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Social Engineering - Culture and Virtue Revamp

Discussion in 'CivBE - Released Mods' started by lilgamefreek, May 30, 2015.

  1. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2014
    Messages:
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    "Social Engineering" is a revamp of Beyond Earth's Culture and Virtue system, making the virtues you choose descriptive of your state and affect your diplomatic relationship with others. Virtues are separated among 12 Social Engineering choices, and as your virtues evolve, so does the story of your state and people.

    Hard Decisions



    The mod features 84 virtues, 12 Social Engineering choices, and 4 Social Engineering categories. Players use their culture to make difficult decisions such as whether their state develops into an oppressive Police State, a free Pluralist society, or a Fundamentalist government. Here's an easier to browse album of all of the content:
    http://imgur.com/a/7tZhz/layout/horizontal#4

    Always Greener



    Social Engineering choices also come with downsides that become more intense as the choice is further developed. If the Shortcomings become too much to handle, players can abandon their choice in favor of a different one at the cost of a few turns of Martial Law.

    Us vs. Them



    What's more, Social Engineering choices will affect diplomatic relationships with other states. Hutama will not be happy with states who adopt a Planned Economy, while Elodie will be very warm to others who choose Pluralism. Each vanilla leader comes with their own, character appropriate Aversion and Preference, and it is easy for others to include them in their own mod.

    Important Notes



    - I would love to hear your feedback. I am by no means an expert game designer. Let me know what you feel is unbalanced, what is broken, or what you love about this mod! I need to know what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong.

    - This mod is compatible with custom sponsors, even if they don't add aversions or preferences. The system is flexible and robust, allowing you to have sponsors with none or multiple Aversions and Preferences.

    - This mod is not available for Hot Seat or Online multiplayer. There is the possibility of some mod in the future making this game playable in Hot Seat, but at the time of writing, no such mod exists.

    Planned Future Changes



    - Civilopedia entries
    - More appropriate building icons in certain places

    External Links



    CivFanatics download page (Vanilla+RT)
    Steam Workshop link (Vanilla)
    Steam Workshop link (RT)

    Additional Credits


    Inspiration:
    - The Firaxis Teams for both Beyond Earth and Alpha Centauri
    Ingame Art:
    - Starships Team (Police State, Pluralist, Dominance, and Cooperative splashes)
    - Crystal Palace Entrance, Ryan Church (Fundamentalist splash)
    - Adrift concept art 03, Michael Koch (Free Market splash)
    - Factory Mood Concept, Cristi-B (Planned splash)
    - ANTS concept, Valtra Corp. (Green splash)
    - Portal, Robert Brown (Progress splash)
    - Room With a View, Christian Tigaer Hecker (Wealth splash)
    - The King has been found, EstevesLuis (Aggressive splash)
    - City Wall concept art, Bungie (Defensive splash)

    All of the current virtues and their effects (Vanilla):

    Politics


    Police State
    Spoiler :

    Pluralist
    Spoiler :

    Fundamentalist
    Spoiler :


    Economics


    Free Market
    Spoiler :

    Planned
    Spoiler :

    Green
    Spoiler :


    Values


    Dominance
    Spoiler :

    Progress
    Spoiler :

    Wealth
    Spoiler :


    Diplomacy


    Aggressive
    Spoiler :

    Cooperative
    Spoiler :

    Defensive
    Spoiler :
     
  2. MasterEcabob

    MasterEcabob Chieftain

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    Wow! This mod is simply amazing! I love that you put market crashes as the negative for Free Market, as that is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind, albeit as more of a random chance each turn rather than at specific moments, which I imagine would be harder to code. I also thought it would be neat to have a flat +1000 energy policy on the second tier, to encourage some real high risk/high reward play with sticking in the tree long enough to get the energy and then switching to green or planned before the random crash hits.

    But that's enough babbling, time for me to check it out for myself!
     
  3. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    Flat yields is definitely something I've considered before, but not for energy. It's something I should revisit, especially sense I ran out of a little steam while fleshing out the Wealth choice. It's currently is too similar to Free Market in my opinion.
     
  4. MasterEcabob

    MasterEcabob Chieftain

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    Yeah, right now wealth has me a bit confused. I assumed that the Free Drones would be more on the Dominance track, since they dislike research and aren't than into wealth and splendor...but currently the best virtue for them (+2 to manufactures) is deep in wealth.

    Overall, I'm really liking the looks of things because of how game changing a lot of these trees are. From what it looks like, when I adopt, for example, the progress branch, I have to completely rethink the way I play. The cooperation branch is the best example of this, and I love how you balanced it by having it help you while helping your "friends" even more. Do you think you could you clarify how the relief virtue works? It sounds like you get a bonus in your city if another city is starving, is that correct? And what happens when one of your cities is starving?

