culture: per Cotton, Dye, Flax, Sheep, and Silk

the Hudson's Bay Company
[founded in 1670, based in Canada, arctic goods]
requires Great Merchant
supplies Fur; produces +0.5:food:, +0.5:hammers: per Bison, Deer, Fur, Seal, and Whale

I have attempted to include corporations from many different nations. The Silk Road is not a corporation; but because I could not find an iconic textiles manufacturer, and because the Silk Road has played such an important role in world history, I decided to make an exception. (I am very much open to suggestions on this point.)

Each corporation is linked to five resources, and supplies the one resource it is most famous for. Some of the five resources are hypothetical; General Mills is not known for its Olives, but had it been founded in a Mediterranean empire, it might have. Most corporations produce one base yield, either 0.5:food: or 0.5:hammers:; and one processed yield, either 1.0:science:, 1.0:gold:, or 1.0:culture:. The Hudson's Bay Company produces both food and hammers because three of its five resources eventually become obsolete.

Hit Drama, Hit Movies, and Hit Singles were omitted because they are not widely available. Crab, Fish, and Shellfish Crabs were deliberately omitted because their appearance is far too dependent on map type. Aluminum, Gas, Oil, Rubber, and Uranium were omitted because they already have strategic value in the Industrial and Modern Era; Tobacco was omitted because of its health penalties. Cattle, Horse, and Pigs were omitted for a lack of better options; there is certainly room for an eighth corporation if anyone is interested. The other thirty-five resources are all attached to corporations.

2. Limit the number of corporations in a city to one. Players must decide which corporation best suits their cities.
If this requires that all corporations have at least one resource in common, that can be arranged.

3. Recast Corporate Headquarters as National Wonders. That way, all players can found the corporation of their choice at their own pace provided they have the appropriate Great Person.

4. Eliminate corporation costs. Eliminate the Corporate Headquarters per franchise gold bonus. In its place, introduce a commerce multiplier per resource.
In the case of General Mills Incorporated, as imagined above, the Corporate Headquarters would provide +5% commerce for Corn, Olives, Potato, Rice, and Wheat.

That is all.

Keinpferd
Aug 30, 2011, 11:15 AM
It's true, that the culture bonus of Civ Jewelers is immense, but it comes really late and can be a real surprise to a player on the road to a got-it-dicked military victory. Culture must be accumulated quickly to counter a space victory pursuer, too.

I like the well chosen historical corporations and the variety in them. How about to add a few more, that stress the either franchise or chain side of the corporation concept? As I understand it, in most cases "headquarters" deliver a proven trademark and standardized retailing model to local agents, with differing degrees of independence from the HQ. Cartier would be the only among your companies, that works like that.

I don't think, all corporations should be created equal. They should be created individual. Standard Oil and Aluminum Inc. can't compete with Sushi, right, but they provide a strategic resource, which a player might not get ahold of without that corporation. Providing a scarce and crucial resource is meant as a balancing means. The weaker corporations are receiving one striking asset over the evenly strong corporations; they aren't supposed to be equally useful in every game on every map for every player. That's why not every corporation should deliver a ressource, especially not for mere symmetry reasons. Symmetry is often an orderly looking pseodo-structured substitute for a worked out mechanism, which needs a lot of testing. No objection here:), I already said I liked the general direction, especially the corporations' names.

Fireaxis picked ficticious names probably only to forgo licence issues, but at creating new names they could have tried a little harder. As a commercial game company, Fireaxis has to be careful to piss no one off legally or related to religious feelings. HR may take a bit more freedom here. I don't see a reason, why a bio-patent company like Monsanto shouldn't be included.

I don't quite get the point in why Hit Drama:D and the cultural resources have to be omitted (not widely available:confused:). How about adding Amazon for a little more science (= more literacy), moved from Rio Tinto?

Disney would be a candidate for a corporation, too. Disney characters are embedded in the collective consciousness of present day mankind like celestial mythological figures in former times, even in pronouncedly anti-western societies.

A little side idea: How about having the game scan a Python names list of corporation names and assign a proper name from the list to the newly founded corporation according to which Civ is founding it. If the Americans found the oil providing corporation, it will check for the American name Standard Oil or Exxon Mobil, if the Dutch get it first, it will be called Royal Dutch Shell, if the French Total S.A., the Russians Lukoil, et cetera.

Simon_Jester
Sep 03, 2011, 02:35 PM
When it comes to the "hit" resources, one nation controls the entire supply, always. If there's a corporation that uses 'hits,' then whoever builds that corporation has every incentive to hoard the resource for themselves, and they'll never get enough of the resource to matter from anyone else if they don't control the supply. Not good.

The problem with the corporations that provide resources is that oil and aluminum are common enough on the map that the odds of not having a supply and actually being in a position to found the corporation in the right narrow window of time are pretty low. They're not a complete alternative to the resource.

Azoth
Sep 03, 2011, 03:06 PM
It's true, that the culture bonus of Civ Jewelers is immense, but it comes really late and can be a real surprise to a player on the road to a got-it-dicked military victory. Culture must be accumulated quickly to counter a space victory pursuer, too.

The real issue here is that there can be no response to Civilized Jewelers and Sid's Sushi short of invasion. Border cities, especially those recently conquered or founded, are quickly crushed beneath the weight of their cultural output. In many ways, the most important changes I suggest come at the end of my post: allowing only one corporation per city limits the power of stacked "corporate culture" and recasting corporations as National Wonders gives all players the tools to fight back. Culture Victory is a side issue; any serious attempt will forgo research and turn up the culture slider to 100% well before the Industrial Era.

I don't quite get the point in why Hit Drama:D and the cultural resources have to be omitted (not widely available:confused:). How about adding Amazon for a little more science (= more literacy), moved from Rio Tinto? Disney would be a candidate for a corporation, too.

Disney characters are embedded in the collective consciousness of present day mankind like celestial mythological figures in former times, even in pronouncedly anti-western societies.

If I had to match the remaining resources with corporations, I would probably pick a Japanese seafood and meat processing company such as Taiyo Fishery Company for Cattle, Crab, Fish, Pigs, and Shellfish; and the iconic Walt Disney Company for Hit Drama, Hit Movies, and Hit Singles. I hesitate to do so because: (1) The availability of seafood resources varies by map type. A hypothetical Taiyo Fishery Company might be competitive with other corporations on Pangaea maps; but, like Sid's Sushi, it would be absurdly powerful on Archipelago maps, when over half of the available resources are seafood. (2) The Hit resources are tied to World Wonders. Only players that build these wonders will have the opportunity to found the Walt Disney Company. Far from exporting their culture to other civilizations, these players will then be encouraged to hoard their Hit resources, to maximize the benefits from their corporation and prevent others from doing the same. (I agree I was a little unclear on that second point in my last post.)

I don't think, all corporations should be created equal. They should be created individual. Standard Oil and Aluminum Inc. can't compete with Sushi, right, but they provide a strategic resource, which a player might not get ahold of without that corporation. Providing a scarce and crucial resource is meant as a balancing means.

In theory, access to Oil or Aluminum should compensate for lower corporate bonuses. In practice, Standard Oil and Aluminum Co. are rarely worth the cost of a Great Scientist and corporate maintenance, quite apart from the fact that they must compete with the much stronger Sid Sushi's and Mining Inc. There are always other ways to acquire strategic resources. Players pursuing a military victory can simply capture them; after all, Oil and Aluminum are visible well before they are necessary. Players pursing a peaceful victory can either trade for those resources or make do without them. In all my games, I have never seen fit to found Standard Oil or Aluminum Co., and I can't say the AI derived much benefit from them, either.

The weaker corporations are receiving one striking asset over the evenly strong corporations; they aren't supposed to be equally useful in every game on every map for every player. That's why not every corporation should deliver a ressource, especially not for mere symmetry reasons. Symmetry is often an orderly looking pseodo-structured substitute for a worked out mechanism, which needs a lot of testing. No objection here:), I already said I liked the general direction, especially the corporations' names.

What can I say? I have a weakness for symmetry. But I do agree that a little variety and asymmetry would not be out of place.
If Xyth also approves of the general direction of these changes, I'll try and shake things up a bit in the second draft.

Edit: Simon Jester covers some of the same points.

Xyth
Sep 03, 2011, 11:48 PM
Still digesting all of this, Corporations are a mechanic I'm woefully unfamiliar with unfortunately. I'm guilty of not playing the late game near as much as I should. I won't be tackling these for 0.9.5 btw but I wanted to get the discussion underway as they should be a priority for 0.9.6 - which is going to be primarily focused on improving the late game.

I won't comment on too many specifics for now but instead on the bigger picture stuff.

It might be a good idea to have the effect depend on both the number of resources and the number of cities. There should be a minimum effect and a maximum effect, but within that the more resources the bigger the effect per city, but the more cities affected the smaller the effect per city. Just a thought.

That would make sense but there's no way I can code it.

1. Replace the seven fictional corporations with seven historical corporations. Balance their yields and throw the new HR resources into the mix. Here is a first draft:

Completely agree that we should try and use historical/actual corporations, in this regards your draft looks very good. If we decide to for more than 7 corporations it would be good to continue the international diversity you have going. Eurocentrism is obviously a bit tricky to avoid when it comes to corporations but this is one area of the game where it makes sense.

The East India Company is currently the Dutch UW, so we'd need to find a new UW for them. I'm not sure what this could be. Incidentally, doing this would also free up the graphic I currently use for it to make the Venetian Arsenal world wonder.

Each corporation is linked to five resources, and supplies the one resource it is most famous for. Some of the five resources are hypothetical; General Mills is not known for its Olives, but had it been founded in a Mediterranean empire, it might have. Most corporations produce one base yield, either 0.5:food: or 0.5:hammers:; and one processed yield, either 1.0:science:, 1.0:gold:, or 1.0:culture:. The Hudson's Bay Company produces both food and hammers because three of its five resources eventually become obsolete.

I don't think, all corporations should be created equal. They should be created individual.

I think symmetry is a good place to start because symmetrical mechanics are much easier to balance. From a balanced base we can then make adjustments to better individualize and/or specialize each corporation.

2. Limit the number of corporations in a city to one. Players must decide which corporation best suits their cities.
If this requires that all corporations have at least one resource in common, that can be arranged.

I don't see any obvious way that I code such a limit other than via resources in common, but it seems like a reasonable idea.

3. Recast Corporate Headquarters as National Wonders. That way, all players can found the corporation of their choice at their own pace provided they have the appropriate Great Person.

4. Eliminate corporation costs. Eliminate the Corporate Headquarters per franchise gold bonus. In its place, introduce a commerce multiplier per resource.
In the case of General Mills Incorporated, as imagined above, the Corporate Headquarters would provide +5% commerce for Corn, Olives, Potato, Rice, and Wheat.

These I'm not sure on as they would make corporations always be beneficial and removes the idea of competition. I think one of the interesting aspects of Firaxis' mechanic is that corporations can run at a loss if out-competed. Of course this doesn't work in practice because the 7 standard corporations are not balanced well and they don't scale appropriately with mapsize. Limiting the number of corporations in a city would help somewhat.

I'd have to think about this some more but I'd like to try and preserve/fix/improve this unique mechanic before discarding it.

A little side idea: How about having the game scan a Python names list of corporation names and assign a proper name from the list to the newly founded corporation according to which Civ is founding it. If the Americans found the oil providing corporation, it will check for the American name Standard Oil or Exxon Mobil, if the Dutch get it first, it will be called Royal Dutch Shell, if the French Total S.A., the Russians Lukoil, et cetera.

It might be possible to do something like this but, like with Great People, it becomes a bit tricky to find suitable names for every civ or even region. We'd have to give each corporation and headquarters a generic name (and logo) and they'd display as such in the pedia and building queue, not changing to the unique name until after it's founded. Not ruling it out but probably more trouble than it's worth and would detract a lot from changing to real corporations in the first place.

I don't quite get the point in why Hit Drama:D and the cultural resources have to be omitted (not widely available:confused:). How about adding Amazon for a little more science (= more literacy), moved from Rio Tinto?

When it comes to the "hit" resources, one nation controls the entire supply, always. If there's a corporation that uses 'hits,' then whoever builds that corporation has every incentive to hoard the resource for themselves, and they'll never get enough of the resource to matter from anyone else if they don't control the supply. Not good.

The Hit resources are tied to World Wonders. Only players that build these wonders will have the opportunity to found the Walt Disney Company. Far from exporting their culture to other civilizations, these players will then be encouraged to hoard their Hit resources, to maximize the benefits from their corporation and prevent others from doing the same.

I agree that we should leave the 'Hit' resources out of corporations for the time being, for the reasons stated. These probably need to be reviewed in 0.9.6 as well.

Finally, to mix things up considerably, what if there were more resources that don't come from the map? e.g., Fertilizer, Pharmaceuticals, etc. Corporations could have an interesting role to play in such a scheme. No firm ideas or plans at this stage, just throwing the concept out there.

davidtylr
Sep 04, 2011, 09:56 PM
It would be good to have a brewery as a corporation like, Guinness or Heineken or something like that. And a media corporation like BBC.

KaneofEgypt
Sep 04, 2011, 11:21 PM
What about NASA? If there is a beer company being suggested, why not have a corporation specifically to help with the space race. It would take in aluminum and... rocket fuel? Gas or oil... I guess, but it would put out a substantial bonus to spaceship production. OH! And it would require a lab in the city it was founded in.

Azoth
Sep 06, 2011, 05:04 PM
The East India Company is currently the Dutch UW, so we'd need to find a new UW for them. I'm not sure what this could be. Incidentally, doing this would also free up the graphic I currently use for it to make the Venetian Arsenal world wonder.

How about the Amsterdam Bourse, considered the world's oldest stock exchange, established in 1602 by the Dutch East India Company itself?

I don't see any obvious way that I code such a limit other than via resources in common, but it seems like a reasonable idea.

A limit on the number of corporations per city is essential. Cities with multiple corporations could easily produce more food, production, and commerce from corporations than from the surrounding terrain. We should avoid that at all costs! I can see one clumsy way to code a limit. You could create a dummy resource that does not appear on any map script and is enabled at Future Tech; then make it common to all corporations. Alternatively, I could reshuffle the resources such that Gold is common to all corporations. It would make a certain amount of sense: any player with access to Gold could found any corporation. It would also free up some extra resources for corporations 8, 9, and 10.

These I'm not sure on as they would make corporations always be beneficial and removes the idea of competition. I think one of the interesting aspects of Firaxis' mechanic is that corporations can run at a loss if out-competed. Of course this doesn't work in practice because the 7 standard corporations are not balanced well and they don't scale appropriately with mapsize. Limiting the number of corporations in a city would help somewhat.

