Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

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Sliders. Knobs. Checkboxes. Such is the spread-sheet roots of strategy games. Let's fix that.

[[..]]

Going back 15 years to Galactic Civilizations I for Windows, players managed their economy like this:

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GalCiv I: Sliders.

 

In Galactic Civilizations I, you would set your tax rate. Your tax rate affected the approval rate on your planets.  You could then decide how much of your GDP the government would take control of with the spending slider.  From there, players would direct their civilization's output between Military, Social, and Research.

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In Galactic Civilizations III, we had changed it to the Production Wheel: Manufacturing, Wealth Generation, Research.

 

I actually don't have a problem with sliders to be honest.  But they have a serious user interface limitation: The more sliders you have, the more confusing the screen and the more difficult it is to communicate the results.

 

 

Let's talk about economics

Our economies are a lot more complicated than Money making, Research and Planet manufacturing and Fleet construction.  Obvious real-world examples would include food production, consumer goods,  social programs and international affairs.  In a space game, there are even priorities you might have: Mining, espionage, soldiers, Precursor archeology, and so on.  Imagine all that as sliders. Oye.

 

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What are Galactic Citizens?

Across your entire civilization, an individual of great potential will rise up and join your government.  When this happens you decide an area for he or she to specialize in.

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A new citizen has joined you. What will you do with them?

Now, there are some...provisos here that will make each game play a bit differently. 

  1. How often you get a free citizen is not dependent on the size of your civilization.  It is, by default, one citizen every 10 turns. So each citizen is pretty important. A 200 turn game will leave you with 20 natural citizens.  Use them wisely.
  2. The areas of specialization are based on what technology you have.  At the start of the game, if you are playing as the Terran Alliance, your options are a Leader or a Commander.
  3. You can choose to keep them safe in your capital providing a global bonus (great for large empires) or you can send them to a specific planet to really boost that planet's production in a given area (great for small empires) but also makes them vulnerable if they are assassinated or the planet is invaded (once they settle, they're not leaving).
  4. They level up over time. Thus, the order in which you specialize them matters.

 

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The govern screen with some citizens there. Leaders act as wild cards and can be placed in any category.

 

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Citizens can also be sent to planets to greatly boost it in a specific area.

 

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Citizens can't teleport. When sent to a planet, a VIP transport takes them from your capital world to the planet in question.

 

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Worried about micro-management? Don't. We also include easy ways to move citizens from your capital to your empire if necessary.

 

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Not just icons. Each citizen has a name and where they're from and a picture (and yea, we do this for all 12 races, Drengin females...you do not want to attend their march).

 

 

Citizen Specialties (so far)

 

 

Specialization

Strategic Benefit

Tactical Benefit

Special

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Leader

Provides 3% boost to target civilization priority.

Cannot leave the capital.

Can be moved around to any priority category.

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Administrator

Reduces all colony maint by 3%

Reduces target planet’s maintenance by 25%.

Increases administration resource by 1 plus 10%.

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General

Improves global planetary resistance by 3%.

Provides 5 legions to target planet for defense.

Can be converted into an invasion transport holding the General and his legions.

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Commander

Improves global starship HP by 3%

Increases planetary defense of orbiting ships by 25%.

Can be converted to a Flag Ship that is added to a target fleet to give it a combat boost.

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Spy

Improves global security by 3%

Can be sent to eliminate a spy on a planet.

Can be assigned missions targeting foreign powers.

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Worker

Increases global manufacturing by 3%

Can settle on a planet to boost its manufacturing by 25%

 

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Scientist

Increases global research by 3%

Can settle on a planet to boost its research by 25%

 

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Farmer

Increase global food production by 3%

Can settle on a planet boosting its food production by 25%

 

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Engineer

Increases global fleet production by 3%

Can settle on a planet boosting its fleet production by 25%

 

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Entrepreneur

Increases global wealth production by 3%

Can settle on a planet boosting its wealth production by 25%

 

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Celebrity

Provides a global 3% bonus to planetary goods and services.

Can settle on a planet providing a 25% boost to planetary goods and services.

