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  • I think the "technology pact" (giving 25% of one's RPs to the other civ) sounds great.
    Seafaring 100% and Seafaring caravels don't have the same touch in terms of player interest, so, although that's the same thing below, I'd rather show it as "seafaring until caravals are found".
    I've implemented some basic map trading too, but it's an area which is very very rich and could be exploited much better than in CIV.
    First, I present the number of squares that would be uncovered if the map exchange was done. This is because the ai needs it in order to assign it a value. The ai in Civ IV seems to base its bargains on that value, thus it knows it but the player doesn't, which is bad in my book. So I'd rather show it systematically.
    The map exchange consists right now of geography, but it could include the knowledge of civs owning the squares, of units, of resources, of economic value of squares, presence fo specials... I mean the knowledge needn't be complete, in particular the knowledge of resources. So there could be several map treaties, one for geography (mimimalist), one with resources/economic value shown, one with civ controls shown, one with units shown (this one presumably reserved for allies or good friends). Note that the value of a map will need lots of tuning for the ai to get right.
    Clash of Civilization team member
    (a civ-like game whose goal is low micromanagement and good AI)
    web site http://clash.apolyton.net/frame/index.shtml and forum here on apolyton)

    Comment


    • You are correct, "Seafaring 100%" does lack some flavor compared to the other method, but this is just designer code so that we are all on the same page. Even if it weren't I think this is one time where going the less "sexy" route would reap too many benefits to ignore, and I also believe that this system proposed is vastly more flexible and comprehensive than any "text-based" and more flavorful system could be.

      As I said, "Seafaring 100%" is just designer code for us to understand that the player selected the tech Seafaring and is bringing the AI up to 100% of his tech level, provided he doesn't cancel the treaty first. That designer code can easily be interchanged with more "flavorful" text, such as:
      Seafaring until x (where x is whatever percentage of your tech level you chose), for display to the player. A simple detail box showing what applications will be made available by reaching that tech level can be displayed as well.

      Anyhow, I've made my case for it, if you decide not to use it, that's fine.

      Comment


      • I coded the technology pacts, and am doing the straight tech exchange right now but I am having some issues about the evaluation of the treaties and the way the ai handles it. I came to understand why Civ IV doesn't allow to exhange gold per turn vs a tech for instance:
        If I exchange 100 gold vs the 35% of the other civ's research points each turn, how good is that deal? And what prevents the ai from betraying me and striling at me with that big gold and not giving me any tech? More importantly, how does the ai consider that the other civ is trustworthy enough to give something immediately in exchange for something later? This is mostly ai tuning, but Civ IV uses a trick to get around them, which I'd rather avoid: Set a number of turns (typically 10) during which the deal cannot be broken.
        Clash of Civilization team member
        (a civ-like game whose goal is low micromanagement and good AI)
        web site http://clash.apolyton.net/frame/index.shtml and forum here on apolyton)

        Comment


        • Originally posted by LDiCesare
          I came to understand why Civ IV doesn't allow to exhange gold per turn vs a tech for instance:
          If I exchange 100 gold vs the 35% of the other civ's research points each turn, how good is that deal?
          In the 100g vs 35% RP's case you list, assuming a turn limit is set for the deal to expire, the value is clearly:
          (100g/turn limit)/RP's per turn

          What we need to decide via play testing is what should an RP be valued at. As a first try, I might go with 1g per RP?

          Originally posted by LDiCesare
          And what prevents the ai from betraying me and striling at me with that big gold and not giving me any tech?
          Collateral.

          Originally posted by LDiCesare
          More importantly, how does the ai consider that the other civ is trustworthy enough to give something immediately in exchange for something later?
          You need to code the trustworthiness variable for this. Basically, this variable should be the likelihood of a civ not screwing the AI. It should start at 50, meaning there's a 50/50 chance of getting screwed. As deals are kept, the value rises, and vice versa.

