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Game Idea: Ripples in time Sun, 01 April 2007 12:37 Go to next message
PaulCr

 
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Stars! V.I.P

Messages: 187
Registered: February 2007
Location: An Island that kinda look...
It's common knowledge that according to standard physics the maximum speed an object can travel at is warp 10 yet Mystery traders appear to routinely exceed this limit and jump in and out of the universe at will.
To do this they must be manipulating space/time and unless they are careful that could lead to unforeseen consequences. MTs however will trade with anybody regardless of there behaviour, why would we expect them to be bothered about the consequences of their movement when they are not concerned with the consequences of who they trade with.
You're probably aware of chaos theory, most commonly represented with a butterfly fluttering it wings causing an hurricane on the other side of the world. The actions of the MTs might have a similar effect.

Game Idea
Occasionally the actions of a mystery trader switching between universes will cause an event to happen in the past that changes how races in the universe developed, there is a 5% chance each year that one of these events may occur. The consequence of the event being that all races in a particular universe get changed to 1 of 9 random PRTs (AR excluded, possibly exclude HE).
Ie someone playing IT from the start of the game may suddenly find that they have become a CA. They still get to keep anything built previously unique to the PRT ie Any/300 gates but forget how to build more and instead learn how to build new stuff, ie Orbital adjusters.
The game would require careful race design since the race needs to remain valid for all PRTs otherwise stars modifies the race drastically to make it valid.

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Re: Game Idea: Ripples in time Mon, 02 April 2007 06:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kotk

 
Commander

Messages: 1227
Registered: May 2003
It takes every year access to HST file, i am not sure if the AH allows it.

Mutations are drastic ... probably hard to plan things ahead? You hardly know about neighbours what they are now and you never know what they (or you) are 5 years later. In average there happen 2.5 mutations during 50 years. AR and HE are entirely too different so these better put aside. Nod People dont evan know it at turn before it happens? That may mean like gating with cargo commands fail and illegal items building fails?

PaulCr wrote on Sun, 01 April 2007 19:37

The game would require careful race design since the race needs to remain valid for all PRTs otherwise stars modifies the race drastically to make it valid.

IOW the risk to mutate into PP turns NAS into worthless point mine for every race and so it is questionable LRT to have. Maybe when races are first mutated then you add LSP LRT (if race had it not) and remove starts at 3 (if the race had it). These do not affect the race in no way after start but release rw points to make more mutations valid? On any case host should warn if someone submits a race that may become illegal with some mutation. Nod

Other option is to let the people to design 8 races (one for each PRT) between what they will mutate, but then the event of mutation will take serious tool already and also most clever race mixer (plus lucky at lottery) will probably win there?

Overall ... sounds an interesting idea but maybe ... such a roulette does it bit too depending on luck?


[Updated on: Mon, 02 April 2007 07:07]

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Re: Game Idea: Ripples in time Mon, 02 April 2007 08:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PaulCr

 
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Stars! V.I.P

Messages: 187
Registered: February 2007
Location: An Island that kinda look...
It wouldn't need access to the server files every year, only when an event takes place. When you want the event to occur you place the game on hold, once all the turn files are uploaded you'd download them with the .hst, create a turn as normal then modify the .hst and the resulting .m files so that the players are in sync with the .hst file. ie all existing orders occur as the old PRT and the .m files modified to the new PRT for the next years orders.
I've not hosted a game on Autohost so I'm not sure if you can generate a year away from it but since I believe you can restore from a backup I would assume it should be possible to replace with the updated versions, if not I could run it off my own site.
The reason for proposing the game idea was to get comments for possible modifications to the proposal.
5% may be to high, I thought around 1 in every 20 years would give enough time to take advantage of the trait whilst being short enough that there would be enough variation, if the change only happens once in the game I think it would rather spoil it.
The game would be aimed at high intermediate/expert who should be able to handle the random fluctuations thrown up by the game.
They should also be able to define a race which would be valid when the PRT change, after all to test it you only need to go back to the PRT screen and try all the possible PRTs that could occur and see if the point total goes negative and if so modify the race so it doesn't.
I think having everything happen randomly improves the concept of the game, after all there are enough games which are already well defined.
It is possible however to allow the years the event occurs to be specified in advance if players wanted it.
Similarly I think it's better the race is random but it's also possible to have them go in a defined sequence an example order might be CA,IT,SD,Joat,PP,WM,IS,SS
So if you start off as CA you know you would become IT after the first event, if you start as PP you know you'll become WM etc.
Another possibility is for everyone to start with the same PRT and change everyone to the same random PRT so everybody is in the same position.
It's possible to drop some of the PRTs from the list, AR is a definate drop, HE almost certainly should be since races going to 38% growth with 500,000 planet limit are likely to be difficult to handle, especially when you've already got 1,000,000 on your existing planets.
It's also possible to argue skipping Joat and CA would be worthwhile
Joat because of the 20% change in planet pop limit and the sudden availability of pen scans when the race shouldn't have them
CA because changing from it actually leaves the planets terraformed as if you had done the terraforming delibrately, it does stop you suddenly going from a big green to a yellow though.
I did consider using a seperate race design for each PRT but it's likely to be too much hassle and gives the possibility of drastically altering the race which may cause them problems, imagine somebody changing the hab setting so that all their existing planets become red. I do like the idea of using LSP and start at 3 to reduce the need for surplus points though.
Changing PRTs is simple, it's a very minor amendment to my existing ones changing the MT items and tech levels.
Luck would be a factor with the proposal as it stands but as mentioned above there are ways of catering for it. Having a relatively short period between changes would also reduce the luck involved since it would even out overall and the game is aimed at people who should know what they are doing and I would think the random element would make a change from the games they've previously played in.

