Author Topic: On Demand  (Read 3774 times)

Offline Cinth

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On Demand
« on: May 05, 2013, 12:46:13 PM »
No, I'm not talking about your cable or satellite service.  I'm talking about resources.  Yesterday I spent some time just watching how resources flow.

I've divided resources into 2 categories, raw and processed.
Raw resources are gathered by Chapman and deposited at a city building (as of .802).  You can track your stockpiles at the Town Center (mouse over tooltip).
Processed resources aren't available until they are needed.  They are produced on demand.

Sunstone: Sunstones are the only processed resource that you can track on your Town Center.
Sunstone is a raw resource, but it's the only one that gets processed from a different raw resource into its form.

The example I have to illustrate this process is the creation of the Seer building.

The Seer building cost 25 Pottery and 20 Lumber.  Neither of these are raw resources.  You need a Clay, Wood, Potter and Carpenter just to get Pottery and Lumber.  This would be a resource chain.
Wood  ->  Carpenter -> Lumber -> Seer -> Incense
         Clay -> Potter -> Pottery   /

I'm just going to dig into the Clay -> Seer segment since it would be the same for both sides of the chain.

So you drop a Clay and see it produces 10 Clay per turn (storage is irrelevant for this discussion).  You drop a Potter and it turns Clay into Pottery at a rate of 4 Clay to 1 Pottery.  You need 25 to place your Seer. 
So where are my pots??!!!!  Because processed resources are made only when you need them, you need to have 25 Pottery worth of Clay stockpiled.  That's 10 turns worth of gathering sitting idle in your Town Center.  Once you have the 100 Clay you pretty much have your 25 Pottery to place the Seer. 

Let's not forget that you have automatic production building (like Barracks) that will constantly burn off your resources.  Bottlenecks are going to occur with the raw resources.

I could add more but I figured I'd start off with this and throw it out there to the wolves ;)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 12:55:03 PM by Cinth »
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline x4000

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Re: On Demand
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 12:50:10 PM »
Bear in mind that the game makes a distinction of "raw resources" and "finished goods."  Sunstone is a raw resource, but it's the only one that gets processed from a different raw resource into its form.

Other than that you pretty well have the right of it.  A couple of other notes:

- The purpose of finished goods is typically to be able to limit things on a per-town basis.  If you don't want X military units in a given town, and they need pottery or whatever, then don't put a potter in that town.  But you CAN put a potter in a different town.

- The raw resources are stored globally, so you don't have any faffing about with worrying about which town has access to stores of basic stuff.  The duality of these two things give you control without tedium, essentially.

- The other thing about finished goods is that they are sometimes used for thematically-consistent reasons (when it comes to tokens and mythological creatures, all of which are directly placed outside of a single town).  In those cases, a single finished good producer anywhere on the map will be good for placing the token or creature.
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Offline Cinth

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Re: On Demand
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 12:57:43 PM »
Thanks x :)

Fixed the blurb about Sunstones.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline zharmad

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Re: On Demand
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 06:22:14 AM »
My main problem is that it's hard to know how you're getting bottlenecked in a manufactured resource. With the 4x cost of traders, for example, it's fairly difficult to stockpile bread, as many non-siege units also consume bread. It constantly goes up and down ad the military units come, and hide the exact arrangement required to stockpile extra bread over time. Can we get a clarification on how they are produced at the moment? Is it:

 (A) made automatically by a bakery to satisfy both demand of military units and to keep some ratio between wheat to bread.
 (B) made automatically by a bakery to satisfy demand of all military units, and if not needed by them at the town, 1 bread per turn per bakery.
 (C) made automatically by a bakery to satisfy demand of all military units, and if not needed by them at the town, 1 bread each time a chapmen works at a bakery?
 (D) some other opaque mechanic?

Offline orzelek

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Re: On Demand
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2013, 06:40:04 AM »
It would be point A.

Bakery states the ratio - 1 bread for 3 wheat.
Whenever bread is required it checks if enough wheat is present and produces bread that gets used for unit construction.
You never stockpile bread per se. You only stockpile wheat. It's the resource that requires most farming space currently to keep up especially with Norse.

Offline SRombauts

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Re: On Demand
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2013, 10:14:04 AM »
Yes, exactly, so in fact its even simpler than A): you never stockpile Bread, you stockpile wheat, so when it says "you only have X bread" it means that you in fact only have "Y wheat that could make X bread"

Offline Mick

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Re: On Demand
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2013, 10:22:54 AM »
It requires you to do math!  :P

Probably should be changed, but I kinda wish I lived in a world where requiring simple multiplication in your head wasn't considered a usability problem.

Offline Aquohn

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Re: On Demand
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2013, 10:32:57 AM »
It requires you to do math!  :P

Probably should be changed, but I kinda wish I lived in a world where requiring simple multiplication in your head wasn't considered a usability problem.

