Industry and Infrastructure

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

Post by Trilarion » Thu Jul 18, 2013 9:24 am

Yes, I meant the civilian workers. I have to check if they really could go back. I remember disbanding them when I no longer needed them.

However there was a huge cost in creating a civilian worker and the money was lost when not using them. You say that educating labor is one of the most boring aspects. But with civilian workers or educating unskilled workers to master workers this game aspect was also present in Imp1. I am confused now whether we should cut the boring aspect or keep it because it isn't boring when implemented in a simplified way.

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Re: IV. Industry and Infrastructure

Post by Trilarion » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:15 am

Still thinking about the resource discovery and appearance. Especially since reading the discussion about it in a post by Ron Shafer. He remembered the resources discovery as something especially tedious.

The way I wanted to implement is now as something abstract, some research task that you order (and pay money for) and then one of your resources pops up randomly. This eliminates that clever people first search the whole country for resources and then restart the game and search at only the specific places (since resources are always only at the same places, especially in scenarios).

However people might not be happy with a random popup. Let's say there is a resource very close to the capital but it pops up as the last by chance. Especially if you play this scenario the second time and you have such a bad luck you might feel bad about the game.

Then I thought that maybe instead of specifying single tiles, the player can explore provinces (at once), so it's less tedious work. But then again we have the problem that clever players might just memorize the provinces which were resourceful and only explore them after a restart.

Then I thought why not restricting to those provinces that have resources (or those tiles that have resources if you want to do it on a tile level). However then it's a pretty much useless element of the game, just a sink for money.

Since the resource locations never change during a game, this whole explore them part is pretty much just additional clutter.

So unless somebody comes with a great idea about how to make this a useful feature, the current plan would be:
- initially show the player provinces where resources are located, but not show the resources
- let players explore them (takes money and some time) via a research project

As I see it, it will never be a very prominent and central feature. Basically one of the 4X of grand strategy (eXplore) is really very weak in our game. There is not much to eXplore because at the time of Imperialism it's already quite well known. And the eXplore of Imp1&2 was useless.

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Re: IV. Industry and Infrastructure

Post by Veneteaou » Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:38 am

I disagree with Shafer - prospecting in Imp1 was brilliant. It was brilliant for one simple reason: it forced new players to focus on timber, food, and trade early, instead of falling prey to the 4X programming of the time which was to streamline everything towards coal + iron = steel = cannon = military dominion. Anything else, from internal labor to the lumber and fabric industries, to diplomacy and trade, is ready to be managed on the very first turn. But not metal.

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Re: IV. Industry and Infrastructure

Post by Trilarion » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:36 am

Good, because with the current plan it would still be like this. You wouldn't have metal from the beginning.

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Re: IV. Industry and Infrastructure

Post by Trilarion » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:07 pm

Now I am at the railroad connections. Should rivers also count as connections to the capital? What if we want to use rivers only partly? Do we need a depot then on each point where a railway and a river touch each other? A lighthouse in the middle of the land looks funny.

We could say that river counts as railway, but you need a depot to connect to other railwaylines. However this would make programming and explaining the game slightly/somewhat more difficult.

Is this feature really that interesting and important, that we need to keep it?

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Re: IV. Industry and Infrastructure

Post by Veneteaou » Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:52 pm

Ports were a pretty big part of Imp1. They made for some interesting capital/transportation options. Personally however, my opinion is that if it's complicated and requires it's own overlay system then we shouldn't bother with it initially.

I don't see any problem with the way Imp1 did it: build a port on water (shoreline or river), and it's connected to the capital.

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Re: IV. Industry and Infrastructure

Post by Trilarion » Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:13 pm

I just realized that we need ports (for oversea colonies). Need to think about this more now, so we have less problems during programming.

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Re: IV. Industry and Infrastructure

Post by Trilarion » Fri Aug 16, 2013 10:26 am

As I remember every nation had a port in Imp1. Even nations without direct access to the sea like Switzerland or Southern Germany had a port somewhere at the mouth of a river going through that country. Now you could block the trade by blocking this port. But what happened if the nation through which this river went declared war? Probably nothing. For simplicity this was ignored. Furthermore you needed a port or lighthouse on every occupied oversea area, to connect to the transportation network. Every lighthouse was automatically connected via a route over sea, which could be blocked by hostile fleets. Rivers also connected to the capital, in case there was a lighthouse/port. Did rivers also count as railways if they didn't go through the capital?

Ven, can you confirm that it was like this and correct where necessary? Is there any way, we can make it a bit easier?

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Re: IV. Industry and Infrastructure

Post by Veneteaou » Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:33 pm

As I remember every nation had a port in Imp1. Even nations without direct access to the sea like Switzerland or Southern Germany had a port somewhere at the mouth of a river going through that country. Now you could block the trade by blocking this port. But what happened if the nation through which this river went declared war? Probably nothing. For simplicity this was ignored.
This is correct.
Furthermore you needed a port or lighthouse on every occupied oversea area, to connect to the transportation network.
While this is true, it was rarely an issue. The AI major powers would build ports everywhere to strengthen their transport network against single choke points that could ruin them. Also, national capitals that had been taken through war counted as ports and depots in regards to internally transporting goods back to the empire.

>Did rivers also count as railways if they didn't go through the capital?

No, rivers themselves merely count as ocean shoreline tiles - build a port on a river, and it's connected to the capital just like a port on the shoreline. River tiles themselves don't provide any bonus towards transportation, unless ports (and corresponding depots and railways) are constructed.
Is there any way, we can make it a bit easier?
If we use ports, depots, and rail, I don't know how much easier it could be. ports only applied on water tiles (shoreline and rivers), depots had to be built to connect ports to rail, and rail had to be built to move from depots to the capital. The only easier ways to do it that I can think of are:

- Do away with ports (which would make overseas expansion pointless)
- Make ports connect to rail without depots (IDK that it would save you any work coding because ports still aren't the same as depots, and still not a great idea)
- Do away with depots and just assume that connecting rail is good enough a la Civilization.

You know I like things the way they were, but in this case I really don't see solutions that make your job of programming any easier.

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Re: IV. Industry and Infrastructure

Post by Trilarion » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:59 pm

After thinking about it for some days, I came to the conclusion that you're right. There isn't much way to make it easier. However I conceived two different possible implementations. The original mechanics and a bit simpler. Here they are:

A Like in Imp1

Rivers are connected to oceans. Every nation has a port connected to a river mouth. All trade goes there. All oversea ports or lighthouses are also connected to the port, however can be blocked by hostile fleets, so part of the transport network might be dysfunctional. Railroads must have depots with resources being next to a depot or a lighthouse

B With simpler rivers

Every nation has a port connected to a river mouth. All trade and overseas transport goes there. Overseas ports are connected to this main port. Railroads must have a depot. Rivers also count as railroads (without the need of paying for them), but there must be a depot next to them, otherwise they do not connect to another part of the railroad system.

I think this is a bit easier, since it simplifies the role of rivers (they are not interfering with sea trade) while still making them an important part of the infrastructure. On the other hand it could reduce the important of normal railroads because there already are many rivers..

Still not really decided what the best way is...

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