 

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Diplomat

Provides a global 3% boost to influence.

Can settle on a planet and boost that planet’s influence by 25%.

Can be converted into an Emissary and sent to a target civilization boosting your relations.

 

 

 

A living civilization

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If you're a Galactic Civilizations player you might be thinking "This is going to require a lot of changes to existing balance."  And you would be right.  Take a very close look at the screenshot below.

 

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Still early game and lots of new resources to play with

 

Look at the top of the previous screenshot.  Notice how many resources there are?  Your citizens are your principle lever for deciding what matters (and what doesn't) in your civilization.  But how you will likely use your citizens will change from game to game because of the new resource system and their connection to what improvements you can build, what planets you can colonize, what your starbases can and can't do.  Resources accumulate (unlike in GalCiv III) and they result in a vibrant galaxy for your citizens to play in.

Next week: Resources!


Comments (Page 3)
on Feb 17, 2017

Frogboy

Heh. Not this week.

But... but you said...

Just joking. Bake it, till it´s ready!

on Feb 17, 2017

The economic changes in this dev diary are what I've been waiting for ages.  I've not really touched the game since patch 1.5.  The economy is basically make or break for my future interest in the game...


I like the idea of a citizen system.  (I hated the wheels and the micromanagement they caused)

 

I've tried looking for an old post I made on the forums where I recommended a governor style system that would be one on average per 10 planets (map size dependent) that would allow production manipulation e.g. old wheel system by placing said governors, but all other planets without a governor you wouldn't be able to change the production.  Couldn't find it, maybe I never posted the idea or I mentioned it in a YouTube video I made.

 

Anyway, questions...

Has anything changed with raw production, population, buildings percentage amounts?  How is production distribution determined?  In one screenshot it seemed to be roughly 33% manufacturing/33% research/16.6% wealth/16.6% shipyard.  Is this permanently fixed?

My worry is with an evenly split production system it would render the adjacency specialization bonuses (key part of the game so far) near worthless.  You'd be better off splitting your worlds evenly ish with equal amounts of factories/research/markets on every planet, pretty boring that imo.

A citizen system where e.g. you could have a ind/sci/wealth guru that splits the production e.g. research citizen could be 75% of raw production to research then that world would be great for research building specialization.  That would keep the adjacency bonuses worthwhile in using and keep planetary specialization a thing.

I like the variety of the citizens mentioned but lets face it some are going to be a lot more important than others.  The % amounts associated with them don't seem very large.  Many buildings currently give more than a 25% boost. 

on Feb 17, 2017

MacsenLP

I like the variety of the citizens mentioned but lets face it some are going to be a lot more important than others.  The % amounts associated with them don't seem very large.  Many buildings currently give more than a 25% boost. 

Citizen bonuses should be cumulative, not additive (meaning that they should be factored in after calculating the gross production from base production and improvement bonuses).

Example: base production 10, 200% improvement bonuses, 3% citizen bonus

Additive: 10 * (1 + 203 / 100) = 30,3

Cumulative: 10 * (1 + 200 / 100) * (1 + 3 / 100) = 30,9

Difference doesn't seem big, but will be significant with better built-up planets ...

on Feb 17, 2017

As someone mentioned above, I really hope its not a fixed production % of 33% man / 33 research / 16.6 wealth / 16.6 shipyard.  Not being able to specailize worlds properly / control that does not sound good to me, I of course will wait and see. I am excited for the Xpack, but this is all pretty large changes to the game, making it play almost like a new game. That can be good and fun, or can end poorly. Dont get me wrong, I suspect its going to be awesome, just always nervous about such drastic changes to core mechanics when I had no problem with them as they were, personally.

 

on Feb 17, 2017

FlashXAron

Looking for the change of resources , always hated that dumbed down model of ...
I have one of that resource and I could decide to build one tiny ship or the new death star with it ! (ideotic HOI, CIV, Stellaris and still Gal Civ model)

SO HOPE THAT sentence mean something ...
Resources accumulate (unlike in GalCiv III) and they result in a vibrant galaxy for your citizens to play in.