    I also have some comments about the defensive tree, but I'll have to test some things first. Keep up the great work!
     
  5. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    It looks great lilgamefreek. I'm about halfway through a Sputnik game with Sochua and I'm having fun testing things out. And I have to say: the decisions are real. You've made some pretty tough choices which actually impact how you you play. I applaud you.

    I'm currently running Pluralist, Planned, Progress, Defensive. I wasn't expecting the PAC to have an aversion to Green Economics, but it makes sense in hindsight. I intend to try Green next, (with another faction of course). I want to find a workaround for that Tier 3 Shortcoming. Pretty brilliant by the way.

    I haven't found anything overtly broken balance wise. I'm really impressed by the Diplomatic choices. They're mechanically interesting and incredibly original, while still gesturing to some of the features of SMAC. I haven't even played Alpha Centauri but I still smiled at Hunter-Seeker Algorithms.

    I did notice some errors in the Diplomacy bar, some lines starting with TXT_ in the relationship modifiers.

    I'm curious as to what you are going to do about the Future Society Preferences when you get to the SMAC factions, since you don't have Cybernetic and Eudiamonic.

    Anyway, nice work. I think I'll be using this mod a lot more in the future :)
     
  6. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    Relief is a bit of a gimme for the cooperation tree. It simply stops your cities from starving. The reason it's not simply worded as "Cities don't starve" is that in a few niche cases, because of the way I'm adding the food, Cities will still starve and lose population. If a city has 2 food stockpiled and is losing 6 units of food per turn, they will lose 1 population due to going below 0 and then gain 6 when the turn begins. I'm still looking for a way to code around it and might have a way that would be otherwise invisible to the human player at least.

    Can you let me know which text-lines are missing for you? Also, thank you for reminding me to revisit the leader's aversions and preferences. Those were set long before I had even began working on the trees and I would like the revisit them alongside the SMAC ones. I also remember being surprised by Daoming's Green aversion while playtesting. Fundamentalism may prove more appropriate due to her pragmaticism and engineering background, but it gets in the way of synergizing with her wonder bonus.
     
  7. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    The errors seem to be on both the Leader Scenes and Diplomacy Window. And these are where the relationship modifiers should be.

    Elodie:
    Yellow TXT_KEY_DIPLO_STRING_1

    Fielding:
    Yellow TXT_KEY_DIPLO_STRING_1
    Red TXT_KEY_DIPLO_STRING_2

    Kozlov:
    Yellow TXT_KEY_DIPLO_STRING_1
    Red TXT_KEY_DIPLO_STRING_3

    Barre:
    Red TXT_KEY_DIPLO_STRING_1

    Kozlov:
    Yellow TXT_KEY_DIPLO_STRING_1
    Red TXT_KEY_DIPLO_STRING_3

    Kavitha:
    Yellow TXT_KEY_DIPLO_STRING_1
    Red TXT_KEY_DIPLO_STRING_3 - This message was disappearing and reappearing when I exited and returned to her Leader Screen.

    Rejinaldo:
    Yellow TXT_KEY_DIPLO_STRING_1

    Hutama:
    Yellow TXT_KEY_DIPLO_STRING_1
     
  8. MasterEcabob

    MasterEcabob Chieftain

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    Okay, I'm even more in love with the Cooperation tree than I was before. I started up a game as Elodie, and of course Kozlov drops five tiles south of me. This was Apollo, so he had about a dozen units on my border, and none of the other leaders wanted to help me. I took the Cooperation opener, and the bonus was enough to delay Kozlov's war plans long enough for me to invest in defense perimeters. As a bonus, it bought me a brief cooperation pact with Kavitha and Hutama, which I used to trade ept for hard cash to buy said perimeters.

    ...And then Barre (on the other continent, no less) declares on me because he's the top dog militarily and my forces are weak enough for the AI to kick in. After that, my previous friends abandoned me, although we're still neutral, so once I take care of Kozlov we should be able to work things out again.

    In other words? I'm really enjoying the mod so far! Just one thing I noticed while also taking the Green path. Right now, I'm definitely taking five virtues and just skipping the health bonus from trade routes and the flat health. There are plenty of other trees that give health, and the idea of trading more health for less growth via the last shortcoming is a bit counter intuitive. How about switching out the tier 2 flat health for an "Alternative Energy" virtue that grants +5 geothermal and +1 health from geothermal wells? That gives a nice boost to Wonder production and would be worth taking the food hit.

