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Mixing MoO 1 and 2 -- How would you do it?

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Moo4 #1 Posted 08 March 2016 - 03:42 PM

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I'll call it MoO 1.5 for now.  As much as I'd like these to be viewed as suggestions for MoO4, I'm afraid WG is past that point.  Now just for fun and pet projects.  I won't get into the 'hot topics' of star lanes or combat for the time being.

 

Work in Progress.

 

 

MoO1 Staples

 

MoO2 Additions to keep

 

 

Hybrids (the fun part!)

 

 

 


Edited by Moo4, 08 April 2016 - 07:04 AM.

I want a moddable Master of Orion 1.5 with focus on interface and pacing.  Come discuss MoO 1.5 ideas HERE!


RayFowler #2 Posted 08 March 2016 - 11:49 PM

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So, here's how it is going to be done in Remnants of the Precursors, a  MOO1 clone that is currently in work.

 

Things you will not see. None of these fit the MOO1 requirement of scalability:

-- multiple planets per system

-- colony buildings

-- ship combat with individual ships

 

Things you will see:

-- the 3 MOO2 races will be added

-- the Antarans will be a mid-game adversary that appears after Orion is colonized (by you or the AI)

-- wormholes will be added

-- various tweaks to planet and star types

-- increased discovery of in-game lore

-- the Borg as a space monster (MOO1 has always been a Star Trek themed game)

 

These MOO2 elements will  be added a little differently:

-- Leaders will appear periodically. Based on type, they will provide  a bonus to a colony (if assigned there), or empire-wide (if assigned as an advisor). Their bonus will increase in rank over time, but only while stationed at a colony. You can stack leaders at a colony as a form of system specialization. Promotion to advisor is a one-way trip, so players will have to use prudence. Smaller empires will add leaders at a greater rate than larger colonies, allowing tall empires to be more competitive with wide empires, and mitigating the runaway snowball effect

 

-- Governments will exist, but the player will not be in total control of them. It is a game mechanic that you have to deal with and exploit. I wrote up a brief description on this in the explorminate forums, which you can read here: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/explorminate/discussions/0/412448158143254081/#c412448792372955846

 

-- Research treaties will be replaced by a latent research bonus when you are researching techs already known by your trade  partners or those you have spy networks for. The more who know it, the bigger the bonus. This is specifically intended to mitigate the snowball effect.

 

Probably in the MOO2 version of the game as well:

 

-- Atmospheric Terraforming, Soil Enrichment and the high-end armors will be gated by a resource system. The Empire treasury will be expands to include these resources in addition to the BC it already tracks. Terraforming resources will be collected from Greenhouse and Ocean planets. Players without access to the terraaforming resources can still terraform, but much more slowly. With the resources, the terraforming will progress as quickly as in MOO1, which is really fast btw. Constructing ships with the armors will require the accumulation of ore from Rich/Ultra-Rich planets, or planets in Neutron star systems. These changes are intended to turn more of the planets into strategic resources to be protected.

 

-- There will be a food distribution mechanic that takes advantage of Fertile/Gaia planets and while making it a very bad idea to make every planet a Gaia planet. They will provide food for other planets (abstraccted by raising the max pop within 1-turn range), so players will need to strategically decide which planets in their empire should be breadbasket planets. Gaia terraforming will turn this into overdrive at the cost of eliminating all industry on the planet. Once again, it creates a additional strategic system.

 

 

-- Emperors will be able to give compose and give speeches to their empires, which can be timed with external events to maximize the effects of the speech. There is a cooldown on their effectiveness, so players need use them judiciously. Their net effect is to provide a temporary bonus to the empire, much like a "Golden Age" in Civ, but which effects specified by their speech composition.

 

-- The Orions... will show up in a post-MOO2 release due to artwork requirements. This is my favorite  "new" feature and is being kept internal until it gets closer.

 

 

That's about all I can think of for now


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Moo4 #3 Posted 09 March 2016 - 07:58 AM

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Interesting stuff!

 

I completely understand the single planet per system.

 

Not all colony buildings are bad.  You could cut the MoO2 buildings down to about 1/5 of their current number and have a good system.  No queues though.  Think more like a checkbox system where you can check off the buildings (again I'm thinking like 10 possible buildings in the game) you want at a particular planet.  If you check automated factories then any resources spent on "Industry" will go to automated factory building before continuing on regular factories.  If you check terraform, any resources spent on ecology would apply to terafforming before population growth etc.  I've updated my post about how to minimize the number of buildings.  

 

If you have a sophisticated leader system than buildings can be ignored completely.  

