Logic over Fun

By on April 5, 2010 9:04:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

drrob

Join Date 03/2006
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So with the new design change of food being a Global resource, i started to wonder how that food just magically gets from one town to another.

 

I suppose the underlying theory is "if it makes the game more fun, who cares?"

 

As gamers, can you accept any excuse of why something is happening as long as you get enjoyment from it?

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April 5, 2010 9:25:35 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Is it fun in the first place?

I haven't tried it, but it certainly doesn't sound fun to me. It sounds like city placement just became meaningless.

It is also a moderately large immersion breaker for me to swallow.

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April 5, 2010 9:38:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I've been playing it quite a bit with food as a global resource and I like it. A LOT. It's fun.  I don't see how it's unrealistic given that food is treated as perishable (i.e. you don't get to "store" it and you get bonuses for having roads and caravans and such).

The average person doesn't live anywhere near a farm.  I live near Detroit. Not a lot of farms near Detroit.

Success in Elemental's economy will boil down to how well one build sup their infrastructure to let goods and services move between cities and such.

Moreover, cities that are relying on food produced elsewhere are vulnerable to sieges (we're looking at having it that if a single unit lays siege to a city, it has to rely on its local food -- we still track it).

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April 6, 2010 3:44:36 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,
I've been playing it quite a bit with food as a global resource and I like it. A LOT. It's fun.  I don't see how it's unrealistic given that food is treated as perishable (i.e. you don't get to "store" it and you get bonuses for having roads and caravans and such).

The average person doesn't live anywhere near a farm.  I live near Detroit. Not a lot of farms near Detroit.

Success in Elemental's economy will boil down to how well one build sup their infrastructure to let goods and services move between cities and such.

Moreover, cities that are relying on food produced elsewhere are vulnerable to sieges (we're looking at having it that if a single unit lays siege to a city, it has to rely on its local food -- we still track it).

 

Halleluja, lordy lordy!

 

Maybe this will stop the rampant complaining and speculation about "They're ruining gameplay for the sake of fun!"

 

I could have sworn the two were co-dependants. . .

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April 6, 2010 4:01:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In MOO2 you need transport ships to distribute food.  Is there any similar mechanic here? Like building caravans/transports for food? It would still be a global resource, but you needed some infrastructure for distribution.

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April 6, 2010 5:05:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Food does indeed move magically from one city to another. Because it's MAGIC, caused by the Sovereign.

Joking aside, I most certainly can accept any excuse if I get enjoyment out of it. The problem is, that if the excuse is flimsy, my enjoyment is not guaranteed.

I'll reserve other thoughts until 1Z.

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April 6, 2010 6:39:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I agree with everything Frogboy said just now. One of the things I hated the most in Civilization is the inability to create great cities without local resources. Think about it. Cities like Las Vegas are impossible with a dependency on locally produced food system. If you need some kind of realism justification (although I don't understand why, the vast majority of cities in real life don't depend on local farms) just remember this: a wizard did it.

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April 6, 2010 7:37:06 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yea ... the reliability of real life food caravans to transport food is about 600% better than it could be in any videogame. Why? Cause over the course of any ONE turn hundreds of caravans are moving back and forth just for the sake of providing food.

It doesn't make any sense in a game with local food for a Desert trading center to form into a massive city, yet thats what happens.

Why in Ancient China was the Capital (wherever it moved) always so massive even though all the yellow-river lands were fertile? Its cause food follows the power and the economy.

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April 6, 2010 8:18:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Why not make caravans a "global resource"?  You can build them anywhere, and once you do they go into a "pool".  Sure you can move X units of food per turn to a city that can't produce any locally, but you have to have X number of caravans built that aren't being used for other things that turn to do so.  If you have enough unused caravans built, the transfer of resources (food in this case) happens seamlessly with no micromanagement - otherwise a food shortage occurs that turn (or optionally a more expensive per-turn gold fee is charged when resources are moved without the required caravans having been created first to penalize you for not having created enough infrastructure in advance?).

