Cosmic Supremacy Forum » Suggestions » Tech Tree Layout & Structure » Hello Guest [Login|Register]
Last Post | First Unread Post Print Page | Recommend to a Friend | Add Thread to Favorites
Post New Thread Post Reply
Go to the bottom of this page Tech Tree Layout & Structure
Author
Post « Previous Thread | Next Thread »
Earendel Player-Rank: 2 Earendel is a male
Rules with an Iron Pinky


images/avatars/avatar-795.jpg

Registration Date: 16.02.2009
Posts: 1,293
Location: Guernsey

Thumb Up! Tech Tree Layout & Structure Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

The last strategy game I worked on had a really good tech tree. I think thing that made it work so well was it’s flexibility. Not only could players go off in their own technological direction, but they were also free to break the conventional rules and do something unexpected. To put it simply, no upgrades were bundled, and all non-vital prerequisites were removed (vital prerequisites are usually things where one thing directly replaces the other thing).

I’ve fitted the Space Civ Tech Tree into a similar system so you can see what I mean. There are a few pieces in the tech tree that I made that are under a different name, or that do not exist in the current game... the reason that are there is because I was playing around with ideas for the game and i think that they should be included somewhere in the unforeseeable future, but you can just ignore those for now. Consider this my wish list.



When you look at it you will probably notice that the tech tree progresses from left to right instead of up to down. There are two reasons: it’s more intuitive, and it fits into the space more easily.

How it progresses:
Space Civ currently has ‘Key Techs’ that unlock between 1 and 4 actual technologies that you get as soon as you get the ‘Key Tech’. Eg: Dark-Matter Fission gets you the Dark-Matter Bomb and Particle Cannon at the same time.

The tech tree I’m demoing has an individual technology item for every single component that you can get. Nothing is bundled together, so if you don’t need it you can skip it unless it is directly required for something else that you need. Tech items connected by a horizontal line show tech that are directly dependant on the previous, usually where the tech further to the right makes the previous techs obsolete. The ‘Key Techs’ are at the top (the purple ones). Each ‘Key Tech’ is required for every tech item along that column. Each individual tech item only requires the Key Tech on that column, and any tech that are linked directly to it.

Eg: To research the Destroyer tech item, you would need to have the Graviton Controller Key Tech, which requires you to have already researched Ion Controller and Advanced Fusion.

Presumably you could take a shortcut directly to Destroyer by researching: Shipyard, Nuclear Drive, Advanced Fusion, Ion Controller, Graviton Controller, and finally Destroyer… and be the first player to have Destroyers. If you feel like this would give you an advantage then you’re free to do so, but being so unconventional would make your empire a little less than balanced…

You might also notice that many of the items that you usually start with are listed along the left. The idea is that when you start the game you start with an existing stock pile of research points. You can use these points to decide which technologies you start with. You can match the current starting techs (Light Scanner, Nuclear Drive, Shuttle, Colony Module, Farm, Shipyard), or try something different if you like (Farm, Factory, Science lab, Light Turret, Advanced Fusion, Bunker

The green ones are upgrades, not new equipment.

(Doctrines are currently out of scope)

Explanation of Tech-item name changes & new ones, just if you’re interested:

