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Tech tree brainstorming

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - We The People' started by Nightinggale, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. Fürstbischof

    Fürstbischof Chieftain

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    Gameplay concept for WTP

    [Eras should not play a prominent role re "research". Since eras are ATM only used in the background to determine the lengths of game phases they should be kept invisible. We might rely on eras to invisibly split the FF screens and thus introduce a steeper cost increase for the first FF in the next era. If we group FFs according to their time of activity and distribute each of them to their era we can even think about randomising the order in which they become available thus making perfect plans less valid. Expanding on that thought and taking into account that there are far more interesting alternative FFs not included in the mod we should think about having a surplus of FFs for each era from which the actual FFs are picked.]

    [IMHO a tech tree as known from CIV should be avoided at all costs since it doesn't really fit to the time frame. There should be no research points and no active research by the player. We don't need another mini-game as a time sink. Turns in mid-to-late game take already too long.]

    In the "tech" tree I envision for WTP, "research" will be happening automatically but often influenced by your own ingame decisions. Yep, you simply play the game and inventions, innovations and discoveries will happen while you play. The location of your home country, your colonies, the extent of your exploration, your colonial production and also the number of your battles fought in New World terrain will influence how many "techs" you "research". There will also be "techs" which will be made public beyond a certain date, i.e. you've heard about it in Europe. Buildings, units, improvements etc. will be unlocked by "techs" step-by-step.


    inventions, innovations and discoveries

    Inventions will happen circa at the historical date, maybe slightly randomised. Innovations, i.e. improved production processes, will happen at best at the historical date, but will be sort of randomised depending on the crops and manufactured goods produced by your colonies. Discoveries are the result of "your" voyages of discovery. Discoveries can happen anytime once the requirements are fulfilled. Knowledge of New World crops and terrain bonuses are 'gained=learned' depending upon how you play the game.


    number of "tech" screens

    I'm not sure how many "tech" screens are actually needed. Main themes are exploration (improved sailing, advanced ships), military (army/naval, improved units) and economy (unknown crops, production processes, advanced buildings, better improvements). As you see I'm favouring 3 screens right now, but that depends upon the layout of "techs". The "techs" on each screen are not dedicated to a specific era but are grouped with similar "techs". I don't know if we want to name the screens, but the names used for the eras don't fit well.


    screen #1 : Exploration

    The first screen is dedicated to Exploration and will have a full screen historical map showing the Americas in addition to parts of Western Europe and a good part of the African coast. The Atlantic is featured prominently and has blank fields where we today locate the prevailing winds (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_winds), known as westerlies and trade winds, and ocean currents (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_current) of the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. While playing you will discover these and thus gain ingame advantages, like e.g. reduced travel times to Europe, Africa or the Western coast of America, or alternatively opening new destinations, i.e. the African slave ports.

    Technically the game map is split into 6 'blocks' on each side of the American continent. We usually see that only when we try to freely choose a region in the Americas instead of a known colony for our departing ships. The game can track the regions of which we have gained enough knowledge so that we can sail directly there. The same mechanism would be used to determine which of the prevailing winds and ocean currents you might have discovered. In addition are several Atlantic crossings to/from a specific region necessary to clearly identify the prevailing winds and especially the ocean currents in that zone of the Atlantic. The discovery of ocean currents does take way longer than that of prevailing winds, i.e. requires many more Atlantic crossings, to confirm the existance of an ocean current. Their discovery should be reserved to the mid-to-late game. Keeping track of this will be done completely in the background. Discoveries will be made once you've passed the thresholds. Over time your ships will enjoy reduced travel times to all of the 12 coastal regions of the American Coast, but only if you actively explored each region. Travel times should be changed to reflect the actual distance from your home country to each region. South America and the Western coast of America will then always be the farthest away. [Sadly, sailing ships in the mod will then take far longer for their journeys than IRL. I don't know of an easy way to circumvent this.]

