Terrain Economics

Misiulo
2013-06-13
2013-08-23
  • Misiulo
    Misiulo
    2013-06-13

    So much to do, so little time I'm doing lots of tests of the old game and got some concepts, which I'd like to prevent form getting lost and forgotten:

    Small tweaks for better gameplay and sometimes realism:

    Motivation to go inland: How about if Fishing provided sustenance but fish are not storable. (Warehouses could remedy that at least partially) That would motivate player to build inland;

    The gameplay justification is that ports are OP in the game, and resources rarely justify going deeper inland; at least in the beginning, considering transport logistics and threat form the Indians.

    Plus in reality fishing alone doesn't provide much growth to settlements.

    To ballance it out, fishermen migh get a bigger expert bonus

    After playing a lot of original Col (tests) I have found that hardy Pioneers are too expensive to be used when we need them, I can only afford them later in the game when they're no longer vital. Early in the game it's practical to grab the cheap tools in Europe and equip them to any free colonist available. Why pay 1000 extra gold to get the same job done 1 turn faster. Which would probably just mean +1 food per turn anyway. Hardy Pioneers are more of a luxury for seccessful, well established colonies.

    So, shall we make pioneers cheaper? Too easy my friends. There is whole hierarchy of prices already in place.

    And getting rid of the 'tool show loophole' IMHO would not fix this problem either.

    Instead how about forcing the player to make decissions but at the same time make taking the right decission rewarding.

    Lets INCREASE the time to clear forest/build improvements for amateur Pioneers, but allow amateurs to gain experience and become 'Hardy' after using up full 100 tools for example.

    Let's make plowing and Food resource add more bonus to farming;

    (My tests have proven it silly to clear Mixed or Conifer forest, especially on the river, You'll gonna get like 2 more units of Food, versus 20 Lumber. It makes no sense, why invest in 'improving' the terrain, and cut off Your source of wood, when an Expert Farmer can grow plenty of food IN THE FOREST.)

    further tweaks I'd like to test:

    Change basic barren Tundra food output from 3 to 2. But keep or even increase the output of plowed Tundra.

    (In the original game and in Free Col it is decribed as worse for food, even though it produces average 3)

    2 Food basic output seems all too generous for a bare Desert if You ask me. I'd reduce it 1, but increase the bonus for plowed (long and costy) Desert.

    We might fill the gap between desert and other types of lanscape by adding half-dererts (It seems THAT is what the Col developers meant by desert anyway)

    If We want to move a step further, lets add irrigation, a further improvement upon a desert. An irrigated desert can become a truly fertile land but its work consuming and costy.

    Lets add rice fileds and Rice resource (on flood plains I'm not actually sure whether that should be marsh or swamp) Long to build but rewarding. The Clonization seems to ignore rice as a very important source of marketable food.

    Here are some of my interesting (I hope) tests of diffreent fields graphics depending on land types:

    http://picturepush.com/public/13308682

    http://picturepush.com/public/13308686

    I also tinker with the idea of adding a graphic option to show CROPS on fields, like white cotton balls, green Tobacco leaves etc. Simply a graphic tweak.

    I made a specification.xml file with some of those improvements. However, at the moment i don't know how to for example set different bonus for plowing on different terrains.

    and BTW, the amount of Lumber added to stockpile upon clearing also needs fixing.

     
    Last edit: Misiulo 2013-06-14
  • Marco
    Marco
    2013-06-14

    will be the fault of the translator of google, but I did not understand anything!

     
  • Mike Pope
    Mike Pope
    2013-06-15

    Motivation to go inland

    I am surprised you think more is needed. Much of the time I need inland colonies for some resource, especially ore.

    After playing a lot of original Col (tests) I have found that hardy Pioneers are too expensive to be used when we need them, I can only afford them later in the game when they're no longer vital. Early in the game it's practical to grab the cheap tools in Europe and equip them to any free colonist available. Why pay 1000 extra gold to get the same job done 1 turn faster.

    Pioneers (and Soldiers) are strange in that they come with equipment. As you say, this discourages training the unit in the early game when the equipment is cheap and encourages buying them outright later when the equipment is expensive
    (IMHO this is borderline cheating). ISTM that it would be more logical for either these units not to automatically have equipment, or for their price to "float" and include the current equipment cost in Europe. However, neither of those alternatives is Col1 compatible so I have never been sufficiently motivated to implement them.

