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Acharis

Empire wide buildings

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There are planets and these have basic infrastructure (farms, factories, mines, cities). These are AUTO BUILT based on player priorities and planet specialization.

 

Now, I need some more abstract buildings like research labs, universities, government agencies, pilots schools, etc and I don't want them tied to planets. The main reason is reduction of micromanagement (selecting a planet and checking if it has a free buidling slot), also managing things like education buildings construction on empire wide level is more realistic and within the mood of the game (you are the Emperor not a governor). How it could work?

 

I'm open to all kinds of mechanics. My main requirement is that you don't need to click on a planet to build these but do it via some sort of empire level interface/panel.

 

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It violates your requirement but you could have great works that are located somewhere specifically, but that have empire wide effects. A solar system sized particle accelerator would advance science everywhere but you only really need one. A single Dyson sphere could change an empire's energy usage. The location doesn't matter other than putting it somewhere unlikely to be invaded. It could even just always occur in your capital location

 

For science, improving your intergalactic internet bandwidth could be a non-localized development project.

 

Another abstraction could be the investment is on talent identification and recruitment. If a fully developed world produces a super-genius every 100 years, then in a 100 planet empire one of them is born somewhere every year. But if that's in a mining camp on a outer world, does your empire find him? The quality of your pilots would be a function of how many people are evaluated as small children to be put into the special pilot training schools. Actually building pilot training schools is a rounding error compared to the process of filling it and can be ignored.

 

 

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It violates your requirement but you could have great works that are located somewhere specifically, but that have empire wide effects.
I could live with it. Primarily I care about the interface, so the player does not need to click on any buttons on the planet level but has some imperial panel. 

 


For science, improving your intergalactic internet bandwidth could be a non-localized development project.
Yeah, like wonders or projects.

 

As for intergalactic internet I had this idea: you build "communication arrays", you can build any number of these you want. Then, the imperial galactic internet quality is communication arrays / number of planets (so the more planets you have the more communication systems you need for the same effect).

 


Another abstraction could be the investment is on talent identification and recruitment.
Well, I look for some sort of permanent buildings. So they player has a feeling he has built something, made the empire grow, made some new infrastructure.

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If you don't want it to be planet-specific, then maybe Buildings are the wrong type of thing (though the parallel to Civ buildings is a good reference point), as any building would HAVE to be built on a planet, even if it had empire-wide effects. Instead, maybe there could be agendas (edicts, policies, platforms, decrees, idk what is a suitable word) that could be focused on. Like the general implicit goal of the empire, spread through propaganda and stuff.

 

So the Player (emperor) is like hm I need to beef up my science so I'm going to deploy the propaganda that promoted education, research funding and interstellar exploration.

 

This could have the same effects as any building (+5 sciences a turn; +2 to science; -4 to killing aliens) and not require clicking on planets. The only difference would be that it's not a permanent bonus, like buildings (pretty much) are. Maybe individual planets could have (invisible) meters that fill as you stay on the same propaganda train, and when they fill up that planet gets a building or something that provides a bonus to that specific ideology.

 

...Though, that's back to planet specific buildings lol

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You could charter organizations, that's nebulous but creates something concrete. The Free Starshipwright's Guild are a secret society that helps share shipbuilding knowledge between planets. The Order of Leibowitz preserves knowledge and industry on planets during conquests/nuclear bombardments/etc. the Big Brother Program recruits impoverished youth into propaganda work.

 

One option is they need a big capital or imperial support infusion to get off the ground. Another is that you can charter a certain number of organizations at a time, but it takes a while for critical mass to be achieved. There could be levels of success where an organization needs another big investment to go from a special interest group to a galactic presence.

 

Or this could be a reward for having a good council, occasionally the best advisers will ask your permission to leave and start an organization, and you have to decide whether to keep them on or create the organization.

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Yeah, I was thinking about institutions/organizations too. A slight problem here, how to tie it with the size of the empire? Like if you have 100 planets and therefore a lot of "construction points" (or whatever you call the currency to buy these organizations) you could get a lot of these constructed in one turn while with just one planet as the resource provider it would take forever...