    Such knowledge can otherwise only be gained by recruiting a founding father who is renowned for his voyages of discovery. The knowledge of these FFs is not mutually exclusive, e.g. Magellan and Drake. [Columbus had some knowledge of several of them, thus giving Spain a head start towards the Caribbean. Portugal had already made a bunch of southward travels along the African coast and thus a head start towards South America. English and French fishermen were fishing on the Grand Banks thus giving their countries a head start towards North America. We can ofc do without this previous knowledge since we've randomised starting locations.]


    discoveries & new naval units

    Once a certain number of prevailing winds or ocean currents are confirmed these in addition to the accumulated sailing experience, simply counting ocean plots travelled in the Americas and also the number of Atlantic crossings, can give you access to new hull forms, i.e. more roomier ships, like e.g. the galleon. Being ahead in exploration might lead to being the inventor of this new ship design. Staggered by their own achievements the other players will also discover this new design, or, if very backwards, they'll learn from this invention from other European sources, e.g. your home country, once a certain cool down phase has been passed (5 years?). Knowledge in your home country goes along with buyable in Europe. Nonetheless we might want to introduce a trickle-down delay to hinder the immediate usage of newly gained "techs" by your own shipyards. [Regarding naval units actually two trickle-down delays are required before the European colonies can start to apprehend the new "tech".]

    It took a long way from the original lateen-rigged caravel to the three-masted fully-rigged ship of the 18th century so that a part of the screen should be reserved for "techs" dedicated to sails, masts and hulls. The development of cannons played an important role in the development of warships, but also highly influenced the capabilities of field and siege artillery. Not only the 18th century ships but actually all ships should require the passing of their historical build date before they can be bought (or build) to restrict them to the appropriate historical phase of the game. Due to sharp reductions in length of game turns, i.e. by going from yearly to quarterly turns, we should also add minimum build times (in months/years) for naval units to keep these realistic. The acquisition of ships in Europe should no longer be instant, but instead adhere to historical build times. To compensate we might alleviate the old CIV rule "only 1 build per city" by allowing smaller units to be build in batches, i.e. introducing building in parallel.

    In total, the number of available naval units at any time during the game will be way less than now, but each ship will have its place (role/function) in the game, so no longer a good part of the ships can be safely ignored by players by simply picking advanced late-game ships ... way ahead of time. The most relevant UnitCombatTypes will be (in modern terms) flagship - battleship - cruiser - coast guard and large merchantman - medium merchantman - colonial "coastal" merchantman. This is the role/function a ship has to fit in.


    inventions happen at their historical dates

    Some inventions might be used as chokepoints, i.e. these will be triggered at their historical dates and thus can not be influenced by player actions. A prime example would be the implementation of the idea to have several spars tied together, thus creating the tops, instead of having one large pole as a mast. The same can be said about the development of naval tactics which is based on European combat experience. Naval tactics relate to the operational manoeuvring of formations which were interwoven with the evolution of cannons and ship designs. Ships with (same caliber) cannons arranged in full battery decks were the requirement for the firing of broadsides which led to the introduction of line-of-battle tactics. Your king will simply inform you once the Royal Navy has adopted new tactics. [ancient Halfmoon formation/galley tactics -> "Skirmish/Melee formation" -> Line Tactics (1670s) plus maybe the restrictive English Battle Instructions (~1750)] Naval tactics are important for the development of new (battleship) designs but have less influence on playing in the Americas since we have no true squadron warfare.

    Naval inventions will usually be required for the introduction of improved naval designs and thus influencing their superior stats. Rarely the effects of inventions, like e.g. the refracting telescope of Hans Lipperhey in 1608, will be applied [maybe after having entered one of your colonial ports] to all existing ships. A rather different example would be the carronade, which was introduced by the Royal Navy in the 1770s. That is very late in the game and keeping in mind that it was a very powerful 'secret weapon' that it should only be available to ships of His Majesty - unless captured by you. Since the French took 20 years to copy the design your own ships won't be able to benefit from this invention.


    re 'promotions'

    You might seem to miss the word 'promotions' in my concept. They're almost gone. Several of them offered bonuses which were not even closely combat-related while in general the 'frequent' replacement of outdated units with more modern units leaves no place for a sub-system which heavily relies on accumulating xp, especially if it can flourish only in (rare) times of war. Having highly experienced, iconic units is a game concept which might fit for a WW2 game but it doesn't fit for a game covering the colonial era. Promotions as of now should be replaced by something which is technically similar but removes player intervention, i.e. we as players will no longer be able to actively promote units. Instead the stats of a ship are fixed for the time of its existence; what will change is what changed IRL, too: the training level and combat experience of your crew. Thus a ship will have only 3 'promotions' for the entire game: "Officer training", "Crew training" and "Shipbuilding traits".

