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Planet Colony - Resources & Commodities?

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So as alittle side idea I was roughing out my thoughts on a game about establishing productive colonies on different planets. A mix of Outpost/Fragile Allegiance with the likes of such things as Anno, Tropico, Patrician and Industry Giant.

 

In a way I saw it as the opposite to elite, rather than being the spaceship that buys X at one planet and sells to another your the actual planet trying to establish a viable trade system for your corporate overlords (and I thought of elements like you can buy ships and send them off to other planets to buy or sell, but much less directly controlled).

 

So I was trying to think different resources and commodities that could be produced on varying planets and was wondering if you guys had any ideas?

 

These are some of my ideas so far.

 

Building Goods

Alloy - Generic metal stuff.

Polymer - All purpose material made from just about anything broken down and remade into polymers.

Energy - From power plants.

Equipment? - Maybe something like Anno's tools? Or maybe it will just be a luxury good.

 

Life Support Goods

Food

Water

Air/Oxygen?

 

Luxury Goods

Liquor

Textiles

Perfumes

Spices

Caffeine

Furs/Hides

Lumber

Pharmaceuticals

Robot Servants?

Holovids?

Nanite Thingies?

 

Industrial Goods

Space Fuel?

Isotopes

Livestock

 

Illegal Goods

Narcotics

Exotic Lifeforms

Alien Relics

Slaves?

Clones?

 

What else could I do and how might they be produced?

Edited by All Names Taken

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I would think you could include a lot more raw materials, iron, gold, space crystals, etc. Depending on the raw materials available, different planets would be better at manufacturing different things. You could also expand manufactured goods exponentially, from nail clippers to space liners.

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I would think you could include a lot more raw materials, iron, gold, space crystals, etc. Depending on the raw materials available, different planets would be better at manufacturing different things. You could also expand manufactured goods exponentially, from nail clippers to space liners.

 

He wouldn't want to make it too convoluted/complicated though.

 

You might include Deuterium, which is used for nuclear fusion and either mined from the earth or from the sea.

It would generally be interesting to have the planet you are on largely determine what you can mine.

 

 

Something else you could include is that you could build colonies on other planets in your star system, and moon of those planets and mine for more materials there.

 

Would there be a war element to the game? 

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Yeah there will some war in the game, abit less hectic than a pure RTS though.

 

As for minerals I was going to keep it fairly basic ... Ore Metals (to produce Alloy) Precious Metals, Radiative Metals, Gems perhaps, maybe some fancy space crystals.

 

The other thing was sometimes planets would generate a 'unique' commodity, such as 'Aldasian Wine' as apposed just 'Liquor' which is basicly Liquor with extra benefits and more profitable. As for other planets? You can setup trade routes but you can't switch to another planet when at one colony, I imagine you having a star map, and planets you colonize in previous missions can be used as a source of supply and trade for your new colony if lose enough. But I was considering things like being able to build asteroid mining ships if your planet has a nearby asteroid field, maybe in a similar way moons can have something similar.

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Medecine.

You'll notice it as a plot device in several Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series. It's actually a viable explanation as this is the kind of goods a lot of cultures would be willing to buy with quite an elastic price in fact. Rather than making it a straight "medecine", perhaps include goods that serve a purpose on their own (construction alloy, gems used in laser crafting) but that can somehow be turned to eradicate certain illnesses. That way, the player could make a profit by remaining aware of every other planet's current issues and pressing matters.

Example:

I could sell my "tungzon alloy" to these shipcrafters because they would be willing to pay a hefty price for this, but I might be aware that in the Beta Sector, the Zongoids are currently fending off a Gutzka plague that can only get healed by ingesting large amounts of Tungzon alloy. The good player will have sold to the highest bidder he knows (the shipcrafters) whereas the terrific player will have blackmailed the Zongoids by bartering the price up and break their bluff about claiming everything is fine. In the end, the skilled player gets more because of his awareness, and this is something that's always part of trading.

