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The Agricultural revolution, industrialization, and Urbanization

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by CGG1066, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. killmeplease

    killmeplease Mk Z on Steam

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    in every game of civ series, population growth was logarithmic. and, as far as all the things in civ such as production, science, number of units on the map etc depends on population of player's cities, this mechanic is the foundation of civ gameplay. changing it will effectively ruin the whole system so once made this change you will have to create a completely new system from scratch.
     
  2. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    Well - it was logarithmic assuming that each additional citizen produced the same amount of food (which really isn't the case), but I see your point.

    First, note, even if the function is exponential, it doesn't mean growth would be, because you have the ceiling constraint. As a city expands, you would expect the more fertile lands to be worked first, and marginal lands to be worked last - meaning that for each additional tile worked, the average food yield per citizen goes down. This would force the ceiling constraint to expand in some-what a logarithmic manner (not a smooth one, but that isn't already anyway).

    But I'm not really sure it would have that big effect on gameplay. We're talking about population growth here, not the level of population. Currently, civ is balanced to accommodate several levels of population; two civs of very differing populations can duke it out just fine. This change might affect the balance - but not in a way that would be rather pedestrian to address. For example, mechanisms such as happiness and maintenance costs already play a large role in making sure the larger civs don't have carte-blanch to roll over the smaller ones.

    (And that's not to say I'm a huge proponent of the idea - I just thought it was a clever way to avoid the gaming you pointed out. There are other ways to deal with it as well, if you want to be less radical about it).
     
  3. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    Note, this doesn't move off the fact that final products would not be tradeable too far away in ancient times.

    The only thing it changes is that grains would be tradeable far away in ancient times, and grains only.

    Happiness boost from more varied food would still occur in modern times.
     
  4. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Well it would probably work, but it just seemed a little random to me (not that there's anything horribly wrong about that, really). :lol:

    I would've thought bonuses to tile yield would seem the more obvious way of achieving the same outcome.
     
  5. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    The difference is, is that it puts a limit on how far you take this, forcing you to create specialists/unemployed citizens when all the tiles are full.

    But yeah, this may very well be viewed as just another complication.
     
  6. ProkhorZakharov

    ProkhorZakharov Chieftain

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    I don't like the idea of attaching massive gameplay changes to specific technologies; it's likely to make those technologies overpowered. If I research Fertilizer and suddenly my growth doubles, that puts me at a huge immediate advantage over someone that hasn't yet researched Fertilizer.
     
  7. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Seems like Biology in Civ4, but more powerful. I don't think there's too much wrong with having powerful techs; if they are powerful then you should just aim for them. It seems realistic, anyway. It could be balanced out by attaching importance to competing techs also, so that whilst the tech would give a big advantage, the opportunity cost for researching something else would not be greater.
     
  8. Pooh

    Pooh Chieftain

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    Actually, it was effectively to avoid the need for something like this that I suggested the returns to scale model. It's an abstraction to simulate the lower population density of rural food producing regions. It allows a relatively smaller agricultural city to increase its food output.

    Killmeplease' approach - providing a production bonus for unworked adjacent farmland -hadn't occured to me, but it may have merit. My only concern is that it may be somewhat exploitable since it would have lower population requirement. Basically, it wouldn't take much work on the player's part to prepare the ground and create an agricultural city under this model. I wonder if there would be a way to avoid that.

    In respect of an "inflection" technology - I only worry about the impact on gameplay. The advantage provided by a massive sudden boost to agricultural (or other) productivity could be too extreme. Without some careful counterbalancing, it would basically be the game decider.

    As a general rule, I think it's better to try to make these kinds of changes we're discussing within the existing rule set and to keep the mechanisms as simple as possible. Simple does not equal unsophisticated. Go probably has one of the most complicated rule sets of any game, but damn if it isn't subtle. It's also easier to avoid unintended consequences (read "exploits") with simple mechanisms.
     
  9. killmeplease

    killmeplease Mk Z on Steam

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    whats wrong with it?
     
  10. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    Well - I think we're losing a little bit of focus. What is the goal? I don't think we're just talking about producing a lot of food. I had in mind some sort of urbanization mechanic where you can get large production cities to get out be able to pump out late-game units at usable intervals. The reason why we don't have cities capable of this is the cities that have high production values have a lower food base.