    "Officer training" will represent the combined effects of naval doctrines and the rising professionalism of your naval officer corps ("naval tradition").
    "Crew training": untrained (=newly built) - trained (1 crossing or 30? ocean plots travelled) - capable (3x of trained) - experienced (3x of capable) - veteran (9 xp gained in combat) A ship with a 'veteran' crew won't have 5 promotions, there would still be only one: "Crew training", i.e. only its bonuses will change over time.

    [An additional one could be "Shipbuilding traits" if we want to further differentiate the stats of naval units. Then we could slightly variate these by introducing national shipbuilding techniques which would force us to trade-offs between the overall sturdiness of a construction, its combat strength, its size and cargo space and its sailing speed.]


    army units

    "Drill" (similar to naval "Crew training")
    "Discipline" (green - trained - experienced - veteran - professional) should be a major factor in deciding battles which divides raw recruits from battle-hardened Elite soldiers. We might include the effects of "Officer training" here, too.
    "Terrain familiarity" (unfamiliar - accustomed - specially trained) will be the decisive factor for your army units in winning the WOI if you can lure the Royal Expeditionary Corps into the wilderness.

    Battle tactics and formations on land saw more changes, particularly the development of linear infantry tactics post-1648 had a massive impact on the type of infantry units and the tactics employed on the battlefield. Your own battle experience will not contribute to these developments but it'll decisively influence when you lose your unfamiliarity with the terrain types of the New World. Being unfamiliar with a certain terrain type will give your soldiers a negative bonus (defense and attack). After several combats in this terrain type [simply counting combats or taking xp gain into account] you'll lose this disadvantage (bonus on defense, but none on offense). Once your soldiers have learned to use a terrain type in battle to their advantage you'll gain a significant bonus on defense and also on offense. [A full-scale Indian War and lots of combats versus Indians, i.e. by learning from your enemy, might be another requirement before you can "research" advanced terrain familiarity.] You'll never learn this from your king but the (early!) unfamiliarity might be removed by knowledge gained from friendly Native tribes or allies. This knowledge can also be obtained via certain veterans offering their services as FFs. [We'll have to carefully decide if we want to give advantages to troop types which are not meant to fight in that terrain, e.g. cavalry and all units using line tactics.]

    [this is actually not part of my proposal but just an idea to spice up combat) 'Battle tactics': If you're familiar with HOI2 you'll remember having a HQ, commanded by a field marshall or general, as part of your corps/army could give you access to random bonus effects in battle which were mostly beneficial. If introduced 'Battle tactics' would be actually more like 'Battle formations'. Once "researched" they could be taught to your army units (by laying 3? months in garrison and be trained) and randomly used in battle vs the enemy to create a paper-scissor-stone game. Think about column vs line, or the charge of cavalry vs the square of infantry (or worse: line). Every army unit would have a standard method of attack, native to its type, usually: Charge! --- This is just an idea yet, I'm not sure if it's worth going along that route.]


    inventions & Native tribes

    The Native tribes of the Americas have a huge tactical advantage versus your soldiers and colonists: their terrain familiarity! Ceteris paribus this 'promotion' would make their warriors unstoppable. But actually they also fought at a disadvantage! Why? Well, lets say unfamiliarity with horses, guns and cannons. They were also not accustomed to European battle formations and tactics. Fighting versus your (and the other ais) units will teach them over time [the hard way] to overcome these unfamiliarities. By getting accustomed to horses and horse breeding they will eventually turn these into an advantage. But by then they'd have lost their numerical advantage.