 

One thing I would not want is that you create an organization and that's it. I need a stream of these so there is always something to invest into. So the player has always something to improve, to strive for.

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What about this: Organizations have "levels" or some more flavorful name. You invest points to level up organizations. These could be things like "provide an office on every world", "assign a galactic noble as director", "Provide tax exemptions to members". Possibly organizations decline over time without intervention, so as you get bigger you need to spend more maintaining the existing charters. Possibly random events harm the organizations via scandals.

 

Once an organization is at the top level, you'd need to charter new organizations to get more benefit, and maybe the additional organizations are more expensive. "Human Advancement Project" provides a science boost and is popular (and so cheap). "Cult of Brains in Vats" also provides a science boost, but people need more prodding to join. That way cost scales the higher the bonus is.

 

As for multiple planets, I'd just make population a denominator in calculating the bonus. A level 2 organization provides full bonuses to an individual planet, but you need level 20 to get full bonus to a 100 planet empire.

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If you go with organizations and a decent resource pool you could simply have the player allocate % of resources to each organization with the option of building a new one.  Have a spread button to evenly spread resources over all organizations would make it very simple.  Then you would would let the resources build over time till they get high enough to build the next level of the organization.

 

This gives simplicity and flexibility.  A player could spend time setting the percents to force a specific one to build much faster than the others or spread them so that over time the bonuses from each organization would go up.

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Organizations are nice and fancy, but what about things like orbital docks  (you can have up to 3 docks per planet, these affect what is your maximum fleet size - maintenance points)? These definitely would work best as more traditional buildings (just not bought directly via planet interface but by some empire wide interface).

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Could the number of space docks a planet has be directly determined by the planet's population? Or do you want it to be  a decision of the Player?

 

If you want to implement planetary "buildings" without going into a planet-specific interface, maybe this could be done by having a construction side panel that can be opened when looking at the galactic map. Construction of a new thing at a certain planet by clicking and dragging the thing from the panel onto the planet on the map. Information about what planets that construction is viable on could be relayed via changes in the map while the item is being dragged around (if it can't be built on a planet, that planet turns red, dims out, etc)

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don't want to check for building slots

Do you need building slots? I would argue that every planet (even a moon) is large enough to hold every arbitrary amount of buildings. Every reasonable amount and any amount that you could possibly fit into the computer's main memory, anway. Even the world's largest university isn't a challenge to fit on a continent with the world's biggest hadron collider and two dozen military research facilities and 200 pilot schools. As long as you have the resources to build these facilities, I see no reason why room should be an issue (when the scale is "planetary").

 

Thus, I would just let the player build these special buildings whereever they want, and list them in a location-agnostic directory/roster for access. Of course the player still has to click on the "planet level" in some way once to decide where to build that special building. But this is important, and it's not something you can (or should) remove. After all, it's tactically an important choice where your stuff is found. If both your university and your rocket research center are on a planet deep in the enemy territory and the enemy blows the planet up, then... well, then the location was a bad choice.

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Could the number of space docks a planet has be directly determined by the planet's population? Or do you want it to be a decision of the Player?
No, no, I mean you can have up to 3x number of planets space docks not that these are on any specific planet. Maybe a better metric would be 1 space dock per 10m population that inhabit the empire.

 


maybe this could be done by having a construction side panel that can be opened when looking at the galactic map.
Unacceptable. For the purpose of this topic assume there are 100,000 planets under players control :) Above being manageable on individual basis.

 


After all, it's tactically an important choice where your stuff is found. If both your university and your rocket research center are on a planet deep in the enemy territory and the enemy blows the planet up, then... well, then the location was a bad choice.
No, I don't want the player making this choice. Assume that the placement of these is irrelevant. Actually they don't need to even exist physically (just an abstract "empire has 100 space docks" would be sufficient).

 


Do you need building slots?
Well... probably not. Althrough in some cases I need some sort of limiter but maybe total population size is better than slots...

