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Hyperion's Colony Outline

Does this belong in the Suggestions or General forum? Dunno. Whatever :ghost: I’ve been working on this ~70k word behemoth on and off for months, and several people requested I make a thread for it despite the fact that I’m still not done because I’m OCD about how to format it, and every time I reread it I find myself being terribly wordy. So I’ll just start it and then edit the reserved posts later, and they're subject to change until I've gotten it all out :roll: .


As very little has been said as to the functioning of colonies when the Colony and Planetary Ownership Expansion comes out, there is probably still a lot of room for discussion and construction of game mechanics. I’ve put a lot of thought towards this, trying to balance complexity, flexibility, scalability, and internal power dynamics. But quantum ubercomputers are still a ways off, so they require simplification and consolidation, ideally using as few “gamey” elements as possible.

Colonies are NOT just large stations with a docking bay and some polygons in the background. Despite most of the action of LT taking place in space, planets are the major economic and political powers. They contain vast populations and control orders of magnitude more resources than almost anything in space. So, the “Big Game” of LT is all about controlling and establishing colonies as they serve their role as the primary method of game balancing, while players in space are mostly intermediaries and tools, filling the many niches the “Big Game” creates.

My ideas have focused on three core aspects of Colonies: Structure, Economy, and Internal Politics. These are of course highly interconnected, so presenting them in a coherent and logical manner is difficult. You may need to read through this several times to fully understand the various interconnections. I have included some important terms and notes in this post for your convenience.

It will quickly become obvious that the level of complexity I’ve given colonies comes somewhat close that of the rest of LT itself, so I have also given thought to LOD scalability, where the details can be bundled and unpacked depending on what the player chooses to focus on. Hopefully this allows for a near seamless transition between greater and lower detail.

Also, I have a limited statistical or mathematical vocabulary, so I may use a lot of words to explain something that could otherwise be explained in one :ghost: :(
==Table of Contents==(Yes, really :ghost: )
Part 1:Overview
  • tl;dr
  • Terms & Notes
Part 2: Structure
  • Map and Planetary Buildspace
  • Cores
  • District Basics
  • Dynamic Districts
  • Special Districts
  • Megastructures
Part 3: Abandonment & Recovery
  • Abandonment & Recovery
  • Slums
  • Colony Elimination and Rebirth
Part 4: Groups, Part 1: Mechanics
  • Composition
  • Account Interval Fulfillment
  • Happiness & Obedience
  • Group Ownership
Part 5: Groups, Part 2: Types
  • Communities
  • Corporations
  • Firms
  • Associations
  • Syndicates
Part 6: Colony Economics
  • Public-Use Districts
  • Civilians & Workers
  • Tradegoods & Cultural Goods
  • Food
  • Black Markets
Part 7: Government
  • The Governor
  • Colony Budget & Growth
  • Subsidies
  • Nationalizing
  • Laws & Enforcement
Part 8: Politics
  • Ownership Markers
  • Divided Colonies
  • Enclaves
  • Military Action
Part 9: LOD & Worldgen
  • Maps
  • Probabilistic Growth
  • Account Intervals
  • Power Dynamics
Part 10: Dynamic Visuals
  • Skyline Models
  • HICUS Coloring
  • Decay
  • Enclaves
Spoiler:      SHOW
Colonies are city-states, composed of Districts and Cores within planetary build-spaces. Districts are infrastructure platforms with hardpoints that buildings attach to or grow out of. Cores are the ownership marker and administrative center of a colony by which governors control its size, composition, and upkeep, and without which the colony is unowned and the districts begin to rot and empty. Functionally identical Subcores serve as backups during war and a means of expansion in peacetime.

Districts come in 2 types, Special, which are configured manually, and Dynamic, which comprise most of the colony, growing and shrinking statistically with the success or failure of the colony’s economy. These dynamic districts are composed of 5 building types with a corresponding size index that informs the blackbox how to proportion inputs and outputs for each colony in the universe, as well as dynamically adjusting the visual algorithms for what visiting players see.

The blackbox inputs and outputs occur through entities called Groups, a sort of living resource for players and NPCs. These groups split the economic power of the colony into many actors to provide the colony with a believably diverse and dynamic economy. Their interactions with each other, the environment, players, the blackbox, and chance guide almost all nearby economic and political behavior.

Governors are the decision makers for their subordinate but entity-independent colony, having both great power and great responsibility. They face not only the challenges of balancing the budget, growth priorities, and civilian unrest, but must deal with the political tensions arising from criminal activity, privately owned business enclaves, and politically independent offshoots -- who use economic and sometimes military warfare to strip power away from the governor.

These colonies are designed to exist in perpetuity, rising, falling, sometimes being reborn in the ashes of former glory, sometimes being traded between empires under auspices of battleships burning in the sky, sometimes being left and forgotten only to be rediscovered in another age. All while adhering to “real” histories and significant scalability.

==Terms, Notes, & Major Processes==
Spoiler:      SHOW
I made this section, because in trying to explain these in-line, I simply made it into a confused and confusing mess. :crazy:

-Probabilistic Growth- PGROW
Earlier in development, Josh devised a way to increase skill levels for shipboard workers, where at any given moment, there is a tiny chance that the skill level of a worker would increase. I have taken this basic idea and have applied it to the Growth and Decay of the colony. PGROW values are not the rate of Growth or Decay, but the likelihood of one or the other. These values shift up and down based on the level of maintenance a district receives.

-HICUS Indexes-
Housing, Industrial, Commercial, Cultural, & Slum, or HICUS for short, are Indexes of a colony’s major sectors. They inform the blackbox processes on what portion its universal inputs and removals should occur through this colony. HICUS container size is per Dynamic District (At least at high LOD), but HICUS communication with the blackbox happens through colony entities called Groups.

-Growth and Decay- G&D
Dynamic districts are containers for HICUS Indexes. They Growth and Decay according to PGROW. “Growth” is the process by which the container grows in size beyond 0 (empty) -- “Decay” is the process where the used capacity of this container decreases and is measured by percentage.

Dynamic districts whose upkeep has been neglected Decay more often than they Growth, slowly approaching a threshold where they become Slums. If this is not rectified they eventually drop out of the colony. Slums continue to affect the colony, but the governor has very little control over them. Should Decay reach 100%, the district has been completely abandoned and is considered a “Ruin”. Ruins operate on a timer that further degrades and eventually erases the district. Slums and Ruins can be restored or harvested.

Special districts use simpler “Maintenance History” values instead of PGROW. Inadequate maintenance causes inefficiencies such as higher costs and lower outputs. These inefficiencies slowly climb, the longer and/or more severe the neglect is. At some point the district is unusable and drops out of the colony. It can also be restored with significant expense.

Groups are colony entities that act as a sort of dynamic/living resource. A colony will usually have multiple groups utilizing the same HICUS index, proportionately splitting said index and associated blackbox interactions. Groups create the bulk of the universe’s supply and demand as well as all of its money. Groups in each index have different roles, which cumulatively form a moderately realistic complexity, diversity, and sense of scale appropriate to what is supposed to be a massive economic and political entity.
H - Housing: Forms Communities
I - Industrial: Forms Firms
C - Commercial: Forms Corporations
U - Cultural: Forms Associations
S - Slum: Forms Syndicates

Communities create Citizens & Immigrants and demand Happiness, Obedience, Food & Income. Citizens are the primary resource other groups, Special districts, and the colony itself acquire and utilize to fulfill their needs. Communities have their own Culture Vectors, and Immigrants are a special type of commodity with that culture vector representing a fraction of the community’s population that wants to change locations.

