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No food equals population. Actual population.

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by TruePurple, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. TruePurple

    TruePurple Civ wanna B

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    As you can see in the first link of my sig, this has been a long standing wish/problem I have had with Civ. From before Civ 4 was even out I asked for this and even with Civ 6 it seems they still use this crumby food=people and more cities means more pop growth system. Whether it be by mod or Civ 7 or Civ 8 or Civ 9, can we please consider alternatives?!?

    . . . Food shouldn't directly turn into people. What are they saying, that they lump food together like mashed potatoes in human shape and cast a magic spell and the food statue turns into a person Pinocchio style? Pfft

    . . . You have X number of people, population grows according a percentage of your population number. That percentage will fluctuate on a per city bases according to various factors including availability of food. And not having enough food means starvation and unhappy citizens that can't work well.

    . . . For example, you have 10,000 people, the growth rate is 5% per turn. Meaning next turn you get 500 more people in your city, turn after that 550, and so on. As long as you have the food.

    . . . You make a settler out of 5,000 of them (yes you can control how many people you send) So now the city has 5000 people and next turn it gets 250 more people. The settlers can also grow en-route but at a severe penalty.

    . . . Key here is that not only will this make for better and more realistic game play, it will also naturally solve the expansion issue. You expand when you have the people to expand, and you can't when you don't. Thus your very population becomes something to protect, nurture etc.

    . . . So why expand if more cities don't mean more growth? To claim land for your nation and claim and use important resources. Also overcrowding, if a city can't house its numbers, you expand out.

    . . . You could also have villages and stuff, especially back in ancient times, people were more spread out and agricultural farmers. Early game would require spread out because the tech wouldn't allow much housing in one spot and the distance away you can farm land for food would be limited, so you need many population centers to farm enough food to feed everyone.

    . . . But latter game could see consolidation of population into major cities via game mechanics like this that naturally encourage it as technology advances and allows higher population density and the population wanting to be near the most improvements they can. (natural migration of population between your cities without you doing anything)

    . . . Troops should come from the population,
    Actual population numbers dropping from the troops leaving the general population, you can retire them and put them back in latter.
    Consequences for losing troops in battle, besides the actual population loss, morale issues too.

    . . . Imagine this, just like in actual history, you could have farmer soldiers, they do the soldiering on their winter days etc. when crops can't be grown, meaning you only have access to them some of the time, but because they go home to farm. The advantages could be that farmer soldiers still contribute as workers for food production and to the general population numbers for population growth. Disadvantages could be low morale and much weaker than the dedicated soldier, tough to gain experience. When a farmer soldier needs time off for the farm, it disappears and you need to bring them back to the front again.

    . . . Also, having troops up should require paying them. Having troops die for your cause, you can either pay the family for their loss or suffer more morale problems.

    . . . Also such systems would naturally combat early rushing. Hard to rush someone when your struggling to feed your own population and find enough gold just to pay some basic defense units against barbarian attacks.
     
  2. Sostratus

    Sostratus Chieftain

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    Most of what you seem to be looking for can be accomplished with what we have now. Are we after dynamics or semantics?

    Food, as a resource, both sustains existing citizens and provides for the growth of new citizens. Growth is also a factor of housing and amenities- those last two being fleshed out more would probably provide the level of finer situational control that you're going for.
    This, essentially, could be achieved by adjusting the citizen cost formula we have right now. If, for example, we set all citizens to cost the same amount of food, we would see exponential growth. This is because more citizens=more farms worked=more surplus food => growth is an increasing function of citizens = exponential growth. Those people will breed like rabbits up to the housing cap.

    Cities currently grow fast enough in population and territory to take advantage of many improvements offering +0.5 housing. However, if you have a very food heavy start, you may notice there is a limit of around 13-16 that you will reach in the middle ages that lasts until you get neighborhoods. If you want this to have more 'stages' to it, you need only play with when those housing benefits come in. One could easily cap housing at the fresh water level+granary in the ancient era if you put improvement housing in a classical tech or civic, for example.

    So, basically, cause building a military unit takes a citizen just like settlers do now?

    While having this happen naturally without player involvement is a somewhat anti-fun mechanic, one could steal and idea from beyond earth's earthling unit and let settlers, maybe even soldiers to go off your earlier point, resettle in cities and thus provide whole or fraction population.
    To get your idea of people wanting to be near improvements, one might want to add a growth modifier scheme for districts, similar to what we have for housing. So more districts / district buildings would proxy the urban draw of jobs, entertainment, etc.

