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Other issue with civ/4x (or why civ is NOT a simulation)

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Re: Other issue with civ/4x (or why civ is NOT a simulation)

Postby monamipierrot » Tue May 06, 2014 4:16 pm

Time to reply to Morphles.
I don't like much the succession game concept. I see the complications but not the advantages. If you take into account the problem of idling, it is almost impossible to achieve.
It looks like you want some RPG ni the game. But this is definitely NOT the way to implement it.
I think there are 2 big ways to have some in-game variation, sub-goals and "RPG" playing.
1. IMPLEMENT HIERARCHY
Currently far from being coded (will we ever see it?), the idea of players playing together in the same nation, in different roles (with different authorizations and different tasks) would largely improve the game deepness and emotional drive. If in addition players could be physical (yes, immortal) "people", i.e. a unit, which could switch side, drive revolutions and so on, the effect would be great. But again, almost sci-fi at current game development level.
2. "Game Master" driven RPG/QUEST game
A Master could manage the game in order to keep it interesting. The God player would have fun playing with those little ants. He could change everything at his will. IT would atime-consuming but could be very fun for everyone.
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Re: Other issue with civ/4x (or why civ is NOT a simulation)

Postby morphles » Tue May 06, 2014 5:31 pm

Brace for another one that is a bit long.

Ok, I'll first try to explain some things I had in mind when saying that civ is not a simulation.

Yeah one can say that there are some things being simulated in almost any game. And one could argue that civilization games have lots of things that they are simulating. Economic growth, troop movements, engagements, some diplomatic interactions. But I stand by my point that it does not simulate leading a nation, as per mentioned points, leading a nation in real life and leading a nation in civ has some serious discrepancies. I'm not saying that this is bad, or that game should be simulation. I shared some points, that I think are interesting and quite unique, why strategy games can not really simulate real world accurately. In part because there are enough people that trot simulation for one or another reason. While I mostly see simulation an realism arguments slightly counter productive, when talking about game design. Another serious issue that I tried to address is the need for "fast start" for new community members. Plus succession game idea introduces a lot of variety.

@monami:
you got all backwards, I had RPG shit in strategy games (and close to disliking rpgs altogether, if not for roguelikes). I for example hate the concept of veteran levels, see it as cheesy crap, but I digress.
Hierarchy would be something like bureaucracy and I see basically no way it could improve game.
What you are saying about idlers is totally wrong, idlers is the reason I suggested this in a first place. Person registers, and has to wait for month or more for game to start, no wonder people lose interest or forget. With succession games you can have slots available to new players in couple of days, placing them in game much sooner.

My point was that game currently has single goal, that is very distant, this has certain impacts on game. It means certain limits on what you will ever decide to do. Again, I'm not saying it is bad, games tend to have certain dominant strategy, or more precisely certain strategies that almost surely lead to quick loss, and thus are never played. This is all normal. But with and withing the scale civ games operate there is potential for much more variety, simultaneously giving faster access to new players and being much more realistic in certain regards (as per previous posts). The thing to see is that it does not matter what constitutes a win for you.
Is it total domination of all planet surface? Is it building special wonder? Certain number of certain units? Giving check mate to king? Reaching last line on chess board with pawn(various chess variants)? Connecting two sides of rhombus? Scoring more territory at the end of moves? Having more balls pass through hoop? Having more balls pass through goal?
All of goals of all games are synthetic and can be considered almost arbitrary. So having individual goals for short time does not change anything on the largest scale - you have to find best strategy to achieve given goal. I understand that certain people find it hard to disassociate from the canon and dive into "subgame", but I think that, that can be worthwhile experience. Not only introducing huge variety (as you might guess I like variety:) ), but also through those subgames reveal something about general game of civ.