Actually, corporations always run a profit if you have Courthouses in your franchise cities and some combination of Market/Grocer/Bank/Stock Exchange in your corporate headquarters. If you don't own the corporate headquarters, then corporations nearly always run at a loss. Competition between corporations plays no role at all. These mechanics put the AI at a severe disadvantage; players can run huge profits and wreak havoc upon AI economies by spreading their corporations to AI cities. That's why the BtS AI is programmed to switch to State Property at the earliest opportunity and ignore corporations altogether. I don't see how these mechanics can be salvaged. On the other hand, eliminating corporation costs, demoting corporate headquarters to National Wonders, and replacing their per franchise gold bonus lets all players play the corporate game on equal terms. It also reduces the availability of corporate resources, since all can found the relevant corporations; and is a better historical model: many civilizations partook in the Silk Road and founded an East India Company, for example.

On a separate note, corporations already scale reasonably well with map size. Sid's Sushi produces roughly +1 food per seafood resource on Tiny, +0.5 food per resource on Standard, and +0.25 food per resource on Huge. Some tweaks to the formula might be required; but that's all.

Finally, to mix things up considerably, what if there were more resources that don't come from the map? e.g., Fertilizer, Pharmaceuticals, etc. Corporations could have an interesting role to play in such a scheme. No firm ideas or plans at this stage, just throwing the concept out there.

Unique corporate resources are a fine idea. My only concern is that we already have so many resources that health and happiness are a little too easy to come by. Additional corporate resources would exacerbate the problem.

Howard Mahler
Sep 11, 2011, 07:33 PM
On a separate note, corporations already scale reasonably well with map size. Sid's Sushi produces roughly +1 food per seafood resource on Tiny, +0.5 food per resource on Standard, and +0.25 food per resource on Huge. Some tweaks to the formula might be required; but that's all.



On a Huge map, I believe that you can usually trade for much more than 4 times the resources than you can have on a Tiny map.

In any case, on any size map larger empires can benefit much more from corporations.
This is a basic problem or feature of the mechanism:
1. More resources (of the same type) gives a linear increase in effect.
2. Effect applies in each city (where corporation is spread) independent of the number of such cities.

While there are some World Wonders that have property #2, this is unusual.
While one can make trades with more civs the more resources one has of a given kind, this is somewhat limited.

Thus the basic current mechanism of corporations works differently with scale than most other features of the game.

This leaves aside the fact that Sid's Sushi is much more powerful on maps with more coastal resources.

Azoth
Sep 23, 2011, 06:46 PM
On a Huge map, I believe that you can usually trade for much more than 4 times the resources than you can have on a Tiny map.

This is certainly true. Larger maps offer more and better trading opportunities.
I see it as yet another reason to demote Corporate Headquarters to National Wonders and make them available to all players.
AI leaders are much less willing to trade spare resources if they need them to power their own corporations.
At the very least, they demand a higher price.

In any case, on any size map larger empires can benefit much more from corporations.
This is a basic problem or feature of the mechanism:
1. More resources (of the same type) gives a linear increase in effect.
2. Effect applies in each city (where corporation is spread) independent of the number of such cities.

While there are some World Wonders that have property #2, this is unusual.
Thus the basic current mechanism of corporations works differently with scale than most other features of the game.

Strictly speaking, this is not true. Quite apart from corporations and certain World Wonders: research costs, city maintenance, and unit costs also scale with map size. For example:

A twenty city empire on a Large map generates more raw beakers with Standard Ethanol than a seven city empire on a Small map.
However, research costs on a Large map are inherently higher than those on a Small map, even at the same difficulty level.
A twenty city empire on a Large map generates more raw hammers with Mining Inc. than a seven city empire on a Small map.
However, the hammer costs of the units necessary to defend a twenty city empire or to invade a neighbouring twenty city empire are inherently higher than the corresponding hammer costs for a seven city empire.

The balance might not be perfect - and I have made some suggestions for improving it further - but I do not see any obvious balance issues with map sizes.

davidtylr
Sep 24, 2011, 10:27 PM
What if corporations turn up like religions.

Xyth
Apr 08, 2012, 11:14 PM
Resurrecting this discussion because I would like to tackle Corporations in 1.18. To be honest I'm very tempted to just remove them altogether, they're imbalanced, exploitable, tricky to mod, unrealistic, and not all that fun. I came across this though:

Corporations in RoM, and BTS, have seems to be nearly totally state-owned entities, spread by only the governments will, for only the government's purpose, merely as a tool. You'd think Communism beat Capitalism in 1991, not the other way around.

Corporations are no longer state-controlled entities. While the State may own the city a corporation operates in, or the headquarters for the corporation, they can not control it's spread, except in extreme circumstances. No Executives or units that can spread corporations can be trained, except when using a civic that blocks foreign corporations. Corporations are no longer founded by units, buildings, or otherwise. Instead they are founded by a little bit of luck, and some strategy.

Each turn, the game will check and try to found corporations if the conditions are right. It will favor cities that offer the best situation for the corporation, so having cities with most, or all, of the resources a corporation needs will prove beneficial. Being more technologically advanced helps to a small degree. Further, having civics that boost corporations that are beneficial will help too, but more on that later. The game will roll dice each turn to try to found the Headquarters, and if the roll beats the odds, one will be formed. Don't fear that this will overly benefit the most advanced player. It will to some degree reward them, but not always.

Also happening each turn, every city checks for nearby corporations, (almost exactly the same religion spread works now) and will try to spread a corporation to your city. If your cities are more beneficial to the corporation, the faster they will expand. Having large road networks will help you.

Now that Corporation Spread is out of your control, there is one new factor in the player's control. Instead of paying "Maintenance" to corporations, you can decide to tax, or subsidize corporations. Subsidizing them will cost you money, but will cause corporations to favor your cities and spread more quickly to your cities. Taxing corporations will generate revenue for your nation but will slow corporation spread. If you tax corporations too much (compared to other nations), corporations may decide to close their businesses in your cities, and will not return until conditions improve.

Corporations are now essentially state-less entities that will spread in your cities if you are receptive to their needs. You can use them to boost culture, production, or fulfill other needs, and generate an income too; all while reducing micromanagement for the player.

That's by Afforess, maker of Rise of Mankind: A New Dawn. He'll be making that work via the SDK but some aspects of it might be doable via Python for HR. Does this (combined with the discussions above) generally feel like the right direction to head in for Corporations?

Eucalyptus
Apr 09, 2012, 03:20 AM
Resurrecting this discussion because I would like to tackle Corporations in 1.18. To be honest I'm very tempted to just remove them altogether, they're imbalanced, exploitable, tricky to mod, unrealistic, and not all that fun. I came across this though:

That's by Afforess, maker of Rise of Mankind: A New Dawn. He'll be making that work via the SDK but some aspects of it I might be doable via Python for HR. Does this (combined with the discussions above) generally feel like the right direction to head in for Corporations?

Quick opinion: Yes! Implementation of this approach sounds like a lot of work but the result would be a great improvement in gameplay. If it's too difficult to implement, I would also rather play without Corporations altogether.

Howard Mahler
Apr 09, 2012, 01:51 PM
I do not favor this change.
I would prefer leaving things alone to making this change.

I would prefer an attempt first be made to balance, revise and add to the current corporations. I think there is substantial room for improvement as well as incorporating the additional HR resources.

Founding corporations is one good use for Great People later in the game.
Spreading corporations is one thing for a player to do later in the game.
Semi-random founding and semi-random spread do indeed remove actions for the player. (player actions and decisions = micro-managing for those who do not like a particular aspect of the game.)
I think we already have enough randomness in the game.

Religion spreads semi-randomly in addition to due to player action via missionaries.
Trying some very small (remember small chances add quickly over many turns) random spread of corporations might be worthwhile in order to see what happens.

The taxing corporations idea is interesting; not sure how and if it could be grafted onto the current corporation mechanism. Would need to get some immediate benefit for raising taxes (on all corporations) versus some potential longer term downside. The immediate benefit is more money per turn. The downside might be an increased probability of a corporation leaving a city. However, currently the benefits of a corporation in a city are balanced to some extent by the maintenance costs. So the cost of a corporation leaving may no be that huge, particularly of the player can found it again in the city with an executive.

Having a player option to play without Corporations is a good idea.

Howard Mahler
Apr 16, 2012, 03:24 PM
As stated previously, I think that if you are going to work on corporations you should first balance and revise the current corporations. However, I have been doing some thinking on the corporation mechanism. These are just thoughts rather than a proposal.

If one allows some semi-random spread, the probabilities should be very small, smaller than those for religion. Perhaps only possible in a city that does not have any corporations. Probability might increase somewhat with city size, number of wonders in the city, whether there is a university and/or research lab, etc.
I would continue to allow deliberate spreading via corporate execs. (Religions can be spread via missionaries.)

While the corporate headquarters gives the benefit (culture, hammers, etc.), in the case of other cities, when the corporation spreads to city one would need to build a certain building to get the benefit; perhaps call it a corporate branch (one type for each corporation).

Have the maintenance cost for each corporate branch depend on how many other branches of the same corporation are in the same country. (Similar to the way maintenance per city goes up with the number of cities.) This should be significant enough to balance somewhat the benefit of spreading corporations to multiple cities.
A problem with the current mechanism, is that whatever benefit you get for 5 fish that a country has, you get in each and every city in that country with that corporation. If possible it would be better to increase the base benefit somewhat, but have the benefit per city decrease with the number of branches of that corporation in the country. Some sort of balance needs to be struck between benefit per branch and maintenance.

Currently corporate execs can be built in any city with that corporation. If other changes are made, this will probably need to be changed. One should definitely be able to build them in the headquarters. Maybe if a country has four branches of a corporation, it can build a corporate "division" in one of those cities. (Similar to the mechanism of a Great Temple.) Then the corporate division allows one to build execs.
(The division might have some other small benefit.)

I would probably reduce the money the headquarters currently gets per branch. The headquarters could have no maintenance, give the benefit of the corporation, and allow the building of corporate execs. The money per branch would give the founder of the corporation some benefit if the corporation spreads around the world.
(Similar to the religious Shrine.)

Allowing the player to set a corporate tax rate is interesting. Could be three levels or 0% to 100% slider. A low tax rate could increase the chance of attracting a corporation to one of your cities, but higher corporate maintenance costs. A high tax rate could decrease or eliminate the chance of attracting a corporation to one of your cities, but lower corporate maintenance costs. Maybe a high enough tax rate could also reduce the benefit provided by the corporation.

Just some thoughts to put into the mix.

atirtanadi
Apr 17, 2012, 09:14 PM
Hey there - I have also been thinking about ways to change the corporate "game," here are my thoughts. In order to make the corporations both more historically accurate and create more interesting gameplay choices for players, I would propose the following changes:

Basically create a system where players would choose between creating an economic system based on private "capitalist" corporations, or state-owned "nationalist" corporations. Each has it's own advantages and disadvantages. Both types of corporations utilize a resource and turn it into a benefit (gold, production, or food). Additionally, both types of corporations produce a gold bonus to the city they are headquartered in equal to the number of cities that currently have that corporation.

Private corporations are created and spread automatically, without player control. They can spread around the world, into other civilizations, but spread fairly slowly along existing trade routes. They can also go out of business (but not in their headquartered city). So, civs that are more technologically advanced start seeding their corporations first. Less advanced civs will start seeding their corporations later, potentially having to drive out of business competing foreign corporations in their home civ, in order to grow. Private corporations will produce more output when compared with state-owned ones (reflecting higher efficiency), but will also produce more unhappiness (reflecting greater inequality) and unhealthiness (reflecting greater pollution).

State-owned corporations are created and spread by the player. They can be created either by nationalizing an existing corporation (which costs money) or using great people. As such, they can be headquartered in gold-producing cities. You can also produce agents to quickly spread the corporation to all cities in your empire, even small or out-of-the-way cities. State-owned corporations cannot go out of business, so private corporations that compete with the state-owned corporation for the same resource will both go out of business if the state-owned corporation is settled in that city, and never spread to that city. Compared with private corporations, state-owned corporations produce significantly less output, but also less unhappiness and less unhealthiness. State-owned corporations can be privatized, but will retain the output penalty for x number of turns. State-owned corporations cannot be spread outside of the originator's civilization.

To fit this new paradigm, I would amend the economic civics: Bureaucracy: foreign corporations are not allowed & the costs of nationalizing a corporation are reduced by 50%. Free Market: your corporations spread 100% faster. Environmentalism: the unhappiness and unhealthiness penalty from corporations are reduced.

Finally, I'm also in favor of making the bonus a corporation grants a city not dependent on the # of resources that civ has, which the corporation uses, but on the improvements used by the city. For example: corporation x may give city A extra food for each farm tile worked, if the civilization has corn. Corporation y (a competitor) may give city A extra food for each workshop tile worked, if the civilization has corn. Another example: corporation m may give food for every fish/crab/oyster tile worked by city B, if the civ has fish. Corporation n (it's competitor), may give extra production for every fish/crab/oyster tile worked by city B, if the civ has fish.

Allowing corporations to benefit a city based on the improvements around the city, instead of just granting the city a flat bonus, encourages the player to retool improvements near cities to fit the corporation's strengths (giving you something to do with your workers after you finish your railroads), and also encourages you to try to locate certain corporations in certain cities.

Assuming all of the aforementioned can be balanced, I think this would make the late-game economy much more interesting and meaningful to the player, and also make the whole corporation scheme more historical.

Keinpferd
Apr 18, 2012, 06:38 AM
Afforesses attempt to introduce some organic economy, free market and genuine capitalism is understandable, though, in Civ, the player is the state; thus every player controlled economic action is centralist and state-owned by nature. Adding just one little element of self-organiziation and thermodynamics;) doesn't change that very much, unless there would be an entire new system of player controlled tax rates, that not only attract corporation branches but let new coporations emerge and let other economic quasi-self-organizing patterns emerge.

I'm all positive about corporations, ever since I've seen a financial city in one of my games, which was a double holy city, headquarter of two corporations and having Wall Street. The gee-whiz amount of money that city made persuaded me, that corporations are fun.

And the possibility of having civics correlate with corporations is one modding friendly decision by Firaxis:).

Howard Mahler
Apr 18, 2012, 07:17 PM
Don't know about be able to have the corporate bonus in a city depend on city tiles worked. May be able to be programmed via the corporate branch building concept (one type per corporation.)
I would not try to have different types of corporations until one type was made to work well first.

By the way, most mechanisms in the game are slanted towards giving the player more control than may be strictly speaking warranted as a simulation.

Hey there - I have also been thinking about ways to change the corporate "game," here are my thoughts. In order to make the corporations both more historically accurate and create more interesting gameplay choices for players, I would propose the following changes:

Basically create a system where players would choose between creating an economic system based on private "capitalist" corporations, or state-owned "nationalist" corporations. Each has it's own advantages and disadvantages. Both types of corporations utilize a resource and turn it into a benefit (gold, production, or food). Additionally, both types of corporations produce a gold bonus to the city they are headquartered in equal to the number of cities that currently have that corporation.

Private corporations are created and spread automatically, without player control. They can spread around the world, into other civilizations, but spread fairly slowly along existing trade routes. They can also go out of business (but not in their headquartered city). So, civs that are more technologically advanced start seeding their corporations first. Less advanced civs will start seeding their corporations later, potentially having to drive out of business competing foreign corporations in their home civ, in order to grow. Private corporations will produce more output when compared with state-owned ones (reflecting higher efficiency), but will also produce more unhappiness (reflecting greater inequality) and unhealthiness (reflecting greater pollution).

