Author Topic: Answers to a few questions.  (Read 1141 times)

Offline DrFranknfurter

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Answers to a few questions.
« on: January 16, 2015, 03:31:58 PM »
Hey, I just wanted to say people haven't forgotten about SBR. I have some questions from eXplorminate and a link to the recent list of 4x games to watch in 2015. It's a surprisingly big list, which is great for 4x fans:
http://www.explorminate.com/4x-games-of-2015/

"athelasloraiel 23 minutes ago
thank you very much. possibility of fights pictures?
any space vehicles?
tech tree randomness and racial specialty?
underground maps and working - how?
espionage and diplomacy - can we make decisions, or just politics? (Sim like or actively)

thnx again."

Offline x4000

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Re: Answers to a few questions.
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2015, 04:29:24 PM »
Hello!  I went ahead and split this topic out so that more people would likely see it.  I just did a huge writeup over here, too: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,16865.0.html

To the questions:

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possibility of fights pictures?

Not for a couple of weeks, but then video of that, not just pictures. :)  We have the code for the fights working now, but have not implemented real visuals for it yet.  We have most of the visual assets completed, but taking the time to program them was something we didn't want to do at this stage of the prototype.

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any space vehicles?

Nope, everything is 100% planet-bound.  There are air and water vehicles, though, as well as ground troops.  And missiles.

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tech tree randomness and racial specialty?

That's a really complicated question.  There is a ton of racial specialization, and in the link above I talked about a lot of it.  There is no main tech tree randomization at all, but as I hinted at in the post above, the other races don't use the main tech tree (only the human races do).  There are a number of procedural systems for things that you trade with other races, but the design on that isn't tested yet and so I don't want to speak too much on that just yet.

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underground maps and working - how?

The tab key switches you back and forth quickly between the surface and the underground.  Both the computer players and you can build structures underground.  There are pros and cons to doing this, and so how much you build underground will depend on your circumstances.  You also do have to worry about things like the Thoraxians tunneling under a river to get to you, though.

You can't see the underground map except where you've sonar scanned.  This more or less works like visual scouting on the surface, except this has a full fog of war (the surface tiles remain revealed once you've seen them once).

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espionage and diplomacy - can we make decisions, or just politics? (Sim like or actively)

I'm not sure quite the distinction between the two, but honestly these aren't areas I'm ready to talk about just yet.  Still experimenting with those, and again I don't want to set the wrong expectation and then have that change.  Within a few weeks -- month max -- I'll have loads of details for you on this one. :)

Cheers!
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Offline DrFranknfurter

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Re: Answers to a few questions.
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2015, 11:13:51 AM »
Thank you for the replies and for making it a bit more visible. As before, here is my wall of text. You don't have to reply, but I hope thinking aloud and hearing another think aloud helps in some way.

athelasloraiel: 1 hour ago     
"thnx a lot! Checking the thread and link.
about the diplomacy. I find it strange that no one has so far implemented binding agreements, better trade systems etc. This game has the programmers and parts that would be great for good diplomatic actions development, lets hope it goes that way..
"

Me, Franknfurter: I'd quite like for some interesting and binding diplomatic agreements, joint actions or projects to be possible. Though I'm not sure my idea of them matches what other people want. Since it's confusing here are my examples.

Civ 5 had the world congress, with some proposals (World's Fair, or universal expositions) where you can add hammers to a joint project and get a different bonus depending on the relative investment in the project. Everyone wins, but one person proposed it and probably won more than everyone else (it boosts culture, they're on track for a culture victory). Also joint resolutions like banning a resource or imposing sanctions are possible (use diplomacy to hit the enemy in their pocketbook). For Stars Beyond Reach I can imagine wanting to have an agreement with another race, all races ...or even with the planet. For example:
To Lower, raise or forbid influencing the atmospheric temperature/O2/mood/etc, either via normal actions or via a joint project.

Perhaps you'd want to tell the AI not to settle cities in contested territory or to prioritise settling and expanding onto land that I can't use. Often it's just done as a warning 'Stop that or I may declare war!' if done at all it's often the only response to hostile spies or aggressive expansion. I'd like some more diplomatic agreements to be possible before and after, e.g.
I agree not to raise the planet's temperature, in return, You (Thoraxians) will not settle land within 10 tiles my city. (or tunnel under it)
Or, I offer to subsidise (all races) next 5 terraforming efforts. They get discounted buildings, you pay only if/when they construct them.
Or, you can't change the planet's temperature because of an agreement, so you pay someone else to do it for you. (100 per 0.01 degree, paid on delivery)

In part diplomacy and trade are overlapping there. In the above examples concepts are a trade good, just like money(crowns). But standard 'trade route' is also a big feature of 4x games. The recent Civilisation Beyond Earth made it fiddly with the sheer number of routes and micromanagement involved with regularly updating and setting them up. I can imagine SBR removing some of the micromanagement and making it more realistic by attaching the trade mechanic and simulation to Trade Posts/Ports/Centres. e.g. Build a Port, automatically trade with any other Port in range (with modifiers for route length, available goods, friendly or enemy, race etc.) Some manual control would be nice (trade embargoes, buying/selling specific resources).

So... I have no idea what trade and diplomacy will be like. That's me thinking aloud on the subject. I look forward to hearing how both diplomacy and trade will work in due time.
(especially as I couldn't quite picture the 'translated text' idea from a few months ago... so I'd love to see how that works in practice. I suspect you need to have lots of trade options/text available otherwise it'd be very obvious what is being said... even then I can imagine it becoming easy once you've learned the system to cheese the system.)