axiomsofdominion

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About axiomsofdominion

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  1. Simplicity vs. Complexity

    Everyone here is wrong. It's embarrassing on a forum specifically for game design.   Firstly the word game is too broad. Without going into stuff like Burgun's work on improving game design theory "games" are interactive systems with an incredible array of goals. Some "games" would benefit from simplicity and some require complexity. Simplicity is probably financially vastly preferable.   Simplicity vs complexity hinges on your design goals. The whole depth thing is garbage. "Depth" just means being in the right spot on the spectrum given your design goals. The design goals for something like Chess or Go demand simplicity. Other kinds of games have design goals that demand complexity. Some things are impossible without complexity.   EVE Online requires both a complex system of rules and knowledge and quite a bit of dull activity. Its simply not possible to achieve its goal, simulating space imperialism, without those games. You can't do it. Period. WoW has no need for complexity and in fact it would probably do better to be even less complex than it currently is.   The objective truth is that some kinds of games will always be more popular regardless of their design. An completely perfect EVE style MMO is NEVER going to have more players than even an above average WoW style MMO. Never, ever, ever. There is simply not enough of a desire for what it provides regardless of the quality on offer. Similarly LoL will always have larger audiences than Starcraft. The market for MOBAs is larger than the RTS market. The quality differential would have to be HUGE for an RTS to out compete a MOBA in profit or popularity.   The market is nearly always more significant for those purposes than the quality of the game above a minimum quality threshold. Depending on marketing power that threshold can be pretty low. Furthermore a shitty MOBA will almost always bleed players to a better MOBA and not to a better RTS.   Games that objectively require more complexity to function are inherently going to be less popular and less profitable than more simplistic games. The market for simple games with a low time commitment is vastly larger than the market for games that require a large time commitment and more intellectual resources.
  2. Modder Designed AI Programs Or Input/Output AI

    Doesn't "you can change as you like" already include that option?   As far as I can see, nothing stops you from building an external interface first.   I mean I can do it but I'm not sure why I would. For testing purposes? I don't have any particular interest in most open source games and their userbases are small and generally not very good and their mechanics design tends to be easily exploitable. Who puts enough time into FreeCiv that making an AI that can beat them is impressive at all? Making a good Civ6 AI is impressive, would have visibility, and could be tested against top players with name recognition for talent.   Also with open source I'd have to convince people to download, set up, and test the game vs whatever form they prefer.   And getting up to speed with an open source code base is a pain and would take away from the time I spend developing my own current not Civ like project.
  3. Modder Designed AI Programs Or Input/Output AI

    Have you ever considered trying this in an open source project? It comes with full source code, that you can change as you like.   You can do that yes, but it would still be better for the AI to be separate from the game.
  4. Modder Designed AI Programs Or Input/Output AI

    I'd love for something like Civ6 or GalCiv3 to add this system. Their AIs are so awful. There's so many things you could do with their game systems to make AIs that act uniquely and do interesting stuff and are also really, really good. Also you could easily scale difficulty without cheating.
  5. Modder Designed AI Programs Or Input/Output AI

    I'm thinking more of strategy games, should have made that clear, but good to know that the general idea has been functionally implemented. In the strategy context the AI would play the AI and you'd play the player, since unlike a racing sim the AI can't easily out-compete humans, so there'd be little benefit in having the AI play for you. Though I suppose some sort of cheating could be done in multiplayer or something if you worked hard at it.   In the more specific context of turn based strategy games, especially single player, do you see any downsides? I feel like the upside for modders would be huge given how shitty TBS AI tends to be.
  6. I've been developing an idea I plan to use in my current game project. At least I hope to do so. I would like to enable a game state output to a file, sort of like saving, which can then be accessed by a separate program. That program could then return a file which would be read with the game. In this way you would enable modders to have 100% freedom to design the AI mod of their dreams, probably a compiled program in C++ or some other language. Since they are trading file outputs the actual nature of the program probably doesn't matter as far as languages are concerned. The modder made AI could do all sorts of stuff like have its own files and data just like the built in AI of a game does since its its own totally separate program. Well there may need to be a way to spawn multiple instances of the AI module so that they can all run simultaneously and speed up the end turn wait. My CPU has 8 logical cores so it could use 1 for each instance of the AI. Well, even just using all 4 cores would be helpful. Otherwise as long as your program could produce proper output you would have total freedom in the AI. Obviously for real time and multiplayer games this could be an issue, especially some kind of cheat in multiplayer, though I'm not sure it would be super easy to send a bogus output to get some benefit. Also each individual AI could allow for scripting if so desired since it can do anything it wants, so you wouldn't be preventing non programmers from helping.   I'm working out some of the details of this now as I do other things so I'm curious if people here had any thoughts.
  7. Turn Based Strategy About a Dictator's Rise to Power