State-owned corporations are created and spread by the player. They can be created either by nationalizing an existing corporation (which costs money) or using great people. As such, they can be headquartered in gold-producing cities. You can also produce agents to quickly spread the corporation to all cities in your empire, even small or out-of-the-way cities. State-owned corporations cannot go out of business, so private corporations that compete with the state-owned corporation for the same resource will both go out of business if the state-owned corporation is settled in that city, and never spread to that city. Compared with private corporations, state-owned corporations produce significantly less output, but also less unhappiness and less unhealthiness. State-owned corporations can be privatized, but will retain the output penalty for x number of turns. State-owned corporations cannot be spread outside of the originator's civilization.

To fit this new paradigm, I would amend the economic civics: Bureaucracy: foreign corporations are not allowed & the costs of nationalizing a corporation are reduced by 50%. Free Market: your corporations spread 100% faster. Environmentalism: the unhappiness and unhealthiness penalty from corporations are reduced.

Finally, I'm also in favor of making the bonus a corporation grants a city not dependent on the # of resources that civ has, which the corporation uses, but on the improvements used by the city. For example: corporation x may give city A extra food for each farm tile worked, if the civilization has corn. Corporation y (a competitor) may give city A extra food for each workshop tile worked, if the civilization has corn. Another example: corporation m may give food for every fish/crab/oyster tile worked by city B, if the civ has fish. Corporation n (it's competitor), may give extra production for every fish/crab/oyster tile worked by city B, if the civ has fish.

Allowing corporations to benefit a city based on the improvements around the city, instead of just granting the city a flat bonus, encourages the player to retool improvements near cities to fit the corporation's strengths (giving you something to do with your workers after you finish your railroads), and also encourages you to try to locate certain corporations in certain cities.

Assuming all of the aforementioned can be balanced, I think this would make the late-game economy much more interesting and meaningful to the player, and also make the whole corporation scheme more historical.

Xyth
Apr 18, 2012, 07:54 PM
Apologies for not commenting on any of the suggestions made so far. I am reading it all though so keep it coming, it's very helpful. A few quick comments:



I cannot add a slider or such for corporate tax/subsidies. These would need to be determined by civic choices and combinations, and possibly adjusted by buildings too (Stock Exchange, Custom House, etc). Other factors like settled great people could play a part too.


I like the idea of free market corporations (spread on their own) vs. state controlled corporations (spread by the player), determined via civics. Gives the player an interesting choice.


My grand dream for all this is that I can turn the corporation mechanic (with help from the events system and much custom coding) into a broader 'Organizations' mechanic, of which corporations are a subcategory. No finalized or clear plans yet but imagine the mechanic also supporting organizations such as the Hanseatic League, the Illuminati, the Mafia, Greenpeace, Al Qaeda, Amnesty International, etc.


The overriding concept of all this being that the choices you make for your cities and civilizations as a whole can attract certain non-state entities to your cities, and determine how much control you have over them.


This has potential to quickly turn into the biggest mechanics overhaul I've ever attempted. I can't promise this is all possible, there are bound to be many challenges implementing this, technically and conceptually. At this point I think this will probably need to be a job for 1.19 rather than 1.18 (which I want to keep relatively simple since 1.17 took so long to finish).

Xyth
May 01, 2012, 06:08 AM
Corporations Overhaul - Stage One


I think one of the most important and interesting function of the corporation system in BTS is that it's a method of making a civilization interested in having multiple resources of the same type. I want to retain that function, but expand and balance it. So that's where I've started with this overhaul; at this point I'm not addressing aspects such as foundation, spread, executives, headquarters, civics and maintenance. That will come in later stages which may or may not come in 1.18. Here's the list:


Aramco
Energy, based in Arabia
• Requires: Refining, Great Scientist
• Consumes: Peat, Coal, Gas, Oil, Copper
• Provides: :hammers: and :science:
• Competitors: BASF, Rio Tinto, Toyota, Vinci


Barilla
Mediterranean Food, based in Italy
• Requires: ???, Great Artist
• Consumes: Wheat, Rice, Olives, Spice, Wine
• Provides: :food:
• Competitors: General Mills, McDonalds, Nestl้, Taiyo


BASF
Chemicals, based in Germany
• Requires: Plastics, Great Scientist
• Consumes: Dye, Rubber, Coal, Oil, Uranium
• Provides: :hammers: and :science:
• Competitors: Aramco, Toyota, Vinci, Bombay Dyeing


Bombay Dyeing
Textiles, based in India
• Requires: ???, Great Artist
• Consumes: Dye, Cotton, Flax, Silk, Sheep
• Provides: :commerce: and :culture:
• Competitors: BASF


De Beers
Jewelry, based in South Africa
• Requires: Photography, Great Artist
• Consumes: Gold, Silver, Amber, Jade, Gems
• Provides: :commerce: and :culture:
• Competitors: Rio Tinto


East India Company
Tropical Goods, based in the West & East Indies
• Requires: Corporation, Great Merchant
• Consumes: Fruit, Incense, Coffee, Tea, Tobacco
• Provides: :commerce: and :gold:
• Competitors: Nestl้


General Mills
Agriculture, based in America
• Requires: Fertilizer, Great Scientist
• Consumes: Corn, Rice, Wheat, Potato, Sugar
• Provides: :food:
• Competitors: Barilla, McDonalds, Nestl้, Taiyo


Hudson Bay
Arctic Goods, based in Canada
• Requires: Meteorology, Great Merchant
• Consumes: Bison, Deer, Furs, Seal, Whale
• Provides: :commerce: and :gold:
• Competitors: Taiyo


McDonalds
Fast Food, based in America
• Requires: Mass Media, Great Merchant
• Consumes: Cattle, Pig, Wheat, Potato, Salt
• Provides: :food:
• Competitors: Barilla, General Mills, Nestl้, Taiyo


Nestl้
Dairy and Beverages, based in Switzerland
• Requires: Refrigeration, Great Scientist
• Consumes: Cattle, Sugar, Spice, Cocoa, Coffee
• Provides: :food:
• Competitors: Barilla, General Mills, McDonalds, East India Company


Rio Tinto
Mining, based in Spain and Australia
• Requires: Metallurgy, Great Engineer
• Consumes: Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, Aluminium
• Provides: :hammers: and :gold:
• Competitors: Aramco, Toyota, Vinci, De Beers


Taiyo
Seafood, based in Japan
• Requires: ???, Great Merchant
• Consumes: Shellfish, Crab, Whale, Rice, Salt
• Provides: :food:
• Competitors: Barilla, General Mills, McDonalds, Hudson Bay


Toyota
Automotives, based in Japan
• Requires: Automobile, Great Engineer
• Consumes: Gas, Oil, Rubber, Iron, Aluminium
• Provides: :hammers: and :science:
• Competitors: Aramco, BASF, Rio Tinto, Vinci


Vinci
Construction, based in France
• Requires: Assembly Line, Great Engineer
• Consumes: Prime Timber, Stone, Marble, Iron, Oil
• Provides: :hammers: and :culture:
• Competitors: Aramco, BASF, Rio Tinto, Toyota


Details


There are 14 corporations, 5 that provide food, 5 that provide production, and 4 that provide commerce. The production and commerce corporations also provide a commerce type - 3 give wealth, 3 give research, and 3 give culture. The food corporations do not provide a commerce type as food is generally more powerful than the other yields.

I've not determined numbers for yields and commerces yet. That will need to wait until other mechanics are better defined.

Every corporation consumes 5 resources and never shares more than 2 resources with any other corporation.

Of the food corporations, 3 of them compete with every other food corporation, meaning you can only ever have 1 of these in a city. The other 2 food corporations can exist in the same city but each blocks a different commerce corporation instead.

Production corporations compete in the same way as food corporations.

Commerce corporations do not compete with each other but each has a food or production corporation that can block it.

Prime Timber is a new resource coming in 1.18.

Fish are not included in any corporation due to balance issues between map types.

The only other resources not included in this scheme are Horses, Elephants, and the 'Hit' resources.

Although I've listed each corporation as requiring a great person, I don't yet know if that will remain the way they're founded.

I still plan to use the corporation mechanic for other corporations or organizations that aren't focused on resources. Will get to that in time.

Keinpferd
May 02, 2012, 12:27 AM
How about including the Brazilian corporation Petr๓leo Brasileiro (or Petrobras)? It's the largest company of the southern hemisphere, a semi-public kraken with a lot more on its agenda than oil business; they are also big time cultural sponsors and acclaimed supporters of whale conservation…And since it's Brazilian, it goes well together with HR's global and non-eurocentrist focus.

It's probably not the task of a video game mod to be too heavy on politics and press one own's political preference on others, but speaking of corporations, I'd be interested to learn, how this phenomenon of transnational corporate power (or wider non state-actor's power), that shapes our lives, can be approached in the confinements of a non SDK mod.

The essential trait of the corporate world, that should translate in a mod somehow, is the lack of international law, democratic legitimization and political control, despite they are much, much bigger and more powerful "ecomomies" than a small country like Greece, for example. Corporations could be a force to the good of mankind, of course, but in a rather non-judgmental way, it's obvious to see, that they are responsible for all kinds of inequality, human rights infringements – and natural disasters, like BP or TEPCO. Corporations should be a part of the game, where decisions tend to get out of hands of the player. The player is confronted with a "life of it's own", when dealing with "corporate" game mechanisms.

Also, recent global developments, that facilitated corporate empowerement, technology transfer, transport, travel, internet, could play a role here: when you research the HR techs mass transportation or internet, this will have an impact on the corporation side of the game. Just a little more brainstorming… to be continued…

Howard Mahler
May 02, 2012, 02:04 PM
A good start.

A key will be to have a reasonable balance between the benefit and the cost.

I assume the countries where the corporation is based have no game relevance.

Prime Timber will be useful for what?
I assume you prefer that name to hardwoods.

Xyth
May 02, 2012, 04:05 PM
How about including the Brazilian corporation Petr๓leo Brasileiro (or Petrobras)? It's the largest company of the southern hemisphere, a semi-public kraken with a lot more on its agenda than oil business; they are also big time cultural sponsors and acclaimed supporters of whale conservation…And since it's Brazilian, it goes well together with HR's global and non-eurocentrist focus.

It was hard deciding between Aramco and Petrobras for the energy corporation. I went with Aramco in the end because it was the older of the two (especially when Aramco's precursors are considered) and I really wanted the Middle East to be represented.


It's probably not the task of a video game mod to be too heavy on politics and press one own's political preference on others, but speaking of corporations, I'd be interested to learn, how this phenomenon of transnational corporate power (or wider non state-actor's power), that shapes our lives, can be approached in the confinements of a non SDK mod.

Me too! I have some ideas and I'll need to do a lot of experimenting to see what can be achieved. It'll be something that will accumulate of several versions of HR.

A good start.

A key will be to have a reasonable balance between the benefit and the cost.

Yep, that will be a challenge for sure.

I assume the countries where the corporation is based have no game relevance.

Yeah, it won't mean anything in game. I've just tried to choose corporations that represent a significant portion of the world.

Prime Timber will be useful for what?
I assume you prefer that name to hardwoods.

It will be a strategic resource that make ships and siege units cheaper to build. I dislike the name 'hardwood' as it's actually softwoods like pine and cedar that are most useful for large constructions like ships.

Incidentally I'm also adding the Shipwright as a new building unlocked at Artisanry. It will provide production for coastal cities from Prime Timber and grant experience to ships a la Barracks and Stables.

Howard Mahler
May 03, 2012, 10:59 AM
"It will be a strategic resource that make ships and siege units cheaper to build. I dislike the name 'hardwood' as it's actually softwoods like pine and cedar that are most useful for large constructions like ships.

Incidentally I'm also adding the Shipwright as a new building unlocked at Artisanry. It will provide production for coastal cities from Prime Timber and grant experience to ships a la Barracks and Stables."

I assume Prime Timber will make wooden ships and wooden siege units cheaper to build. It should not apply for example to cannons or cruisers.

Shipwright could instead be Shipyard, which could come in earlier, perhaps at Navigation or Astronomy.
Would Shipwright (or Shipyard) only apply to wooden ships?
The Dock also gives experience to ships; will this be changed to only apply to metal ships?

Simon_Jester
May 04, 2012, 01:29 AM
Since unit costs would be influenced on a per-unit basis, much as specific wonders get production bonuses with Stone or Marble or whatever... I would assume he can specify that ships get constructed faster with Prime Timber.

Although if you double the production rate ships are going to be dirt cheap. Either the civilizations with Prime Timber have a totally crushing naval advantage (which may be intended), or you effectively halve the cost of wooden ships for all nations, in which case you really ought to bump up their raw hammer costs... although that penalizes civilizations which lack it.

Xyth
May 04, 2012, 06:58 PM
See my responses in the buildings thread.

Howard Mahler
May 05, 2012, 02:28 PM
Currently corporations generate income at headquarters and cost maintenance in their city. If in addition they generate commerce then we have three competing streams of money from building one corporation in one city.
Seems like an unnecessary complication, which makes game balancing difficult.
The same applies to a lesser extent for providing science.

I like the variety you have.
I suggest that in order to implement it you also need to simplify the current corporate mechanism.