    I believe this is a problem because it makes the game a lot less fluid - when you rely on gold to upgrade units you already have, who ever is on top is going to stay there. But the late-end production is lacking. I understand the need to make those units expensive - as attack strength, etc. increases, so should the hammer cost; it's just that the modern era units price themselves out of the market if you're not already ahead.

    So the concept was to allow agricultural cities to provide their excess food to more productive cities, rather than just grow their own population larger. I also thought this could enhance the role of specialists (who are generally under used). But - this discussion has brought up problems with the who idea; so now I'm not so sure.

    If we're just talking about a boost to farming at this point, why bother? Populations will just get larger; view this however you want (as an abstraction, etc.), but I'm not sure if it really effects the game-play all that much, especially if you have to do some re-balancing at the back end.
     
  11. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    I would've thought the better way to drastically increase production would be to have a production modifier of sorts, most likely in the form of another building.

    I can see that it would be good if populations got larger as well, and that production increasing was a consequence of that, but it would seem easier to achieve these two goals separately than to combine them through one mechanism (i.e. two tiles being worked by one citizen).
     
  12. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Prince

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    In my opinion, Civ games have always lacked in one important aspect:
    There isn't an industrial revolution.

    While in the real world industrializing propelled nations forward, in civ it really doesn't do anything. ofcourse, you get higher production through factories etc. but as all your buildings and units get way more expensive to build, it doesnt feel like a revolution.

    My solution to this would be:
    Buildings like factories, research labs and stock exchanges have way more specialist slots. In order to fill these slots, you will have a massive increase in food output giving you many excess labourers with a series of technologies.

    Problem: Food cities are still the cities that grow hardest.
    Solution: When all tiles are worked and all specialist slots are filled, people move to the unemployed pool (already happens). instead of giving +1 :hammers:, these people will move towards a city where there are free specialist slots.

    Problem: Production cities will start to starve through a massive influx of food.
    Solution: After inventing certain technologies, shortage of food in a city is compensated by nearby cities with a surplus.
     
  13. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    Well Johan, that is sort of exactly the ideas I had in my first post; with the exception of instead of increasing food production, I suggesting allowing citizens working two farms precisely to create a greater number of unemployed (lumpenproletariat?).

    I haven't laid out explicitly the internal migration mechanic so here it goes (it's rather simple, I just split it into a lot of steps so it is easy to understand):
    1. Only one citizen can leave a city at a time.
    2. Only one citizen can enter a city at a time.
    3. An unemployed citizen would only move to a city if there is enough food to feed it there.
    4. When an unemployed citizen moves, he goes to the city with the most productive tile or specialist slot available.
    5. (Not necessary for here - but something to consider): After unemployed citizens have moved, employed citizens from lower yield tiles will move to other cities - following the same rules above - seeking out the highest yielding tile (tiles - in the case of farms)/specialist slot.
    6. A city's last citizen NEVER moves.

    So under these rules, the industrial revolution really has two steps: and "agricultural step" which frees workers from the land, and some would migrate. And a second step, when food becomes a civilization-wide resource which allows for more migration (because productive cities are no longer constrained as much by food).

    Note that I'm not even really talking about an increase of population at this point - just higher population in productive (hammer) cities.

    There are some problems with this though:

    -Of course, as killmeplease pointed out, the problem is that the "cost" of food for an additional population point is a lot smaller in small cities. So any internal-migration problem could be gamed to pump out additional citizens and relocate them right away. In order for this to work, the whole growth mechanic would have to change. I could also see "health" being employed some how stop this too, but I didn't really like the concept as it just adds additional complications.

    EDIT 12/6: The more I've been on the forums, the more I think the idea of linear city growth is less radical, as it has been floated elsewhere too. So that is what I propose to get around the problem. Population can then be constrained by health (which is a local resource/benefit from buildings). This will also help colonial expansion, as with the right health technologies, a city can grow large and useful fast.

    -I sort of see a resource problem in the implementation (though I'm really not qualified to speak to it). If every city has to check every other city for a migration opportunity by looking at the other cities' tiles, that could have similar consequence to the huge worker slow down we get at end of turns (a reason why I want to get rid of workers). Keeping this to check to unemployed citizens would be helpful in this regard. I'm still concerned though.

