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Old Jan 19, 2005, 08:24 AM   #1
mhIdA
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Another space race victory

Another way to win the space race.
The space race victory actually is very bad cause is a single event.
I'd Like the space race be like this:
Adition one more era calling near future.One of main subject of that is.
- The science exploration - the SETI and Apollo program, search for planets and lifeon others planets.
- The robotic exploration.
- The mining exploration in astheroids, moon, mars, jupiter and saturn sattelites.
- Building space stations.
- Building colonies in solar system.
- Building space wonders also give points.
- By the end we can build a space ship to go other star.
All this features give us a X points to space race victory, wich began with space flight.
This and others features donīt break the gameplay in modern era and speculate about the near future (XXI century).
The worst thing is the space race, cause there are several civs who can win if we donīt take their capital.
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 03:44 PM   #2
rhialto
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ok, lets get one thing straight first.

By any conceivable rocket based technology, we will not get to the next star in anything less than a thousand years. I did the matsh for this a long time ago, using the most optimistic estimates for fusion rockets and then mathematically improving them ten times. I'll dredge them up if you insist.

Next, most of the space exploration (beyond the initial man on the moon phase) done so far is essentially of theoretical interest only, sad to say. Its of national prestige value only. No one is seriously contemplating space colonies yet - high Earth orbit is as far as we are seriously considering.

Actual colonies are currently a mad science fiction dream. Anything more than a manned research base with maybe a dozen people is completely laughed at in serious scientific circles - growing food is probably the single biggest issue, as we can't make a sustainable habitat yet.

Finally, adding off-planet colonies would require either extra maps with complex rules describing how you go from one to another (yuck) or a ToT-style 1:1 mapping (bigger yuck), or else abstracting them into a simple numbers bonus (why bother?)

Basically, I think the space victory should be changed to "Mars Colony". It is at least as challenging as any other victory, but is actually vaguely within the realms of near future science.
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 03:48 PM   #3
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seeing that u know so much about space and the scientific community, with all due respect rhialto what happened to the water on mars?
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 04:21 PM   #4
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It froze. Look at the poles
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 04:39 PM   #5
rhialto
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While there is some water ice at the poles, most of that is actually carbon dioxide ice. There isn't actually much evidence for significant amounts of water on Mars in the first place. However, if water were introduced to Mars today, it would first of all freeze, and then evaporate.

Evaporation depends on two things - the molecular weight of the substance, which is very low for water (18 iirc), aiding evaporation, and the air pressure, which is also very low on Mars. Since the water is solid at this stage, it probably isn't something you could sit and watch, as solidification definitely slows the process, but it is certainly something that would happen in your lifetime for something the size of a swimming pool.
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 05:29 PM   #6
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You must remember, though, Rhialto, that this is a game of 'What If?', not a game of 'What was'!! That said, the space race victory should be designed more around the question of 'what might have happened if those who made it to the moon first actually went further, instead of treating it as a "beat the Commies" thing!'
My idea requires NO additional maps, yet still allows space exploration and colonization to be a major part of the modern age. It works pretty much as follows:

1) When you discover the Rocketry tech , you will have the ability to build 'Rocket Launch Sites' and the Small Wonder 'National Space Agency' (or maybe this should come with Space Flight?). These will give you a small number of points towards the Space Race victory and, in turn, will allow you to launch either a 'sattelite', or a 'manned Earth Orbit' space mission. These have the lowest risk, lowest cost, but yield the smallest number of points for victory.

2) When you achieve the 'Space Flight' tech, you can use your
pre-existing 'Launch Sites'/'Space Agency' to create a 'Space Lab' or 'Space Station' mission, each of which has a slightly higher cost, higher risk, but greater point yield than those described in (1). At this point you can also start building the 'Inaugral Moon Landing' small wonder. The first nation to get it will get extra points towards space race-and a bonus to culture, but everyone that builds it gets space race points.

3) Once you build your inaugural moon landing, you can then start launching 'Moon landings', 'Manned Near Space Exploration' and 'Unmanned Near Space exploration' missions from your launch sites-these have greater risks, greater costs, but yield even more points per mission.