Firms utilize skilled civilian labor and raw materials to create a variety of tradegoods and robot workers to place on the market. Firms also handle the extraction and bringing-to-market of mined/harvested planetary resources. (Firms do NOT create normal workers. Those come from University Special districts.)

Corporations utilize skilled civilians to create money. They ONLY exist as game balancing, buying various goods with blackbox money to control the universal money supply and remove excess goods from the market.

Associations utilize skilled civilian labor to produce cultural goods such as art or propaganda. Cultural goods carry Happiness and Obedience values to satisfy those needs in Communities. Associations are however volatile and can be extremely dangerous because artists are fickle :lol:

Syndicates create a black market to circumvent the bans on various trade and cultural goods, as well as to facilitating no-questions-asked trade for stolen (ex-nihilo) blueprints and other valuable property. They also cause corruption, unrest, and other criminal behavior detrimental to colony stability.

Civilians are the key internal resource needed for a colony to function. Civilians are produced in batches each Account Interval, each batch having statistical “Skill Desirability” SD values determined by the Happiness, Obedience, food, and income the community can obtain. Groups and Special districts try to achieve as high a sum Skill Desirability value from acquiring civilians for their Account Interval Fulfillment.

-Happiness & Obedience- H&O
Happiness and Obedience are Culture-Vector-Tagged +/- values attached to tradegoods and cultural goods that modify how Communities create civilians. Communities purchase these goods in intervals, the summed value modifying the next interval’s output. Happiness and Obedience have different effects on this civilian output. High Happiness increases the statistical mean of their Skill Desirability, but lowers the overall number of civilians produced. High Obedience increases the number, but lowers the SD mean. Goods are tagged with different culture vectors for the H&O values, which amplify their +/- effect based on the strength of the purchasing Community’s culture vector. Thus these are not mutually exclusive and allow for flexibility in allowing a culturally appropriate reliance on both or either without negative consequences.

-Account Intervals & Fulfillment- AIF
Groups do not act in real time but in Account Intervals. These intervals are time frames which allow the group to satisfy the needs defined at the beginning of each interval. These needs are based on the level of success the group had in the previous interval, this is called Account Interval Fulfillment - AIF.

AIF is the measurement of both the value and size of a group at the beginning of each Interval. Comparing the relative size of a Colony’s Groups, It is how the blackbox resources of the colony are portioned out.

-Blackbox In/Out/Rate- BBI/BBO/BBR
Blackbox mechanics appear throughout a colony, not just groups. BBI refers to a situation where the Blackbox is inputting resources into the game, BBO where it’s taking them out, and BBR where it’s adjusting production/success/growth/etc rates to simulate the natural fluctuations of life and avoid an obvious black hole for your suspension of disbelief. These will clearly need a lot of beta testing :geek:

-Visual Modifier- VMOD
I’d like to see every colony be visually unique in meaningful ways that communicate lots of information about the colony without always resorting to graphs and charts. The details will be described in Part 10, but will be tagged in-line with VMOD 1.1 ; 1.2 ; 2.1 ; 2.2, etc

-LOD & Worldgen Ideas- LWI
This global outline of Colony mechanics is way too complex without significant LOD and Worldgen compression and extrapolation, so like Visual modifiers, the details will be in Part 9, but relevant areas will be tagged in-line with LWI 1.1 ; 1.2...

This simply refers to a concept I think will need more than a little testing. These will simply be underlined. Many of these ideas can be somewhat isolated from the rest of the universe in a Testing Sandbox, and run through many iterations. :geek:
Last edited by Hyperion on Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Hyperion's Colony Outline


Someone suggested each post get its own tl;dr, so here it is for this one :lol:

Colonies exist on PCG maps with hexagonal CIV-like grids. Cores and districts are built upon each Hex tile. Districts come in 2 types: “Dynamic” which hold HICUS Indexes, growing and decaying statistically. And “Special” which are manually defined districts that come in many types, each offering different functions. Megastructures are constructions that span multiple tiles and contain both Dynamic and Manual qualities

==Map and Planetary Buildspace==
Spoiler:      SHOW
Similar to Civilization or SimCity games, Planetary buildspaces are hexagonal grids that come from a PCG extrapolation of the planet texture and other info. It’s admittedly more limiting and “gamey” than space-based construction, but greatly simplifies colonies for LOD scalability and easier management. This writeup is based on relatively Earthlike worlds, so gas giants, ice worlds, lava worlds, etc will need some tweaking, so have at it! :monkey:

The buildspace map features a unique geography, along with reasonable mineral and ecological resources(LWI 2.1) and are large enough to support enormous colonies with hundreds of Hex tiles allowing the flexibility for colonies to be both tall and/or wide.

The PCG extrapolation creates buildspace maps in a 3 stage process, Climate & Topography, Ecology types, and Mineral & Ecological Resources.
Planets have 1 or more possible Climate Types such as Humid_Temperate, Dry_Cold, etc. Each ecology type has RNG variations to get Dry_Cold_1, Dry_Cold_2, Dry_Cold_1098765, etc. Each variation is an analogy for atmospheric composition, gravity, magnetic field strength, season length, etc. but aren’t actually that complex. They are primarily for Ecology resource compatibility. Basically so that local ecological resources aren’t interchangeable for every planet (You can't have space Giraffes roaming around on an unterraformed Mars or Titan or Venusian Corn growing in the tundra unless they came from somewhere similar. :P ) If the planet has more than one Climate type, one is chosen to be the global type for the given buildspace.

The specific creation of topography is something I’m sure better designers than myself can come up with, but it would ideally correspond to the tiles, with different elevations, oceans, lakes, rivers, etc.

Ecology types are basically Terrain types from Civilization games, your basic forests and grasslands and deserts and such, selected from the global Climate type for the map and placed across the map.

Mineral resources are extrapolated from the planet’s composition and appear as deposits or veins across multiple tiles. Ecological resources come in a variety of archetypes, such as agricultural(corn), husbandry(cows), medicinal, structural(wood), luxury(incense), derivative(silk), and general(wildlife, decorative, fish, algae). The specific resources are semi-random. Each archetype is given a few possible Ecology types it can come from, and a PCG resource is created from the available terrain types on the map and is tagged with the Map’s Global Climate type. Most resources have their own Food, Happiness, and/or Obedience values for consumption and trade purposes as well.

Resources have a Max & Current quantity of available resources. Mineral resources are permanent features and regenerate to be effectively infinite. But the regeneration rate is variable, with sudden and dramatic +/- jumps to simulate the discovery or exhaustion of particular veins/deposits. Meanwhile, Ecological resources regenerate at a fairly steady rate, but can disappear permanently if completely exhausted. Harvesting of both types occurs through Special districts, which can be researched to modify the regeneration rate, extraction rate, and Max capacity of the tile. (More details below in Special Districts: Mines & Farms)

Ecological Resources can be introduced into a “Farm” district from another colony or another planet, initially only if the Ecology type is the same, but upgrades can be made to construct a bio-dome for ever greater ranges of possible resources. As an example, one could introduce agricultural resources to biodomes in a fledgeling colony for local food production to lower import demands.(LWI 2.2)
Spoiler:      SHOW
Cores are the heart and soul of Colonies. They begin as enormous and expensive modules created at assemblers/shipyards either in space or on another planet. They will need to have the materials, workers, immigrants, and facilities required to be self-sufficient on a new world.

