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Settlements, Transit, Governments, Resources, and Economics etc

10mo
#1
I mentioned in my other thread about how a game planet was going to be divided into settlements, but since I am at the point of development right now where I actually need to start fleshing this out, I thought I would open a thread to discuss how exactly the mechanics of settlements would/should work, and how they should be governed.

In the thread regarding Resources as Utilities, I think we sort of decided that resources would work in a similar manner to MC1. One thing I think needs to be finalized is resource pools. Should they be player based, or settlement based? I am of mixed opinions on this, so would like to hear feedback and pros/cons of each, since I need to start adding resources to the engine fairly soon before I can move on.

I have been going back and forth on this. I have considered resources being tied to the settlement, tied to the player, work like utilities, and even just not having resource pools at all. The more I think of it in my head though, I am starting to envision a new system that is possibly a bit more complicated at first, but I think is more realistic and would add a whole new element to the game - logistics.

My proposal for MC2 is to have the resources literally be tied to no large single pool, but instead just sit there in the building/area they were produced until they are moved. If you build a mine somewhere, you also need a transportation system to bring the ore from the mine to the refinery, or to a warehouse, etc. Each player is responsible for this own supply lines. Suppose you build a department store in Settlement A that sells toys. You also have a factory in Settlement B that produces toys, but it is X miles away and there is a transport cost. Player2 also has a toy factory in Settlement A right across the street from your shop. You can either pay build up your own transportation infrastructure, or you can just source the toys from across the street, in which case money would change hands from Player 1 to 2.

There should be logistics related buildings such as trucking stations or perhaps rail lines. So there wasn't so much micromanaging, a Factory could know what resources it needs, and trucks in the area could automatically move the materials. If a truck is owned by Player 1 and the mine is owned by Player 1 and the factory is owned by Player 1, then it can be a "free shipping" scenario, otherwise you could make money by transporting resources for other players. A player could build his entire financial empire on being a "transport tycoon" and shipping resources for other players.

Warehouses can be tweaked so that the player can decide what resources are stored there. You could say that Warehouse A on this part of town should only store Gold because there is a Mint nearby. And then trucks behind the scenes could figure out the logistics. The player could also manually set their trucking routes if they wanted more control.

If each building had a "Needs" and "Provides" ledger, a lot of the logistics could happen behind the scenes automatically.

Another benefit of each building keeping it's own inventory would help facilitate transactions between players. Suppose Player 1 needs a new Rover, but does not have a vehicle factory, or the materials to build his own. But Player 2 has a Rover Dealership with 6 rovers in stock. You can just buy one of their rovers for Money without even needing the materials or your own factory, and Player 2 gets some nice funds added to their treasury. And perhaps the settlement gets a nice sales tax. Player 2 could tell the dealership building to always keep X numbers of Rovers in stock, and the shipping and logistics engine could take care of the rest. Or he could own the rover factory next door and set up the shipping himself. I don't know!!!

In MC1, again like a dictatorship, the player controls everything related to the economy. You pay the workers, and you also tax them. I am thinking of separating this out. For MC2, I propose that the only resource an actual settlement as an entity can have is Money. Each settlement will have it's own public treasury, and the leader of that settlement decides what funds are used for the public, enacts tax policy, etc. Perhaps a settlement can be democratic where different players are able to run against each other, or perhaps a settlement is a dictatorship and leadership cannot be altered. The settlement will be able to tax both colonists, which are controlled by the engine, or businesses, which are controlled by the player. If there is a business tax in the settlement, it is taken out of profits produced by players. If the settlement wants to build a public structure like a Park, it can contract the work out to a player who has the logistics to build it. The settlement would pay a player to build the police station, but then you would use public settlement money to fund and operate it.

I don't know exactly how this would work out, so discussion is needed. It could also be that all buildings are private, including parks and police, like a total Ayn Rand utopia. I really just don't know yet.

This system also would let a settlement leader implement zoning, as mentioned in this thread. The settlement leader could say "only houses in this area" or "only shops in this area" etc. Roads within a settlement could be the responsibility of the settlement owner, or he could just say "anybody can build necessary roads here."