 

You didn't mention research.  I'm hoping it follows MoO1 style of multiple levels of a single tech with randomly generated options each game.  


Edited by Moo4, 09 March 2016 - 07:59 AM.

I want a moddable Master of Orion 1.5 with focus on interface and pacing.  Come discuss MoO 1.5 ideas HERE!


RayFowler #4 Posted 09 March 2016 - 12:54 PM

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View PostMoo4, on 09 March 2016 - 01:58 AM, said:

Interesting stuff!

 

I completely understand the single planet per system.

 

Not all colony buildings are bad.  You could cut the MoO2 buildings down to about 1/5 of their current number and have a good system.  No queues though.  Think more like a checkbox system where you can check off the buildings (again I'm thinking like 10 possible buildings in the game) you want at a particular planet.  If you check automated factories then any resources spent on "Industry" will go to automated factory building before continuing on regular factories.  If you check terraform, any resources spent on ecology would apply to terafforming before population growth etc.  I've updated my post about how to minimize the number of buildings.  

 

If you have a sophisticated leader system than buildings can be ignored completely.  

 

You didn't mention research.  I'm hoping it follows MoO1 style of multiple levels of a single tech with randomly generated options each game.  

 

MOO1 already has colony "buildings", they are just abstracted into the sliders. You learn a tech, you spend money, and the colony is improved. Just like buildings. This how terraforming, missile bases, planetary shields, factory upgrades, and stargates all work. It is exactly the same function just implemented differently. Adding Civ-style buildings with a build queue would frankly be a poor design decision because it would disproportionately increase the level of micromanagement for no functional  gain.

 

The leader system doesn't really replace the function of buildings, but is intended scratch the same "itch" regarding the desire to specialize your colonies. You could send all of your scientists to your research colony deep in the empire, your engineers to your rich ship-building border system, and your archaeologists to the artifact planets. Combining leaders with the idea of a set of advisors is intended to get more strategic leverage out of the same mechanic. For example, if you know that your empire is about to shift into an oligarchy and want to stay on a war footing, you'd stuff your cabinet with aggressive and ruthless leaders.

 

With regards to multiple planets per system, they don't really add anything except more planets to manage. You can already get that by selecting a larger map size without the hassle of a more complicated UI navigation, so in that sense it would actually detract from the game.

 

 

The MOO1 tech tree is brilliant. It's not changing.


Edited by RayFowler, 09 March 2016 - 12:55 PM.

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Moo4 #5 Posted 09 March 2016 - 03:11 PM

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View PostEmP64213, on 09 March 2016 - 04:29 PM, said:

 Colony uniqueness? Then don't make it desirable to build everything everywhere.

This is my biggest focus on limiting the number of unique buildings per empire and # of total buildings per planet.  Essentially inspired by https://en.wikipedia...napsack_problem

 

It is possible that re-arranging leaders could get the same feel but with more randomness as the player wouldn't know which leaders will come along.


I want a moddable Master of Orion 1.5 with focus on interface and pacing.  Come discuss MoO 1.5 ideas HERE!


Moo4 #6 Posted 09 March 2016 - 03:42 PM

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View PostRayFowler, on 09 March 2016 - 03:54 PM, said:

 

MOO1 already has colony "buildings", they are just abstracted into the sliders. You learn a tech, you spend money, and the colony is improved. Just like buildings. This how terraforming, missile bases, planetary shields, factory upgrades, and stargates all work. It is exactly the same function just implemented differently. Adding Civ-style buildings with a build queue would frankly be a poor design decision because it would disproportionately increase the level of micromanagement for no functional  gain.

 

Completely agree (just finished another MoO1 game last night).   Smoothing over the 'buildings' is something that MoO1's sliders is excellent at.  However, it is quite weak on diversity/uniqueness/flavor because the system, as elegant as it is, still promotes building the same buildings everywhere.  There's very little decision in which planets to upgrade to fertile or to implement better eco-spending.  

 

There was very little choice in MoO2 as well--they just made it an uglier system to get to the same result. 

 

Implementing that specialization feel can be done by either a limited number of leaders or a limited number of buildings or both.  Leaders are interesting from the idea of promotions.  Buildings have a tighter connection to research progression and represents more discrete jumps in a planet's potential.  Both have merits and is a fun discussion.  

 

The leader system doesn't really replace the function of buildings, but is intended scratch the same "itch" regarding the desire to specialize your colonies. You could send all of your scientists to your research colony deep in the empire, your engineers to your rich ship-building border system, and your archaeologists to the artifact planets. Combining leaders with the idea of a set of advisors is intended to get more strategic leverage out of the same mechanic. For example, if you know that your empire is about to shift into an oligarchy and want to stay on a war footing, you'd stuff your cabinet with aggressive and ruthless leaders.

