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Progress/ reform/ evolution edicts and memes -bye bye technology research

Discussion in 'Developer's Corner' started by pavlosg, Oct 26, 2015.

  1. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    Hello all,

    In this thread I would like to share with you some of the thoughts we have here in our Imperia Development headquarters, in Jupiter's orbit. It would be about technology research, or rather, the lack thereof, in Imperia. Wait, what, you will not be able to manually choose every laboratory project as in other 4X games ?

    Are you crazy ?

    Well, sort of, but no on this very topic. Let me try to expand.

    In the classical 4X games, you get to choose the research projects of your empire manually. Those projects can be rather trivial (a new laser weapon) to very far-reaching ones (species ascendancy, say). They also cover different areas, from military to social engineering. That is very practical for gameplay purposes, but it does not make much sense from a logical standpoint: an emperor would not do that.

    What an emperor would do would be to pass empire-wide laws on important matters, allowing the launch of vast projects or regulating/ forbidding other things. Think of Kennedy and the space program, George Bush forbidding work on foetus cells, or the New Deal from Roosevelt. All large projects that were initiated by a high statesman and shape their rule and land would fall into categories. You want to ban nuclear weapons ? You can. You want to allow intelligent machine emancipation ? Ditto. You are the ruler.

    You think an edict might be an obstacle to the new path you have decided upon ? Simple, just annul the edict. It is a simple dynamic system: you allow, you can take back. You can regulate or ban things altogether.


    Here's what the edict screen would look like when you pass such laws (mockup, subject to change).

    [​IMG]

    There are currently six wide areas of law in this edict screen:
    - social
    - economy
    - machines
    - human species
    - physics
    - biology
    ...and you can pass edicts in each area, chosen from the list to the right. It takes AP, thinker's time to get an edict up, and sometimes money to keep it running. Thinkers is a topic will talk about later.

    Basically, passing those wide-scope edicts would influence what technology is allowed in your empire at large, but indirectly. Most' technologies' are lost, regulated or forbidden for a reason -thinking machines wrecked havoc, human cloning almost destroyed human society, and the dark matter physics are too dangerous to be worked upon today. You as an emperor, may change all that... if your empire is ready !

    There is a catch, of course. Your subjects have to be ready, and like your edict idea. You are not going to easily pass an edict about having a machine God to a traditional society. Nor will it be likely that your subjects will like your Great Inquisition if they are free-minded. Forget about instating an imperial monopoly on trade if most citizen like their free-trade. You do not operate in a vacuum: every emperor has to take in account public opinion.

    In the model that we are currently working upon, you can find ideas/ memes running around in your subject's minds. They might like change, the ability to modify their body, the use of complicated machines or else. They might feel oppressed, scared by the dangers of quantum sciences or nanomachines, say. They might feel bellicose, or very pious. There are at the moment 13 such memes each with a value from 1 to 10 (hate to like).

    Each edict you pass will modify those memes, immediately and slowly. You thus have the power to shape the society you lead, little by little. Each grand project or law you are able to pass will change the way your people see things -that is if you can pass the edict first ! Because each edict has prerequisites, meme-wise. Sometimes, you will have to slowly prepare your subjects to a given goal you have in mind. Pass an edict in force, and the viceroy might refuse to apply the law, or the people might riot. Different people will also react differently to your edicts, because there will be planetary variations of memes -there is no such thing as a single culture in Imperia.

    So, to recap it all up:
    - in Imperia, there is no 'tech' research: you pass empire-wide laws that allowing or forbidding practices or initiate important projects. You can at all times cancel those laws as you see fit.
    - your subjects have memes, or ideas, that shape their society. Each law you pass will change those ideas, but will also need to be in line with the people's ideas beforehand
    -... in one fell swoop you control what large projects can be executed in your empire, and at the same time change the society the from inside.

    I hope you like the ideas, any feedback welcome !

    P.
     
    #1
  2. PanzerDuck

    PanzerDuck Alpha Tester
    Testing The Galaxy, One Star At A Time

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    i really love the idea of indirect techs, that feels so much more in line with what an emperor would know and do, i expect that the memes will be discussed in a later dev post?
     
