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Colonization Overhaul Planned

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - Creation & Customization' started by Dom Pedro II, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. Dom Pedro II

    Dom Pedro II Modder For Life

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    Well, I've been playing Colonization for a few days, and the modding bug has started to bite. I never played the original Colonization, so perhaps that puts me in a good position to make sacrilegious changes. There's a number of things that really are core aspects of the game that I thought needed a bit of an overhaul. Not everything in my list is earth-shattering, but I thought I would run some of them by you all and see what you think:
    • New cash crops: Hemp (used for ship units) and Coffee
    • Remove all of the cash crops from the map except for Tobacco and add several new improvements: Sugar Plantation, Tobacco Plantation, Cotton Plantation, Hemp Plantation and Coffee Plantation. This will give you some control over wear you grow the cash crops, but there will be limitations on the type of land you can build them on, the latitude of the tile on the map, and you will get more or less depending on certain terrains/features. Sugar Plantations will produce more in Marshes, for example.
    • Add new small, cheap ships that can transport goods between island cities but can't explore and can't travel to Europe.
    • Scrap crosses as the sole factor in the accumulation of points towards immigrants (see below)
    • Add city happiness that will, among other things, be calculated into a new immigration point system. Happiness will come from buildings, as expected, but will also provide a practical use for domestic consumption of luxury goods that would otherwise be getting shipped off to Europe. I think sliders that control the rate of consumption in each city would be the best way to handle this.
    • New Europe-only trade goods like European Fashions and Tea that will increase city happiness and entice immigrants by promising European comforts in the New World.
    • Add new Africa screen where you can trade finished products (they have no use for raw materials) in exchange for Slave units thus completing the famed Triangle Trade.
    So I'm looking for constructive criticism... I want to know where any of these things might cause problems so I can either tweak them or scrap them (hopefully not scrap them).
     
  2. Reveilled

    Reveilled Warlord

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    Sounds interesting, I'm looking forward to playing it. :)

    If you're implementing slavery and plantations as a mechanic, I had a couple of ideas on what I thought were realistic and relatively simple to implement ways of modelling that aspect of production. If you want, feel free to read them in the last post of this thread.

    Of course, you probably have your own ideas of how to implement them, so I'd be interested to hear any of your own ideas for implementing them.
     
  3. woodelf

    woodelf Bard Retired Moderator

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    Trading with the natives needs to be addressed.
     
  4. Dom Pedro II

    Dom Pedro II Modder For Life

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    I didn't really, so any and all suggestions on that are welcome :lol:
    I'll give this thread a read.

    What exactly do you think needs to be addressed? I'm open to anything.
     
  5. woodelf

    woodelf Bard Retired Moderator

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    Don't let them run out cash so early that they can't reasonably trade with you later. I know historically they got swindled, but if they have needs for things later on they should be able to pay fair value for it. Maybe gold or ancient treasure would symbolize land trading for your goods? I didn't play the original either so don't know if this is a normal mechanic or not.
     
  6. lionheart

    lionheart Commander in Chieftain

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    I'm interested in the Africa aspect of it all and completing the Triangle Trade..

    How do you plan to go about simulating that? I can imagine that simulating slavery might get a lot of bad feedback. Would you make the slaves more capable of producing cotton, tobacco, sugar and other specialized raw products than free colonists, indentured servants and convict laborers (but maybe not as good as truly specialized planters)? Would you make the slaves 'free' for pickup at the docks or would they have to be purchased? How about specialized slave ships that would have to be built / purchased in Europe, similar to the Galleons?

    In any case, I'm interested, but you really need to tread carefully around the issue of slavery, so as to not make it seem trivial.. Good luck!
     
  7. Reveilled

    Reveilled Warlord

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    I'm fairly sure that the Indians in Col 1 had an infinite supply of gold for trading. Certainly, they seemed to pay the same at the start for goods as they did at the end, and a common tactic as you got closer to independence was to sever trade with europe and just go to the Indians if they were nearby.

    What might be the easiest system to implement for native trading would be to just give them a fixed value of gold each turn (say 2000 gold), and remove any excess gold at the end of the turn, so you could do about 2 trades a turn of medium value goods, or 1 trade of a high value one.

    That can be done with a fairly simple python script, instead of overhauling the system in the SDK, right?
     
  8. Dom Pedro II

    Dom Pedro II Modder For Life

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    Hmm.. Okay, I've read through the suggestions proposed in the slavery thread. I think that the game mechanics will probably produce some of the desired effects for realism. An area with lots of plantations will have very little food production and will thus keep the number of people working in buildings (and thus the city's industrial capacity) rather low. Lots of plantations will also mean lots of cleared forests and thus no opportunity to switch over to chopping wood. So unless you start importing lots of food and other raw materials, you're not going to have big, industrial cities surrounded by plantations. But if you're going to go to that kind of trouble, why hamper the player from doing it?

    I hadn't really planned on giving slaves any special abilities but rather to let them act as a quick supply of cheap labor (which is what they basically were in the New World).

