Looking back into the commercial and entertainment buildings in MC1, most of them are pretty much optional, since they can be simply replaced by buildings that can churn out billions of money and entertains large masses of people respectively.
As a result, you get pretty plain colonies dominated by very few variety of buildings at the end. This can be a boring sight, to both player themselves and the colonists.
Hence today, I'm presenting my rough idea of start considering colonist quality of life in terms of variety.
By that, I do not mean introducing more classes of "service demands". To keep things relatively simple, and not to complicate the gameplay, the diversity elements has nothing to do and do not share the same mechanics with the 4 existing service satisfaction rating (entertainment, education, health and security), hence not
a factor of administrative approval ratings
of a settlement, and no coverage mechanics is considered - the diversity elements applies settlement-wide directly.
Now into the details - First, what is a QoL element?
All people of a society have different wants and needs, even a person's demands or wishes can span across multiple aspects of life. What makes a society successful is not just valued by its capability utilizing resources, but also how its people benefits from the fruits of their hard and honest work.
Each QoL element represents an aspect that caters higher needs and improves quality of life of colonists. Below are all the ideas in my mind:
Next, how do QoL elements works?
- Homeland Contact
Some colonists are more comfortable when keep in touch with things they are familiar with, like older social network and family of distant homelands they come from. Some communication infrastructures can satisfy such needs, and if possible, establish interstellar mail and delivery services greatly helps.
Certain Earth-themed decorations also provides minor improvements of this aspect.
What makes a comfortable and forward-going society is a society that people keep socialized and connected that they can support each other. A place large enough for gatherings is just what you need to begin.
At times colonists not only need to rest their body, but their strained minds as well. They need a place to clam down and pacify themselves. Having parks and meditation space are the most effective, but many non-vigorous recreational activities such as exercises and grabbing a booze will do the trick as well.
Certain decorations also provides minor improvements of this aspect.
Ever getting enough of plain standard rations that your tongue simply rejects it? Then it's time to improve your meals with higher standard cuisines!
- Environmental Comfort
Simply plain steel plates and concretes everywhere can be depressing. What about some refurnishing to make the colony more beautiful and appealing?
All decorative buildings improve environmental comfort.
- Housing Comfort
Home sweet home!
More advanced housing, particularly those more luxurious, or with high level of automation that smart systems are installed, provides higher housing comfort.
From excitement from competitive events to alternative experiences form simulations, they all can diversify a colonist's life experience and provide happiness from achievement.
The highest standards of life imaginable or even beyond imagination.
- Commodities Access
A good flow of commodities, goods and services in local market can effectively take care the smaller demands of colonists.
Questions, confusions and lack of options troubles people. Not all directly have the answers, but one can always provide them the ways to find a solution - letting the information flow.
All education buildings provides some information flow. However, a powerful public media infrastructure provides the largest flow of information that can satisfy the colonists' curiosity.
- Spiritual Support
Beliefs, faith, religion or even simple psychologist services caters spiritual needs of colonists, which at desperate times, can keep them from depression of dangerous levels.
Every building yields scores of the life quality aspects they are relevant to, for the settlement they are located. Every colonist also generates demands of every element in their home settlement by 1 point each.
The satisfaction rate of one aspect is calculated by
[ Score yielded by all relevant buildings in the settlement / Number of colonists in the settlement ] * 100%
Then satisfaction level of an aspect is defined based on the percentage value of the satisfaction rate.
For rate below 50%, it is considered Unsatisfied.
For rate >= 50%, it is considered Poorly Satisfied.
For rate >= 70%, it is considered Moderately Satisfied.
For rate >= 85%, it is considered Well-Satisfied.
Each element will provide Happiness
bonuses based on the satisfaction level, which will be explained in the coming section.
Then what do QoL element affects?
QoL elements affects happiness score of a settlement.
Before explaining the QoL elements' actual effects I'll first explain my idea of Colonist Happiness
Colonist Happiness is a quantitative value which is affected by administrative approval ratings and QoL satisfaction.
My proposed formula:
[ 100 + Happiness score from all QoL level ratings - Plain negative Happiness score factors ] * Approval rate percentage * Harsh policy multiplier
All settlements begins with base happiness score of 100.
Approval rating is a direct multiplier to all other elements - the changes in approval rating can greatly affect the result happiness score.
To prevent protests and riots, the result happiness score should be maintained above 100.
Every QoL element with at least Poorly Satisfied adds happiness score.
Taxation policies - higher the tax rate, the more happiness is negatively affected. It is a plain negative value factor.
Harsh policies like rationing, martial law and overwork policy applies lower-than-100% multiplier to happiness rating, so use these policies sparingly.
By satisfaction level, a QoL element yields the following happiness score:
Unsatisfied - Yields no score.
Poorly Satisfied - +5 happiness score.
Moderately Satisfied - +10 happiness score.
Well-Satisfied - +20 happiness score.
remarks: It's rough value without considering other factors and hence it may not be balanced.
How would the QoL diversity (and happiness) mechanics helps with the gameplay?
Most important of all, it encourages players to construct buildings (particularly decorations) and resources (that are without large demand and just sitting in stockpiles) normally won't be used. Of course, the new demands arise from QoL needs for raising happiness rating may also give rise to some building ideas. Ultimately this helps with expanding diversity, which can make colonies flying with colors instead of only few buildings.
On the other hand, the QoL elements can pave way as an element for tourism, which the QoL factors or happiness ratings can be attractiveness factor that defines your tourism revenue - a possible way to make tourism more powerful to be a considerable source of income again compared to that in MC1.
This concludes my ideas this time. Hopefully you'll find something useful in my ideas!