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

"Safety" a different approach to Culture-mechanic

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fury Road Modpack' started by Refar, Jul 11, 2008.

  1. Refar

    Refar Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    4,608
    I have been thinking about the Culture in this mod for a while, and finally arrived at a point whre my ideas are articulated enought to put them up for discussion.

    The very short version: I suggest Culture being replaced by something else ("Safety" ) while keeping the effects it has on the gameplay in a new disguise and somewhat altered balance.
    Overall it is more of a athmospheric change, there are however some gameplay and balance applications as well.
    I kept the changes, to what i believe to know to be doable by XML modding only for now.

    Why ? Somehow, culture does not seem to fit in the setting too well. Concider any of the paragon settings we have - the varios movies, the fallout games - the closest thing to a "culturized building" you will find there is a whorehouse.

    To put it simple - post apocalyptic survivors just are not that terrible culturized.
    They have more pressing concerns: War, Hunger, Famine and Pestilence. And even Chaos, who quit the band before the other four bekame famous. And of course they minions - Radiation, Aggressive Mutated Animals, Brainless Punks, zealous Leaders of concurrent surviving groups and they silly visions of the future.

    Working the fields on the ourskirts of town (say 2.nd BFC ring :p) is necessary to survive, but very dangerous. And a school on the towns center does not help a lot in fendig off the perils.

    The most pressing matter for a young surviving settlement is Safety.
    Only by increasing the safety can the settlement expand the area of worked land, grow and become a oasis of life and relative safety in the wastelands.


    So now in terms of game mechanics. Basicly we can keep using the Culture meachnic of the game. We just call it "Safety" (Or maybe a native speaker can come up with a better term.)

    There will now be buildings generating instead of :culture: (Obviously, it will be rather Walls than Libraries).
    There will still be boarder pops when certain level of Safety is achived.
    There could still be the Safety slider - increased funding for town militia, patrols and the like. It is sound enought, that increased safety would make people happier.
    There could still be a Victory condition, to become a beacon of stability, safety and hence good live in the Wastelands. Recognized, admired and envied by everyone.

    Slower scaling of Safety levels. I am thinking only 4 levels:
    Poor: 0 - 9. One Ring, just settled.
    Fragile: 10 - 499. 2 Rings, Full BFC can be worked.
    Strong: 500+. 3 Rings - intruders from outside must pass through some of our territory and will be detected before they can enter/attack cultivated lands in most cases.
    Legendary: I am thinking 30000. the default 50000 seem just to impossible in this setting. 4 Rings. This city became a beacon of safety. 3 such cities win the game.

    The effects of that new scaling: The cites will grow and able to work the full BFC at the same pace as in normal game. But expanding the safety zone further will become harder and slower.
    It will take a lot more time to close all the gaps in the own land. The Civilizations will be more of Islands of Safety in the Wastelands, maybe connected by a road or highway, than solid blocks.
    Barbarians might stay dangerous for extended periods of time, spawning and roaming in between those islands.
    Ressources outside the cities BFC will take longer to connect, making settling within direct reach of those ressources more important.

    Optional Addition: Increasing the minimal distance for cities from 2 to 3 would further increase the "Islands" effect.
    It would also help controlling the land - with the slower growing boarders it will be hard to completely block of another Civ's expansion, but the higher minimum distance will prevent settling in between other civs cities most of the time.

    It will become nearly impossible to flip a city through Safety. I was never too fond of that flipping mechanic with Culture in the first place. It makes even less sense with safety. Culture flips were not too likely in the mod anyway, as there are only few sources of culture.
    It is however still possible to have a safety-fight over the influence in a Work-able BFC tile if 2 cities are settled to close - which makes some kind of sense - the one who is better able to protect those outlying squares (from Barbarian or Concurrent Civ intruders) will have controll and over the land.

    On Buildings, Wonders, Specialists. Generally increased safety is connected with somewhat different buildings, than culture would be. Here my preliminary ideas. It's not a complete list, but i tried to cover all tha basics.