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To sum it up so far. There seems to be 2 options:

1) Institutions/organizations, level based, you upgrade these (I see a, not so big, problem with scaling to the size of the empire here)

2) Buildings that are not tied to planets (like universities, space docks, comm arrays) you need more of these if the empire is bigger (per planet/per population/etc)

Or maybe some mixture of both?

 

Which way to go?

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I like the organizations.  One thing is that organizations could themselves be builders.  (So each planet handles its own build queue and decisions, but the presence of particular guild can influence their progress and decisions.  A space elevator might be a pipe dream for a provincial backwater planet, but the existence of the Skyhook Guild brings it within the realm of possibility.)

 

I'm thinking of the guild of hydrodynamical engineers that went around Europe in the Middle-Ages (-ish) to build canals and such.  It wasn't that each city would have a hydrodynamical guild; there was just (if I remember correctly) one and they traveled where they were needed.

 

So if the goal is to have some control over whether your empire builds a lot of fuel depots vs. universities vs. whatever, you could do it by chartering organizations that build these.  You just know that they're out there doing their thing, and doing it better than the planets would manage to do in their absence, but you as the emperor don't necessarily know or care where.  At the point that you have 200,000 planets, they might be founding a new planetary university every week, but you don't have to be notified except regarding the big picture.

 

Also, it gives you something to have audiences about.  Organizations would have liaisons in the emperor's court, and that lets them potentially beg you for stuff, get into fights with each other that you have to adjudicate, etc.

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One thing is that organizations could themselves be builders. (So each planet handles its own build queue and decisions, but the presence of particular guild can influence their progress and decisions. A space elevator might be a pipe dream for a provincial backwater planet, but the existence of the Skyhook Guild brings it within the realm of possibility.)
Heh, I had a similar thought, institutions spawning local offices on planets (sometimes even on alien planets).

 

Anyway, first the mechanics (overall concept of simple organizations):

- organizations/institutions should have levels, right? The effect of the organization should depend on the level and empire size (big empire require higher level organizations for the same effect). How exactly to make a formula for this?

- the player should be making a decision what to level up next. Not necessarily only the player, basic institutions might level up slowly on their own too, but the player should be the main decision maker here. Should it be done via panel or audience system or both?

 

How exactly should it work?

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How about:

 

A few "Orders" already exist, and others come into being through events.  They can't achieve anything without patronage, though.

 

When you take over a planet and are choosing what to do with it, there's one more option: to grant it to an Order.  The economic output of that planet then goes into their budget, which they use to do their thing, whatever that is.  An Order doesn't have a "level" and isn't part of the imperial budget, and it doesn't scale to the size of the empire.  It just has some number of planets held in fealty, and uses the resulting income to go around building hospitals or whatever its mission is.

 

However, even though they don't automatically scale to the size of your empire, there's still a good potential for correlation, in that the decision to "level up" an Order (that is, grant it a planet) is present at the exact point at which your empire expands (when you grab a planet).  So if you're diligent in granting (say) every fifth planet to one of your favored Orders, their ability to serve your empire will expand at about the same rate that your empire is expanding.

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When you take over a planet and are choosing what to do with it, there's one more option: to grant it to an Order. The economic output of that planet then goes into their budget, which they use to do their thing, whatever that is. An Order doesn't have a "level" and isn't part of the imperial budget, and it doesn't scale to the size of the empire. It just has some number of planets held in fealty, and uses the resulting income to go around building hospitals or whatever its mission is.
Well, I was thinking about corporations for this mechanic (granting a monopoly over a planet). But for organizations it does not always make sense. How about institutions like Ministry of Justice or Law Enforcement Agency? Granting them a planet is very unthematic.

 

Also, it means the only way to upgrade your organizations is via conquest which is poor gameplay wise. Primarily, I wanted these organizations be be in addition/instead of warfare. Something you can do when you don't make war, some peaceful way of enchaning your empire.

 

Also, actually, after thinking it over, I don't want them to be tied to the number of planets too much. Like you can have an empire with a lot of planets (spent more on military) or with fewer planets and better infrastructure (spent more on upgrading institutions). It would be best gameplay wise.

 

I need some other level up mechanic.

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