    We have unit maintenance costs now; if you lose units, I believe this also contributes to war weariness (which hits amenities, a proxy for citizens' happiness.)

    Unfortunately, the way food works now provides an easy intuition for many players about how to manage population. Changing it, especially to something complex enough to possibly require a calculator for planning, defeats the purpose of making the game's micromanagement simple enough to free up player attention for bigger-scale decisions.
    But food does not equal population anymore than production equals units and buildings- after all, managing a full supply chain of timber, metals, stone, industrial products, etc, steps outside the scope of a Civ game into more of a period simulator.
     
  3. TruePurple

    TruePurple Civ wanna B

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    I did not fully understand your post, Sostratus. But I understood it enough to understand you did not fully understand mine either.

    To respond to your end statement, hyperbole about full supplies of timer, metals, stones etc is a wildly unfair comparison.

    You need to protect your people, the more people that die, the less there are to produce more people in the first place.

    . . . You need to produce resources for your people, if you lack housing for your growing population, the people will have problems. If you lack food for your growing population, the people have problems. Note these are resources you get your citizens and fill their needs, not resources that get you citizens (do you see the distinction I am making there with that turn of phrase?) If you lack food, in any current civ game, your citizens just grow slower, if you lack housing, same thing. In my version, you lack these things, and you have lots of problems. Similarly if you have excess food or excess shelter, that won't mean more people in my version. Perhaps if you have excess food compared to your population numbers, you can trade with a neighbor. If you have excess housing, you can research and utilize tourism. In my version, you need to be constantly aware of your peoples needs in order to make the brightest future for them and win the game.

    . . . Imagine, getting ride altogether of the population heads. You got a farm hexagon, it has X number of people it can handle working it, say 100. You can assign the spot to be worked, and normally it will assign to max, but you can also assign a percentage with a slider bar, the production will change accordingly. So the military unit will take the number of people it takes, no more or less. Well maybe people can die and need to be replaced from town AKA healed up by population replacing the numbers, new recruits.

    . . . Too complicated you say? Not really, there are many ways this can be simplified and autoed. But the important bit is, you NEED to provide food, water, shelter for your people. The consequences won't be population growth stagnation, it will be population death and rebellion. So if you run out of food, you need to get more, asap, maybe trade. If you run out of shelter, you might need to expand, even if it means going to war. And having extra of these, won't mean more people, which brings us back to trade etc.

    . . . This could be expanded to lots of things, like in the future, your citizens need so much electricity to get by in their daily lives, but extra electricity would have no extra bonus, but can be traded for something else you might need.

    . . . All this can equal a game with much more realism and historical feel to it and if done right, can still be simple and manageable for the players.
     
  4. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    With a bit of luck, my current mod project may be nearly finished before Civ7 is announced...

    I do agree that needs should be controlling population growth, and that separating birth rate and death rate is the best way to fine handling needs (with the addition of population migration)

    And linking units to population is also an important part of giving a sense of scale and immersion to the game, I'd like to bring back the old feeling of passing the test of time as a Civilization instead of just playing a board game, even one with well-thought mechanisms.

    This requires to use real values in the background instead of directly picking "heads" or "citizen", and I do believe it can be done without requiring more micromanagement.

    So if you're not afraid of a mod in early development stage, you may found this interesting:
    https://forums.civfanatics.com/forums/gedemons-civilization-a-total-overhaul-project.576/
     
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  5. TruePurple

    TruePurple Civ wanna B

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    . . . Please note, my lastest version of Civ owned is Civ 3. They are on sale till the 4rth of Jan on Steam, all of them (though civ 6 for substantially more cost and less out there, and its clear its best to buy after lots of upgrades come out and all at once (They really like punishing early purchasers, I really want to wait on purchasing civ 6 till there are more complete packages like with 4 and 5). I am trying to decide what to get, if any. Is this based on Civ 6 I assume, I will need Civ 6 to use your mod? Will a linux run Civ 6 on Steam be able to use your mod? Will I still be able to multiplayer using your mod with others using the same mod?

    . . . I worry whether a mod that changes that much fundamentals of the game will still be able to work. It seems to me that incorporating such radical differences should be done from the ground up because these will interface with so many components to the game both obvious and hidden that weren't designed to fit with such and can create many complications. So wish developers would simply make the next version more like this. But maybe it will be fine as a mod, so much work for you though! Will you really be able to complete such a massive project eventually? They should be paying you with that level of work.