In terms of jobs, I think when a player builds and owns a factory, he should be able to set the pay rate on each factory (he can also just set a default rate or bulk update). When you build an apartment complex, the player should be able to set the rent level. Perhaps a settlement can implement minimum wages or price controls, but in general the player gets to set these levels. That would add an element of competition to a city. It would also have an impact on which parts of a settlement become high end, which become ghetto, etc.

Anyway, maybe this is all too micro-managy and I should just stick to MC1 mechanics, so I'd like to hear what others think about such a logistics system. I like it better because the game can have even more resources than MC1, but without having a huge resource bar at the top of the screen. And it's more realistic than just having storage buildings everywhere will millions of resources.
Owner of Ape Apps
10mo
#2
I think we sort of decided that resources would work in a similar manner to MC1. One thing I think needs to be finalized is resource pools. Should they be player based, or settlement based? I am of mixed opinions on this, so would like to hear feedback and pros/cons of each, since I need to start adding resources to the engine fairly soon before I can move on.


Some resources need to be like MC1, but they can not be both?

Steel factory:
  • -2 ore (like utility)
  • +1 steel (like utility)
  • 150 steel unit (like mc1, for building)

In mc1, you remember why you were forced to add a hardcap for the payroll assistance? Some player are born only for give chaos.

The only settlement based resources pool isn't a bad idea, can be a nice way to play with friend, slowly introducing them into the game. The experienced player could actually help those unfamiliar with the game, without destroying the gameplay (like gifting billions of resources to those just starting to play).

But.. the server owner need to have the possibility to create rule, like:
  • Only player inside a list can play in settlement create by player A
  • Other player can interact with a settlement only if the player is Online
  • some blacklist
  • maximum withdrawal based on the grade
  • ecc

For the player personal resources pool, how players could change resources? Resources Like MC1, or physically located in storage? (if i have steel in sector 0:0, i can't use in sector 9900000:65465465465465)

The more I think of it in my head though, I am starting to envision a new system that is possibly a bit more complicated at first, but I think is more realistic and would add a whole new element to the game - logistics.


Love it.

If you wanna to keep the settlement little and realistic, is a good choice.

My proposal for MC2 is to have the resources literally be tied to no large single pool, but instead just sit there in the building/area they were produced until they are moved. If you build a mine somewhere, you also need a transportation system to bring the ore from the mine to the refinery, or to a warehouse, etc. Each player is responsible for this own supply lines. Suppose you build a department store in Settlement A that sells toys. You also have a factory in Settlement B that produces toys, but it is X miles away and there is a transport cost. Player2 also has a toy factory in Settlement A right across the street from your shop. You can either pay build up your own transportation infrastructure, or you can just source the toys from across the street, in which case money would change hands from Player 1 to 2.


Seems a nice bottleneck to me (a good one, not bad), able to give more realism.

There should be logistics related buildings such as trucking stations or perhaps rail lines. So there wasn't so much micromanaging, a Factory could know what resources it needs, and trucks in the area could automatically move the materials. If a truck is owned by Player 1 and the mine is owned by Player 1 and the factory is owned by Player 1, then it can be a "free shipping" scenario, otherwise you could make money by transporting resources for other players. A player could build his entire financial empire on being a "transport tycoon" and shipping resources for other players.


Seems a very nice idea. And again.. can be used from experienced players to help unfamiliar players.

Warehouses can be tweaked so that the player can decide what resources are stored there. You could say that Warehouse A on this part of town should only store Gold because there is a Mint nearby. And then trucks behind the scenes could figure out the logistics. The player could also manually set their trucking routes if they wanted more control.


So.. instead like mc1, where each warehouses have a infinite resources list, the building now is just a big place where players can put thing inside. Not bad

If each building had a "Needs" and "Provides" ledger, a lot of the logistics could happen behind the scenes automatically.


The whole transports system can easy be structured like a hydraulic system, you could copy some hydraulic formula for easy setup the system, like flow rate, speed, valves, tanks, main pipes, reducers, etc..