4) Essentially, as you get greater advances in space-borne technology, you get the choice to launch increasingly more risky, but more lucrative, space missions-such as manned and unmanned extra-planetary exploration and unmanned and manned deep-space probes, extra-solar probes, moon colonies and extra-planetary colonies. Eventually, you may even be able to launch the ultimate mission-a manned extra-solar probe or a manned extra-solar colony-though this would NOT be available until the very late part of the game, if at all!

5) Increased technology, and greater space-exploration 'infrastructure' also makes the less advanced missions both easier and less costly to perform, thus giving the player the option to either launch hundreds of little missions, or wait until he can invest it ALL into that single, big mission that will earn him the big points.

6) As I mentioned above, aside from building the infrastructure (Space Agencies, launch sites, mass-drivers, etc), learning the techs and launching the missions, the whole thing would be abstract. Though certain missions WILL provide you with in-game benefits (such as increased science output, increased trade, bonus shields and food-and perhaps new resources or new sources of the old resources etc), these missions are more aimed at winning the Space Race portion of the game-AND for your own prestige, of course !

Yours,
Aussie_Lurker.
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 06:27 PM   #7
rhialto
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Aussie Lurker, why does you posted look like a pre-written article? It starts with a confrontational attitude, and then goes on to fail to directly address any of the points I raised.

I think we both agree the current space victory condition is bad. The OP was proposing what amount to a near-future science fiction era, which i think is a bad idea, as it requires speculation on the authors, which is undoubtedly differe from everyone elses' opinions. Good for a SF game, not so good for a game purportedly about history.

Within the limits of real tech and current speculated/being researched tech, Interstellar travel in any timespan less than a millenium is a pipe dream, and has NO place in civ. This isn't me being a killjoy, it's physics. You could of course say what if the laws of physics were different, but then you turn civ into a SF game.

However, there are plenty of ways in which I feel space can be brought into the game. Satellites providing various bonuses (something like smac), intelligence, and space weapons. But space research has little practical application, so science bonuses won't be as high as we might hope. So what if we know how many planets orbit star catelogue number 76325, or the composition of Venus' air? It doesn't seem to help outside the field of star charting.

I don't like the idea of space victory being amass the points, as it reduces it to just a variant on the culture victory, and while that is a victory, it lacks the numinous element that I feel ought to be present in space exploration.

Think about it. The Apollo programme was the Sistine Chapel of our age. Not so much for the physical industry involved, but for the vision it placed in the hearts of the people. I want the space victory to be about inspiring the next, not about bean counting, which your idea would make it. I think they have teh mechanics right for the space victory, they just need to change the destination to somewhere a bit more realistic.
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 06:58 PM   #8
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What I was trying to say is that YES, in our world, the Space Program was merely a prestige thing, but who knows WHAT we could have achieved if we had set our minds to it. Long-distance manned space exploration and other-worldly colonies could teach us a great deal about planet formation, ecology and other applied and pure science fields. Also, zero-g manufacturing and off-world mining could bring us a host of old and new resources from space-resources which could advantage the 'homeworld'-both directly and via trade! This could be reflected within the game.
Now, lastly, if it is just a 'one-off' victory, as you are proposing, then it really does help to play into the 'Snowball Effect', as someone with a very large empire could easily put together a ship capable of achieving the space-race victory (be it AC or Mars)-this is kind of a 'no-brainer' for the leading player, who can easily afford to divert the resources neccessary to pull off this victory condition. With a POINTS amassing system, though, it becomes a true RACE, where each player has to really make some hard choices about whether or not they wish to channel their resources-long term-into achieving this victory condition. Also, launching a mission is NOT a guarantee of the points, so the player has a choice between the 'slow and steady' route, or the 'all eggs in one or two baskets' approach!

Yours,
Aussie_Lurker.
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 07:25 PM   #9
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i like space race just how it is, but i could see a few tweaks, like in addition to building parts, having to preform several missions which have a chance to fail and then you have to rebuild spaceship, or part of it to make repairs. i would also not mind seeing the % chance thing come back from civ2. you could build a space ship and the basic ship gives you an x% chance of success, then you have additional parts you could build or upgrades to be made, or perhaps lesser missions to preform first which increase your chances. Then finally, every future tech which is researched also increases the chance of success. There should be a cap on the best chance of success, like 95%, and like when you get to say 85-90% any additional efforts add less and less to your chances.
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Old Jan 19, 2005, 10:05 PM   #10
rhialto
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I don't see how your alternate space victory makes it any harder for the bigger civ to pull off a victory. Either you divert resource X to the space victory tasks (whether a series of wonder-scale structures of a series of space missions) or you don't. A bigger civ will always have more of whichever resource you chose to say is required. All you're doing is introducing a random element of "you invested X resources into this mission and it worked/but oops it failed". All you're doing is adding some dice rolling into the victory equation.