Corporations Overhaul - Stage One


I think one of the most important and interesting function of the corporation system in BTS is that it's a method of making a civilization interested in having multiple resources of the same type. I want to retain that function, but expand and balance it. So that's where I've started with this overhaul; at this point I'm not addressing aspects such as foundation, spread, executives, headquarters, civics and maintenance. That will come in later stages which may or may not come in 1.18. Here's the list:


Aramco
Energy, based in Arabia
• Requires: Refining, Great Scientist
• Consumes: Peat, Coal, Gas, Oil, Copper
• Provides: :hammers: and :science:
• Competitors: BASF, Rio Tinto, Toyota, Vinci


Barilla
Mediterranean Food, based in Italy
• Requires: ???, Great Artist
• Consumes: Wheat, Rice, Olives, Spice, Wine
• Provides: :food:
• Competitors: General Mills, McDonalds, Nestl้, Taiyo


BASF
Chemicals, based in Germany
• Requires: Plastics, Great Scientist
• Consumes: Dye, Rubber, Coal, Oil, Uranium
• Provides: :hammers: and :science:
• Competitors: Aramco, Toyota, Vinci, Bombay Dyeing


Bombay Dyeing
Textiles, based in India
• Requires: ???, Great Artist
• Consumes: Dye, Cotton, Flax, Silk, Sheep
• Provides: :commerce: and :culture:
• Competitors: BASF


De Beers
Jewelry, based in South Africa
• Requires: Photography, Great Artist
• Consumes: Gold, Silver, Amber, Jade, Gems
• Provides: :commerce: and :culture:
• Competitors: Rio Tinto


East India Company
Tropical Goods, based in the West & East Indies
• Requires: Corporation, Great Merchant
• Consumes: Fruit, Incense, Coffee, Tea, Tobacco
• Provides: :commerce: and :gold:
• Competitors: Nestl้


General Mills
Agriculture, based in America
• Requires: Fertilizer, Great Scientist
• Consumes: Corn, Rice, Wheat, Potato, Sugar
• Provides: :food:
• Competitors: Barilla, McDonalds, Nestl้, Taiyo


Hudson Bay
Arctic Goods, based in Canada
• Requires: Meteorology, Great Merchant
• Consumes: Bison, Deer, Furs, Seal, Whale
• Provides: :commerce: and :gold:
• Competitors: Taiyo


McDonalds
Fast Food, based in America
• Requires: Mass Media, Great Merchant
• Consumes: Cattle, Pig, Wheat, Potato, Salt
• Provides: :food:
• Competitors: Barilla, General Mills, Nestl้, Taiyo


Nestl้
Dairy and Beverages, based in Switzerland
• Requires: Refrigeration, Great Scientist
• Consumes: Cattle, Sugar, Spice, Cocoa, Coffee
• Provides: :food:
• Competitors: Barilla, General Mills, McDonalds, East India Company


Rio Tinto
Mining, based in Spain and Australia
• Requires: Metallurgy, Great Engineer
• Consumes: Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, Aluminium
• Provides: :hammers: and :gold:
• Competitors: Aramco, Toyota, Vinci, De Beers


Taiyo
Seafood, based in Japan
• Requires: ???, Great Merchant
• Consumes: Shellfish, Crab, Whale, Rice, Salt
• Provides: :food:
• Competitors: Barilla, General Mills, McDonalds, Hudson Bay


Toyota
Automotives, based in Japan
• Requires: Automobile, Great Engineer
• Consumes: Gas, Oil, Rubber, Iron, Aluminium
• Provides: :hammers: and :science:
• Competitors: Aramco, BASF, Rio Tinto, Vinci


Vinci
Construction, based in France
• Requires: Assembly Line, Great Engineer
• Consumes: Prime Timber, Stone, Marble, Iron, Oil
• Provides: :hammers: and :culture:
• Competitors: Aramco, BASF, Rio Tinto, Toyota


Details


There are 14 corporations, 5 that provide food, 5 that provide production, and 4 that provide commerce. The production and commerce corporations also provide a commerce type - 3 give wealth, 3 give research, and 3 give culture. The food corporations do not provide a commerce type as food is generally more powerful than the other yields.

I've not determined numbers for yields and commerces yet. That will need to wait until other mechanics are better defined.

Every corporation consumes 5 resources and never shares more than 2 resources with any other corporation.

Of the food corporations, 3 of them compete with every other food corporation, meaning you can only ever have 1 of these in a city. The other 2 food corporations can exist in the same city but each blocks a different commerce corporation instead.

Production corporations compete in the same way as food corporations.

Commerce corporations do not compete with each other but each has a food or production corporation that can block it.

Prime Timber is a new resource coming in 1.18.

Fish are not included in any corporation due to balance issues between map types.

The only other resources not included in this scheme are Horses, Elephants, and the 'Hit' resources.

Although I've listed each corporation as requiring a great person, I don't yet know if that will remain the way they're founded.

I still plan to use the corporation mechanic for other corporations or organizations that aren't focused on resources. Will get to that in time.

Xyth
May 05, 2012, 05:48 PM
Currently corporations generate income at headquarters and cost maintenance in their city. If in addition they generate commerce then we have three competing streams of money from building one corporation in one city.
Seems like an unnecessary complication, which makes game balancing difficult.
The same applies to a lesser extent for providing science.

I like the variety you have.
I suggest that in order to implement it you also need to simplify the current corporate mechanism.

Yep, that's what Stage Two will be about and it will be part of 1.18. Still in the conceptual stage at the moment though, I'll post it for discussion once I've got it better defined.

Don't hesitate to offer suggestions in the meantime though.

Xyth
May 08, 2012, 06:18 PM
I'm not quite sure how to handle logos for these new corporations. Some, like McDonalds or Toyota have easily recognizable logos that would fit perfectly. Some, like BASF and Rio Tinto, have logos that are little more than text and can't easily be reshaped to the necessary dimensions. Others, like Aramco and Bombay Dyeing, have usable logos but that aren't particularly familiar and give no real indication of what type of corporation they are.

Perhaps it's best I use invented/generic logos for all these corporations, similar in style to the standard BTS ones? Let me know what you think. Links to suggested images or logos are very welcome.

lindsay40k
May 08, 2012, 10:56 PM
Hi, I really like your mod! I had to pop in and contribute my ha'pennorth :)

I'm very impressed with your proposed 'balanced' corporations. Having recently mastered the Mining/Sushi combo as a Hannibal/Musa player, I'd definitely like to see a more balanced system, and I like how you're starting from the numbers.

I really like @atirtanadi's suggestion for public & private sector corporations. The idea of McDonalds' 'spawning' somewhere and the host country's government getting cosy with Big Meat and in effect subsidising attempts to ram it down every other country's throat is great!

And enabling players to both set up their own public sector car company if Toyota won't invest, or nationalise TNC's that are draining too much money, seems like a great counter to the issues of players 'hoarding' corporations or using them to drain money from everyone else. But then, why spread it abroad if they can just nationalise it?

I'd suggest a couple of things with relation to this: to increase the 'feel' of the Corporations being NGOs motivated by profit, here's an idea - 'Class Warfare' event:

- May occur in any civ with a Stock Exchange and Labor Unions tech.

Prominent business leaders demand government stop interfering in the free market. However, Marxist agitators win the ears of organised workers who are outraged about capitalist greed.

• Free enterprise is to be encouraged.
L All public sector corp branches become private sector corp branches. If the private corp has not yet been founded, the HQ is spawned in whichever city has a branch and the highest gold production.
L Not using Free Market civic: additionally, switch to Free Market; anarchy ensures.

• Enterprise serves the government. If the shareholders don't like it, they can go elsewhere.
L No change in corp ownership or civics, but the Stock Exchange is destroyed. (Can rebuild.)

• Workers of the world, unite!
L All private sector corp branches become public sector. The Stock Exchange is destroyed. (Can rebuild.)
L All corporate HQ's in your Civ respawn in another city in another Civ. (Preference given to Free Market, high supply of corp's resources, presence of Stock Exchange, proximity.)
L Using Free Market civic:additionally, switch to Industrialism; anarchy ensures.
L Domino effect: next turn all Civs with neighbouring borders are invited to join the revolution; all of this option happens, plus any AI who join the revolution get a relations bonuses with all other Civs that revolt.

Additionally, you may also attempt to trigger Class War in a rival Civ with a Stock Exchange and Labor Unions via Espionage. (It'd be pricey.) You can also 'weight' the decision as you make the espionage strike:

• Just watch everything kick off. (A bit cheaper.)
L Standard Class War event.

• Support the Right. (A bit cheaper if your civic is Free Market.)
L 10 turns of +1http://forums.civfanatics.com/images/icons/icon7.gif if the target selects 'Free Enterprise'. 10 turns of +1http://forums.civfanatics.com/images/icons/icon8.gif if they select 'Serve the government.' 20 turns of +1http://forums.civfanatics.com/images/icons/icon8.gif and an extra 10 turns of +1http://forums.civfanatics.com/images/icons/icon8.gif if they select 'Workers of the world'.

• Support the Centrists.
L 10 turns of +1http://forums.civfanatics.com/images/icons/icon7.gif if the target selects 'Serve the government'. 10 turns of +1http://forums.civfanatics.com/images/icons/icon8.gif if they select 'Workers of the world' or 'Free Enterprise'.

• Support the Left. (A bit cheaper if your civic is Industrialism.)
L 10 turns of +1http://forums.civfanatics.com/images/icons/icon7.gif if the target selects 'Workers of the world'. 10 turns of +1http://forums.civfanatics.com/images/icons/icon8.gif if they select 'Serve the government.' 20 turns of +1http://forums.civfanatics.com/images/icons/icon8.gif and an extra 10 turns of +1http://forums.civfanatics.com/images/icons/icon8.gif if they select 'Free Enterprise'.

I hope this representation of class warfare will be fun and entertaining regardless of the player's feelings about political economy.

With regard to the 'real world' corporate logos, I'm inclined to say don't change a thing about them. We've all come to recognise the made-up 'C' and 'e' logos that mean 'extra food for grain resources' and 'convert food to oil and research'. A few long games and we'll all be well familiar with the various logos of companies that don't have the global penetration of Maccy Dee, I'm sure there's plenty of things about the world we've all learned through Civ ;)

Oh, and expanding the corporation system to other NGOs seems cool as well. I'm trying to work out how Al Qaida would work... it'd have to be non faith-specific IMO. Didn't AQ basically arise as a result of the USA arming & funding the Mujahideen against the pro-Soviet Afghan government and the USSR marching in and pouring gas on the fire? So I guess a Civ 'reenactment' would be Russia giving the Afghan Empire some gifts to sweeten them up for a Defensive Pact, with America sending Spies into Afghan cities to perform 'influence Civics (Theocracy)' missions, with an objective of spoiling relations with a Russian leader who prefers the 'Free Religion' (or perhaps 'Rationalism') civic so that relations sour and the pact collapses.

So perhaps to expand that a little more, perhaps various non-state military organisations could arise from persistent 'influence civics' activity, to the benefit of the target? To complete the 'reenactment' here, a 'Brotherhood' NGO would spawn in the Afghan Civ; perhaps, take the form of a 'Martyr' unit, which can establish a Training Camp in a city, which enables a city to build more Martyrs? And the Martyr could be like a Spy unit with more 'distinct' options? The advantage of this is that it's an event that benefits the weaker player and acts as a balancing factor.

I suppose this raises the next question of a War On Terror reenactment. Which would require the Brotherhood to be capable of operating in multiple Civs (easy enough), and for it to be possible to attempt to remove the Brotherhood from your own cities, and for it to be possible to demand this of other Civs (say, through the UN or AP).

In fact, looking through all this, it occurs to me that each civic could perhaps have an NGO attached to it, with martyrs/activists/agitators who act as Spies in Civs not using that civic (with a limited range of options to convert, punish or resist the "oppressors"), or a missionary in civs that meet their approval... Amnesty, the IMF, the Fourth International, Stop The War, Greenpeace all lend themselves very nicely to pushing for a particular civic.

Howard Mahler
May 08, 2012, 11:18 PM
From a game playing standpoint, logos should be colorful and easily distinguished from each other. While it is probably not a big deal, actual logos do have copyright concerns. For me personally, using actual logos does not add anything.

I suspect just working off the current BTS logos adding enough variety would work fine. If that approach is relatively easy, I would just go for it.


I'm not quite sure how to handle logos for these new corporations. Some, like McDonalds or Toyota have easily recognizable logos that would fit perfectly. Some, like BASF and Rio Tinto, have logos that are little more than text and can't easily be reshaped to the necessary dimensions. Others, like Aramco and Bombay Dyeing, have usable logos but that aren't particularly familiar and give no real indication of what type of corporation they are.

Perhaps it's best I use invented/generic logos for all these corporations, similar in style to the standard BTS ones? Let me know what you think. Links to suggested images or logos are very welcome.

Keinpferd
May 09, 2012, 05:56 AM
[…]here's an idea - 'Class Warfare' event:

- May occur in any civ with a Stock Exchange and Labor Unions tech.

Prominent business leaders demand government stop interfering in the free market. However, Marxist agitators win the ears of organised workers who are outraged about capitalist greed.[…]

Combining corporations with events, is a very good idea, the more the better:thumbsup:. From Xyth's modder perspective, once-occuring events may be little rewarding, though, in regard to the amount of work they take. (Unless elaborated text is already provided, like in your example, perhaps:).)

Combining corporations and civics would also be nice, but there are rather limited possibilities for a non SDK mod, mainly restricted to having civics modify the upkeep of corporations or controlling their spread.

lindsay40k
May 09, 2012, 06:52 AM
While it is probably not a big deal, actual logos do have copyright concerns.

How much does this matter in a nonprofit mod educational that's not seeking official publisher support? For-profit publications replicate copyrighted logos all the time. Burger King and Ford might be angrier not to be included... ;)

lindsay40k
May 09, 2012, 06:57 AM
Combining corporations with events, is a very good idea, the more the better:thumbsup:. From Xyth's modder perspective, once-occuring events may be little rewarding, though, in regard to the amount of work they take. (Unless elaborated text is already provided, like in your example, perhaps:).)

Ah now, by making the event inducible by Espionage, it's no longer a once-in-a-blue-moon thing. Also, if the options in the event can always be voluntarily chosen by players mad at upkeep costs of TNC's - or wanting to turn their painstakingly constructed public seafood halls into cash cows - then it's also supplementing the existing civics system.

Of course, if you nationalise the assets of a TNC, then the Civ in which the corporat HQ is based is going to be a bit unhappy and incur a relations penalty... ;)

Nightstar
May 09, 2012, 06:04 PM
Corporations Overhaul - Stage One

General Mills
Agriculture, based in America
• Requires: Fertilizer, Great Scientist
• Consumes: Corn, Rice, Wheat, Potato, Sugar
• Provides: :food:
• Competitors: Barilla, McDonalds, Nestl้, Taiyo
[/LIST]

I see a potential balance problem here: This corp uses all four farm resources, which can be generated in substantial quantities via aggressive farming.

As an example of how this can be abused, in my current game I'm playing on a standard size Terra map. I started isolated on a mostly plains Australia analogue with just enough room for seven cities with minimal overlap. With so much low food terrain, I needed to build lots of farms to feed my population, and by turn 720 (on Odyssey, so that's only 40% of the way through the game) those farms have generated no less than *14* new food resources!

Xyth
May 09, 2012, 09:16 PM
Hi, I really like your mod! I had to pop in and contribute my ha'pennorth :)

Glad you're enjoying it and your input is most welcome.

I'm very impressed with your proposed 'balanced' corporations. Having recently mastered the Mining/Sushi combo as a Hannibal/Musa player, I'd definitely like to see a more balanced system, and I like how you're starting from the numbers.

Like many additions and changes, it will probably take several versions before we get it all balanced to our satisfaction, but we'll get there in the end.

I really like @atirtanadi's suggestion for public & private sector corporations. The idea of McDonalds' 'spawning' somewhere and the host country's government getting cosy with Big Meat and in effect subsidising attempts to ram it down every other country's throat is great!

Yeah it's a cool idea but it's going to be challenging from a technical point of view. By necessity, such a scheme will start out basic and develop over time.

And enabling players to both set up their own public sector car company if Toyota won't invest, or nationalise TNC's that are draining too much money, seems like a great counter to the issues of players 'hoarding' corporations or using them to drain money from everyone else. But then, why spread it abroad if they can just nationalise it?

This is probably further than I can take the system. Competition in the real world is generally between corporations of the same type (e.g., Toyota vs Ford vs VW), whereas in HR it needs to remain between corporations that need the same resources. Not as realistic, but considerably more practical in terms of game mechanics.

So in your example above, if Toyota is not spreading/investing in your civilization, you can't create your own public auto company to compete. You could, however, set up a public chemical company - BASF - that provides similar benefits.