    . . . A bit of feedback on it. I see your mod hopes to add substantially more complexity than what I had in mind. Which may not be a bad thing. But how does social class really effect the actual gameplay? If you were to separate types of population, I would say instead of social class, age would be better, that and or ethnic types.

    . . . The ethnic types would come into play with migration of population, you get a great city, other nationalities want to join in. Or if you conquer or get conquered. Including from "barbarians" who might wish to join you or be forced to if you conquer them. Diversity would science and/or culture or whatever Civ 6 uses (not played it) at the cost of happiness, especially if conquered people. Slaves would provide zero science and culture (not exactly realistic, but a necessary detractor for slaving, which should be a optional way of incorporating enemy population if included in the game) Conquered people would also contribute less science and culture. These negatives of conquered ethnicity would fade over time the longer you hold the city, unless enslaved.

    . . . Age would be divided into three types, child, working adult, and old. Only working adult types work, can be recruited as soldiers etc. and only that type contribute to new population. But the other two still need to be fed, housed, entertained. Old can contribute to science and art etc. and young can contribute to future turns working adults. Individual age would be too much a problem, but some kind of internal mechanism of "OK X amount of young population were made from population growth Y number of turns ago, so can transferred to being working adults" would sort it out. And of course old people die after so many turns sorted the same way invisibly as young people turning to adults. The scale of turns would vary on tech which can extend life but also increase the standard for which the young are considered young and not fit to work yet and how long the working adults can work before considered "old".

    . . . Also you could have levels of education too instead of raw bonuses to science from schools etc. And certainly educational facilities can only educate so many a time, so one school or university would not suffice for a whole city. Again it's too much to track individual education levels, even more than age, these would be just rough numbers. This is not something I am suggesting per-say, just bringing up the concept.

    . . . Yes, we could have social classes along with these ideas, but that would be substantially more complexity still, especially if you were to keep track of all of it at once per citizen. Like X number of young middle class Greeks etc. It would be alot of values to track, including for the player. I await your reply about what the impact of social class in game would even have.
    . . . Sorry if this is a bad place to put these feedback/suggestions, from your thread though I don't even know the right place to put them since it's both suggestions for new and feedback for existing.

    . . . To the detractors, keep in mind, this can be done Simcity style, the complexity need not be directly managed but still present and effecting things. This way players need not be overwhelmed.

    And thumbs up overall for this!:thumbsup:

    .
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017
  6. Perseus Gold

    Perseus Gold Chieftain

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    If you start linking actual demography and fertility to population growth in Civ it will raise all kinds of questions the Devs don't want to deal with. Will there be policy cards for the types of marriage and child rearing practices a culture has because that can massively effect the statistics you are talking about.
     
  7. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

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    There's also the little mater that city population very seldom throughout history grew based on the in-city population increase. Cities, which crowded people together in unsanitary conditions for most of history, were lousy places to have children - and even if they made it to puberty despite bad water and sepsis on a daily basis, recurring disease outbreaks would still wipe out any internal growth: Rome, one of the best-recorded cities of the Ancient/Classical Eras, averaged a major epidemic eery 10 years throughout the Imperial period.

    No, most 'city population growth' comes from people Moving to the city from the countryside, to be nearer to jobs and livelihood, connections to Power and Influence, food and amenities, entertainment, etc.

    Therefore, if you want a more 'accurate' gauge of city growth, the city population increase should be geared to the 'drawing power' of the city: Amenities, Entertainment, Palace/Governors (Power!), Jobs (unfilled citizen slots?). Food is only the basic minimum - without it, no growth is possible, but even with abundant food, the internal 'birth rate versus death rate' growth in the city will be minimal until epidemic/childhood disease is under control with the development of Germ Theory and Sanitation systems in the Industrial Era.

    And, traditionally, when the city population gets too great for the Food Supply, people Migrate - either to other cities within the 'empire/civ', or to fond new cities either with or without the borders.

    The great 'Greek Colonization' period of the 7th - 5th centuries BCE was, for example, as far as we can determine, fueled by just such a mechanic: fixed amounts of food available on fixed amounts of arable land in Greece, plus a rising population that got increasingly difficult to feed = Colonists by the thousands and Colonies by the dozens. Characteristically, all the new Greek colonies (which included locations as remote as Spain, North Africa, and the Crimea) were each as similar to 'back home' in Greece as possible: littoral locations with good harbors and a climate/terrain that allowed plenty of food production using traditional Greek farming/husbandry methods. Most colonies were founded to carry off excess population, not to exploit new resources not available back home, in direct contrast to the better-known European Colonization of the Americas almost 2000 years later.
     
