### Author Topic: Static Limit on Seed Production  (Read 3169 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

#### Jamis

• Seedling
• Thank You
• -Given: 0
• Posts: 27
##### Static Limit on Seed Production
« on: March 20, 2009, 09:22:01 PM »
Suppose I have an asteroid with 3 fully grown trees.
Suppose I let these trees produce as many seeds as they can for an infinite amount of time.
Why will they stop producing seeds once the population of that asteroid reaches 32?  Why doesn't it keep producing seedlings?

Now, I can unerstand the great balance of life answer, sure.  But...it seems to me that the number of seedlings you should ceiling at per asteroid should be based upon how many seedling trees you have and by how much core energy your asteroid has.

As it stands now...a 50 energy asteroid with one tree, will produce 32 seedlings and then stop.  A 150 energy asteroid with 10 seedling trees will produce 32 seedlings and then stop.

How would we go about changing that?

-Jamis

#### wogan

• Guest
##### Re: Static Limit on Seed Production
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2009, 02:29:21 AM »
Seedlings should age and die. I mean, given a perpetual power source and an intact tree, there's no reason a tree can't produce seedlings indefinitely. But there's also no reason why those seedlings should remain alive forever (or until they're killed).

So if you just leave your asteroid alone, seedlings will be born and will die at a rate that keeps a relatively constant number of seedlings available. If you move all the seedlings off at once, it could take the swarm a while to die out completely, but it limits the amount of time you have with them - which prevents pooling to any significant degree.

Indefinite production or not, once you reach a critical mass, you can move a flock of seedlings from asteroid to asteroid with very little effective resistance. But if you were forced to plant new trees along the way to extend your territory (and attacking power), you wouldn't be able to just go on a massive attack run all at once.

This aspect worked really well for Rise of Nations - the moment your soldiers enter enemy territory, they take attrition damage. Simply by covering undefended ground, your forces were slowly weakened (as they would be in real life). This meant that you couldn't just do a rush and win. Any invasion had to take place in stages, with you either capturing enemy territory along the way, or defending it so the enemy couldn't retake it.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2009, 02:31:08 AM by Wogan May »

#### axussriddare

• Helper
• Shoot
• Thank You
• -Given: 0
• Posts: 16
##### Re: Static Limit on Seed Production
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2009, 06:50:27 PM »
I personally think that there should be a penalty for having many seedlings at the same place. How about decreased build speeds, lower range, decreased stats or similar measures. There should be a "no-penalty" area (say, up to 32) and some penalties should kick in later than others (decreased build speed first, then lower range at, say 50, and finally lower stats above 100). There should be an option in the options menu where you set how many you want to produce until (so you never produce once stat penalties kick in or such.

#### brandan

• Guest
##### Re: Static Limit on Seed Production
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2009, 08:06:39 PM »
i think it's interesting that such a simple game has spawned pseudo-philosophizing on the physical constraints of a virtual universe!!!!!!!!1111

my opinion is that an arbitrary static limit detracts from the consistency and integrity of the game universe.  when you realize during play that you have to consider some rule it can be aggravating, and though personally i hadn't noticed this specific issue yet, i'm sure i will as i become better acquainted with the game.

i'm not sure how involved the community is in directing the development of dyson, but my solution would be to introduce mass and composition aspects for the asteroids.  the composition would dictate the quality of soil, and the mass would denote the amount available.  then the qualities each asteroid provides toward seed capabilities such as speed, strength, and energy wouldn't necessarily be arbitrarily assigned.

a problem arises in determining a mass classification system that can work in tandem with the...potability of the soil to determine a concrete 'productivity.'  a way to determine a solution would be to limit the productivity aspect by tree rather than by asteroid.  if an asteroid is 85% good soil and is a mile in diameter, you could have some simple calculation as 85 (the percentage of good soil) * 1 (the diameter of the asteroid) / 5 (the maximum amount of trees) to conclude that the asteroid can sustain the production of 17 seeds, or we could raise the roof and say 4 natively produced seeds per tree can exist on the asteroid at any given moment.

there is an inherent difficulty in limiting the amount of seeds based on some formula due to the fact that seeds can be moved about the various asteroids, so we'd wind up having to question whether once a seed has been moved from its mother asteroid that asteroid can produce another to replace it.  we also have to answer the question of how 200 seeds circling one asteroid that were moved from 10 asteroids can be supported.