    I'm not proposing that the Natives should be playable but they definitely need their own "tech" screen, well, sort of. To have the Natives as the fearsome enemies which they actually were during the time span of the game they must be able to adapt to new technologies and tactics. It should be prevented that the Native tribes become too quickly a punching bag or, worse, laughing stock.


    unfamiliar New World crops & farming

    The New World has a lot of crops to offer which are unfamiliar to your fellow Europeans. These should be marked as "unknown" on our "tech" screen. Either contact with Native tribes or a bonus resource right next to our colony will give us first knowledge but we still won't know how to grow the crops. More contact with Native tribes, especially those that offer to train our colonists, will be very helpful to eventually grow the crops on your plantations. [A trained colonist or a converted native should be essential.] There are also crops, e.g. sugarcane or coffee berries, which are not familiar to the New World but are already known by other Europeans which will bring those to the New World. They should(?) have prior knowledge.


    interweaving manufactured goods with technological progress

    Extensive production of a crop is important for the production of manufactured goods based on this crop. A high production of the associated manufactured good can give you a head start on the introduction of new production processes, i.e. larger and better buildings. An improved production process can't be invented earlier than its original date but the number of goods produced by using the earlier production process [threshold required] will determine the sequence of when the invention will be made. [distributed over 5/10 years?] There should be another threshold of produced goods until a delayed invention should be possible. You'll have to do something ingame to reap such an invention. This is a difference to CIV tech trees which can usually be researched in their entirety.


    plot improvements

    (Most of the) plot improvements and the large versions of them should be handled similarly. They should be dependent upon the actual production of crops and additionally upon knowledge gained from the Natives.


    pioneer actions

    Some pioneer actions and also the time needed to complete plot improvements could be handled similarly.


    absence of tech trading

    "Techs" can not be traded. The only option to acquire the knowledge represented by a "tech" is to seize a rival colony which either produces an unknown crop/good, has unknown production buildings, employs unknown specialists or is surrounded by unknown improvements. Then a technology transfer will happen which - depending on another trickle down delay - will allow your original colonies to benefit from your rival's "research".


    re trickle down delays

    To slightly randomise new inventions and their spread we might rely on a trickle down delay. Using such a delay is a bit tricky since it might hamper the player more than expected. Although a fixed delay is easier to set up I'm wondering if we might let the level of education have a hand in this. Unfortunately, we don't have a measure for the literacy rate which would fit perfectly here.


    thresholds versus difficulty level, map size & game speed

    Thresholds could be balanced by the size of the map and also by the chosen game speed. The difficulty level OTOH should influence thresholds only on a very minor basis since most of the "techs" are already limited to being "researched" past a certain date although for discoveries we'd argue in favour. Nonetheless, the balancing of thresholds is not a minor task...
     
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  2. inaiwae

    inaiwae Chieftain

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    I very much agree with this, while I am huge fan of 4x games, I never really missed dedicated research and mini game of accumulating research points in Colonization

    my take on "research" happening automatically as player plays the game, is that the fact there is an icon representing one person on a plot or in a building, doesn't mean it is one person doing the job ... one plot, for example, represents acres and acres of land, so that one person with rakes or pitchfork or axe is actually a family or community of farmers, miners, lumberjacks and as such some of them are maybe scholars as well and capable of inventing as they do the job, to make the job easier ... in other words, the act of doing the job creates opportunity for invention to happen ... no need to put some academic that never held an axe in hands to specific building producing some research points

    I think it would create more fluid and immersive experience

    also, inventions in that age spread relatively quickly just by sharing experiences, so if one nation becomes better in processing cotton (because they landed where cotton grows in abundance and invented some fancies), that knowledge should spread after some time into other nations, even if they barely do anything with cotton at that point, EDIT: maybe it can also costs some gold coins to purchase it, that would decrease as time passes
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2021
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  3. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    I'm a little concerned with automatic research. There are some valid arguments for it, but I'm wondering about gameplay value.



    Lesson #4: Make use of piggybacking
    Lesson #5: Don't confuse "interesting" with "fun"
    Lesson #7: Allow the players the ability to make the game personal
    Lesson #9: Allow your players to have a sense of ownership
    Lesson #10: Leave room for the player to explore
    Lesson #16: Be more afraid of boring your players than challenging them

    #4 points towards using BTS style research because it's familiar. Other games use this approach too. People will know how to use it without intensive training.
    #5 hits the mark here. Arguments here start to point towards historical accuracy without also mentioning gameplay value. Historical accuracy is "interesting". Not bad by itself, but it shouldn't be instead of "fun".
    #7+#9+#10 auto research in the background prevents players from making decisions.
    #16 new techs showing up seemingly randomly sounds boring. No challenge.