It does seem that a city which is consuming resources produced locally should be at least slightly more efficient than if they have to cart a lot of stuff in from all across the kingdom.

Besieged cities should temporarily lose access to non-local resources until the problem is delt with.

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April 6, 2010 8:53:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,

So with the new design change of food being a Global resource, i started to wonder how that food just magically gets from one town to another.

 

I suppose the underlying theory is "if it makes the game more fun, who cares?"

 

As gamers, can you accept any excuse of why something is happening as long as you get enjoyment from it?

In 1G, you can grow a city without a food resource by connecting it to another city that does have one. The caravan tooltip even says it's bringing food. The caravans presumably still exist, so on an abstract level they can still transport food. (Would be nice if that was required, but I'm not sure if it'll happen or not.)

Hell, the idea that food is local is completely unrealistic. Take a look at Toronto. Big city, few million people. The surrounding area is another million people. See any farms in it? No. Why?

Well, as the city grew, it took over the farms and put buildings on them. Cities are never fed from farms within the city, they're fed from elsewhere. Either a much larger surrounding countryside, or from some other area where the food is transported in. (There is eventually farmland if you get far enough away from Toronto, but nowhere near enough to feed the province anymore. Most of the food is imported from elsewhere, especially during the winter when nobody in Canada can farm anything.)

There are times when gameplay and logic come into conflict, and yes gameplay will often win. The game does have to be fun, after all. But in this case, there's really no problem.

 

edit - Yay for sieges!

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April 6, 2010 9:06:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I believe Making of History had a similar "Transport Pool".

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April 6, 2010 9:38:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Some games have a focus on economic logistics, and they are often very fun, but if that is not Elementals focus, it is good to abstract it.

I think it's a mistake to try and make a game that is all games to everyone. It's like trying to write a song that is all songs to everyone. Nobody wants to hear a funky rock ballad rap symphony marching band medley. Actually I would like that but only out of curiousity, not for listening at home.

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April 6, 2010 9:43:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Agreed. It is better to make one good game than two great games, or better to make one great game than three great games.

The point is, Great Systems (of complexity) working counterintuitively to limit each other, will lead to a game falling apart. Its better to have one contiguous style during the game rather than to make each piece a work unto itself with all inherent complexity.

That being said ... I've really been looking forward to a well made RPG + 4X hybrid, and I think this game will be a sucess in that particular blend.

Even with saying that, however, the 4X is merely the setting, the main focus is the RPG.

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April 6, 2010 1:17:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well the thing is we need a small level of complexity and of economics Personally why not make food into a resource yes that is brought around by caravans from outerlaying villages and farming outposts/communities.

 

Afterall that is realistic no citie makes its own food supply even the great cities with gardens everywhere only provided 20% of their own food supply.

 

Don't make food a global resource make it more of a 'trade' resource where it must be ferried from city to city and village to village/city etc. its complex  to code yes but its not all that complex for the user so long as it can be set to auto or done manually *setting up special routes etc.* most of this stuff in reality falls right in line with its self *builds up on its own* So it can't be too hard to set it up in a somewhat simplistic fashion.

 

 

Although personally i like complex management etc.

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April 6, 2010 1:18:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Anyone live in Las Vegas?

If city success was dependent on its location alone, there'd be no Las Vegas.

City location matters massively in the early start of the game. You don't just "get" food after all.

But let's face it, later on in 4X games, it becomes largely irrelevant just like it should except in times of war when sieges should matter.

The funny thing about the "realism" argument is that cities being dependent on local food alone makes for a very unrealistic game because it makes it very hard to starve a city into submission because each city is self-sustaining.

In Elemental, players end up encouraged to build cities based on their strategic or economic value rather than their food value (except early on where those first cities better have a lot of food nearby).  But what happens to those cities when they're cut off from that global food supply? In Elemental, the ability to siege a city -- and I mean REALLY lay siege to a city finally becomes a reality.