Establishing a new colony on a freshly generated map, they unpack from their module state into a Core. Cores have small hangars, markets, anti-orbital weapons, and enough materials to create a few districts. It is however possible to leave a colony as just the single-tile core as a remote and self-sustaining outpost to act as a planted flag for later possible development. As a colony expands, these small initial modules can be replaced with buildings that increase the ability of a core to support the colony.

Colony Cores are the ownership marker of the entire colony. With the exception of Enclaves and Divided Colonies, whoever controls the Core controls the colony...mostly :shifty:

Districts cannot sustain themselves, so they must be connected back to the core which serves as the administrative and maintenance hub. Cores have a soft limit to the Upkeep they can provide, meaning that beyond a certain number or certain cumulative density of connected districts, each additional one becomes exponentially more expensive than the last. Research can improve the Growthcap and Footprint limitations on vertical and horizontal growth respectively (VMOD 2.1)

As an alternative to research and upgrades at the main Core, colonies are not limited to that single Core, they can instead install a Subcore, a less expensive and complex version of Cores. These can be imported but are usually created from within the colony and don’t come with initial hangar/market facilities and are purely administrative. Subcores primarily function as ways to expand the colony, creating additional radii of cheap Upkeep. They also serve as backups if the primary core is destroyed or captured. Of course, if a Core or Subcore is destroyed, the Upkeep burden falls to the remaining Cores, which probably can’t sustain the burden for long. ;)

It’s slightly “gamey”, but all districts and subcores must always be connected back to the primary by at least 1 Active district (See Part 3). Districts which are unconnected rapidly rot away, and Subcores slowly become politically distant before eventually splitting off into an independent colony within the same buildspace (See Part 8).
==District Basics==
Spoiler:      SHOW
Districts are infrastructure platforms, generalized objects on a tile representing the roads, powergrid, public wifi, and other basic infrastructure. Districts divide the Hex tile into a number of hardpoints called plots. Special districts have a researchable number of manually configurable hardpoints. Dynamic districts have a semi-random number (VMOD 2.2) which cannot be changed without tearing up and re-establishing the district, you get what you get :)

Districts are expensive to build and expensive to maintain (at least compared to anything in space). Construction costs are fixed-researchable at the core, but Upkeep costs dynamically-researchable rise as districts grow more dense or are further from the core. Costs are not just money, district construction and Upkeep also require Labor and Materials. Governors can over-fund a district’s upkeep beyond what is strictly necessary to spur growth, but at quickly diminishing returns

Inadequately maintained districts “Decay”, falling into disrepair and poverty (VMOD 2.3), causing increased problems and lower productivity for the colony. At a certain threshold Special districts decay and Dynamic districts rot, becoming Slums that negatively affect the colony. If districts Decay too long, they are completely abandoned and become “Ruins”.

Slums, Ruins, and Deactivated districts are not completely lost to the colony, They can be Gentrified, Restored, and Repaired, no matter how far they have fallen. Or if desired, they can be harvested for their materials. WARNING: Slums will resist gentrification, and will staunchly resist a monstrous governor that views them as so worthless they would tear down their homes for the sake of selling their roofs and walls for scrap. But then again, why not just throw the slum dwellers into slavery? :twisted: (See Part 3)
==Dynamic Districts==
Spoiler:      SHOW
Colonies are primarily composed of Dynamic districts, they are the apartment blocks, gleaming corporate towers, manufacturing plants for tradegoods, and centers of culture. They are the discrete containers for the colony’s HICUS indexes, ultimately making them the colony’s primary money faucet, and thus one of the Governor’s top priorities :)

Growing the colony’s HICUS indexes happens in 2 ways, either the establishment of new Dynamic districts, or the restructuring/rezoning of existing ones. In Dynamic districts, HICUS buildings are not placed, they sprout and grow according to the district’s zoning composition (Dedicated to 1 index or mixed* (VMOD 2.4)) and PGROW value.

Each district is a HICUS container composed of a semi-random number of hardpoints. All hardpoints in a district have identical capacities, so those with more hardpoints have a greater potential HICUS capacity (VMOD 2.5). The sum capacity of a district can only be increased with Growthcap research at the Colony Core or increased Upkeep. The HICUS Max capacity (the district’s Growthcap) for a given Upkeep level decreases exponentially the further it is from a Core. However, these Growthcaps are stackable, meaning that districts within the radius of 2 or more Cores are cheaper to maintain at a given HICUS capacity, and if close to multiple, could even have higher HICUS capacities than the defined cap of any 1 Core :) NOTE: HICUS capacity is not HICUS utilization.

Dynamic districts Growth and Decay based on PGROW (LWI 2.3). PGROW values are based on the adequacy of the maintenance a district receives. Upkeep rises with density, so for the same Upkeep a district will grow until it reaches an equilibrium for that maintenance level. The PGROW value is not the rate of Growth or Decay, but the statistical mean for the likelihood of either a Growth event or Decay event happening at any given time. PGROW>0 means more Growth than Decay, PGROW<0 means more Decay than Growth, and PGROW=0 results in minor fluctuations but long term stability :geek: The rate of G&D events is a universal BBR balancing, slowing down or speeding up their frequency. This means that over-maintaining a district doesn’t necessarily mean it will grow faster, just that it is far more likely to Growth than Decay.

*Mixed HICUS districts might not be worth the computational complexity, but that would require testing.
==Special Districts==
Spoiler:      SHOW
Special districts are for pretty much every aspect of a colony that isn’t HICUS related. They are specialized to a single purpose and have a fixed number of hardpoints, but are of course researchable. Unlike Dynamic districts, Special districts are ownable property. Some Special districts come with a “Market Connector” that give the district’s owner the option to let the public use their facilities or to keep it exclusive to themselves. All Special districts can also equip Anti-orbital defense turrets to help defend the colony from invasion. (See Part 8, Military Action)

Cores and Subcores are themselves a type of Special district. They provide a hub for colony Upkeep, and have the basic facilities required for colony operations. With these facilities, they are self-sustaining, but the facilities can be swapped out with Administrative/Upkeep expansions or Anti-orbital defense turrets.

Cores all come with a special feature, a “Jobs Market”, a colony-specific section of the market that facilitates the employment(purchase) of civilians by the rest of the colony. This is shifted to Markets after they are established.

Public-Use Districts
Colonies often have numerous instances of each type of Special district, often with multiple owners. These are consolidated into a single Map-wide interface via a toggleable Market Connector. This connector creates tabs with information about the facility, the owner, and costs of use. Colony/Enclave Markets, Spaceports, Assembly Plants, Shipyards, and Universities are all potentially Public-Use Districts.

Any colony worth mentioning lives on trade, both with space and between its Groups. Markets greatly expand the trading capacities of a colony beyond its original Core based market. A dedicated Market district with its many hardpoints offers the potential for far greater storage capacities, processing facilities to more efficiently handle different commodity types...You don’t really want to have warheads, workers, and wheat going through the same terminal, do you? Ok, maybe you do for the lulz :lol: But really, you don’t :| :| ;)

The different facilities process raw materials, trade & cultural goods, ships, weapons, modules, slav- *cough* workers and immigrants ;) and an expanded jobs market. They also attach customs centers for identifying and preventing the exchange of banned goods (See Part 7, Laws).

