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[DEV] Corporations and resources

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Final Frontier Plus' started by TC01, Sep 5, 2015.

  1. TC01

    TC01 Chieftain

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    There are a couple of things I would like to play with in FF+ when I have the time to work on it. They'd probably get released as prototype modmods (ala Wormholes) and maybe get merged into 1.9, assuming that ever happens. Figured I'd post a thread about this one as it's probably the thing I'd work on first:

    Corporations

    I've thought about how we could add corporations to Final Frontier Plus for a while now (when I say "a while" I mean "since 2010" :p). I can't guarantee how good any of these ideas are, but that's why I'm posting them here...

    In BTS, corporations were created to solve the problem of what to do with early-game resources, I believe. Some let you convert early-game resources to end-game resources (the ethanol company). Others turn them into commerces (research, culture, etc.).

    In FF(+), there are no "end-game" or "early-game" resources. Except maybe uranium, but it's not like uranium appears later in the game. So what problem would corporations solve?

    Well, with the exception of uranium, most resources like Titanium, etc. don't let you build units, they make units cheaper. But these bonuses don't stack. Having two titanium resources doesn't really help you (except maybe as a trade good). Corporations could "solve" this "problem"; we could have e.g. a Titanium Trading Company or something that consumes titanium and outputs certain commerces. Ditto for the other strategic resources.

    Great People

    Of course, the way corporations work in the regular game is that they get founded by Great People. If we wanted to do that, we'd need to add Great People!

    That would require adding specialists back to the city screen and adding a few more wonders, perhaps, and making wonders generate Great People. But the specialists would be the main thing. This is totally possible in Final Frontier; the Star Trek mod does it (other mods probably do too). And it would give your city something to do with population once it grows beyond the number of planets...

    More Resources

    Another idea would be to... add more resources. I think there is a good number of planet resources, given their frequency and the number of solar systems out there. Possibly one or two more asteroid resources could be added. But I think if we wanted to add more resources, we'd need to look elsewhere. Namely:

    Nebula resources! Right now nebulae are just barriers. However, late-game construction ships can move through them. So this would, I think, be a stealthy way to add "late-game resources". The only question is, what resources would be added that would be found in nebulae? Presumably gases of some type. We might have to make some things up.

    The other thing is, nebulae are plentiful so nebula resources would probably need to be pretty rare, ideally not already in your borders when you discover them but still accessible by building a starbase. Or we'd need to come up with some other way to acquire nebula resources.

    I don't know what nebula resources would do, or how corporations would interact with them exactly, but perhaps we could have "competing" corporations the same way vanilla does. E.g.

    Oil: either sell it to some entity doing hydrocarbons research (+research-- this is just an example) or trade it to some conglomerate with access to krypton or xenon something (this is also just an example). Titanium and iron: same deal, probably.

    If I were to make a modcomp out of this, it would probably start with adding Great People back and adding three corporations that turn the three strategic resources into commerces that become available somewhere in the middle of the tech tree. Hooking wonders up to GP would be a project for the second release, and adding other resources like the nebula resources proposal above would be the third-- assuming I or somebody else came up with some concrete ideas for them.
     
  2. DarkLunaPhantom

    DarkLunaPhantom Chieftain

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    I don't know what other players think about this, but in my opinion this mod desperately needs more wonders. FF+ has a lot of buildings with nice variety of effects, but there are only a few wonders and their effects don't feel wondrous at all to me. Is there any way I can help with this?
     
  3. TC01

    TC01 Chieftain

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    Certainly!

    Speaking only for myself, we don't have more wonders because I don't have ideas for more wonders and haven't spent the time implementing them. God-Emperor is the source of the wonders we have, so thank him for them. :)

    I'd be more than happy to take more wonders (and suggestions for what Great Person they would produce once that gets done).

    If you have ideas, post them! If you feel up to it, try to hack them up in XML + Python and post that! Some wonders might need more art, but others might not (since most Final Frontier buildings don't really have art the way a traditional Civ building does). I'd be happy to work with you on adding wonders.

    You'd also want to figure out where approximately a wonder should fall in the tech tree, and if it should be associated with a new tech or if it can be added to one that already exists. For most wonders the latter is probably a better option, but we have added a tech or two to the end of the tree.

    There was a suggestion of adding Ringworld + Dyson Spheres in another thread, for instance. I'd be happy to add them. But those probably need art of some sort (perhaps we could steal some Star Trek mod art of a Borg Sphere if it exists-- honestly, I don't remember, for the dyson sphere).
     
  4. DarkLunaPhantom

    DarkLunaPhantom Chieftain

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    I'll try to find some free time in the next few days to think of some possible wonders, I'll also try to implement them to the best of my ability. (I'll probably "borrow" ideas from popular sci-fi franchises.)
     
  5. Imp. Knoedel

    Imp. Knoedel That's Imperator Knoedel.

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    Warning: Wall of text incoming!

