Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

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Re: Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

Post by Iceman » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:13 am

First let me say that you have an interesting project here.There's a few interesting ideas.

Here are some thoughts.Some are rather obvious, and I'm pretty sure most of them should be in your todo list already, but I thought I should post them anyway.


There's an older version of the manual in the Assets folder, should probably delete it? Maybe create a folder for documentation, if there's going to be more of it?

Maybe move the savegames to a dedicated folder too? And give the saves meaningful names, like the race, date, etc.

The main menu where you choose your civ, needs to be more intuitive, like already mentioned.
Also, the Lyrans cannot be set to Human? Is that intended?

ALT+TAB'ing is not possible, the screen goes black (DirectDraw issue) - that's a pain.

There's no retire, you have to quit and start a new game whenever you want to try another race.

Loading a savegame produced a blank game.

It'd be nice if F1~F5 would toggle the respective screens.
It'd be really nice if the rest of the F* keys could be remapped, to keep the load/save keys together, and separated from the empire management keys:
F6 -> F10 (load/save)
F9 -> F11 (load/save)
F11 -> F6 (empire management)

Starting conditions could be improved. An excessive number of farms, and all pop assigned to them. No ships. Etc.


That's about half my list, but I have to go now. I'll post the rest later. The more important stuff.
Good job so far!

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Re: Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

Post by Iceman » Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:09 am

Some more stuff:

The planet images in the system panel, could they be made larger? They're too small (the smaller ones).

The F4 screen (research) could be made larger, it's kind of small and cramped.

Is the Computer tech area gone?
The Daystrom Institute as a consequence is now for Energy.

Is research effectiveness randomly generated? Seems so. Doesn't seem to have some form of "sense" in that the values vary wildly, and don't add up to the same "total" from game to game, leading to large imbalances. The average isn't 100% either.

In a similar way, the output of Production Facilities seems to be random too (within certain parameters) which is confusing. I've seen the Klingons with Intel 14.0 or so, and the Romulans with 10.0. Doesn't seem to make much sense.

The max population of homesystems for each of the empires is very different, and some civs have an advantage for that reason. Even the same civ might have wildly different max pop values from one game to the other (I've had the Romulans have 372 and 569).

The pace of the game is kind of slow, with lots of turns where you just hit end turn waiting for something to happen. With some starting conditions like mentioned above (which I guess is in the todo list), this should be less so.

System stats are somewhat puzzling. Dilithium is cumulative (from all planets in the system), but Food, Metal and Green Energy aren't - the highest score is what counts. Doesn't seem very consistent.
Habitability, doesn't seem to have been implemented yet? But Gas Giants have higher habitability values than other planet types.

The values for Dilithium in the game are huge. I wonder if they couldn't be toned down. High end ships require lots more (like 30~40) than the basic ships (which require only 1 Dilithium).

Metal, AFAICT, isn't being used for anything yet?

The food and energy production/surplus displays in the Production screen are confusing to me, for a reason I can't describe. I'm always trying to remember which is which.

When a new colony is established, it has only 1 pop, and all buildings are -1 turns to build. You basically have to buy the first farm and industry. Not sure if that's intended, or if it's just a temporary thing.

It would probably be a good idea not to allow homesystems to be adjacent to each other.

Is it intended to have both the Trade Center and the Spaceport with the same bonus, %Credits? The energy cost is not so large as to make having 2 separate structures some sort of choice.

Is the Planetary Shield not supposed to require power?

The Borg's OP and SB have the same firepower. SBs have ~3x the firepower of a OP.

The Mintakans have a Ground Combat value of 110. Is that intended?

I've had a civ have its "government changed" in turn 2. That seems odd.

I've had a battle (as the Orions) with the Cardassians in turn 2, and they were 3 sectors away. Seeing how slow movement is in the game, this doesn't seem possible.

Not sure how it is supposed to work, but I've had my energy research hacked (espionage) when it was still at tech level zero. Is it dependent on how many RPs I have, and not on which tech I have researched?

Systems have default values (no pop assigned) for industry and research, according to their population. But not for food, which would make more sense than research.

