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Space Empires - Ideas Thread

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Creation & Customization' started by Vadus, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. Vadus

    Vadus pretend the impossible

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    Hi all,

    currently I'm working on a "Unit-Sandbox" , a Dialog Window, with which you can predefine promotions and names of Units.
    These units are stored and appear on the city production list and you can build them. ( I will post this thing into the mod components forum) :)
    Well, this is one of the preliminaries I want to make for my really concern.
    I want to make a SpaceMod for Civ4 and I have a quite big set of ideas, which dammed since my civ3's SpaceMod bogged down because of the few possibilities of changing civ's rules...
    But since Civ4 came out with python and my experience with the Sandbox-Tool I'm very optimistic to transform my ideas to a real good mod ;)
    In this thread I write down my ideas in the first posts and you are free to make proposals or to say, what might be not good. I even haven't
    thought of all features, so if you have a good idea I will take them into the following descrtiption of the SpaceMod. Also it will make me
    really happy if somebody wants to help me to realize this great SpaceMod ! :)
     
  2. Vadus

    Vadus pretend the impossible

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    I. Terrain
    I think to change water into space and all land-types into planets is still the easiest way to create a space terrain.

    1. Planets
    The terrain will be like in my civ3 space terrain (Space Empires , see my signature).
    So coast and ocean become system space and deep space.
    The planets will be one-tiled ! This was a problem in civ3 because a city was only able to produce 2 foot and ( I guess ) 1 shield on it's
    own square, but the amount of production on a tile isn't relevant since the new city concept ( see chapter V. Cities ) is used.
    The planets will also have attributes like the size (which will influence the maximum number of people of a colony and the maximum number of ground units defending this colony! ) the minerals richness (some kind of produceable shields ), the nutrients richness ( produceable food).

    Since I see no possibility to add variable attributes like mineral richness to a terrain, there must be separate terrain types for every mineral level.
    Nutriens depend on the planet type (on a terran planet a human produces more nutrients than on desert )
    The hills can be used for another attribute, maybe as planet size. But then there are only big and small planets possible.
    The peak can't be taken since the peak can't be mixed with other terrain like hill. So the peak becomes a star ;)
    Code:
    ID	Type
    
    0	Terra
    1	Terra Poor
    2	Terra Rich
    3	Gaya
    4	Gaya Poor
    5	Gaya Rich
    6	Barren
    7	Barren Poor
    8	Barren Rich
    9	Desert
    10	Desert Poor
    11	Desert Rich
    12	Ocean
    13	Ocean Poor
    14	Ocean Rich
    15	Ice
    16	Ice Poor
    17	Ice Rich
    18	GasGiant
    19	GasGiant Poor
    20	GasGiant Rich
    21	Sytem Space
    22	Deep Space
    23	Star
    24	not in use (Hill)
    
    2. Resources
    Since the planets are one-tiles, a planet can only hold one resource. This resources will work like in Civ. They can be a prerequisite to ship modules, unit-classes, buildings and make people happy. It is also a cool thing to construct buildings ony, if the player has a certain amount of the same resource. Then it is possible to build a steelwork for iron, if the player has 3 iron units. This steelwork produces one steel resource, which is a prerequisite for other things like building an steel armor ship module. Besides, the seel resource has a higher value as the iron one, which can be traded with other high value resources.

    3. Wormholes
    Then there are wormholes. This is a special one-tiled terrain. If a ship flies into a wormhole (entrance), it looses all remaining movement-points. But at the end of the turn, the ship will be located to another wormhole (exit).

    4. Roads & Improvements
    no ideas here ...

    possible difficulties
    1. How to implement the planets attribute "size" ?
    a) one possibility is to create a terrainType for each size, having a different scale of their nif file. These terrains have different health attributes.


    Screenshots
    1. version for developing :
    2. Version attached
     

    Attached Files:

  3. Vadus

    Vadus pretend the impossible

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    II. Civilizations
    for this, a friend of mine is responsible. I have to talk to him, before
    I can post here something .. but the moo races are examples
     
  4. Vadus

    Vadus pretend the impossible

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    III. Units:
    1. SpaceShips
    The units are mostly military spaceships. These are built with a strength value of 1 and no move-points at a spacedock. The ships are classified from a frigate or scout ( very small ) to a doomstar ( huge ). Every shipclass can be invented somewhere in the tech tree.
    To have customized chips, like in every good space strategy game, planets can build ship modules like weapons, drives, armors and shields ! These modules are units with no strength and move points, which can be loaded on a ship.
    If a military spaceship gets a weapon into its cargo hold, the attack points will be increased, depending on the weapon ( like loading a ship with a laser cannon will increase the strength value by 2 ).
    Drives will increase the movement rate. Armor and and shields can provide various defence boni.
    Depending on the ships size, it has only a few cargo slots or many. ( e.g. a frigate has only one slot for a weapon, while a battleship has 2 or 3. )
    One additional slot will hold special modules like a cloaking device.