    One last thing, have you thought about changing the Wonder that messes with virtue synergy bonuses? Right now, I imagine that that Wonder would make the shortcomings trigger quicker, but it might actually be cool if it let you fill out a tree without picking up that last shortcoming.
     
  9. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    I see. This is coming as a compatibility issue with another mod. What other mods are you playing with? I will probably need to investigate compatibility issues further, I haven't had the time in the course of development.

    Thanks for all your feedback so far. With regards to the wonder, yes I have thought of it and it is on my "to investigate" list. My only concern is that losing virtues was never an expected use case of that wonder. I can probably code the wonder's ability from scratch, but it will take some time. But the idea I arrived at was similar to yours, being the wonder would increase the virtues needed to acquire each shortcoming, effectively pushing the last shortcoming out of the pool entirely.

    As for the alternative energy bit, I think that's a lovely idea that I will probably steal.
     
  10. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    Let's see, I'm running:

    the trio of "Visually Distinctive Terrains"
    Larger Ultimate Units
    Smaller Units
    Colorful Tech Web
    Your "By Land ans Sea
    and obviously your Social Engineering
     
  11. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    It's strange. None of those mods should be causing compatibility issues. I've looked into each of the mods individually and enabled each alongside Social Engineering. If you don't have any other game altering mods, I would recommend you delete the mod from your game folder and re download it.

    edit: I think I figured it out and it actually has to do with your specific build of the game, similar to what some others are experiencing. I believe I have a fix, though I'll need your help in confirming it when I release a fix today or tomorrow.
     
  12. MasterEcabob

    MasterEcabob Chieftain

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    Just wanted to mention, that I've been using this along side in game editor and affinity as yields, and although some of the virtue descriptions aren't appearing, the effects still work as intended and it is perfectly playable. In fact, I've been thinking about editing the rather ridiculous harmony from plantations to a green virtue, so that not everyone is going harmony all the time.

    I have to admit I was pretty heartbroken when I realized what Social Diversity really meant-I knew 1 health per city per virtue was too good to be true. So I'm guessing I have to fully complete a tree to get this effect, essentially giving a maximum total of +4 health per city? Still pretty powerful, and the spying hit isn't too bad at this point in the game.
     
  13. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    It is actually +1 for any completed tree, even ones that are abandoned/inactive.

    And I've fixed the descriptions to work with Affinities as Yields in the upcoming update that should be out in a day or two.
     
  14. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    Hnnnnngh that UI work, so crisp.

    Will definitely see if I can find some time to try this out. On the move a lot with my laptop only, but damn, I want to try this out. Seems like a better-implemented version of the SMAC Social Policies mod I used in CiV.
     
  15. HorseshoeHermit

    HorseshoeHermit 20% accurate as usual, Morty

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    Hey lilgame. There is another path for game component development. It's an alternative to "balance" in the usual sense. Balance in a minimal sense is when items are not lopsided and well-proportioned in themselves, but the further goal of widespread representation of options, opportunities for them all, challenging decisions, that is a further and very lofty goal, ever inexactly achieved.

    Another way of sensibly doing development/tuning of your virtues is not to aim for such a thing as that balance, but instead to make each item clear in its representation, costed on a quick-and-dirty basis, and make the judgment of high-level play about which virtue is best be, itself, the learning experience or point of the game.

    E.g., If you set up a game with systems with complex tradeoffs and customization, but then create tools to get yields of different types, then you can on the one hand try complex research into the game flow to measure what the value of those yields are to come up with some theory of good magnitudes of abstract fairness and even higher-order suitability for mindgames and RPS game flow, or, you can propose that, at the outset, the yields have equal value -because- they are interchangeably difficult to obtain, and then the result of the game being pushed to its limits by the powergamers , which produces a fact that one of those yields is better at that cost than the others, means something; you seeding the players with the ability to judge which yield is best when costed the same, being of such different types and different impact in short term, made that later "solving" of your design a kind of 'aha!' moment that lasts beyond the game. Within that game, even, it's something which that player figured out, power to him, and now the game is sort of a proof of one tool being more valuable than the others represented, to the degree that it resembles stuff. (Like mathematics being able to describe reality because of homeomorphism despite not apparently concerning real entities.) Like, precisely, to the extent that Civ X captures the rise and fall of empires, it also proves that technological development is king. To the extent it captures the rise and fall of empires - every argument that some weird stuff happens in Civ is proof that it doesn't, while every system that is added or longed for gets to make its mark on the simulation.