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Re: Game Idea: Ripples in time Mon, 02 April 2007 08:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PaulCr

 
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Stars! V.I.P

Messages: 187
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I have tested the concept manually before posting the idea, If I hadn't I wouldn't know whether that things I've mentioned in the post would be possible or not. ie If you try using the existing Tech level editor to reduce tech levels, any ships you've built lose the items they no longer have the tech for. I was worried the same would happen to PRT specific items but you are able to keep them although not build more. Likewise you can't design your ships with the old items you but you do get access to any items the new PRT can build which is what you would expect but it could have been possible that an indicator was set for items you can build when you reach the required tech level in which case you would have kept the existing components but missed out on the new ones that had already been researched.
Similarly I was worried that changing from CA to another race would deterraform the planets you have but you keep the existing terraforming although new planets need it doing manually as you would expect.
I've also checked that changing the .m files to reflect the change is possible, the existing 2 utilities I've written are already (albeit accidently) able to modify the .m files to reflect the changes although all .m files are treated as player 1.

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Re: Game Idea: Ripples in time Tue, 03 April 2007 02:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Captain Maim is currently offline Captain Maim

 
Lt. Junior Grade

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If everyone starts as IT, then there's no worries about going over the point limit, IT's the most expensive PRT. Also, ever thought about CA for a year? That way no OA's but you get a little boost to your terraforming.

Switching to PP isn't so bad, if you got some extra ore you might try making some reds, yellow, or green even. You'd also get the packet scanning for the duration of your stay as PP. If you had EVERY world ready with an orbital something on it, then yeah you could turn to AR for a while. (If you don't put an orbital something over all your worlds, it gives you a nasty error and crashes.) You could use AR to fuel your terraforming as PP.

HE wouldn't be so bad if you had time to suck up the extra population. Then you could make use of 2x growth and the meta morph and the flux capacitor.

From my tests, tech levels shouldn't have any effect on PRT changing. For regular parts if you have the tech to make it, it won't vanish when the PRT shifts. If you have PRT specific part, it won't go away, period. But as it was mentioned before you just can't make anymore ships with those parts on them.


[Updated on: Tue, 03 April 2007 02:35]




Rule 1: "Pillage, THEN burn!"

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Re: Game Idea: Ripples in time Tue, 03 April 2007 04:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Dogthinkers is currently offline Dogthinkers

 
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Captain Maim wrote on Tue, 03 April 2007 16:34

If everyone starts as IT, then there's no worries about going over the point limit, IT's the most expensive PRT. Also, ever thought about CA for a year? That way no OA's but you get a little boost to your terraforming.


Ahh, but it's no longer the most expensive PRT if you have NAS selected, PP wins the prize then.

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Re: Game Idea: Ripples in time Tue, 03 April 2007 04:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Captain Maim is currently offline Captain Maim

 
Lt. Junior Grade

Messages: 492
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Really? Hmmm.... Yes, how about that.

I wish someone would edit the exec or something to let PP get some points off NAS, I don't know why they nerfed that. Maybe make it a bit cheaper... But that's neither here no there. And certainly not what this thread is about.



Rule 1: "Pillage, THEN burn!"

