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actual post-apocalyptic tech development

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fury Road Modpack' started by davidlallen, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. frekk

    frekk Scourge of St. Lawrence

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    I always found the technological issue a bit funny with that series. Never mind wi-fi; how come they didn't even have security cameras? Was closed circuit television beyond their capabilities?
     
  2. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

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    That's one of the fun things about looking back at older science fiction. One famous example is the book called "Where's my Jetpack?" Older SF predicted some things correctly, like geosynchronous satellites, but some other things, notably the internet, were never imagined by older SF. They made good use of all the things they did think of, but we shouldn't object that we have invented some other things they didn't predict.
     
  3. arkham4269

    arkham4269 Court Writer - Orbis Mod

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    Yes, sadly while much of the stories H. Beam Piper wrote were good, they tend to have a social feel of the late 1950's and the fact that their computer tech still has massive computers that only work w/machine language does 'age' well, unlike most Heinlein novels that aged quite well.

    I guess one of the reasons I am stumping for different tech paths like more steam or zeppelins is due to watching a lot of James Burke's Connections & Day the Universe Changed. These shows showed how often chance, scarcity of a certain resource, war and just luck cause certain things to be invented when they did. It wasn't inevitable. William Gibson's "The Difference Engine" shows that with a analytical engine, we might have had the "Information Age" much earlier.

    The show also focuses on how very static cultures (like China) tend to resist change, even if they do invent half the things we take for granted today. It is the cultures that are in a state of flux or conflict that really go for innovation because the rewards are so much greater.

    I mean take wind power, for example. With abundant electricity, for years no one bothered to recently because it was cheaper to make electricity with coal or oil burning refineries. In Fury Road, neither of those are cheap or readily available. However, people know you can generate electricity that way. With the scale involved, you wouldn't need those giant, multi-polymer windmills we used today, but you could still build wind farms to generate electricity.

    For that matter, lead-acid batteries are not high-tech. Viable electrical cars were created back in the '20's, but where squashed by companies like standard oil.

    ...and all of this would probably be more useful in the mod of the mod, for a more of a post-apocalypse start of a vanilla BTS and not Fury Road specifically! :crazyeye: I must say, you'd think The Powers That Be would look into this since it obviously has appeal.
     
  4. jefmart1

    jefmart1 Prince

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    They didn't quash the electric cars, they bought the paptent and never built any, genius, lol!

    Wind Power is another thing altogether, it can be used to grind grain for example, but generating usable electricity is much harder then people make it sound. It requires a lot of wind and constant to, as well as wind from the proper direction to turn the windmill. Thats why most current windmills are cylindrical. They cost a fortune to make and require extensive knowledge to mount. PLUS, very few areas actually get enough wind for them to be effective. Most of that is off the coast which would be hard to mount in a PA world.

    Now giant batteries or tons of car batteries tied together, that I could see.
     
  5. Jabie

    Jabie Wanted in Monte Carlo...

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    Wind Farms (and other renewable sources) also face a more subtle form of opposition which would not be a problem in PA world, and one which you have alluded to already in the first paragraph: vested interests.

    The Nuclear Power industry is currently very keen on putting out negative PR for any kind of renewable energy. As oil and coal costs rise and Global Warming rises up the political agenda, the Nuclear Power industry is trying to rebrand itself as the green alternative for the future.

    Renewable energy is a rival technology which could seriously cut into the profits of the Nuclear Industry. As a result you get any number of scare stories and soft propaganda leaked to lazy/overworked journalists from PR hacks with their own agenda to grind. Over here in the UK, (coincidentally right next door to the Atlantic Ocean), I have heard stories that Wind Farms are inefficient / noisy / a blot on the landscape / eagles will get caught in their turbines / it costs more in energy costs to construct than they will produce in their lifetime, and any other tripe the tabloids see fit to publish.