@Corbeau:
I do not see nation specific stuff as good, certainly not goals, units or powers, yeah possibly why not. But nation specific goals do not bring out what I want, and also justifying them is hard I'd say. So yeah Mongols had Genghis Chan, what after that? Nothing impressive really. That some leader did some shit some time ago does not say much about nation. It says about the leader! My initial point. So take the role of some leader with some life goal and play it out, no matter the nation.
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Re: Other issue with civ/4x (or why civ is NOT a simulation)

Postby morphles » Tue May 06, 2014 5:52 pm

@XYZ
Well I do not like scenarios :) In my opinion they "provide little bang for a buck".
I think succession game could give a lot of what scenarios give, while requiring much less work, being infinitley more replayable, and more natural/emergent. As for teams, I don't know it might be a team game, not much opposition to that, though then incorporating newcommers will be harder. Randomized lifetime is not a bad addition.
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Re: Other issue with civ/4x (or why civ is NOT a simulation)

Postby Evan » Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:31 am

Morphles, thanks for the link, that was really interesting, i'd never thought of having games like that. (How do i do a link?)
Did you envision it being run through a 'Games Master' as you called it? Or would it be organised according to some rules?
I think it's useful to develop the ideas for the set-up for a possible game, working out all the implications and how all the different elements would need to work together. We can get a lot out of discussing things like this, without people pointing out their dislike of a particular element.
Of course, it's different if we're deciding on the form that a specific game should take, GT12 for example.
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Re: Other issue with civ/4x (or why civ is NOT a simulation)

Postby morphles » Thu Oct 30, 2014 8:56 pm

Well, I havent played any games with game master (be it table top rpgs or something in "virtual universe"), so maybe my aversion to such concepts is a bit unjustified, but I see them as problematic. As in, decisions would be made subjectively by one (or even if some) person, that somehow does not sit too well with me, well maybe I should trust fellow beings more :).

I would think some rules would be in order, like there would definitions of possible goals for "current ruler of nation". Then they would need to be assigned somehow, some time ago I though, considering that after rulers "die" and other players take on the nations, no one knows what nation they will be assigned, decision for goals could be left to current players. Say after reign of current rulers ends, there is time period for deciding goals for new rulers, users submit some proposals for each nation, then everyone votes on submitted proposals (some random votes "from" the system could be added to muddle things a bit), then when goals are determined, new players are assigned as rulers for nations, and they continue the game. Though there are lots of possible problems here. I'll not delve too deeply on them, just mention some constraints that might be useful.

Likely with goals scores for completing those goals should be given. Maybe even score for goal would be used instead of vote in favor of certain goal, then system would choose couple goals for a nation, one that has largest reward, and then something that has medium reword (from "voted" rewards on proposed goals), this way player would have an option to go for minor goal if he sees major one is too hard (or she can go for both :) ). Also very likely proposals and voting should probably be limited to neighboring countries only, on the assumption that only they will have adequate information about surroundings of nation and what might be easy/difficult for it, though this might introduce some problem with bootstrapping, as in early game no one is anyones neighbor (well not exactly, but still, info is scarce at the start). Also it might be desirable to have some options to award partial point for partially completed goals, though I have not given significant though to that.
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Re: Other issue with civ/4x (or why civ is NOT a simulation)

Postby Evan » Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:35 am

I think it's something that would appeal to a lot of people, even if it takes a while to get going. Having some sort of admin would make everything a lot easier, but they probably shouldn't play in it as well. Maybe have more than one on-going succession world. If you youself wanted to be part of world A, i'm sure you could find someone else to be Dungeon Master, and you could admin world B.
Do you imagine, say, a nation having a research goal for one 'round', and then maybe the next round the next player has a military goal, a goal for which this nation is now not particularly well suited - and hence the challenge? Or rather that the nation would continue with a new research goal, just that this time they have a different player?
A more rules based set up could have a simple goal that applies to everything, like 50% increase in pop, trade, or number of cities. This set-up could have limited involement from the admin.
Revealing the stats would allow transparency, but might need to be limited in some in some way.
I think it might be more appealing to some players who are already familiar with the game, but not really for noobs. It would be too confusing.
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Re: Other issue with civ/4x (or why civ is NOT a simulation)

Postby Corbeau » Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:05 pm

How about basing scores simply on ratios: number of cities on start of running the nation / number of cities on ending running the nation, population at start / population at end, techs, territory, trade... Pretty straightforward and automatic.