  8. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    I think this is a matter of taking things too literally. "Food" is just a metaphor that allows the developers to give players an easy tool with which they can control the growth of their cities. If you just bundle everything together into a system where city-growth is a result of a pseudo-realistic system that factors in happiness and other sources, then what you're doing is essentially taking away choices from players, and turning the game more into a simulation where you're not able to "do what you want to do", but rather always trying to figure out how to get your empire to prosper by using the resources you're given in an ideal way.

    The same is true for basically all other yields btw., they're all decoupled from each other so players can decide what they want to focus on freely, instead of using a more realistic, but also more restricting system.

    That isn't to say that a 4x that focuses more on simulation could not work - quite the opposite, I think it would have a lot of going for it - but it's not exactly what the current playerbase is expecting from the game.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2017
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  9. Temppu

    Temppu Chieftain

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    For a nice and casual gaming experience, abstracting away some technicalities, like exact math of population growth, is a necessity. Im not sure if I wanted Civ to become a hardcore population growth simulator, and I would guess Im not alone with this preference. Many aspects in the game could be made more rigorous and scientifically accurate. However, an important question to ask is whether such an increase in technicalities would improve the gaming experience of most players.
     
  10. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Warlord

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    My fault, guys, for not making it plain: I am NOT advocating a serious City Growth Simulation for a game like Civ, any more than I'd want the Civ Combat System to make a gamer have to take into account tank recovery and repair units available in the Modern Era! Abstraction is a Good Thing at certain levels of play, like Civ's.

    But
    I do want to point out that perhaps 'Food' is the wrong abstraction to account for City Size Growth in the game. IF instead Food is merely a minimum requirement to Keep a city at size X, but to increase it to Size X requires the gamer to provide Protection, Job Opportunities, Entertainment, Culture, etc., then City Size becomes one of the Indicators of the over-all success of your Civ. Also, lacking in any or several of those could cause cities to shrink in size, as in perhaps a Dark Age which some speculators are saying (based on speculation on R&F) might not be so bad...
    If it meant not only different Opportunities, but also potential Population Disaster on a local (single city) level, the real 'value' of a Dark Age Game Mechanism might be more apparent. After all, historically, as the Roman Empire fell apart and the European Dark Ages began, Rome the city fell from over 1,000,000 population to about 20,000.

    Of course we don't want to see that level of disaster in the game (normally - I ain't speaking for the Masocists out there in the gaming population) but the Potential for it should be there to keep the gamer on his toes, so to speak...
     
  11. TruePurple

    TruePurple Civ wanna B

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    Quoting you so it notifies you and that I might get a reply to a few of my questions etc.

    Any math, the computer crunches, not the player, like always. So the game wouldn't need to become any more technical for players than it already is.

    Please, tell me what restrictions you speak of that that would be present in a idea like this that isn't present in a a normal game. The game already makes effort to restrict players spamming cities because that isn't fun... wait what's that, a restriction to help INCREASE FUN already present in the game? Wow, who would have thunk it. And there is this pesky unit HP system on units that restricts them from being able to go anywhere without dying. Ok, that's enough sarcasm. I hope you get my point.

    Exactly.

    Look folks, the main effect of something like this besides increased realism is to give players a opponent/challenge other than just AI or multiplayer. Challenges in a game can be very fun and rewarding. Any real gamer who doesn't understand this needs to play more video games.

    And with all this "this isn't a history simulation" stuff, WTH? Why is it then that they have leaders and great people based on real life? Units based on real life? Hell, whole maps based on real life? Whole add-ons completely based on simulating history. Are you folks saying that there isn't a aspect of the game where you are simply guiding a people along the path of evolution as a society to greatness?!?? So what's the problem with ideas like this, unless it's simply "This isn't what I'm used to, and my mind's too inflexible to consider anything new."?
     
  12. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    No idea why my post offended you so much that you felt the need to be sarcastic, but I think the restrictions on expansions are actually a very good example for why your system would be very restricting in a way that many people would not find fun - because it's a lot like Happiness in Civ 5, where the system really pushes you into one, maybe two, very specific city setup(s). Civ VI does it a lot better in that regard, it does not restrict you as badly, and gives you the choice to play with whatever amount of cities you want to play with (within reasonable limits), even though it might not be 100% effective. Your system sounds purely like a numbers game to me.

