1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Calling all economists: How to create a fun/simple/realistic world market economy?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Creation & Customization' started by Padmewan, May 24, 2006.

  1. Gunner

    Gunner Emperor

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    Goochland, VA
    Have you actually played Galciv2? I'm just wondering because I have pretty extensively and I can't think of any instance in it where the player's actions are automated by the AI. Any feature it has which claims to be a 'governor' is really just a way to quickly do many things at once, no automization. For example, you can tell all of the planets in your empire building ship x to simultaneously switch to ship y.
     
  2. Padmewan

    Padmewan King

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Location:
    Planet
    Depending on the specific mechanisms of this mod, my earlier UI suggestion may still apply: provide sliders, like the research one, to send commands to all of your cities: We need more iron! No, we need more food! etc... IMHO, to add complexity to the overall economy, you need to remove complexity somewhere else, and my choice of that would be at the city micro-management level. (I would think of each city as NOT city-states with their own food/production/commerce, but rather contributing to a common pot... so much less micromanagement, if possible).
     
  3. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    4,627
    Location:
    Seasonal Residences
    I tried to be careful with my words, but let me be more clear. GalCiv 2 is closer to what Padmewan suggested below.

    This kind of mechanism does frustrate some users. Allow me to go off topic a bit...

    In GalCiv2, you can determine how much of your productivity should go to research, military, and social spending. You divide your industrial capacity, by percent, between these three fields. And this is set at the national level.

    What this does, however, is that a city that is not building any social projects (e.g.: what we know as city improvements -- it's quite common to want to not build anything for a few turns in Gal Civ) sees that industrial capacity wasted. That's productivity flushed right down the toilet. sure, you could lower your social spending, but then you'd also be screwing with another colony that NEEDS that social spending.

    So what's designed to remove micromanagement (the player manages everything at the national level! no more local management!) ends up hamstringing and frustrating the player, forcing them to make even further micro-calculations (ok, how can I time it so I won't waste any of my industrial capacity, but still build everything i need in time?)

    I'm not saying this is what you guys are proposing here, and that problems are inevitable... but problems ARE inevitable IF you don't plan and design ahead, and really ask the question: "what does the player do? what is the gameplay you want to create?"
     
  4. scottland

    scottland Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    46
    What we're trying to create is other avenues to a succesful Civilization. Rather than dominating your opponents militarily or technologically, cities/civs with a thriving industry or trading network can become powerful as well. Each player will have a choice of how much to focus on military strength and how much to focus on industrial strength. This will mean things like: choosing how many of your citizens will be soldiers, how much of your remaining industry is used on weapon manufacture, etc. Sliders would be a great way to acheive this (I don't know how to make sliders, though), so long as the AI only uses the slider as a guide and still chooses an efficient option. If you're worried about what happens when a city runs out of buildings to build, multiple buildings of the same type can be built.
    Thanks for all the comments, keep them coming.
     
  5. Padmewan

    Padmewan King

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Location:
    Planet
    I left out what I consider a precondition for what I proposed, which is that yields/resources that work this way are "nationalized." In this, as you can tell from my earlier posts, I guess I'm most influenced by the Imperialism model.

    As I think about this, I think this mod faces the risk of being caught between all-yields-are-local vs. all-yields-are-global. One of the mechanisms that keeps Civ4 simpler is that bonuses need only be inside cultural boundaries and have the right improvement to be gathered -- it need not be worked. This keeps things simple because bonuses are pooled nationally, not locally; they are then distributed nationally (more or less). Yields, with the weird exception of commerce when it's converted to gold or science, are on the other hand local. So locally-used resources are gathered locally, while generally-used resources are gathered into a common pool.

    If "yields" of iron or whatever are nationalized (and I don't know if that's this proposal or not), then gathering of these resources need to be nationalized, or else players will be frustrated as dh_epic describes. The local city will want to gather, say, wool, while the nation needs iron. (I suppose you can say this isn't unrealistic, but it certainly adds considerable more difficulty to civ-wide management).

    So, what I was proposing is that if bonuses are yields, then yields should be pooled nationally but used locally. Iron gathered in one city should go into a central reservoir and then "spent" at any city that can draw from the reservoir.

    If you're particularly ambitious, I could imagine some transition from local to national, where very basic yields (food) start local, but eventually become national (through tech, or through turning food into some resource that can be pooled).
     
  6. scottland

    scottland Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    46
    Not that I'm not being ambitious, but cities will have local stockpiles throughout the game (in fact, this is one of the few things I have working). Transport being far flung cities has been a real problem in some civilizations and it deserves to be modelled in CivIV (and not by abstract 'upkeep').
     