As someone whose hobby is history, the sieges of Leningrad (not Stalingrad), Sherman's march to the sea, the siege of Athens, etc. all give the same compelling story.

And yet, our strategy games typically don't give us the opportunity to do this because we don't have global food -- cities are self sustaining.

In http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peloponnesian_War Athens was NOT self-sustaining.  And during times of peace, it didn't need to. Food "magically" got to it from the rest of the Greek city states.  But during war, suddenly it was reliant on its local supplies and was starved.

The history of warfare has a great many examples of winning through sieges. But TBS games have tended not to be able to demonstrate this because it requires food to be global in order to encourage players to build cities based on other factors other than food.

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April 6, 2010 1:23:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Agreed frogboy if you look at my posts *not trying to insult you or insinuate you don't listen* i agree with this as selfsustaining cities are fake.

 

I hope we can implement a somewhat complex economic system. But it is up to you afterall your petproject and whatnot. By the way thank you for even coming up with this great idea for a game and revitalizing my love of Fantasy strategy *I even broke out my old copy of Age of wonders to play while i wait on the next beta*

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April 6, 2010 1:30:19 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"The average person doesn't live anywhere near a farm.  I live near Detroit. Not a lot of farms near Detroit."
 
Indeed, but the food got from the farm to the supermarket somehow.
 
I totally agree that food management is not fun.  Other may disagree.

I also agree that food SHOULD be a global resource.

 
My issue is that there must be a SYSTEM to transfer the food from producers to consumers, and there must be a cost associated with it.  


That not to say it needs to be a complex system.
 
If the system is "magic" then it should deplete your mana or essence.  (Food spurts from the earth or a cornacopia)
 
If the system is physical, then it should be a tax on your gold reserves. 
 
Here's my idea:
 
There could be a "food cart" network that you pay into with 3 levels, Low, med, and High.  (med being the default)  This could be researched at level 1 or simply given.

Default requires a 5% upkeep to pay for the cost of transport to and from cities as soon as local food production drops into the negative. (No need for a network if people are making their enough for themselves) Research techs can lower this upkeep.

High requires 10% upkeep, but your kingdom is happy because they're getting their 3 squares fresh and on time, granting a bonus to kingdom prestige.

Low drops the upkeep down to 1%, putting more money in your pocket.  While people are still getting their food, it's now slower and less frequent, leading to unrest in the kingdom, and a penalty to prestige. (Who wants to live in a kingdom where their people are starving?)
 
This would give a simple rational explanation of the food network and at the same time give a choice based game play mechanic that adds strategic value based off play style. 

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April 6, 2010 1:33:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Drrob somewhat agreeable but it should be abit more complex as economics play their role.

 

And if you don't want to deal with complexity you could turn it over to your 'nobility' A.I which can manage trade and economics.

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April 6, 2010 1:45:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The funny thing about the "realism" argument is that cities being dependent on local food alone makes for a very unrealistic game because it makes it very hard to starve a city into submission because each city is self-sustaining.

I thought we were talking about food being "stored locally".. Because, no I don't like the idea of a cit being self sustaining, I just don't want caravans to be meaningless. So your saying even though a resource is "global" caravans are still going to take food there?

Or is it that if my city in the desert is starving and they didn't store any food, they have until my "global" stockpile of food runs out until they starve? That's what global means to me. Thus making sieges themselves irrelevant because a city could just draw magically from the global stockpile.

Maybe I'm just confused about what global means.. ?

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April 6, 2010 1:47:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting RisingLegend,

I thought we were talking about food being "stored locally".. Because, no I don't like the idea of a cit being self sustaining, I just don't want caravans to be meaningless. So your saying even though a resource is "global" caravans are still going to take food there?

Or is it that if my city in the desert is starving and they didn't store any food, they have until my "global" stockpile of food runs out until they starve? That's what global means to me. Thus making sieges themselves irrelevant because a city could just draw magically from the global stockpile.

