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Industrial revolution strategy (post mortem and ideas)

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#41Acharis  Members

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:29 AM

New prototype:

http://www.silverlemur.com/work/ir-prototype.zip

- interface completely redone

- workers allocation system (each factory/mine/farm sets up wages and population change jobs over time; there is no migration between provinces yet)

Production of resources is half broken in this version, ignore.

What's gonna be the goal of the game ?
Not sure, most likely some economic goal (reach something/build something/make people happy/etc). Also, there will be most likely a campaign system, like there are 20 scenarios that you unlock linearly (each time you start in a new island with different setup and different objectives).

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#42Acharis  Members

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 04:27 PM

Standard  of living mechanic

I was thinking, the Anno1xxx/Caesar/Pharaoch "tiers of people that require more advanced goods" does not fit with the rest of the mechanics so well, yet I like the concept. So I thought, how about a button to increase "Standard of living" (consumption of goods) for all your population?

At the beginning people require just food and almost nothing more, when you increase/upgrade the standard of living they start (gradually, not like suddenly 100% population require fancy sugar) demand/consume more/different goods. It affects all your population, but the classes (peasants/labourers/clerks) are considered separately (so peasants will basicly need almost nothing for the whole game while higher classes would require more and more luxuries; therefore if your country has mainly peasants and high standard of living they still would be consuming a modest/low amount of fancy stuff since mostly higher classes consume it). You can also decrease the standard of living (but the population will be unhappy).

Why the player would want to increase standard of living:

- it positively affect taxes, boosts research, boosts efficiency per worker, boosts growth rate and immigration

- some stuff might be simply locked until you reach a certain level of standard of living

- the population will have "expected level of standard of living" which increases over time, you need to meet it or face riots

If you are not able to deliver the goods it decreases the happiness of population (if there is a small shortage (in percentage of needs) the drop would be minimal, so there is no problem with small shortages as long as overall you mostly deliver what you promised).

Questions:

- what you think overall? does it make sense? does it sound fun? do you have a better idea or an idea how to improve it?

- should the standard of living be per province or one per whole country?

- how to "theme/rename" the "increase standard of living" button? it sounds so artificial...

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#43Acharis  Members

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 07:00 AM

New version of the prototype available (link 2 posts above )

I have a problem with money flow, and could use some thoughts/advice.

Overall, the economic system in this game is artifical and it's more like a "state capitalism" since the player owns and controls all factories. It's on purpose (I exchanged here realism for fun) and I accept it will have some drawbacks. Now, how to make it work...

* population go to factories and get  jobs there, the factory automaticly adjust the wages (range from $1.00 to$9.00) to maximize the output (if not enough workers it increases wages, if too many it decreases), population is drawn to factories that have the highest wages (that's the only purpose of the wages mechanic)

* population pay tax each turn (fixed $5.00) * most likely the population will also pay for consumed goods (Standard of living mechanic topic), since this make balancing it easier (no other reasons) Important thing, the money comes out of the air. The population is not accumulating the money they earned in jobs (these money just disappear) and when they pay taxes (or "pay" for consumed goods) this money also comes out of nowhere. The problem is twofold: 1) in a long run all factories end up setting up$1.00 wages (if there is a slightest unemployment)

2) the money flow is chaotic, the player is either earning tons of money or losing tons of money

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#44powerneg  Members

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 09:38 AM

Put all the money the workers earn into the unregulated sector, then tax it ? (by % )

#45Acharis  Members

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 02:32 PM

Put all the money the workers earn into the unregulated sector, then tax it ? (by % )

You are a genius powerneg That solves half the problems.

So, population is taxed by % of wages (so it's not chaotic anymore). I also modified wages so they depend not only on factory needs but also on the unemployment rate in the province (with 0 unemployment the wages will not fall below $5.00 and only at severe 50%+ these fall to$1.00).

OK, it works, but it's a bit rough (also the player has always negative income since wages would always exceed taxes (since taxes are % of wages), at least without export). I wonder how to refine it...

Especially, I wonder about the consumption mechanic. Should population pay for the goods (to the player)? Or just keep these free (much simplier I suppose)?

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#46Unduli  Members

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 07:37 PM

Actually that's a good question.

What's the point if people are either unemployed/farmer or worker? I mean is there a way for player to "lose" beside extreme underutilization?

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#47powerneg  Members

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 05:51 AM

How does this sound:

The player's goal, or at least a high priority during the game must be to keep/make the people happy.
Give the player access to the country 's money printer, aka the player has unlimited money.
(make most of the advanced buildings cost resources besides money)

The player does need to account for the money in the country though; the people are going to want to spend it.
(Keep check how much money is present in each province)
Introduce the first few consumer-goods, let the player set pricing, probably picking between cheap/normal/expensive,

let him set the pricing for each province individually but give the option to set for the entirecountry as well.

