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  • Advisors

    I've been reading more on government and riots etc on the main site. The more I read this stuff the more I can't wait for a full scale version of this game.

    There will clearly be many different concepts to learn and important things to know in order to be successful, so I was wondering if there will be an advice and tips system to aid the player as the game runs.

    I know there is something similar in the new demo, but I had in mind an advisor system where you could roughly pick your advice based on how you wish to rule. So if you want to be a total despot, you will get advice that specifically looks at what's going on in the game, and then suggests "give x group more money and recruit more soldiers in city y". Beginners could use this and perhaps even a breakdown of reasons for failure of thier government etc in order to make it clear why they failed and help them to learn to play the game better.

    Perhaps even something similar to civilization II with advisors competing for your attention and argueing with eachother, although much more complex in nature... just a thought... Maybe those power blocs could voice their opinions in full sentences to give the player an instant idea of where their opinions lie...

  • #2
    Advisors have always been planned, IIRC, though it's never been discussed in great detail how it would be implemented. I like the idea about being able to choose a "style" of advisor (from despot to religious, etc.) though. It would go well with the plan of interlinking the character model and the advisor system that was discussed before.

    At the moment, I'd rather be pushing for larger, random-map games than advisors, which involves a lot of individual things that need doing, but I could see advisors coming soon after reaching that milestone. They'd be much more necessary and useful then, IMO.

    With that said, what I'd like to see is an advisor system somewhat similar to SimCity4. Each advisor would have a picture (let's say for the sake of this discussion these pictures run vertically along the right-hand side of the screen) with a small grey border around it. The border would change colors depending on how important the information the advisor has for you is (green - not extremely important, yellow - moderately important, and red - extremely important). Clicking the advisor's icon would bring up a small box similar to the current "event" box that pops up every turn. There would be a list of events and suggestions, each being a link you can click to get further info or open a game screen to. This "event" box, can be hidden or constantly shown, by player preference. This would eliminate the need for the event window itself, as all events would be listed under the advisor that the event is associated with, eliminating one annoying pop-up (In case you didn't know, I don't like pop-ups. I don't want anything shoved in my face, if I want the info, I'll go get it.).

    Well, it's kind of hard to describe, so I'll try and mock-up a screen of what I'm talking about sometime soon.

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    • #3
      I like the sound of that. Popups are indeed annoying so something that takes care of them like that would be great. Maybe the advisor's facial expression could show you whether he's satisfied that you're doing okay in the part of the game that he specializes in.

      What is the current state of things? When you mentioned a random map game, is that like more of a whole world type thing as opposed to a specially created scenario with victory requirements? That would be nice... I can't wait to just do my own thing and make peace or war etc as I choose...

      Is that the plan for the next demo?

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      • #4
        The current state of things is basically what you see in demo 8.1, with a few fairly small additions. Random map games are simply not pre-defined in a scenario like most are in Clash. You can actually play them now, but itís clunky and the AI canít handle itself on such a map, which kind of makes it pointless.

        As for the future plans, you can check out the planning threads (demo 9+).

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        • #5
          Thanks alms66 I'll have a look

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          • #6
            Ok, I've been rather busy so this got put off for a while... but I'll post some screenshots of the simcity advisors as reference to my description of what I'd like to see for advisors in Clash.
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Messages...
              Attached Files

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              • #8
                more info...
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Multiple messages...
                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Clash Mock-up...
                    Attached Files

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                    • #11
                      Ok, so the first picture shows the advisors from simcity. The colored backgrounds indicate the importance of the message they have for you. For Clash, I'd like to see a gray background meaning no messages, green meaning messages are present but not very important, yellow meaning important messages are present and red meaning very urgent messages are present. As for what advisors to present, we'd need a foreign advisor, domestic advisor, economic advisor, military advisor, technology advisor, Espionage advisor and perhaps one or two more that I've missed there.

                      Messages...
                      This second picture shows what clicking on an advisor will do. It brings up the list of messages. Here you only see a message title, but for Clash we'd need to show the year and turn number also. Notice that the text of the message is also the color of it's importance.

                      More Info...
                      This third picture shows what clicking on the message does - it brings up more info and links to the relevent screens that are needed to resolve the issue. So, for example, if the Greeks had sent an emissary, there'd be a link which would open the diplomacy window with you talking to the Greeks, or if rioting occurs, the social policy window would be linked in the message.

                      Multiple Messages...
                      This fourth picture is just another shot of messages...

                      Clash Mock-up
                      The last picture is very simple mock-up (just a cut and paste really). I didn't stretch the advisors to go from top to bottom of the screen, but they should. Also, I just pasted it over the main map window, but it should be a part of the main window's frame as a "toolbar" (or a seperate window).

                      One thing I don't show anywhere, but should be there, is when you click on the advisor, you should have access to relevent screens for that particular advisor via buttons on the message window. So, for example, if you click on the economic advisor, the message window pops up and if messages are present they are shown, otherwise the message box is empty. However, there are buttons (not shown) that lead to the budget window, tarriff window, etc.