 

 

It seems like there could be 3 tiers of leaders.

 

"Primes" which would be pulled from a list of pre-made leaders and possibly race-specific ones.  Looks like these would go straight to advisor-level and have empire wide implications and influence gameplay strategies depending on who you get early (in-game option to pre-select which prime leader you want to play with of course).

 

"Leaders" which would function similar to Moo2 leaders and work at the planet level with level ups increasing their effectiveness.  These can be turned into advisor-level as a one-way-trip as you said.  Custom races may have to rely on turning these leaders into advisors instead of the pre-made (possibly more powerful) race-specific Primes.

 

"Specialists" (to borrow from civ) which wouldn't need names and would be sent to a system for a specific purpose ( ie +production).  These could be stacked with varying levels of effectiveness and diminishing returns.


I want a moddable Master of Orion 1.5 with focus on interface and pacing.  Come discuss MoO 1.5 ideas HERE!


RayFowler #7 Posted 09 March 2016 - 04:37 PM

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The plan is for leaders to have a skill which can level up over time, and a personality (ruthless, pacifist, etc).

 

The player will be given a choice between putting a leader on a colony for their skill at a colony level, or as an advisor for the same at an empire-wide level. The personalities will come into play during the oligarchy phase of the government, so the decision to promote is a little more involved since it's not just about the flat bonus.

 

I don't want to over-complicate the leaders because it is an additional mechanic and there's a risk of simply creating complexity without depth. There's a real tendency to "blue sky" new features and make them too confusing.


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Moo4 #8 Posted 10 March 2016 - 10:17 AM

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I think we do agree on a lot of things.  Interested in following your work!

I want a moddable Master of Orion 1.5 with focus on interface and pacing.  Come discuss MoO 1.5 ideas HERE!


RayFowler #9 Posted 10 March 2016 - 12:56 PM

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I'm trying to respect the "theory of seven" so as to avoid turning the game into a kitchen sink of ideas. Look at the things a MOO1 player needs to master to play the game:

 

1. How to expand in the galaxy

2. How to develop your colonies

3. How to focus your research

4. How to design your ships

5. How to interact with other races

6. How to do ship combat

 

Those are the basic ideas needed to run the game. That's 6 already, but some of them are more straightforward (developing) and one of them ends midway through the game (expanding). So there's room to add without weighing the game done.

 

I am adding:

 

7. How to manage leaders

8. How to manage trade resources

9. How to deal with the Orions

 

That makes 9, which is a lot of different gameplay elements to juggle. But since the Orions will be after the expansion phase is finished, it's actually never more than 8.

 

Remember, the more strategic elements you have in a game, the less important any one of them become. I'm guessing there is a "sweet spot" to hit probably somewhere around 7.


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Moo4 #10 Posted 11 March 2016 - 12:05 PM

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View PostRayFowler, on 10 March 2016 - 03:56 PM, said:

I'm trying to respect the "theory of seven" so as to avoid turning the game into a kitchen sink of ideas. Look at the things a MOO1 player needs to master to play the game:

 

1. How to expand in the galaxy

2. How to develop your colonies

3. How to focus your research

4. How to design your ships

5. How to interact with other races

6. How to do ship combat

 

Those are the basic ideas needed to run the game. That's 6 already, but some of them are more straightforward (developing) and one of them ends midway through the game (expanding). So there's room to add without weighing the game done.

 

I am adding:

 

7. How to manage leaders

8. How to manage trade resources

9. How to deal with the Orions

 

That makes 9, which is a lot of different gameplay elements to juggle. But since the Orions will be after the expansion phase is finished, it's actually never more than 8.

 

Remember, the more strategic elements you have in a game, the less important any one of them become. I'm guessing there is a "sweet spot" to hit probably somewhere around 7.

 

4 and 6 go hand in hand in my opinion.  Could/should easily be one (albeit important) topic. 

 

5 is pretty minimal if you are sticking with moo1 diplomacy options/AI. (fine by me).  

 

----------------------------------------------

 

Do you have any intentions on tweaking the numbers of moo1 mechanics?  In particular I think the costs of expanding factories through robotic controls could use some steeper numbers.  I'd like to get to a point where I should slow down on factory production because my BC's are better spent in ship/research (even though I could technically build more factories).

 

Consider these numbers for a 100 population planet and keeping factory cost constant at 10.

 

IRC 2 (start)

200 factories at 10 BC a piece.