Shipyard: you need one to build shuttles, tow to build corvettes, three to build frigates, etc.
Bio Dome: Like a farm, but twice as effective in 150% the space, costs 250% production points.
Vertical Gardens: Like farm but four times as effective in 200% the space, costs 800% the production points
Assemble Line: Was Auto-Factory.
Industrial Complex: To Factory as Bio Dome is to Farm.
Bank: Was Banking Center. Changed so Finance Center makes more sense.
Finance Center: To Bank as Bio Dome is to Farm.
Stock Market: To Bank as Vertical Garden is to Farm.
Mine Complex: To Mine as Vertical Garden is to Farm.
Science Lab: Was University, changed because a science lab is smaller than a university.
University: Was Science Lab.
Scientific Academy: To Science Lab as Vertical Garden is to Farm.
Barracks: Was Military Camp.
Intelligence Agency: Was Central Defence Agency, changed because it is neither defensive, nor necessarily central. Required to build scans. Greatly improves chance of detecting scans and conversion attempts.
Scans are simplified to targets.
Ship Scan: Any ship / fleet target, includes rout and modules.
Planet Scan: Any planet, occupied or not (eg, scan previously unoccupied planet to see if it is now occupied).
Energy Scan: Was sub-space Scan. Includes locations of wormholes. Reveals the base state of all unexplored systems.
Empire Scan: Was technology scan. Also includes empire overview information & basic scoutable info on all planets.
Propaganda Office: Improves local loyalty immediately and over time. Improves resistance to enemy conversion attempts. Required to build Conversions.
Wealth Conversion: Win some of an opponent’s credits over to your side. Amount is based on production cost of building the conversion. Can be used on yourself, effectively ‘cashing in’ the conversion for money.
Resource Conversion: Win some of an opponent’s resources over to your side. Amount is based on production cost of building the conversion. Can be used on yourself, gaining resources you didn’t know you had…
Ship Conversion: Win some of a ship’s crew over to your side. Can be used on your own crew to improve loyalty.
Population Conversion: Win some of a Planet’s population over to your side. Can be used on your own population to improve loyalty.
Artillery: A ranged heavy firepower PD capable of targeting any ship within a certain radius of the planet. The radius is based on the current Planetary Defence upgrade level.
Solar Station: Allows a colony ship to start begin a space station orbiting a star, effectively colonising the star. The space station is like a planet with space 100, food 10, production 25, science 25, metal. Its advantage is that it can build Energy Pylons, Solar Wormholes, and PD does not count towards space used.
Energy Receiver: Allows the planet to receive energy, boosting efficiency of all functions, but mainly PD. Without the transmitter you can only receive energy from allies.
Energy Generator: Generates Energy to boost other planets. Can send energy anywhere in the same solar system.
Energy Transmitter. Can take energy from Energy Generators in the solar system and send it anywhere in the galaxy.
Solar Wormhole: A wormhole connected to every other Solar Wormhole that you own. Solar Wormholes are not included in your empire wormhole limit.
Space Station: A Ship Chassis that is so large that it is considered a space station in it’s own right. Its speed is limited due to its excessive units. It is built and outfitted like any other ship. It takes 50% damage from heavy weapons, but 100% damage from bombs.
Boarding Bay: Increases the crew capacity by 2. Any optional ship crew can board a defeated enemy ship after a battle so that it is captured instead of destroyed. The ship is at 1% hp, with as many crewmembers as left the boarding ship.
Cargo Bay: Not worth explaining right now.
Invasion Bay: Was Troop Bay. Increases the crew capacity by 2. Adding an Invasion Bay does not increase the number of crew required to sufficiently man the ship.
Shuttle Bay: A number of shuttles in the same fleet move as fast the ship with this module.
Personnel Cabin: Was Large Pilot Cabin.
Shipyard Module: The ship can build other ships. The production rate is 25 times the number of crew for each shipyard module.
Sensors: As they are now but under different names.
Stealth / Cloak Modules: Modules decrees effective scanner range. Multiple modules stack. Will be properly explained some other time.
Engines: As they are now but under different names.
Shields: As they are now but under different names.
Light Weapons: In their own list, and continue to improve through the game.
Heavy Weapons: As they are now but under different names.
Bombs: Mostly as they are now but under different names. Any type of bomb can be used for constant bombardment (effectively doing what bio-bombs do, but with less complications)


I’d like this thread to be focused on the layout and structure of the tech tree, NOT the changes that I made to tech tree items on my tech tree.

__________________
Cosmic Supremacy - It's not just a game, It's a life style.

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by Earendel: 10.04.2009 22:37.

10.04.2009 21:31 Earendel is offline Send an Email to Earendel Homepage of Earendel Search for Posts by Earendel Add Earendel to your Buddy List
stabby Player-Rank: 2 stabby is a male
Wins even when not in your Galaxy


images/avatars/avatar-437.jpg

Registration Date: 12.12.2007
Posts: 2,516
Location: The Netherlands

Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

Looks allright but im unsure how this would affect gameplay

__________________

10.04.2009 21:58 stabby is offline Send an Email to stabby Homepage of stabby Search for Posts by stabby Add stabby to your Buddy List
Karakzon Player-Rank: 1 Karakzon is a male
Invades without Troop Ships


images/avatars/avatar-453.jpg

Registration Date: 20.02.2008
Posts: 432
Location: South Yorkshire, England.

Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

"Energy generation1,2, 8, 4, 5"

hmm, i think u got one or two muddled round a bit? maby?

Other than that ill comment on some of the other features at alater date, but so far looks like it includeds everything.

