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What about civilians?

#1
I dunno if it would really be practical, but from what I've seen so far, all the space traffic is either military or some kind of industry oriented. What about civilian pleasure cruises, or space buses, or just people moving around from planet to planet or job to job etc?

It might just be too much CPU overhead to implement, but it sure would make space seem alive. It would be interesting to see what kind of space traffic it could generate.

The reason I thought of this is because I was thinking of having a secret hideaway or something to that effect (think of your base in Independence wars II) someplace kind of out of the way. Except, what is out of the way, where is most of the traffic going? Main arteries of space travel? You first have to have main routes of travel before you could determine what was out of the normal space trading lanes.
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Re: What about civilians?

#2
Totally reasonable. I doubt there'd be any commuter space travel, but civilian cruise liners, short-range freighters, inter-station shuttles, business transports, and wealthy joyriders are definitely within reason. And then that would allow for a "Civilian" category/ID/IFF, which pirates or terrorists could spoof, which stimulates police activity, etc.

In Freelancer, this was... well, the Freelancer "faction". Ships tagged "Freelancer" could occasionally be seen flying through systems, without any specific kind of business.
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Re: What about civilians?

#3
Poet1960 wrote:I dunno if it would really be practical, but from what I've seen so far, all the space traffic is either military or some kind of industry oriented. What about civilian pleasure cruises, or space buses, or just people moving around from planet to planet or job to job etc?
Now that would be wonderful to see. Total agreement from me, Poet1960. :D
Grumblesaur wrote:Totally reasonable. I doubt there'd be any commuter space travel, but civilian cruise liners, short-range freighters, inter-station shuttles, business transports, and wealthy joyriders are definitely within reason. And then that would allow for a "Civilian" category/ID/IFF, which pirates or terrorists could spoof, which stimulates police activity, etc.

In Freelancer, this was... well, the Freelancer "faction". Ships tagged "Freelancer" could occasionally be seen flying through systems, without any specific kind of business.
Words of pure enjoyment, Grumblesaur. It would add so much to the immersion of LT. :clap:
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Re: What about civilians?

#5
This reminds me of the discussion we had on haulers; very simple AI that exist only for a brief time and deliver goods to and from various locations within a system. I further expanded on the idea that haulers could have multiple appearances to indicate the goods the are carrying, and to create Hauler terminals on planets, stations and capital ships.

As to pleasure cruises, I am unsure what all to do for making a ship into a cruise ship, perhaps an accommodations module, a recreational module, a casino module, a restaurant module... Essentially large and bulky modules mainly for appearances. You could also create a class of workers for these modules to staff your ship and a special class of cargo to represent travelers and tourists...

Considering the actual mission, you could have planets and Stations pay you for transporting these tourists to another place, or even just to make your way around a few systems, getting in close proximity to various points of interest.

of course, tourists become hostages for pirates to "ransom" or execute at the massive displeasure of their origin location.

if Josh includes haulers, I don't know if he would do tourism, but it might be a great mod.

also... did I just invent terrorism in LT? :twisted:
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Re: What about civilians?

#6
This reminds me of Distant Worlds: Universe, as one of their main features was having a private sector, which handle liners, cargo, and transport. Technically, LT already has somewhat of a civilian sector, shown by the many miners who set out each day to their mining outposts. However, seeing things like cruise liners would be nice. That in itself could create tourism, which can create extra profit for the planet.

How would the game go about making private ships over military or state owned? Do they have separate shipyards or share the same?

I would like to see colonies making more private ships, while during times of low security or war, it produces more military ships. This could possibly lead to something like the Great Depression where the economy crashed due to the excess of luxury goods, and got kick started in the 1940s during WWII with the need to make military goods again.
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Re: What about civilians?

#8
Hmmm... I love this idea, and I think it could be implemented very simply. Very, very simply - and even better, it would hardly subtract from the frame rate. Even better than that, it would have an actual effect on the universe, and introduce some new, if minor, gameplay mechanics. It would help the universe evolve. Best of all, it wouldn't be very difficult for our already overworked Mr. Parnell to implement, when he gets to that point.


Mechanics outline
As a planet's population increases, it demands more materials, but what happens to these materials? Right now, nothing. In the currently-planned future: Also nothing. However, if a percentage of these goods are allocated towards building ferry ships, luxury ships, passenger ships, etc., then you have something very real to do with the stuff your planets receive. I suggest that this is how these civilian ships come into being. The size of these ships would be semi-randomly determined and at least partially based on planetary culture and the planet's population. With this, you can have a planet that prefers large ships, a planet that prefers small ships, etc. You also get planets producing larger ships when they have a larger population.

What the ships do:
They transport exactly what it says they do: civilians and consumer goods, from planet to planet. The most interesting thing, I think, will be the passenger ships. Larger planets may also be able to produce "escort ships" that are automatically assigned as evenly as possible, with larger ships receiving better security details. Planetary culture could factor into this as well.