Another way to implement it might be via 'franchise headquarters' but such an approach has potential balance issues with 14 corporations in play.

Oh, and expanding the corporation system to other NGOs seems cool as well. I'm trying to work out how Al Qaida would work... it'd have to be non faith-specific IMO.

I'm not likely to use all the corporation mechanics for other NGOs, primarily just the concept of something that can spread from city to city under certain conditions.

Didn't AQ basically arise as a result of the USA arming & funding the Mujahideen against the pro-Soviet Afghan government and the USSR marching in and pouring gas on the fire? So I guess a Civ 'reenactment' would be Russia giving the Afghan Empire some gifts to sweeten them up for a Defensive Pact, with America sending Spies into Afghan cities to perform 'influence Civics (Theocracy)' missions, with an objective of spoiling relations with a Russian leader who prefers the 'Free Religion' (or perhaps 'Rationalism') civic so that relations sour and the pact collapses.

I definitely won't be doing any reenactments as such. In a game of HR, Al Qaeda could be a fundamentalist Buddhist sect, harboured by the Romans and performing terrorist acts against the imperious Indonesians. Where they are founded and how they spread would be determined by factors such as civic choice, state religion, balance of power, etc. This is all still very much on the drawing board and will probably be handled primarily through the event system rather than player controlled units or buildings.

In fact, looking through all this, it occurs to me that each civic could perhaps have an NGO attached to it, with martyrs/activists/agitators who act as Spies in Civs not using that civic (with a limited range of options to convert, punish or resist the "oppressors"), or a missionary in civs that meet their approval... Amnesty, the IMF, the Fourth International, Stop The War, Greenpeace all lend themselves very nicely to pushing for a particular civic.

As mentioned earlier, it's very challenging to get the AI to understand 'non-standard' implications of the civic system. So while there should be NGO interaction with civics we have to be careful not to implement it in a way that a human player can utilize it in ways that the AI cannot.

Nothing remotely finalized yet, but I imagine each NGO would have a list of 'encouraging factors' and 'discouraging factors', which could be civics, buildings, diplomatic conditions, etc. These factors would guide where each NGO likes to establish itself and to who it would like to grant benefits and who it takes punitive action against.

I'd suggest a couple of things with relation to this: to increase the 'feel' of the Corporations being NGOs motivated by profit, here's an idea - 'Class Warfare' event:

I hope this representation of class warfare will be fun and entertaining regardless of the player's feelings about political economy.

There is a lot of scope for interesting events connected with corporations and other NGOs. I like your suggestions. I plan to do a lot of work with events though that probably won't happen until after 1.18 now.

Combining corporations with events, is a very good idea, the more the better:thumbsup:. From Xyth's modder perspective, once-occuring events may be little rewarding, though, in regard to the amount of work they take. (Unless elaborated text is already provided, like in your example, perhaps:).)

Combining corporations and civics would also be nice, but there are rather limited possibilities for a non SDK mod, mainly restricted to having civics modify the upkeep of corporations or controlling their spread.

The challenge is not adding new functionality to the civics, but teaching the AI to understand them. Regardless, I think some interaction between civics and corporations/NGOs is essential so hopefully I can come up with a reasonable implementation.

From a game playing standpoint, logos should be colorful and easily distinguished from each other. While it is probably not a big deal, actual logos do have copyright concerns. For me personally, using actual logos does not add anything.

I suspect just working off the current BTS logos adding enough variety would work fine. If that approach is relatively easy, I would just go for it.

How much does this matter in a nonprofit mod educational that's not seeking official publisher support? For-profit publications replicate copyrighted logos all the time. Burger King and Ford might be angrier not to be included... ;)

It's pretty unlikely HR would ever catch the attention of one of these corporations' legal teams and if so, they'd probably appreciate the free advertising. When it comes to the logos I'm more concerned with clarity, many don't scale well at all.

I see a potential balance problem here: This corp uses all four farm resources, which can be generated in substantial quantities via aggressive farming.

As an example of how this can be abused, in my current game I'm playing on a standard size Terra map. I started isolated on a mostly plains Australia analogue with just enough room for seven cities with minimal overlap. With so much low food terrain, I needed to build lots of farms to feed my population, and by turn 720 (on Odyssey, so that's only 40% of the way through the game) those farms have generated no less than *14* new food resources!

The corporations won't all have the same yield, I'll be taking into account how common their resources are and whether they obsolete. Some corporations may also have lower or higher maintenance/subsidies/dividends (still working out what's possible/desirable here).

lindsay40k
May 10, 2012, 05:01 AM
I definitely won't be doing any reenactments as such. In a game of HR, Al Qaeda could be a fundamentalist Buddhist sect, harboured by the Romans and performing terrorist acts against the imperious Indonesians.

Oh sure, I was just thinking out loud as to how a reenactment of sorts could end up occurring with a generic 'fundamentalism advocacy' NGO. I find it helpful sometimes to work backwards from a conclusion, to get an idea of where to start with the numbers and mechanics :)

atirtanadi
May 11, 2012, 12:25 PM
With regards to using real companies' names and logos - it's actually a trademark issue, not a copyright issue. The elements of proving infringement are different. In trademark cases, a plaintiff would basically need to show that the defendant's use of the mark was "likely to cause confusion." Since your not selling anything in HR, and not even in same the market as any of the mentioned corporations, it is unlikely there is "confusion" sufficient for infringement. (It would be a different story if you used a video game corporation's logo in your mod).

Still, its not inconceivable that you could receive a demand letter from one of these corporations. If that happened, you would have to rewrite your mod or hire a lawyer, which you may not want to do. To be safe it would probably be best just to use generic logos and to mix up the names (i.e. MacDougalds instead of McDonalds).

atirtanadi
May 11, 2012, 12:44 PM
So thanks for the positive feedback on my idea of public companies v. private ones. Just to respond to Lindsay40k - the benefit of having foreign private corporations in your civ is the higher productivity/food bonus' than you could receive if you nationalized a public company. The downside is that having a foreign corporation produces income which goes into the home civ's treasury - and you may not want to do that if they are your enemy. The private companies would also produce greater unhappiness and unhealthiness vs. the public ones.

Although - maybe you shouldn't be able to nationalize foreign corporations existing in your civ, just be able to nationalize your civ's own corporations. You can switch to bureaucracy to kick out all foreign corporations. Also, if you would nationalize your civ's corporation, any presence it had in other civ's would automatically disappear.

Basically private corporations give you less control, more unhappiness/unhealthiness, but much more productivity/food - and since they can spread to other civs, potentially more income. I don't think they should be "better" than public corps in HR though: because with public corps, you could do something like found all your corporations in the city you have with a stock exchange or aggressively spreading a corporation bonus' to all your cities. If you lack lots of happiness or healthiness resources, private corporations might also be more trouble than they are worth, because they might hurt your cities growth. Those are just a few of the gameplay choices that come to mind...

thanks!

Xyth
May 11, 2012, 08:58 PM
Status report on the Corporation Overhaul


I've made some minor tweaks to my proposed corporations. Flax moves from Bombay Dyeing to General Mills (which drops Potatoes) and is replaced by Furs, meaning Bombay Dyeing will compete with Hudson Bay. East India Company drops Tobacco (probably for the best given it's health penalty) and gains Gems, meaning it will compete with De Beers. The overall effect of this is that you can no longer have more than 2 commerce corporations in any city, and most cities can never have more than any type. There are only 2 combinations of 5 corporations possible (out of hundreds) and 6 or more in a single city is impossible.

Not all corporate HQs will give gold per city. Some will give research per city or culture per city instead (as listed in my earlier post, but with the food corporations also giving one of these commerces). The actual corporation branches will only give food, production, or commerce to the city they're in, based on number of resources available. I won't change HQs from world wonders to national wonders, but I might add 'Franchise HQs'; national wonders that grant a similar but smaller benefit (and possibly only available under certain civics).

I am most probably going to remove corporate maintenance. It's convoluted, unrealistic, and the AI doesn't manage it very well. I was hoping to adapt and tweak it into a subsidy/taxation system but the calculation is locked away in the DLL and I can't alter it to the level I hoped. Better it goes altogether. Instead I want all corporations to cause unhappiness (poor labour conditions) and unhealthiness (environmental disregard). These would be mitigated by the Social Welfare and Environmentalism civics, respectively.

The other civics that would definitely relate to corporations are Bureaucracy (which I might rename Protectionism), Free Market, and Industrialism. With the probable removal of maintenance I haven't yet determined what effects they will have. Protectionism will relate to public corporations and Free Market will relate to private corporations.

I don't know whether I'll make use of the 'No Corporations' or 'No Foreign Corporations' civic options yet. The latter makes thematic sense remaining at Protectionism (Bureaucracy) but it will depend how the other mechanics work out. There's no clear candidate for 'No Corporations' and I'm not sure there needs to be with the advent of public corporations.

I think I'll retain the founding of corporations by great people. It's a good mechanic and reasonably balanced so long as the corporation system itself is reasonably balanced. Whether a corporation starts out public or private will depend on the Economic civic you're running at the time of founding.

I'm imagining that public companies will act much like corporations do currently; you build executives and spread them manually with a cost in both production (building the executive) and wealth (spread cost). With private companies you give up control (can't build executives) and allow corporations to spread as they wish, but at no cost to you. That will be the key, and probably only, inherent difference between them. Any other differences would be done via civics (Protectionism and Free Market).

The biggest technical challenge at this point is how to implement the switch between public and private. It could be done with civics; via the existing ones or even by a new category. The former creates significant AI issues, the latter avoids many of them but feels excessive and disconnected. Both cases would need to be binary: all of a civ's corporations are privatized or nationalized with the same 'switch', and there would be no effect on foreign based corporations.

However, what I would really like to do is allow corporations to be privatized or nationalized via individual switches in the corporation advisor screen. With a system like this I might even be able to add franchising and 'takeovers'. This will take a lot of research, hard work, testing, and swearing, but I think it might be possible. If I do decide to attempt this, the privatization aspect of the scheme will need to wait till 1.19.

Let me know what you think of all this so far.

Still, its not inconceivable that you could receive a demand letter from one of these corporations. If that happened, you would have to rewrite your mod or hire a lawyer, which you may not want to do. To be safe it would probably be best just to use generic logos and to mix up the names (i.e. MacDougalds instead of McDonalds).

Not inconceivable, just unlikely. There are several other mods out there using real world corporation names and logos and they've yet to be challenged. I'm going with a mix of actual, derived, and invented logos for now and I'll quietly change that if I see one of the higher profile mods get sued :lol:

Simon_Jester
May 12, 2012, 02:31 AM
Hm, Xyth, a question.

What civic combination would you use to model the Soviet Union?

Xyth
May 12, 2012, 04:02 AM
Hm, Xyth, a question.

What civic combination would you use to model the Soviet Union?

Depends on who was in charge, but under Stalin I'd say Despotism, Authoritarianism, Industrialism, Redistribution or Protectionism, Standing Army, Rationalism. I'm no expert on the USSR though, or communism.

lindsay40k
May 12, 2012, 09:10 AM
Just to respond to Lindsay40k - the benefit of having foreign private corporations in your civ is the higher productivity/food bonus' than you could receive if you nationalized a public company. The downside is that having a foreign corporation produces income which goes into the home civ's treasury - and you may not want to do that if they are your enemy. The private companies would also produce greater unhappiness and unhealthiness vs. the public ones... Basically private corporations give you less control, more unhappiness/unhealthiness, but much more productivity/food - and since they can spread to other civs, potentially more income. I don't think they should be "better" than public corps in HR though

I like it, it has appeal to both left and right. Keep them both 'good in certain circumstances that are not unlikely'.

Although - maybe you shouldn't be able to nationalize foreign corporations existing in your civ, just be able to nationalize your civ's own corporations. You can switch to bureaucracy to kick out all foreign corporations.

I think both have merit.

A Free Marketeer will be happy to have investment from Transnational Corporations.

A Protectionist will want to kick out foreign corporations and nurture domestic business. (Perhaps Bureaucracy could hasten the spread of domestic corps?)

A Communist will want to take the assets of TNCs into public ownership. Which will, of course, incur a hefty relations penalty with the Civ where the corp is based... perhaps if that Civ is running Free Market, also give them a 'Would you like to consider this violation of private property an act of war against your people?' prompt.

Hmm. In the present day, there's controversy about less developed countries being forced by the IMF and World Bank to privatise utilities such as water and energy and those assets being snapped up by Western TNC's. I wonder if the public/private corp and tribute systems might support a vague approximation of this?

I'm no expert on the USSR though, or communism.

As it happens, I'm pretty well read on the history of communism, and would be happy to fill in any gaps that may help mod development. In fact, I'll digress a little here with another case study.

In the Russia of 1917, there was very little domestic-owned industry; most of the production was foreign-owned. Orthodox Marxists held that socialist demands have to wait until after business activity creates a nouveau riche who do a Cromwell/Washington and take power from the feudal lords and create a Parliamentary government. Lenin and Trotsky's position was that there wasn't a big enough domestic bourgeoisie to do this, and the foreign capitalists actually liked the authoritarian Tsar keeping the workers under the thumb; they advocated a Marxist vanguard party leading the revolution to overthrow the aristocracy and then the state industrialising the economy in a 'Permanent Revolution'. Hence the split between Bolsheviks who wanted to go ahead with a revolution there and then, and more dogmatic Marxists who wanted to encourage the capitalists to get on board with John Locke's brand of Liberalism.

Not opening up a debate on the October Revolution, just setting out the ideologies involved and illustrating how the nationalisation of foreign corporate assets was a big factor in a very significant historical event that IMO warrants representation in HR.

Also, if you would nationalize your civ's corporation, any presence it had in other civ's would automatically disappear.

Fair enough, a good commie doesn't want to exploit foreign workers :D

I've made some minor tweaks to my proposed corporations. (snip)

And very good they are.

Not all corporate HQs will give gold per city. Some will give research per city or culture per city instead (as listed in my earlier post, but with the food corporations also giving one of these commerces).

Again, excellent. I look forward to getting a tech firm set up next door to Oxford University!

I won't change HQs from world wonders to national wonders, but I might add 'Franchise HQs'; national wonders that grant a similar but smaller benefit (and possibly only available under certain civics).

Interesting.

Perhaps for public sector corps, they could be Ministries? Or to be less UK-centric, Departments?

The other civics that would definitely relate to corporations are Bureaucracy (which I might rename Protectionism), Free Market, and Industrialism. With the probable removal of maintenance I haven't yet determined what effects they will have. Protectionism will relate to public corporations and Free Market will relate to private corporations.

One thing that comes to mind... I like the idea of Free Market making general corporate spread more rapid. It elegantly represents lobbying in a fashion as simple and user-friendly as the way city health simplified pollution and sanitation. Now, Mercantilism brought with it a fairly minor benefit that was in most situations completely outweighed by the 'no foreign trade routes' penalty. But historically, Protectionism doesn't really relate to public corporations, it relates to domestic private corporations. So perhaps it should give their spread a major boost, whilst stopping or heavily choking foreign corporate spread?