If you have all the population in the labor pool (thus not producing anything), you'll get more taxes than having them all assigned to something. That is highly counterintuitive. Even if you assign them to industry.
(a few weeks back I was considering having unemployed population _not_ pay any taxes in Supremacy, which is the exact opposite)
Not sure if it has any impact on growth rate though, or anything else.



Sorry if it's kind of messy and telegraphic, I may edit the post and try to make it more readable if you wish, when I have more time.

I haven't delved too much into combat and ship design yet. I just don't have the time to learn what all the buttons and images do, and having no tooltips doesn't help. (hint :wink: )
I'm not a fan of real-time anything, so the battles aren't my favorite part of the game.


I really like how you implemented the Dilithium Refinery and the Farms / tied their output to system stats.
I'm also interested to see how the various research areas, and terraforming, work.
And the diplomatic stats also seem interesting.


Congrats on what can be a very nice game! Hoping to see what else you have up your sleeve.

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Re: Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

Post by Callahan » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:58 pm

Iceman, your feedback is great.

I will try top explain some of the behavior of the game in the order you mentioned it.

That "alt-TAB" black screen is a real pain. But I could not find how to get direct draw to take over control again.
There is an "aquire" routine for directinput keyboard, but I just can't find such thing for direct draw.
If some expert here could tell me how to code that...would be just great.

The planets could be just blitted larger, but it would kill quality, as the source image is just that size.

Yep, computer tech is gone. Every research field should have a direct impact on game elements. BOTF lacked a real reason for this field, exept unlock starships. A high computer tech gave you no special bonus, so this got dropped.

Research randomness is intentional. I refuse repetetive gameplay. You have to adapt your play style to the strengths and weaknesses of your empire.
You may also not influence what weapon tech your empire will develop. The higher it is, the more probably it will incease along with weapon tech level. So if you wish to always use the same basic type of weapon like photons in every game, you will pay a price in terms of being inefficient.
For the same reason the starting systems are random, for secondary empires and minors even the planets.
This could be changed ( or better switched by option ). So you can have it your way in the future.

Basically, this all was caused by endless posts of people only willing to play a certain empire in BOTF, because they could play them blindfolded. So here's more chance, luck and randomness.

For systems, the dilthium sources are addes, yes. But for food, energy and metal, structures will be built on the best planet.
Metal describes the amount of heavy metals on the planet. This boosts industry. 50 metal give 50% industry bonus.
you may view it as industry will be mining metals instead of having to replicate or import them.
Habitability is desribing the quality of the planet based on it's current tpye. The higher the value, the more difficult terraforming will be. An arctic planet with value 5 means you need a terraforming value of 5.0 to transform it into an oceanic planet. The habitability will then raise to show how difficult it will be to make it a terran planet.

Dilithium only seems a lot in early tech levels. A cruiser uses around 100 dilithium on average later in the game.

The colonies start with 1 point, and the growth is empire based. Roughly 1% per turn. This is meant to eliminate the "colonize like hell" behavior that got you lots of systems & population in BOTF. You may still colonize many systems, but you will hardly get more population by that, just a lot of very slowly growing systems.

Spaceport was intended to give some sort of empire wide bonus, but is not done yet.

The planetary shield is used when needed only. In BOTF I had to power/unpower them as ships passed through my space.
I hate fruitless micromanagement. Shields bring up half the power of the entire POSSIBLE system energy production.
Say you have 3 reactors 20 each and 30 pop, that will create a 30 point shield, no matter if you man the reactors. You only have to build a shield and reactors and never care again as your systems will use it on their own.

Yes the mintakan value is real. It is just a base value to describe how able species are to use weapons.
It does not include the weapon tech level of that species.

"Govenrnment changed" is just a random event. It may strike any of the AI empires, slightly changing their behavior.
In BOTF, every empire acted quite similar. Here the values are of more importance. Empires only declare war if the relations are very bad, and if they are not aggressive, they may just sit there hating you, but won't take actions on their own.
Yet they might be bribed by one you have war with.
Alliances work not like in BOTF. If you declare war on an empire, all it's allies will declare war on you. Allied empires WILL give you small gifts, money, a tech level, or maybe even a ship.