    Research needs to be interactive to really add gameplay value. BTS is attractive because it's known and simple. Perhaps we can even borrow some code. However I'm pondering about using concepts used in FreeOrion like a research queue, min turns to research a specific tech and perhaps allowing overflowing research to enter the next tech in the research queue.

    Say we have a tech, which requires 100 points to research and minimum 10 turns. This allows 100/10=10 points each turn. If the player provides 12, then 2 will be in excess. Those 2 can then enter the next in the queue. This can be particularly useful if techs requires different yields to research as it would unlock parallel research.

    The result from this would be that a huge empire will produce a lot of research and that will result in researching multiple techs in parallel, but not speed up research of each tech. If a chain of techs requires a total of 30 turns to research at a minimum, then big and small will spend 30 turns. This can help to prevent big players being way too advanced compared to small players.

    We can also consider diminishing returns as in producing 20 yields/turn for research will not research twice as fast as 10 yields/turn.
     
  4. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Very well explained. :thumbsup:

    One day we should really write a proper thread for modders about game design. :)
    I so often feel we are repeating these simple and basic ideas again and again and they still get forgotten all the time ...

    I am not, because we already said several times that we do not want to have it (see below). :dunno:
    And why should we be interested to massively increase effort and risk, if there are proven in use design patterns with much less effort and risk?

    If another modder wants to create such a system, sure we are all free modders. :thumbsup:
    But then it is also not my business because I do not have to invest my own time and effort - so no need to worry at all for me.

    ----

    "Automation to replace decisions" is simply against everything I believe about good game design.
    ("Automation to replace tediousness without decision" is another story though.)

    Players need to have the possibility to actively make meaningful choices to be able to impact their game situation according to their strategy in gameplay.
    Where are the "meaningful choices" and the "impact to their situation" when everything is automated and thus the player can just react passively?

    ----

    @Nightinggale
    I think the 2 of us fully agree here again. :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2021
  5. modmod

    modmod Warlord

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    As it seems:

    1. Some wish fully automatic (but divided in details: historical accuracy, randomness)
    2. WTP team wants full player decision. management based
    3. Some want a hibrid: Old World automatic/ some automatic in NW too, but many New World technology advancements depends on player actions
     
  6. Kaskarn

    Kaskarn Chieftain

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    I was browsing through the github repo, and it occurred to me that the WTP modders have already implemented a great, engaging, thoughtful mechanic reflecting a colony/empire's 'development'. I am of course referring to the domestic market.

    TL;DR, I think that we could make the player progress through the tech or civic 'trees' by fulfilling the demand of their empire's domestic market. The tech 'points' earned each turn could be proportional to domestic profits (or relate to that quantity in some other way)

    There are many excellent reasons to go in that direction

    Aesthetics and realism: Innovation goes hand in hand with trade and prosperity, and a developing market reflects a developing society. Workers become increasingly specialized and productive, infrastructure expands, and the colonial administration grows in sophistication to meet the increasingly complex needs of the citizenry. In this thread, multiple posters have voiced their concern that the tech tree should not reflect technological progress in the old world, but rather colonial development and the growth of local institutions. This is it!

    Fun, intuitive, works great with existing mechanics: The player can already grow their domestic market by interacting with many different game mechanics, each already thematically associated with a developing society. Being rewarded with explicit techs and bonuses acknowledging their empire's progress could be really gratifying to the players! For instance:
    1) The player can improve their transport infrastructure (wagons, ships, roads), to improve the flow of commodities and luxuries across their different cities. More resources in the right places means a burgeoning economy, and hence a developing society.
    2) Educated workers (experts, masters) already demand more goods, and of greater quality than laborers. Without changing how things work, this would neatly meet our expectation that more educated workers means a more developed, complex, innovative society.
    3) More people = more development, provided everyone stays happy. The domestic market already scales linearly with population size, but demand drops with mounting unrest. Exactly like you would expect a 'development' mechanic to behave.
    4) Building up cities already naturally expands the domestic market, by offering access to higher-tier market buildings (and I believe other buildings which create demand for goods. I could be mistaken, here). Cities are the engine of culture and civilization -- why would we expect societal progress to arise out of a lab, rather than from the bustling city square?