    Have you ever looked into the way corporations work in Dawn of Civilization? (Itself I think this feature was copied from somewhere else, but I don't know what the original mod was.) There corporations don't have HQs and instead just are founded whenever a certain tech is discovered by anyone. You can't build executives, instead corporations spread dynamically to cities, with factors like population size, types of buildings and how many of its resources you have determining which city is more likely to receive a certain corporation. The number of total cities any one corporation can be in is fixed, so corporations can also leave cities if another one fulfills its conditions better. Finally, corporations in DoC are more generic, being called something like "Steel Industry" or "Computer Industry". I think this would work quite nicely here. Since corporations in DoC are all just called "Industries" they also aren't really incompatible with centrally planned economies as they don't necessarily implied private ownership.

    With that in mind, I suggest adding the following corporations:

    Agricultural Industry:
    +1 Food for every Cattle, Grain, Seafood resource
    Attracted by Cryogenic Granary, Farm, Harbor, Nutrition Facility, Ranch
    Founded when someone first discovers Domestic Development
    Luxury Industry:
    +1 Commerce, +0.5 Influence for every Cotton, Crystals, Gold, Spices, Wine resource
    Attracted by Commercial Satellites, Cotton Mill, Interplanetary Beacon, Mag-Lev Network, Plantation, Spaceport, Sports Arena, Stardock, Winery
    Founded when someone first discovers Empowered Citizenry
    Heavy Industry:
    +1 Production for every Hydrogen, Iron, Oil, Titanium, Uranium resource
    Attracted by Factory, Manufacturing Plant, Mining Facility, Nanoextraction Upgrade
    Founded when someone first discovers Industrialism
    Environmental Industry: +0.25 Food, +0.5 Research, +0.5 Influence for every Oxygen, Water resource
    Attracted by Extended Habitation System, Habitation System, Moonbase, my hypothetical Rings building maybe, Recycling Center
    Founded when someone first discovers Environmentalism

    Since none of these corporations compete for the same resources, a given star system could theoretically be host to all four of them, but it would have to be insanely developed and full with all kinds of buildings to achieve that. The exact values for yields would of course be adjusted to map size, as is the maximum number of systems that a certain industry can be in at any one time. Let's take for example a standard size map: We can assume at least eight systems based on faction number alone, and based on my experience I never had trouble expanding to at least two or three more systems, so let's assume that for most of the game every faction has about four systems on average, that makes about 32 systems. I thus suggest that on standard size maps the number of systems per corporation should be 20, that is the 20 systems which fulfill a given corporation's desires the most, through population size, buildings and resources. Perhaps this number should be increased by one per era of the most advanced faction, so that in the late game a given industry can be in 25 systems. This way every faction should on average have a corporation in about half of their systems, which is fitting I think. Obviously some factions might have more, e.g. Heavy Industry is probably gonna be pretty prevalent in Forge systems while Luxury Industry seems to synergize well with Paradise, which is only logical.

    And now for something completely different: I find it atrocious what a sausage fest this mod is. I can kind of understand a lack of female leaders for standard Civ, considering its basis in history, but a roster of eight white males (with one of them possibly being Asian) in a futuristic sc-fi scenario? Really? Alien factions are fine and well if you can get them to work and be interesting, but I would really like to have at least one human faction led by a woman, maybe even, and don't call me crazy, a non-caucasian woman. I don't have any concrete ideas for what abilities a new faction could have, but it would be worth keeping that in mind if you ever get around to a new human faction or two. Name her Catherine Shapiro, for some reason I have taken a liking to that name after making her up as a character for my Next War PBEM in which she was the assistant and later successor of the Europan leader.

    Now that I'm thinking about it, how about a faction focused on espionage? We don't have something like that yet. Let's call them "The Seers" or "The Watchers". Perhaps one of the PDE's colonies had an unusually high concentration of security service personnel, such that after the loss of contact with Earth a NSA or CIA or KGB equivalent agency took over control first temporarily, then for good. Police State should obviously be the favorite civic of its leader (Catherine Shapiro, use the Catherine leaderhead from the game, I think I read somewhere that you guys found out how to apply the sci fi special effects no?) as it is a society where the secret service is the state. Think of a faction with "If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry" as its motto and roll with it. Unique unit should be an improved Stealth Ship, maybe with extra vision and the ability to conquer star systems regardless of the settings, perhaps with the ability to bombard defenses to simulate the secret dropping off of saboteurs and infiltrators before the actual invasion commences, or if that is too overpowered just an extra move and/or strength. Unique Building could be "Security Center", replacing the Intelligence Center obviously, providing 2 instead of 1 espionage and/or extra happiness and/or extra defense. Now the only thing that's missing is the trait. Double Production of the two espionage buildings, +1 espionage per system for one, but that's not enough on its own. Extra happiness and no anarchy when switching civics would make sense, but that would be infringing on Halis' effects. Would -10% war weariness in all systems be possible? That one needs some work, but the rest is sound design I think.

    Btw has anyone noticed that some tech requirements are a bit redundant? For example Empowered Citizenry requires Domestic Development and Galactic Epistemology, but Galactic Epistemology is already a requirement for Domestic Development. I'm sure I have seen more such redundancies.
     