2000 BC to max.

 

Now come the expansions.

 

IRC 3

New cost is 10 BC for new factory 

Refit cost is (10-10) = 0 BC for existing factories.

200x0 + 100*10

1000 BC to max (assuming starting from previous max)

 

IRC 4

new cost is 15 BC for new factory (50% increase)

Refit cost is (15-10) = 5 BC for existing factories

300x5 + 100*15

3000 BC to max.  (2000 more than before).

 

IRC 5

New cost is 20 BC per new factory (50% + 50%)

400*10 + 100*20 = 

6000 BC to max.  (3000 more than before)

 

IRC 6

500*15 + 100*25 =10,000 BC to max (4000 more than before)

 

IRC 7 

600 * 20 + 100*30 = 15,0000 to max. (5000 more than before)

 

 

Essentially it gets really cheap to expand those factories in the end game.  This doesn't factor in the ridiculousness of improved industrial tech and that your overall BC capacity is increasing.

 

In the very early game there are some interesting decisions about getting that early colony ship or popping a critical tech faster than maxing factories (or doing them simultaneously of course)  However, as the game progresses it almost always pays to max factories first (also assuming you are spamming new colonists in from existing planets).

 

I think the MoO1 mechanic is awesome, but the numbers should be tweaked.  Perhaps with a concept of the 'last mile'.  If you have IRC level k, that k'th factory (per population) should be drastically more expensive than the k-1th factory.  This keeps a "well I *could* get more factories but maybe I should put more into research for abit?" tension.

 


I want a moddable Master of Orion 1.5 with focus on interface and pacing.  Come discuss MoO 1.5 ideas HERE!


RayFowler #11 Posted 11 March 2016 - 04:32 PM

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With regards to colony development, the only internal numbers I am tweaking are to fix known exploits. A notable one is the reserve-ultrarich exploit.

 

With regards to diplomacy, I am not using the internal logic of the original game as the whole thing is too expoitable. I am developing the AI from scratch for that.

 

 

Also, remember that "interacting with other races" is not just diplomacy, but espionage and sabotage


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Zeraan #12 Posted 11 March 2016 - 06:55 PM

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Ray's game is one of the two games in development that's based off of MoO 1.  The other one is Dominus Galaxia, and it's being developed by my team (I linked to a thread because our website needs some loving and don't have as much details as covered in the thread).  I don't generally plug my game in other games' forums, but felt that this thread is good fit to explain what I'd do, since I'm literally doing it.

 

I wanted to expand on the "eXplore" aspect.  The thrill of land-based 4X games is discovering the terrain that you're playing on.  This is often lost in space 4X games because you instantly see the whole galaxy from the first turn.  So I implemented fog of war that's pushed back when you colonize planets or research larger logistics range.  I also added different kinds of nebulas, the most significant one is the anti-matter nebulas, which blocks any travel through it (think of mountains or oceans in land-based games).  The end result is that it significantly added to the "eXplore" aspect!  I don't know where in the galaxy I started in, until a lot of exploring later on!  The terrain of the galaxy forces me to expand in certain directions, instead of expanding anywhere.  Nor do I know how many other empires are in the game, and even when contact is established, it will not reveal their empire.  I felt that it has re-captured that wonder of exploring when starting a new game!

 

Another negative feature to handle is colony ships.  We discussed different ideas, and actually had MoO 1's colonization approach, but the limited design slots means it forces the player to scrap 1/6 of designs just to build one or two colony ships.  We hit on the idea of using transports to colonize (like Star Lords, or MoO 0), but to limit expansion, a planet needs to build a Starport before it can send transports, build ships, or propagate logistics range.  It has worked pretty well so far!

 

We're trying to reduce the clicks that it take to do things.  For example, instead of having all sliders add up to 100, we use weighted distribution.  So if a colony has a slider at 50%, and another at 25%, it means the 50% gets 66% of the production allocated to it, and the 25% gets 33%.  So no more "One more... one more click... Crap, I need to nudge the ENVIRONMENT back, then lock it, then nudge other sliders again".

 

Space combat is turn-based, but instead of square based and 1v1, it's now hex based and allows up to 7 sides (1 defender and 6 attackers).  This has made combat really intense at times, as you try to have the other sides fight each other first before you get involved.

 

Those are the major features that I really liked in Dominus Galaxia.



RayFowler #13 Posted 12 March 2016 - 12:09 AM

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Just want to make clear to everyone that I am not hyping my game. It will be free, anyway. I just like talking about MOO1, and 4X game design in general, and found this thread after being msg'd by the OP.

