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Saturday, November 12, 2011

New planet screen

Things are progressing quicker than I thought. I have the display working for the planets list, but not the user interface yet. First, screenshot, then I'll explain how things will work:

Top left is the galaxy minimap. Top right is the list of planets that you have selected. If you select one of the planets, it will have the selection drawn on the star on the minimap.

The plan is to have a list of different planet filters below the galaxy minimap, and sliders that control the 5 different outputs below the planets list. Then there will be a overall output report below the sliders to show you the summary of your empire.

The list of filters would include:
Owned planets
Unoccupied planets (this would disable the sliders if selected)
Foreign-occupied planets (this would disable the sliders if selected)
Rich planets
Normal (no bonuses for construction)
Poor planets
Exciting planets (bonuses to research and commerce)
Mediocre planets (no bonuses for research/commerce)
Dull planets (negatives to research and commerce)
Fertile planets (bonuses to environment/pop growth)
Regular planets (no bonuses for environment/pop growth)
Infertile planets (negatives to environment/pop growth)

You can mix and match filters to select, for example, planets that are rich, but has negatives in other fields, and focus them on production. Or planets that have more than one bonus, you can select those specific planets and balance the outputs so it uses both (or all three) bonuses.

The sliders will be a bit different from per-planet sliders. Since different planets have different levels of output required for environment and agriculture, the sliders will be "relative" sliders. If you set one slider to 100%, and another to 50%, and the rest at 0%, it means the planet's first slider will be set at 66%, and the second slider will be set at 33%.

You can lock sliders, which will mean that those sliders are locked on all selected planets. It will be common to have the agriculture and environment locked since they automatically are set to clean/sufficient food per turn. So you can set 100% in one field without worrying about causing pollution and such. But if you really need to research something, or build something, or get out of debt, you can unlock the two sliders and slide the desired field all the way.

Let's say for example, a planet has 25% into environment, 25% into food, and both is locked. If you set all three remaining sliders to 100%, it means that the remaining sliders will have the remaining output percentage split evenly between them (50% / 3 = 16.6666% per field). If two are 100% and one is 50%, then the first two will have (20% and the remaining field will have 10%)

This will be a very powerful tool in managing your empire. I think it's possible that you will manage planets more from this screen than from per-planet in galaxy screen.

Getting excited yet about the macromanagement aspects of this game? :)


  1. I just did a quick calculation of how many possible combinations you can have from the 9 filter options (excluding the owned, unoccupied, and foreign options). It is 9!, or 9*8*7...*1. The total possible combinations of planet filters is 362,880!

    That's more than how many planets there are usually in a game! :D

  2. I love the fast updates :)


  3. (I didn't wright this)


  4. I've read that article already. It's one of the influences that helped me decide against stacks of ships. I do have a pretty clever way of doing space combat and ship designing that will result into fewer ships being built compared to most 4x games :)

    If I've missed the point of your comment, please explain what your purpose was in posting that link.

  5. I'm a little confused by the planet types. So planets can only have one bonus each? or what?

    Cause if planets can only have one trait then no one is gonna bother with the negative ones cause there wont be an offset to make them desireable.

  6. Each planet have three fields of quality. Most of them would be normal levels, so there's no icons showing. However, one or more fields may have bonus or penalty each. It's possible, however very unlikely, for a planet to have all three with the best quality (rich, fertile, and exciting).

    Sometimes there may be planets that have penalties in all fields, you might want to skip those.

    The point is, with the three fields, this screen allows you to filter out planets. For example, if you want to see a list of unoccupied planets that are rich, but with no other penalties, for colonization purposes, you would select the following options:
    Mediocre (normal)
    Regular (normal)

  7. I think your math is wrong. Each filter has 2 possible states, on or off. so the number of filter combinations would be 2^9. But who would want them all off (get to see nothing)? So I think the number of reasonable combinations is 2^9 - 1 which is 511.

  8. Hehe, you're right! I did that at 1 AM, so my brain wasn't 100% working :P

    If there were 9 states for each of the 9 option, it'd be 9! (I think). You're correct in that there's 2 states, not 9, for each option :)

    For the 9 options, if all of them are off, then it'd just show all the planets. If you only have "Rich" selected, but leave all other options unchecked, it will filter the rich field, but not the other options. It'd be the same result as having all three options on for a field.

  9. If there were 9 states for each of the 9 options, then you'd have 9 possibilities for the first, 9 for the second, and so on. Therefore 9^9.

    To have 9!, you'd need something where an option can only be used once, such as the following example. If you wanted to sort the planets, you could say you would want the rich first, and then the dull, then the regular, then the fertile, then the mediocre, then the exciting, then the poor, then the normal, then the infertile. That would have 9! possible combinations, but I don't think each of the 9! is unique. Because in groups of three, they are similar.

    A more normal way to do it is sort by the best planets (who wants the worst planets?) and sort by either minerals, fertility or science (excitement level). And the way you rank those three, would determine how they are sorted.

  10. Meh, at this point, I don't care if it's 9^9 or 9!, the point is that the filtering work :P

    But you do have a good point about sorting by the different qualities. I might look into that later.