    Instead how about forcing the player to make decissions but at the same time make taking the right decission rewarding. Lets INCREASE the time to clear forest/build improvements for amateur Pioneers,

    You can probably do that in the spec by modifying the tileimprovement-types. However changing the relative efficiency of the pioneer types is hard coded (if amateur pioneers take N turns, experts take (N+1)/2).

    but allow amateurs to gain experience and become 'Hardy' after using up full 100 tools for example.

    That will definitely require a code change. We do not currently accumulate experience in pioneering.

    Let's make plowing and Food resource add more bonus to farming;

    That can be done in the spec.

    (My tests have proven it silly to clear Mixed or Conifer forest, especially on the river

    Why would you ever want to wreck the best lumber sources:-)?

    Change basic barren Tundra food output from 3 to 2. But keep or even increase the output of plowed Tundra. (In the original game and in Free Col it is decribed as worse for food, even though it produces average 3)

    Just confirming then--- it is 3 in Col1?

    2 Food basic output seems all too generous for a bare Desert if You ask me.

    "Desert" is a broad term for low-rainfall terrain. It is not all bare sand like the tile graphic would suggest. Much of central Australia is desert, but we still manage to raise a lot of cattle there.

    I'd reduce it 1, but increase the bonus for plowed (long and costy) Desert.

    I do not think you can specify a bonus for a tile improvement that varies with the type of tile being improved. That would probably need a significant spec change.

    Lets add rice fileds and Rice resource (on flood plains I'm not actually sure whether that should be marsh or swamp) Long to build but rewarding. The Clonization seems to ignore rice as a very important source of marketable food.

    That makes sense. Rice has certainly been grown successfully in the US south.

    Here are some of my interesting (I hope) tests of diffreent fields graphics depending on land types:
    http://picturepush.com/public/13308682
    http://picturepush.com/public/13308686

    They look good. Eventually I expect we will support multiple different graphics for the same tile type.

    I also tinker with the idea of adding a graphic option to show CROPS on fields, like white cotton balls, green Tobacco leaves etc. Simply a graphic tweak. I made a specification.xml file with some of those improvements. However, at the moment i don't know how to for example set different bonus for plowing on different terrains.

    I doubt that is possible in the spec. Ideally you would want the crop shown to vary with what is actually being cultivated by a unit. That would definitely need code support.

    the amount of Lumber added to stockpile upon clearing also needs fixing.

    You know the drill. I am happy to fix things, but I need real numbers.

     
  • Misiulo
    Misiulo
    2013-06-16

    Thanx for the explanations!

    I am surprised you think more is needed. Much of the time I need inland colonies for some resource, especially ore.

    Ore is vital, but also pretty commonplace. The devs while they were designing the terrin, took care that no part of map is ever entirely devoid of it; And when You can find a few hills near the coast, (actually for the earlier half of the game ONE is often enough) You don' really need to look for Ore resource any more. Plus Ore miner seems to be the "stock" profession for some reason. Its the cheapest and one of the most common. As for silver; we all build outposts to mine a Silver resource form distant lands sometimes. But only up to 1 field from the coast, if it's inland... just as long, as it's not too far.

    Another such option could be gems, gold mine or smething else so rare it would be worth going across the map and back for. (Like the possiblity of finding El Dorado, in Lost City Rumors, except those are sigle-shot.)

    The standard resources get discriminated, when You think about it . Siver may be 19/20 but the price falls rapidly after each delivery and You need to build a vagon train to transport it; whereas Native gold is self-propelled, riding on the magic treasure train, which will carry any amount :>

    Just confirming then--- it is 3 in Col1?

    Yes Tundra is 3 Food, although the description suggests that it gives little food which contraticts it. Every land in Col except for Arctic (0) and Desert (2) gives at least 3 food or more.

    It could just be interesting to bridge that gap by adding some terrain with 1 Food in FC2. and BTW, How about different LOOKS for a terrain that is technically the same. I'dimagne it with a little arrow down in editor opening a jumpbox of available "skins" for the terrain. For example a red desert, red rock mountains like those in American Far West or in Australia ; the desrt in Col reminds me more of Sahara.

    Devs of original Col were reportedly considering different muntain looks; Arctic and normal. For Free Col 1 I would envision mountains for each terrin type to make them look more natural, base corresponding with the terrain they stand on, and the rest pretty normal. There could also be a place for Muntain Forests. In Free Col 1 those could be purely graphic feature of course.