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Re: Game Idea: Ripples in time Tue, 03 April 2007 05:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PaulCr

 
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Stars! V.I.P

Messages: 187
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The first time I designed a race to test this I fell in the trap of thinking an IT would be the most expensive so didn't check the resulting race against the other PRTs, I almost always choose NAS, switched to CA and SD no problem, tried PP and the game changed my design with around 500 points left over, mainly from pop efficiency but also effects some other settings.
AR's are a problem which is why they would definately be banned, I left them available as an option on my webpage to allow try with it if they wanted, however I do strongly recommend against them doing so. Taking it off at present doesn't stop somebody changing to it anyway since yoo need to specify the existing trait and it is possible to specify the wronfg one. It pretty obvious what the numbers used for the PRTs are so if they know how to do bit manipulation they could figure out how to delibrately change it, even if they don't they could probably hit it anyway with trial and error.

Switching to CA is extremely positive especially mid game before you do most of your terraforming, starting with it doesn't do that much however but it does give you OAs for after you change, they can be attacked however and would probably be a big target for other races.

The game as I proposed however doesn't let you choose when or what to become, although thinking about it it could be possible to have the game with say a fixed change every 20 years and have the PRT to change to chosen, that would certainly remove the luck element, the decision then would be whether I should request the changes at the start or when they are due to occur.
I still think the randomness improves the concept though but I've written this thread to invite ideas, there wouldn't be much point in sticking to an idea if nobody wanted to play. If it is run and the consensus is to reduce the randomness element then I'd have no problem doing that, especially since the idea hasn't been tried before.

Tech levels don't have an effect if they are not manipulated, the point I mentioned was that I wrote the Tech level changer before the PRT Changer, one of the first things I did with it was reduce all tech to 0, doing so deletes all the components you can't build from ships so your ships usually end up with an empty hull with a QJ5. I did think a similar effect might happen with the PRT components but luckily it doesn't, if it had a game based on PRT changing wouldn't be feasible.

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Re: Game Idea: Ripples in time Tue, 03 April 2007 06:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Captain Maim is currently offline Captain Maim

 
Lt. Junior Grade

Messages: 492
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Heh.. I wrote my own PRT editor, so I've tried all that your saying and all that I was saying. I was going to make a full race editor, but I got side tracked into making just a PRT editor. I was also going to make an MT item editor but you beat me to that so why bother?

I wonder when the game data will be understood enough to make external AIs? That'd be so cool. There'd probably be open AI tests, just to see who could make the best one. Sorry, off topic.



Rule 1: "Pillage, THEN burn!"

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Re: Game Idea: Ripples in time Tue, 03 April 2007 07:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PaulCr

 
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I'd love to write my own AI and go against others but I'd start out with a number of mini AI Helpers first. The first would probably a Scouting AI that controls any ship with a particular prefix probably followed by a pop balancer. I'd run the AI Helpers first so I can modify their orders if I needed to.
This is off topic though especially the reply I was going to write so I've decided to write it in an existing thread which is more suitable that I started. This thread should remain for discussion on the game ideas I proposed.

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Re: Game Idea: Ripples in time Wed, 04 April 2007 04:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
wizard is currently offline wizard

 
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I like the idea. If I had time (or you wait some months until Bab5 is over) I would play.
I suggest setting a fixed change schedule (every 20 years perhaps) so you can prepare for the change.
Total randomness (which race will I get?) is interesting, but could be unfair. Though, I wouldn't give the same PRT to each player. I could live with such unfairness - perhaps the host could have an eye on it.
I would like to design my own race for each PRT, although I can understand that it may mean to much effort.

Andreas / wizard

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Re: Game Idea: Ripples in time Wed, 04 April 2007 08:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PaulCr

 
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Messages: 187
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It's likely to take a while to come up with a definate proposed game and then a month or 2 to get players and let them do some testing before submitting there design so you may get finished.
I prefer randomness, the game is aimed at people who know what they are doing so they should be able to handle it and there should be enough changes that they even out.
I do understand people though not wanting to risk it since half the people in the game will have above average luck and half below. I definately don't want everybody having the same PRT though so it's much more likely that if players don't want it to be random I'd let them select there own. Whether to have them select before the game starts or just befor ethe change though would be up for debate. Letting them choose at the time seems to much of an advantage though, early on if you under attack you might choose SD for exploding mines which could wipe early attack fleets out, if not choose CA to get terraforming or IT to move your pop about etc.
Another alernative might be to limit what a particular PRT can change into, a CA has the choice of a WM or IS, WM has IT or JOAT for example which would prevent alternating between 2 particular traits and would require some of the less popular PRTs to be used, it would also mean you'd have to go through 4 changes before you could choose your original one again.