    Elevates the stakes in other areas of gameplay.
    Piracy, Conquest, Slavery, Health/Productivity, Happiness, Port Royal, Special Pops like Nobles and the Governor, King taxes etc. All these mechanics take on added meaning and importance, once the domestic market takes center stage. For instance, the player will need to buy certain luxury goods from Europe during the early game (salt!), but mounting taxes will naturally incentivize them to somehow procure needed goods locally (develop a new industry, expand into another biome, etc.), or expand their smuggling operation.


    Plays to the mod's strengths: In my opinion, the domestic market is one of the mods' most remarkable, thoughtful features. I'd love to see it take a more explicit role in gameplay. It also would showcase some of the mod's strongest points, like enhanced trade, and resource/units diversity.


    Piggybacks on existing code: I don't understand the code base enough to state this confidently, but I suspect this would be a reasonably approachable engineering task. It would, of course, additionally require a good bit of work to reassess worker/building demand values, and perhaps even redesign some production chains, but that should be a relatively inclusive and (dare I say) fun task :)


    Endless possibilities for content. Most research/progression systems are fairly linear: the player grows their supply of 'science' to reach increasingly costly techs. In contrast, consider the many different ways that the domestic market can be interacted with through civ traits, quests, events, perks, founding fathers, and other content:
    _ Modify demand from given unit
    _ Substitute a commodity for another (Ersatz)
    _ Interactions of culture, education, and liberty bells with the market
    _ Buildings increasing market demand, or adding multipliers
    _ Tie particular missions and events to development level
    _ Civ trait (or event, civic, etc.) to make converted natives fully count towards domestic market


    The AI would suffer, but a few heuristics may go a long way (still not sure about this one). AI cities could for instance be set to import their needed commodities, and AI players could receive free commodities on higher difficulty levels.


    Anyhow. I could go on and on, but mostly I am curious about what people here think :)
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
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  7. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    :think:
    I think from a coding perspective, research should be as I proposed in my previous post. However you do have an interesting idea. We could add a new yield, which is given with each domestic sale, either one for each sale or one for each gold generated by sales. This will add the ability to do as you propose using xml without removing the ability to do anything else mentioned in my post, also controlled by xml. As such future modders will have great freedom to use either approach, or a combo. We will only be doing this once meaning the implementation should be as flexible as possible.

    As for how to set up xml, while I like the idea of using the domestic market, I'm not sure it makes sense for all research. This is also part of why I want it to be flexible in the implementation. We need the implementation to allow the xml setup to tailor requirements to each tech in a way, which is intuitive.
     
  8. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Well guys, we could also abuse a mechanic similar to "Founding Fathers".

    All we need to generate is "Social Progress Points" (SP Points) just like current "Founding Father Points" (FF Points).

    FF Points are generated by player actions like
    • Trade (Trade Posts / Europe / Natives / Custom House)
    • Religion (Missioning / Crosses / ...)
    • Exploration (Exploration / First Contact / Goodies)
    • Military (Combat / getting XP basically)
    • Politics (just producing Liberty Bells) <--- Main Yield for Founding Father System
    SP Points could be generated by player actions like
    • Infrastructure (every time you finish a Building / Building Upgrade / Building Improvements / Building Roads)
    • Education (Trained from Natives, Education from Schools and Learning by Doing)
    • Society (producing Cuture, Health and Happiness and LbD Become Free)
    • Domestic (Domestic Market Sales and Population Growth)
    • Progress (just producing "Knowledge" - aka "Research") <--- Main Yield for Social Progress System
    ----

    Instead of "Founding Fathers" we would just unlock "Social Progress". :think:
    (Otherwise more or less use the same concept.)

    Summary:

    If you guys really want a "Technology Concept" that works similar to "Founding Fathers" (basically just triggered by other Player Actions) that would be extremely simple.

    1. Yes it is piggy bagging on existing game concepts
    2. It is interactive by reflecting the strategy of the player.
    3. It is not "research".
    4. It is extremely easy to teach AI

    ----

    Maybe this may solve all our issues with "feeling unnatural to have research". :think:

    ----

    Maybe consider it. :)
    It is actually something I could very well imagine to implement ... :mischief:
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
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  9. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    Father points vs yields :thinking:
    Main difference:
    • Father point: research is done by each team
    • Yield: research is done by each player
    This brings up the question: if two players are on the same team, should they do shared research?
    My personal take on that is no. Not only would it require extra coordination between team members (possible network issue), it also makes multi player teams overpowered unless we make research cost depending on the number of players in the team. It's way easier to ignore multi player team issues and deal with research in CvPlayer. This is why I prefer a research yield rather than a research father point system.
     
