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PRosset

Cost of Research - An idea for the economy

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Hey guys, first time posting on here, but I've been keeping up with the team streams and absolutely loving it. I apologize if this has already been brought up in the forums, I did a quick search to try and find a similar idea, but didn't come across anything. (But as I said, it was a quick search)

In one of the last two team streams Brad and John briefly talked a bit about what the cost of research would be, if they should have some form of economy that exists in the game or not. Brad had mentioned that having the Immortal be someone concerned with money would be kind of odd, and I think unnecessary for the game. To make it feel epic, the amount of money you would have to gain over time would be a ridiculous amount, and the costs of upgrades would have to scale with it. In the end, that would feel really odd paying 100,000,000 gil/gold/dollars/babies hearts to upgrade the technology for your caberjacks weapons or to research a more sexy and effective bottle for your alchemists potions.

But I think you guys already have such an interesting resource in the game, your descendants. The cost of researching shouldn't be a monetary thing, but a matter of time and minds. Just as you retire someone to the keeps to advance the bloodline, shouldn't the advancement of technology require the retiring of heroes? Or even devoting peoples lives to the study of the research?

Maybe later research projects require so much time, that the researcher doesn't even complete his work before he passes away? Leaving his offspring to pick up where he left off. While this is just the base idea for it, I think it has some room to stretch for more depth. Using the same system of leveling would be a cool idea for that. Possibly an apprentice "program" where you can have newer researchers study under experienced ones to learn and level quicker? (but this is all possibly over complicating it and, ultimately, unnecessary**)

This ends up making your offspring even more valuable and offering interesting decisions for what you do with them. Is the child strong but dumb? SEND HIM TO BATTLE! Is he weak but smart SEND HIM TO COLLEG... RESEARCH SOMETHING! Is he strong and smart? Oh well... now you have an interesting choice. (Not sure if intelligence is one of the stats the characters have, but throwing one more variable in the ol' character sheet couldn't hurt, right?)

Questions? Comments? Concerns?.... Snide remarks?

** From my understanding the leveling system will work as follows - Your character will have a max level he can obtain (Level 3). His offspring will then have a higher max level (Level 4), but start lower than their parents (Level 2).

If research worked similarly, when researches change it would be: Parent has children, researches up to 66%, passes away, Child takes over at 50%, has off spring, researches to 80%, dies, his children take over at 70%, RESEARCH COMPLETE... zug zug.

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When Brad or John mentioned the possibility of having no economy, I smiled (naturally), because in many non-rts games economies get in the way more than they don't. I think it is semi-interesting to weave heroes more into the research, though I recall from some of the early team streams, that was already a part of it? But I'm sure we'll get a better sense of these sorts of gameplay mechanics soon, as they start to delve deeper into the kingdom map.

Smiles

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Yeah, I think they were talking about just having time as the only thing needed for research and tech. Your idea is pretty awesome. It makes sense that if you retire a dude he'll probably help in the cause through research or something.

So the more retired dudes there are the faster you might research something. This'll give the player incentive to retire someone (maybe higher lvls=faster research) and at the same time have them make big decisions about battle roster.

I think being able to speed research up at the cost of heroes (as you [PRosset] suggested) makes all the sense. Maybe have it go a little deeper and have the ability to sacrifice skills, lvls, genes, etc. for forbidden tech (or just increased research speed) would be cool.

Sweet ideas dood.

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This just had me thinking; are researchers going to be limited to an amount per keep?

Otherwise you'd want a lot of babymaking just to retire people as a round about way of increasing research.

But I think you guys already have such an interesting resource in the game, your descendants.

How drunk was I when I signed that? This is why I shouldn't have children. I'd probably end up using them as coaster for my beer or a glorified hat rack.

The thing is, though, it seems you just replace money/hearts/etc. with descendants if they aren't limited. And limiting it reduces a sense of progression. At least it remains dynamic if you have to assign the descendants.

The thing is, I would have ways to reward its management in someway, but that technically reverts it back to an economic system, just with a different name for the resource. This is why I think they might've viewed it in the wrong light, as they probably should just aim to make it feel more rewarding and worth any effort.

Edit: the way you could capture aliens in xcom is actually a great way of involving the tactical layer - but it returns to the problem of snowballing; once you start doing well, you just keep doing well.

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Hey, thanks ShooMonFoo! That could be pretty cool, their stats / level affecting how quickly the research gets done, make you really think about who you have doing the research!

The thing is, though, it seems you just replace money/hearts/etc. with descendants if they aren't limited. And limiting it reduces a sense of progression. At least it remains dynamic if you have to assign the descendants.

You are right, it is just replacing the economy with something else, but what you are replacing it with is something that is already valuable to you. Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "retire." That's what they have been calling it and so I used it, but really it's more like assigning. I was thinking of these researches being offspring that maybe never even see combat.

So the idea you "sacrificing" one of your descendants to a life of research position not only adds a interesting decision to what you do with your heroes, it also makes more of them feel more important.

It's still early, so you might have fewer to choose from, but in the last build in the team stream, it seemed like there were a lot of heroes at your disposal, but you only end up using 5 per battle (which I think is a perfect number). This idea would allow the other heroes to feel useful, instead of having a stable full of people you might never use.