The orion pirates work like in SFC, organized in cartels all over the galaxy. Those ships where local pirates you may only control in combat. They are not really ships of your fleet. As you may noticed, they will pay you a part of the plunder, as you are the cartel overlord. orions do not have any special structures, but the ability to loot other players, even allies.

If someone has hacked you databanks, he might learned your tech level, or even stole it. You may not know which of the 2 options occured.

The tax levels: If you put them into imperial factories you have to pay them wage, lowering your income under the dash, if they are working on their own ( private companies ) you only collect taxes. I always wondered if the people would work for free in BOTF industry. Now you pay a small fee for having them produce goods for you.

I forgot to mention:
To reduce micromanagement, you may just click on one of the food or power images in system screen. Those will then be re-calculated on empire level. This auto-system liberates excess power workers and puts labor into farms to meet empire food demand. They are fairly accurate and prefer systems with high bonus and low metal, for maximum efficiency.
Hit "A" in system screen to have all systems build industry upgrades.
Hit "Q" in system screen to set all industry at the location to current tech level, if no structure has been built yet. Usfull for new colonies. Saves you from endless upgrades later in the game.
These where not mentioned in the manual so far as they where untested. But they seem to work.

sorry for so much text.
Hope I got most of the stuff explained. Just don't forget this is designed as a crap game, a cheap experiment creating a hybrid from 2 quite good games ( and without any idea of coding ). Just was gettin' sick of waiting for Quasar donkeys BOTF 2. What happened to that project anyway? The thread seems to display little progress on the project.

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Re: Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