 

By the way, good initial concept, I'm curious about where this is going :)

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I strongly suggest taking a look at games like Dwarf Fortress for some additional ideas on resources and finished products. 

 

DF, for example, has a wide range of base resources plus a larger array of final goods, with a few states between the two as far as I remember. End goods can be made from an array of base resources, and the base resource affects the value and abilities of the final product. Wood can be made into weapons, but not exceptionally effective. They can be made into machine parts, etc, but metal parts are generally far more effective. 

 

Personally I wouldn't go to the level of DF does for the numbers of stones and ores, but rather aim for a more middle ground of a handful of 'common' ores that are basically interchangeable with one and other for structure and the like, but with various properties. Rare materials, fewer in number, usually combined with commons in unequal proportions to change material properties that affect your end products. (ie, Adding 5% of Rare A to Common B and C results in parts being able to take 30% more thermal damage before failure, but has -5% durability) Set it up such that you can play with it, and have different properties valued differently across space. Maybe Group X favours products that are exceptionally long lasting, and would see the -5% durability as out weighing the +30% termal strength, but Group Y lives in ultra hot environments, and will pay a premium for the extra thermal strength. 

 

Bonus points if those markets aren't fixed, and are instead generated at run time so each game involves exploring that part. Might even want to hide some of those factors from being directly visible to the player so they have to take the risk when attempting to bring a 'new' product to market. (Maybe Group Y responds REALLY well to products with a Green hue, even if their technical stats are lesser.)

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I hadn't thought of that ... and although maybe not as complex as you are suggesting, event based trade options would be neat ... possibly with the option to plant agents on other worlds/rival colonies to get the dirt on them.

 

I may disappoint but I wasn't planning on going with alien races (just alien animals and such) at least not to begin with, I thought I'd resign that to possible future expansion. There is an alien presence in the form of the aforementioned relics as well as archeological artifacts which are the long forgotten debris of ancient alien technology that will act as a source of conflict and competition as they can unlock powerful research options (such as shields, anti-gravity, teleportation, deathrays, etc, etc), 

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One thought:

 

Will this be a one base per planet scenario?

Its typical games to do this but doesnt make much sense to me. I mean if you can mine useful materials with 100 guys in one small location, is really the rest of the entire planet useless? Becouse moving to another planet for the next base seems extremely costly.

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One thought:

 

Will this be a one base per planet scenario?

Its typical games to do this but doesnt make much sense to me. I mean if you can mine useful materials with 100 guys in one small location, is really the rest of the entire planet useless? Becouse moving to another planet for the next base seems extremely costly.

 

I plan it more to be a large (but not true planet sized) map for each planet, again something to the size or larger than what you get in ANNO or Industry Giant map or such. So plenty of bases can and will likely need to be established over the map. I imagine you'd play a map like you'd play a city in Sim City or Caesar, just new maps will have different terrain, strategies and quirks. Possibly the map will 'wrap' around it give it a planetary feel, but again it will probably on a reduced scale for purposes of gameplay.

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I may disappoint but I wasn't planning on going with alien races (just alien animals and such) at least not to begin with, I thought I'd resign that to possible future expansion

 

There's nothing disappointing about limiting your scope. If anything, its a good production habit, and it leaves you much room for later content addition without cutting back on making a fun core gameplay.

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 I plan it more to be a large (but not true planet sized) map for each planet, again something to the size or larger than what you get in ANNO or Industry Giant map or such. So plenty of bases can and will likely need to be established over the map. I imagine you'd play a map like you'd play a city in Sim City or Caesar, just new maps will have different terrain, strategies and quirks. Possibly the map will 'wrap' around it give it a planetary feel, but again it will probably on a reduced scale for purposes of gameplay.

 

 Just a thought, since there is such a rise of popularity in sandbox games, it seems to be the new trend, why not make it a free roaming sandbox? if done cleverly, it might be even easier than scenario based game, you wouldn't need to make all missions and scenarios and  stuff, and it sounds more appealing that way.

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