That last paragraph was making a lot of assumptions about the design though, and as smiles pointed out, maybe get some more definite answers soon.

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Hey, thanks ShooMonFoo! That could be pretty cool, their stats / level affecting how quickly the research gets done, make you really think about who you have doing the research!
The thing is, though, it seems you just replace money/hearts/etc. with descendants if they aren't limited. And limiting it reduces a sense of progression. At least it remains dynamic if you have to assign the descendants.

You are right, it is just replacing the economy with something else, but what you are replacing it with is something that is already valuable to you. Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "retire." That's what they have been calling it and so I used it, but really it's more like assigning. I was thinking of these researches being offspring that maybe never even see combat.

So the idea you "sacrificing" one of your descendants to a life of research position not only adds a interesting decision to what you do with your heroes, it also makes more of them feel more important.

It's still early, so you might have fewer to choose from, but in the last build in the team stream, it seemed like there were a lot of heroes at your disposal, but you only end up using 5 per battle (which I think is a perfect number). This idea would allow the other heroes to feel useful, instead of having a stable full of people you might never use.

That last paragraph was making a lot of assumptions about the design though, and as smiles pointed out, maybe get some more definite answers soon.

The thing is, I'm entirely on your side with these things, but I haven't fully picked up on what they didn't like about the economy systems. To me it seemed like having lack of resources could be frustrating, but if that's the element they were trying to avoid, they shouldn't be trying to make an RPG as the experience becomes the equivalent of money. I feel like I shouldn't be talking about it until I have a better understanding of what they want, so ... I've got my finger on the edit button.

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Well, I didn't take it as "No economy." I wasn't quoting Brad or John when I wrote the original post, so I may be putting words into their mouths! (Sorry if I did / am! I'll preface every thing from now on with "I think I remember")

I think I remember him just saying he didn't want to do a resource like gold, not that he didn't want some form of resource / economy. I took it as him just saying "there is a much more interesting idea for an economy here, we just need to find it!"

They have pushed for such unique and interesting ideas with this game so far, and I hope they plan to approach every system the same way. Regardless it's super inspiring to watch.

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Well, I didn't take it as "No economy."

They did say no economy. The excuse was economies are easy to mess up. They said research rate would effectively be your economy.

The problem/s with these statements they haven't shared with the community is how it affects equipment you've unlocked. In X-com, manufacturing items is a separate line of progression from research, requiring research, materials, and money. So how would MC account for the loss of a currency: do you have infinite amounts of an item immediately after unlocking it? What differentiated benefits do keeps confer? What rewards does answering one demon attack offer versus another?

The system you describe sounds like what the team has hinted at, as they've mentioned retiring heroes to a research or factory (smithing) role. Particulars you described had some good ideas for how to flesh out this system like one hero apprenticing another (akin to child-rearing), conferring researcher levels (which could mesh with a sub-divided research system, expert in demonic research vs expert in healing foods, etc.). Research falling back when the researcher changes doesn't make sense but what you could alter is the research rate increase each hero offers so the time until completion extends when the old guy's replaced with his less experienced apprentice.

If they don't cut a forging system, it could have set completion rates for items incorporating their value alone. This could open up demonic negative influence by having heroes permanently debuffed in how they may help with strategic-layer things like forging, researching, or baby-making.

In the end, much of a system's worth is determined by the surrounding systems which interact it and the content which utilizes it.

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I totally agree with the initial poster here that descendents (or at least lineage) of the houses is your primary 'currency' of MC and I +1 the favoring of this over a general backdrop of money or resources or what-have-you. Talking about gil or diamonds or the country's coffers is a little strange when your timeline stretches into the hundreds of years. Watching those days fly by makes you take a macro-level view.

The problem that I see developing is what I'll call the FTL paradox. They want random tactical-layer events in the vein of FTL, which is great... but FTL had about a million currencies inside its systems - crewmembers, weapons, blueprints, resources (of multiple kinds), ship damage, etc. etc. so it was no problem writing a thousand events that could impact these in multiple subtle ways. Go down to planet, lose crewmember but gain spaceship parts. Discover alien race but lose time racing against the wall of the pursuing fleet. Super easy to just freestyle events all the live-long day.

In MC I'm not currently seeing a similar breadth of currencies available to the player. I'm sure they're be there in time... but they're... what... relics, characters, bloodlines... uh... Strangely it doesn't seem as micromanagey as FTL despite managing little dudes on a map, so you have less options at your management disposal.

I liked in XCOM how there was a fluctuating budget for this and that that you had to manage over the timeline, with a re-up each month as long as you had countries onside with the program. You had to assess 'funding' in relation to how many plasma rifles you could afford to buy or how many satellites you could launch, with a single currency that you could prop up if you needed to by selling the bodies of sectoids or whatever on the grey market.

In this scenario I guess the main currency of the land is... population? Is there a population counter over each region? Corruption? Is there a corruption counter? Can you have an event like "chase the white hart!" that has some impact beyond just "you get a new character" or "your character learns a skill a little early?" We're not sure.

Whatever it is, it shouldn't be gold. 100% agree on that front.

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