  10. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    There is no real vs. in there. :)

    Founding Father Points also use Yields (e.g. Liberty Bells and Crosses) and additionally game mechancis.
    Social Progress Points could thus also use Yields and additionally game mechanics.

    It is not "Research", it is "Social Progress". - But calling it that way is just "marketing" for immersion. ;)
    (Real research is an immersion issue. But there was some social progress.)

    It would be possible to code whatever we want. :dunno:
    (That is just a minor question for me considering the system.)

    It is not the "Father Founding System", it is a new "Social Progress System" that just reuses ideas and design patterns of "Founding Father System".

    ------

    The "Research Yield" is there, we just add more to stuff to trigger "Techs". :D

    See here:
    ------

    I did not remove anything from the "Tech Concept", I just added additional ties and dependencies to other game concepts.
    (And to do that I used known "design patterns" from "Founding Fathers".)

    ------

    So instead of just using a "single boring Yield", the new "Tech System" will now use Yields and game mechanics. :)
    So all this does is add "new options" to trigger Techs.

    e.g. like this:

    There are about about 10 different Yields and game mechanics in there --> They just add up to 5 Social Progress Point Categories
    (And this is just my first concept, most likely I can tie at least 5 more game meachics into it.)

    ------

    Summary:

    The complete "Tech System" is still there.
    I just added "new options" to trigger Techs.

    So simplify:

    All I did was to replaced 1 "single boring Yield" by about 10 Yields and Game Mechanics ... (probably 20, once I am done with my detailed concept.)
    (And to keep it understandable and manageable in configuration I do so by using the "Social Progress Points".)

    On top of that we can still build the "Tech System" we imagined e.g. using CivEffects.
    Just the "generation logic" massively changed.

    -----------

    old FF Points Categories currently are:
    (used in Founding Father System)
    • Trade (Trade Posts / Europe / Natives / Custom House)
    • Religion (Missioning / Crosses / ...)
    • Exploration (Exploration / First Contact / Goodies)
    • Military (Combat / getting XP basically)
    • Politics (just producing Liberty Bells) <--- Main Yield for Founding Father System
    SP Points Categories could be:
    (used in technically different Social Progress System - different XML, different Screen, different ...)
    • Infrastructure (every time you finish a Building / Building Upgrade)
    • Education (Trained from Natives, Education from Schools and Learning by Doing)
    • Society (producing Cuture, Health and Happiness and LbD Become Free)
    • Domestic (Domestic Market Sales and Population Growth)
    • Progress (just producing "Knowledge" - aka "Research") <--- Main Yield for Social Progress System
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
  11. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    To prevent confusion:

    I did not talk about the parts
    • "What it does."
    • "How it is displayed."
    • "Player or Team".
    • ...
    I just talked about the parts
    • "How to unlock".
    • "How to tie into existing game mechanics."
    • "How to structure in Categories."
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
  12. Kaskarn

    Kaskarn Chieftain

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    The reason I like the idea of making the domestic market the engine of 'social progress', is that it already very elegantly incorporates most of those notions into a single yield/metric, without cannibalizing the FF design space (which thematically fits the setting, and probably should remain somewhat unique)

    Infrastructure: The player must build up demand (markets, perhaps add buildings), and also develop roads and transport networks
    Education: More educated colonists have greater needs, and therefore yield more points. They are also more productive.
    Society: Health & bells makes colonists more productive (grows supply); happiness increases the size of the domestic market (grows demand)
    Population growth: Market size and population are inherently connected.
    Domestic = Progress. Simple, and interactive :)

    I also think there is a role for adding culture and education, but I think that giving them a support role (multipliers) might be more elegant

    No debate, there. Not a one-size-fits-all, and I'm sure other mechanics could be more appropriate to reflect other forms of progress

    Adding a variable keeping track of city- and civ- points (total goods traded on market) would be really helpful in a test DLL. If for no other reason that we could observe how this quantity progresses through a playtest (for the player, and the AI).
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
  13. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Sure, everybody likes his own ideas. :)
    We all have our personal taste.