Then introduce the dictator-mechanics that you were working on.

#48ActiveUnique  Members

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 08:18 AM

Acharis has many similar threads. I'll put this idea here.

You could make the game simplistic and more personal if you were to change the human statistics.  Statistics represent a group and elevate the reader's power, but statistics have no personality, and that's something a few players will crave, personality.

A city could be one entire person, one piece in the set. Their resources can be a glass of water, an apple, a screwdriver, a butter knife, etc. A faction is a thought in their head and can be represented as a % of the conversation they'll make. The metaphor is very open ended. The game would still be about micromanagement.

Instead of dealing impersonally with quantities and numbers, the reader has been presented with a person first. Any attempt to recognize this person is actually a group becomes secondary to solving the problem: The problem is you need their resources and at the same time keep them happy, prevent them from gaining power over you.

I remember reading several details implying proximity is important. A clever trick like making the people stand still, so they can only talk to their neighbor covers that. Someone with rebellious ideas only has a strong influence on his neighbor, and newly seeded ideas spread slower.

Understanding geography is probably the only reason to bring an actual map into the game. Strategic warfare games are about locations and dominance. The idea has been to avoid this mentality.

I've read about the idea guy. It's a serious misnomer. You really want to avoid the lazy team.

#49Acharis  Members

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 10:11 AM

The player's goal, or at least a high priority during the game must be to keep/make the people happy.
Give the player access to the country 's money printer, aka the player has unlimited money.
Unlimited money is not possible/desirable for two reasons: 1) I need money for international trade 2) in that era the money was under gold standard insteads of paper money you can print.

But the rest sounds good (keeping people happy, setting up prices levels, population wealth per province). Just if we can use these ideas without unlimited money...

What's the point if people are either unemployed/farmer or worker? I mean is there a way for player to "lose" beside extreme underutilization?
You mean the way of losing the game or the economic system? Generally, I have not planned any lose condition related to economy (it can only indirectly cause it if your population is unhappy and they rebel or you fail to achieve a goal on time due to lack of economic assets).

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#50powerneg  Members

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:13 AM

I need money for international trade

nah you just  need another coin for international trade, .

in that era the money was under gold standard insteads of paper money you can print.

The gold standard was about not needing (physical) gold as payment, and instead using paper money.

The gold was locked away, and you could theoretically get a piece of gold back for your paper money if you wanted to, that's how the money was promised to keep value,

In the UK this promise is still printed on the money.
It was all an attempt to make (paper) money valuable.

With unlimited money, it is up to the player to give the money value.

Do keep in mind the player is leading a country, if at some point the total amount of money in the country(owned both by the population and the government) is double that of a few turns ago, you have a strangely balanced game under the gold standard,
while with unlimited money, the player has an obligation to suck the money back out of the country(population)

This all said, it may be too complicated to both design and present to the player.

#51Acharis  Members

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 11:03 AM

This all said, it may be too complicated to both design and present to the player.
Yes, even if doable it will still be confusing and unintuitive as hell to casual players. One currency and valuable one (player needs it) is extremely preferred

Random related toughts:

- or maybe do not make the factories pay wages to population and use some other workers redistribution system? (althrough, I kind of find it cute that those virtual peoples earn money)

- or maybe a "produce money" facility (like a gold mine/mint)? They player could build that one if short on cash.

- as a player I start to feel that maybe the automtic wage system is not the best one, I mean, shouldn't I have some button to set these wages manually (low/average/high) per factory/globally? Althrough, I fear useless micromanagement here.. Not sure.

- I like the concept of peoples owning stuff/money. Maybe add separate stockpile of posessed good for each social group (peasants/miners/labourers/clerks) per region? They would buy these and slowly use them up (not all in same turn), so if they player can't deliever (no goods available) they won't immediatelly start rioting but will simply will save their money for later and try to buy these "low on their private stock" things from the player/country next turn?

- I start to feel more and more that there should be some tiny group of "aristocrats" group (they could earn money based on farms efficiency - not paid by the player, the money comes from thin air).

- and similarly, maybe "capitalists" group that don't work either and just provide a lot of income to the player (but they need a certain amount of factories to "survive") or maybe "merchants" group?

LOL, indeed.

As for the rest of the post I'm not sure I understood it. Were you refering to riots of the people from the "Dictator - uprising" topic?

