Research methods and uses

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Post Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:14 pm

Research methods and uses

This was a topic that came up in the skype chat. I'm making a thread so it can be discussed more.
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Post Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:17 pm

Re: Research methods and uses

Unfortunately I don't have full logs, but roughly what was proposed:

- Material levels (You need iron before diamond, you need unobtanium before impossibilium.)
- Anything is available, you just need more tech.
- Thaumcraft Research style
- KSP style "Science Points"
- Possibly produced by scientist villagers?
- Possibly using a minigame to research?
- Produced by feeding a machine materials -> science points?

Keep in mind that these are just some rough ideas that were discussed. Not everybody agreed to all of these, and some are mutually exclusive.
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Post Sat Jan 18, 2014 6:55 am

Re: Research methods and uses

The scientist villager idea was actually more like:
You hire the villagers. They now require two things: a place to live and research and stuff
The more villagers work on your research, the faster it goes, but only to the point where any lab equipment at a time and villagers without equipment are useless.
Advanced tech requires better equipment (you can't observe sub-molecular structures with a magnifying glass) and better equipment is generally faster.
If you don't give them enough room or design your lab in a way that they end up being in each other's way, two effects occur:
1) their research goes slower
2) they are more likely tomake mistakes, which means they will consume more resources before they finally output a functioning prototype of what you are researching

On the topic of resources: Yes, research will require resources and your scientists will ask you for resources they need for prototypes, experiments, etc. The minimum resources for develpoing a device are those of the crafting recipe, but expect more, as the first prototype(s) usually aren't ready for series.
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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:56 am

Re: Research methods and uses

Ivan2006 wrote:The scientist villager idea was actually more like:
You hire the villagers. They now require two things: a place to live and research and stuff
The more villagers work on your research, the faster it goes, but only to the point where any lab equipment at a time and villagers without equipment are useless.
Advanced tech requires better equipment (you can't observe sub-molecular structures with a magnifying glass) and better equipment is generally faster.
If you don't give them enough room or design your lab in a way that they end up being in each other's way, two effects occur:
1) their research goes slower
2) they are more likely tomake mistakes, which means they will consume more resources before they finally output a functioning prototype of what you are researching

On the topic of resources: Yes, research will require resources and your scientists will ask you for resources they need for prototypes, experiments, etc. The minimum resources for develpoing a device are those of the crafting recipe, but expect more, as the first prototype(s) usually aren't ready for series.


I like that idea. It's a nice idea.
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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:38 am

Re: Research methods and uses

That's because it actually got discussed and improved on just before we originally moved here, but everyone forgot about it and obviously didn't notice when I linked to it, saying 'there already is a concept, you know?' about every time research was the topic?

Edit: Okay, I MAY have included some mechanics to prevent villager-spam here that weren't in the original.
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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:49 am

Re: Research methods and uses

I dunno Ivan, I searched for something more "exciting" than log in , set research , log off. Its nice some systems research faster than others but in the end it is just that, log in, set up , log out. You are not involved in any way which makes the research process somewhat obsolete.
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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:59 am

Re: Research methods and uses

Iv121 wrote:I dunno Ivan, I searched for something more "exciting" than log in , set research , log off. Its nice some systems research faster than others but in the end it is just that, log in, set up , log out. You are not involved in any way which makes the research process somewhat obsolete.

Well, you are quite involved in setting up the lab and supplying the scientists with the materials they need for their research, but I see your point.
You may be right in the point that we need more player interaction.
How about the player can do research tasks instead of the villagers in minigames, resulting in
a)the Villagers don't need to do it, so research generally goes faster
b)if you do it right, that task you did has no to less potential of failure, resulting in a higher chance of the next prototype working, therefore less resources wasted and time saved.

In order to encourage 'helping out in the labs', I suggest making villagers on their own pretty slow (for a game, one day of research for your first rocket engine if you give them appropriate equipment should be enough).
Also we might implement it, that researchers do not realize if they cannot finish their research beforehand, resulting in them starting and then saying mid-work: "Hey, I need some machines to analyze this!", meaning that log in - set stuff - log off won't work, as the scientists will demand stuff all through the time.
Quotes:
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Tiel wrote:hey now no need to be rough

Daynel wrote: you can talk gay and furry to me any time

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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:51 am

Re: Research methods and uses

Well that defeats the point of having villager labs in the first place. I agree with the minigame thing but I don’t think the villagers are actually required, you can build the lab for yourself just as well.
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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:14 am

Re: Research methods and uses

This may just be me, but I disagree with minigames. Which thenvillager thing might work, I suggest something like:

20% of the time,
1. You start research.
2. Partway through, your team finds an issue they cannot solve. They come to you.
3. You can a. do some theumcrafty trial and error work, or b. opt to dedicate more resources. A. is more resource intensive, but likely faster. B. is less resource inte sive, but much, much slower.

