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[Idea] Evolutionary Game start/ Reload
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Killjaeden





Joined: 03 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Mon, 30. Apr 18, 18:04    Post subject: [Idea] Evolutionary Game start/ Reload Reply with quote Print

Games where you build your empire - be it trading emprie like in X, or some civilization (Civ games, Stellaris, Total war series, etc), or a City (Sim City, City Skylines etc), or similar, have the fundamental problem, that when they are played for a while there simply is no challenge to overcome anymore and no reason to continue playing. The game is already "won", you have near infinite ressources, every enemy that may exist only does so because the time consuming mop-up was not completed yet. All that remains is continue mop-up (military games), or do accomplish whatever you set as your own goal (build 1 million stations in the same sector) - which is just a question of time and endurance rather than interesting gameplay.

This is where players tend to get bored and fatigued (some rather soon, some later, some never). Starting a new savegame would be a way to "solve" this, but then all you worked for is lost and gone - it has no impact on your new universe - and (to me) it always feels like i wasted my time. Additionally, a new game from scratch is always identical, because everything is reset.

What if instead of starting a new game from scratch you could choose to enter into the role of one of your employees? You are now the employee, and the megacorp or pirate clan or whatever you accomplished in your "old" game continues to live on under AI control, developing further (or declining) dynamically due to natural ingame events - and the entire universe keeps on existing like it did in the old game.

Could start as freight pilot, could start as captain of a frigate, as station manager, as fighter patrol pilot... Selection options for the circumstances of the start could greatly influence how it plays.
Do you continue to serve the <old player faction> or are you leaving the <old player faction>, and if so - what are the circumstances? Voluntary/ Honorable discharge, treachery (stealing a ship by a pilot, or trying to take control over a station by a manager), ... stuff like that.
It would also set up what assets you own - as pilot of a trade ship you might have to earn the money with your current ship to pay the <old player faction> back, or buy another cheap ship before you are free.

This would be really interesting change from the usual "New Game" - wipe, if the nature of the universe will really be as dynamic as they announced. Of course it requires a little bit of AI management logic to keep some of the old faction from completely falling apart immediately after the player lets go of it.

This is also really interesting as a reload option.
Every time the player sees the reload screen because of death he could be given the option to either reload an old save (unless dead is dead mode) or choose start a "new game" in this evolutionary way.

Dead is dead players and roleplayers would certainly find this really interesting, as well as those people who quickly lose interest once they recognize they have attained "unlimited power". It also makes every evolutionary game start completely unique every time due to the dynamic nature.


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Karvat





Joined: 31 Jan 2018



PostPosted: Mon, 30. Apr 18, 19:43    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I have been wanting this possibility for years

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LittleBird





Joined: 19 Dec 2011



PostPosted: Mon, 30. Apr 18, 20:20    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Interesting idea.
Players who search an opponent would create him just by playing. And the more you play and the more you achieve the more powerful he becomes.
Players who have no goals anymore would receive new goals from the AI who tries to maintain and expand the empire.
Also the impact of an AI who takes the control of an empire would create new opportunities in general.


It works well with a thought about player factions I have.
If you manage to reach a specific point (could be your income & wealth, your military power, your efficiency as a pirate) the community of the X-Universe will notice you as a true power. Like OTAS and PLUTARCH you become a faction.
And then if you like you can start a new game as a worker for this faction. Depending on your history the AI will try to act as an pirate clan, a commercial empire, a mercenary group... well the AI should take your former role.


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GCU Grey Area



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PostPosted: Mon, 30. Apr 18, 22:09    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Not sure I'd want such a thing in my games. Tend to focus primarily on Trade & Build elements, identifying gaps in the NPC economy in each system & building stations to fulfil those needs. Might work for people who don't build much & focus more on the combat side of the game. However, for me, think the last thing I'd want is for all the stuff I built in one game to stick around after a restart (there tends to be quite a lot of it). Wouldn't have much left that I could do in the next game, even less in the one after that, and so on.