Another benefit of each building keeping it's own inventory would help facilitate transactions between players. Suppose Player 1 needs a new Rover, but does not have a vehicle factory, or the materials to build his own. But Player 2 has a Rover Dealership with 6 rovers in stock. You can just buy one of their rovers for Money without even needing the materials or your own factory, and Player 2 gets some nice funds added to their treasury. And perhaps the settlement gets a nice sales tax. Player 2 could tell the dealership building to always keep X numbers of Rovers in stock, and the shipping and logistics engine could take care of the rest. Or he could own the rover factory next door and set up the shipping himself. I don't know!!!


To me seems an other argument, not direct connected with the transports or warehouse. Another way to make it easier for players to interact, and again, to help other player.

At this point, why not allow the sale of buildings, or pay someone to build for us? With resources / money. And if the player B give enough resources, player A only need to move rovers, not personal resources.

In MC1, again like a dictatorship, the player controls everything related to the economy. You pay the workers, and you also tax them. I am thinking of separating this out. For MC2, I propose that the only resource an actual settlement as an entity can have is Money. Each settlement will have it's own public treasury, and the leader of that settlement decides what funds are used for the public, enacts tax policy, etc. Perhaps a settlement can be democratic where different players are able to run against each other, or perhaps a settlement is a dictatorship and leadership cannot be altered. The settlement will be able to tax both colonists, which are controlled by the engine, or businesses, which are controlled by the player. If there is a business tax in the settlement, it is taken out of profits produced by players. If the settlement wants to build a public structure like a Park, it can contract the work out to a player who has the logistics to build it. The settlement would pay a player to build the police station, but then you would use public settlement money to fund and operate it.


Agreed

This system also would let a settlement leader implement zoning, as mentioned in this thread. The settlement leader could say "only houses in this area" or "only shops in this area" etc. Roads within a settlement could be the responsibility of the settlement owner, or he could just say "anybody can build necessary roads here."


If the leader can implement rules, why not.

Anyway, maybe this is all too micro-managy and I should just stick to MC1 mechanics, so I'd like to hear what others think about such a logistics system. I like it better because the game can have even more resources than MC1, but without having a huge resource bar at the top of the screen. And it's more realistic than just having storage buildings everywhere will millions of resources.


I don't thing is too much, but i love micro-management. And adding several layers of micro/macro-management, can easy become bottleneck, avoid insane stuff.

Little and nice settlement, instead to have a nearly infinite building like mc1.


One little question.. The ideas in this post are very very very nice, every one. But, they should have a maxim impact in planet with many many players. Not in a nearly infinite planet, with 2-3 players playing very far from each other.

So.. an other idea.. If Player A run Server A, and player B run Server B, they could cross playing without start again everything? In this scenario, many player server they could work together, allowing interactions of this type. But.. maybe this idea can be an other topic, not this one.
9mo
#3
I feel really uneasy about making resources utility like. I do like the idea of shipping and such, maybe the settlement leader could choose 2 systems, system 1 is like the above ideas, and system 2 is where all resources are shared
Wowza, a simi modder and an idiot? crazy
9mo
#4
What if at the warehouse level, you could chose what prices you are willing to sell your resources to which player? For example, your warehouse could be setup to be only used by you. Or you could setup your ware house so that other players can utilize it's resources when they need to build something, but for a cost. Or you could say All players pay the default rate for the resources, except your friend Player B, who can use the resources for free. In that way, players could share resources if they wanted to , or not share them.

In terms of multiple servers, why not? Once you build something like a Space Elevator or a Star Gate, it can just open up your trade network to other servers as well. Maybe just something simple as a launch site. You can have certain resources marked as for sale, and when somebody from another server buys them, a truck brings them from the warehouse to the launch site and shoots them off to the other server.

Maybe we are talking a mixture now of diplomacy for other planets to interact with each other, and also finally a real use for starships, and the need to actually setup real trade routes between servers.
Owner of Ape Apps
9mo
#5
These ideas are great, but I would tweak a few things.

First, I would make all logistical infrastructure like roads and train stations the responsibility of players rather than having the engine take care of it. Players should be incentives to build their own shipping networks by having to compete, and one way to compete is by providing faster shipping than other players.

