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Mandate Engine/Games Discussion Series: Alternate Economic Systems

By on July 1, 2012 9:57:33 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

TAOCuathon

Join Date 10/2009
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I am making a series of RTS games that are each combined with a various collection of other genres. Currently I am doing the first game, its an RTS/Sim/TBS/RPG game with a primary RTS/Sim focus and elements of RPGs, in this case upgradeable heroes, and TBS games, complex research system for economics and magic and military. I was thinking of doing a series of discussions on genre blending as well as creating new implementations of game systems, tech, economics, magic, warfare and such. This is the first entry and a test for the whole series, if its not popular, no point in writing out other discussions.

Part of the sim aspect of the game is a system of resource localization. Instead of the traditional global resource system the game features a resource system with 3 localization tiers, each part applies to a different aspect of production.

Taxes are produced by population structures and markets, which store the gold locally. Tax collectors are created and assigned on tax routes. Once gold reaches the central structure it acts as a global resource Majesty style. Unprocessed gold can also be mined from gold mines and made into coins in a mint which adds new gold. This gold again becomes global when its moved to the central castle structure.

The next resource type is raw to processed. Raw materials are gathered in various ways and stored in their creation facility, quarries, mines, woodcutters and so forth. You create transport units to move them to a centralized storage facility. You can have multiple facilities and decide which one to send the resources to, this allows you to create efficient supply chains. Transport units work automatically, we don't want excessive micro. This is one type of transport system.

The next transport system involves getting raw materials from storage to production facilities. This is the same as the previous system, except you are moving resources both ways. You bring finished goods back from the production facility as you get to the warehouse. Again you select the storage facility and production facility that a given transport unit uses.

Units proceed on their routes automagically but you can reassign them at any time switching one or both locations. In many cases you might have more or less need for a certain processed resource. You might also get a transport unit with a larger capacity or higher speed and not need as many units on the same structure.

Unlike previous games where you need to build a new structure to increase production, you can use the same assignment method to add new workers to an existing building, up to a cap, and you can upgrade the building to allow even more workers as well as more efficient processing. This cuts down on unnecessary city sprawl because in RTS games unlike pure city builders you don't want to use more space than necessary.

 

I know that complex economic systems are not the most popular gameplay system, but I've seen discussions here where people are asking for localized storage systems and such for Elemental and some people are going farther than that even in asking for economic gameplay. Its really hard to find other people interested in this kind of stuff so I thought I'd take a shot that some people would care to comment.

 

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July 2, 2012 2:52:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sounds a lot like settlers. It will be rather chaotic if you have to protect all these "peaceful" units in an RTS? 

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July 2, 2012 3:28:56 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Haha, a lot of people said it was similar to settlers. It could get chaotic if you don't plan well. There is a significant Stronghold style siege wall aspect. So important settlements would have a garrison of units as well as defensive structures.  Sometimes you cannot afford to wall all your stuff so you have to make tough decisions. You can have a problem with transporting resources between settlements over long distances, so you may want to have caravan guards or scouts to make sure nothing is going to attack you. You could also invest in other transport systems like magic portals or flying beasts of burden or something.

Technically you could use wheeled or flying machines, the setting is purely graphical and has nothing to do with the game engine and mechanics.

 

Would you play a game with localized resources? A lot of RTS players hate economy management.

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July 2, 2012 4:29:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am not afraid of depth as an old Total Annihilation fan I also like stuff like Majesty, CIV IV, Master of Orion I/II, so any good strategy game is to my taste

I actually have a game in my head too, but I am a bit too lazy, and not the greatest programmer. It has elements from majesty, rpg gaming and it is generally well suited as a webbrowser game.

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July 2, 2012 5:32:15 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting joasoze,
I am not afraid of depth as an old Total Annihilation fan I also like stuff like Majesty, CIV IV, Master of Orion I/II, so any good strategy game is to my taste

I actually have a game in my head too, but I am a bit too lazy, and not the greatest programmer. It has elements from majesty, rpg gaming and it is generally well suited as a webbrowser game.

I love Majesty so much Not number 2, that was ruined.

My game has a load of RPG and TBS stuff blended with the RTS/Sim core. A little bit of RPG and magic makes everything more fun.

Programming is such a huge pain. If I only had to deal with the game design it wouldn't be a big deal, but graphics and gui programming, ai programming, making art assets like models and textures and bmp images and such is so annoying. It takes like 9x as much as actually making the game systems which everyone knows is really the fun part.

