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crimson fury

New Economic Model for RTS

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It's hard to be creative and make something COOL at the same time. So, since you guys have more experience, I'd like to hear what stuff can be added to make this gameplay concept more interesting. First of all, most RTS's resemble a totalitarian, socialist economy. Socialist, because all the buildings and everything is subsidized nationally (by the player). Totalitarian, because the government/player controls EVERY SINGLE UNIT. I can't find ANY RTS that simulates the psychological behaviour of individual people in the game (except maybe "Dawn of War" when they retreat or "Settlers"). A lot of the "Psychological Warfare" aspects are excluded from empire building. And economics is overly simplified, even for a totalitarian regime. My economic model is also socialistic, but simulates psychology too. The player controls production, plans where to build stuff, and coordinates warfare, but does not control individual units. Workers convert resources into guns and killy stuff at structures called "Military-Industrial Complexes" (the barrackses). The workers have an "Effort accounting system" which runs out when the individual worker is exhausted. After the worker runs out of effort, he gets paid by the government, and goes over to the "Consumer Complex" to shop and convert his money into "effort points" again. After having some fun, the worker heads over to the "Urban Complex" for some sleep, and the next worker in line goes to work at the "Military-Industrial Complex". "Urban Complexes" set the limit on the amount of workers there are. Each "Urban Complex" accounts for, let's say, 10-25 workers. Winning by war involves being able to outproduce the enemy. Production rate is determined by the size of the workforce and the proximity of the 3 different economic structures (military-industrial, consumer, and urban). But, there are also resources that have to be obtained, complicating matters for the player. Minerals and Uranium require "Mining Complexes" to be built near "Mineral Deposits". Minerals are used for building stuff, and Uranium is used to run "Nuclear Power Stations". To generate Energy, workers have to transport Uranium from the "Mining Complexes" to "Nuclear Power Stations". To supply Energy needed to operate every OTHER structure, player needs to construct "Power Lines" from the Energy source to every power consumer. For an economy to work, player would need a "Mining Complex" to get Minerals needed for building stuff, a "Nuclear Power Station" and "Power Lines" to power it and everything else, an "Urban Complex" to house workers that actually run these structures, an "Urban Complex" to reward them, a "Military-Industrial Complex" to defend all these important structures, and a "Mass Transit Network" to get the workers to all these places. Doesn't that sound fun? Imagine all the time spent trying to make the perfect economy... until another player comes and attacks you. A player would start with a complete set of this stuff, of course, but Minerals and Uranium would be running out, forcing the player to move to new places and build new cities. So, players would not only be competing Militarily, but also Economically, and if there's stuff like "Propaganda" that affects the worker effort system, then players are also waging Information/Psychological Warfare. That's the basic idea. I also wrote a sci-fi background for this gameplay concept, and had other ideas like, instead of using normal Workers from "Urban Complexes" to construct buildings, there would be Engineers from "Academies", and instead of actually building stuff at the "Military-Industrial Complex" there would 25-100 Mercenaries recruited by each one. Anyways. Anyone got more ideas? I can't write more mostly because of limited time, but if you spot an interesting concept, feel free to explore it here.

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This is just a thought: Consider de-emphasizing the focus on buildings. Yes, certain functions cry out for specifically designed buildings, but in one nation a barracks can be a run down apartment complex. (Heck, the Nazis used churches and castles as bases sometimes.)

What if the focus was more on the characters themselves? You might have more opportunities for psychology related material by throwing in a wider array of personality types. You might also make the mix more interesting by throwing in "shepard" types, a few characters who can be directly controlled who in turn control others. These could be named characters with special functions, or special characters that get trained and promoted.

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I say take the Sim City approach. Instead of building specific buildings, create zones, commercial, industrial, and residential.

Then you set you're different zones up to focus on different items. If you need weapons, you set you're industrial complex to building the weapon types you need. Then you set you're commercial area up for buying the weapons you need. The residential area focus's on different people.

Instead of focusing on the building you can focus on the production.