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#52powerneg  Members

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 04:06 PM

Oh, shouldn't tax income for workers, btw.
The player is paying their income anyhow, so it just comes down to paying them less.

(you can tax the money they posses though, it would actually make it worth it having a rich population)

- as a player I start to feel that maybe the automtic wage system is not the best one, I mean, shouldn't I have some button to set these wages manually (low/average/high) per factory/globally? Althrough, I fear useless micromanagement here.. Not sure.

You should have the option to turn a factory off

#53ActiveUnique  Members

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 12:48 PM

LOL, indeed.

As for the rest of the post I'm not sure I understood it. Were you refering to riots of the people from the "Dictator - uprising" topic?

Yes I had that topic in mind. People standing around chatting at a cocktail party would represent a micro economy. The waiter's supplying them all with alcohol. If the alcohol runs dry they'd up and leave right away.

That would make the player someone who's schmoozing them for investments and donations. Their money is safer somewhere else, and they have no guarantee you are legitimate.

It sounds easy but if you return to the same party later in the year you'll probably find the guests have a completely new opinion of you. If your investment advice is bad, that is face you'll never get back.  If a donation was not covered well by media, or beneficial locally, then someone is unlikely to donate twice. Maybe someone started a rumor about you and you need to spend half the day countering it because every single person has a different version, that's time that new people have to schmooze that you won't have.

I've read about the idea guy. It's a serious misnomer. You really want to avoid the lazy team.

#54Acharis  Members

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 10:05 AM

Oh, shouldn't tax income for workers, btw.
The player is paying their income anyhow, so it just comes down to paying them less.

Yeah... It's kind of nonsense. I was analysing existing games and you either pay your workers or taxe them. In only one game, Pharaoh, you had both, but the tax there was paid by all population (regardless of income) while wages were paid only to employed; plus the system was totally insane money wise since you taxed them more than you paid in wages

Anyway, I think I could resign from paying workers (I can balance the factories labour distribution a different way), I prefer taxes (would fit the game better).  After rethinking it all my priorities are:

- the player builds factories

- the player owns all resources in the country

- the population pays taxes & provide labour force

Generally, the main reason for making this wages system in the first place was this cute "income/wealth of population" map overlay, with these gorgeous coins piling up. It looks really thematic and cool, I want to keep it. But it does not need to be wages of the workers, it could be anything that represents financial wellbeing of the population, anything. Some abstract wealth maybe, I don't know?

- the player builds factories, all production belongs to the player

- there is Capitalists class and Labourers class (population groups)

- the labourers work in factories (built by the player) and are paid for it by capitalists (the wages depend on the ratio of capitalists to labourers, the more capitalists the higher wages)

- the capitalists get money based on number of factories * efficiency of factories in a province (this money comes from the void)

- the money earned by capitalists and spend on wages by them does not need to add up (I'm not sure about that one)

- in the end you have wealth of labourers and wealth of capitalists which you can display on the "workers wages/wealth" map overlay

- your taxes are also partially based on the wages of population

A similar system of Aristocrats and Peasants would be used for farms (so in the end you would have 4 groups with separate wealth (capitalists, labourers, aristocrats, peasants)...

Edited by Acharis, 23 January 2014 - 10:08 AM.

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#55powerneg  Members

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 03:20 PM

Umm, does this mean you need workers for efficiënt factories, efficiënt factories to tax capitalists more, and capitalists to tax wages more ?

Because that could work.

Would need a good explanation/manual for the player though

#56Acharis  Members

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:42 PM

Umm, does this mean you need workers for efficiënt factories, efficiënt factories to tax capitalists more, and capitalists to tax wages more ?

Because that could work.

Would need a good explanation/manual for the player though

Well, if it requires an extensive manual then probaly it's not the best idea

I will put it a simplier way (the core).

Workers are needed so factories produce goods, workers also eat up goods that the player provides them for free, workers also pay taxes. That's ALL, that's how it really works.

But, I want to give the player an *illusion* that this is a living word, that those labourers earn money, have some wealth, can be poor or rich, have families to feed. So I though, if we can't/shouldn't make the player pay wages to workers, let invent some imaginary capitalists that would be paying wages to those workers instead! Similarly, even through all the consumer goods are provided for free to the workers let's make an illusion that there are some imaginary capitalists that sell these goods to population. This way this imaginary money flow between capitalists and labourers could be presented to the player enriching the experience.

That's the trick I'm trying to pull of

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#57Acharis  Members

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Posted 25 January 2014 - 06:07 AM

I think I got it... I would precisely track and calculate all money the player touches and approximate the money/wealth of population. Tell me if you see holes here.