                      Ultimately, I think that most actions should be undertaken through advisors, helping to rid the interface of clutter and provide a common theme in getting things accomplished in Clash (the button bar at the top could be removed - want to build a road? See your domestic advisor - want to decrease taxes? See your economic advisor, etc.). In fact, I have an interface overhaul proposal that's partially complete and collecting dust, that all of this was a part of, in additon to many other things such as, getting rid of the units window, drawing directly to the main window via toolbars instead of having many windows (this will be a great performance enhancer), getting rid of the current toolbar and adding much more info to the "detail" window.

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                      • #12
                        I also found too much clutter in the current system. I like the idea of advisors for covering every possible action you can take with links to those panels alms...you could just cut it down to:

                        FOREIGN (Espionage and Diplomacy)
                        ECONOMIC (Internal and International trade; taxes etc)
                        MILITARY (Military systems; Unit building; Strategies)
                        SOCIAL (Internal stability; religious tolerance; etc)

                        GOVERNMENT (?) Would it be useful to have an advisor that made suggestions on how to deal with those you share power with? Might be interesting.

                        TECHNOLOGY (?) May be a strange one for the pre industrial world - perhaps the science advisor is grayed out until you build your first research facility?

                        Although I can see that the current interface was designed to be customizable I think a smarter way of doing it would be properly designing say 3 possible interfaces and then putting them in options as fixed choices for the player so he doesn't have to spend too long messing around resizing windows etc.

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                        • #13
                          I'm rather fond of having a foreign and domestic advisor - I mean if you have a foreign advisor... it just makes sense. As for what the domestic advisor would cover, that's listed below:

                          Foreign Advisor - Diplomacy Model

                          Domestic Advisor - Social Model & Disease/Disaster Model - This is your "government" and "social" combined.

                          Economic Advisor - Economic Model

                          Military Advisor - Military Model

                          Technology Advisor - Technology Model - It may seem strange to have this in ancient times to some, but no more strange than civ having the same, plus the fact that many ancient rulers did have such a thing, but usually with a different name.

                          Espionage Advisor - This could be placed under one of the other advisors, but it feels out of place for any of them as a whole. Perhaps splitting passive espionage under diplomacy and active espionage under military would suit? But, unless someone really insisted on that, I'd just as soon have it as it's own distinct entity.

                          ----

                          The current interface was stuck into windows for ease of the user's customization, but you can have near the same level of customization with toolbars and most importantly, not have so many windows - clutter. Toolbars can show images and text, are easy to hook code to, and can be made dockable on any edge of the window. Using them would free you up to draw directly to the main window as well, meaning that the map would adjust to any changes made in the toolbar layout.

                          As for having 3 fixed options, I think we would need and should have more ability to customize than that. You can't possibly hope to please everyone with just a few options and if you can easily provide customization ability without overfilling the interface with clutter, you should.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by alms66
                            Ok, so the first picture shows the advisors from simcity. The colored backgrounds indicate the importance of the message they have for you. For Clash, I'd like to see a gray background meaning no messages, green meaning messages are present but not very important, yellow meaning important messages are present and red meaning very urgent messages are present. As for what advisors to present, we'd need a foreign advisor, domestic advisor, economic advisor, military advisor, technology advisor, Espionage advisor and perhaps one or two more that I've missed there.
                            For modern western nation that's fine, but we're dealing here with all eras in clash.

                            You'd need Religious advisor, Political Advisor (or something akin), Colonial Advisor, Exploration advisor, general soothsayer perhaps...

                            Ultimatly the advisor system needs to be flexible to deal with different eras and different styles of governing. Yes, certain advisors, like technology advisor, will be ever present, but why do you need a foreign advisor when you only know about 1 civ, your own!
                            Which Love Hina Girl Are You?
                            Mitsumi Otohime
                            Oh dear! Are you even sure you answered the questions correctly?) Underneath your confused exterior, you hold fast to your certainties and seek to find the truth about the things you don't know. While you may not be brimming with confidence and energy, you are content with who you are and accepting of both your faults and the faults of others. But while those around you love you deep down, they may find your nonchalance somewhat infuriating. Try to put a bit more thought into what you are doing, and be more aware of your surroundings.

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                            • #15
                              Technology Advisor - Technology Model - It may seem strange to have this in ancient times to some, but no more strange than civ having the same, plus the fact that many ancient rulers did have such a thing, but usually with a different name.
                              Maybe we could have their names and looks change (if we add images) over time.

                              FE: in renasaunce europe or Confuscianist China they might be Science Advisors...don't know what we'd call them for very basic technological civs.
                              Which Love Hina Girl Are You?
                              Mitsumi Otohime
                              Oh dear! Are you even sure you answered the questions correctly?) Underneath your confused exterior, you hold fast to your certainties and seek to find the truth about the things you don't know. While you may not be brimming with confidence and energy, you are content with who you are and accepting of both your faults and the faults of others. But while those around you love you deep down, they may find your nonchalance somewhat infuriating. Try to put a bit more thought into what you are doing, and be more aware of your surroundings.

                              Comment

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