__________________
http://i188.photobucket.com/albums/z49/Orca18Dolphin/Anime%20Canines/Wolf-1
.jpg

The Wolf's of the solar wind howl to all worlds great and small.
And they do tremble at the silence before the hunt.
10.04.2009 22:04 Karakzon is offline Send an Email to Karakzon Search for Posts by Karakzon Add Karakzon to your Buddy List
Earendel Player-Rank: 2 Earendel is a male
Rules with an Iron Pinky


images/avatars/avatar-795.jpg

Registration Date: 16.02.2009
Posts: 1,293
Location: Guernsey

Thread Starter Thread Started by Earendel
Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

quote:
Originally posted by stabby
Looks allright but im unsure how this would affect gameplay


It would mean that you could research more of what you want when you want. If you have no interest in Frigates or Destroyers yet but you want auto-factories then you can just get straight to it.

If you need to react to the technology of an enemy, like they have lots of heavy ships and no light ships, you can put more research into the relevant techs to be able to beat them faster than you would be able to otherwise.

A big impact would be that members of an alliance would be able to research different niche areas, making them weaker individual players but a much stronger collective. One might go straight for wormhole technologies, another for light ships, another for heavy ships, and another for purely economy…

__________________
Cosmic Supremacy - It's not just a game, It's a life style.
10.04.2009 23:05 Earendel is offline Send an Email to Earendel Homepage of Earendel Search for Posts by Earendel Add Earendel to your Buddy List
chrisadamley Player-Rank: 3
Wins even when not in your Galaxy


images/avatars/avatar-384.gif

Registration Date: 18.01.2007
Posts: 2,853
Location: Fargo ND

Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

well see with that destroyer/autofactory example you would pick the autofacts everytime no?

I think too much freedom in the tech tree could actually have the opposite effect that you are hoping. You are thinking that the more freedom equals the more strategy there is. But i dont think thats always true.

Those autofacts would get taken before destroyers every single time....Is that more strategy? or does it just make it so that the choice is obvious what you should take.

The way it is now, you really have to make a choice....but if all the restrictions are lifted....then there no longer is choice, you go for whats best right away.

The balancing on this would be ridiculous btw....

Because im assuming we couldnt use the same science values/costs we have now.....It would have to be rebalanced. Completely reworked especially with the purprle techs you have on top to unlock the column below. Even more so with all the other items you added into it. This would likely take a long time to balance IMO

Just my initial thoughts...

__________________
----Its better to die on your feet than live on your knees----
10.04.2009 23:24 chrisadamley is offline Send an Email to chrisadamley Search for Posts by chrisadamley Add chrisadamley to your Buddy List
Nongolf Player-Rank: 3 Nongolf is a male
Wins even when not in your Galaxy


images/avatars/avatar-1040.gif

Registration Date: 29.09.2007
Posts: 6,035
Location: Denmark

Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

Impressive amount of work Ear. It's so extensive, in fact, that I don't presently have the time to delve into the details.

I must admit that I'm not much inclined to do it at all. You've shown how it would work, but not really why we need it. Flexibility, sure, that would be nice - but have you got other reasons for making such a pervasive change?

Also, I think it's a poor idea to have techs that don't do anything else but unlock new avenues of research. It's extremely dull to spend time and resources doing anything, only for the purpose of doing it. That this new 'thing' you've done eventually leads to bonuses or options is besides the point.
In other words, each tech should have some direct influence on your 'stats' or options.
10.04.2009 23:55 Nongolf is offline Send an Email to Nongolf Search for Posts by Nongolf Add Nongolf to your Buddy List
Earendel Player-Rank: 2 Earendel is a male
Rules with an Iron Pinky


images/avatars/avatar-795.jpg

Registration Date: 16.02.2009
Posts: 1,293
Location: Guernsey

Thread Starter Thread Started by Earendel
Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

quote:
Originally posted by chrisadamley
well see with that destroyer/autofactory example you would pick the autofacts everytime no?

I think too much freedom in the tech tree could actually have the opposite effect that you are hoping. You are thinking that the more freedom equals the more strategy there is. But i dont think thats always true.

Those autofacts would get taken before destroyers every single time....Is that more strategy? or does it just make it so that the choice is obvious what you should take.


Would autofacts get picked before destroyers every time… probably yes. That’s the point, you wouldn’t NEED to go through frigates and destroyer first. If that’s the best choice do it. In fact I would do that now if I could, and I think I should be able to. You could even get autofacts before getting shuttles if you wanted. Would that be a good choice to? Probably not. What about before corvettes? Thinking yet?

quote:
Originally posted by chrisadamley
The balancing on this would be ridiculous btw....

Because im assuming we couldnt use the same science values/costs we have now.....It would have to be rebalanced. Completely reworked especially with the purprle techs you have on top to unlock the column below. Even more so with all the other items you added into it. This would likely take a long time to balance IMO

Just my initial thoughts...