    Militia Headman: (City Specialist, could als be called Protector, or maybe Sherif) +1:gold: +4 +3:gp: (Towards Great Protector)

    Great Protector: (Great Person) Settled: +3:gold: +8 +1 XP for new units from this city.
    Can not bulb techs.
    Can execute a "Safety-Bomb" giving 5000 to the city (Immediately making it a "Strong" 3 Rings City - might be valuable to quikly access ressources, or block off expansion)
    Can construct a "Rangers Guild" special Building.

    Palace: +2, maybe 1 Protector Slot. Souldn't be overpowered, as the food is less abundant in the mod, than in normal game. The rest as usual.

    Rangers Guild: +4 +100% in the City. Should be a good thing for trying a builder style Safety-Victory.

    Monument: +1 (Still +1:) for CHA).
    Monuments work basicly the same as before - they inspire the population, remember them of they duties and beliefs, so they will go work on those dangerous farms outside fo town because it is needed, even tho the monument not really makes working there safer.

    Walls: +1 (And of course the usual defensive bonus.)

    Town Militia: +1, +1 XP for new units. +1:) per 10% Can turn 1 Citizen into Protector.

    Barracks: +1, +2 XP for new units. Can turn 1 Citizen into Protector.

    Boradcast Tower: +1 +1:) per 10%, +1:) With Charismatic, Hit Singles. Required for Voice of the Badlands.
    No Multiplier, no Specialist Slots. Make it a cheaper instead (maybe 90:hammers:).
    Good communications are good for increased security. Broadcasting warnings, survival tips and success meassages should also make people more content.

    Voice of the Badlands: World Wonder. Requires Broadcast Tower in the city and 4 BT in the empire (On standard map) +4 +50% in the City
    -10% War-:mad: (Empirewide)
    Grants Hit Singles.


    I do know where most of the things touched here are in the XML, so i could help produce the needed changes fast and more or less painless, if the general idea/direction is found interesting/worth pursuing.
     
  2. seZereth

    seZereth FfH´s art monk(ey)

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,900
    Location:
    Bayreuth
    gret idea!
     
  3. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    4,743
    Location:
    California
    This is a really good idea. It fits excellently into the theme, and we can clearly get there without SDK or even python changes. If you want to work on XML changes, I can easily merge them with my existing 0.7 changes; send me a zip of just the changed files, or a zip of everything and a list of the changed files. I can use "diff" to find and merge the changes.

    As I see it, here are the needed items.
    1. Change gamefont.tga/gamefont_75.tga. Painful but necessary. Have you done it? If not, if you can make/find a 20x20 icon and a 16x16 icon with transparency, I can cut them in.
    2. Change the name of "culture" in the text file to "safety", and "artist/great artist" to "protector". This can happen at the end of my single text file in a new section.
    3. Change some buildings and global culture thresholds as you have described.

    At this point we are already 90% there and it's playable.

    4. Based on my experience with changing religion to vision, what happens next is a slow process: there are dozens of messages which refer to "religion" and I had to find them one by one in playtest, search out which key, and override it.

    I'm excited, I think this will be a great addition!
     
  4. Refar

    Refar Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    4,608
    My assessment of the tasks was similar to yours. The XML should be pretty straight-forward; Gamefont... :vomit: - but i have some practice working it, so it should be ok. I will use the icon i used in the Post ?
    And in the end a proably long hunt for tha last missed text tidbit still referring to culture :crazyeye:

    I will finish a first ute (Basic Crossbow) by tomorrow, and then look how far i can get with this on Sunday.
     
  5. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    4,743
    Location:
    California
    I can do the xml stuff, but I can't do art. If you can make the 20x20 and 16x16 safety icons, I can cut them in and also do the basic renaming in the xml. Making and tuning the buildings either of us can do. If you had the time to work on more ute variants, that would be better probably. (switch back to new art thread for more on that.)
     
  6. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    4,743
    Location:
    California
    OK, "safety" is in. I changed the ring definitions and city spacing, and did a basic search for messages. I did not change the icon, and I have not changed the buildings yet. I played a couple of games last night. I had bad luck with stupid deathclaws killing my settlers, so I did not get very far. It seems that we will have little "corridors" of unoccupied territory running between the cities. To get a lot of unowned space, it may be necessary to increase the city spacing to 4, but that may be too large. I will try some each way.
     
  7. Refar

    Refar Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    4,608
    I will attach the icon shortly.
     