  6. TC01

    TC01 Chieftain

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    This is certainly a valid complaint. I feel obligated to point out that it's not entirely our fault that the civs were given the leaders they have, but you're not wrong about the diversity (although I think both Kanji Takeno and Lu Tianqu are meant to be Asian, and Hector Alvarez at least has a Hispanic name?).

    I would not mind adding, say, a female leader to each of the existing civs since "more leaders for the civs we have" is definitely something on the drawing board.

    You're right that espionage/spying is a sort of mechanical gap in the current set of civilizations. (I was at least partially considering filling this gap with cloaking devices and some alien civs that would utilize them heavily-- think the Romulans from Star Trek, but hopefully in a slightly less one-species-per-hat way (and I say that as a fan of Star Trek)). This is partly because the espionage system isn't really in the game, I think. A ninth PDE colony focused on spying could fill both the mechanical and flavorful role of the Romulans, definitely. I would probably hold off on trying to add such a civ without adding espionage though.

    (I'll reply to the rest of your wall of text about corporations and potential mechanics when I have a moment, wanted to address this now though. Thanks for all the feedback!).
     
  7. Imp. Knoedel

    Imp. Knoedel That's Imperator Knoedel.

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    Oh I wasn't accusing you at all. You have done a wonderful job scavenging one of Shafer's poor neglected playthings. :goodjob:

    I thought about Kanji too but was less sure about him than Tianqu.

    That could work, but wouldn't that actually be more work because now you have eight eigth 8 (stupid autocorrect is confusing me so much that I don't know what to think or spell anymore) additional traits to think up and balance instead of just one?
     
  8. Imp. Knoedel

    Imp. Knoedel That's Imperator Knoedel.

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    Bump, because I thought of a simpler way to introduce corporations without also adding great people: Just make them be founded upon completion of a galactic wonder, which also serves as that corporation's HQ. That would be similar to how shrines currently have to be built directly instead of by a Great Prophet.
     
  9. DarkLunaPhantom

    DarkLunaPhantom Chieftain

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    I'm not sure, but I think that this is actually already supported in the game (and AI knows how to evaluate this type of corporation etc.). However, I prefer reintroduction of great people.
     
  10. TC01

    TC01 Chieftain

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    It appears to be, as buildings have the FoundCorporation tag:

    Code:
    <FoundsCorporation>NONE</FoundsCorporation>
    But I also agree, I would like to see Final Frontier have Great People. Now, whether or not I ever get around to implementing them, I can't say. :(
     
  11. Imp. Knoedel

    Imp. Knoedel That's Imperator Knoedel.

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    What exactly is so difficult about it anyway? Did Shafer remove the entirety of code relating to great people or something?
     
  12. TC01

    TC01 Chieftain

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    Well, the city screen interface will need to be edited a bit to make room for the Specialists interface again, but there are no other technical bottlenecks.

    There is something of a game design bottleneck. Namely: I do not know where wonders, GPs, and specialists can or should be plugged into the existing structure of Final Frontier. I don't like the idea of implementing Great People without specialists (specialists would be a useful feature because then there is a reason for systems to continue growing after all the planets fill up, IMO), but in vanilla, so much of the game is built around specialists and Great People, from civics, to technologies, to buildings and wonders, that I think it would be a large undertaking.

    I've come to realize that I'm not really much of a game designer, which is why the engine improvement parts of Final Frontier got (and occasionally, continue to get) done, while the "add new content in a balanced way" parts do not, at least by me. I would love it if someone wanted to take over active design and development of new content in the game, but barring that, I just don't see it getting done by myself.
     
  13. Imp. Knoedel

    Imp. Knoedel That's Imperator Knoedel.

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    I actually think we could implement great people without specialists by just giving certain buildings great person points.

    However, I often do have the problem that I have too much food and not enough space (heh) to put population in some systems, but instead of specialists I suggest adding the following three buildings, all of which increase the population cap of a planet by one but ignore food yield worked by that additional pop point, that is they work functionally identical to Moonbases: In the very late game there should be an Advanced Moonbase, similar to the Advanced Habitation System that requires the simple Habitation System already be present. In the early-mid game there should be a similar building for planets with rings, maybe called "Rings Park", which gives 2 Gold instead of 2 Research. Finally, on any planet regardless of features you can build a "Space Station", which should probably be the most expensive of the bunch production wise and not give any additional yield or commerce, so Moonbases and Ring Parks are always preferable.
     
  14. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    I agree with Knoedel
    This mod can stay unique, without specialists. They are not too fitting on the planet scale after all. You change 50% of a planet's population to artists for example?
    Corporations with the SoI mechanics, and solving food issues similarly to the post above is the path I would choose for the mod.
    Apart from it being very fitting here, there is another huge reason: it's much-much easier to implement than to readd BtS style corporations and the whole specialist system.

    PS: some new resources would be great nevertheless, but that's kinda independent from this
    Can be added anytime to the corp system, no matter which one do you have
     
  15. L3gk6

    L3gk6 Chieftain

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    The one asteroid resource that should be in this mod would be silver.
     

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