Post by Iceman » Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:20 am

Callahan wrote:Iceman, your feedback is great.
Thanks! Please don't be offended by anything I post. I tend to question stuff.
Yep, computer tech is gone. Every research field should have a direct impact on game elements. BOTF lacked a real reason for this field, exept unlock starships. A high computer tech gave you no special bonus, so this got dropped.
IIRC, in BotF the Computer tech area would have an effect on targeting systems of ships. It was kind of static, sure. It was also the basic tech for scanners, and communications/bribery. I see these are not very represented in the game, and so the tech was axed.
You could have tied it to upgrades in labs though. Which is not much, yes.
Research randomness is intentional. I refuse repetetive gameplay. You have to adapt your play style to the strengths and weaknesses of your empire.
My point was that the _range_ of randomness is too big, creating large imbalances. It doesn't have to do with repetitiveness.
I understand not allowing to select what to research, I actually like that, but that's not the point. I've had games where I had 3x 130~140%s, and other games with 2x 60~80%s. The former is brutal, the latter is underwhelming. If these happen in the _same_ game, one civ will have a huge advantage, the other is screwed. That's hardly fun. Mind you, because it's random / unplanned, and not good management from the player. Too much luck and randomness in a _strategy_ game might just take the strategy out of it.
For the same reason the starting systems are random, for secondary empires and minors even the planets.
Same line of thought about systems. Having a 500+ pop system will give you an advantage over a 300 pop system. Especially with new colonies being what they are, by design ;)
It also seems to affect the starting pop. I've started games with ~half the max pop, and other empires with nearly full pop.
For systems, the dilthium sources are addes, yes. But for food, energy and metal, structures will be built on the best planet.
That was the inconsistency I was talking about ;)
Metal describes the amount of heavy metals on the planet. This boosts industry. 50 metal give 50% industry bonus.
I thought it could be something like that, affecting industry - some other games do this too. But that means that a 140 Metal system will have its output at 240%! Seems like Barren planets are best for metal (and they seem rare), followed by desert and volcanic.
you may view it as industry will be mining metals instead of having to replicate or import them.
Maybe there could be a mining structure that increases industry by each metal point, like farms and the dilithium refinery? If industry is busy mining metal, how can it be producing anything? ;) Joking.
Habitability is desribing the quality of the planet based on it's current tpye. The higher the value, the more difficult terraforming will be. An arctic planet with value 5 means you need a terraforming value of 5.0 to transform it into an oceanic planet. The habitability will then raise to show how difficult it will be to make it a terran planet.
Maybe the name should be changed, as it doesn't seem to be very intuitive? Higher habitability sounds like a good thing, it usually is in other games. And should Gas Giants have an habitability rating? Can they be terraformed?
We discussed planet type transformation for Supremacy a long time ago, but dropped it. At least full transformation - we kept an open mind for a 1 step transformation only. Systems packed full of terran planets would look silly.
Shouldn't it be easier to turn an oceanic planet into a terran one, than an arctic into an oceanic?
Dilithium only seems a lot in early tech levels. A cruiser uses around 100 dilithium on average later in the game.
That was my point. You start with ships that use 1, and end up with ships using 100. Seems an exagerated increase, resulting in humongous values, probably for not much gain.
The colonies start with 1 point, and the growth is empire based. Roughly 1% per turn. This is meant to eliminate the "colonize like hell" behavior that got you lots of systems & population in BOTF. You may still colonize many systems, but you will hardly get more population by that, just a lot of very slowly growing systems.
Which is always better than a few slowly growing systems ;) Plus, they're another sector under your control which is good, and increases territory.
I noticed the green line exands when you colonize a system, even with no shipyard. Is that intended?
Also, the growth rate, it seemed to me that it's not really 1%. When I colonize a system, it starts with 1 pop. The growth is +2, +2, +2, +1, +1, ... So you get higher growth when you have the least pop. It seems there's a min of 2 before you get close to 10 pop, and then a new formula kicks in. It gets kind of odd. And at higher pop levels, 200~400, it seems it also grows by 2 or so.
Spaceport was intended to give some sort of empire wide bonus, but is not done yet.
There are no trade routes in the game? This would be a nice structure for something like that.
The planetary shield is used when needed only. In BOTF I had to power/unpower them as ships passed through my space.
I hate fruitless micromanagement. Shields bring up half the power of the entire POSSIBLE system energy production.
Say you have 3 reactors 20 each and 30 pop, that will create a 30 point shield, no matter if you man the reactors. You only have to build a shield and reactors and never care again as your systems will use it on their own.
You mean that you can build hundreds of generators and not man them, and the shield will be super powerful?! :shock: Hmm. Seems prone to cheese.
I haven't seen the Defense Quality of a system increase, neither with shields nor bunkers. Not implemented yet?
Yes the mintakan value is real. It is just a base value to describe how able species are to use weapons.
It does not include the weapon tech level of that species.
My point about the Mintakans was that they're bronze age folks :wink: Not sure they're very gifted in the arts of phaser and disruptor usage. With 110 they're actually better than most of the empires!
If someone has hacked you databanks, he might learned your tech level, or even stole it. You may not know which of the 2 options occured.
My tech level was zero, like I mentioned above. Hence it not making much sense to me. It was really early in the game, half a dozen turns in if so. And I was already being targeted by espionage - kind of strange, that's all.
The tax levels: If you put them into imperial factories you have to pay them wage, lowering your income under the dash, if they are working on their own ( private companies ) you only collect taxes. I always wondered if the people would work for free in BOTF industry. Now you pay a small fee for having them produce goods for you.
This makes no sense to me, never has. The "private sector" argument I mean. There is only one set of population in these games, not two. Your growth rate is based on your total population, and so are your taxes. There's no private population and public population. That's a non-argument.
Think about it. Even if they eat food from private farms (what are your Farms then?), where are the taxes from your "private" population? You only collect taxes from your "public" population - and apparently from your "public" population that goes to work in the "private" sector too... doesn't make any sense.
And don't those private companies pay taxes to the government? Just for doing their business? That's a wonderful economic system! ;)
sorry for so much text.
Hope I got most of the stuff explained. Just don't forget this is designed as a crap game, a cheap experiment creating a hybrid from 2 quite good games ( and without any idea of coding ).
Please don't take my comments and observations as criticism. You have a nice hybrid game here. I'm just posting my opinion, nothing else.

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Re: Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

Post by Flocke » Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:59 am

Callahan wrote:That "alt-TAB" black screen is a real pain. But I could not find how to get direct draw to take over control again.
There is an "aquire" routine for directinput keyboard, but I just can't find such thing for direct draw.
If some expert here could tell me how to code that...would be just great.
http://archive.gamedev.net/archive/refe ... le608.html Losing Surfaces near bottom of the page should help, else search the web for "c++ directdraw device lost" or "surface lost" or DDERR_SURFACELOST ;)

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Re: Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

Post by Callahan » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:02 am

I highly appreciate your opinion. This is a one-man project, so there's a lack of different views.
There already is some stuff one the to-do list because of your input. There will be a settings file created to switch some game elements like the excessive randomness on/off.