Re-balancing is the downside, sure, there’s no way around that. As for balancing being ridiculous, I’ll disagree with you there. It’s a pretty easy system to balance.

Each item would have a research cost based on it’s value. It wouldn’t be hard to estimate at this point. If the current Gravity Drive and Anti-Grav Shield have a combined Technology Difficulty-Factor of 9.0, each one individually would probably have a Technology Difficulty-Factor of around 4.5.

The purple techs are also a powerful balancing tool. They add an incentive to get the techs that you might need in the current tech column before pushing on to the next one. So for example, you might find the tech tree more balanced if the 2nd level of economic buildings were pushed 1 column to the right.

quote:
Originally posted by Nongolf
Impressive amount of work Ear. It's so extensive, in fact, that I don't presently have the time to delve into the details.

I must admit that I'm not much inclined to do it at all. You've shown how it would work, but not really why we need it. Flexibility, sure, that would be nice - but have you got other reasons for making such a pervasive change?

Also, I think it's a poor idea to have techs that don't do anything else but unlock new avenues of research. It's extremely dull to spend time and resources doing anything, only for the purpose of doing it. That this new 'thing' you've done eventually leads to bonuses or options is besides the point.
In other words, each tech should have some direct influence on your 'stats' or options.


Thanks Nongolf. Other reasons for making a change? Well, I’m not pushing for a change, just playing with ideas. But if you’re interested in a few more reasons here’s a handful:
Each individual item is smaller, so you feel like you’re getting through more faster.
When it comes to making choices about your unique path, people generally don’t like bundles.
The system is more compact even though there are more items.
The system itself has more flexibility for adding new items.
It will be easier to balance if new items are added because each new items affects the path to get to them less.
It’s more of a future-proof solution, seeing as the development of Space Civ will hopefully not be stopping any time soon.

The purple ones having no use except unlocking that column, it’s dull, yeah. They’re there mainly as a rite of passage for balancing reasons, but they don’t need to be boring. For example, each one you get could give you a number of points to further customise your civilisation. Would that be interesting?

__________________
Cosmic Supremacy - It's not just a game, It's a life style.
11.04.2009 00:37 Earendel is offline Send an Email to Earendel Homepage of Earendel Search for Posts by Earendel Add Earendel to your Buddy List
chrisadamley Player-Rank: 3
Wins even when not in your Galaxy


images/avatars/avatar-384.gif

Registration Date: 18.01.2007
Posts: 2,853
Location: Fargo ND

Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

While i dont think a major change like this is really needed...im gonna go ahead and agree with nongolf about the work put in. very nicely formatted and presented.

__________________
----Its better to die on your feet than live on your knees----
11.04.2009 00:46 chrisadamley is offline Send an Email to chrisadamley Search for Posts by chrisadamley Add chrisadamley to your Buddy List
stabby Player-Rank: 2 stabby is a male
Wins even when not in your Galaxy


images/avatars/avatar-437.jpg

Registration Date: 12.12.2007
Posts: 2,516
Location: The Netherlands

Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

quote:
Originally posted by Earendel
quote:
Originally posted by stabby
Looks allright but im unsure how this would affect gameplay


A big impact would be that members of an alliance would be able to research different niche areas, making them weaker individual players but a much stronger collective. One might go straight for wormhole technologies, another for light ships, another for heavy ships, and another for purely economy…


I guess this would help smaller players team up vs big ones better

__________________

11.04.2009 01:25 stabby is offline Send an Email to stabby Homepage of stabby Search for Posts by stabby Add stabby to your Buddy List
Nongolf Player-Rank: 3 Nongolf is a male
Wins even when not in your Galaxy


images/avatars/avatar-1040.gif

Registration Date: 29.09.2007
Posts: 6,035
Location: Denmark

Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

quote:
Each individual item is smaller, so you feel like you’re getting through more faster.


True. I've pondered that change myself.

quote:
When it comes to making choices about your unique path, people generally don’t like bundles.


I don't know that that's true. Splitting up the bundles would make for more options - more uniqueness - which I agree people like. But that's only because there's now more topics to research, not because they're unbundled. In other words, adding additional techs, bundled or not, would accomplish the same.

quote:
The system is more compact even though there are more items.


Compact? Not understood.

quote:
The system itself has more flexibility for adding new items.
It will be easier to balance if new items are added because each new items affects the path to get to them less.
It’s more of a future-proof solution, seeing as the development of Space Civ will hopefully not be stopping any time soon.


Though the ease of extending and maintaining the game mechanics is mostly a factor of the implementation (code-wise), I agree that this system will be easier to adjust (balancing).

quote:
The purple ones having no use except unlocking that column, it’s dull, yeah. They’re there mainly as a rite of passage for balancing reasons, but they don’t need to be boring. For example, each one you get could give you a number of points to further customise your civilisation. Would that be interesting?