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Offline Cinth

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Re: On Demand
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2013, 01:49:57 PM »
It requires you to do math!  :P

Probably should be changed, but I kinda wish I lived in a world where requiring simple multiplication in your head wasn't considered a usability problem.

Don't we all?
It does the math for you already.  On the tooltip where it shows what resources are needed.  7 Bread (10 avail.) 4 Bow (16 avail.), it even color coded it for you (green have enough, orangish red not enough).  The only thing that you need to know before is the resource chain for Bread.

@zharmad: Bottlenecks are going to happen at the raw resource level.  As long as you have enough of the raw resource, you will always be able to make what you need.  As soon as you don't have enough though... 
The easiest way I've found to watch for bottlenecks is to check supply levels at the TC before and after each turn is processed.  If your getting sharp declines or 0s in there, you probably need more of that resource.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline zharmad

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Re: On Demand
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2013, 01:56:39 PM »
Damn, I always thought they have a separate stockpile. My logic has been that if it is converted instantly, then there is no. need. for. the. resource icon! :D

 I long for the day when people can see wheat and imagine bread, see clay and imagine pots,  without it being a usability problem. ;)

Offline Cinth

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Re: On Demand
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2013, 02:18:53 PM »
Damn, I always thought they have a separate stockpile. My logic has been that if it is converted instantly, then there is no. need. for. the. resource icon! :D

 I long for the day when people can see wheat and imagine bread, see clay and imagine pots,  without it being a usability problem. ;)

I thought the same at first, that's why I ran the test that I mentioned in the OP.  Once you grasp how the resources flow, you can get about with the current UI elements pretty well (not saying they don't need improvement thought).
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline zharmad

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Re: On Demand
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2013, 03:22:44 PM »
Damn, I always thought they have a separate stockpile. My logic has been that if it is converted instantly, then there is no. need. for. the. resource icon! :D

 I long for the day when people can see wheat and imagine bread, see clay and imagine pots,  without it being a usability problem. ;)

I thought the same at first, that's why I ran the test that I mentioned in the OP.  Once you grasp how the resources flow, you can get about with the current UI elements pretty well (not saying they don't need improvement thought).

Man. This is singularly disappointing. When I read about the split between raw and processed resources, I was hoping to find a proper resource chain such as in, I don't know, Minecraft - but instead I find RTS-style resourcing.

This state of affairs cannot continue into beta. The fictitious resources either have to go, or be made meaningful in some way.

This is the current reading: Say I'm making Xiphons at the Barracks, and they require 4 Swords each.  I mouse over the Barracks and it says "4 swords (9.33 available)." This statement is strictly false, because swords do not exist. I have 28 iron, and the swords are obfuscating language. If I then moused over an archery range where I'm making Svendonitai, it will then say "7 Steel (7 available)". This statement is also false - Steel does not exist. I only have 28 iron - and that 28 iron cannot both be used to make swords and steel, even when the hovertexts together imply that 9.33 swords and 7 steel are available.

It doesn't currently matter if it was 4 swords made @ 3 iron -> 1 sword,  or 12 swords with smithy conversion rate 1 iron-> 1 sword. The number is meaningless as long as the rate doesn't change. You may as well remove the medium altogether and say: "12 iron (28 available) + smithy" and "28 iron (28 available) + smelter". It requires no further explanation, and more importantly no false accounting. The manufactured resource ceases to exist.

Alternative (1): When smithies are upgraded - their conversion rate can improve. The texts can then read: "4 Swords (9.33 from 28 iron)", and then after a smithy upgrade "4 Swords (14 from 28 iron)" This makes the distinction between swords and iron meaningful.

Alternative (2): Manufactured resources are made per town and are local to that town. Much less appealing.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 03:25:21 PM by zharmad »

Offline Cinth

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Re: On Demand
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2013, 03:29:31 PM »
Alternative (2): Manufactured resources are made per town and are local to that town. Much less appealing.
This is actually how it works right now.  The changes in .805 are going to drive that point home even further.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline tigersfan

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Re: On Demand
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2013, 03:40:47 PM »
Alternative (2): Manufactured resources are made per town and are local to that town. Much less appealing.
This is actually how it works right now.  The changes in .805 are going to drive that point home even further.

Yes. Raw resources like iron are global, but, refined resources like swords and steel have always been per-town.

Offline zharmad

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Re: On Demand
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2013, 04:39:51 PM »
Quote
This is actually how it works right now.  The changes in .805 are going to drive that point home even further.
Quote
Yes. Raw resources like iron are global, but, refined resources like swords and steel have always been per-town.

Which upcoming implementations make this global/local distinction important? I don't see currently how "4 steel" is superior to "16 iron + smelter" in terms of clarity or purpose.

 = = =
 EDIT: I'll refrain. There's plenty of other ways, such as introducing conversion rate limits (no longer on demand).
« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 04:47:52 PM by zharmad »