Privately owned Enclave markets do not have to abide by Colony import/export laws, nor does the Governor have any control over them. If somehow an Enclave comes to own all markets within a colony, the Enclave has full control over all colony trade and can go East India Company on the colony, and completely shut down all trade and civilian employment at will. This will immediately send the colony into complete chaos and is a brutally effective form of economic warfare :twisted: (See Part 8, Enclaves)

On the same level of importance as Markets, are Spaceports. Growing colonies will quickly need to grow beyond the glorified shed in the Core. Yes, the sky is open, Yes, a ship could theoretically land anywhere, but nothing really compares to a well equipped spaceport with an army of people and vehicles taking cargo between your hold and its impressive storage areas and passenger terminals. Also, ‘tis the will of teh Josh :monkey:

As Public-Use, commercial districts, they do 3 things very well: they take care of cargo, they take care of passengers, and they take care of ships :geek: :ghost: . Their hardpoints can be outfitted with hangars, repair facilities, and Passenger (worker & immigrant) terminals. These aren’t “required” they just greatly expand their volumes.

As Private, non-market districts, they can be used for both corporate and/or military purposes. Attachments like drone bays, ammunition assemblers, anti-orbital turrets, etc… These attachments don’t actually require the district to be private, afterall the only real difference between a commercial and military spaceport is how many guns are attached ;)

Similar to Markets, an Enclave which somehow controls all spaceports can have a stranglehold on the colony.

Assembly Plants
You know those assemblers in space? Assembly Plants are basically just a whole bunch of them in a single place :ghost: . They do however also have enormous storage capacities and refineries/recyclers to turn the many raw materials in the universe into the stuff you need to make your desired toy en masse. A fully equipped and stocked Assembly Plant has everything you need to take raw ores and/or scraps and turn it into a beautiful battleship capable of striking fear into any would-be Warlord out in the depths of uncivilized space (Some assembly required…ironically :lol: )

If the Plant is Public-Use, Players and NPCs can either purchase made-to-order parts from blueprints the Plant already has, or they can BYOB(bring your own blueprint) and rent out a couple assemblers. An Assembly Plant won’t always have the more exotic/expensive materials your blueprint needs to be made, so they also offer a service where the Assembly Plant will place an order on the Market for you, letting you go off and do your thing and wait for a message saying the materials were purchased and your part is ready… with the added cost of materials and an additional expense of course :P

Industrial Firms also use Assembly Plants. No, tradegoods don’t actually need assemblers, but this gives the illusion that they do :geek: and gives the owner an income stream even if no players are actually using it.

You have your pile-o-parts fresh from the assembly plant, but the assemblers just aren’t large enough to put those modules together as a ship. You need a shipyard.

Like Assembly Plants, they will come stocked with parts, or you can bring your own. You can buy upgrades, or build a new ship from scratch (ideally this would open up a ship-designer window). The shipyard will throw together a variety of PCG ships with the parts in stock, built to your parameters.... or you can, you know, custom design every detail yourself if you are so inclined. Shipyards are composited by owner and accessible through a unified interface, so you have not only the parts at that particular shipyard, but any Public-Use shipyard on the map, additional fees may apply ;) .

Spaceports are way too busy to be storing a bunch of unused ships, so Shipyards are also the place where ships go into storage. Be warned, failure to pay the storage fees for the shipyard forfeits your ship, and the shipyard may put it up for sale, or tear it apart for its components, whichever is more profitable.

Universities: centers of learning, research, prestige, and debauchery ;)

Those research modules on ships and stations? Cute. Universities are to research, what Assembly Plants are to assemblers… A giant cluster of them in a single spot :P But universities are more than that, they prepare the civilian populations of colonies to take on the trillions of jobs throughout the colony and the universe -- in other words, Universities turn Civilians into Workers.

Like Assembly Plants, Universities rent out their Research modules, or do research on whatever their owner wants. Second, every University in a colony will raise the Skill Desirability mean of all Communities throughout the colony. Third, they turn civilians into workers at University-specific modules called Schools.

Universities have many hardpoints, typically divided between research modules and schools. We know what research modules do, so enough about that :ghost: Schools though, Schools are the product of Research, where occasionally instead of stat changes, Research will result in a School for that branch of technology. Schools are dead-ends for research and cannot be upgraded or advanced, but they enable a University to convert civilians into Workers with significant skill in that particular branch of the tech tree.

This means that research on mining equipment can occasionally create a School for the production of mineworkers; research on reactor cores can create a school for reactor-core workers; “research” on intoxicants can create a frat :roll: :shifty: . Up to now, Workers just randomly appeared out of the void with random skills. Universities allow their owners to produce the kinds of workers they want, and not force everyone to jump through and scour 15 goddamn systems to eventually find a decent pilot that spawned on some backwater :monkey: This doesn’t however mean that a School derived from your super-advanced Death Ray produces the best laser tag players that ever were, just that it can produce laser weapon specialists.

Like everything else in a colony that acquires Civilians, Sum Skill-Desirability affects output. Each School produces a graduating class with a BBR of workers from its different Schools. So a University which acquires civilians with a higher Sum SD produces workers of a higher initial skill level; Happier and more Obedient colonies thus produce higher skilled workers (LWI 2.4).

And oh yeah, they can also attach turrets because MOAR turrets :twisted:

Supply Center
A Supply Center is a Core Lite. It lowers maintenance costs and slows Decay for nearby districts when it is well stocked. These are primarily large storage centers for the colony and can attach Upkeep modifiers, and turrets. LET THERE BE TURRETS! :ghost: These are effective at allowing small footprint expansions, or supporting larger populations in a small area.

A special function of Supply Centers is that they have a chance to spontaneously become Cores. This chance is related to how far it is from a Core, the further away, the higher the chance. The new Core belongs to whomever owned the Supply Center, so if it was privately owned, the colony divides (See Part 8). If the colony has no Cores and has been “Eliminated” (See Part 3), The supply center is by definition infinitely far from a Core and may become the center for a new and independent polity.

Mines & Farms
If you wanna build a colony, you have to get the resources from somewhere. The most cost effective way will almost always be to get it locally. Buildspaces have various mineral and ecological resources, and colonies can both easily and quickly dwarf the production of their space based competitors.

Mines aren’t exactly complicated structures, they’re big holes in the ground with equipment, workers and civilians; Resources come out and the owner hopes to get rich. You can technically build a mine anywhere on the map, but it’s really only effective/profitable to do so on a vein/deposit; all hex tiles will result in some variety of the mineralogical resources the planet has to offer, but unless you’re on a vein/deposit, the quantity will be...will make space miners laugh at you :lol: . However, a single, simple, mismanaged mine on a vein/deposit will rival an entire, fully exploited asteroid zone, and a single dedicated mining colony (colony, not planet, colony) may have hundreds of mines and have a greater resource output than if every asteroid in the system was fully exploited.

Farms? Farms are basically mines for plants and animals and other things that grow on the planet’s surface. They’re also pretty simple, Place a farm on a tile with an Ecological resource, send in some civilians and workers, and begin to harvest. I’m calling them Farms, but this doesn’t just mean food-crops like space corn...Trees? Tree Farm. Horses? Horse Farm. Flowers that you think are disgusting but an alien species can’t get enough of? Smelly Flower Farm. Soylent Green? People Farm. A Farm produces any Ecological resource that can grow on that planet. And if converted into a biodome, can grow pretty much anything.

These are not the sorts of plowed fields of ancient times with rows upon rows of plants growing in dirt. No, these are large and highly sophisticated, infinitely-upgradable centers of organic production. They can produce vast quantities of organic goods that have been grown to perfection. However, Ecological resources are still finite, and if they are harvested completely, that resource is gone from that tile for good, and the district is worse than useless until another resource is introduced to it. Most, but not all Farms will be producing a resource with some Food Value. Any decently sized colony will want to have some number of farms for Food security at the very least, because without Food...bye-bye colony.