 

Also, I will debate all day about why MOO1 > MOO2, lol,  so I gravitate towards  MOO1 threads.


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Zeraan #14 Posted 12 March 2016 - 04:12 AM

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View PostRayFowler, on 12 March 2016 - 12:09 AM, said:

Just want to make clear to everyone that I am not hyping my game. It will be free, anyway. I just like talking about MOO1, and 4X game design in general, and found this thread after being msg'd by the OP.

 

Also, I will debate all day about why MOO1 > MOO2, lol,  so I gravitate towards  MOO1 threads.

 

Sorry, I didn't meant to imply that you were hyping.  I was just commenting that normally I'm reluctant about hyping up my game on other forums, but figured this thread is a good place to talk about certain mechanisms that I want to see.

 

Debate?  There's no debate.  MoO 1 > MoO 2.  That's a fact.  :D



RayFowler #15 Posted 12 March 2016 - 01:58 PM

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When are we going to see a gameplay video of your game? I'm very close to breaking down and making one of mine.
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JosEPh_II #16 Posted 12 March 2016 - 03:04 PM

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I posted in another thread if Ray was still doing his "java moO" and here's the answer in this thread. :)

 

All 3 of you have good ideas for making a better MoO. Now I have to remember to keep track of you all's progress in that regards.

 

And for the record I Like ALL 3 moOs (now 4). And any game that can expound upon any of them also has my interest.

 

Hey Zeraan and Ray, I'd Love to see a vid play, 1 from each of you , if possible. That would be very nice.

 

JosEPh :D


Edited by JosEPh_II, 12 March 2016 - 03:06 PM.

Old and Slow.....Watch Out! It's Not Y'uns Turn!

Zeraan #17 Posted 12 March 2016 - 06:24 PM

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View PostRayFowler, on 12 March 2016 - 01:58 PM, said:

When are we going to see a gameplay video of your game? I'm very close to breaking down and making one of mine.

 

Jeff calls our current UI "eyesores".  As soon as he's done updating the UI to the new style, either AiL (our AI guy) or Jeff or both will start making gameplay videos.  AiL would probably focus on videos about AI in action.  We're aiming to have a polished Alpha by end of month (I keep saying that for past half year!) so hopefully around that time.



vmxa #18 Posted 13 March 2016 - 03:59 AM

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HI Zeraan, JosePH_II and I think I know Ray as well. It is hard to track all the possible version status for me. I hope this can be the place to try to follow the progress, if any.

 

For me I always had Moo1 as one of my very favorite games. In the last 5-10 years MooII has tied it for me and now I cannot say which I like better. Hoping the Reboot will eventually make it to that level, but way too soon to know. As JosePH knows I also played a lot of Moo3, but Moo1 and II are games you can play in a reasonable amount of time and Moo3 is not.

 

I am always looking for reboots of games that are not well received by the latest Windows and Blizzard actually made a patch to let Diablo II LoD run with no hassle on Win10. Who would have expected that? 



RayFowler #19 Posted 13 March 2016 - 01:17 PM

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View Postvmxa, on 12 March 2016 - 09:59 PM, said:

For me I always had Moo1 as one of my very favorite games. In the last 5-10 years MooII has tied it for me and now I cannot say which I like better.

 

I will bring you back from the dark side!!!  :P
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Moo4 #20 Posted 13 March 2016 - 01:42 PM

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I understand where you are coming from on the pollution mechanic in MoO1.  Arguably the interface did *too* good of job controlling pollution levels by setting the slider at 'clean'.

 

A subtle but critical issue of pollution tech in MoO1 is that they came from different areas (planetology made cheaper to clean up and construction made less to begin with).  This allowed races with special strengths/weaknesses in certain fields (another awesome aspect lost in 2) to have options.  It also made the psilons quite strong because they could get both.  Also, races like the klackons (and anyone pushing high into planetology) got a pretty big chunk of production just from population which didnt pollute.  This made the late game proportion of eco spending smaller still.

 

A second issue is that (arguably) population levels grew quite fast.  This made extra eco spending for +pop not all that important.  If a mod of either one of these new games would allow for slower baseline population growth then I think players would pay more attention to getting the sliders high enough for +pop.  Then we'd see how annoying pollution is.

 

What I do like about the pollution mechanic of moo1 is that because it was based at the factory level, it affected all areas of growth (eco and research included).  Whereas moo2 it only affected production.  This made moo1 techs stronger, but arguably too strong.

 

Through some sort of limited buildings, it would be interesting if industrial waste elimination was limited to only a few planets. 


Edited by Moo4, 13 March 2016 - 02:42 PM.

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