Second, I think that settlements should start out as dictatorships, and stay that way until enough players join the settlement. At which point players should have the option to organize a colonist revolt, which if successful will overthrow the dictator of the settlement and make it a democracy. Note, this is diffrent from wars, since no weapons are used to overthrow the dictator ( aside from rocks and other blunt objects colonists have).

Third, settlements should be able to to have more than just money, they should also be able to have stocks and bonds, since these resources are purely financial and can't be used to build anything. With these 3 financial resources a settlement can choose to keep their hard earned cash, or invest the cash and grow their money over time.

Apart from these 3 changes I would say the bulk of what you suggested would work fine as is. Keep up the good work! :)
9mo
#6
bastecklein said:What if at the warehouse level, you could chose what prices you are willing to sell your resources to which player? For example, your warehouse could be setup to be only used by you. Or you could setup your ware house so that other players can utilize it's resources when they need to build something, but for a cost. Or you could say All players pay the default rate for the resources, except your friend Player B, who can use the resources for free. In that way, players could share resources if they wanted to , or not share them.

In terms of multiple servers, why not? Once you build something like a Space Elevator or a Star Gate, it can just open up your trade network to other servers as well. Maybe just something simple as a launch site. You can have certain resources marked as for sale, and when somebody from another server buys them, a truck brings them from the warehouse to the launch site and shoots them off to the other server.

Maybe we are talking a mixture now of diplomacy for other planets to interact with each other, and also finally a real use for starships, and the need to actually setup real trade routes between servers.

Yeah, I like that idea maybe ships could use fuel. Also then the Gal. Board of Trade could be used for purchasing contracts instead of materials. Also for the allowing trading maybe the leader of a settlement can create embargos on colonies or tariffs.
Wowza, a simi modder and an idiot? crazy
9mo
#7
It's quite hard to follow everything that's going on from an exterior point of view, and this thread is quite long, but I don't want to miss a piece of the development :P

In the principle it's good, implementing logistics and making it more micromanagement will make it closer to a colony style. It will also make the game ''slower'' in terms of progression which is what we wanted.

Can we clarify the lore and context of the game a bit though? Because a lot of how the colonies will work depend of that. I assume companies are landing in search for profit? Materials that can't be found on earth anymore, or simply people looking for a pretext to find a new wild west? Are the settlements under a govt? Or do you want to determine how the colony works and build the lore from that?
This would especially help determine if the settlement should be a dictatorship or if any player within the settlement can propose changes and then everyone votes. Both systems work.

Does anyone know the game OpenTTD? This logistics mechanisms make MC2 lean towards that. I would say keep the engine figure out truck/train movement, otherwise it's too much micromanagement I feel.

Also beware of going too capitalist, as I'm afraid young players could not compete... Or would be funded millions or offered rovers or resources at very low price.

I would like to have a fixed lore before making more assumptions. Maybe I just didn't see it, if so can someone give me the link :) ?

Edit: the more people there are playing, the more this logistics system makes sense indeed. Trade routes between servers would be nice, but how to make sure server A won't cheat and get very low prices?
Creator of Coloniae

9mo
#8
To me @Sobeirannovaocc in a game like this, Lore is really a secondary consideration, as it's not really a story based game, and to the general player the lore is immaterial.

I was absolutely thinking of Open TTD when I wrote up my post, but it's also possible that what I am describing should just be a different game and not MC2.

There is something to be said for not changing the mechanics much and just making MC2 feel more like MC1, with added multiplayer and 3d graphics. After all, I suppose that when a player sees a game with the name My Colony, a certain style of play will be expected.

Coming up with design is tough because on one hand, you want to add a ton of new features and mechanics. On the other hand, if a game is called My Colony 2, it should probably feel a lot like the first My Colony, just improved.

So anyway, I am torn on a lot of the things we talk about here and throw around. There are things that absolutely would be cool to have in the game, but the game also need to be My Colony. So this is why I throw the ideas out here to let the community kick them around. I can always make another game with transportation logistics, and keep resource and building dynamics in MC2 similar to the original. I do want players to be able to pick up the game after playing MC1 for 4 years and still feel somewhat at home.

Anyway, this all makes my head explode, lol
Owner of Ape Apps

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