Now, I know the real world space race was a prestige thing only, but even with a world government dedicated to realising a space colony and the resources of our entire planet, the Moon, and mars at our disposal, mankind could not hope to get a man on another solar system in under a thousand years travel time. This is physics talking, not pessimism on human spirit.

A related, but distinct, issue, is how the future era should be developed. I think once you hae something that amounts to a viable city in space capable of contributing to your overall civ, then you've reached a point where the civ model starts to break down, and the game should be ended there as a victory. There's still plenty of space tech before that though. if you read my posts carefully, you'll note that I have not poopoohed the idea of of orbital farms, robotic mining colonies and deep space research probes, let alone spy and military satellites.
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Old Jan 20, 2005, 12:31 PM   #11
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My idea sugest 3 main things wich differ from civ, actually: a new era, multiple maps, a victory by points.
A new era:
- The new era subject could mainly care about space race or space exploration wich I prefer, but theyīre based on earth, not in a SF scenario.
- Others subjects could be a appearence of regional blocks, given by economy, culture entities, religion, etc. This are lying with the # of civs of course.
- How many techs we put on modern era if we adopt this space race victory?
A example is the sattelite TV wich give to people the sense of belongs to a more vast culture entity like India do.
- The possibility of a civ acquire another kind of victory until one or more civs trying to have the space race victory.
Multiple maps:
This is not a problem since we could have a space screen advisor, who tells us:
- the # and place of asteroids minning,
- the # of extra-solar planets discovers and where,
- the robotic missions we have on the different planets,
- the # and places of colonies in planets and sattelits of solar system. So no big issue.
A victory by points:
- This extended the game during our space exploration or more the solar system exploration.
- I donīt ask for a map of a spaceship or things like that.
- The game over when we launched a spaceship to a star with a like-earth planet discover meanwhile.
- That is the main subject of space exploration. And is how civ could be win actually.

Above all this is a game, a great game indeed but, the adderence to history is not very accurate when we put sumers side by side with gernas, french or americans.
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Old Jan 20, 2005, 04:35 PM   #12
rhialto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhIdA
- The game over when we launched a spaceship to a star with a like-earth planet discover meanwhile.
...

Above all this is a game, a great game indeed but, the adderence to history is not very accurate when we put sumers side by side with gernas, french or americans.
I was with you until this line. launching a spaceship to another star and expecting it to arrive within the next thousand years is NOT PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE. It isn't even a what-if. Basic physics prevents it.
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Old Jan 20, 2005, 04:53 PM   #13
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BASIC physics might prevent it, but I am still waiting on the word from HYPERSPATIAL physics ! Thats the thing about the Laws of Physics-just when we think we have them nailed, along comes an exception that blows the law right of the water.
Still such speculative physics, I agree, are best left for a pure futuristic/sci-fi game. Not a game of History to the near future.
That said, though, I think that mines, bases and colonies on planets within your own solar system-as well as normal space exploration-should be possible within the game, given that we will never know how much we could have achieved if we had remained focused on the goal of space exploration AND colonization-but it should all be left in the abstract (which is why I DO support a 'culture-like' space race victory!)

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Old Jan 20, 2005, 06:05 PM   #14
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And teh evidence for hyperspatial physics being more than just good SF storytelling is somewhat tenuous. If I wanted science fiction in my game, Id play SMAC.
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Old Jan 21, 2005, 04:28 PM   #15
mhIdA
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rhialto
There must be same missunderstood.
I donīt expected that spaceship arrive or comeback. The spaceship is launched the game is over or we could calculate that spend 20, 50 years to arrive.
In early civs the spaceship travel takes 20 years. Civ3 when we finish building spaceship the game over, that could remain. I think like that, we donīt need hyperspatial physics or worms-hole. I hope that Iī'm maded clear.