There are 3 sources of wages:

- paid by aristocrats (peasants)

- paid by capitalists (miners, labourers)

- paid by the government/player (bureaucrats, teachers)

The player only pays for the government employed population (using a a global budget slider, can't affect separate government buildings in provinces) and has an option to subsidize choosen mines and factories.

The wages depends on (none of these apply to government hired workers):

- number of workers in a factory/production facility (if shortage the wages get raised)

- unemployment rate in the province (high unemployment lowers wages of everyone)

- approximated profitability of a production facility (for example a mine that has low ore deposits will always pay less to miners than another mine that has higher ore concentration and therefore higher efficiency)

- wealth of capitalists/aristocrats (if they reach a "too low wealth" thereshold they will lower all wages)

Subsidizing a factory/mine - when choosen, part of the wages are paid by the player, it instantly increases wages and also increases wealth of capitalists (so if helps the industry from both ends, the only drawback is the expediture of player's money).

Profitability - it approximately measures how much money the factory/farm "earns" per worker and therefore how much the aristocrats/capitalists are willing to alter wages. The criterias are:

- the most important is the fertility of land for farms and ore deposits for a mine, if below 100% profitability reduced (down x1 per missing 20%)

- if there is shortage of the goods the factory produces (some other structures were not fully operational due to shortage a half product last turn) (up x2)

- if there was any shortage of resources the factory uses and the factory was not fully operational because of it (down x4) (no point hiring more workers if the factory has shortage of resources)

- if there is a huge stockpile of produced goods (in the player's warehouse), like 10 turns worth of production of coal would make coal mines less profitable temporarily (down x1)

Effects of aristocrats/capitalists:

- they manage the fields/factories, so if there is not enough capitalists per factory&worker hired the factory gets a penalty to efficiency (this would be the most visible effect of capitalists to the player I suppose).

- they pay nice taxes

How aristocrats & capitalists "breed" - at the beginning you have a lot of aristocrats and no capitalists. Over time some aristocrats might switch to capitalist or a part of middle class (bureaucras and the like) can promote to capitalists. The speed of breeding depends on taxes they pay, profitability of farms/factories in a province, average wages (the less the better). Capitalists are also very mobile, they will always first try to migrate to another province before downgrading to unemployed.

Edited by Acharis, 25 January 2014 - 06:08 AM.

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#58powerneg  Members

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Posted 26 January 2014 - 07:54 PM

Much simpler would be to just focus the game on industry/production and use a whip to "pay" the labourers.
Trade with other countries can be done by using gold as money.
The player would go after needed/scarce resources instead of one resource to pay for all.

Which of these sytems do you prefer/have in mind:
1) money pays for almost everything, some resources are needed for this or that, but the player only needs to figure out what makes the most money.
2) money is just there to keep the game balanced, it allows the player to have factories(/mines etc.) work at double rate when a certain commodity is scarce, but at a high cost,
the player can only do this for a short while before going bankrupt.
Only if the player manages the entirety of the economy well, he 'll earn some money, this money will have little to no investment potential.

The system you posted doesn't look bad, btw, but i'm just thinking you might be focusing on something  you may now want the game to be about too much.

#59Acharis  Members

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 08:45 AM

Which of these sytems do you prefer/have in mind:
1) money pays for almost everything, some resources are needed for this or that, but the player only needs to figure out what makes the most money.
2) money is just there to keep the game balanced, it allows the player to have factories(/mines etc.) work at double rate when a certain commodity is scarce, but at a high cost,
the player can only do this for a short while before going bankrupt.
Only if the player manages the entirety of the economy well, he 'll earn some money, this money will have little to no investment potential.
Primarily 2), originally I was even thinking that factories would not require money to build, just resources. BUT if you have a lot of money you can buy resources (althrough that's not cost efficient). Generally, I was thinking of using resources for industry and money for happiness (social reforms, reduction of taxes). And, while not that useful for industry, in the end money would be more important than resources (spirit of mercantilism). Or to put it other way, you would be using industry to generate money, not the other way round (usually). Money would be, sort of, the "final product" of your industry (after producing goods and then exporting them).

BTW, most likely I will retheme the game to a bit of steampunk (the island does not look historical anyway ). Here is the topic about the name of the game:

http://www.gamedev.net/topic/652604-steampunk-industrial-revolution-looking-for-a-name/

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#60Acharis  Members

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 06:33 AM

OK, most of my questions have been answered for now. Thanks all.

So, now if you have some general thoughts/tips/ideas/etc, drop them

Like for example if the current only 12 provinces seems all right for this type of game. Or what you would want to see in such game, things like that.

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