Industry and Infrastructure

Discussion on game mechanics, balancing etc.
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Trilarion
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Industry and Infrastructure

Post by Trilarion » Wed Sep 19, 2012 3:45 pm

Here now an overview about the industrial/infrastructure part. Very similar to the original Imperialism. But you have to write it down.

1. Resources
  • Wood, Wool/Cotton, Coal, Ore, Oil - used for industrial production
  • Fish, Grain, Fruits, Meat - Food
  • Silver/Gold/Gems - money(?)
Rules:
  • Except fish everything must be developed by a specialist (max third level)
  • Additionally a depot must be in an at most one tile distance (or lighthouse for fish)
  • The depot must be connected by rail/river to the capital
  • Every improvement can be destroyed for free (without any specialist or money), but takes time (two turns) and is only effective at the end if the province is still owned by the nation (to prevent scorched earth tactics)
2. Production chain
  • Paper/saw mill: 2 wood to 1 timber or 2 wood to 1 paper
  • Spinning factory: 2 wool/cotton to 1 cloth
  • Steel mill: 1 ore + 1 coal to 1 cast iron / steel (?)
  • Cannery: 1 grain + 1 meat + 1 food to 1 can of food
  • Train station: 1 timber + 1 steel to 1 transport
  • Furniture factory: 2 timer to 1 furniture
  • Spinning factory: 2 cloth to 1 garment
  • Tool factory: 2 steel to 1 weapon/tool
  • Refinery: 2 Oil to 1 Fuel
  • Power plant: 2 Fuel to 1 power
Products can also be used to buy ships, units, specialits, extend the factories or consume by workers...

Automatization: If possible one should set some clever, purely optional automatization rules, so fine-tuning every can be avoided by some players if wished. Example: Upgrades of factories can be planned: the necessary resources are not traded away and the player is notified if all resources are available and can perform the update immediately.

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..

Post by Trilarion » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:47 am

3. Worker pool and Specialists

We have the following types:
  • Unskilled workers (can work in factories, need food)
  • Skilled workers - 2 Levels (Advanced/Expert) (can work in factories, need more food, can work harder)
  • Scientists (can work in university, need food, explore technology)
  • Engineers (can improve your country and other countries)
  • Trained military (fight, need money, maybe also food?)
Without costs any skilled worker/scientist/engineer can be reduced to an unskilled worker at any time.

Only one specialist (engineer) which does everything. If building railroad you can set the engineer to work on several tiles execute this list of connected tiles (small automatization).

Promotion from Unskilled worker
  • to Skilled worker requires a certain amount of paper, 1 garment, 1 furniture (each time for Advanced/Expert)
  • to Scientist requires a certain amount of more paper, 1 garment, 1 furniture, 1 tool
  • to Engineer requires a certain amount of paper, 1 garment, 1 furniture, 1 tool
  • to Trained military requires a certain amount of paper, 1 garment, 1 furniture, X weapons, Y horses

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Trilarion
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Differences to the original/Important points

Post by Trilarion » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:47 am

Only Engineers: It will simplify this part, helps in using them more efficient. I found that some specialists like the rancher in the original was really putting more importance than necessary.

Some automatization options: This is uncritical since it's purely optional, but will help players staying not loosing in micromanagement too much.

Scientists The idea is to not give technologies instantaneously but involve more planning (as in Imperialism 2, only more simple). So you pay scientists which discover technologies for you instead. As an alternative one could also skip the scientists but pay in the college for scientific research but it takes a while. That is important. (was also an important step from Imperialism 1 to 2)

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Idea

Post by Trilarion » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:55 am

I would like to multiply all resource and production units by a certain factor (2-3) while dividing all prices by the same factor. This doesn't change anything in the rest of the game, but makes losses in trading capacity (1 tool not transported/produced/traded in the original = 1000$ lost) less severe, allows more fine grained improvements if we ever want them.

Example: Coal mine level 1 gives 2 units of coal per turn, transport wagons can transport 2 units per wagon and turn, Steel mill takes 2 units of coal and 2 units of steel and produces 2 units of cast iron which becomes 1 weapon and can be used to train 1 soldier.

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Re: IV. Industry and Infrastructure

Post by Xylander » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:58 pm

I added some thoughts on that in a different thread (Economy, see here). Here I want to add something on specialists. I don't like them. What about an engineer building a railroad, hu? One Farmer building a farm?

I have a better idea: You can improve your country without moving a 'specialist' unit around. Just right-click on a location and see what can be done, e.g. building/upgrading a farm or mine or building railways or stations. To do so you'd have to
- assign workers to your infrastructure building project
- have required resources in stock
- and money available.

Otherwise some options in your context menu will be greyed out and mouse-over would tell what you lack to do it. This sounds more realistic to me than the specialist thing and is more consistent with the overall economic model.
Don't repeat yourself. (DRY)
Keep it simple, stupid. (KISS)
You ain't gonna need it. (YAGNI)
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Post by Trilarion » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:44 pm

Originally I only wanted to have a single specialist (engineer) but now after reading the previous post again I doubt the game would even need a single specialist.

However there is a difference between having specialist and just assigning workers and resources. Specialists are inflexible. You cannot just increase their number by two within a short time and then convert them to normal workers within a short time again.

To keep this effect we either need to keep specialists or to have special professions for the workers (industrial worker (works in factories), builder, scientist, soldier) which take some time to educate.

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Re: IV. Industry and Infrastructure

Post by Veneteaou » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:23 pm

I think we either do it the way Imp1 did, or make it even simpler. Managing labor education is IMO one of the most boring aspects of 4X games, because it always seems to be redundant. From the viewpoint of the government, they aren't educating people as much as they are simply throwing money/goods at people to make it happen. That's why Imperialism's research funding (investing dollars) makes so much more sense than hiring/training/managing scientists. A king/emperor/president doesn't oversee education specifics nor train anybody. They just throw funding at the results they want.

I think Imp1 did a really good job of staying away from population management, and I'd personally want to see it stay that way.

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Re: IV. Industry and Infrastructure

Post by Trilarion » Wed Jul 17, 2013 11:31 pm

I wonder how you call the promotion of simple worker to expert to master worker in Imp 1? Wasn't that labor education too?

But I must say that I am strongly for simplication now. So throwing money and workers at aims it is then.

I would still like to have some long-term effect, like in Imp1 when the specialists cannot go back to working in a factory. So there should be at least some penalty for frequent shifting between infrastructure and industry and research or shouldn't there be? You could have professions that automatically develop over time and automatic assignment of labor according to their professions and these professions giving a small bonus.

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Re: IV. Industry and Infrastructure

Post by Trilarion » Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:12 am

Another possibility would be to include some training time, so that workers who change their job just need one turn before they can produce anything. Don't know if this is much better. Realistic it would be.

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Re: IV. Industry and Infrastructure

Post by Veneteaou » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:55 am

> Imp1 when the specialists cannot go back to working in a factory.

Do you mean the civilian worker units such as the Prospector, Farmer, and Engineer? They could go back to the capital and work as skilled laborers. Military units couldn't, although IMO they should be able to.

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