    In my current development project you could simulate this, sort of, although its not an intentional focus. The limitation is mainly that you don't start out as a random citizen. You'd be an "important character" such as an archmage, merchant, factor, noble, etc.   There's a quite detailed system of internal politics as well as a propaganda system and various characters have unique desires. You could start as a wealthy merchant or a lesser noble and use your resources to wage a propaganda campaign and recruit conspirators in various ways. You'd probably need to select a state that had good circumstances for a dictator. You could sort of play a Nigel Farage/Donald Trump/Boris Johnson/Silvio Berlusconi role and then go even farther to install yourself as dictator. Or go more leftist/military and do a Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro. The setting is fantasy ~500BC-1500AD so you'd be more like an absolute monarch or maybe Caeser than a modern dictator.
  8. Generating Provinces From A Map

    Woops weird glitch made me double post.
  9. Generating Provinces From A Map

    http://imgur.com/kWfiJNd   All land pixels are now part of provinces. A bit boxy in some cases and several artifacts where it looks like paint drips but the general strategy I used works out. Takes quite a long time though. I'm thinking about adding some code to break up the blockiness a little by spawning random protruding shapes of a couple pixels like some triangles and such off the outside of the initial 16 by 16 pixel drop. Get some more irregular shapes in there.
  10. Generating Provinces From A Map

    I mean I certainly could do that. It'd take a lot of fiddling to get pretty maps and I'm not sure the provinces would be super pretty. It's pretty simple to get a functioning version in code and test to see if refining it would work.
  11. Generating Provinces From A Map

    Yeah, that was sort of what I was thinking I'd end up doing. Off to the rapid testing phase.
  12. So I have a game that needs randomly generated maps. I need to randomly generate provinces for the landmasses. I can generate decent looking, for my purposes, landmasses. I can even do acceptable heights. The map is 2D but I need heights for terrain and biomes. But I can think of a simple reliable way to generate provinces, even with iffy shapes. I want to generate anywhere from 2000 to 10000 and I have a map size conducive to that. Hand drawn maps in GIMP of the same size can easily fit decent shapes and 10000+ provinces.   I feel like a major issue is the program knowing which pixels are part of congruent landmasses. It'd sort of have to know where coasts are in some sense. I know I can do something like set a pixel total and use a random number generator and expand out from a random starting pixel.   Roughly I could pick a start and then using random directions and distances draw out a border and fill it in. Then prune a bit to make sure the size is okay by counting the total number of pixels with the unique province color.   I'm including a link to an imgur album of some of the maps I generate: http://imgur.com/a/AlPew   I'm concerned about making sure I don't have a bunch of small leftover areas that can't become a proper size province, although I could just flip all land that doesn't have a unique color to water at the end. Water provinces will be a lot easier I think since they don't need a certain kind of shape.
  13. Espionage System In 4x Feedback

      This does not sound very 4X-like to me(though i can be wrong) maybe you should ask yourself whether diplomacy is supposed to support the 4X-aspects, or that the 4X-aspects are there to support the diplomacy-part.   A system will always hold room for improvements and refinement, so i won't answer that question. What you might be missing is the defensive-bonus-stat, aka counter-intelligence is usually better then "offensive" intelligence at least if offensive intelligence can choose between multiple opponents/characters to target.   If you want more community-feedback you may first need to explain what a wizard(or a general, or any other character) is doing in this game.   See I'm in a bit of a pickle because nearly every system in my game is unique relative to other strategy games. So there is an endless rabbit hole to go down about the specifics of various things. Counter espionage is just spending funding on your own lands and characters instead of that of others. As far as what characters do, they are just important figures in the game world. Compared with populations which they interact with. Rulers of provinces and nations, leaders of armies, powerful mages, merchants and factors. I suppose technically those descriptions don't exist in the game. Any character could technically do anything. But focusing on one or two particular things is just more effective.
  14. Espionage System In 4x Feedback

      You should look up Acharis' project.I know he's looked into the politics quite a lot the past 2 years for his 4x kinda-ish game.   I followed his posts a bit when I used to post here more. His ideas and mine are pretty out of sync.
  15. Espionage System In 4x Feedback