    In a post-apocalypse world, survival becomes a higher priority than profit and a civilization which develops a power-supply will be further up the food chain than one that doesn't, so wind power won't face this resistance.

    Running microturbines on the lamp-posts of large cities might be a good place to start. The tall buildings could be used to funnel the wind in a particular direction, the posts are already in place so would not need to be built and there's already a connection to the power grid to feed into or canibalise.
     
  6. jefmart1

    jefmart1 Prince

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    Microturbines might be a bit advanced for a PA world. Not sure how feasible they are now. Some of what you call tripe is true, they are relatively ineffecient, they are a blot on the landscape (if you value your view), I don't care about the eagles but that might be true, and they are noisy. BUT, they can work in the right situation and require a lot of startup capital as well as the right location.

    My point was that they would be tough to make and manufacture for the level of tech in this mod. And you would have to find a good location for them.
     
  7. Refar

    Refar Deity

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    They (wind turbines) also require powerfull construction machines to be available to be built in the first place. You can't exactly put a off-shore foundation for a 50 meters high tower using a inflatable raft and a showel...
     
  8. arkham4269

    arkham4269 Court Writer - Orbis Mod

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    You know, the Dutch have been using wooden windmills for years. I would think it would be relatively easy to adapt these to charging banks of lead acid batteries. Thus you have a cheap, low-tech way to provide power for essential systems. I would think that until higher tech stuff was available again, most people would be living in a sort of 19th century lifestyle with oil lamps and the like and only vital machines using the scant electricity available.

    Once again we have lots of stuff lying around, but every 4 turns is another year of things wearing out that cannot be replaced. So I would think that only essential systems would be used and everyone else would just have to get used (or be born into) living a less technological life. Not that that would be that bad. I mean you wouldn't say cities like London, New York or Paris were 'uncivilized' prior to 1881 when the first major electrical plants started to come on line. I mean the Romans had flush toilets and moved water over vast distances. Of course in both cases, these are cities/cultures who built things up over hundreds of years, which right now, this mod's time scale doesn't represent.
     
  9. Refar

    Refar Deity

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    "Vintage" windmills might be (and probably are) a good idea for powering various mechanical tasks - like milling :mischief: or maybe a water pump (i think these kind of thing is actually used in australia).
    But they are uterly useless if you want electricity.
    The dutch windmills you are talking about had a - by todays standards - ridiculously low power output - like < 1 KW Mechanical power. Count in them being unsteady (weather dependant) hence the loss of power on batterys (which is high) on top of the "normal" power loss on comversion from Mechanical to Electrical power (Which is high as well) and they are not good at all...

    Which is why Windmills for electricty - even todays high tech ones - need to be put in specific areas where the conditions are optimal for that kind of stuff.
     
  10. Deamon

    Deamon Chieftain

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    @Jabie. I'm a scientist. I have SO much data in direct conflict with what you stated(about nuclear/renewable power).. but that's a topic for a different forum completely so we'll leave that alone for now.


    @Devs.
    It would be seriously cool if one could find an old nuclear powerplant in one of those ruins. Of course such a plant would be worn from time and conflict, so one would need radiation imune (the medicine tech?) and perhaps some other tech to run it.


    ------
    Don't know if this has been brought up yet or not(since I'm quite new to fury road), but having different locked techpaths available would be awesome.

    example paths:
    Tech/science-oriented(Think Brotherhood of Steel from Fallout; oil, vehicles, heavy weapons)
    Harmony(Old school/present day environmentalism; Let's get our earth back!)
    Environmentalism(Preserv the environment you live in; Harness/befriend mutants, ghouls running the local powerplant, mutants fighting for their right in society, and so on.)

    Once you start on one path the others become unavailable. Specific civics for each path with different levels of conflict to the civics from the other paths, different units with widely different abilities/specialities/tactics and so on.


    Is this plausable? Or even in line with the mods general direction?