i think those questions are irrelevant in this sort of game, though, because what is most important is the ability for the player to determine the reasoning behind the limitations being imposed upon their seed production and to not have any philosophical qualms with the reason for the existence of a static limit.  one person may accept that limit quite easily, but another person may have a lot of difficulty understanding it.  what is needed is a concrete physical law that dictates the limitation on production.  once the seeds are moved the tree's 'seed counter' could be set to reflect how many of the seeds it created haven't yet disembarked from the asteroid.

this would add an element of micromanagement in that players could suddenly move newly created seeds to another asteroid, then move them back in order to facilitate further production of seeds without giving them an easy 'sit and wait' approach.

of course this also calls into question whether the game could easily support variables for each seed that note which tree it originated from, which could be unset once the seed has disembarked from its home asteroid.  each tree would require variables that keep track of which seed id it created, and those could be unset as the seeds disembark.  you could count the ids in an array to determine if the tree has maxed its productivity yet, or something.  blah blah blah.

to summarize, i don't think it's good to complicate the game too much, but it is good to flesh out the constraints in order to create a really involving universe.  to start saying seeds should die or an asteroid can only support a specific amount of seeds before no more can be created at all is to introduce a stressful factor into the game that i don't think would be enjoyable.  the goal of game design, at least as i see it with this sort of game, should be to give the player as much to do while waiting for productivity goals to be met as possible, and to give dedicated players the ability to more quickly reach those production goals in order to conquer other asteroids.  or something.

oh, and does anybody know if there is a way to set waypoints?  that would be a absolutely genius, and would really allow the scope of the game to be embiggified.

anyway, this has been a really fun and totally useless thought experiment.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2009, 08:21:47 PM by brandan »

#### Jamis

• Seedling
• Thank You
• -Given: 0
• Posts: 27
##### Re: Static Limit on Seed Production
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2009, 09:02:16 PM »
Brandon...you have some really good ideas here.
(sadly no, there is no waypoint system as of yet)

I propose, perhaps, a simpler solution.

Seeds are immortal.  Once produced, they no longer require any sustenance from their mother asteroid, or any other asteroids, and that seeds are immortal until they die in combat or choose to become trees.  Like trees, they can get their sustenance from the sun.

I think that would keep the game simpler and easier to program.  It would also allow us to dictate static variables for production rather than putting limits on changing variables.  As long as their is a sun, the trees can just keep on producing and producing...

#### wogan

• Guest
##### Re: Static Limit on Seed Production
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2009, 10:12:07 PM »
(sadly no, there is no waypoint system as of yet)

I think they were planning on working on a long-range moving solution. Drag seedlings from one asteriod to another across the map, and they'll bounce from one asteroid to the next as they make the journey.

Seeds are immortal.  Once produced, they no longer require any sustenance from their mother asteroid, or any other asteroids, and that seeds are immortal until they die in combat or choose to become trees.  Like trees, they can get their sustenance from the sun.

Except that there's no sun in this game. Of course, we could just make it an axiom, but a strategy game needs to have limits on the units you produce. C&C, for instance - there's a finite amount of tiberium/gold on the map, and when that's gone, you're reduced to either selling buildings or securing the production points, which churn out resources at a much lower rate.

Or AoE, where in a long enough game, you could capture all resources on a map. Or Rise of Nations, where your harvesting speeds are capped based on the characteristics of your race/level of technology.

If you assume that Dyson trees will behave at least in part like they were originally designed (by Freeman Dyson), then they will have to deplete the resources of the asteroids as they go. This means that you would capture an asteroid, plant seedling trees, and over time, drain the core energy of the asteroid. When it's dead, your trees petrify, and that's the end of it.

This not only forces you to expand (like in all other strategy games), but it also places much greater emphasis on unit management. Just globbing together all your seedlings and sending them against a single asteroid may not be a good idea if they're a limited resource.

I know that currently, asteroids are captured when the core energy is depleted, but it could just as well be when the old root systems are destroyed, or all the trees and seedlings are cleared.

i think it's interesting that such a simple game has spawned pseudo-philosophizing on the physical constraints of a virtual universe!!!!!!!!1111

We exhausted that discussion already, lol: http://www.dyson-game.com/smf/index.php?topic=58.0