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Re: [Adam] Friday, May 11, 2018

#31
AdamByrd wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:47 am
There's a difference between on the fly iteration and a dedicated pass. In the dedicated pass, all the mechanics are implemented, The goal is to ensure they look and feel nice and operate together well. Drastically modifying mechanics or replacing them is not a goal.
theres also a large difference between thinking about mechanics and how they should work together and actually testing the interactions in a dedicated pass.
major studios with decades of experience in doing that need heavy changes when doing that, what makes you think that two bloody beginners will get through mechanics iteration without major changes?
especially before any major public testing which is bound to bring out far far far more kinks in the design than you could ever find.

(assuming the goal is "good" not "doesnt break instantly" )
AdamByrd wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:47 am
Also, consider a military base that exists, but hasn't directly exerted control in quite some time. I think the control of that base should decay. Eventually someone is going to get froggy and challenge them. If the base blows them all up, well, control re-established.
idunno. in my half year of guard duty in the army i didnt have to use my rifle to get people to understand that im in control at the door.
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Re: [Adam] Friday, May 11, 2018

#33
AdamByrd wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:47 am
Hyperion wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 9:48 pm
So, Phoenix Scripts and Limit Theory Scripts. Are engine and game now officially separate? Is it now "Limit Theory is a game running on the proprietary Phoenix Engine"
Yes, it's always been this way in theory. Now it just properly organized that way in practice.
Cool! A very fitting name considering it's history :) It would be cool if you could generate a phoenix logo procedurally in the engine...
AdamByrd wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:47 am
Hyperion wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 9:48 pm
Wait, workers can go on strike if they're unsatisfied with their working conditions/contracts?
This is not a planned feature. It was meant to be a thought experiment to reason about how control should work. Apologies, I'll be a bit more careful with my wording in the future.
Aw, that's sort of unfortunate. in IRC we talked about a mechanic to make it work. In short, when there are a number of NPCs working on the same contract for the same employer, there is a chance that they form a temporary faction with limited functions tied specifically to that contract and employer. The more NPCs working the contract, the greater the chance to form the faction, and if the contract expires or is cancelled, the faction disbands. But that could of course be modded in :geek:

AdamByrd wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:47 am
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 2:22 pm
value generation/transformation isnt a good indicator of control in my opinion.
a military base (without maintainance unless josh changed his mind since the last discussion on that) doesnt transform a lot of economic value when its not actively fighting.
but its still very much the biggest fish in the pond when its just surrounded by the mining ops it protects
It depends how you measure value. For example, if the military base is in control, then presumably miners have to have some sort of permission or agreement with the base to mine. This means the value of the resources they mine can at least partially be attributed to the base, as the bases decisions allow that value to be generated.

Also, consider a military base that exists, but hasn't directly exerted control in quite some time. I think the control of that base should decay. Eventually someone is going to get froggy and challenge them. If the base blows them all up, well, control re-established.

I think control being a fairly fluid concept has the potential for more interesting interactions. But maybe not. Once it's implemented if it ends up too complicated, or doesn't lead to interesting gameplay then we'll take a different approach.
Does the military base know that they need to exert control to maintain it? Is there a way to do that non-violently? Shouldn't an occasional patrol reinforce it? And if the military base can't send out a patrol, then it's not a very good military base now is it? :P
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Challenging your assumptions is good for your health, good for your business, and good for your future. Stay skeptical but never undervalue the importance of a new and unfamiliar perspective.
Imagination Fertilizer
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Re: [Adam] Friday, May 11, 2018

#35
AdamByrd wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:47 am
Hyperion wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 9:48 pm
How you're going to get NPCs to understand when and where and to whom to lie through omission or otherwise...in a cpu friendly manner... Best of luck! :shifty:
Indeed, this is a stretch.
Thinking on this a bit more, there might be a way to accomplish this, at least in a limited sense. That is by having the ability to create Points of Interest. These markers can start off as a <?>, serving as a way for explorers to spot and mark various objects like map markers in Breath of the Wild. Or they can be labeled (eg. Asteroid field, unstable wormhole, pirate base). However, this label doesn't have to be correct, when this information is sold, the seller can change/hide the true identity of the marker and show it as something else. So for example, an explorer finds a particularly rich asteroid field, they can sell that information, but alter it to say there's a less than average amount of the resource so it seems that it's not worth going after. Or you could attach these markers to ships, and label an entire fleet as being a neutral trading ship; the buyer would find out it's a lie if they came close enough to identify it themselves, but by then, it's probably too late and the fleet is attacking this Confirmation Scout. Pirates could also create fake distress beacons and wait for their prey to show up :twisted:

This would also make Info Confirmation contracts a viable business, as allied information can be trusted, but info from neutrals is suspect. And if you have a record of selling bad information, not only will they start to pay you less, but they may grow angry with you, especially if you sent them into a trap.
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Challenging your assumptions is good for your health, good for your business, and good for your future. Stay skeptical but never undervalue the importance of a new and unfamiliar perspective.
Imagination Fertilizer
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Re: [Adam] Friday, May 11, 2018

#37
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 10:07 am
AdamByrd wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:47 am
Also, consider a military base that exists, but hasn't directly exerted control in quite some time. I think the control of that base should decay. Eventually someone is going to get froggy and challenge them. If the base blows them all up, well, control re-established.
idunno. in my half year of guard duty in the army i didnt have to use my rifle to get people to understand that im in control at the door.
Was searching for a good point to jump in on the control issue with IRL / geopolitics /military perspective, and this seems good enough of a point.