Mines and Farms have a somewhat unusual ownership model. If they are privately owned, it’s straightforward, the owner controls the district and gets the resulting materials. But if the colony owns the district, the colony’s Industrial Firms (See Part 5) “own” them. They are upgraded periodically, and their resources are consolidated and then distributed proportionately to the Firms, which then put the resources on the market. Slightly “gamey” and unintuitive, I know… if you have a better idea I’d like to hear it. :monkey:

Mines are effectively infinite, and Farms can be infinite if managed well. While upgrades can increase their regeneration rate, output rate, and Max capacity, their regeneration rate is still fundamentally adjusted by a blackbox variable. Like everything else with the Blackbox of game balancing, it’s entirely possible to have a mine with the output of a dozen smaller, less advanced mines. This definitely rewards the player/npc/colony that owns this mine, but on the grander scale, nothing has changed.

Greater outputs from 1 mine will reduce the outputs of other mines throughout the universe so that the game remains balanced. This is imperceptibly small, and could rationally be attributed to normal variations, but should a large mining colony be destroyed several systems away, an omniscient observer would notice the suspiciously timed discovery of rich new veins in dozens of mines throughout the nearby systems. :geek:

Most everything in LT is fully modular, and colonies need at least some component to be just as customizable. As a mix between Special and Dynamic districts, Blank districts come with a semi-random number of hardpoints (Non-researchable :ghost: ) that can attach any planet-capable module or building.

These are not public-use districts and don’t have market connectors, they are just big pieces of land where their owner can build whatever they desire.

Monuments & Faction Headquarters
Monuments and Faction Headquarters are SPECIAL Special districts. Their effects are primarily off-world, not within the colony itself.

We don’t know much about the reputation system or Faction Ownership and Management, so it’s hard to say just how they work. I wouldn’t suggest that Monument and Headquarters can ONLY be built in colonies, but given a colony’s clear economic strength, it would be a special circumstance where Factions don’t want to build here.

My one suggestion is that they can only be built in colonies owned by that faction, that there can be no enclave Faction headquarters.

Other than that, :monkey:

Archaeological Ruins
Ruins are the other SPECIAL Special district. They’re SPECIAL Special because they can’t actually be established, they can only be found. It will be highly unusual for an Archaeological ruin to form when the colony that originally established it is still alive, these are mostly the remains of older colonies from possibly extinct empires.

Some point after a district is completely abandoned and is a Ruin, it converts to an Archaeological Ruin. These cannot be recovered like normal districts, they have no hardpoints, no plots, and can only be excavated or harvested. Once excavated, they can become an Archaeological museums, aka Space Pompeii :ghost:
Spoiler:      SHOW
Megastructures are sort of like districts, they’re just larger, usually MUCH larger. Megastructures are constructions that span multiple tiles. There is no set plan for a megastructure, they can be anything and everything, the whole colony could in theory be contained in a single gigantic megastructure.

Megastructures are researchable objects, which gain footprint tiles and how many hardpoints per tile. A megastructure can cover a single tile or it can cover a thousand if the research has been sufficient. Megastructures can have their many many hardpoints divided up just like Dynamic districts can, but they have the additional ability to make special districts by assigning blocks of hardpoints to that district. Meaning that schools or hangars or shipyards, or even a core can all attach to this uberstructure. Mines? Notsomuch :roll:

Megastructures are visually dynamic, but in a different way than everything else. Other buildings are altered by the composition of a colony, but Megastructures are affected only by the number of tiles they cover and the culture which made it. For example, if it covers one tile, it might be shaped like an obelisk, if it covers 2 it becomes a giant torus protruding out of the ground, if it’s 3 tiles, it becomes a cone, 4 tiles and it’s a pyramid, etc. With each additional tile, the structure grows larger, and it’s hardpoints multiply.

Megastructures are enormous constructions, whose only rival in space would likely be jumpgates, and even then it depends on the size of the wormhole. And of course these enormous constructions come with enormous costs for construction and maintenance.

Once complete, the structure no longer grows. For portions of the megastructure which have dynamic HICUS “suites”, PGROW is more a form of how much of the available space they are using. They are still subject to Growth and Decay, and have the same gameplay mechanics. The difference here is that there is no hard “district” definition. Instead the whole structure is treated as a gigantic district, where increasing the PGROW is simply that much more expensive and receives that many more G&D events in a given timeframe than a normal district based on its tile footprint.

Megastructures are fixed objects once built, you can’t add hardpoints, you can’t increase the growthcaps, you can't make expansions later on, built is built. They can however be damaged and destroyed, collapsing in on themselves into gigantic piles of rubble that are very costly to repair or rebuild. Damaged megastructures can still be occupied, and can even be partially abandoned, eliminating the proportional # of hardpoints and subjecting them to slumming and Decay.

Additionally, megastructures do something to the colony map itself. For however many tiles a megastructure is, when a colony is completely abandoned and in ruins, it multiplies the timer for the memory purge of that colony map by an equal amount. So say if a normal colony that has been destroyed stays in memory for 24 hours of play-time. If that same colony had a megastructure with 5 tiles, it will last 120 play hours. Megastructures are afterall huge objects that take a very long time to decay. The pyramids aren’t going anywhere soon...unless :shh: . This allows explorers and pioneers to establish a new colony atop and among the ruins of a long dead one. Most of the other districts will have been erased as their timers ran out, but the megastructure can more readily be rebuilt and inhabited while they build a new colony
Note: I didn’t have time tonight to finish the VMOD and LWI descriptions for this section, you’ll just have to wait :P
Last edited by Hyperion on Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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
Beauty may not save the world, but it's the only thing that can

Re: Hyperion's Colony Outline


==Abandonment & Recovery==
Spoiler:      SHOW
Abandonment is the shedding of districts from a colony. Should a governor decide that an existing district isn’t worth the Upkeep, they can just stop maintaining it. It’s just that simple :) . The district will immediately begin to succumb to decay until it drops out of the colony, becoming a Slum or Deactivated depending on its type. Megastructures can also be partially or completely abandoned in per-tile chunks, this will remove a fraction of the hardpoints (based on hardpoint/tile tech level of the structure) which decay and become Slums.

The Governor can later reoccupy the district or megastructure tile just as simply as abandoning it by once again paying for its Upkeep. Deactivated districts will require an Upkeep investment proportional to their level of decay. Slums, when Upkeep is restored, will once again have a >0 PGROW value, the Decay % slowly dropping, with the speed dependant on level of investment. Slums will not return to an activated status until their Decay % falls below the same threshold at which they fell out. Slums require a balanced level of reinvestment to avoid problems, as if the Upkeep is too low, it will never fully recover, if it is too high it will be considered Gentrification and will cause resentment and Unrest ( See Part 7, Laws & Enforcement)

When the Decay % of a District is high enough, it will be be cheaper to harvest it for materials. The quantity of materials which can be captured from a district is dependant on the # of hardpoints used for Special districts, Growth level for Dynamic districts, and Decay % ; The higher the Decay % the fewer materials, obviously :P . Both require an investment of time, labor, and money to harvest, but Slums present the additional problem of Unrest. Slum dwellers will fiercely resist the harvesting of their district, and the lower the Decay %, the more Colony Unrest it will cause.