    //Joel
     
  11. arkham4269

    arkham4269 Court Writer - Orbis Mod

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    I've been stumping for this since about Day One. I've been pushing that with resources so scarce that even if you get access to the knowledge of another tech path, you've already invested too much time and material that you can't really switch over.

    While many say they don't want a copy of an older game, it is true that much of the different Vision paths mimic the ideologies of the different Civs in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. I also pointed out in regards to scarcity of resources, what you start out with would influence your tech path. As I said in a previous post in a different sub-forum a while ago, I gave some ideas:

    * Recovery: "We had high tech and damnit we'll have it again!" Civ's using this would focus on getting old tech working again so they'd have fewer weapons but more powerful ones. They might also have more of a bunker mentality, fewer cities, but bigger ones.
    * Downshift: This could be for Civ's without a lot of resources at their disposal except for maybe people so they push to use older techs like gunpowder or steam. This theme is useful if you access to sulfur and coal but maybe no oil.
    * Maritime: As mentioned above, Civ's using this would focus on ships, have access to whaling boats and perhaps 'super fisheries' in the sense that the normal work boat gets only a token amount of fish whereas the maritime Civ's work boat creates a fishery that really cranks out the food. Plus they might also have access to the River Port that some mods have. They'd get increased commerce.
    * Luddite: Technology brought us ruin. These folks would want to return to a simple life. Sure guys in jeeps with machine guns are bad ass, but up against LOTS of guys with crossbows is a bad thing. Perhaps also allow this theme to have the mobile yurts the one Mongol scenario had to enable them to be semi-nomadic. Either that or they get a lot less penalty for spreading out.
    * Mad Scientist: Not sure how high-tech the planet was before, but perhaps they are going to focus on mutations and other bio-secrets that might have been unlocked prior to the war. You could have clones, mutates and 'necrotroops' (basically robocops) plus bio-weapons or just good old fashion chemical weapons.
    * Gaian: Theme that is focused on terraforming and using fixing the planet. Similar to the Gaians in Alpha Centauri, perhaps they could use, breed many of the new mutations. Plus, who wouldn't want to have cavalry using giant spiders! =)~ Plus this theme would go for more wind-farms for electricity and bio-diesel.

    Of course I wrote that a while a go and we've had a lot of good discussions on various things since then. :p

    I don't know the secrets of the Modding Ways, but beyond having semi-locked tech paths (I say this because I would expect some techs would be necessary in almost any tech path) I want to see another thing from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri and that is the ability to set "Blind Research" so you don't know what tech you'll get next. So even if you don't have a tech path, you're not exactly sure what you'll get next. Of course AC and older versions of Civ had each tech classed generally into 4 categories:
    Growth/Ecology
    Discovery/Science
    Combat
    Mercantile

    In AC, if you were playing with Blind Research, you could set your research priorities so a more enviro-friendly Civ might go for Growth and Discovery and another might go for just Combat. Plus, you could not have any research priority and get whatever you get. It was a nice way to balance the human versus the AI since knowing how to work the tech tree really does help the human player.
     
  12. arkham4269

    arkham4269 Court Writer - Orbis Mod

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    @Daemon, since you're new here, let me point out some things so you don't pull your hair out.

    1) As much as people like me tend to forget, Fury Road is a simulator of the Mad Max genre and so is nominally set in Australia and not a mod that is trying to really simulate Civilization coming back after the Doom of Man(tm)...even though it does that alright. However, many of us are pushing that while the base mod may be set in Australia, this mod screams for area specific add-on scenarios. I live in the PNW and we'd have a LOT more resources to play with than those folks Down Under.

    2) Time: each turn is 3 months, the game lasts 100 years (400 turns) and there has been 20 years (80 turns equivalent) since the end of the War and the first turn of the game.

    3) Due to the scarcity of resources and the time-scale, the mod designer doesn't expect (or want) that during the scale of the game (and I agree) that the tech level will ever get back anywhere past what we have now.

    4) Don't bring up zombies! :p He'll just point you to the NecroChristi mod!
     