Here some specifications.
Rocketry, Computers and Space Flight techs allow:
- Apollo Program wonder and then colonization/mineration of Moon as also moon hotels.
See it as a galley who can travel on Costal squares.
Sattelites, Orbitall Flight, Robotics teches allow:
- solar system robotic missions
- Space station hotels
- Orbital Telescopes (Hubble) wonder that allow the discover of extra solar systems planets.
See it as a caravel who can travel on Sea squares.
Genetics, Ionic Propulsion, Synthetic Fibers techs allow:
- mineration of asteroids
- Mars Colonization wonder that allows mars mineration
- Far Orbital Telescopes that allow allow the discover of earth-like planets.
See it as a galeon who can travel on Ocean squares.
Since you discover one earth-like planet we can start bulding the spaceship to launch.
The techs and wonders could be change, but I hope you understand better my point of view. And as Aussie Lurker mentioned manny things could remain in abstract.
The future speculate I refer is about fusion, electromagnetic weapons, nano-techs, things like that, who will become available in a near future.
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Old Jan 21, 2005, 06:56 PM   #16
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Very ambitious, but would make an intriguing game.

Including the Moon, near-Earth orbits, and Mars should almost be a standard game option, though. Throw in some 'explorations' of the rest of the Solar System and it'd be a realistic 'High Explorationl' victory.

I agree the Alpha Centauri thing is a bit crazier now than circa CIV I


Perhaps the alternative to the Space Victory is less ambitious "Technological Victory" encompassing: Human Genome, Genetic foods, Cure for Cancer, Solar System and Deep Space exploration (get a person on the Moon), Physically advanced computers with mathematically advanced programs, Supersonic aviation transports, MagLev, Magnetosphere-manipulation, etc..

The only problem is that while the technologies may seem to be the limiting factor to engineering a solution, our current lack of science to make new technologies may be the real limit (and we're just ignorant). And similarly, stuff that seems fantastical to us now, would make a great goal if it could be reached, but can it ever?


Practically, for a technological victory---what endpoints would everything would be cool?

My thoughts:
Nuclear Power,
Person on the Moon,
un-personed Exploration of Pluto / Deep Space Voyager,
Human Genome Project,
'De novo' syntheic bio-organisms,
AI-powered robots,
circumnavigation of the world by near-space aircraft,
etc..
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Old Jan 21, 2005, 06:59 PM   #17
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I mean: Practically, for a technological victory---what endpoints would everyone think would be cool?[

Quote:
Practically, for a technological victory---what endpoints would everything would be cool?
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Old Jan 25, 2005, 12:06 PM   #18
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Exploration victory, technological victory, perhaps science victory??. This space race victory is a race to discover several techs wich allow build the spaceship and launch it. This means that if we change his victory type is more realistic named it space exploration or solar system exploration wich is like a continuity of earth exploration of early centuries. So if we go on that direction, a exploration victory type we could adict some things wich give points like: every square we exploit, every map trades we made, comunications between civs we trade, etc. And changed the space race to a space exploration we could improve the modern age andenlarge the space exploration meaning
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Old Jan 25, 2005, 12:39 PM   #19
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I think the space race is fine as it is. I don't need my games to be overly realistic or technolgocically correct. All I need for them to be is fun.

As to brinko's question on what happened to the water on Mars, it is simple. The Martians were just REALLY REALLY Thirsty... what with all that red dust and all.
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Old Jan 26, 2005, 10:20 AM   #20
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sealman...

a theory of mine is that water could be an interstellular eternal living life form. beyond the conception of mortal sciences. when it felt itself start to freeze, it decided to head to the 3rd rock from the sun. how i dunno. why would it do this...simple, it wanted to avoid the faith of forever being frozen in space. water has characteristics which suntzu and many wise men have noted being simular to that of a living thinking being.
-hastends to the high sticks to the low (general public which get by with ordinary lives)
-one drop can slip through the tiniest cracks, yet a wave can destroy cities. (motions of terrorists and mass armies)
-it has 3 main states of being water, ice, and steam (mind body spirit)
-water has a tendency to follow the maintstream (hollywood)
-when it is distilled, it becomes pure (when man becomes seperated for society, he becomes pure)
-we are at is mercy (everything mortal is at our mercy)
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