Also I'm not afraid to lose a discussion. I use to be wrong from time to time...

For that population growth..it's empire based, not system based. If you have 200 total pop, you get 2 new pop per turn scattered on all unfilled systems. If you colonize alot early, you will probably have many systems between 1 and 9 pop, which is not enough to man industry, yet they eat away food.

All planets can be terraformed, even gas giants. Generally it will take alot of time to get the tech needed. Normally you will be able to reach around terraforming level 15 until a game is over.

The diltithium use seems exaggerated, but the benefit is having ships in combat that can move AND charge all weapons.
Early ships have to slow down to do that, giving warp powered ships a real good combat advantage. Also, warp speed is determining strategic travel. One sector is 25 "units" in size, warp speed is taken in square. Warp 5 is one sector per turn, warp 7.1 means 2 sectors per turn. Strategic mobility is a huge advantage. So you have fewer, yet more capable ships later in the game.

The ground defense quality is the percentage of troops/defensive fortifications/organization. It will be lowered by bombardment and even more by invasion, slowly recovering. It's experimental. The goal was to make conquer slower.
In BOTF, a system was easily taken over in just 1 turn. In this game it is mostly needed to exhaust the defenses, giving a player time to send in fleets or recover from a defeat while the enemy is busy crushing a systems resistance.
Ships spend their troops on invasion (or sometimes combat), and need to go back to own space for replacements.
Large systems may require several consecutive invasions until they are battered enough to be taken over.

For the shield, reactors alone won't help. You need workforce to get them manned in case of an attack. 50 population with 10 reactors will have only 5 counted for powering the shield. Shields only protect populated areas from raids and bombs. It cannot prevent troops from landing in the countryside.

A good Mintakan point - on designing the basic combat power I assumed the same tech level for all empires, but they where pre warp, I remember now.

For the tax levels, I think it makes a difference. If they work in your factories producing ships, you gotta pay them. So they pay tax from the money the government paid them. If the're not working in government controlled industry, you get taxes on income not paid by you. I had thought about a system where production would cost money, like in "Master of Orion 3", but I only wanted a slight influence.

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Re: Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

Post by Callahan » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:13 am

Thanks alot Flocke, for this DDERR information. It's difficult to correct a thing if you have the hell no idea what is causing this.
Now I know what's going on and can work on fixing it.
Big, huge thanks for that.

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Re: Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

