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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Concept for Planet Management UI

One other thing about regions that's been gnawing away at me is the "consumption" part.  While it makes sense in the real world that producing something must consume something (i.e. consuming wood to produce lumber/books/etc), does it make sense that you as the galactic emperor should concern yourself about those details?

"Your Highness, report came in from Region IV of Planet VII of Obscure Star!  They're complaining that they're not getting enough copper!"
"Very well, which regions have excess copper?"
"Region II of Planet I of Obscure Star Two does, sir!"
"Alright, let's send them there."

You're an emperor, not a logistics officer!  So I'm going to follow MoO 1's example and have each planet be self-sufficient in that they should be able to provide for themselves (hence the whole purpose of researching colony bases for hostile planets!).  This will simplify the resource model/system in Beyond Beyaan.

So with this change, I brainstormed about how fields should work.  In MoO 1, each slider can accomplish multiple tasks.  For example, DEF can build missile bases, but if you research shield, it builds that first instead.  Or IND with building factories or putting into reserve.  So each field can have a project, or just produce resources.  I like this, but what I don't like is the inability to change which project a field is working on.  If you see some enemy ships coming to your planet and you just researched Planetary Shield XX, which would you rather to do? Build 2 missile bases by the time they get here, or build half of the shield and have it do nothing when they attack?

I'm proposing that with the economy change, each field don't consume anything aside from a percentage of population's "Production".  If something needs to be consumed (i.e. pollution cleanup), have it be deducted automatically from that field's output.  If insufficient, then there'll be penalties.  If excess, then the excess contributes towards the field's current project.

You can select which project a field is working on.  As for what fields there will be in the game, I'm having six fields, they are:

Agriculture - This field feeds only the people in the region, and can also build agriculture improvements.  Excess food boosts population growth.

Environment - This field cleans up after population's production pollution, and can also build improvements that deal with pollution (such as automated waste processing and other stuff).  Also performs terraforming tasks.

Infrastructure - This field allows you to build general improvements to a region, such as trading port, tourist center, government buildings, etc.  If no project, production is "invested" and generates money

Science - This field allows you to build educational/scientific buildings, if no projects then produces research points.  So you have to trade off between building an improvement (a research lab for example) or contributing to current research.

Military - Can build military stuff such as garrisons, regional shielding, etc.  Garrisons and other buildings can boost defenders' chances of defending in ground combat.  Also can build defense platforms for space combat.

Construction - Large scale construction such as starships, stargates, colonizing a region, etc

Here's a concept art for the UI that I've created for managing outputs.  It's missing details such as region details, specials, etc, but I thought it'd help convey what I'm trying to say more clearly.  Remember that space restrictions will apply, so you can't just build everything in a region, and that you can change a region to specialize in one of the 6 fields (i.e. military region boosts defense bonuses and reduces upkeep of military buildings, for example)  Let me know what you think!

Last, but not the least, I've added a new branch in Desura, "Recent Build".  It's not as feature complete as the old version, but reflects my latest build.  So you can finally try the stuff I've been talking about!

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