Industrialism making all corporate branches public sector would be interesting. It could represent both full-on socialist government, and also a war economy in which shareholders are told that their profits are a secondary concern to national security.

I think I'll retain the founding of corporations by great people. It's a good mechanic and reasonably balanced so long as the corporation system itself is reasonably balanced. Whether a corporation starts out public or private will depend on the Economic civic you're running at the time of founding.

Agreed, I like the mechanic. Whether it be Kiichiro Toyoda founding Toyota, or Tony Benn founding the Meriden Workers Co-Operative!

I'm imagining that public companies will act much like corporations do currently; you build executives

Or perhaps, Civil Servants? :D

The biggest technical challenge at this point is how to implement the switch between public and private. It could be done with civics; via the existing ones or even by a new category.

I can't help but feel this is pulling things back to having a Communism/Marxism tech and a State Property civic...

However, what I would really like to do is allow corporations to be privatized or nationalized via individual switches in the corporation advisor screen.

This would certainly add depth and get away from an extreme black-and-white system, which is good. Especially if, say, a corporation is giving you benefit but is closing branches, and you want to keep its facilities running.

If I do decide to attempt this, the privatization aspect of the scheme will need to wait till 1.19.

I think it would probably be a good thing to playtest the balance of the new corporations first, and then roll out the more extreme changes to the system later. So this wouldn't be a problem IMO.

There are several other mods out there using real world corporation names and logos and they've yet to be challenged.

Heck, if Nintendo don't care about Advance Wars By Web, I reckon the modding community must be pretty low on the radar of corporate lawyers :)

Nightstar
May 12, 2012, 11:32 AM
Let me know what you think of all this so far.


So far I really like what I see. I'm looking forward to playing around with it in 1.18.

Azoth
Jun 15, 2012, 02:16 AM
First impressions of the proposed corporate mechanics:


I like your selection of corporations. I think you should use their real logos wherever possible. I'm not fond of the generic logos in BtS; much like generic names, I feel they break player immersion. (And I certainly wouldn't worry about finding sternly worded letters in the mail.)
I feel the food corporations are a bit bland. Food corporations are only as strong as their yield-to-resource ratios; so long as you keep these below 0.5:food: per resource (on Standard maps), I think you can afford a second flavour bonus. Apart from beakers, gold, and culture, what can you code: bonus espionage? city defense? trade routes?
I'm not quite sold on the commerce corporations. You have to sacrifice a lot of commerce to found and spread corporations. (Great Scientists can often deliver 2000:science: instantly and Great Merchants can easily top 2000:gold: in trade missions.) Granted, you also have to spend hammers to train Executives; but it's often useful to spend hammers now for more hammers later, say when building spaceship parts. And, yet, it's rarely worthwhile to spend commerce now for more commerce later. I guess what I'm saying is: apart from culture corporations for Culture Victories, I'm not sure commerce corporations will break even soon enough to be useful. There's a fine line between "always a good idea" and "barely worthwhile."
I am strongly in favour of eliminating corporate maintenance. It IS clunky. I think the per city bonus from corporate headquarters probably needs to be toned down to match. Otherwise, all Corporations will always run at a profit, which might not be ideal. (I do like the idea that the per city bonus will not always be gold.)
I'm intrigued by the health and happiness penalties for corporations, and the public/private dichotomy. It will add a lot of depth to the system. I will say that I much prefer the name 'Bureaucracy' to 'Protectionism.' Bureaucracy implies regulation limiting corporate growth; Protectionism implies regulation limiting foreign trade. Since you are focused on the former, I would keep the name as is.
Finally, I approve of Franchise Headquarters as National Wonders. It should allow empires that weren't the first to discover a certain technology, or weren't lucky enough to produce a certain Great Person, to share in the benefits of corporations.

Howard Mahler
Jun 15, 2012, 07:40 PM
Might it be simpler, at least initially, to just have some of your many corporations be private and some be public, set in advance by you.

Once you see how this all works, you can get more complicated in future versions.
(Random, or by civic, or by player choice, etc.)

Just a thought.

Xyth
Jun 15, 2012, 08:02 PM
I like your selection of corporations. I think you should use their real logos wherever possible. I'm not fond of the generic logos in BtS; much like generic names, I feel they break player immersion. (And I certainly wouldn't worry about finding sternly worded letters in the mail.)

Real Logo: Bombay Dyeing, McDonalds, Toyota
Derived Logo: General Mills, Hudson Bay, Nestl้
Invented Logo: Aramco, Barilla, BASF, Rio Tinto
Firaxis Logo: De Beers, Taiyo, Vinci

That's how it ended up. 'Derived Logo' means I haven't used their best known logo but have instead created a new logo using other aspects of a corporation's branding. I may adapt or create new logos in the future for the last three corporations in that list, but the Firaxis logos work well enough for now.

I feel the food corporations are a bit bland. Food corporations are only as strong as their yield-to-resource ratios; so long as you keep these below 0.5:food: per resource (on Standard maps), I think you can afford a second flavour bonus.

Food corporations are getting additional commerces after all. They way I've decided to do it is that corporations only provide food, production, or commerce in the cities they're in. The Wealth, Research, or Culture bonus is headquarters only. Also (at least in 1.18) all corporations will grant the same yield per resource in cities, none are better or worse than the others. The Headquarters bonus per city does vary though, and this variance is based on how common the corporation's resources are.

So, to give an example, Barilla has the rarest resources of all the food corporations, while Taiyo has the most common (even without Fish). They'll both give the same food per resource, but Barilla's HQ will provide a more to it's city than Taiyo's HQ will. I feel this creates an interesting dynamic, not only when choosing corporations to found, but also when deciding which foreign corporations to encourage in your borders and which to encourage in theirs.

Having identical corporate branch yields also makes it MUCH easier to scale the system sensibly with map size.

Apart from beakers, gold, and culture, what can you code: bonus espionage? city defense? trade routes?

The mechanics support espionage, and I'm thinking of using that for some non-corporate organizations in the future. Corporations can also provide a resource a la Standard Ethanol, and can apparently provide a free unit, though I've not tested that to see how it works. Anything else needs to be custom coded and thus runs into potential AI difficulties.

I'm not quite sold on the commerce corporations. You have to sacrifice a lot of commerce to found and spread corporations. (Great Scientists can often deliver 2000:science: instantly and Great Merchants can easily top 2000:gold: in trade missions.) Granted, you also have to spend hammers to train Executives; but it's often useful to spend hammers now for more hammers later, say when building spaceship parts. And, yet, it's rarely worthwhile to spend commerce now for more commerce later. I guess what I'm saying is: apart from culture corporations for Culture Victories, I'm not sure commerce corporations will break even soon enough to be useful. There's a fine line between "always a good idea" and "barely worthwhile."

The commerce corporations will give more wealth and culture to their headquarters than most of the other corporation types will (Barilla and Nestl้ being the exceptions due to their resources being rarer, though this may change once I adjust the numbers for the improvement changes we're making).

I am strongly in favour of eliminating corporate maintenance. It IS clunky. I think the per city bonus from corporate headquarters probably needs to be toned down to match. Otherwise, all Corporations will always run at a profit, which might not be ideal. (I do like the idea that the per city bonus will not always be gold.)

As mentioned, rather than reducing HQ income, I'm having the corporate branches provide only yield and not specific commerces.

I'm intrigued by the health and happiness penalties for corporations, and the public/private dichotomy. It will add a lot of depth to the system.

Note that health and happiness penalties are coming in 1.18 but the public/private mechanics won't be. They're going to take a ton of work to implement.

I will say that I much prefer the name 'Bureaucracy' to 'Protectionism.' Bureaucracy implies regulation limiting corporate growth; Protectionism implies regulation limiting foreign trade. Since you are focused on the former, I would keep the name as is.

That's a useful way to look at it.

Finally, I approve of Franchise Headquarters as National Wonders. It should allow empires that weren't the first to discover a certain technology, or weren't lucky enough to produce a certain Great Person, to share in the benefits of corporations.

I'm not sure they'll be needed with 14 corporations in play, but we'll see. They wouldn't be too hard to add but I'd prefer to try the system without them in 1.18 first.

Xyth
Jun 15, 2012, 08:24 PM
Might it be simpler, at least initially, to just have some of your many corporations be private and some be public, set in advance by you.

Once you see how this all works, you can get more complicated in future versions.
(Random, or by civic, or by player choice, etc.)

Just a thought.

Once the public/private mechanics are in, whether a corporation begins public or private will depend on the economic civic you're running. That's easy to implement, the challenging aspect is coding the means to change that state later.

Xyth
Jun 21, 2012, 02:07 AM
Since corporate maintenance is being removed, the Free Market civic needs a new, corporation-related bonus. There are two candidates:


50% faster production of Corporate Executives
Corporation spread costs are refunded


If the public/private mechanic is implemented (after 1.18) then this civic may be redesigned further, but in the meantime, which of the above options seems most useful?

Keinpferd
Jun 21, 2012, 04:07 AM
Which of the above options seems most useful?

50 percent faster production would reduce the time to build an Executive from about three turns to maybe one turn on Normal speed in your most productive cities, as far as I remember from my game. :dunno:

How about letting Free Market grant a (Python created) free Executive once in a while as the reward of encouraging self-initiative and free enterprise?

Azoth
Jun 23, 2012, 12:39 AM
Food corporations are getting additional commerces after all. They way I've decided to do it is that corporations only provide food, production, or commerce in the cities they're in. The Wealth, Research, or Culture bonus is headquarters only. Also (at least in 1.18) all corporations will grant the same yield per resource in cities, none are better or worse than the others. The Headquarters bonus per city does vary though, and this variance is based on how common the corporation's resources are.

So, to give an example, Barilla has the rarest resources of all the food corporations, while Taiyo has the most common (even without Fish). They'll both give the same food per resource, but Barilla's HQ will provide a more to it's city than Taiyo's HQ will. I feel this creates an interesting dynamic, not only when choosing corporations to found, but also when deciding which foreign corporations to encourage in your borders and which to encourage in theirs.

Hmm. I'm not sure I like this model. Attaching the Wealth, Research, and Culture bonus to the Headquarters instead of the corporation merely concentrates the bonus in a single city. This greatly simplifies corporate strategy: Wealth corporations should be paired with the Stock Exchange, Research corporations should be paired with the Academy, and Culture corporations should not be founded at all, unless pursuing a Culture Victory. Culture is the real outlier here. In most cases, corporate culture is only useful for extending the borders of outlying cities; a little extra culture in a mature city is useless. However, every scrap of corporate culture is useful for a Cultural Victory; and if a corporation spreads far enough, a single Headquarters might produce more culture than all the theatres and taverns and monasteries of earlier ages. This leaves Culture corporations in an odd place: as either a ticket to success, or not worth thinking about, depending on the game.

I still prefer attaching the Wealth, Research, and Culture bonus directly to corporations and replacing the per city Headquarters bonus with various unique and percentage modifiers. For example, assuming Barilla and Taiyo are slated to be food/culture corporations, I might suggest the following:

Barilla
Mediterranean Food, based in Italy
• Requires: Sociology, Great Artist
• Consumes: Wheat, Rice, Olives, Spice, Wine
• Provides: 0.30:food: and 0.40:culture: per resource
• Competitors: General Mills, McDonalds, Nestl้, Taiyo

Headquarters
• +50% trade route yield, +1:gp: (Great Artist)
• +5%:food: with Wheat
• +5%:food: with Rice
• +20%:culture: with Olives
• +10%:commerce: with Spices
• +30%:culture: with Wine


Taiyo
Seafood, based in Japan
• Requires: Labour Unions, Great Merchant
• Consumes: Shellfish, Crab, Whale, Rice, Salt
• Provides: 0.40:food: and 0.20:culture: per resource
• Competitors: Barilla, General Mills, McDonalds, Hudson Bay

Headquarters
• +2:health:, +1:gp: (Great Merchant)
• +10%:culture: with Shellfish
• +10%:culture: with Crab
• +10%:culture: with Whale
• +5%:food: with Rice
• +10%:commerce: with Salt

This way, players receive the Wealth, Research, and Culture bonus in each city instead of at the headquarters; and Not all of it can be magnified by a Stock Exchange or some such. At the same time, players are encouraged to collect at least one copy of each resource to power their Headquarter multipliers. The unique Headquarter bonuses and mismatched yields add flavour, but these can be standardized for balance. The only thing missing is an incentive to spread the corporation to foreign cities; only a per city bonus can offer that.

Since corporate maintenance is being removed, the Free Market civic needs a new, corporation-related bonus. There are two candidates:


50% faster production of Corporate Executives
Corporation spread costs are refunded


If the public/private mechanic is implemented (after 1.18) then this civic may be redesigned further, but in the meantime, which of the above options seems most useful?

"Corporation spread costs are refunded" seems more useful - but it might be too strong in the case of corporate takeovers. (Corporation spread costs are higher in cities with competing corporations.) In fact, I might suggest it as a leader trait. Consider:

Financial
• +1:commerce: per city
• double production speed of Market, Bank
• corporation spread costs are refunded
Removed: 1% compound interest earned on :gold:

Enterprising
• allows 1 merchant in every city
• +1 trade route per city
• roadway construction costs are refunded
Removed: free promotion (Sentry) for Recon, Naval

Either way, I would stick with "50% faster production of Executives" for Free Market. Alternatively, you could add a building requirement to Executives, say a Bank. Free Market would then read "can build Executives without Banks," much like Organized Religion with Missionaries.

(That's probably more ideas than you were expecting. :))

Simon_Jester
Jun 23, 2012, 03:40 AM
For some reason, I find "Free Market is to the economy as Organized Religion is to religion" a very appealing idea.

Xyth
Jun 23, 2012, 10:26 PM
Hmm. I'm not sure I like this model. Attaching the Wealth, Research, and Culture bonus to the Headquarters instead of the corporation merely concentrates the bonus in a single city. This greatly simplifies corporate strategy: Wealth corporations should be paired with the Stock Exchange, Research corporations should be paired with the Academy,

It's the same in BTS, only with the addition of different commerces, so its not simplification at all. Placing your headquarters is not meant to be the strategic part of the system, spreading corporations is.

and Culture corporations should not be founded at all, unless pursuing a Culture Victory. Culture is the real outlier here. In most cases, corporate culture is only useful for extending the borders of outlying cities; a little extra culture in a mature city is useless. However, every scrap of corporate culture is useful for a Cultural Victory; and if a corporation spreads far enough, a single Headquarters might produce more culture than all the theatres and taverns and monasteries of earlier ages. This leaves Culture corporations in an odd place: as either a ticket to success, or not worth thinking about, depending on the game.

There are only 4 Culture corporations (Barilla, Vinci, Bombay Dyeing, De Beers) out of 14, so I don't consider this much of an issue. A player will try and found/spread the ones that suits their strategy best. If a player is pushing for a cultural victory then their opponents can try and slow down the spread of that player's commerce corporation by spreading a competing corporation in its place.

This way, players receive the Wealth, Research, and Culture bonus in each city instead of at the headquarters; and Not all of it can be magnified by a Stock Exchange or some such.