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Quote:
This is just a thought: Consider de-emphasizing the focus on buildings. Yes, certain functions cry out for specifically designed buildings, but in one nation a barracks can be a run down apartment complex. (Heck, the Nazis used churches and castles as bases sometimes.)


But aren't churches and castles, in the process of being used as bases, being specialized?

Actually, that doesn't matter. I doubt there are many structures besides Military-Industrial Complexes capable of making and managing tanks, soldiers, missiles, etc.

Military-Industrial Complex is an all-inclusive term. Same goes for the other ones, so we can't realistically substitute one for the other. After all, this IS supposed to be a futuristic RTS.


By the way, if the gameplay concept is unclear ->



Construction would center around mineral sources, since workers have to move back and forth to move all the resources from building to building. Smaller travel distance means faster production.

The affect: empires would resemble collections of "mining towns". Maintaining large amounts of land would require vast resources. Warfare would involve trying to break enemy's economic chain.


Quote:
What if the focus was more on the characters themselves? You might have more opportunities for psychology related material by throwing in a wider array of personality types. You might also make the mix more interesting by throwing in "shepard" types, a few characters who can be directly controlled who in turn control others. These could be named characters with special functions, or special characters that get trained and promoted.


I don't know how they would affect the gameplay... can you give me a typical example of how it would play out?

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Sounds a little like the oldgame Populous on the Amiga (was v cool head to head with a null modem cable). It was obviosly much nore simple but as a God you could change the lands shape and send disasters etc but has no real direct control over your peaople. The flatter the land the bigger the house etc. I can't remeber it in great detail but i think there was some kind of totem you could use to attract your followers.

I like the shepard charactor idea, but one would have to be careful of not falling into the problem of having "hero" characters that are almost like a RPG charactor.

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I say take the Sim City approach. Instead of building specific buildings, create zones, commercial, industrial, and residential.

Then you set you're different zones up to focus on different items. If you need weapons, you set you're industrial complex to building the weapon types you need. Then you set you're commercial area up for buying the weapons you need. The residential area focus's on different people.

Instead of focusing on the building you can focus on the production.


That sounds good. I lay down some zones around a "Mineral Deposit", and watch the town grow! It's like growing germs in a petri-dish... and then using them to attack a friend's petri-dish. =D


Trying to imagine how this would all work... there would be these types of land zones:

- Mining
- Nuclear Power
- Urban
- Commercial/Consumer
- Military-Industrial


The buildings would develop and grow based on how much their capacity is used... like muscles.

As urban population grows, more jobs can be filled, causing development in the other zones.

The limits would be scarcity of minerals and uranium, and the physical constraints of the zone (size).

Maybe, soldiers/mercenaries can only be created when there's an excess population (when workers can't find jobs)?


I really like this idea. Let's keep exploring...

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There are of course certain things that will need specific buildings in order to work. With this situation each specific building that needs to be built it gets attached to the correct type. You need a power plant, zone an industrial complex the build a nuke plant on it.

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Yes, why not let those buildings grow in specialized zones too? It simplifies the process if all buildings grow in their own zones. Plus it will make everything look more 'natural' if the buildings develop according to demand.

Now that I think about it... this resembles more of an ant-colony behaviour rather than petri-dish bacteria. =/

Maybe there could be "Prospector" ants.. err, workers.. sent out to find more mineral deposits? Then when they find a deposit, they leave scent pheromones for the workers to follow... hehe. Something like that.

Maybe these "Prospectors" would be the player-controlled "shepard" characters? And maybe the "Engineers" too, who make new construction projects?

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If you create too many zones then each zone becomes just another building. Now the key is creating the generic zone to adapt to the surroundings. You don't need to build a zone for mines, you create an industrial zone around ore deposits and then set them to mine. The zone will then develop according to your directions.

The goal here is to be more a conducter than the god operator.

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So...

- Industrial zones for mining and power
- Urban/Residential zones for population growth
- Commercial/Consumer zones for incentives/rewards
- Military zones for missile silos, tanks, soldiers, and everything fun

Right?

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