Post by Iceman » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:59 am

Callahan wrote:I highly appreciate your opinion. This is a one-man project, so there's a lack of different views.
That's exactly why I always question what I see differently. It's usually benefitial. Obviosuly, I don't post just for the sake of arguing/discussing. There's thought (and experience) put into what I post.
Also I'm not afraid to lose a discussion. I use to be wrong from time to time...
I never see these discussions (in the good meaning of the word) as a matter of winning or losing. They're just opinions, and should be taken as such. Opinions differ obviously, and that's healthy in my opinion.
For that population growth..it's empire based, not system based. If you have 200 total pop, you get 2 new pop per turn scattered on all unfilled systems. If you colonize alot early, you will probably have many systems between 1 and 9 pop, which is not enough to man industry, yet they eat away food.
Ah, ok, now I see what you meant by being empire based. So growth has nothing to do with the "quality" of a system's planets? (I can't call it habitability, because that's something else) That seems like a step backwards. Though I do agree that planets have enough stats on their own to mitigate this.
I also only figured that food was a global resource yesterday. I think many people like this idea - I honestly only like it the way it was implemented in MoO2, with freighters. Which could be interesting with the pirates and all.
The diltithium use seems exaggerated, but the benefit is having ships in combat that can move AND charge all weapons.
Early ships have to slow down to do that, giving warp powered ships a real good combat advantage. Also, warp speed is determining strategic travel. One sector is 25 "units" in size, warp speed is taken in square. Warp 5 is one sector per turn, warp 7.1 means 2 sectors per turn. Strategic mobility is a huge advantage. So you have fewer, yet more capable ships later in the game.
I haven't really gotten that far into a game, to know how that works. This explains a lot, thanks! I still need to spend more time in the ship design screen to figure everything out. Too much information to take in right now. :wink:
The ground defense quality is the percentage of troops/defensive fortifications/organization. It will be lowered by bombardment and even more by invasion, slowly recovering. It's experimental. The goal was to make conquer slower.
Cool! I tried to get something just like this implemented in Supremacy way back.
I did implement pop casualties when the system is invaded in the last release though. It was kind of silly that if your combat strength was lower than the defender's you'd lose all your transports and the defender wouldn't suffer anything... this way you can cause some form of attrition, or simply cause damage to the system if it's not your intention to take it.
For the shield, reactors alone won't help. You need workforce to get them manned in case of an attack. 50 population with 10 reactors will have only 5 counted for powering the shield. Shields only protect populated areas from raids and bombs. It cannot prevent troops from landing in the countryside.
In Supremacy (sorry for bringing it up all the time) we made shield generators not be a One Per System structure, but instead you can build one per each 100 max pop in the system. Which kind of equates to one per populated area.
For the tax levels, I think it makes a difference. If they work in your factories producing ships, you gotta pay them. So they pay tax from the money the government paid them. If the're not working in government controlled industry, you get taxes on income not paid by you. I had thought about a system where production would cost money, like in "Master of Orion 3", but I only wanted a slight influence.
Notice that by that line of thought, you'd get negative taxes - I mean, you have to pay them more than you collect in taxes, right? :wink:
And this is all assuming that there are available jobs for everyone in the private sector. And that the private sector is building and researching and whatever stuff that has no impact on the economy of your empire.
Regardless, the real point is that population that is in the labor pool actually pays more taxes than employed pop. It seems like a contradiction in a game (where you shouldn't even need to know that there is a private sector or whatever else). To me, of course. Again, it's just an opinion.

There's a lot of good info in these posts, which you could include in the manual. :up:

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Re: Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

Post by Callahan » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:35 pm

So, the ALT+TAB thing is up and working, after a brief headache. Thanks to Flockes input. You are my hero.

For the taxes, I never assumed the entire populace to be actually working. Given the fabric of industrial societies, only a small portion of those millions would actually be able working in top level industries like powergeneration or ship construction.
I always viewed it the way you need 10 million people to round up the few who have the brains to do the more delicate work.
So even if you fully exploit the workforce, only a small portion of those would actually be employed, the rest of the populace is just doing whatever the average guy can do elsewhere.
Thus the minuscule impact on taxes for employing ( or not employing )the workforce. You might just see the small drop of income as the payment those few receive if employed.

And don't worry because of mentioning Supremacy. I was really impressed by it when I tested it a while ago. Looking forward to see it completed soon :-)

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Re: Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

Post by Iceman » Fri Dec 12, 2014 8:24 am

Taxes are actually doubled when people are unemployed, AFAICT. Not that minuscule. :wink:

One thing I don't particularly like is that Buy is instantaneous, and you can do it multiple times in a turn. Another oversimplification I think.

I tried changing the starmap background, but it seems the game is not using RomGalaxy.bmp, but the same image on one of the interface image files. That background is kind of confusing.

The food and energy display issue I mentioned earlier, that confuses me, it's because the Food one is produced/consumed, while the Energy one is free/produced. Just na observation, not really saying anything.

There are a few typos, not sure if you want those reported.
Matter Furnance -> Matter Furnace
ISK -> ISC
Astrophysics Akademy -> Astrophysics Academy

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Re: Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

Post by Callahan » Sat Dec 13, 2014 5:06 am

Why is that background confusing?

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Re: Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

Post by Iceman » Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:34 pm

Most of the time I can't even tell the Federation is in play. And the Romulans are hard to spot too. Due to the background colors.

--

A few more things.

In the start screen, display the civs in a way that is easily perceptible if you're choosing a major empire, a minor empire, or whatever else? It's not readily apparent that the Dominion for example is a minor empire, not a major one (like in other mods). Separating them in groups would help.