Well, the individual cities can get wealth/research/culture bonuses - via the commerce corporations. Indirect yes, but flexible and you can have two of them in a city as well as a food and production corporation.

My main reason for excluding wealth/research/culture from the city bonus is that it is considerably harder to balance the 'per bonus' mechanic than it is the 'per city' mechanic, especially when it comes to mapsize scaling. I'm not adverse to adding wealth/research/culture to cities later but lets get everything else balanced first. I do not want to remove the 'per city' mechanic though, see below.

At the same time, players are encouraged to collect at least one copy of each resource to power their Headquarter multipliers. The unique Headquarter bonuses and mismatched yields add flavour, but these can be standardized for balance.

Resources can only grant food, production or commerce modifiers to a building; they cannot be made to grant wealth, research, culture or espionage. The incentive to have at least one of each resource already exists via regular buildings.

The only thing missing is an incentive to spread the corporation to foreign cities; only a per city bonus can offer that.

Without incentive to spread corporations to foreign cities, corporate strategy is reduced to "found corporations you like, spread them to your cities, done." There's little competition, little multinationalism, and this completely defeats the point of the system in my opinion. The 'commerce per city' mechanic is easily fine tuneable and scales perfectly with mapsize, I see no reason not to use it. As mentioned earlier, headquarter placement isn't meant to be all that strategic and even with your proposed changes it still doesn't vary much from 'put it in the city with the highest modifiers'.

Competition needs to be an essential part of the system - you want to spread your corporations but you also have to think about blocking your opponents corporations as well. Sometimes that might mean letting one rival's corporation spread in order to curb the influence of another's.

"Corporation spread costs are refunded" seems more useful - but it might be too strong in the case of corporate takeovers. (Corporation spread costs are higher in cities with competing corporations.) In fact, I might suggest it as a leader trait. Consider:

Financial
• +1:commerce: per city
• double production speed of Market, Bank
• corporation spread costs are refunded
Removed: 1% compound interest earned on :gold:

I wouldn't be sad to see Financial's interest bonus disappear. I know some people love it but it has been a pain to balance. Corporate spread costs being refunded is an appropriately powerful replacement but I worry that it's no use for much of the game and then too strong when it does kick in - at a time when many other traits no longer provide as many benefits (unlocked civics, etc).

Enterprising
• allows 1 merchant in every city
• +1 trade route per city
• roadway construction costs are refunded
Removed: free promotion (Sentry) for Recon, Naval

Not sure on this one.

Either way, I would stick with "50% faster production of Executives" for Free Market.

That's what I'm using at the moment. Free Market has also gained unlimited merchant specialists (formerly at Professionalism) so it's better that the bonus is a smaller one (more so since it's effectively invisible to the AI).

Alternatively, you could add a building requirement to Executives, say a Bank. Free Market would then read "can build Executives without Banks," much like Organized Religion with Missionaries.

Hmm. What if the building requirement was the actual corporate headquarters?

Azoth
Jun 26, 2012, 03:13 AM
Well, the individual cities can get wealth/research/culture bonuses - via the commerce corporations. Indirect yes, but flexible and you can have two of them in a city as well as a food and production corporation.

Having thought about it some more, I agree this system will work fine. I have to keep reminding myself that with 14 corporations available, most players will be using three or four per city instead of just one or two, like in BtS.

There are only 4 Culture corporations (Barilla, Vinci, Bombay Dyeing, De Beers) out of 14, so I don't consider this much of an issue. A player will try and found/spread the ones that suits their strategy best. If a player is pushing for a cultural victory then their opponents can try and slow down the spread of that player's commerce corporation by spreading a competing corporation in its place.

Ah, but I'm still not convinced that per city culture bonuses for corporate headquarters are good idea. They're only useful for Culture Victories, and I can't see players sacrificing a Great Person simply to deny a corporate headquarters to the AI. What if culture corporations were the exception to the rule? They could provide culture per resource, which would be useful for both Culture Victories and for cultural battles in border cities. In exchange, the corporate headquarters would provide only a flat +50%:culture:, equivalent to a Great Temple or Hit resource Wonder.

Without incentive to spread corporations to foreign cities, corporate strategy is reduced to "found corporations you like, spread them to your cities, done." There's little competition, little multinationalism, and this completely defeats the point of the system in my opinion. The 'commerce per city' mechanic is easily fine tuneable and scales perfectly with mapsize, I see no reason not to use it. As mentioned earlier, headquarter placement isn't meant to be all that strategic and even with your proposed changes it still doesn't vary much from 'put it in the city with the highest modifiers'.

Competition needs to be an essential part of the system - you want to spread your corporations but you also have to think about blocking your opponents corporations as well. Sometimes that might mean letting one rival's corporation spread in order to curb the influence of another's.

The problem with spreading corporations to foreign cities is that it creates more competition for corporate resources. If you spread Barilla to your neighbours, they will no longer trade you their excess Olives and Wine; in fact, they will compete for the excess Olives and Wine of other empires. This is a problem common to BtS, and the per city Headquarters bonuses cannot compensate for the lost resources. That's why I feel corporate strategy is reduced to "found corporations you like, spread them to your cities, done" anyway.

I wouldn't be sad to see Financial's interest bonus disappear. I know some people love it but it has been a pain to balance. Corporate spread costs being refunded is an appropriately powerful replacement but I worry that it's no use for much of the game and then too strong when it does kick in - at a time when many other traits no longer provide as many benefits (unlocked civics, etc).

Some traits are stronger in the early game and some traits are stronger in the late game. Expansive is best early, when city sizes are small and most of the world is unclaimed. Humane is best late, when Golden Ages are frequent and pollution levels are high. That said, all traits should provide some benefit throughout the game. Financial fits the bill: a small commerce boost early, a mid game production boost on buildings, and a strong corporate bonus in the late game. I would make the change. (In fact, I might even bump the bonus to +2:commerce: per city.)

Not sure on this one.

The reason I like "roadway costs are refunded" as a leader trait is because it fundamentally changes game play. Those lucky leaders can build roads wherever they wish: on every tile if they can spare the Workers! That's much more interesting than an incremental bonus such as +10%:science:. Other "radical" leader traits include Spiritual (customize your civics every 5 turns!) and Protective (only the cities, not the countryside, are vulnerable to attack!)

But maybe Enterprising is wrong leader trait? How about this?

Enterprising
• Allows 1 Merchant in every city
• +1 trade route in every city
• Sentry promotion for Helicopter, Mounted, Naval units

Industrious
• +1 production per city
• Workers build improvements 50% faster
• Double production speed of Forge

Judicial
• All Government civics available
• -50% civic upkeep
• +1 happiness from Jail, Courthouse
Removed: +100% defense against espionage and spies

Organized
• +50% faster production of Worker, Workboat
• roadway costs are refunded
• Double production speed of Library

The rationale for the reshuffled bonuses: Organized Workers can be trained quickly (+50% faster production) while Industrious workers are more efficient in the field (build improvements +50% faster). Organized leaders also invest in national infrastructure (roadway costs are refunded). Judicial leaders deliver more stable societies (-50% civic upkeep). All Scouts start with the Sentry promotion, to better compete with Warriors with +50%:strength: vs. Animals. Thus, Enterprising leaders provide Sentry promotions to more exotic units. "100% defense against espionage" is cut because its effects cannot be directly observed. (That's no fun.)

That's what I'm using at the moment. Free Market has also gained unlimited merchant specialists (formerly at Professionalism) so it's better that the bonus is a smaller one (more so since it's effectively invisible to the AI).

Really? I thought unlimited merchants worked well Professionalism; by the time Free Market arrives, many cities have built Markets and Grocers, and don't need the extra specialists. And I can't think of civic better suited to "+50% trade route yield" than Free Market. Democracy doesn't quite fit.

Hmm. What if the building requirement was the actual corporate headquarters?

I was just about to suggest that. In fact, we could take it one step further. What if Executives had building and technology requirements, but didn't require that the corporation be present in the city? Under most civics, they could be trained only at the corporate headquarters. But under Free Market they could be trained in any city, even one without the corporation, so long as the technology requirements were met. That way, players under Free Market could spread foreign corporations without having to conquer a foreign city or wait for the AI to send an Executive. And we wouldn't have to bother with clunky franchise National Wonders.

Xyth
Jun 27, 2012, 05:06 AM
Ah, but I'm still not convinced that per city culture bonuses for corporate headquarters are good idea. They're only useful for Culture Victories, and I can't see players sacrificing a Great Person simply to deny a corporate headquarters to the AI. What if culture corporations were the exception to the rule? They could provide culture per resource, which would be useful for both Culture Victories and for cultural battles in border cities. In exchange, the corporate headquarters would provide only a flat +50%:culture:, equivalent to a Great Temple or Hit resource Wonder.

Lets see how it goes and review it later if need be. I'd like to find a more general way of making culture a bit more desirable in interior cities.

The problem with spreading corporations to foreign cities is that it creates more competition for corporate resources. If you spread Barilla to your neighbours, they will no longer trade you their excess Olives and Wine; in fact, they will compete for the excess Olives and Wine of other empires. This is a problem common to BtS, and the per city Headquarters bonuses cannot compensate for the lost resources. That's why I feel corporate strategy is reduced to "found corporations you like, spread them to your cities, done" anyway.

Yeah that's definitely a flaw. Still, not all civilizations will have the relevant resources and its good strategy to spread your corporations to civs that benefit the least. Just like in BTS, you can have corporations designated for domestic spread and corporations designated for foreign spread. Some multinationalism is better than none at all.

Some traits are stronger in the early game and some traits are stronger in the late game. Expansive is best early, when city sizes are small and most of the world is unclaimed. Humane is best late, when Golden Ages are frequent and pollution levels are high. That said, all traits should provide some benefit throughout the game. Financial fits the bill: a small commerce boost early, a mid game production boost on buildings, and a strong corporate bonus in the late game. I would make the change. (In fact, I might even bump the bonus to +2:commerce: per city.)

I'll put it in.

The reason I like "roadway costs are refunded" as a leader trait is because it fundamentally changes game play. Those lucky leaders can build roads wherever they wish: on every tile if they can spare the Workers! That's much more interesting than an incremental bonus such as +10%:science:. Other "radical" leader traits include Spiritual (customize your civics every 5 turns!) and Protective (only the cities, not the countryside, are vulnerable to attack!)

Yeah it has potential, I'm just not sure if it should be a trait or a wonder. Will keep it in mind for later.

I was just about to suggest that. In fact, we could take it one step further. What if Executives had building and technology requirements, but didn't require that the corporation be present in the city? Under most civics, they could be trained only at the corporate headquarters. But under Free Market they could be trained in any city, even one without the corporation, so long as the technology requirements were met. That way, players under Free Market could spread foreign corporations without having to conquer a foreign city or wait for the AI to send an Executive. And we wouldn't have to bother with clunky franchise National Wonders.

It's an intriguing idea, I'll definitely look into it for 1.19.

Xyth
Jun 28, 2012, 07:12 PM
I'm interested in everyone's thoughts on 'yield per resource' numbers for corporations, particularly how they scale with mapsize. I have something in place but I'm curious to see what your expectations are without me biasing it. Remember that cities can now have 3-4 corporations in them - in most cases up to 1 food corp, 1 production corp, and 2 commerce corps.

How many resources do you feel it should take to grant 1 yield on a Standard map? A Huge map? Or whichever size you play most?

Nightstar
Jun 29, 2012, 04:01 PM
I'm interested in everyone's thoughts on 'yield per resource' numbers for corporations, particularly how they scale with mapsize. I have something in place but I'm curious to see what your expectations are without me biasing it. Remember that cities can now have 3-4 corporations in them - in most cases up to 1 food corp, 1 production corp, and 2 commerce corps.

This may be a bit tangential, but do the health and happiness penalties scale with the number of resources consumed, or is it just a flat amount for the corporation being present?

If the latter, then with the removal of corporate maintenance costs, there is *no* disincentive to accumulating as many of your corp-used resources as you can manage.

How many resources do you feel it should take to grant 1 yield on a Standard map? A Huge map? Or whichever size you play most?

Ideally, this should depend on how common a particular corp's resources are. Unfortunately, I suspect that this will vary depending on which mapscript is used during world generation (please correct me if I'm misunderstanding how that works). Also, the new resource discovery mechanics provide further complication, and will also vary considerably depending on the prevalence of terrain types on any given map type.

Overall, I would recommend erring on the side of caution and setting most of the yields on the low side, perhaps 0.5 to 0.25 for a Standard size map. Maybe even lower than that. (I can't really comment on the larger map sizes, as my hardware limitations make using them a bad idea.)

Azoth
Jun 30, 2012, 12:24 AM
Overall, I would recommend erring on the side of caution and setting most of the yields on the low side, perhaps 0.5 to 0.25 for a Standard size map. Maybe even lower than that. (I can't really comment on the larger map sizes, as my hardware limitations make using them a bad idea.)

I agree with Nightstar. 0.25 to 0.5 per resource on Standard maps sounds about right. (Here's my math: Unless I go conquering on a grand scale, I usually have a 10 city empire on Standard maps. So do my rivals. Assuming each city has, on average, 1 copy of one of 5 corporate resources, I can expect to have 10 domestic resources in all. At best, I might manage to acquire 10 more resources through foreign trade. With 10-20 resources and a yield of 0.4 per resource, a food corporation would produce 4-8 food per city. Add the headquarters bonuses and it feels strong but not too strong.)

Note that Sid's Sushi provides 1 food per resource on Standard maps; and even on single landmass maps, taking corporate maintenance into account, it's quite powerful. So I can't see yields rising much above 0.5 per resource. As for other map sizes, I would scale the yield by the number of tiles on the map. If Tiny maps have, on average, one-fourth the tiles that Standard maps do, they should have four times the yield per resource.

This may be a bit tangential, but do the health and happiness penalties scale with the number of resources consumed, or is it just a flat amount for the corporation being present?

If the latter, then with the removal of corporate maintenance costs, there is *no* disincentive to accumulating as many of your corp-used resources as you can manage.

Good question. Xyth mentioned a flat 1:yuck: and 1:mad: per corporation in another thread, but even if the penalties scaled, they would be nullified by the Social Welfare and Environmentalism civics. We may want to consider a resource cap for corporations, if possible. (Say, no more than 30 resources on Standard size.) Otherwise, you're right, corporate yields for large empires could get out of hand.

Nightstar
Jun 30, 2012, 11:57 AM
Note that Sid's Sushi provides 1 food per resource on Standard maps

I thought Sushi gave 0.5 food and 2 culture on Standard maps?

We may want to consider a resource cap for corporations, if possible. (Say, no more than 30 resources on Standard size.)

If this is possible at all, then raising or lowering the cap could be an interesting alternative for the late Economic civics (say, cap doubled with Free Market, but halved by Environmentalism).

Azoth
Jun 30, 2012, 04:46 PM
I thought Sushi gave 0.5 food and 2 culture on Standard maps?

You're right! My mistake. It's been a long time since I played BtS; I must be remembering a game on a different map size. In that case, even 0.5:food: per resource might be too much...