    So I've spent a lot of time talking to various gamers who follow the 4x and grand strategy genres and trying to work out a viable way to make politics happen. Politics would include internal politics, international diplomacy, and espionage. My best model to build on was combat in strategy games.   The goal is for there to be a push and pull between sides with multiple steps for more complex actions and the potential for counter play.   The system has a few different aspects.   The first aspect is intelligence networks. Every character has an intelligence network. Provinces, states, and populations are not involved. The character can distribute funding into the network for varying purposes. The target of network activities is always another character. Generals, spies, nobles, wizards, merchants, etc.   All characters have a set of desires based on their situation. Rulers might covet the provinces of neighbors, or to gain access to resources or have wealth. Characters might desire a good marriage for their daughter. Wizards and other characters may desire to gain magical power or items. A duke might desire the throne of his country. Various stuff.   Characters also have secrets. They may be engaging in a plot or maybe a noble defiled a princess or a duchess or w/e. Basically stuff they don't want to get out because of negative consequences. One example I often use is a nation that worships dragons and draconic things where a noble captured and imprisoned a dragon and leeched its power and aspect, aspect being scales or claws or even wings and claimed the crown by divine mandate. Obviously the people and his political rivals would explode if this came out. That's an example of a very high value secret.   You learn these things through your intelligence networks. You can fulfill desires or blackmail people over secrets. Or merely promise to fulfill desires at a later date for help now. "If you help me overthrow the king I'll marry your daughter and grant you a dukedom". Stuff like that. Blackmail or desire fulfillment can also be used as an incentive. Maybe you discover a dirty secret and force a noble to become a traitor in a larger plot. Secrets and desires will have a value that affects how a person will respond to you. In theory you could be a nation of extreme espionage ability and create a plot of great complexity with 40 or more named characters to become king of a fantasy HRE or something. Note that actions are atomic. You can use independent knowledge and secrets in whatever combination you like.   Intelligence networks work in a relatively simple way. Through the use of time and resources they slowly accumulate power. There will likely be two stats. Capacity, which is purely based on funding and capability which limits what actions you can perform and gives a bonus to success. Capability measures things like understanding the culture, having a network of loyal agents, and so forth. Its primarily based on time and funding. Longer time and less funding is less likely to arouse suspicion than piling on money in a short amount of time due to scale. One experienced guy working discreetly vs trying to rush things with money. Capacity is sort of an abstraction of how many agents you can afford and what you can afford to pay for info and so forth. A high capability would allow you to slip tails on more powerful characters or get agents in cool places. Like blackmailing a chambermaid with her children.   You can target specific characters or just gather into on all characters in a province or kingdom. Targeted spying of course is more effective for specific goals and for getting really juicy secrets.   Also of note is that adjacent networks give a slight boost to each other. So if you are studying a group of provinces that are close by its more efficient. This sort of represents cultural understanding and how to act discreetly as well as overlap between areas.   Counterespionage is pretty similar to the regular kind except it has different goals. Detecting suspicious activity allows you to decide where to deploy your defensive resources. You can also figure out where you enemy is working and what he is focusing on. For instance you could capture and kill his spies and agents. This results in a decrease in his network attributes. I'm not gonna try to simulate double agents, its too tricky.   Another aspect of espionage is mere intel gathering. This requires less funding and capability than gathering personal information. Troop movements, supply lines, what kinds of buildings are being made. Stuff like that. This information can be quite valuable in war. Cutting off supplies, knowing where enemies are and so forth.   You'll also want to spy on some of your own nobles to see if they are plotting against you. Works the same as spying on other characters.   Espionage is one of many systems you'll be dealing with. It requires the same resources as other systems like industry and war and research. As a player you can choose to focus your nation where you like. You shouldn't have the resources to devote a lot of effort to espionage of every character or even several kingdoms unless that is your focus. You might rely on espionage rather than a military to defend yourself and achieve your goals. Its totally unnecessary to spend a ton of time on this system. Most AI will probably have weak or moderate espionage defense much less a powerful offense. Of course some characters might go that route.   Espionage actions are not a separate system from the rest of the game. You can use them in treaties with other characters. Treaties exist outside of war and peace in this game. Ending a war can be a part of a treaty but it could involve other things. You could blackmail someone, bribe them, and offer them magical knowledge in exchange for their knowledge of farming or for a monthly allotment of rare spices and covert military support for rebels in a third kingdom or something. Any character action or combination can be applied to any other character. Well except war declarations. You can't declare war on a merchant or something. Makes no sense.   As far as the feedback part of the title I have a few questions. Am I missing something? Can the system be improved? Is there something very unclear in what I wrote? Maybe the two variables for networks are bad or another one is needed?