    Graphics aside.

    I intend to add the rice resource to a Mod for testing in order to see how it works, nothing overly fancy, just another type of food like grain. The "venison" idea a food similar to fish, fom what i uderstand, seems interesting as well.

    (BTW I Wonder if its possible to add some completely new resource like for example coffe.) And a new profession Like a Coffe Planter.

    And if I made a mod adding rice and another adding new unit (Say an African convert - another type of Native convert but available for training in Europe) would it be possible to load both those mods and have extra unit and the extra resource in one game?

    [EDIT] Ah there IS actually already a modified hills code prepared for coffe in testing folder. Interesting! Hemp too. I can make the graphics, this should be easy. I just don't know to put it all together with graphics. BTW HERE is where different types of Hills would come in handy. Grass hills, etc. But that's a story for FC 2 I'm afraid. How about adding the "Coffe" and "African" mods in the next BIg version of Free Col? :)

     
    Last edit: Misiulo 2013-06-16
  • Mike Pope
    Mike Pope
    2013-06-17

    How about different LOOKS for a terrain that is technically the same.

    That is what I meant when saying "Eventually I expect we will support multiple different graphics for the same tile type".

    The "venison" idea a food similar to fish, fom what i uderstand, seems interesting as well.

    We have the "game" resource which sounds similar.

    (BTW I Wonder if its possible to add some completely new resource like for example coffe.) And a new profession Like a Coffe Planter.

    If you try, I think you will find this surprisingly easy. That hard part from my point of view would be making the graphics for the new unit/s.

    would it be possible to load both those mods and have extra unit and the extra resource in one game?

    It is possible to load multiple mods, but if they overlap there may be trouble.
    This is not a well-understood area.

    Say an African convert

    You open the "slavery" topic at your peril. I am not touching that.

     
  • Misiulo
    Misiulo
    2013-06-21

    Anyhow, I've made it, (the coffePlanter.png) It took me about 15 minutes. But i can't connect wit hthe server to add it it to the repository. It says: "The OPTIONS response contains invalid XML (200 OK)"

     
  • Misiulo
    Misiulo
    2013-06-26

    As for the agriculture, I'm no expert. QED. I just feel, that developers of the old game have set it up to reflect some of their own historic events, such as the hunger of early north american colonies and Natives bringing gifts of food to help them.

    (Unfortunately it seems those subleties were completely lost in C4C.)

    But they wanted to make the game accessible to a casual player, so they set the entral tile so that a free colonist can eke a living and basic growth anywhere (well maybe except arctic). But Arctic cannot be cultivated, no matter what. It's just treated as the dead land. Which is aso incorrect BTW. Because there is some wild life, and even C4C allows fur hunting there. but I'm getting off the subject.

    I think it might be fun to add some truly rough terrains. Rocks/deep desert/You name it which requires some investment (equipment, terrain improvements, or an expert) in order to be inhibitable. That could bring a new interesting option to the game, after all, much of the fun is in getting the land, assigning work and micro-management early in the life of a colony.

    M.B even suggested that some tereains should require tools to build on (C4C modifies cost of improvements depending on the terrain).

     
    Last edit: Misiulo 2013-06-26
  • Interesting set of suggestions.

    Personally, I've always wanted to colonize as much of the New World as possible, so I always feel a strong desire to go inland; I don't feel satisfied with only a few cities. Additionally, inland cities are safe from the REF, so that is one advantage of having an "inland empire". Finally, after I've managed to get a few dozen colonists in the New World, I focus on domestic production of hammers, tools, and food, and trading with Europe is rather secondary for me. So, in my humble opinion, there are already a lot of incentives to go inland.

    Once I've got a few cities with colleges, I train new pioneers with my initial pioneer, send those to my college cities, and let them train more pioneers. I find the initial 1,000 a small price to pay for the chance to ultimately train my army of pioneers. Similarly, 1,900 is a steep price for a elder statesman, but worthwhile when you consider how many other statesmen that initial statesman is going to train.

    I agree that tundra should only supply 2 food. A few small colonies in the sub-arctic seems ok, but large-scale colonization seems unrealistic.

    I also agree about forests producing too much food. Colonists shouldn't really be able to do more than scrape by until they plow some land. I also feel that irrigation should provide a bigger advantage than it does.