If this is possible at all, then raising or lowering the cap could be an interesting alternative for the late Economic civics (say, cap doubled with Free Market, but halved by Environmentalism).

Agreed. Very interesting indeed.

Howard Mahler
Jun 30, 2012, 05:19 PM
Whatever it is for Sid's Sushi currently, it should be between 1/3 and 1/2 that, in my opinion. In other words, the amount of food granted by Sid's Sushi currently is too high, assuming the current type of benefit formula.

Presumably there should be the same type of scaling for map size as currently for number of courthouses you need in order to build the Forbidden Palace.

A more fundamental issue, is that currently, the total impact of a corporation goes up as approximately proportionally with N^2, where N is the number of cities in an empire. Bigger empires have more resources (as well as can trade for more resources) on the one hand, and can put the corporation in more of its own cities on the other hand.

I think the benefit formula should be changed if possible.

Let R be the number of a given resource you have and let N be the number of your cities with a corporation that uses that resource.
Just as an example, the benefit in each city could be proportional to:
Max[3, 1 + 2R/N].

So if for example you have 2 corn and 2 cities with corporations that use corn, then the benefit in each of those 2 cities is proportional to 3.
If instead you have 2 corn and 5 cities with corporations that use corn, then the benefit in each of those cities is proportional to 1.8.
If you have 2 corn and 10 cities with corporations that use corn, then the benefit in each of those cities is proportional to 1.4.
If you have 5 corn and 10 cities with corporations that use corn, then the benefit in each of those cities is proportional to 2.
If you have 10 corn and 10 cities with corporations that use corn, then the benefit in each of those cities is proportional to 3.

Under this formula, or some similar formula, larger empires which have more of a given resource and also can have the corporation in more cities, will get approximately the same benefit per city as do smaller empires. Also the benefit per city has a hard cap, regardless of how many of a resource you have.

Under the current system, larger empires which have more of a given resource and also can also have the corporation in more cities, get approximately a proportional higher benefit per city than do smaller empires.

I'm interested in everyone's thoughts on 'yield per resource' numbers for corporations, particularly how they scale with mapsize. I have something in place but I'm curious to see what your expectations are without me biasing it. Remember that cities can now have 3-4 corporations in them - in most cases up to 1 food corp, 1 production corp, and 2 commerce corps.

How many resources do you feel it should take to grant 1 yield on a Standard map? A Huge map? Or whichever size you play most?

Xyth
Jun 30, 2012, 06:53 PM
I cannot change the formula or add a cap to it. I could possibly add more :mad: and :yuck: the higher the yield produced though, and change Social Welfare and Environmentalism to reduce rather than completely mitigate the ill effects. It's a bit complex to code though, as there is no easy way to detect when a city has obtained or lost access to a resource. I want to see how the existing code works first; I had to code an entire 'civic change detection' system to make it work, and we need to play test the corporations a bit to get an idea of their power.

I've currently got yield per resource set to 0.34 (1:3) on Standard maps.

Eucalyptus
Jul 01, 2012, 05:06 AM
...
A more fundamental issue, is that currently, the total impact of a corporation goes up as approximately proportionally with N^2, where N is the number of cities in an empire. Bigger empires have more resources (as well as can trade for more resources) on the one hand, and can put the corporation in more of its own cities on the other hand.

I think the benefit formula should be changed if possible.

Let R be the number of a given resource you have and let N be the number of your cities with a corporation that uses that resource.
Just as an example, the benefit in each city could be proportional to:
Max[3, 1 + 2R/N].

...

This is a good analysis of a real issue! It's a pity that Xyth says that it's uncodeable. I hope that there is another way to address it ...

Simon_Jester
Jul 02, 2012, 08:02 PM
Having the corporation create sickness as a function of resource availability would work well for a lot of the 'industrial' or 'economic' corps.

For the food-producing corporations it's not so useful. Food creation is desirable precisely because it lets you have very large cities (or to grow existing small cities quickly, which is less of an issue in a built-up industrialized world). Sickness and unhappiness act as caps on the size of a city. So don't bother adding sickness to a food-making corporation (even McDonalds, heh); just reduce its food production until it comes into line with what you want.

lindsay40k
Jul 15, 2012, 07:54 PM
I'm quite looking forward to testing the new Corporate system - despite being a proper pinko IRL, I love playing BTS as a robber baron :D

In fact, whilst out on a jog, it occurred to me that the Corporate system could not only be a tool with which to leverage towards existing victory conditions, but might also present a couple of interesting new victories (assuming previous discussions on making a public vs private sector will bear fruit in a later version).

Then, I typed my ideas up, and realised that they blatantly constituted 'win buttons' for anyone who knows how to organise GP production, and so instead let's call them a couple of new Quests in a similar vein to Hostile takeover, with as-yet unknown rewards for success - and Nimoy-style flavour quotes ready and waiting:

Corporate Hegemony: Over 50% of Corporations must be founded; over 50% of existing Corporate HQs must be under your control; all of your Corporations have at least one foreign branch. "The trade of the world must and shall be ours." - U.S. Senator Albert J. Beveridge

Quest can initiate when: You found a foreign branch of one of your Corporations.

Reward for success: Easier propagation of your Corporations in foreign cities?

Planned Economy: You are filtering every non-obsoleting resource in the game through at least one Public Sector corporate branch, somewhere in your Empire. - "Socialism as such cannot be considered the solution to all social problems, but merely as a framework within which such a solution is possible." - Albert Einstein

Quest can initiate when: You have a Public Sector Corporate branch, OR you have every non-obsoleting resource in the game on your network.

Reward for success: Public Sector Corporations yield as if they were Private Sector?

Howard Mahler
Aug 02, 2012, 08:28 PM
The corporation system seems OK based on the one game I have played (still in progress.)

I am finding that the most powerful corporation is Taiyo.
This is because I am playing as usual on an Archipelago map with plenty of water and seafood. Good thing that fish are not a resource used by any corporation.

I am finding that Rio Tinto is the next most powerful. On a Giant Map I am currently getting 5 hammers per city from Rio Tinto, although this requires some trading.

I think that requiring in addition the building of branch in a city before you get the benefit of the corporation in that city would be an improvement. If any tweaks are made, the whole system will need to be rebalanced.

Jarlaxe Baenre
Aug 08, 2012, 04:21 PM
Just a slight nitpick: It's not Hudson Bay Company, it's Hudson's Bay Company. You need to add the apostrophe and s to it.

Howard Mahler
Aug 09, 2012, 03:06 PM
The Bombay corporation in its headquarters seems to give culture rather than money per city in which the city exists. I assume this is intentional.

I do not play with Cultural Victory.
For any one who does, does this create a potential problem?

Howard Mahler
Aug 09, 2012, 03:26 PM
Making the corporate mechanic somewhat more like the religion mechanic.

The idea is that in order to get the advantage of a corporation in a city there needs to be branch built. Not applicable to corporate headquarters.
Alternately, without the branch you only get a small benefit.
In any case, without a branch (or the home office) you can not build an executive.

This would slow down somewhat the rapid spreading of the benefits of a corporation.

Currently an executive costs 100 hammers.
I would think a corporate branch would cost 250 or 300 hammers (for example a bank is 200 hammers.)

Step one: corporation spreads to the city via executive as currently.
Step two: owner of the city builds the corporate branch.

Assuming the current corporate bonus are appropriate, they would need to be raised somewhat since there would be more investment required than currently. Maybe they need to be increased by 1/3 or 1/2 in cities with branches compared to currently.

Now that there are corporate branches as buildings there may be ways to change the mechanics of how corporate bonuses work that were not possible in the current scheme.

In the headquarters city the bonuses for other cities with the corporation might kick in half upon the corporation spreading and the other half when a branch office is built.

Nightstar
Aug 09, 2012, 11:36 PM
The Bombay corporation in its headquarters seems to give culture rather than money per city in which the city exists. I assume this is intentional.

Yes. The HQ city will get either gold, science, or culture depending on the corporation. Check the Civilopedia to see which corporations give what types of commerce in the HQ (and how much).

Making the corporate mechanic somewhat more like the religion mechanic.

The idea is that in order to get the advantage of a corporation in a city there needs to be branch built. Not applicable to corporate headquarters.
Alternately, without the branch you only get a small benefit.
In any case, without a branch (or the home office) you can not build an executive.

This would slow down somewhat the rapid spreading of the benefits of a corporation.

Currently an executive costs 100 hammers.
I would think a corporate branch would cost 250 or 300 hammers (for example a bank is 200 hammers.)

Step one: corporation spreads to the city via executive as currently.
Step two: owner of the city builds the corporate branch.

I don't think I like the idea of having to rebuild such an expensive building every time the AI displaces one (or more!) of my corps when it spams its own to my cities.

Howard Mahler
Aug 10, 2012, 09:34 AM
One can have the chance of replacement of a corporation be lower if there is a branch office.
Secondly, it is not necessary to destroy the branch office if there is a mechanism to allow it to be useless, at least temporarily.

Yes. The HQ city will get either gold, science, or culture depending on the corporation. Check the Civilopedia to see which corporations give what types of commerce in the HQ (and how much).



I don't think I like the idea of having to rebuild such an expensive building every time the AI displaces one (or more!) of my corps when it spams its own to my cities.

Xyth
Aug 10, 2012, 04:34 PM
Most of what you describe isn't possible as most of the mechanics are tied to the presence of the corporation in a city and can't be attached to buildings instead. If we feel corporation spread is too rapid (more feedback please!), the simplest and most effective solutions are to increase the :hammers: cost of Executives and/or increase the :gold: cost of spreading/replacing corporations.

And yes, some Corporate HQs provide culture or research instead of wealth.

Boggy
Aug 11, 2012, 06:07 AM
Most of what you describe isn't possible as most of the mechanics are tied to the presence of the corporation in a city and can't be attached to buildings instead. If we feel corporation spread is too rapid (more feedback please!), the simplest and most effective solutions are to increase the :hammers: cost of Executives and/or increase the :gold: cost of spreading/replacing corporations.

And yes, some Corporate HQs provide culture or research instead of wealth.

Well, you can spread your corporations very fast if you want. I always try to have a production overflow (slavery is very helpful for this) in the headquarters city (before the corporation is founded) so I can build the first executive in one round. He goes to a production city, the next to another, and in a short time, I can build 3-5 executives per round. You could increase the production cost of executives, yeah (increasing the :gold: cost wouldn't help - you pay more money, so you will save more money beforehand. But the corporation would spread in the same time). Or you could increase the :hammers: cost by the number of executives the player owns at the moment ("iInstanceCostModifier" in the UnitClassInfos, I think). You can set it to a high value, like 50, so an executive costs 100 if you have none, 150 if you have one, 200 if you have two... Of course, executives already used don't count any more (you build one, spread your corporation [the executive disappears] and build another executive - it would cost 100:hammers:), so spreading your corporation very fast will cost more hammers than spreading it slowly. [I hope that's understandable, it's a bit hard to explain]

Azoth
Aug 11, 2012, 07:09 PM
I agree that corporations can be spread too quickly in 1.18.
The simplest solution is to reduce the number of Executives allowed at one time to two or three, from five.
Another solution is to allow Executives to be built only in the city with the corporate headquarters, but that would prevent players from spreading foreign corporations.

Howard Mahler
Aug 11, 2012, 07:58 PM
I agree. I think putting the limit at 3, which I believe is the limit for missionaries, would be an important step in the right direction.
I am not sure more should be done, but also increasing the hammer and money cost a little probably would not hurt.


I agree that corporations can be spread too quickly in 1.18.
The simplest solution is to reduce the number of Executives allowed at one time to two or three, from five.
Another solution is to allow Executives to be built only in the city with the corporate headquarters, but that would prevent players from spreading foreign corporations.

Xyth
Aug 11, 2012, 09:06 PM
Well, you can spread your corporations very fast if you want. I always try to have a production overflow (slavery is very helpful for this) in the headquarters city (before the corporation is founded) so I can build the first executive in one round. He goes to a production city, the next to another, and in a short time, I can build 3-5 executives per round. You could increase the production cost of executives, yeah (increasing the :gold: cost wouldn't help - you pay more money, so you will save more money beforehand. But the corporation would spread in the same time).

Or you could increase the :hammers: cost by the number of executives the player owns at the moment ("iInstanceCostModifier" in the UnitClassInfos, I think). You can set it to a high value, like 50, so an executive costs 100 if you have none, 150 if you have one, 200 if you have two... Of course, executives already used don't count any more (you build one, spread your corporation [the executive disappears] and build another executive - it would cost 100:hammers:), so spreading your corporation very fast will cost more hammers than spreading it slowly. [I hope that's understandable, it's a bit hard to explain]

Interesting, I hadn't noticed that parameter before. Opens up some possibilities. It's a pity it doesn't exist for buildings as well.

I agree that corporations can be spread too quickly in 1.18.
The simplest solution is to reduce the number of Executives allowed at one time to two or three, from five.

I agree. I think putting the limit at 3, which I believe is the limit for missionaries, would be an important step in the right direction.
I am not sure more should be done, but also increasing the hammer and money cost a little probably would not hurt.

Note that both a hard limit or a increasing cost per instance will only apply to Executives from the same Corporation, not all Executives types. Both very good ideas though, what is everyone's preference?

Another solution is to allow Executives to be built only in the city with the corporate headquarters, but that would prevent players from spreading foreign corporations.

Yeah, I definitely wouldn't want to disable spreading of foreign corporations.

Boggy
Aug 12, 2012, 08:01 AM
Putting the limit for executives at 3 would slow corporation spread down, of course. But unfortunately, the unit limit doesn't scale with the map size. I would prefer higher :hammers: cost. Or you could increase the chance an executive fails to spread his corporation - but this is already a bit frustrating, you plan exactly how many executives you need and where you build them, and then they just fail their job.

kiwitt
Sep 07, 2012, 02:41 PM
What additional Corporations are you planning ?

Xyth
Sep 07, 2012, 04:04 PM
What additional Corporations are you planning ?

I'm not planning to add any more corporations. However, I may be using the mechanic to introduce a few other non-government organizations, which won't be connected to resources or compete with the current set of corporations. That won't be happening in 1.19 though.

kiwitt
Sep 07, 2012, 10:17 PM
OK thanks for that.

Working on my 1940 scenario in fine detail now. Should be finished by the end of October, all going well, for alpha testing.

Boggy
Sep 23, 2012, 11:38 AM
If you conquer a world wonder, it will not produce culture any more. Well, we know that. I've just captured the Barilla headquarters - no culture. That's a bit stupid, as you lose the entire headquarters bonus. Of course, this bonus is only worth anything if you try a cultural victory, and you surely won't make a conquered city legendary - but still, if you can change that, it would be nice I think.

Xyth
Sep 23, 2012, 04:31 PM
If you conquer a world wonder, it will not produce culture any more. Well, we know that. I've just captured the Barilla headquarters - no culture. That's a bit stupid, as you lose the entire headquarters bonus. Of course, this bonus is only worth anything if you try a cultural victory, and you surely won't make a conquered city legendary - but still, if you can change that, it would be nice I think.

Good point, changed for 1.19.