Civ is not a realistic game at all. You can press a button in regular Civ4 and prevent a city from growing. Essentially everything that the player does makes no sense if you take it in a litteral sense as the leader ordering that thing to be done. For example, since when did your country's leader order all of his citizens exactly where to work? And determine when and where to build a factory, university, or bank? The fact is that essentially everything in Civ4 is abstracted so that its fun to play. I honestly think that adding in little modifier popups for every single colony you have would end up being a pain to manage. I think my system would be much simpler and be more in keeping with the level of abstraction found in most of the rest of the game.
Actually I don't think what either of us thinks is really that important, because I doubt that the AI would be able to handle either model very well (or even at all).
First of all, let's remember that the point of this project is to mod the game for a more historically credible and realistic worldmap game. Obviously the game is unrealistic, but if we can change that some of the time and stick to the game's style that's a good thing.
Even if realism is not such a virtue itself here, keeping in line with the rest of the game is
, and building a building to trigger an event is definately out of line with the style of cIV. We had that in Civ3 with Aqueducts and Hospitals but in the sequel that was deliberately left out for a more realistic and organic system called "Health". What we need to try and do as much as possible here is use the existing game mechanics and expand on them, rather than creating mechanics of a kind the game does not ship with.
I agree that the popups system is ultimately unworkable, both because of the bother-factor and because of AI stupidity, but also now that I think about it because of the Rule of Style (that we must keep in style with the game's original mechanics). This leads me to think we should stick with the following model:
1. A new column, Emperial (or Colonial), is added to the civics screen.
2. Colonies do not have some or all of the Draft and Hurry Production buttons. These are replaced with colonization-specific actions. Each action corresponds with one Civic or more (not necessarily from the new column). One of these actions represents a brutal act of overtaxation, netting a hefty
/pop boost but also creating some
/pop (1.5/pop?) and increasing chances of flipping to Barbarian - a chance that will be inherent to all colonies.
3. Colonies receive certain bonuses and certain limitations, corresponding with certain Civics (mostly in the new column, but sometimes not). Colonies would typically get some kind of
bonus relating to resources the colony has access to in combination with the number of trade routes. Colonies would usually be limited in growth in a few possible manners - automatic
/growth costs; higher
/pop/turn eaten; sometimes max 1pop/garrisonned unit (only effective at time of growth). Colonies all receive 1
/turn, with some civics increasing this bonus and/or adding %
4. Any Colony hitting size 6 automatically morphs into a city. We can add additional ways to morph, such as a certain level of culture or a certain income. The player's control of the morph would be indirect - only through the mechanics controlling the factors that lead to the morph. An exception can be any great person being able to trigger a morph in a Colony he is in.
5. One Civic in the new column will end colonization, removing most growth barriers (except for the auto-
) and disallowing all the colony-specific actions. Like with Emancipation, Colonies would get
for every rival with this Civic unless you have it too. This should also increase chance of flipping to Barbarian.