    As far as native trading: I'm not sure I want the natives loaded with cash, but certainly there could be other benefits they could provide in return for commodities. I'm thinking of adding some new diplomatic options as well although what I'm not sure of yet.
     
  9. Dom Pedro II

    Dom Pedro II Modder For Life

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    If you're asking how I'm going to simulate the Triangle Trade, the plan is rather simple. Personally, I think that producing added-value goods is a bit too easy in the game, and it starts happening too early. Colonies were sources for raw materials. Producing processed goods should really be a slap in the face of the motherland because you're now competing with it. The African markets should demand on finished products because they lack the infrastructure to make use of the raw materials. Europe then becomes the important middle ground. Colonies will ship their raw materials to Europe, then your transport will load up on finished products and sail to the Africa part of the map and trade in those goods in exchange for slaves.

    Oh, I'm aware that some people will be upset about this. As the descendent of slaves, slave owners and abolitionists, I am aware of the sensitivity of the issue. I probably wouldn't bother trying to add such a sensitive aspect of history in the game if it wasn't so huge in scope. The face of several countries in the Americas is defined by this evil institution. America was built on the backs of African slaves, and without slavery, the history of the Americas would be completely different. My response to critics would be that if we are going to excise atrocity from the game, then players should start off on a clean, completely uninhabited piece of land. But I'm fairly certain that descendents of Native Americans would probably call this a white wash by removing them from the game to make our activities seem much more sanitized.

    I'm really not sure what abilities/problems slave units should have. I mean, the problem here is: are units working a land the laborers or the managers? Slaves would obviously never be the managers, but Planters would obviously never be the laborers... yet both could potentially be put to work on the same tile doing the same thing. Much of the plantation work is labor-intensive and dangerous requiring a large, cheap labor force to effectively produce the crops. But if you have slaves being better than specialists, it breaks the game aspect of increasingly improved units.

    No. They would have to be purchased in all instances. I'm debating whether to have your goods sellable in the African port for gold, and then the gold can be put towards buying the slaves, or if the goods should be used in a direct trade for slaves.

    That might be something to think about in the future, but it's not a top priority at this time.
     
  10. Ambreville

    Ambreville Deity

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    Pardon me for double posting this, but I think it's relevant to your thread.

    I totally agree with adding trade connections with Africa, as well as certain extra resources, such as Coffee in particular, and Europe-only goods. Some automation to trade with natives would be nice.

    The game's also missing trade agreements negotiated via diplomacy, special import fees, and trading with other monarchs as well (angering one's own monarch). Getting a foreign king to send some kind of military help would be more historical, especially a rival monarchy. Corporations are also singularly missing (Hudson Bay co, Compagnie des Indes, etc...)

    For combat, if ships can bombard cities, land artillery (which historically was far more accurate than shipboard cannons) should obviously be able to return fire!

    I'd stay away from anything requiring more complex resource/colonist allocation mechanics, unless better automation can be made available. I think there more than enough micromanagement required at this level already.

    Finally, scenarios other than the WoI schtick would allow for a different sort of game.
     
  11. Ambreville

    Ambreville Deity

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    On the topic of slavery -- this is thorny issue. Maybe the simplest way to represent it (if ever desirable) would be to give a small abstract productivity bonus to the colony or its land where slavery is in use. The "slave" unit is absorbed by the colony and does not show as a separate colonist, possibly until released (fights on the side of colonists if given freedom by the new constitution, runs away and forms a hostile independent colony*, or takes up arms and rebels against the colony).

    ------------------------

    EDIT

    (*) This actually opens a door to an interesting option. The "hostile colony" would be at war with the former owner. The only two ways to put an end to it would be to send troops and destroy the hostile colony, OR negotiate ----> something like this: "We'll make peace with you and recognize your freedom as a separate colony, but you can only buy goods from and sell goods to us. We'll even guarantee your protection against natives and foreign powers -- take it or leave it!" Although this smacks of neo-colonialism, it brings back "vassal" mechanics to Civ4Col. ;)
     
  12. Dom Pedro II

    Dom Pedro II Modder For Life

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    Regarding trade routes: I would like to do something with this. I think Dale made a great case for why the trade routes are the way they are, and I can't see any reason to change their mechanics. What does need to be changed probably is how that information is displayed. A trade route screen would be a good idea where you could set the imports/exports of multiple cities at a glance. I'm not sure how to minimize the list of cities in the transport's list of trade route options... I don't think there'd be a way to add a filter to a popup. But it would be nice if you could select two cities and get all of the possible resources to trade between them.

    I definitely agree that the wagon should stop trading if the destination city has maxed out its space. That could be something I can look into.

    Yeah, Europe in general seems to need some fleshing out. Any of these points probably need to be in there. European wars should also be factored in as far as I'm concerned. There's also a perfectly good events system that's gone largely unused. There's lots of potential for interesting random events. I'm not sure about the best way to represent corporations since in many instances they were the direct administraters of these colonies (essentially they'd have YOUR job)... so I don't know about the companies.

    Yeah, DCM or at least Ranged Bombardment should be added.