    Here a list of the ship classes and their cargo slots for Weapons=W , Drives=D, Armor=A, Shield=S and slots for special systems.
    Code:
    UnitClass #Slots(W, D, A, S) 	#SpecialSlots
    Scout		3			0
    Destroyer	4			0
    Cruiser		4			1
    Battleship	5			1
    Dreadnought	5			2
    Doomstar	5			3
    
    Every different ship class, weapon, drive, armor, shield and special system has to be discovered.

    To all of this, the ships also have experiences, from which they can get extra promotions.

    2. Other Units:
    Units like settler, worker, ground-troups will be like in Civ4, only modificable with promotions, they reach in battle.

    Space Units:
    - Probe

    Ground Units:
    - Infantry

    3. Leader
    There will be Leader-Units (like from the LeaderMod) with no points except one movement. But they will have some leader-promotions !
    The Player will get this Leaders like Great People from a special buildings. There will be military and planetary leaders. The planetary
    ones have to stay at a colony (planet) and they will boni like + 20% production, 20% more food or they will increase the reach of the colony influence ( culture ;) )
    The military leaders have battle boni like the ones from the LeaderMod.
    To take them with a fleet, every ship has a bridge. The leader (and only military leaders) can be stored in a bridge of a ship. (like the scout
    in a caravel ;) )

    Possible Difficulties
    1. Hopefully it is possible to apply different cargo slots to a ship, for example to prevent, that the user can load three weapon modules to a scout ship, which has 3 slots at all.
    It is meant to have only one slot for a weapon, one for a drive and one for an armor or shield.
     
  5. Vadus

    Vadus pretend the impossible

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    IV. Techs
    There is one big techtree, but it's to wide for one game, so that the player can't discover everything in one game. So than the player has the choise to research several different things , being on one tech-level, or to specialize himself only on one part.
    For example: In one game the player researches a laser weapon, a rocket-weapon and a radiation weapon. Than he could defend himself against several types of units (because every weapon has its advantages and disadvantages, but all have the same strength value ) , but he has no specialized better weapons with a better strenth value. So the first laser, rocket and radiation weaopns give the spaceship a strength of 2 . In an early game the player has no problems with the other races at war, but sometime the enemies will have better weapons, because he is specialized in one weapon kind.
    In another game the player researches only the rocket weapon path of the techtree and gets something like a "Rocked level 3" with a strenth value of 8. So now he can defend himself for all times against other enemies, who have ships, which are vulnerable to rockets, but not to enemies who have other kinds of ships, against which a good beam weapon is needed.
    The same structure is also quite cool for buildings. So you can specialize in buildings for digging recources ( which you can trade with others ) or for increasing the producion rate of a colony, or a bit of both..

    Later on some kind of "Tech Entry Points" for different races would be a cool thing. So for example somewhere in the techtree is the tech : "Organic Structures" . This is a prerequisite for "Organic Shiphull" and is the key technology for several organic techs. This tech path is located somewhere in the late game, so that a human-race has to discover a lot to research organic stuff. But an insectoid race has this "organic structures" tech from the start ! So they have ships or buildings in the early game, which other races will have until in a late game. But here it is very important to take balancing into account, so this might be a feature for a developing step far away...
     
  6. Vadus

    Vadus pretend the impossible

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    V. Cities/Colonies
    Cities are quite the same, they are in civ4.

    1. Buildings :
    A very cool thing are orbital buildings ( like coastal buildings in civ4 ). A colony can build one defence starbase, one shipyard and some other orbital stuff.. these buildings will appear on the map in the planets orbit like the Great Lighthouse in civ4 on a part of a coast ! Defensive buildings can increase the strength of the gound and orbital units, and (if possible ) can bombard enemy ships ( like the starbase, fightergarrison or rocketbase) in orbit.