  7. Gunner

    Gunner Emperor

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    Messages:
    1,389
    Location:
    Goochland, VA
    I see what you're saying now dh_Epic. I agree that there is the potential for some frusteration in the way Galciv2 is set up from that angle. I personally like it though.
    The game does give you some options you didn't mention though. You can tell each planet to focus on one area (military, social, or research) which boosts that area and lowers the others. In addition, if a planet is not building any improvements then any of the social production that would have been wasted is instead converted to money. I see that as a big improvement over GalcivI.
     
  8. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    4,627
    Location:
    Seasonal Residences
    These are definitely important things to think about. I mean, there IS no accounting for taste... but creating a local problem and hamstringing the player with only national controls has the makings of a real nuisance.

    Padmewan has the right approach, in my opinion. National issues are handled at the national level with very little in the way of local calculation. And anything that's still local is handled locally, with very little national control. Mixing the two together leads to a LOT of frustration, generally speaking.
     
  9. Padmewan

    Padmewan King

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Location:
    Planet
    That's basically what I was saying... and alongside it, that as long as the controls and the effects are consistent (local control = local effects, national control = national effects), it doesn't matter how you split the difference. So one of the major innovations of this mod might be to turn something that used to be national (bonus-gathering) and make it local (only cities with access to iron can build Praets). OTOH it might take something gathered locally (food) and make it national (all food is pooled centrally and cities draw from the food bank to "build" population). Either way is fine. Or both!
     
  10. chef pablo

    chef pablo Warlord

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Messages:
    275
    Location:
    tulsa ok
    when i first started kicking this aroand,i didnt much like the idea of manualy sending x resorce to x city,so i turned to how growing cities incourage growth in a paticular industry sector...
    This being said,all of your resorces should be stockpiled in the city that is collecting that resorce.from that point building improvements will require x amount of resorces to operate,merchants within that city will import that cities needs.this should all be handle more or less hands free leaving micro managment out of the equasion.
    on international trade building up of merchants on border and ports will be how international trade is handled,merchants in ports and markets will purchase and sell in these cities selling resorces that are stockpiled in your cities and purchasing resorces that city govenors are requesting(this is dependent on what improvements you have in the city).
     
  11. Maniac

    Maniac Apolyton Sage

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Messages:
    5,588
    Location:
    Gent, Belgium
    This could be more or less achieved by giving greater importance to Great People.
     
  12. Padmewan

    Padmewan King

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Location:
    Planet
    I guess I'm curious how much is "more" and how much is "less" :) If this happens completely below-the-radar, then the question is how does it add more fun to the game?

    I don't think adding more complexity to the game is bad, esp. if you take some away somewhere else. If the point of this mod is to create a fun economic strategy model, then the player has to have control over strategy and be able to make meaningful choices. As dh_epic was pointing out, too much automation means no choices.

    One thing you imply here is that the player makes choices at the macro level -- which cities get built where, near which resources; and which buildings get built in each city. The AI takes over from there(?)
     
  13. chef pablo

    chef pablo Warlord

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Messages:
    275
    Location:
    tulsa ok
    you still get choices,but rather than choosing what goes where at the beginning of the turn its implimented by what buildings you choose to build,this goes for population growth within cities what industry you choose to go after and to what extent what you want to build that industry up to.
     
  14. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    4,627
    Location:
    Seasonal Residences
    I'm with Padmewan that if your best solution to reduce micromanagement is "the player will be forced to automate", you might want to think harder. Be that as it may, maybe your way of doing things will work, and maybe they won't. It's hard to know how everything will turn out when you're simply brainstorming a description of the feature. It's easy to make a feature sound nice. But execution is everything.

    At any rate, best of luck.
     
  15. scottland

    scottland Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    46
    It's not really that the player is forced to automate, market forces are something the leader of any civilization has very little control over. We will give players some way of assisting their economy, but not at the level of choosing which citizens work on which plots or even which resources are traded to where; this will be done through means of policy decisions.

    Just a quick poll: who automates their scouts at the beginning of the game? For those who do: how do you pass the time until you actually get to do something else?
     
  16. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Messages:
    4,627
    Location:
    Seasonal Residences
    Remember: Civilization is a game, not a simulation. It may be realistic that market forces are beyond the control of the leader. It may even make for an interesting challenge. But at the end of the day, the player wants to make a couple of decisions every single turn. And if there's something they feel they should have power over but don't, they have the opposite of fun.

    I think you've already learned more asking your poll question than what information you can expect to receive in an answer.
     
  17. Padmewan

    Padmewan King

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Location:
    Planet
    I automate my scouts even though I do a much better job scouting than the AI does. Although, ultimately the AI does a better job than I do because it prioritizes building scouts at a higher level than I do. Both are due to the fact that I don't really like scouting.

    Let me step in a slightly tangential direction from dh_epic: not everything needs to be under the DIRECT control of the player. There is a certain pleasure to exerting indirect control -- as long as you have choices, and your choices are effective. So if, by building a "meatpacker" you induce one city to specialize in turning cows into hamburgers, while by building a "stock market" you induce another to becoming a finance center, this would be interesting. (By what you describe, you can only induce, not cause, right?)