Ok, not start/end but end/start instead. You get the point.
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Re: Other issue with civ/4x (or why civ is NOT a simulation)

Postby morphles » Fri Oct 31, 2014 8:00 pm

Couple simultaneous games sounds like an option.

As for goals I imagine them to be entirely different when ruler changes, as rulers, well they had their quirks and their ambitions, which did not necessarily align that much with the past.

About the "simple" rule based approach, I think it ether would not be simple (so kinda pointless), or it wouldn't be all that fun, likely nether. If we take such simple things as pop/trade cities increase, certain phases of the game would be much more favorable to such rules, and thus people who get to play at those stage would be strongly advantaged (in regards to number of points they can gain) when compared to people playing at other stages. I think more dynamic voting based approach should lead to much more interesting games (baring sabotaging by players/voters), for example if you get nation on significant downward spiral it might be considerable achievement just to make things rights, but if your only choice to gain points is to conquer more land, you might see such situation as desperate/pointless and become quite disinterested, likely leading to even faster downfall of a nation. While with sensible voting, people attacking nation A, could vote like avoiding loosing more territory/establishing peace as a worthy goal for future leader.

I think some voting with some, possibly programmed, heuristics could do the job quite nicely, while rules could lead to some perverse initiatives, on the other hand, that does not necessarily mean that game wouldn't be fun. Also not that voting based stuff would be void of such things :) If you get points for research, you might disband most of units just to rush library/uni building :). For such cases there possibly could be some penalties if during persons reign, certain parameters fall some percentage from the time they started.
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Re: Other issue with civ/4x (or why civ is NOT a simulation)

Postby Corbeau » Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:11 pm

morphles wrote:About the "simple" rule based approach, I think it ether would not be simple (so kinda pointless), or it wouldn't be all that fun, likely nether. If we take such simple things as pop/trade cities increase, certain phases of the game would be much more favorable to such rules, and thus people who get to play at those stage would be strongly advantaged (in regards to number of points they can gain) when compared to people playing at other stages.


I think you are assuming too much and making things too complicated way before they even started. Firstly, you are presuming some complicated scenario where start and end points for a player's rule over a nation are determined... how? Also, I believe it would be obvious that all players play the same game and that nations would all be at a similar phase so that the points they scored in such a way would definitely be comparable.

So this is the model I propose. First we need to determine the average time of rule, meaning, how much is a ruler expected to rule his nation. Supose this time is 50 turns. So, we set a probability of 2% that a ruler will "die" every turn. (This would be linear probability; we can also set a Gaussian probability formula that would make him most probable to die after 50 turns, but definitely possible to die in the 20th or even 180th.)

Next, if, say, there are 10 players, we start a game with additional AIs so that the player who just lost his nation due to "death" can take over the next nation. Repeat until some end year.

So, every time a ruler "dies", his terms score is calculated. In the end, all his term scores are added up for the final score.

To make it more interesting, we could set that every time your city is conquered or destroyed, you have a 10% chance of being killed. Also, every time *you* conquer a city, there is 10% chance of you being killed (due to refugees/victims seeking revenge and looking to kill the invading king). But we could work on this a bit more.
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Re: Other issue with civ/4x (or why civ is NOT a simulation)

Postby morphles » Sun Nov 02, 2014 7:20 pm

Heh, and your suggestions is not complicated? Adding random stuff, like thats fair.

You get fixed number of turns, in range 10-20, not probabilities, if we really want early death we might give king units, if you loose it you die no need for any probability stuff.

About how it is unfair, succession game, might be so that you only ever rule one nation one time in whole game (if number of players wishing to join is high enough), so unfairness would be that say building additional cities is insanely easier at the start of the game, than when all map is settled, similarly say research is way way harder during first turns than during later ones (barring seriously serious wars), so game should try balance things that it wouldn't be terribly advantageous to rule at certain time in game.
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