    In short, if you just aim for well-proportioned virtues, then so what if some of them are really good and way better than others? It would mean that resource is more valuable. Players still learn that fact and now use it. And the cost/benefit system that the whole mod is embedded in can even out things a lot, since players still trade off culture with the other things to unlock your benefits, or try to get culture really fast to use any strong ones.

    Your minimum goal is to create the opportunity for a player to at least think the option might be good. That starts with being bold, make the choice have an impact, a leap that feeds another tool, and if it is underpowered, it still will have an effect, and take the player for a ride.

    It was just... I was fascinated, it was precious really, when you confessed so nakedly you got no idea about 'game balance and things'. I haven't balanced games myself, but I've read about people who've done it, and also thought a lot about what is appreciated in games. I knew I had to propose this to you. I finished composing this post just now.
     
  16. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    Thanks for the kind words Horshoe. I understand where you're coming from and I'll try my best to keep your advice in mind as I continue forward with this project as well as future ones. You're right. It can sometimes be more interesting to see what natural interactions occur when aiming for strong, well founded representation in a game system and it's been a lot of finding such interactions that I had never planned before hand for.
     
  17. Ampharos

    Ampharos Chieftain

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    Green, Progress, and Defensive looks like a winning combination.

    The Health and Science bonuses should make rushing Cognition and then building Academies everywhere so much faster than the base game. Compound that with the no road maintenance from Supremacy and that one Wonder that gives no Worker maintenance, and you have the ultimate wide strategy.

    At least in theory. I'll have to let you know.

    Overall, great work.

    I'm glad that you got the splashes to fit without sacrificing usability. You did a good job making that happen.

    I would change Free Market to simply Market, though, since free markets are a subset of market economies. In economics, market economies are based on supply and demand, which contrasts with planned economies that are based on predetermined prices.

    I would also change Progress to Knowledge and and Dominance to Might. This is because the original policies from Alpha Centauri were based on Toffler's three forms of power or ways that a group seeks or asserts power over others. He lists them as violence (through might makes right), knowledge, and wealth which is, again, almost identical to the ones in Alpha Centauri.

    The name changes are mostly for immersion, matching real sociological theory with gameplay mechanics, so it's up to you. I'd go for it because scientific accuracy is just that much more awesome, but, again, your call. You'd only need to change the localization.

    But like I said, great work. I'll let you know how well the game plays. Also, if you need help with flavor text or anything, let me know.
     
  18. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    Bluh, I thought I forgot something. Your arguments for all of the names are good and I forgot about Toffler's three forms of power you had shared with me in the previous thread. And feel free to leave feedback on anything, flavor and immersion, gameplay, you name it. It's always nice learning a thing or two from others. I'll probably be changing the names for the next, non-bug fixing release. Just let me actually write it on my todo list.
     
  19. MasterEcabob

    MasterEcabob Chieftain

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    Started up another game, this time as Brazilia going Police State. Between brute squad, the free soldier colonist option, and the free soldier from my first outpost, I didn't even bother building any explorers! I grabbed the Aggressive opener and then the culture from kills virtue, and stomped the aliens around for a bit and took care of two pesky stations that happened to spawn exactly where I wanted to settle. Then I made my move on Fielding and managed to capture one of her early cities.

    I also took a few planned virtues, which feel very strong. But man, you definitely notice shortcoming! When I was thinking about Planned originally, I had thought you could penalize strategic resources, as the party would be "inefficient" at gathering them compared to a traditional economy. But I'm glad to see you had an even better idea in mind. By now, I've got enough energy to deal with it, but it definitely makes a difference early game.
     
  20. MasterEcabob

    MasterEcabob Chieftain

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    Just noticed you updated the Alpha Centauari sponsors and gave everyone aversions and preferences! They look pretty good at a glance, and I look forward to trying them out next game.

    At first, I was a bit surprised you didn't give the Pirates any aversions. But then, as I tried to justify why Pirates wouldn't like such and such policy, I realized that they would probably be fine with whatever. Ha, it can even be a perk for choosing them, as they aren't restricted like everyone else. I imagine they would have a general interest in Wealth though, as right now the Slavs are the only ones with a preference for it.

    Also, I would consider differentiating Polystralia from Morgan Industries as well as Brazilia from the Spartans. Yeah, I know they are pretty similar but there are slight differences. Hutama styles himself as a popular leader who is one of the people. Judging by his chat with the journalist, I doubt he'd be the type to run a Police State. As for the Spartans, I always saw them more as the Peacekeeper's main rivals, as they believe very much in the survival of the fittest, and not in a bunch of weak groups banding together. I just can't see the self-reliant Spartans going out of their way to cooperate with anyone else.
     

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