  8. Jabie

    Jabie Wanted in Monte Carlo...

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    1,024
    Location:
    Southampton, UK
    Sorted of related idea...

    Electrical power - whether provided via solar generators - ought to provide a slight safety boost. It's harder to sneak up on a camp at night if their floodlights are working!

    Civ4 already includes the concept of electrical power and the icon exists. Originally power would double the effectiveness of factories. In a scaled down version of the game power could provide a a marginal bonus to productivity and safety. It would only supply the bonus once - being powered by multiple sources only acts to remove single points of failure.

    Power sources could either be solar, wind or tidal. Thus in order for a city to be powered it must have in it's plot either a waterwheel, solar panel in a desert or windfarm on a rooftop. This means that pillaging raiders could quite easily cut the power, which adds an extra tactical level to the game.

    Optionally coal and/or oil could be used with the appropriate power plant to provide power.
     
  9. Refar

    Refar Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    4,608
    Here are the gamefont files and the source files for the icon in different resolutions - i am not exactly sure what is needed - are there .dds icons for culture ?

    The gamefont icon looks a bit less crisp than i would like, but at least i did not mess up the whole file (at least from what i can tell)

    On city spacing... a forced distance of 4 might be indeed to much.
    Maybe those small coridors we have on min distance of 3 will be enought - enemies will be able to moove there without ob, and perhaps you can make barbs spawn there sometims as well.
     
  10. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    4,743
    Location:
    California
    I agree. I had this most of the way in there. But, it turns out in XML, the *only* effect power can have is on the production bonus of a building. So I gave up for now. If we can think of effects that can happen with Python, I can do that.

    There are a couple of effects I was trying to achieve, both based on scenes from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. There is a nice speech near the end about turning lights back on in the city to encourage the other survivors. I was planning a City Lights World Wonder, the first player to turn on the lights becomes famous -- culture bonus, now safety bonus. I got stuck worse on this one because I don't have a building for it. The only thing I can think of which would be a single wonder building, is a streetlight. Not very morale-boosting.

    Any thoughts for a better building to represent this?

    The second effect is a one line quote by Aunty Entity. You may recall the town, Bartertown, has a huge cave with pigs underneath it to provide methane, and she says, "Pig s**t. That's what powers Bartertown". I was going to add a Biofuel technology which would require pigs, or cows, and use that as the tech quote.

    I think oil generators, and this type of biofuel, would be the easiest to setup. Solar and wind power require a fair amount of technology to be efficient, and coal requires large scale mining. So my plan was to have Refining enable power from oil, and Biofuel enable power from pigs. Maybe those techs could enable building a Generator building, which would have the safety effect and enable the City Lights wonder.

    What other effects should power have?
     
  11. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    4,743
    Location:
    California
    Thanks, I am sure everybody hates messing around in gamefonts.

    Here is what it looks like so far. I have not changed any buildings except for adding barricade, based on seZereth's cool barbed wire fence.

     
  12. Refar

    Refar Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    4,608
    I would prefer electricity on large scale not beeing part of the game - at least for now. It might be a good feature for later "expansion" into a "Next War after Rebuilding" phase or something.

    Sure, we alredy do imply usage of eletricity with the Broadcast towers for example. But it think this is something that can be powered by small generators (tho you will need a whole lot Pig Sh**t to actually do something :lol:).
    But giving the city power in the sense of civ, would imply huge, advanced, industrial powerplants.
    Seem not to fit the theme to me.

    Random thought here. IIRC in Mad Max Sydney (?) was not lit by electricity in the end, but by lots of fires... So how about a "Lighthouse-tower" ?

    My Scanner at home died away a while ago, so i can't put a concept drawing up right now (i still do those by hand), but imagine a old wild-west water tower (I think they used simillar stuff in Australia) with a fire on top of it.

    It is somewhat in line with the theme, and it is feasible in the sense, that it might work like this - it's elevated to spread light over some distance, the tank could contain fuel (Yea, Safety First :p)
     
  13. Refar

    Refar Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    4,608
    I added in the specialists, And edited the buildings that were already there (did not add the new ones yet, and also left Broadcast/Voice alone for now).
    Also found some rogue pixels on the gamefonts Alpha (Causing that artifacts at the boarders, you can see in Davids screenshot)

    I did not make the needed Text-Keys (The list below) - might be better if someone with a Typo/Word ratio better than 3.75 write those.