The other 80% of the time, research goes as normal. The higher your tech level, the higher chance (5% increase per tier) of a problem occcurring requiring player intervention.
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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:59 am

Re: Research methods and uses

The reason why we need those minigames is to make the player involved and not a passive observer, and involved in a good way and not in a tedious task. To make a tech tree just for the sake of wasting time on watching a bar going up is meaningless.
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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:10 pm

Re: Research methods and uses

Minigames are, I find, either a. very time-consuming to make or b. very tedious anyway. And unless you don't mind coming up with a few dozen different join-the-dots puzzles, It's probably best to find a way to involve players without having to constantly do little things to progress.

If that won't work...hm.

Maybe a system where you find a material or something, and some research (which consumes a few blocks of it) tells you what if *might* be useful for, and from there on out you have to experiment. Before anyone says "google search", you can't use an unresearched material. Think Thaumcraft, but less destructive research.
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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:13 pm

Re: Research methods and uses

Iv121 wrote:The reason why we need those minigames is to make the player involved and not a passive observer, and involved in a good way and not in a tedious task. To make a tech tree just for the sake of wasting time on watching a bar going up is meaningless.

Well, the player can do other stuff.
The idea is that research takes time NO MATTER how intensively the player invests playtime and resources in it.
Research mainly has a balancing function and making a minigame that
a)makes sense for research
b)consumes resources to make research not free
c)takes long enough to do in order to keep people from quickly getting too advanced tech
d)doesn't bore people to hell
e)is easy enoguh for people who aren't exactly pro-gamers to eventually master
is quite difficult, if not impossible, considering c) almost instantly conflicts with either d) or e).
The Villager system is supposed to put in place a balancing research system that does NOT allow people to get extremely far ahead just by spending alll of their time on research.
Think of, again, Thaumcraft.
People often just research stuff and buff out their tech tree, but don't use much of the stuff in-between, so some may end up with a lot of tech and no idea what to do with it.
The Villager system gives people this time they need in order to actually use their new gadgets.
Quotes:
Spoiler:
CMA wrote:IT'S MY HOT BODY AND I DO WHAT I WANT WITH IT.

Tiel wrote:hey now no need to be rough

Daynel wrote: you can talk gay and furry to me any time

CMA wrote:And I can't fuck myself, my ass is currently occupied
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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:17 pm

Re: Research methods and uses

Commander Error wrote:Maybe a system where you find a material or something, and some research (which consumes a few blocks of it) tells you what if *might* be useful for, and from there on out you have to experiment. Before anyone says "google search", you can't use an unresearched material. Think Thaumcraft, but less destructive research.

That actually is not the topic.
You are saying WHAT is to be researched here, but the argument is about HOW will the player experience research.
I don't think anyone disagrees that research may/should consume stuff.
The point is whether the player orders stuff to be researched and waits OR if he does some minigame TC3 style. (you are talking TC2 btw, error. Get an upgrade.)
Quotes:
Spoiler:
CMA wrote:IT'S MY HOT BODY AND I DO WHAT I WANT WITH IT.

Tiel wrote:hey now no need to be rough

Daynel wrote: you can talk gay and furry to me any time

CMA wrote:And I can't fuck myself, my ass is currently occupied
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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 12:54 pm

Re: Research methods and uses

It is nice that research takes time, in strategy games that means the delay of deploying a new piece of tech or the decision on what to focus now, but here it has no value in this state whatsoever. It is nice you make the player to wait but for what reason ? Just to be annoying ? Yes it is true you decide if you want to do this or that first because they take time, but here you just leave it for the night and get both results , it doesn’t matter which one went first, you are not pressed for time like in strategy.

Research will take time anyway because usually it takes resources and resources are needed to be gathered, but that resource gathering together with a mini-game keeps the player engaged, gives a sense of fulfilment and has actual meaning behind it.
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Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 1:07 pm

Re: Research methods and uses

In the way it takes time, it gives enough room for technologies to be used to their almost full extent, instead of skipping right to the next one. Time pressure is established by concurring players, it's the competition of an MMO. Which empires and players will dominate later often lays quite clear in the decisions and alliances they made at the beginning. It's much about luck, but it's also significantly about efficiently using your time. Research should take long enough to build that big factory, which requires recently researched tech, before moving on too far. Global competition means that the playtime needs to be "stretched", or at least the time the players need to put in to advance, and there's enough happening around them to barely notice, believe me.

I would also suggest different levels of knowledge about tech. First and foremost, one should be able to share technology, and it shouldn't require every single that came before, but just a few important, fundamental ones respective to that technology,
The levels of knowledge would be full understanding, which would mean one can make that thing anywhere, as the player has every detail in his head. At about mid tier tech, he understands the principles behind it, but the measurements for crafting are so precise he needs a blueprint with him to craft them, irrespective of whether he has the equipment and tools available necessary. Those would be produced when the tech is first researched, be able to be copied, and, in case it is lost, time consumingly made from scratch by the player who already possesses its knowledge. The third tier is complex knowledge, it'd be the outer third/half of the tech tree, the actually hi tech stuff, which is so complex, you'd need a book about its base tech always with you, like, for an example, books about thermodynamics and electrical engineering when producing the parts of a geothermal generator. Of course only if the tech is actually manually crafted. If it's built by devices and machines, like that example actually would be, they'd also just need a blueprint inserted, or be connected to a computer containing it digitally or something idk I'm tired :/. I may continue and/or refine or just scrap this bottom half later...
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