          Originally posted by LDiCesare
          This is mostly ai tuning, but Civ IV uses a trick to get around them, which I'd rather avoid: Set a number of turns (typically 10) during which the deal cannot be broken.
          Regarding turn limits, I think Mark had always envisioned them, but it's not set in stone. The civs entering the treaty would negotiate it. You allow the parties to set a turn limit on the treaty and put up collateral if the deal is broken. Only the most trusted civs would not put a limit of some type or accept low collateral.

          Personally, I'd say the treaty must first be negotiated, then the collateral & Length would be negotiated afterwards - preferably, even on a different screen.

          Comment


          • put up collateral if the deal is broken.
            I don't get what you mean by collateral here? A clause which fires if the treaty is broken?
            And yes I need a trustworthiness value. One's more or less already there in fact.
            As for 1 gold per RP: I have the variable for that. The problem is it's not possible to be accurate in the number of RP's you'll earn: I decide to share research with you in exchange for 2gpt, and then decide to lower my research in that area... Still, it's going to be an estimate and again such tactics should go in the untrustworthy routine.
            Clash of Civilization team member
            (a civ-like game whose goal is low micromanagement and good AI)
            web site http://clash.apolyton.net/frame/index.shtml and forum here on apolyton)

            Comment


            • Originally posted by LDiCesare
              I don't get what you mean by collateral here? A clause which fires if the treaty is broken?
              Yes. If Rome breaks a treaty with Egypt, Egypt gets whatever Rome put up for collateral on the treaty. So if Rome had put up 30g, then Egypt collects that 30g. If it had put up a city, ownership of that city transers to Egypt.

              Comment


              • ok that's nice, an "insurance". I'll add that.
                Clash of Civilization team member
                (a civ-like game whose goal is low micromanagement and good AI)
                web site http://clash.apolyton.net/frame/index.shtml and forum here on apolyton)

                Comment


                • Interesting stuff

                  One thing that always annoyed me with diplomacy in other games was the "brick wall" effect where nothing you could offer would make the AI budge on a deal. Although some leaders would be particularly stubborn in certain areas in reality, in most cases everything has a price, and I'd like to know that most of the time I can get what I want from the AI if I'm prepared to do what needs to be done for it.

                  With regard to proposals, this is that way I'd do it, but it would require a very low turn increment or (preferably) a real time system. Most proposals from gifts to re-establishing friendships to treaty offers would be put together in a sort of mini window on top of the main game screen and then 'sent' to the other civilization. After a short wait (1 turn, or a minute of real time play) you would recieve the reply, and then counter deals etc could be made continueing the negotiations if necessary.

                  A way to get things done faster would be to send a diplomat character to the other king to negotiate straight and get instant answers, but influence and charisma aspects are very important here, and if things go sour the diplomat may be taken hostage or even killed by the other civilization. Any character can take the diplomat role including your own King and his children etc. This rarer type of diplomacy would take you into a completely new window displaying the throne room or court/parliament whatever of the host civilization and displaying the negotiators.

                  I mentioned hostage taking - on that, what do you guys think? I think it would be so interesting being able to hold a rival's heirs or other family memebers etc hostage to ensure you have a subjugated nation "by the balls". The romans did this quite a bit. Former hostages could also develop new traits linked to their time of captivity etc, just a thought, I'm getting a bit off topic, sorry...

                  Comment


                  • Hostages are an interesting idea. So are marriages, which were commonplace to seal alliances in the middle ages in particular.
                    Clash of Civilization team member
                    (a civ-like game whose goal is low micromanagement and good AI)
                    web site http://clash.apolyton.net/frame/index.shtml and forum here on apolyton)

                    Comment


                    • Diplomacy

                      I've been uncertain for years on how diplomacy in a game like this should be presented... On one hand you want swift, to the point exchanges and on the other you want to feel like the ruler of a nation, not some kid trading his marbles on the playground, which is how it starts to feel with the current 'bargain table' system seen in games like civ III and IV.

                      I miss the feeling from civ II where I watched an envoy bow down in my presence as we prepared to negotiate in that sort of 'courtly' environment. It served to remind me that this was rather important stuff going on here and I was dealing with the lives of millions of people, which was really cool.