    To realize the different planet classes, a colony gets mineral and nutrient buildings when the city is founded.
    So there are 5 basic buildings, which can not build, researched and sold :

    Basic Buildings
    Code:
    Building		Effect
    
    Rich Minerals		+25% Productivity
    Poor Minerals		-25% Productivity
    Rich Nutrients		+25% Nutrients
    Poor Nutrients		-25% Nutrients
    None Nutrients		-75% Nutrients
    
    2. Ground Garrison :
    Ground units have boni from the defensive buildings, but have a maximum number. ( this is only to save the AI from building to much ground units. This was a problem in the civ3 space mod. The AI built only ground units but only a few ships, so a human player needed hours to occupy an enemy planet )
     
  7. Vadus

    Vadus pretend the impossible

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    VI. Special Civilians
    I think, a city should have as much special civilians as they have people ( so a city of the size 4 has 4 special civilians), because it is much more realistic to use the people in the colony in different tasks than to let them farm in the surrounding space ;)
    Like in Master of Orion there must be at least farmer specialists, worker and researcher. Additionaly merchants are nice to have.
    The farmers create food, which depend on the nutrients attribute of the planet and on different buildings. ( there may be planets, where you can't even farm, so you have to build farming buildings, which allow to set farmers )
    The worker produce shields like in civ4 , but the amount of shields of each worker depends on the mining attribute of the planet and on different buildings.
    The researcher is the same like civ4 , also the merchant.
     
  8. Vadus

    Vadus pretend the impossible

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    VII. Stateforms
    This is a bit tricky, because you can't take forms like "Liberal Democracy" next to "Cybernetic Network" to "Collective". It is no realistic for any race to switch between this forms, because only one of them is there very nature. A space race itself determinds its possible state- and economic forms.. Any proposals ?
     
  9. Vadus

    Vadus pretend the impossible

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    VIII. Religions
    Well I really don't know yet what to do with religions ??
     
  10. Vadus

    Vadus pretend the impossible

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    IX. Victory Conditions
    Of course the classic ones :
    1. Domination
    2. Diplomatic
    3. Than maybe Economic (from SMAC )
    4. Story Ending Victory
    The civ4 SpaceShip could be changed into a background Story Ending Victory, like in Moo or SMAC.
     
  11. Vadus

    Vadus pretend the impossible

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    X. Background Story
    Only for the progressed developing: Like in Moo or SMAC there are certain events with a unknown race ( kind of barbarians ) and the player can finish the story by reaching the Story Ending Victory ;)
     
  12. woodelf

    woodelf Bard

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    One of my favorite games of all time was Space Empires IV. I'm assuming this is based on that. Sounds like an impressive undertaking.

    edit : Damn, sorry if I stole a reserved spot. :(
     
  13. Vadus

    Vadus pretend the impossible

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    Oh, it's based on my civ3 modification (see sig ) , ( actually I wanted to do all the stuff I wrote there, but it wasn't possible at that time , so mostly I changed the terrain )
    From the content, this mod is actually based on the Master Of Orion Series ;)
    And fortunately I was just finished with my spots :goodjob:
     
  14. woodelf

    woodelf Bard

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    I'll be waiting for whatever you base it on. ;)

    I love turn-based space stuff.
     
  15. Civmansam

    Civmansam Chieftain

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    Pretty cool.
    I'm also making a Star Wars Mod (see sig) so maybe you could get a lot from my mod
     
  16. Belizan

    Belizan Chieftain

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    Are you ever going to finish your Britannia scenario?
     
  17. Vadus

    Vadus pretend the impossible

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    yeah, when I'm filled up with scifi, I will work on the britannia scen ;)

    @Civmansam : Yes, thanks. I will read through it
     
  18. MooManof_

    MooManof_ Official Guru of Weird

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    90% of the technical side of this mod looks very much like the C4:AC mod that is currently being worked on over at Apolyton. The biggest difference (apart from the fact that your mod is set in space, and C4:AC is set on a planet), is that you can do pretty much anything, and the C4:AC team are restricted to keeping as close to SMAC(X) as possible... Expect to see a lot of reliance on your Workshop mod, for example.
     
  19. dalek master

    dalek master Chieftain

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    Im already drafting ideas for a space-mod while I wait for some miracle that lets blender models into Civ4.

    I don't want it to clash with this one so I want let slip little ideas Ive had that could make it unique, but I'll be happy to co-operate with this mod until..somewhere in the future...I fail dismily :(
     
  20. abman

    abman Chieftain

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    Interesting idea. The unit sandbox sounds a bit like how the units were built in SMAC maybe?

    I can see a lot of great possibilities for unit promotions. Hyperspace drives, tractor beams, boarding parties, lots of good stuff. Judging by what they've done in FfH, I'd say there's virtually no limit to what you can do with promotions.
    For implementing your planet sizes, maybe you can really tweak the land tiles to do this function. If they are only used for planets, just make each land type have a different amount of resources, with more variation than in vanilla civ. And limiting the number of units that can be on a certain tile type should be possible as well.
    One thing you didn't mention though, what do you plan to do with resources?
     

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