Absolutely. As long as people view the tech like something valuable in itself - not just an obligatory wait-period with no immediate effects.
11.04.2009 18:29 Nongolf is offline Send an Email to Nongolf Search for Posts by Nongolf Add Nongolf to your Buddy List
Earendel Player-Rank: 2 Earendel is a male
Rules with an Iron Pinky


images/avatars/avatar-795.jpg

Registration Date: 16.02.2009
Posts: 1,293
Location: Guernsey

Thread Starter Thread Started by Earendel
Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

quote:
Originally posted by Nongolf
quote:
The system is more compact even though there are more items.


Compact? Not understood.


Uh… Even though there are more individual technologies to display, the entire tech tree display is smaller and easier to view as a whole. So more fits into less space – more compact.

This is basically because the current system displays a name for each tech bundle, the name of each item in that bundle, plus more space is needed to show the dependencies of each tech bundle.

I can't think how else to explain it.

__________________
Cosmic Supremacy - It's not just a game, It's a life style.
11.04.2009 19:12 Earendel is offline Send an Email to Earendel Homepage of Earendel Search for Posts by Earendel Add Earendel to your Buddy List
chrisadamley Player-Rank: 3
Wins even when not in your Galaxy


images/avatars/avatar-384.gif

Registration Date: 18.01.2007
Posts: 2,853
Location: Fargo ND

Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

Nongolf, he just speaking of cosmetics. About the layout of the whole thing compared to the current one.

__________________
----Its better to die on your feet than live on your knees----
11.04.2009 19:29 chrisadamley is offline Send an Email to chrisadamley Search for Posts by chrisadamley Add chrisadamley to your Buddy List
Erwin [CS] Player-Rank: 2 Erwin [CS] is a male
Admiral Moo


images/avatars/avatar-124.gif

Registration Date: 26.12.2004
Posts: 8,568
Location: Vienna, Austria

Thumb Up! Very nice work Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

That's a very nice presentation Earendel! Thanks for the amount of work you've put into this!

I quite like it, I can see the merits of it, and I agree that it offers more flexibility to the player, and by that offers doors to new play-styles. Balancing is critical, but that is nothing new, and I agree that balancing can be achieved. If all players opt for going to "Auto Factory" (aka Assembly Lines) every time, then that means balancing is off. But that can be easily corrected by making "Assembly Lines" a little less attractive (with the percentage bonuses we introduced with XP galaxies that is easily possible). The balancing is right if an equal amount of players chose Auto Factories and Destroyers (in that specific example)

So overall, definitely worth a try!

Although not in the very near future. There are other aspects of the game that are candidates for a (complete) overhaul, that would need to be tackled first (IMO).

So what was that game you used that tech-tree concept, Earendel? And what other games have you been working on, if I may ask? Smile
12.04.2009 20:28 Erwin [CS] is offline Search for Posts by Erwin [CS] Add Erwin [CS] to your Buddy List
Earendel Player-Rank: 2 Earendel is a male
Rules with an Iron Pinky


images/avatars/avatar-795.jpg

Registration Date: 16.02.2009
Posts: 1,293
Location: Guernsey

Thread Starter Thread Started by Earendel
RE: Very nice work Reply to this Post Post Reply with Quote Edit/Delete Posts Report Post to a Moderator       Go to the top of this page

When I moved back to Guernsey I had to leave games design behind, so I’m mainly doing corporate multimedia right now. Even so, I’m still doing what I can in games, like I will be doing some of the artwork for the next instalment of the telepath series. The tech tree structure is something I came up with during the development of a game called Infraction. At the time I was studying those kinds of game mechanics at Uni so I was already interested in how a tech tree can affect gameplay. It was developed further for a few other game ideas that I was working on. The latest one was actually when I began designing my own space strategy game. In doing research for that game I found space civ and decided I could just play space civ instead… you know the story. Anyway, I thought that it might be a useful tech tree method to have around if you decide to overhaul anything else.

__________________
Cosmic Supremacy - It's not just a game, It's a life style.
13.04.2009 20:50 Earendel is offline Send an Email to Earendel Homepage of Earendel Search for Posts by Earendel Add Earendel to your Buddy List
Tree Structure | Board Structure
Jump to:
Post New Thread Post Reply
Cosmic Supremacy Forum » Suggestions » Tech Tree Layout & Structure

Forum Software: Burning Board 2.3.6, Developed by WoltLab GmbH