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  3. Ashbery76

    Ashbery76 Minor Viceroy

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    That is great stuff.

    What is strange weapons?
     
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  4. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    Thank you guys,

    -Yes panzerDuck, we will discuss memes in another post. I will let Steve do it, since he had the idea and coded it !

    - Ashbery76: the edicts in the mockup are a preliminary list of suggestions, so they should be treated as such. There is a table with all those edicts, but it has not gone through any kind of testing yet. 'Strange weapons' would be the equivalent of weaponry that locally modifies the balance of the universe's forces (mostly weak and strong nuclear forces). This edict will authorize the use of such devices, and will give you bonuses to ground troops as well as unlock some weapon mounts for your ships. You can already imagine the consequences of using such tech on your popularity ratings...or your enemies.

    P.
     
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  5. Ashbery76

    Ashbery76 Minor Viceroy

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    Do people really care or know what the governments are doing with weapon tech? Yeah nukes upset the hippies but never caused any mass unrest from the majority.Is there a possible disaster with researching these techs in the game.
     
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  6. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    Well, I would tend to disagree when it comes to populations scarred by war. Look at the Japanese, or the Germans. Hi-tech weapons, in my opinion, could really be a scarecrow to people. I mean, even Nasa turned down nuclear reactors for its large satellites, and I do not think it was the hippies' protesting that did it. If the nukes had no consequences, why did Mac Arthur did not have a 'weapons free' order in the Korean War ?

    The populations of Imperia still have a lingering memory of their traumatized past. They fear weapons that can tear moons apart, they are defiant of thinking machines, and remember the chaos provoked by the cloning revolution. Many of the techs are proscribed when you start the game, and for a good reason.

    And yes, for every edict related to a tech, there are chances for two events, one minor and uncommon, and one major and very rare. Consider yourself warned, in case you allow for a Machine God to be assembled, (evil grin).

    P.
     
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  7. Ashbery76

    Ashbery76 Minor Viceroy

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    Sounds like the great convention is Dune yet nukes where used,heh.Techs might effect internal pops but what about treaties with other factions.

    How many of these techs are going to impact the gameplay rather than the usual malus +10 production,etc.
     
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  8. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    Ah, my dearest Ashbery,

    - for the treaties: we haven't got that far into the coding yet -I can't wait though.
    - apart from the classical bonuses, that kind of empire-wide legislation changes the way your people think, and thus they will react differently and ask different things of you. Say that you have some unrest issues, and pass some caste laws or some others promoting tradition (if you can), you may lower the unrest, but then you will have a tough time bringing high-technology to your subjects. You can be assured that trying to force the acceptance of thinking machines will bring defiance or even rebellion. If you you promote pacifist and tolerance laws, your people will not accept wars. You allow machine emancipation ? Well, perhaps this will block you from using machine warriors !

    So, you have choices: those empire-wide edicts (let's call them that for the moment, in want of a better name) have immediate and smaller but incremental effects: they will shape the society and your style of gameplay globally: you want to control the trade, the way people live, think or reproduce ? You can, but there will be consequences.

    What we would like is to give the player alternative kind of rules that can all work. You can be a traditionalist, even a ludite (technology-hater), a fascist or a -moderately- republican leader, fine. You should be able to win in any way. You will ask me "how can I win the game if I want the technology to be regulated and the others do not?", well, you can develop the human specie instead of using robots to do the fight for you. Perhaps you can launch a vast program to accelerate human evolution to a point where single human beings can crush spaceships ? This may succeed or not, but at least it will be worth a try !



    I was toying with the idea of a flexible story-line the other day, where pre-made elements of story are assembled into a unified story skeleton. With this system, we could generate several different stories and endings to the game while keeping it all coherent and logical. Imagine for instance having different stories in the first star wars trilogy, where in some of the branches Darth Vader is not Luke's father, or for instance Luke is lured into the dark side. Events before the game would be variable (but not in an obvious way) and would thus generate a different story-line and hopefully different end-game twists. Got to get that to Steve and Oliver to see what they think of that !

    But I am digressing (again!!!).

    P.
     
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