And we should need LUXURY resources, if we want to have more inhabitants on our planets ...
like 1-10 no resources are needed , 10-20 one luxury resource, 20-30 two different and so on ... 
so we would need mining/resources planets, if we want a real large home world

 

Best luck for the new ADDOn and count me in, as long as the game, will get away from a game for dummies (like MOO

 

FlashXaron, I am pretty sure the <way> we use resources will not change that being 1 Elerium to make 1 ship. I doubt that feature will go away, and if it does I would be very surprised. Personally, I like the mechanic.

Other options would be to do something like in Civilization where you cannot build swordsmen unless you have iron. This type of resource use is actually kinda lame because, unless there is a bonus to having stockpiles you would only have about 5 mining star-bases in the entire galaxy which would never happen.

on Feb 17, 2017

MacsenLP

The economic changes in this dev diary are what I've been waiting for ages.  I've not really touched the game since patch 1.5.  The economy is basically make or break for my future interest in the game...


I like the idea of a citizen system.  (I hated the wheels and the micromanagement they caused)

 

I've tried looking for an old post I made on the forums where I recommended a governor style system that would be one on average per 10 planets (map size dependent) that would allow production manipulation e.g. old wheel system by placing said governors, but all other planets without a governor you wouldn't be able to change the production.  Couldn't find it, maybe I never posted the idea or I mentioned it in a YouTube video I made.

 

Anyway, questions...

Has anything changed with raw production, population, buildings percentage amounts?  How is production distribution determined?  In one screenshot it seemed to be roughly 33% manufacturing/33% research/16.6% wealth/16.6% shipyard.  Is this permanently fixed?

My worry is with an evenly split production system it would render the adjacency specialization bonuses (key part of the game so far) near worthless.  You'd be better off splitting your worlds evenly ish with equal amounts of factories/research/markets on every planet, pretty boring that imo.

A citizen system where e.g. you could have a ind/sci/wealth guru that splits the production e.g. research citizen could be 75% of raw production to research then that world would be great for research building specialization.  That would keep the adjacency bonuses worthwhile in using and keep planetary specialization a thing.

I like the variety of the citizens mentioned but lets face it some are going to be a lot more important than others.  The % amounts associated with them don't seem very large.  Many buildings currently give more than a 25% boost. 
I'm going to go with states, or regions. No I'm not looking for it just going off memory. Production is still determined by population. I disagree with the idea of penalising you for not having a state. That is one mechanic I would use as an easy way of remembering what my planets do, but it's not my place to force an unnecessary mechanic on you you don't want. Loved sliders miss taxation. Loved the wheel untill you introduced coercion. 

He very clearly stated that citizens is not connected to population. Think less like adding population, and more like adding specialised trained specific individuals.

The governor system as is is a bad introduction to states unless there is a way to shut it off. So I can decide what my states are doing. I like the idea of deciding up my empire up into sections for simplicity, not automation. This would be good if you are specialising planets.

on Feb 17, 2017

admiralWillyWilber
snipped... That is one mechanic I would use as an easy way of remembering what my planets do, ...

 

Just to share what I do to help me remember what my planets are for once I start specializing them is I rename the planet adding either an E, R, or M at the end (I also get rid of the numbers to shorten up the name a bit) so that I know what they do with a glance.

on Feb 17, 2017

What I don't understand currently:

 

If the wheel and sliders are gone, how do you react to short term needs? I mean right now you can just ramp up ship production for some turns or build up planets instead, go for science etc. But how would that work when you get citizens only every 10 turns?

Or was it a deliberate decision to make such fast changes more difficult, since ppl might argue it's not "realistic" to change willy-nilly between high output in rather different fields (like just shifting vast amounts of ppl building up a planet to do science instead may not work so well)....

Maybe I missed something - probably need to see this whole new model in action

on Feb 17, 2017

GalCivius

What I don't understand currently:

 

If the wheel and sliders are gone, how do you react to short term needs? I mean right now you can just ramp up ship production for some turns or build up planets instead, go for science etc. But how would that work when you get citizens only every 10 turns?