                      The bargaining table of civ III, while being more flexible lost that immersion factor, and the informal modern dialogue went even further towards ruining it... "I was in your territory? My Bad!"... These are the representatives of world powers meeting to discuss the fate of millions, and they're saying things like
                      "my bad"???? It was a minor problem but it highlighted the general disinterested attitude towards creating the proper element of weight and drama associated with supreme power.

                      Personally I would love to see the surroundings of the diplomacy venue, be it king's court, senate house or general's field tent etc.

                      I was thinking of a possible representation of a more side on angle (profile or 3 quarter) showing the king with various 'retinue' people near/behind him and the envoy figure/s in front. Perhaps to avoid facial problems (what does the king look like?), all figures would be partly shadowed so that their faces are hard to see, however their general body language would be very easy to pick up. In the background one would see pillars, guards, and other palatial sights etc.

                      For a nation run by a more senate like system you would see the envoy before a man in some sort of seat (not a throne) with his attendants etc and rows of seated senators/parliament guys etc... for talks with an approaching general, we would be inside his army tent...

                      This way one could get more of a sense of how important the negotiations are, seeing a pharoe for example with a distrustful looking advisor on one side behind his throne, and an apprehensive servant on the other fanning him with a palm leaf etc, or a roman consul sitting in one of those low chairs they had pondering the matter chin on fist, while a scribe takes notes next to him, and some other character in a helmet, perhaps a personal body guard looks on, the distinguished members of the senate in the background... just examples...

                      Meanwhile, all the features that made the bargaining table very useful could be incorporated somehow, perhaps below the main picture, and yet mixed in with the dialogue type diplomacy of civ II for less specific ideas, like

                      "we have a proposal to make"
                      "the great and merciful nebuchadnezzar will hear you"
                      "noble leader of babylon, we throw ourselves at your feet and beg of your divine mercy"
                      "you have been a disobedient people and do not deserve the privilege of life, but for [bargaining table is used to choose precise tribute] you may continue your unworthy existence"
                      "we cannot afford such an amount but offer you annexation of [cities], and our ruler's daughter in marriage"
                      "very well, but I shall also require the king's only son as a hostage"
                      "although it will bring him great pain we have no choice but to accept these terms"
                      "so be it"

                      That's just some example stuff - there is much that can be said for the old civ II style approach if it were just revamped for more options and made as flexible as the bargaining table. New ideas and innovations to mimic reality are also needed. The invention of the bargaining table has created a laziness in diplomacy thinking for games. It feels too much like a cattle market now where you just go to conduct usually a single dull exchange, like "map info". There is no discussion and no feeling of building up a friendship with other leaders. I want to be able to go to them and renew ties; spread false information about other civs; utterly backstab and treacherously trick some nations while shamelessly courting others, all the while giving me a peek into the great halls of power where the governmental machinary of empires operates...it could be such an amazing part of the game experience but no game companies seem interested anymore...

                      Comment


                      • Re: Diplomacy

                        Originally posted by Traian
                        That's just some example stuff - there is much that can be said for the old civ II style approach if it were just revamped for more options and made as flexible as the bargaining table. New ideas and innovations to mimic reality are also needed. The invention of the bargaining table has created a laziness in diplomacy thinking for games. It feels too much like a cattle market now where you just go to conduct usually a single dull exchange, like "map info". There is no discussion and no feeling of building up a friendship with other leaders. I want to be able to go to them and renew ties; spread false information about other civs; utterly backstab and treacherously trick some nations while shamelessly courting others, all the while giving me a peek into the great halls of power where the governmental machinary of empires operates...it could be such an amazing part of the game experience but no game companies seem interested anymore...
                        I agree with much of what you say Traian. Diplomacy in civ certainly lacks a lot of flavor and options. We will add both, for sure, but I suspect we won't get as fancy with the graphical side of it as you'd like - we are, afterall just a hobby group, not a multi-million dollar company. Also, I don't think the lack of flavor and options comes from the bargaining table format. Many, many more options are possible on the bargaining table than in civ2 style diplomacy - there's just no way around that. But the lack of flavor is, IMO, easily fixed by making the text a bit more immersive, than that available in civ3/4. I think that will solve your problem with the table, and will give what you are trying to describe.