The Farms building, it duplicates the effect of the Food bonus, since it already affects the output of food PFs.

The Green Energy bonus, +200% (for 3x output) is kind of high. And not that uncommon.

I wonder if the Romulans are not the best civ, with food and energy bonuses, the best academy (along with the Feds), a good ground combat value, an average morale penalty for WarDec, cloak tech from the start, a large homesystem, etc.

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Callahan
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Re: Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

Post by Callahan » Wed Dec 17, 2014 11:35 am

What BOTF races background would be appropriate? I have a slight problem determining the spottability of empires due to a defect in my monitor eliminating the bulk of the blue spectrum.

Good idea separating the races by type. The dominion actually is a "secondary" empire, as the rest of the currently playable, except the first four. Secondaries currently have a random home system, but minors can join them.

Minor empires will join on alliances with primary or secondary empires and can form true alliances with other minors only, but they are not yet playable. I intended to include a routine to allow minors to build "orion" ship types, but it's not done yet. And expanding minor empires would probably require a larger map. The engine can already support user defined map sizes up to 32.000 sectors, but I would need to include some sort of scrolling and a minimap.

Yes, the romulans may have a few to many points on their side. Proper balancing was not a priority so far.
Same goes for the planet boni.

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Re: Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

Post by Iceman » Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:13 pm

Callahan wrote:What BOTF races background would be appropriate? I have a slight problem determining the spottability of empires due to a defect in my monitor eliminating the bulk of the blue spectrum.
None, I guess. :grin: I always thought the UI (including the starmaps) was the weakest part of BotF. I prefer a plain starmap, black background with as unnoticeable as possible effects - but that's just me, I prefer practical over pretty. I was trying to use the Supremacy one, but no luck.

Good idea separating the races by type. The dominion actually is a "secondary" empire, as the rest of the currently playable, except the first four. Secondaries currently have a random home system, but minors can join them.
That's what I meant, sorry. Couldn't remember the designations you had used.
The SFC races seem kind of misplaced, for someone who hasn't played that game.

Yes, the romulans may have a few to many points on their side. Proper balancing was not a priority so far.
Same goes for the planet boni.
Last night I started a game with them. I pretty much bought everything and built close to nothing. By turn 50 I had 4 additional colonies, 13 sectors or so (more than anyone else), a couple 6 dil cruisers and was about to buy a ~60(?) dil one. I was at tech level 3 (I had some lousy bonuses).
The thing is, I put all pop in the labor pool (except those [half a dozen] needed in farms and a couple in energy - that was possible due to their system bonuses in food and energy) to get the additional credits of course. With +75% credits from the mandatory first builds you get money pretty quick. Oh, the homesystems had like 560 max pop; the Feds always have ~300, and the other majors ~450. The homesystems farms are very efficient, so there is no need (or desire) to build them elsewhere, they fed all the new colonies.
On 3 turns or so I manned all the labs to get upgrades - which aren't really all that useful. System management is kind of weak, nothing is unlocked. All systems are pretty much the same, there are only a few buildings. New colonies develop the same way, pretty much. Fabricators, turbines, dilithium refinery. Not sure what to do with all the dilithium. The upgrades are a drag - because they're free and bought immediately (the shortcut keys help), there doesn't seem to be a point to them.
I was only bothered once, with rumours being spread in Romulus, or something (couldn't understand the effect). My 6 dil cruiser chased away a klingon ship once.
I didn't get to design a single ship BTW. It's good that it's not necessary. Not sure how good the stock ships are, but ship design and diplomacy will have to wait.
There is no eXploration, you can see everything, including when new colonies are founded by other players.
Kind of reminds me of klogd's TrekWar, SP version.

Don't get me wrong, it's a nice light strategy game. It needs a few tweaks, that's all. I'm just trying to highlight what IMO are the weakest parts, knowing perfectly well that it's still a WiP.

Looking forward to the next release.

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Re: Yet another Franken-Monster-Stein-BOTF-Whatever

Post by Flocke » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:41 pm

I think it's a bit early for a depths gameplay analysis. Just give it some time to evolve and don't blur your artistic vision by critics Callahan. :D
When there's some programming question again I'm happy to help where I can.

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