    In this I'm very influenced by Raph Koster's Theory of Fun for Games. The mechanism needs to be learnable and have a fun learning curve. For example, early in the game a "port" might have an almost-immediate and noticable effect on the city's commerce. A much later building can then afford to have a much subtler effect, because the player would be looking for it. But if right off the bat a port has only a % chance of influencing the city, and a small influence at that, the player would not feel that her actions have any effect on the game.

    I don't know why I'm droning on like this... I'm sure this is best done by implementation rather than chatting :) I look forward to your concrete proposal on how this could work!
     
  18. chef pablo

    chef pablo Warlord

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Messages:
    275
    Location:
    tulsa ok
    there is definatly going to be a chalange in this.here is a good example of this ,with being able to build multiple buildings and multiple buildings of the same type,you could hypatheticly create an industry on one turn.City A has several fields of cotton some sheep pastures so to capitalize on this you build a bunch of textile mills.on the turn those mills finish being produced you have an enourmouse amount of extra cloth,this all goes on the open market but because there is so much the prices drop and your selling price dosnt cover the maintanance cost of the mills.this is where embargoes, blockades, piracy and ive been thinking there should be some kind of tarrif in agreements with other civs.at any rate this model has as much risk of sending your civ bankrupt as it does to gain,all depends on what kind of stratagy you use and how you combine it with other stratagies.
     
  19. scottland

    scottland Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    46
    Actually, I was trying to make a point and do some research at the same time - and succeeded at both. I do tend to think that the player should have something to do each turn. But how to make that thing important and relevant to the development of their civilization is difficult and something that Firaxis perhaps didn't do as well as they might have. Is it a good thing to have a series of short, insignificant turns and then a long, "turning-point" type of turn? Well it wouldn't be good for multiplayer for a start.

    What I'd like is a set of options that you can choose on any turn, like what bulidings are built in your city - with multiple build queues you won't have to wait for the city to finish its last job before it starts its next, or making slight modifications to your national policies, and another set of options which come along randomly. I think players dislike waiting for certain options to come along - waiting for 3 turns until you discover gunpowder, for example, can mean 3 turns where you aren't really enjoying what is happening, just looking forward to what will happen (yes, I want to add randomness to research). If you didn't know that you would discover gunpowder soon, you might play each of those three turns differently. That's my opinion anyway, I'll will be waiting for a barrage of responses.
     
  20. Padmewan

    Padmewan King

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    Messages:
    748
    Location:
    Planet
    I would strongly recommend that you make only one core rules change at a time, or else you could bury yourself in never getting the mod done. Yes, research is linked to economy, but not the same thing, and this mod is ambitious enough without adding yet another wrinkle.

    So are you adding back the idea of building-based maintenance to the game? Will the player be able to get rid of buildings? Will the AI know how to deal with this?

    :nuke: :nuke: :nuke: :nuke: :nuke:

    I would suggest a graduated approach to this in order to test ideas against reality and also get some traction on development. If I were to break this project down into its components, it might look like this:

    1. Make resources into a pool rather than binary on/off switch
    2. Change the way units and buildings use these resources
    3. Teach the AI how to handle this.

    In steps 1-3, change as little as possible to the core mechanisms of civ. Iron is still required for Swordsmen, building a mine on an iron resource in your boundaries is all that's needed to accumulate iron, etc. You can change it so that iron mine produces 2 or 3 rather than 1 iron, but that's it. I think by taking these initial, but honestly quite huge, steps, you'll learn a lot about how the mechanisms will work in practice.

    Then, assuming these all balance:

    • Make resources gatherable only when the tile is worked.
    • Keep resources local to the city working it.
    • Teach the AI how to handle this.

    This is a major, major change to the game. The AI is not equipped right now to handle the idea that you have to work a mine to get the iron, and so it will NOT build a city in the right place in some cases. (You might workaround by changing the cultural boundaries some, and also change the city placement AI). There is an entire very complex calculation the AI executes when it decides which tiles to work.

    • Figure out how to combine resources
    This is far enough into the future that everything is up for grabs, I think. I would suggest you keep yourself open to different possibilities. For example, I think that rather than having a building do a straight conversion of wool into textile, you instead have that building enable a certain number of specialists who CAN, but don't HAVE TO, do the same. In this I'm deeply influenced by Imperialism, but also in trying to find a mechanism that is flexible and keeps choice in the game -- and that the AI can handle.

    If a building automatically turns cotton into textiles, what's the fun in that? The game then is for everyone to build like mad to go up the value chain. Eventually everyone runs out of cotton and the entire worldwide economy collapses :) The problem with buildings is that they are an irrevocable choice. Specialists, on the other hand, can be redeployed as needed, while the buildings simply enable the specialists to exist at all. (In Imperialism this was represented by upgrading the factory).
     

Share This Page