    Also did not duplicate changes to Boarder pop levels, city distance, since you alredy have those.

    The "changelog"
    Code:
    Art\Interface\MainScreen\CityScreen
    	Specialist Buttons	
    
    XML\GameInfo\Civ4SpecialistInfos.XML
    	TXT_KEY_SPECIALIST_PROTECTOR
    	TXT_KEY_SPECIALIST_PROTECTOR_STRATEGY
    	TXT_KEY_SPECIALIST_GREAT_PROTECTOR
    	TXT_KEY_SPECIALIST_GREAT_PROTECTOR_STRATEGY
    
    XML\Units\Civ4UnitClassInfos.XML
    	TXT_KEY_UNIT_GREAT_PROTECTOR
    
    XML\Units\Civ4UnitInfos.XML
    	TXT_KEY_UNIT_GREAT_PROTECTOR
    	TXT_KEY_UNIT_GREAT_PROTECTOR_STRATEGY
    	(Using Great Spy Name List)
    	(Using Ancient Great Spy Art (The Ninja Guy iirc))
    
    XML\Buildings\CivBuildingInfos/XML
    	Palace -> 1 Protector Slot in 
    (And out again - the Gouvernor immediately assigned him in the Capital, making the city not grow. Might cause uproar with players and might harm the AI if they do the same.)
    	Monument -> No Change needed.
    	Walls -> +1 Safety. Made it not obsolete safe.
    	Barracks -> +1 Safety. Protector Slot.
    	Library (School) -> Removed Culture.
     
  14. seZereth

    seZereth FfH´s art monk(ey)

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Messages:
    3,900
    Location:
    Bayreuth
    just wanted to encourage you, i like this whole concept.
     
  15. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    4,743
    Location:
    California
    @refar: I have cut all your files into the game and started testing. One problem, when your borders expand, there is a popup circle icon with a single purple note in it. I hunted around to find this icon, it is art/interface/buttons/process/processculture.dds. Who knew? It is 64x64, but the circle clips it. I scaled up your 20x20 icon to 64x64 but it is clipped and offcenter, plus blurry. Could you try out this icon and see if you can make a proper one for it? It should be easy to test even in vanilla, you always get it on turn 5.
     
  16. Refar

    Refar Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    4,608
    I kind of assumed there would be a .dds icon (It will probably be used on "Building" Culture in a city as well) but did not find it...

    I had a Safety_Icon_64 photoshop file in the archive - that i scaled to fit a button. Can you try save it as .dds and use it there ? It has Alpha chanel set and should work - might still be clipping with the circle tho.
    If that one does nor work, i will take a look at that processculture thingie.
     
  17. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    4,743
    Location:
    California
    OK will do.
     
  18. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    4,743
    Location:
    California
    The first version with "safety" is released. See the welcome thread.

    Points for discussion (among others!)

    Which civics should affect safety, and how?

    What to do about the "Creative" trait? One huge reason for playing a Creative leader is to get the +1 culture/turn bonus. This makes it much easier to get captured cities back on their feet, without a monument or whatever culture-generating unit. It makes no sense for creative to generate safety. It makes perfect sense for protective to generate safety. But that totally changes the play balance. I have already deleted philosophical and spiritual as having no useful effect; does creative have to go too? (Whatever will Brandi think? :)
     
  19. Refar

    Refar Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2005
    Messages:
    4,608
    I have to admit - i completely forgot about creative in the concept. :wallbash:

    A possibility would be to rename "Creative" to something safety related - then the bonus could stay. The Fast Buildings might need adjustment tho. But this is just a fast shot - as i said i did not think of it before.
     
  20. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    4,743
    Location:
    California
    Interesting idea. I do like the idea of low level electricity being developed, maybe not huge factories but house lights. I had planned to rename "radio" to "electricity" to capture the dependency on electricity for broadcast, but I stopped when I learned how limited power is in the existing XML tags.

    I did create a button, basically a night shot of city skyscrapers with lights. That is the effect I was aiming for.

    Maybe big searchlights instead of a fire?
     

Share This Page