    - Those civilizations that have "industrialized" would have an advantage. It might be simple to "balance-away" the gains; but if you do that, what's the point? Honestly though, given the gradual nature of the mechanic, I think it's actually less of a problem than the discovery of iron working. Besides - this problem could also be addressed through some sort of tech-diffusion (as those who have read my econ thread know I'm in favor of).
     
  14. ProkhorZakharov

    ProkhorZakharov Chieftain

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    I think there's a very good gameplay reason why this is the case. If the player has a lot of population, he'll either make a lot of units, or make a lot of science. If the player has too many units, due to 1UPT, maneuvering them around becomes a nightmare. Last game I played I had more modern units than I could actually use productively, despite their price, because I had a lot of big cities and a lot of factories. If the player has too much science, their units will be obsolete by the time they're built, and combat becomes trivial as they're sending modern artillery against musketmen.
     
  15. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    So . . . if a player runs into those "problems" he can disband units or choose not to upgrade some.

    I'm think the science issue is a bit of a red herring; assuming the problem of gaming the population growth function is solved, we're really talking about moving citizens around rather than having a higher citizen count.
     
  16. Gusss

    Gusss Chieftain

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    The idea of this post is awesome and i totally agree and suport. Here is my contribution:

    I think after researching steam power and railroads, the first industrial revolution could trigger the ability to distribute surplus food, by the cost of some cash - to balance - and this way urban cityes could grow faster without having lots of farms under work.

    After electricity/refrigeration, a second industrial revolution would be triggered, diminishing costs of food transportation to urban cityes.

    Some food building should be created for large, urban cityes (aka fast food, hehe). These should have some requirement to be build just on urban cityes.

    The problem is clear: Cityes are too homogenous, they are all equal to each other. And if you want production on later game, you have to sacrifice production on mid game just to let the city grow.
     
  17. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    @CGG1066- I'd be interested about how you would add a geographical mobility mechanic to the internal migration idea, i.e. a way of making mobility lesser or greater that has varying effects on how migration can be worked. As for the industrial revolution goes forward, mobility can be increased, perhaps, allowing for greater internal migration.
     
  18. CGG1066

    CGG1066 Minister of Finance

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    I'm not sure if that's even necessary. Mobility may have been more "sticky" in different eras, but the time-scale of the game moves faster then too. Other than attempting to impose realism, the benefit isn't obvious to me.

    However, under the mechanic already proposed, internal migration should greatly increase during the industrial revolution as (a) unemployed citizens are created by being displaced from tiles when 1 citizen can work two farms (creating a set of citizens looking to move) and (b) food becomes civilization-wide, making larger cities (which beforehand could not feed additional citizens) become more receptive to take migrating citizens.

    This would accomplish the game-play goal of allowing cities grow large and productive and able to build late-game units in a reasonable time frame, even when keeping civilization population constant, as well as have the feeling that your civilization is really making progress and changing over time.

    One issue is the impact this would have on growing colonies (cities settled on previously uninhabited continents, which already grow much too slowly). Effect (a) could help growth a lot, but effect (b) may wipe that out. It may require a tweaking of the production function to ensure that marginal productivity is high in these cities (perhaps an adaptation of Pooh's economies of scale/decreasing marginal returns model), but such a solution is not as clean/obvious/simple as I would like. And I'm reluctant to propose a change that just creates a chain of further changes (unless the game-play benefits are huge), so there are issues here, for sure.
     
  19. Johan de Witt

    Johan de Witt Prince

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    If the migration technology is invented before the food sharing technology, there is a timeframe in which mass migration will take place to places with the potential to grow (available hexes and specialist slots).

    Colonies (new settled areas) have a lot of available hexes and would attract a lot of migrators. If the sharing of food is done in steps, with distance to eachother being the first limiting factor, then distant cities would not be sharing their excess food yet, but still be drawing a lot of migrants because of growth potential.
     
  20. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Well I don't think it's necessary, but it could certainly be interesting, and would add a nice economic dimension to the game (which is essentially what its benefit would be, other than working against ICS). I see what you're saying about the time scale though, although even with this, it would seem to me that mobility should be exponentially greater in modern times compared to ancient.

    This gives more reason for internal migration, but doesn't explain increased mobility itself.

    It's impossible to take into account all the effects, as is evident in the lack of perfect balance in the game itself.

    My idea was just a suggestion to add to it though...I don't think it's entirely necessary, and your idea is quite good without it.
     

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