Megastructures can also be recovered or harvested, but it will generally be cheaper and easier to repair a megastructure than to harvest it.
Spoiler:      SHOW
Slums are districts full of poor people, if that wasn’t obvious :| . Now I’m not making a judgement on people living in real life slums, but they exist for a simple reason. Those in charge of the money decide that poor people are less worthy of public funds, so they have a harder struggle for success, creating a vicious (and usually racist/xenophobic) cycle. Slums in LT are similar.

For whatever reason, a district sometimes becomes more trouble than it’s worth, or perhaps the colony is short on funds and there’s just not enough to go around. Because each district has its own Upkeep budget (See Part 7, Budget), the Governor can lower the Upkeep towards particular districts individually, or for all districts throughout a colony. If done for a short time, this won’t usually cause problems (unless the cuts are drastic). However, this lowers the PGROW of Dynamic districts and efficiency of Special districts and Decay events will occur more frequently throughout the underfunded districts. While the other 4 Indexes of HICUS are based on Growth, Slums are based on Decay. Slum growth isn’t limited to Housing index Decay, but comes from all 4, and can thus be theoretically be the largest Index in the colony (LWI 3.1).

The Slum Index doesn’t necessarily mean you have Slum Districts, as districts have a tolerance for Decay % (just because not every office or apartment has a tenant doesn’t make the place a slum)(VMOD 3.1). Dynamic districts “fall out” of the colony and become Slums after crossing this tolerance threshold (~30%), meaning that their HICUS containers no longer contribute to the Colony Net HICUS, and the Governor can only control Upkeep levels, or decide to Harvest it. The Slum index continues to rise until it maxes out at ~75-80% before sharply dropping off as even the poorest people can't live there anymore. The Slum will contribute to the index until the most stubborn people leave the collapsing district at 100% Decay when it becomes a Ruin. Presumably some person was killed by their ceiling collapsing on top of them or something and the last few residents decided it wasn’t worth it to stay there any longer :lol: :| You're a horrible person for laughing at tragedy, shame on you!.

Though they are not under the Governor’s control, Slums still affect the colony and are highly reliant upon it. They are still subject to PGROW, and since they are not receiving [sufficient] Upkeep from the governor, they will start taking it from adjacent districts which are still active, lowering their PGROW values as well. This Upkeep theft is dependant on how many adjacent districts are active and how large the Slum’s Growth container is compared to its neighbors. Each active district distributes the PGROW loss, and creates a higher “Ceiling” that limits the slum's Decay %. Slum districts require at least 1 adjacent active colony district to keep from completely collapsing to 100% Decay and becoming Ruins (VMOD 3.2). This PGROW and Upkeep theft can very quickly result in slums expanding and eating away at the whole colony.

Like other HICUS indexes, when the Slum index reaches incremental thresholds, it forms groups called Syndicates (See Part 5, Syndicates). Syndicates do not require the colony to have Slum districts, just a sufficient Slum index value.
==Elimination & Rebirth==
Spoiler:      SHOW
Elimination is a specific term for colonies. It doesn’t mean the colony has been destroyed or that there aren’t still people and groups living there. It means that there are no intact Cores in that colony; the colony has no owner, no Governor, and most importantly, the districts are receiving NO Upkeep (LWI 3.2). This is in effect no different than Abandonment, the colony is slowly collapsing as PGROW has shifted far into the negative, all PGROW events are Decay, and the HICUS indexes are shrinking, except for the Slum index which is skyrocketing (before its eventual collapse too).

Special districts continue to function, but slowly lose efficiency, the Markets and Spaceports are still active (assuming they still stand), Groups continue to function but slowly fail, and Communities begin producing large numbers of Immigrants in a desperate attempt to get out before it’s too late (See Part 5, Communities). The other Groups will go down with the ship :twisted: .

Enclaves are not maintained by the Core but by their owners, so they are initially unaffected by this state of affairs (See Part 8, Enclaves). Whatever Special districts or Groups were owned by the colony or Governor are now free for the taking and resident Enclaves are sure to capture them for themselves :D . In doing so, Enclaves can continue to keep a colony functioning without a Core for quite some time as they restock the Supply Centers, export resources, keep the Markets, Assembly Plants, and Universities open, etc. This is a limited solution that can’t last forever, Supply Centers are not Cores, their ability to maintain districts is limited and will simply slow the Decay in small pockets. If the Housing index falls to the point where there aren’t enough Civilians and the Enclaves can no longer sustain their operations, they too will have to start to abandon the colony and forfeit all their assets.

An Eliminated colony is not inevitably doomed, a new Core can be brought in either by the original owner or the conquering power...or perhaps an Enclave or maybe even some lucky random bastard that just so happened to have a Core module and just so happened to be in the area ;) . There’s also the possibility that a Supply Center (or maybe several) might spontaneously become a new Core, and the colony becomes a Phoenix :D , rising from the ashes as a new and independent power. Small colonies not even big enough for a Supply Center are likely doomed, but very large colonies with numerous Supply Centers will quite likely have at least one Phoenix Core before the colony collapses (LWI 3.3).

However, unless a new Core is installed/appears shortly after the old one was destroyed, the Decay % of the districts will make restoring them extremely expensive and very difficult. If the Dynamic districts have all become Slums and the Special districts deactivated, the restoration of the colony will be a money pit for quite some time. At high levels of Decay, it may simply be cheaper to let it die and then rebuild from the ruins. NOTE: When a colony has been Eliminated, there is a time window where high levels of Upkeep in Slums are not considered Gentrification

Ruins are perfectly fine places to establish a colony, whether it’s the capital of an empire so old it was widely considered a fable, or recent enough that you recognize the dusty Totally-Not-Coca-Cola advertisements. Doing so costs a lot of time, money, labor, and materials, but it can definitely be done. The ruins are themselves rich and easily accessible sources of building materials, but the older the ruins, the fewer materials you can harvest from them (LWI 3.4).

A colony which was completely abandoned and is a ruined city is essentially a colony where every district is an “Archaeological Ruins” Special district, a district which as described in Part 2, can be harvested for materials or turned into museums and “Monument” Special districts.
Last edited by Hyperion on Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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
Beauty may not save the world, but it's the only thing that can

Re: Hyperion's Colony Outline


Someone suggested each post get its own tl;dr, so here it is for this one :lol:

Groups are entities that hide the majority of Blackbox mechanisms in the LT universe. They work mostly with each other, resulting in a close-to-zero sum interaction while still creating the essential diversity and scale in supply and demand to establish a near-real representation of an enormous number of economic actors without the need for a bleeding edge quantum computer circa 2025. :monkey:

Spoiler:      SHOW
A Group is like a fruit tree, if it gets what it needs, it will grow and produce fruit, if it doesn’t, it will shrivel up and die. Groups grow and contract in two ways, Block and Share.

Blocks are the number of groups a colony can support. Each group takes up a certain Block of its HICUS index and as the index grows beyond these Block thresholds, a new Group forms. Likewise, Groups fold if the index falls below that Block threshold, starting with the weakest; the colony’s index is insufficient to support that number of Groups anymore.

Share is the economic size of any particular group in relation to the other groups in that index in that colony. Share determines what % of the colony’s relevant Blackbox interactions occur through that particular group. Just as Index size is a measure of the colony’s prosperity as a whole, Share is a measure of that particular Group’s success.