                        Comment


                        • Glad to hear it; I look forward to seeing a diplomacy demo in action.

                          As for the graphical stuff, sure I understand, but 2D art could stand in for now. The wonderful thing with technology is the way it's allowing more and more to be done at the 'garage' level. If I ever manage to get around to it I'll try to create some sample art (I'm a bit of an artist) and send it through.

                          I absolutely agree in terms of options - One thing I liked about Europa Universalis was that you had the ability to just improve relations, by sending a compliment (no cost) or a gift (choosing it's expense etc). Everything is too blatently geared on trade in the latest civ games which is a pity, as diplomacy is about slowly building friendships and trying to ease one civ against another to strengthen your own position etc. Also - treaty definitions that you can define in detail:

                          "The Romans may not have an army of more than 3000 men and must pay us 500 gold each turn, as well as granting us half the profits of all their trade... and they must ask our permission before beginning trade links with any other nation..."

                          That sort of stuff

                          Little states should appeal to big ones in times of trouble, so that it's hard to just swallow them up without other large powers getting involved, and large powers should also be interested in getting involved in such opportunities most of the time.

                          One of the main things I found problematic in civ was the way you coudn't easily act as an ally in a sense of capturing territory from an enemy that belonged to an ally and then giving it back to them. This should be part of an alliance treaty: "all recaptured cities previously belonging to my ally are to be given back to that ally free of cost within 5 turns" or something to that degree, and obviously mutually agreed.

                          Much of the time I'd like to run a core state (like rome originally in italy) but control nearby lands through puppet kings (how wonderful it would be if a game allowed you to install puppet kings of client states under your control?) The complexity of the government model in this game will perhaps cater for such setups...

                          Thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Mark_Everson
                            Good points all. I agree that the teaching or trading approach seems best given the way that we do tech. The best way I can think of to present limits or goals to the player in a meaningful way is to phrase it in terms of key applications. "We will help you in chemistry and gunpowder until you reach Muskets". or "We will help you in seafaring until you can build Caravels." The player would be presented with" It will take X turns (or years) to get to Muskets with current spending, and Y turns with the teaching / trading treaty.
                            I've given this a little more thought and agree that this method listed above will most likely be the most commonly used method of tech trade. It handles what most people want to do most of the time in these sorts of deals. However, there will be instances where you'll want to bring a civ up to your level of technology - regardless of how long it takes or the costs - and this method is not suited to that. You'd have to sign (to continue the example) a deal to bring them to caravels, but once they get that, you're building galleons, so you'd have to sign a new deal, but once they get that, you're building ironclads, so you'd have to sign a new deal, but once they get that, you're building destroyers, so you'd have to sign a new deal... and so on. A single deal of "Transportation-100%" or "Water Transportation-100%" handles this much less annoyingly and much more elegantly than an application based method. If their RP production simply can't catch up, the deal never expires and you don't have to constantly look after it. However, I concede that these types of deals will be rare, so it should be a low priority for inclusion.

                            Comment


                            • Regarding the view of the throne room I mentioned earlier, I was lucky enough to stumble upon something that closely fits what I had in mind. Have a look at this link:

                              http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient...der_game.shtml

                              I appologise for the clumsiness, but the image is in a flash prograam and I had no way of capturing it. That link will take you to a "BBC history games" sight, and this is one of the games. The game itself is of little importance but I'd like to draw attention to the first picture you see when you click 'play the game' and then 'intro'. A screen comes up titled "the king at court" and that is the sort of image I had in mond for diplomacy - nothing impossible to create, but still immersive enough; the ruler surrounded by his entourage, silhouetted, and in the foreground would be one or a group of diplomats in a 'talking' pose. I would imagine the dialogue and reworked trading table system to appear above or below the scene. Just imagine that picture with the right music and ambience while you read the dialogue and consider the fate of millions.

                              Sorry again for havving to go the long route to see the picture. If possible, would anyone who has the tools to do so be good enough to paste that image on this thread to make it easier to view? I would be much obliged.

                              Comment


                              • The ambiance and eye candy are good, but they should come after we have a working model. Form should follow function.
                                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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