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LittleBird





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PostPosted: Mon, 30. Apr 18, 23:50    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

@GCU Grey Area
Sure you need some fail safes so the AI makes mistakes and loses monopoly positions you have created. And when you start the new game you can not compete with NPC's anyway. So working some time for your empire should allow the world to rebuild into a state you can work with.


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GCU Grey Area



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PostPosted: Tue, 1. May 18, 12:30    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

LittleBird wrote:
@GCU Grey Area
Sure you need some fail safes so the AI makes mistakes and loses monopoly positions you have created. And when you start the new game you can not compete with NPC's anyway. So working some time for your empire should allow the world to rebuild into a state you can work with.

Nah, not interested in a game where I'd have to wait for the AI to make mistakes before there are profitable trade routes, or for stations to mysteriously go out of business before it's worth building any of my own. All that waiting just doesn't seem like a fun way to start a new game.

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LittleBird





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PostPosted: Tue, 1. May 18, 13:22    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

@CU Grey Area

You can not build stations at game start because you need some time for the money. That should be enough time for the god AI to take action.
But it is true finding profitable trade routs will be hard at beginning and I can not think of a solution. Working for your former empire seems the best way for your first steps. But all in all it comes down to waiting.


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Killjaeden





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PostPosted: Wed, 2. May 18, 13:45    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

GCU Grey Area wrote:
Not sure I'd want such a thing in my games. Tend to focus primarily on Trade & Build elements, identifying gaps in the NPC economy in each system & building stations to fulfil those needs. Might work for people who don't build much & focus more on the combat side of the game. However, for me, think the last thing I'd want is for all the stuff I built in one game to stick around after a restart (there tends to be quite a lot of it). Wouldn't have much left that I could do in the next game, even less in the one after that, and so on.

If you like to identify gaps in NPC economy, why would it not interest you to challenge yourself identifying gaps in the situation you previously created, but with less ressources at your hand? That there would be no gaps would assume that you exploited every possible opportunity in the entire universe in your previous game - which i consider impropable to achieve, especially considering the dynamic nature where new stations get built and others get destroyed or dissassembled etc etc.

Let's face it - the AI in control of the player faction would never be so good to expand itself considerably after the player lets go - unless it has so much income and ressources that it is impossible to lose. It may have a few good running days but as soon as dynamic changes affect the original stability made by the player, it is likely that the AI will only manage to keep stuff in balance and repair damage done by the outside at best - and at worst spiral downwards. Even if it is capable of more, it could easily be limited. After all, the other factions or races exist as well as counter part.

This degradation and "chaos process" can easily be accelerated by increasing the amount of "disturbances" /increase the random chance for events (worker strike -> production loss -> effects on stuff; Accidents or other Events on stations that render them inoperable temporarily or permanently, etc). It can also easily be kick-started by including the possibility of "ursurping" of power where the old player faction splinters into several independant parts and therefore immediately has an imbalance in assets and ressource, or other ways of "deleting" some assets or ressources as to create an imbalance right out of the gate.

Making a situation worse for a faction is always very easy to do (compared to making it better).

If you still dont like it - ok fair enough, you wont lose the possibility to start fresh of course. But starting fresh means its always the same situation every time for the same game start (unless they build randomization into the universe state of each gamestart as well).

Quote:
But it is true finding profitable trade routs will be hard at beginning and I can not think of a solution

Simple: Auto-generation of missions by stations. Station knows it needs x amount of stuff per y time, it knows it may be able to get stuff cheap from places u, v and w -> generate a delivery mission to pick stuff up and drop it at their place.

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LittleBird





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PostPosted: Wed, 2. May 18, 14:55    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Killjaeden wrote:

Quote:
But it is true finding profitable trade routs will be hard at beginning and I can not think of a solution

Simple: Auto-generation of missions by stations. Station knows it needs x amount of stuff per y time, it knows it may be able to get stuff cheap from places u, v and w -> generate a delivery mission to pick stuff up and drop it at their place.

He asked for trade routes. Accepting a transport mission is not the same.
And I highly believe that both stations are remains of your former empire. So you basically will play transporter and not trader. On top of that the station not "finds" a cheap supplier but will work with your optimized ressource loop.
In other words that route is well known for you.


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