    But using the "domestic market" alone is a nogo (for me) because too passive and too few different player strategies involved.
    (There are simply to few decisions, strategies and actions involved.)

    Sorry:
    Team member veto. :dunno:

    --------

    But do not worry, "Domestic Market" is also a component I have considered in my design. :thumbsup:
    My concept is simply a complete scale bigger than "just Domestic Market."

    See here is your "Domestic Market":
    -------

    I still need to know though if the rest of the team likes the idea to "how to generate Techs". :dunno:
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
  14. modmod

    modmod Warlord

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    Sounds fine.
    Basically the "different research trees with different tech points" adopted in a more game engine friendly manner.
    Especially fine: Infrastructure / Education direct actions.

    Question about possible differences with FF system, in the following:
    1. Can be collected points remain when hit a level, instead to disappear?
    Meaning: avoid skips (like skipping an FF)/ no need to start again to collect points from nearly start.

    :banana:

    Partly can be.
    Like for me sounds more acceptable to for example have some kind of points from building piers/ docks/ shipyards, and only then have access for the ship of the line, than "research" it.

    In details name it as social progress easily gives a plastered path for a realistic/ natural approach. :thumbsup:
     
  15. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    @Kaskarn
    Ah thanks, good points considering Roads. :thumbsup:
    Just added 2 small aspects to the concept.

     
  16. Kaskarn

    Kaskarn Chieftain

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    Not a problem. Perhaps an elegant middleground may be to have global XML specifying the contribution of each category towards 'social progress'. Something like MARKET_RESEARCH_WEIGHT = N. Who knows, maybe some maniac would want to set that value to 100% :mischief:
     
  17. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    What are the conceptionally main differences of "Social Progress" to "Founding Fathers" or "Techs as in Civ4BTS"?:

    1. It is not exclusive. Any Nation can acquire a "Social Progress".
    Actually I would like to even add, that the more Nations already acquired, the easier it is to get for others.

    2. A Social Progress can not be skipped.
    But you can also not actively chose which one you "research", because your actions gameplay actions determine that.

    3. "Social Progress" should not just duplicate effects of "Founding Fathers" (e.g. free Units and Yield Production Bonusses)
    Instead it should unlock !!! (Units, Promotions, Building Upgrades, Unit Actions, Game Features, ...)

    4. Since we will have 5 Social Progress Categories, we will basically have 5 Tech Trees !!!
    (We can still decide if they should be linear or not. Linear will be a lot easier though. Some randomness in there is possible though and might be fun.)

    ---

    Summary:

    It will neither feel like a clone "Founding Fathers" nor feel like clone "Civ4 BTS Techs".
    It will have similarities easy to understand by players but it will also feel new and unique.
    It is going to be a wild combination using the best of both systems and still fitting to Civ4Col setting.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
    HobyMorgan and modmod like this.
  18. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Sorry that could simply not work considering my game design. :dunno:
    I think you do not really understand yet what I am trying to explain.

    There will be 5 Social Progress Categories.
    Basically 5 independent Tech Trees !!!

    With what you suggest you will lose 4 Tech Trees and only unlock Techs from 1.

    ------

    Please understand that my concept is categories bigger and more complex than "Just simple Domestic Market".
     
  19. Kaskarn

    Kaskarn Chieftain

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    Ahh, that makes sense. Thanks for clarifying!
     
  20. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    To simplify it:

    I have tried to combine the best out of "Civ4 BTS Techs" and "Civ4Col Founding Fathers" into one new feature design.

    My goals were:
    • preserve immersion and atmosphere of Civ4Col
    • preserve the functional capabilities of Techs
    • give players a known usability concept that they will easily understand
    • deeply tie into existing game features of WTP
    • create a game design that is also easy to understand for AI
    • reduce effort and risk by using known design pattterns
    • make it performant by not having to compute itself to death by constantly checking conditions
    • ...
    It took me lots of feature desigining and thinking, but I think I have achieved all of that at least conceptionally ... :)
     
    Mr. ZorG and modmod like this.

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