Control of a territory / airspace / space is not a question of having assets there, nor generating value. In fact, control isn't something you can describe by a single variable, regardless on how much data you crunched to get it.

Control, in its simplest form, consists of two parts:

1. The claim over certain territory.

Animals mark the territory they own, despite not 'generating value'. We humans build walls and fences, and set up border posts, and when doing that is too hard, we simply say that it's ours and hope others will keep away from it. But it's always a geopolitical act - you need to claim that something is yours. If you plonk a mining station into an asteroid field, or a military station near the jump hole, it's a claim. If your faction doesn't put anything here, but patrols the area, it's also a claim. If your faction doesn't even patrol it, but insists it's their, it's also a claim - at, least, till there's nobody to contest that. In short - a claim is an intention to hold certain territory, and it's not really connected to its value or the number of assets. It's purely political, and as such, it's just basically wishful thinking.

Which brings us to:

2. Exercising control and contesting territories.

There are several ways of doing that. The simplest is having assets there. A station, an outpost, a constantly manned patrol route. Some physical presence. There is also Anti-Access / Area Denial strategy - if you can kill anything that enters the area, it's effectively yours. If you can dispatch the fleet to protect it, it's also yours. If it's a Hell-hole nobody even cares about except you, it's also yours.

Contesting the territory is done not by physically being there, but by declaring intentions and then being there.

Let's see the example of a military fleet passing through an independent star system. In its physical manifestation, it boils down to just two outcomes - it passes through unopposed, or it passes through facing opposition, with varying degrees of resistance and casualties.

But on the intentions level, it can be:
- they got permission from the system's authorities and thus pass unopposed;
- they didn't get a permission, but the system's defence force is non-existent, so they pass unopposed;
- they didn't get a permission, but the system's defence force stayed away, allowing them to pass unopposed;

- they weren't given permission and were harassed by some attacks, but passed through despite that;
- they faced a determined, concentrated effort against their fleet, sustained casualties but got through;
- the resistance was so great they had to basically demolish every military asset in the system in order to pass through;

In all cases, they don't get the political control of the system because their intention is to simply pass through it. The claim is still with the system's government.

Compare that to:

Control is maintained by the system's authorities:
- they needed the system for running a supply line, and the authorities allowed that;
- they needed the system for running a supply line, and the authorities closed their eyes on that while not giving any formal reply;

Control is formally maintained by the system's authorities:
- they needed the system for running a supply line, authorities were against that, so they were bombed into submission;

Control is taken away from the system's authorities:
- they needed the system for running a supply line, the resistance by local authorities was so great they had to occupy it outright;

And nothing here was defined by the economic value of assets in the system, purely the political intent and the application of military force.

When it comes to exact structure / gameplay logic, the way I see control areas, they:

1. Need political claim (this field/system is mine) that's based on available assets you CAN (but not necessary WOULD) allocate to the area and lack of contesting to appear; the rest is shared space / contested area / no man's land / etc.
2. Nested / recursive - you can totally have, for example, an Ore Mining & Co zone of control that's within the local police zone of control, which is located inside a government-owned star system;
3. Behaviour of certain factions should no be based on who formally controls what, but on the permissions those factions give. For example, Ore Mining & Co is a legal and reputable (and tax-paying!) business, so its mining site on the other side of the border is protected by the military faction with the permission to operate in the area despite it being formally not in their control. On the other hand, a 100 km exclusion zone around a secret military research station means nobody goes there without being fired upon - unless you are a hired contractor (say, you have a mission to deliver stuff there, so when you accepted the mission the relevant one-time permission was given to you). Space of one faction is in generally closed to the military of another faction - unless they were given permission (one-time friendly visit or being allied or having an agreement to use certain route, etc.) Pirates don't need no stinkin' permissions, they fly where they want; military at war needs no permissions either (of course, ignoring permissions means you'll get fired upon :) ).
4. Permissions can be derived from the sum of the assets (100% military research probably needs an exclusion zone :squirrel: ), and weighted by the faction's social traits. Extremes like 'all this system is ours, go away or be killed' should be rare, but should exist because it's FUN! I'd also make it mandatory (i.e. hard-coded) to place beacons and patrols around exclusion zones, with automatic warning to the pilots.

That's more or less how I see it - again, from IRL and military perspective, but greatly simplified.

Coding stuff like to mimic real life is a nightmare, though :ghost:
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Survivor of the Josh Parnell Blackout of 2015.
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Re: [Adam] Friday, May 11, 2018

#38
That's a nicely presented exploration of the essence of geopolitical control, outlander.

If I were to simplify it to its driest bones, it sounds like you're suggesting control requires two things:

  1. Make a claim of control.
  2. Enforce that claim.

The rest is working out mechanisms for doing these two things.

Is this close to your view? Or way off?
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Re: [Adam] Friday, May 11, 2018

#39
Essentially, yes!

There can be no control of the territory if you don't want it, and haven't declared it one way or another (disappearing every ship that enters your private asteroid field counts as declaration, too :D ). Because if you haven't, then you're just passing through / chilling out there.
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Survivor of the Josh Parnell Blackout of 2015.

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