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Re: Game Idea: Ripples in time Wed, 04 April 2007 08:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Carn is currently offline Carn

 
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PaulCr wrote on Wed, 04 April 2007 14:16


I prefer randomness, the game is aimed at people who know what they are doing so they should be able to handle it and there should be enough changes that they even out.



Would turns be processed before or after PRT change?

That could make a huge difference for planning battles as WM or overgating as IT or sneak attacks with SS.

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Re: Game Idea: Ripples in time Wed, 04 April 2007 14:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
PaulCr

 
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Stars! V.I.P

Messages: 187
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Location: An Island that kinda look...
The game would be put on hold when a change is due to occur, once all turns are in the game is generated with the old PRTs, the PRT is then changed in both the .hst file and the resulting .m files before the users receive them. Loading the modified .m files will allow them to see their PRT for the new orders they are giving.
Doing it this way means that both the client and server files remain in sync and the player always see themselves has the PRT they will be when giving orders. It is possible to give multi year orders that cross the boundry that might not do what they were expecting.
The game is aimed at experienced players and if they don't check their existing orders after after something as substantial as a PRT change they probably shouldn't have been in the game in the first place. ie If they give multi year orders lose ships due to overgating or ships don't gate because they have cargo or they colonise a yellow and it remains yellow it will be entirely their own fault.
While I would prefer the change to occur randomly the opinions I am getting do seem to suggest that they should be scheduled and therefore they probably will be.

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Re: Game Idea: Ripples in time Fri, 13 April 2007 14:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
gwellman is currently offline gwellman

 
Petty Officer 1st Class

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Just read this thread for the first time. I think it's a great idea. I see the various options as follows, and as being pretty much independent of each other.

1. How often the races change
a) Random at say 5% or so.
b) Scheduled at every 20y or so.
(Either would be fine by me - I'd even vote to make it a little more frequent - e.g. 6% or every 16 years.)

2. What the PRT changes to
a) Fixed sequence (eg. IT goes to CA goes to PP...)
b) Player choice, unlimited
c) Player choice, limited (each PRT can only go to certain others, as specified in game design)
d) Random
(I'd vote for random, or for quite limited player choice. I think Fixed Sequence would result in a lot of very similar strategies, while unlimited player choice might do the same. Random or limited player choice would give more interesting variations, I think.)

3. What else, if anything, changes with the PRT change
a) Just the PRT flips, everyone's (single) race file was prepared to be legal with any PRT flip.
b) Players have submitted one race file for each possible PRT
(I could go either, but I like the second one more - it's more of a "ripple in time" effect - e.g. "If my race developed as IT they'd have cheap construction and not TT, but if they'd developed as CA then they'd have TT and cheap bio". The concern about hab shifting just means that players would be advised to create each PRT race file with extremely similar, if not identical hab.)

4. What the PRT starts as
a) Everyone the same
b) Player's submitted first choice
c) Random! (e.g. first flip takes place at 2400)
(I'd vote strongly for the second - to give more variation, but the third would be *too* much variation)

5) What PRTs are excluded
a) AR and HE
b) AR, HE, JOAT
c) more than that
(I'd vote for just excluding the two weirdo ones. Let players deal with the sudden increase (or decrease) of 20% pop capacity if it happens. (But 50% with HE would be too painful.)

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Re: Game Idea: Ripples in time Fri, 13 April 2007 18:44 Go to previous message
PaulCr

 
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Stars! V.I.P

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With 1 & 2 I think you're in agreement with how I'd like the game to be since the idea for the game is for it to be different to a normal game, randomness fits in with the idea more but I do understand those who think the PRT change is big enough that to also add randomness make the game too unpredicable which is why I proposed the idea in the bar to gain comments rather than proposing the game in the new game forum.

With 3 changing the PRT is easy, changing the full race risks complications that may only show up after the game is started.
It's also likely to lead to similar designs, ie everyone having high number of factories and mines since they can make them cheap to build in some designs and expensive in others to free points elsewhere. Likewise with the LRTs, everyone will have designs with TT, ARM and ISB, none ARM designs will automatically have OBRM, NAS will also be likely to be used in most of them but kept out in a couple to allow building scouts. It in effect gives you more points to play with then you normally would.

I agree with 4, changing in 2400 is almost certainly a non runner, starting with the same PRT would only happen if the players wanted everyone to be the same PRT throughout the game which I'm against, I'm much more in favour of them choosing although I'd prefer it if they should be chosen in advance before the game starts or they are limited to 1 of 2 options either predefined based on current PRT or 2 options selected at random.

With 5, AR is definately out and HE almost certainly, JoaT (20% pop change) and PP (almost guarentees NAS isn't taken) I'm openminded too and would probably put it up for a vote.

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