Each Group type produces and consumes a number of goods, most/all of which are exchanged with other groups. A community will produce civilians and demand money, a corporation will produce money* and buy civilians. These inputs and outputs are all interconnected, and for the vast majority of a group’s demands, another group within the colony can satisfy them. This means that the overwhelming majority of market activity is the black box spawning money in one group, goods in another, and trading those between the two Groups to satisfy their AIF, deleting the goods at the end of the Account interval. These many many trades can be shown on the market interface, at least when the player is looking, but it can probably be vastly simplified for when it’s a background process.

So at any point, there is a very large volume of trade in many diverse goods, but since almost all of it is just a temporary token groups exchange with each other, only a small fraction of that will go out into space… Unless of course some of the goods being produced in the colony become in high demand on another world :squirrel:

*Corporations only produce money and only buy things, they are the source of all money in the universe. More on that in Part 5.

==Account Intervals and Account Interval Fulfillment==
Spoiler:      SHOW
Groups operate by Account Intervals, blocks of time that allow them to sell what they’ve produced and acquire what they demand. Their success in this is their Account Interval Fulfillment, AIF (LWI 4.1). A Group’s AIF in one interval will define their Share in the next interval. Share growth or contraction is weighted as a fraction of the difference between the past two AIF.

Account Interval Fulfillment is a single value, but it is a composite of different factors for each Group type, and each element having a different weight for that index’s AIF requirements.

If the index remains the same, AIF differences between groups result in a zero-sum cannibalization of the Blackbox allocations by the most successful groups. If the index grew over the course of that interval, the variations will probably still result in some cannibalization, but the absolute allocations will be higher for all groups that they would have been otherwise. The inverse is true if the index shrank. Since LT is a living and chaotic creature, Stable Account Intervals will be rather uncommon.

==Happiness & Obedience==
Spoiler:      SHOW
Happiness and Obedience are +/- values attached to tradegoods and cultural goods that modify how Communities within a colony create civilians. Beyond money and food, Communities will purchase these goods to satisfy their AIF. The Net H&O value accumulated over the interval will change the quality of the next interval’s civilian output.

“Happiness” and “Obedience” have different effects on civilians. Happiness increases the statistical mean of Skill Desirability, but lowers the overall number of civilians produced. Obedience increases the number, but reduces the SD mean.

Communities have their own Culture Vectors, and H&O values for goods come in a selection of those same Vector Flavors. Vector Flavors magnify the H&O value a particular good has on a particular community. For Example:
  • Joshflakes Cereal has +5 Happiness, -3 Obedience, with a Creativity Vector Flavor.
    So in a Community with -10 Creativity, every unit of Joshflakes will result in -50 Happiness and +30 Obedience.
    While in a community with +75 Creativity, each unit results in +375 happiness and -225 Obedience.
My example has 1 Vector flavor per good, but if more Flavors and H&O values can be reasonably added, I’d say go for it, I’d love to see goods with [+10H-2O,Creative][-4H-1O,Aggressive][+6H+3O,Social], it would make the potential impacts of the same good wildly different on different cultures.

A community can have low levels of one or the other and still function relatively well, but with low levels of both, its civilians are absolute crap. Their Skill Desirability is very low and so they are the least likely to be hired because most of them are useless. Should the net H&O values be negative though… This causes Unrest (See Part 7)

Groups are dumb. Communities are dumb. They’ll purchase a random selection of whatever is available and they can afford. So if your culture has a particularly extreme culture vector, than a product with that same vector flavor with a high opposite value, that product is extremely dangerous to your communities and thus your colony. These sorts of products are why colonies institute Bans (See Part 7)... and why Enclaves and the Black Market may offer ways to get around those bans (See Part 8)... Banned goods can fetch a nice surcharge ;)

==Group Ownership==
Spoiler:      SHOW
Groups form spontaneously when the colony’s HICUS grows beyond a certain threshold, initially they are independant and unowned, working only for their own interest. However, with the exception of communities, they can be purchased for their Share value of the colony’s HICUS (proceeds going to the blackbox). Groups are attached to a colony like a barnacle and cannot be removed from it, or its operations expand beyond it.

Groups can be purchased either by the colony owner (Nationalization), or by a private individual/faction (Enclave). Ownership by an individual/faction is one of the two ways enclaves can be formed, the other being the ownership of a Special District. Ownership gives the owner 3 controls over the group: Deciding their financial cut of the Interval revenue - deciding the portion of goods produced must be traded with entities under the same owner vs those that can be traded with anyone - and prohibiting trade with particular entities. Ownership does not grant the owner the ability to merge groups, or control the object or quantity of production. As a side note, group ownership is a good middle step from being a small time trader to being one of the big boys.

Groups, owned or unowned have their production tied to the colony’s HICUS-Blackbox interactions. What’s different is that unowned groups have a single hidden bank account which divides itself each interval by Group Share, while owned groups have their finances in a sub-portion of a player/faction’s bank account called an Enclave Account. Enclave accounts are unified for all owned Enclave-type assets, on any colony, anywhere in the universe.

In regard to Enclave groups, while groups themselves cannot be merged, they can be unified under a single “Brand”, though this is really just an aesthetic distinction. This is similar to how Samsung is actually a conglomerate of 78 companies in a dozen countries, with each maintaining a level of functional independence while ultimately under the leadership of a single group of people at the top. (Also, holy shit Samsung makes Tanks :| and owns a theme park :shock: )

Strategically, Group ownership is often the front lines of economic wars, as when Enclaves grow large enough to be self-sustaining from internal-only trade, they are the single greatest economic threat a colony can face short of a full-on blockade. Colonies very literally live on the trade between their groups, not only for the taxes groups pay, but for the flow of goods and employment needs of all groups in the colony. Internal-only trading can choke off this flow and can crash non-Enclave groups, sabotaging their ability to meet their AIF needs.

To combat an Enclave takeover, Groups can be purchased by the colony owner. This is functionally identical to an Enclave, with the exception that Nationalized Groups will never try to sabotage the AIF of unowned groups, and nationalized groups can be subsidized with colony funds to give them an AIF advantage.

Note, a colony governor who is not also the colony owner can purchase groups in their own name, this is itself an Enclave, and is a great way to fund the seeds of rebellion against the owner :twisted:
Last edited by Hyperion on Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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
Beauty may not save the world, but it's the only thing that can

Re: Hyperion's Colony Outline


Communities - Where Culture Vectors come from, where workers come from, where players/NPCs come from, produce civilians that work in the colony and immigrants that transfer pops and CVs to new places.
Corporations - Spawn money, hire civilians, buy pretty much anything and everything
Firms - Produce tradegoods, funnel materials from mines and farms to the market, hire civilians, buy raw materials.
Associations - Produce cultural goods (aka art/propaganda), hire civilians, occasionally buy stuff
Syndicates - Steal $ from the colony, cause unrest, form/expand the black market, get goods/ships ex nihilo from the black box to sell, start gang wars, can become an NPC.

Spoiler:      SHOW
The culture vector of a given colony is the aggregate average of its various communities, each of which deviate slightly from this average. NPCs come from communities, not the colony as a whole. This only affects which culture vector their individual personality deviates from. Communities will occasionally shift their Culture Vectors, representing either a gradual or punctuated cultural evolution within the colony.