Maybe I'm just confused about what global means.. ?

People have been saying this the whole time. Your city has to actually be connected to your infrastructure to have access to the global storage reserve. If you're city in the desert isn't connected to your other cities or it becomes besieged by the enemy then it will not have access to the global supply.

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April 6, 2010 1:49:47 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

yes but even then if it is connected you need siege to stop that connection and how long does food take to arrive on the network? caravans and villages farms and infranstructure fix this issue.

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April 6, 2010 1:56:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Sethfc,
Don't make food a global resource make it more of a 'trade' resource where it must be ferried from city to city and village to village/city etc. its complex  to code yes but its not all that complex for the user so long as it can be set to auto or done manually *setting up special routes etc.* most of this stuff in reality falls right in line with its self *builds up on its own* So it can't be too hard to set it up in a somewhat simplistic fashion.

What is the gameplay difference between a global resource, and a "trade resource" where all the trading is being set up automatically?

Other then a lot of extra code complexity, I'm not seeing it. To me as the guy playing the game, the two do the same thing: I acquire a food resource, and it's available for use. In one case it is just is, in the other case it just is after the game automatically sets it up for me.

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April 6, 2010 1:59:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

yes but even then if it is connected you need siege to stop that connection and how long does food take to arrive on the network? caravans and villages farms and infranstructure fix this issue.

I don't know Seth, I don't think caravans transport stuff. Based on what is said, it sounds like when your road was pillaged in Civ IV and you lost connection to your resources.

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April 6, 2010 2:00:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't mind if food is shared between cities BUT I think a fair trade off is cities need to be connected via roads in order for them to receive food from neighboring cities (this would in fact make food a locally shared resource, not a global one).

The game would play out almost identically to how 1Z plays now except cities that don't produce food will become vulnerable to guerrilla warfare (since disrupting roads would prevent food from being distributed).

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April 6, 2010 2:44:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting RisingLegend,

The funny thing about the "realism" argument is that cities being dependent on local food alone makes for a very unrealistic game because it makes it very hard to starve a city into submission because each city is self-sustaining.


I thought we were talking about food being "stored locally".. Because, no I don't like the idea of a cit being self sustaining, I just don't want caravans to be meaningless. So your saying even though a resource is "global" caravans are still going to take food there?

Or is it that if my city in the desert is starving and they didn't store any food, they have until my "global" stockpile of food runs out until they starve? That's what global means to me. Thus making sieges themselves irrelevant because a city could just draw magically from the global stockpile.

Maybe I'm just confused about what global means.. ?


I don't quite understand Frogboy at all.
This is why I liked Camp 1. Food created locally. If you create a city at a hardcore spot [desert / tundra for example] = the local food production won't be enough to feed the citizens + soldiers. = caravans bring the food to these cities. Siege = no caravan access = starvation. Even if the city is not blockaded, but the caravans are destroyed = starvation.

If a city can create enough food locally, what is the problem with that? The population won't starve, while the city is under attack.

This is absolutely realistic.

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April 6, 2010 2:53:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

 Yes there we go you get it.  Tormy

 

To Tridus and rising legend

 

Thing is Global resources means its Instantly there and everywhere and always available just because the road connects.

 

Local means it must be transported and takes time and has costs associated and is more dynamic it also means you can trade resources locally with Other kingdoms cities in a more realistic way.

Also it makes sieges different as instead of just 'destroying this road means no food' it makes it more dynamic 'If i hold this road i deny them their food But i have to fight their caravans and their guards continually and if one slips by they get their food shipment'

 

See the difference? Far more dynamic and strategic plus Caravans/Merchants makes more sense because they also stop along the road at all the villages and farms and collect resources but if you attack or pillage them you can take their food *to supply your army for free* and gold if their making the trip to the farms to collect food *they take the gold to purchase it with them* therefore allowing banditry to be realistically simulated as well as gurilla warfare a reality.

Hope that explained it.

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