As to the purpose of the ships:
For each station and planet, you also include a value, ValueX. (Name to be determined. It basically represents civilian happiness: luxury, connections to the outside world, visits from family members, etc.) ValueX slowly degrades over time, with the degradation rate increasing based on the size of the population. When ValueX falls below 67%, your station's productivity begins to decline, starting with 100% productivity at 67% and ending at 0% productivity at 0%. (All arbitrary, changeable values). When ValueX falls below 33%, your population begins to leave (at a slow rate, starting slowly at 33% and increasing the rate of disappearance as it approaches 0%).

To balance this out, you give each planet a "faction" of its own - just the planets, though, and not the stations. These factions are controlled by a very basic AI - no goals, no projects, nothing like that. These factions are given the ships that their planet automatically produces.

The civilian ships and their security escorts are automatically routed towards the nearest location that has the lowest ValueX. In other words, the destination is the lowest (-ValueX% + Distance%). When the civilian ship reaches its destination, the ValueX is raised by a pre-set amount, depending on how large the civilian ship is. Then, it repeats the process and sends it to the nearest (-ValueX% + Distance%). You could also include enemy presence in the calculation, so they don't knowingly send ships towards enemy areas. At any rate, this keeps the planets from naturally having their happiness/ValueX fall too far - only a completely isolated planet, or one with its ships under attack, would really be at risk of growing "unhappy".

NOW: ONE FINAL THING:

Not all ships are sent. A small percentage of them (specifically passenger vessels) are stockpiled, with the combined capacity about equal to the planet's population, give or take planetary culture values. The only reason the planet starts sending them is if ValueX falls below 33%, meaning the population is extremely unhappy. The reason for this is that when you start on orbital bombing, making the population unhappy (I'd suggest orbital bombing push it into a "launch all ships" red zone), you get actual civilian ships fleeing for the stars, filled to the brim with real passengers. It's a real sci-fi style planetary evacuation, and it would be amazing to see - and fun for a sadistic player to shoot down - with some slight moral/gameplay implications.



The visual effect of this (besides planetary evacuations) is that you get civilian traffic on trade lanes, with more civilian traffic around larger planets and stations: They have larger populations, and therefore more civilian ships and faster happiness degradation. Civilian traffic will centralize around larger planets, with rare forays into the dark unknown to seek out that asteroid-based space station you've hidden.

The gameplay effect of this (besides planetary evacuations) is that if you destroy a planet's civilian ships, their population drops, and their happiness (ValueX) decreases. As the value decreases, their productivity drops, and if it falls too far, people start leaving. Protecting these ships could actually be a part of an NPC faction's goals. Destroying them could be a goal, too.



Anyway, that's my idea. Pick at it or discard it as you please. edit: typo
Last edited by Talvieno on Fri May 30, 2014 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What about civilians?

#9
Talvieno wrote:Something brilliant
I really like that idea, but I am unsure of a planetary faction. It may be incompatible with planet ownership, that both players and npcs will have. That planets or individual colonies have some AI functionality is great, and I think that non-mobile AI should behave somewhat differently than mobile AI, in that their "Ship" doesn't move, but they should be able to accumulate assets and form projects just like anyone else, just that since they can't move, things must come to them, and they have to be able to send stuff out.
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Re: What about civilians?

#11
DWMagus wrote:Commuter travel would be great.

You could start your own taxi service!

Crazy Taxi... in space...?
I loved that game! I now need a space taxi in LT!
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Re: What about civilians?

#13
Hyperion wrote:
Talvieno wrote:Something brilliant
I really like that idea, but I am unsure of a planetary faction. It may be incompatible with planet ownership, that both players and npcs will have. That planets or individual colonies have some AI functionality is great, and I think that non-mobile AI should behave somewhat differently than mobile AI, in that their "Ship" doesn't move, but they should be able to accumulate assets and form projects just like anyone else, just that since they can't move, things must come to them, and they have to be able to send stuff out.
It's not really a true faction. I just called it a faction because I wasn't sure what else to call it, and it'd nice to see an "Alderaan Pleasure Cruise" zooming about.
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Re: What about civilians?

#14
I thought some more about this idea laying in bed last night, and it occurred to me that population is really a kind of commodity. I don't know how detailed you would really want it, but in theory you could have at least some kind of population migration as new sectors or planets open up. How you implement that could be in a few different ways, but in general there would be an increase of general civilian traffic as a new station comes online, or a new planet is colonized, or a new mining field is found, new jobs being created etc.

They don't necessarily have to be fully AI, although I guess you could procedurally generate them as well. Just enough traffic for someone to notice that there is an increase in the general traffic of the area.
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Re: What about civilians?

#15
Poet1960 wrote:I thought some more about this idea laying in bed last night, and it occurred to me that population is really a kind of commodity. I don't know how detailed you would really want it, but in theory you could have at least some kind of population migration as new sectors or planets open up. How you implement that could be in a few different ways, but in general there would be an increase of general civilian traffic as a new station comes online, or a new planet is colonized, or a new mining field is found, new jobs being created etc.

They don't necessarily have to be fully AI, although I guess you could procedurally generate them as well. Just enough traffic for someone to notice that there is an increase in the general traffic of the area.
*points at my above post* viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3047&p=51547#p51520
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