Communities, as arguably the most important group type, have a lot of demands in order to be satisfied and thus useful. First and foremost, they demand food. Whether produced locally or imported, ensuring all of a colony’s communities are consistently well fed is a critical responsibility for the governor. Impeding and blockading the import of Professor Oat’s Poca-dex Crunchies: Crunchy Delicious Copyright Infringement GoodnessTM will provoke a military response, provided the colony is capable of it :twisted: . It’s quite possible that the most common commodity in interplanetary trade is food, and that a lot of the space infrastructure and contracts colonies put up will be to facilitate quick and safe deliveries along these “Grain Lanes”

Unlike other groups, Communities require tradegoods and cultural goods to satisfy a Happiness & Obedience requirement to produce high quality Civilians. As described in Section 5-1, Groups are dumb, and each Community will indiscriminately buy a wide variety of goods on the local markets, including any black or enclave owned markets. A clean, well-regulated colony will have relatively stable Communities, however if the black market is thriving, or an enclave is bringing in banned goods, Communities are subject to wild fluctuations. However, in even the cleanest, most well-regulated economy, an artist can produce a profound or profoundly awful work, causing a sudden spike or crash in H&O. Communities also want to have as many of their civilians as possible to be employed by the other entities of the colony. A Community will be fine if a few civilians can’t find work, but if after several intervals the Community struggles to get its civilians employed, it will lose money, members, and become unhappy very quickly.

A colony’s overall health and prosperity also affects the behavior of its Communities. If the level of Decay is growing or the Housing index is falling, Communities don’t become unhappy, far worse… they start looking for somewhere else to live, they become Emigrants. When a colony is in enough disrepair that it starts to produce Emigrants, a random Community is selected and a portion of its population is converted to the special commodity known as Emigrants, lowering the colony’s Housing index. Emigrants go onto the market and will pay ships to take them offworld to another colony with similar Culture Vectors. NOTE: If a colony is under orbital bombardment, blockade, or a defensive battle is occuring close to the planet, Emigrants will appear in droves as the colony evacuates.


Civilians are very simple entities that exist only to be hired by the colony’s Groups and Special Districts. Based on their Share of the Housing index, Communities will produce Civilians each Account Interval. Civilians come with a skill level derived from the Community of origin’s H&O levels, specifically each Community will create civilians with skills along a bell curve, and the H&O levels determine the mean point of that bell curve.


While Communities directly produce both NPCs and Civilians, they do not produce Workers. Instead, Workers come from Universities, being “hired” by the University and then trained in its Schools. The quality of a University’s graduating Workers are dependant on the quality of the Civilians it acquired. Perhaps ironically, a colony’s Groups will not use these Workers, they are solely for being hired out in space.

Spoiler:      SHOW
Firms represent the manufacturing sector of a colony, and serve 2 functions within it. They produce Trade Goods, and they facilitate the harvesting of planetary resources.

Firms come in a number of manually defined Archetypes, such as “Industrial Electronics” “Scientific Electronics” “Consumer Electronics” “Medicine” “Hand Tools” “Personal Protection” and so on. The archetype mainly affects the naming convention of the trade goods the Firm produces. These goods are of no use to ships or stations except as trade commodities, instead they have an H&O score that affects Communities. Trade goods have relatively small H&O scores, and so will need to be acquired in bulk to have a significant effect on a community. Each Firm produces a handful of different Trade goods in quantities dependant on its Industrial index Share. Occasionally a Firm will change up its product line, staying within it’s Archetype.

The creation of trade goods requires materials, so Firms will buy various raw materials off the market and will be among the more prominent customers for off-world resources. However Firms can also acquire resources locally, depending on the number of public Mines and Farms in the colony. They will take a certain amount of these resources for themselves, and put the surplus planetary resources on the market. All firms have access to the public mines and farms, and the portion of planetary resources they acquire each interval is dependant on their Industrial index Share. Like other Groups, they will hire the highest quality/quantity Civilians they can afford. This directly affects the quantity of trade goods the Firm produces in the next interval.

Uniquely, Firms will hire out Assemblers throughout the colony. These assemblers don't actually make anything, but this serves as a way to give the impression that these assemblers are in constant use as well as being a way to transfer money to the Assembly Plant's owner.

Spoiler:      SHOW
Corporations are the simplest Group type, they produce money and buy stuff on the market, that’s it.

A Corporation will receive a quantity of BBI money proportional to its Share of the Commercial index, the Colony’s total HICUS score, and black box balancing. It will then use this money to hire Civilians and buy goods off the market. It will try to acquire the best/most civilians it can afford, primarily to transfer money to the Communities, but also to maximize their AIF. The goods a Corporation will buy are quite random, it will just as likely buy raw materials, trade goods, cultural goods, components, or ships, so long as it’s on the market. However as Corporations are the Groups most strongly controlled by the Black Box, they will adjust their purchases to maintain the desired volume of a particular good in the region.

As Corporations are not affected by H&O scores, but will still buy goods with them, Corporations can serve as an effective H&O stabilizer.

Spoiler:      SHOW
A great leader, or perhaps a horrible one, said that the key to a happy colony is bread and circuses. Well if money is the bread and Corporations provide the money, Associations provide the circus. On the surface, Cultural Associations may seem to the be most useless group, and if you’re some space-mining magnate who only cares about ore and mining equipment, you’re right, they’re pretty useless. If however you are the governor of a colony, Associations are a desperately necessary component to keeping your colony afloat.

Associations represent artists and produce Cultural goods, which are nearly identical to Trade goods, except they are produced in far smaller quantities and have much more extreme H&O scores. For example a Trade good may have a score of +5 H, -4 O, while a Cultural good might have a score of +281 H -9805 O.

Each Association will produce only a single type of Cultural good, and will change what it produces based on how well it sells. If a Cultural good is selling well, the Association will continue to produce it for a long time, if/when sales fall, the chances it will change production rises. If the Association has been acquiring high quality Civilians the new product will have different, but similar H&O values and maintain the same H&O Vector Flavor; If the Association can’t acquire high quality civilians, the Vector Flavor is likely to change and the H&O score will have a reduced magnitude.

And just because artists are weird, there is also a small chance that a random Association will change and produce a new good with semi-random Vector Flavors and a VERY high magnitude H&O score, regardless of other factors :ghost:

Spoiler:      SHOW
Syndicates are the Group type a colony governor dreads to see as they cause nothing but problems and headaches.

Stemming from a colony’s Slum index, Syndicates represent the various criminals in the colony. Like other Group types, Syndicates hire Civilians off the market, the higher the quality/quantity of whom it can acquire, the more effective they are in their operations. Syndicates steal small amounts of money from other Groups, stir up unrest that lowers the H&O of Communities, create a black market, and if there are multiple Syndicates in a colony can start a gang war that can wreak havoc across multiple districts.

Colonies begin without a black market, and are only created when the Slum index rises high enough to form a Syndicate. The more Syndicates in a colony, the larger the Black market can become and the more goods it receives ex-nihilo from the Black box each Account interval. Not only can the black market be a way to import banned goods into the colony, but the Black market itself can issue assassination contracts on particular NPCs or even specific Workers. These hit jobs aren't based on the opinion of the colony owners/governors but represent the idea that sometimes people just want someone else dead.

A gang war is where the interactions of multiple Syndicates in a colony spill out into the open and can seriously destabilize a colony by drastically lowering the H&O of various Communities, and the AIF of Firms and Corporations as well as causing the maintenance costs of multiple districts to skyrocket until the war is over. The more Syndicates exist within a colony, the more frequent and more Severe gang wars become. The only way to stop a gang war is via Law Enforcement (See Part 7).

As Syndicates primarily reside in the Slums, they can take advantage of the fact that Slums can occasionally form a new Core, dividing the colony and creating a hostile player within the colony, that can only be defeated via military action.
Last edited by Hyperion on Thu May 03, 2018 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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