Or was it a deliberate decision to make such fast changes more difficult, since ppl might argue it's not "realistic" to change willy-nilly between high output in rather different fields (like just shifting vast amounts of ppl building up a planet to do science instead may not work so well)....

Maybe I missed something - probably need to see this whole new model in action

Leaders act as "wild cards" that can be freely moved between different production areas.  So you could move your leaders from planetary manufacturing to starship manufacturing for 20 turns to build a fleet, then switch them to research to get better guns. etc.  The other citizens give bigger bonuses but are locked in their specialization.  

on Feb 17, 2017

lyssailcor

Difference doesn't seem big, but will be significant with better built-up planets ...

Take it to the extreme then.  Planet 90 Raw Production, 500% research bonus from buildings that's a lot!  Stick Scientist Citizen on it let's presume the 25% bonus uses the raw production and is e.g. not like another research building.

Let's assume 33% of that raw only goes to science a screenshot seems to back that up so 90 x 0.33 = 30.  Add on Scientist 30 x 1.25 = 37.5. Add on Science Buildings 37.5 x 5 = 187.5 Research per turn.  It would be 30 x 5 =150 research without the scientist.

So does an extra 37.5 research from a scientist on a science focused mega planet sound like a lot to most people...?


One thing I didn't initially take in from reading the dev diary is leaders level up so the bonus could increase perhaps.  Also resources seemingly affect things too.


I think there is a lot of potential positives with the citizen system.  Literally anything would be better than the wheel/slider massive micromanagement anti specialization coercion model for me.  Govern screen great, choice of leaders too even if some will be more useful than others.

I would prefer planetary specialization to be worthwhile like it was with the adjacency model pre-coercion BUT without use of dreadful wheels/sliders.  Limited production manipulation could be done via use of citizens in a fashion similar to what I mentioned in my previous post assuming I got certain assumptions right e.g. production always split in same fashion 33% etc. 

on Feb 17, 2017

Avatar137


Quoting admiralWillyWilber,
snipped... That is one mechanic I would use as an easy way of remembering what my planets do, ...



 

Just to share what I do to help me remember what my planets are for once I start specializing them is I rename the planet adding either an E, R, or M at the end (I also get rid of the numbers to shorten up the name a bit) so that I know what they do with a glance.




I do something very similar actually Sometimes I actually do a dash - Ind. / Res. / Cash, though it doesnt look as nice I suppose it is easy to read on a glance.

on Feb 17, 2017

All the number crunching in this post isn't factoring the citizens' leveling up in their specialties.  Probably doesn't change the end sums a great deal, but tossing around equations with missing elements seems a poor form of argument to me.

I like the promise of the features laid out in this post, but I don't think they'll un-break the game for me.  Every time I get a good game going I'll meet some race that is uncatchably ahead in tech by turns 50 to 100.  It's discouraging.  (not an invitation for min/maxing advice, I've read it all and am not interested).  Considering the volume of feedback regarding the disparity between AI and player tech growth, I hope the devs either have a plan for addressing it or are brainstorming one.

on Feb 18, 2017

There's only a disparity above normal, actually it's economic. One of the problems with games is that they are to easy without cheating, not to hard.

on Feb 18, 2017

Go4Celerity

I like the promise of the features laid out in this post, but I don't think they'll un-break the game for me.  Every time I get a good game going I'll meet some race that is uncatchably ahead in tech by turns 50 to 100.  It's discouraging.  (not an invitation for min/maxing advice, I've read it all and am not interested).  Considering the volume of feedback regarding the disparity between AI and player tech growth, I hope the devs either have a plan for addressing it or are brainstorming one.

You realize there are difficulty levels right?  If the AI's are still "uncatchably" ahead for you on the easiest level then maybe the devs could make a difficulty level just for you otherwise I don't get what you expect them to do.

on Feb 18, 2017



Leaders act as "wild cards" that can be freely moved between different production areas.  So you could move your leaders from planetary manufacturing to starship manufacturing for 20 turns to build a fleet, then switch them to research to get better guns. etc.  The other citizens give bigger bonuses but are locked in their specialization.  

 

I see, thanks  - that sounds good to me

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