    Well, this is part of the reason I want to have plantations instead of being entirely at the mercy of the distribution of the cash crops on the map. I found that this resource distribution, more than anything else, was leading to the crushing micromanagement I was experiencing. Having three different cities shipping in their pitiful quantities of a raw material to make a lot of a processed commodity was annoying. In addition, with this, the map essentially starts out with four resources: Lumber, Food, Fur and Ore. Then you can sort of step back and see where you want the city to go from there.

    Yeah, one of the things I was going to add to the list (but really haven't developed enough to post) is the idea for multiple routes to independence. I mean, I come from Brazil which had no such War of Independence. Brazil bought its independence from Portugal by assuming all of the debt Portugal had accumulated from the Napoleonic Wars. So a kind of commercial victory where you buy your independence might be interesting. A political victory where you move to limited autonomy and then eventual independence might be interesting for some people too. But there has to be a fundamental change too since there will have to be a risk that the social order will collapse and that you'll find yourself at war with the home country if you don't thread the needle.
     
  13. woodelf

    woodelf Bard Retired Moderator

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    What about the option when you settle too close and they want gold they instead ask for x number of produced goods? So you do trade for land in this way.
     
  14. rezaf

    rezaf Warlord

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    Couldn't the slave "units" simply be a type of colonist you cannot use in any buildings but which will only consume 50% of the food a normal colonist would consume (maybe even less)?
    In the original Colonization, the indian immigrants could not be used for many tasks, which is kinda similar and could also be reintroduced.
    Also,I think what you have in mind for the african slave trade was in place for trading with the indians: you didn't trade goods for money, but goods for different goods instead. Which would be another good thing to reintroduce.
    Indian colonies could just produce a certain amount of goods each turn, and those would be available for trade. Makes sense, too.
    The original game also had a mechanic for preventing mega-cities: your towns would get less and less efficient after growing past a certain size, a situation you could only remedy by producing sufficient bells. To reintroduce this, changing the REF growth would be required, though.

    Something that was not in the original game but would be cool: have some mechanic to keep scouts useful. For example, indian "scouts" could have a chance of "settling down", producing additional goodie huts.
    Also, something like "high level huts" could be introduced. Give seasoned scouts a "Explorer" ability with several levels, and some huts could require "Explorer IV" or something. To make achieving higher skill levels possible, maybe uncovering unknown (black) terrain could provide a small amount of XP.
    And/or you could train it in the university.
    In the original game, there were "mega huts", like the Seven Cities of Cimbula (or something similar, you got a HUGE treasure from them) or the Fountain of Youth (triggering like a dozen free immigrants). These could also be put back in and only obtainable by experienced seasoned scouts in the mid-game or even later (when they are completely useless in the current system).

    I hope you don't mind I'm throwing around some random points here...
    _____
    rezaf
     
  15. Dom Pedro II

    Dom Pedro II Modder For Life

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    That certainly makes sense. This may be hard-coded though... the trade screen is a bit tricky and they really haven't exposed as much as I would've liked. Best I can say to that is maybe.

    Here's what we can do for sure though: We could add a new trade option where the Natives cede X tiles of their territory. 3 sounds like a good number to me... could vary based on world size. Anyway, you trade with the Natives for the rights to 3 tiles of their land...

    So let's say you now want to build a city on a piece of land and 4 of the tiles are controlled by that tribe. When calculating how much gold to demand from you, it will subtract the 3 tiles you bought, so they'll basically only be demanding the value of that fourth tile. They will also be less angry than they would be if you refuse to pay since you've only stolen 1 tile instead of 4.

    It would be nice if you could whip out the selection tool and select the tiles you want so it will be a pre-defined area of land, but this just isn't possible. Still, I think the above plan is better than nothing.
     
  16. Ambreville

    Ambreville Deity

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    Religion is also missing. I'm surprised nothing transpires into the game regarding the Reformation and the Wars of Religions. We have two Civs that are nominally Catholic (three with Dale's Portuguese), and two others that are likely Protestants. The two religious groups really hated each other, and this should have some impact as regards diplomacy but also Missionary rivalries. Scenario with Religious victory conditions?
     
  17. Ambreville

    Ambreville Deity

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    With natives (animism?) and possibly slaves (voodoo?), this complicates things a bit.
     
  18. Dom Pedro II

    Dom Pedro II Modder For Life

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    Certainly I think there's room for representing the rift between Catholic and Protestant countries. Of course, the game starts pre-Reformation... so I don't know if we'd want to have the sides locked in from the start... this is particularly true for a country like England that vacillated between Catholicism and Protestantism.

    Honestly, I can't really understand why building sectarian religious structures that further the glory and power of particular religious institutions increase religious tolerance. So things like Churches and Cathedrals should really bolster the religious rather than increase religious tolerance.
     
  19. Polobo

    Polobo Emperor

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    Regarding Native trade, why not make some of your happy goods available ONLY via natives so that the trade is actually bi-directional. Also, maybe have them ship stuff TO you as opposed to requiring that the player initiate the trade.
     
  20. RichardLion

    RichardLion Chieftain

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    How about someones fixs the dam western map god it looks horrible no great lakes few rivers the old col north american map looked better then this.
     

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