If I could get away with just buying awesome games I would do it, sadly most developers these days refuse to make niche games and genre blended games which is where the fun for me is. Dominions 3, Warlords Battlecry, Majesty, Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom and Stronghold and Crusader Kings and such are way more fun that stale generic FPS games, WoW clones, and simplistic combat focused WC/SC style RTS games.

Sadly only indie studios make this stuff and they often go out of business or lack polishing capabilities. Still better than mainstream but never enough variety and options to scratch my gaming itch. That's why I had to learn programming and make my own games.

I am actually making a series of 3D RTS games that blend various genres and focus on various themes and which take place in the same little know IP. They are sort of proof of concept or intellectual precursors to my personal MMORPG game that I used to design and program on before I had to give it up because you can't really make your own MMO.

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July 2, 2012 5:50:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The part of Majesty that influences me is the AI of the heroes. In my game you get different units that you nurture into badasses. The player can control which monsters to attack (or areas to search), unit positioning and such but not the actual battle. When the soldiers return with their loot (they get some of the money, the player get some), they decide what to spend the money on. 

So if you get a smithy with new shiny swords, then its an option for the soldier to spend money on. Still, the money could go elsewhere (drink, new armor and such). The AI soldier could also spend the money on upgrading a skill and lots of stuff. The important thing is to provide the soldiers with money through battle and then give them spending options at home.

This is just a little of the game in my head, but an interesting part for me at least.

 

Good luck with your project!

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July 2, 2012 11:20:02 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Celtic Kings had this.  Gold would be produced in cities, and food in villages.  Food would have to be transported (you could set up automatic transports) to cities, units, fortresses, etc. to keep the people and units fed, or they would die.  This made siegeing a castle town actually useful.  You could also take your opponent's village and have it send food back to base, or supply your siegeing army.

There was no global resource, either.  If you had two towns, you had gold in this town, and gold in this town.  You could, again, make a unit to send the gold to another spot, but your enemy could kill it on the way.  No freebies here.

I actually did enjoy it, but the economy was that simple.  Towns make gold, villages make food.  Units ate food, cost gold to make.

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July 2, 2012 3:15:56 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting joasoze,
The part of Majesty that influences me is the AI of the heroes. In my game you get different units that you nurture into badasses. The player can control which monsters to attack (or areas to search), unit positioning and such but not the actual battle. When the soldiers return with their loot (they get some of the money, the player get some), they decide what to spend the money on. 

So if you get a smithy with new shiny swords, then its an option for the soldier to spend money on. Still, the money could go elsewhere (drink, new armor and such). The AI soldier could also spend the money on upgrading a skill and lots of stuff. The important thing is to provide the soldiers with money through battle and then give them spending options at home.

This is just a little of the game in my head, but an interesting part for me at least.

 

Good luck with your project!

Sounds interesting. My control system is more powerful than majesty's but less than a normal RTS. You can give generic orders, like guard this, but cannot direct units to move or attack really. Mages and Heroes however can be microed normally because AI can't handle the magic system. I decided against units getting personal money majesty style, that system will be applied to one of the later games in my series. I really loved that part of majesty.

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July 2, 2012 3:18:27 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Jythier,
Celtic Kings had this.  Gold would be produced in cities, and food in villages.  Food would have to be transported (you could set up automatic transports) to cities, units, fortresses, etc. to keep the people and units fed, or they would die.  This made siegeing a castle town actually useful.  You could also take your opponent's village and have it send food back to base, or supply your siegeing army.

There was no global resource, either.  If you had two towns, you had gold in this town, and gold in this town.  You could, again, make a unit to send the gold to another spot, but your enemy could kill it on the way.  No freebies here.

I actually did enjoy it, but the economy was that simple.  Towns make gold, villages make food.  Units ate food, cost gold to make.

 

Yeah, my system is quite a bit more complicated, but always nice to hear of games that people really liked with even a loosely similar system. The town sieging being useful is totally true. Assuming no special transport methods, if you are sieged you are stuck trade wise. I REALLY think localized economics are better than unrealistically global ones. They open up so many more gameplay options.

Mandate definitely has a food system, its sort of like stronghold, but also like an impressions city builder in that its local, while stronghold is global.

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July 8, 2012 5:59:34 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

here is me making units move resources around and create higher level resources in processing structures. i still need to add support for each building making resources faster if you load more workers into the building. also i haven't added the population system. its basically almost done though but i wanna wait till i add the food system.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZe2R0LGQJY&feature=youtu.be

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