  13. arkham4269

    arkham4269 Court Writer - Orbis Mod

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    I disagree and agree with this. First off, I know that electrical power generation via wind power is not feasible at low tech. However, it generates more than enough to recharge banks of batteries if a water power is not available. Since Fury Road is mostly in Australia, where water is rare compared to other places on Earth, this becomes rather important.

    Plus, it would be easy to have a combination of wind and muscle power. When the wind isn't blowing, you could have a set-up similar to mills that run on literal horse power where a donkey pulls a wheel and that will move the turbine to create current. Depending on your Vision, you might use small children instead.

    ...although you might want to watch out for the Conan special event! :goodjob:
     
  14. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

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    I agree that the tech tree needs work. I had spent most of August playing FFH, and the tech tree there is pretty good. It forces you to make tradeoffs and research up one "line", such as a recon line, rather than getting everything. On the other hand, in Fury Road, the tech tree is pretty small, and there are a number of single techs which give multiple benefits. When I run games out to 400 turns on autoplay, all of the players finish the entire tech tree and then dump all their research into "Future Tech".

    Several playtesters have contributed new tech trees. I appreciate this and I apologize that I have not been able to examine them in enough detail yet. Redoing the tech tree requires rebalancing the entire game, even if the units don't change, to make sure that each branch leads to about the same chance of victory. That is actually more work than the entire current tech tree. I will get there, but I can't give any definite date for it.
     
  15. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

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    Zombies -- see the FAQ, which leads to this answer. But, I would like to put in ghouls, from the Fallout series. Search "ghouls" in this sub-forum to see some other posts about that. (29 more days till Fallout 3 is released!)

    Nuclear reactor -- it has been suggested before, but not in connection with having rad-immune. I like that! It would be a "natural wonder" which appears in a plot which has fallout.
     
  16. arkham4269

    arkham4269 Court Writer - Orbis Mod

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    We did warn you that that would happen! :crazyeye:

    All nyuks aside, that mod just has a lot of things that make it useful in other games. I was just commenting that their 'crazed' promotion can work to show when units have a possibility of desertion. With Civ IV: Colonization out, they need a way to show that during the original Amer-Rev, lots of soldiers (many of them the Hessians) deserted because why be a soldier when you can desert with all the 'free' land around? The Brits found that marching their Hessians through mostly German areas of Pennsylvania was a good way to lose a lot of troops.
     
  17. jefmart1

    jefmart1 Prince

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    You have to turn the wheel really really fast to generate power, for example you can power a small tv by pedaling a bicycle. But if you slow down the so does the flow of current. A donkey would definitely not work, maybe small children in giant hamster wheels might, but in general this would be worthless.

    You can make your own electricity generator using this concept (see the boy scouts Electricity merit badge book) but it is extremely ineffecient and requires alot of physical energy to work. You can build capacitors to store it (or batteries) and an alternator from a car to make it useable for lamps and stuff, but the amount of time and energy to generate enough power would be counterproductive. People would use propane or oil instead.

    Now, you could hook up a car/truck and run that to generate electricity (a la Predator, another Schwarzenegger movie). That might be easier.

    I think the point about whether solar/wind/nuclear is feasible misses the point. Its what could be built easiest and be most effective for the tech level and resources of the mod. If a generator made from truck parts is easy and works best then thats what they would do.
     
  18. UNpatriot

    UNpatriot Warlord

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    True. Human efficiency is about 5% and if one could make a generator with 40% efficiency it would still mean that just 2% of all energy of food is used to generate electricity. On the other hand, small generators used to power off-grid areas don't often have much power, yet they are satisfactory for quite many tasks. Now as the things wear and lose efficiency, replace the 10 kW engine with a 100 kW car engine and you're bound to get enough juice for most of your needs.

    When the generators are too old to work anymore, anyone skilled in basic electrics could build a replacement one from a car.


     

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