    Which isn't even necessarily a bad thing, some people would definitely prefer it, so it's a good idea for a mod. But the food system as it is clearly there for a reason, and it's not to simulate "realistic" population growth - it's to allow players to directly control how quick they want their cities to grow, and make growth be a yield that competes with other yields, not a passive result of your empire or decisions.
     
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  13. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    You can wait for a complete version of Civ6, my mod will not be finished anytime soon (if its finished, I won't make promise on that, real life can put me away from modding anytime).

    I'm afraid that it won't run on linux/mac as if we get the source code for the DLL it will use it.

    And multiplayer (but more oriented cooperative/RP than competitive) is something that I want for that mod, lack of easy MP support for mods is the main reason I've stopped modding for civ5.

    I'm keeping the rest of my answer short to stay on topic...

    "Real population" (and food as a "need") are not only a way to add more consistency/immersion to the empire you manage, in my case they are also the end result of requirements for mechanisms that I want to have in the mod.

    Ethnicity and social classes being also part of the global vision and how they affect (or are affected by) mechanisms like supply lines, conscription (you wont get the same unit type from lower class or upper class population), empire stability (different needs by different classes), taxes (higher/lower income from different classes), city growth (including population migration & plagues), etc...

    And all that being easier to code (and IMO easier to understand for the player) using a real population number than the current "citizen/head" value, one "citizen" representing a very different population value depending on the size of the city they're in (but the current city size / "citizen slots" can still be used -and will be used in my mod- as that number can be quickly determined from a real population value)
     
  14. TruePurple

    TruePurple Civ wanna B

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    Valessa
    The sarcasm isn't about offense but for missing that which is staring you in the face after being spelled out for you. When someone misses the obvious like that, it can be tough to find any more words to use.

    Restrictions=rules. Rules=games. For example, the game restricts players from traveling over water without a boat. If you take away all those "restrictions" there is no game. Or to put it another way, all one needs (and one absolutely needs this too) to do to make a game is develop a set of rules AKA restrictions.

    If more cities means more winning, than people will be compelled to make more cities. The only way to prevent that is to provide restrictions like happiness etc. Or a real population system, which would naturally allow players to do as they like without artificial contraptions to compel it.

    What I (and others) are suggesting, means more things to challenge us in the game, thus more freedom and enjoyment in playing. Right now Civ depends on either a AI that isn't stupid, or a multiplayer that works and is balanced. Without either of those two things, the game falls apart. Suggestions like this provide more for players to play with.

    And as merely a bonus, frosting on the cake, it would also make the game more realistic and immersive, like you are really leading people through history to greatness. And I don't know what your on about with the expansions, suggestions like this would work perfectly fine with those too.

    It's like the game Don't starve, it's a bundle of restrictions, keep your belly full, keep your sanity up, protect your health, don't get too hot, too cold, too wet, don't be in the dark. But within that network of restrictions is alot of freedom, challenge, fun.

    So Valessa, what restrictions do you mean? And how are said restrictions a problem for the fun of the game? You will need to be alot more specific than that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  15. clapyourhands

    clapyourhands Chieftain

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    I don't think your point was missed, it was just disagreed with. Restrictions set the framework of a game, but more restrictions don't equal more fun. Like Valessa said, the comparison to Civ V happiness is a poor one because many people also disliked that mechanic, enough so that the popular community mods rework it entirely. I agree that it's a good idea for a mod; but it's a radical departure from how city growth has worked for every game up until now that fundamentally changes how cities are managed. It would alter the population mechanic from a turn-based one like production to a resource-based one like gold, just with more moving around of the resource and managing of caps and limits (to avoid overcrowding and the like). That's a significant increase in micromanagement required, even if the computer does the mathematical crunching, as you now have to be aware of per-city population when you want to build new cities or units, and worry about underpopulated/overpopulated cities. I'm sure that's fun for some people, but Civ has always been the 4X game that eschews the minutiae in favor of the big picture; I much prefer the simple: "Is there enough food here? If yes, good, if no, I should get on that." I agree that it's an idea best suited for an ambitious mod or another 4X game altogether. To be clear, this isn't a bad thing; Civ IV Rhye's and Fall was a big departure from the norm, but it is very much popular and fun to play. I just wouldn't want it to replace the original civ, either.
     
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