Wjolcz

Programs instead of strategies, no science points, no tech tree and some other things

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You know, since they do aim for the same player experience (no procedural worlds and such) they could just go all they way and simply make some ´main quests´, which would be like the exploration contracts, but with tiers and a central role in the progression system, in a rather scripted fashion. Those would be these programs that are being suggested. You pick like a body each as a mission-tree, quite scripted, then you can follow. Besides that, there are still some ´side-quests´, which would represent commercial endeavors mostly, and maybe some science missions. There could an intermediary thing between these two where ´side-quests´ sometimes may have mini-trees hidden behind them. And a forth kind could be triggered by those anamolies and serve as a story-line.

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1 minute ago, Mr. Scruffy said:

You know, since they do aim for the same player experience (no procedural worlds and such) they could just go all they way and simply make some ´main quests´,

Yes. That is exactly what I want for the progression part of the game. Open up more sandboxy goals for the end game.

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On 12.05.2016 at 11:39 PM, Pthigrivi said:

...but are we really only expecting players to complete one mission a year? That doesn't sound like much of a challenge.

Are you even reading this thread? Please stop posting nonsense if there are clearly stated ideas, or I'll start reporting your posts instead of replying, because that's getting really close to trolling.

 

On 12.05.2016 at 11:39 PM, Pthigrivi said:

What yearly budgets based on rep does is to put the budget into that same black box. Say we go to our Programs menu and select a Mun mission and it promises us X rep if we complete it. How much money will that translate into when the next year-end budget assessment happens? Its impossible to know, so players have even less long-term planning power than they do now.

This could be easily calculated. An app stating what are the exact numbers would be needed for convinience. It could say basically this:

1 rep = X amount of money

Expected amount of rep by the end of the year = Y (rep drop: Z points per day)

And about the idea of getting rid of the reputation (because I can't quote it for some odd reason): that's one way of simplifying it, I guess.

Edited by Veeltch

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...and then, as i mentioned before, you attach to each program an evaluation interval, depending on the distances involved, at which each time a rep-cost (also program-specific) is paid by the player but for the rest rep you get a modifier for funding (also program specific), during the next interval. Each program´s rep and funding accounting happens seperately - at their own times. If you feel you have done all you can or feel like doing in a program, and there are still missions left, you can cancel the program for a lump rep-cost, and so choose to avoid being taxed in rep for it, when you dont proceed in it. You can pick it up later again, where you left off, at no cost. 

EDIT: This would then more feel like you´d have to complete all the programs instead of completing the sci-tree, in order to ´win´. The prgrams could be sort of inter-tiered, too, so that you have reason to re-visit where you already have been, as the game progresses.

Also: Maybe make the science thingies a hell of expensive outside of the programs, for which you´d get them dished out for free, where missions demand (1 each - no sending dozens of them around everywhere for free).

Edited by Mr. Scruffy

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I never said one goal per year, I said that goals would have reasonable time constraints. You might pick 5 at once. During Apollo NASA ran Gemini, plus the various lunar probes (related to Apollo, but not manned missions) all while also doing satellites, and BEO probes.

 

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16 minutes ago, Mr. Scruffy said:

...and then, as i mentioned before, you attach to each program an evaluation interval, depending on the distances involved, at which each time a rep-cost (also program-specific) is paid by the player but for the rest rep you get a modifier for funding (also program specific), during the next interval. Each program´s rep and funding accounting happens seperately - at their own times. If you feel you have done all you can or feel like doing in a program, and there are still missions left, you can cancel the program for a lump rep-cost, and so choose to avoid being taxed in rep for it, when you dont proceed in it. You can pick it up later again, where you left off, at no cost. 

EDIT: This would then more feel like you´d have to complete all the programs instead of completing the sci-tree, in order to ´win´. The prgrams could be sort of inter-tiered, too, so that you have reason to re-visit where you already have been, as the game progresses.

Do you mean paying for programs in rep? As a currency? I'm not really keen on that.

The rest though is something I agree with. I like the idea of cancelling the programs and harvesting the rep based on how advanced (% of completion) into the program the player got.

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3 minutes ago, Veeltch said:

Are you even reading this thread? Please stop posting nonsense if there are clearly stated ideas, or I'll start reporting your posts instead of replying, because that's getting really close to trolling.

Easy man, Im really am trying to help you flesh this out. The op says "rep slowly drops down" which implies a linear drop in reputation over time. The first I saw mention of yearly assessments was Tater a few hours ago saying "Do something per year" which isn't exactly the same as allocating all rep hits once a year. It just means thats when your budget is adjusted. The distinction matters.

 

I don't expect Squad to abandon career as it stands but if we could work out the details I really do like this as a separate mode of play. Instead of "Sandbox, Science, and Career" Players might chose from "Sandbox, Private Space Company, and National Agency".

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@Veeltch: Well, i was more thinking along the lines that each program would have, well, a mission tree, very much like a tech tree, and you can choose one or more of the next tier in order to proceed, and they give you rep, when you complete them. Each program would also have a base funding per interval (and - as said - its own interval), which would get modified by the rep you have in this program. BUT, at each interval, each program also has an individual rep-decay. So, as long as you have that program active, you should get ahead with it. But you can choose to disengage, at a cost (maybe something like 5x intervals worth of rep), and resume later. It´s not ONLY based on your progression within the program, but also on the time it took you to get there. And that makes all the difference, in our usual discussions about a meaningful time-aspect in the management game.

(keeping to edit- sorry): Heck, you could even tally up a score, once all the programs are complete, which would be directly related to the time it took you to get there (and the number of kerbals). Each completed program pays it remaining rep into your score. Or you can have it as funds... whatever... but there is an incentive do proceed quick. And that´s the point, when you want to make time meaningful.

Edited by Mr. Scruffy

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Edit: okay quotes are weird I guess. Manual it is. I blame wumpus for this.


Tater Wrote: 

"I never said one goal per year, I said that goals would have reasonable time constraints. You might pick 5 at once. During Apollo NASA ran Gemini, plus the various lunar probes (related to Apollo, but not manned missions) all while also doing satellites, and BEO probes."

 

Right, but the question is what is the minimum? If your budget is only reset once a year can you just do one little mission and then warp money for year without consequence?

Edited by Pthigrivi

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I thought i tried to answer that, pthigrivi. With programs you can have each progress at its own pace, seperately.

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Sorry Scruff, things were getting a bit crazy for a bit there, I must have missed your post while I was fighting with whatever weirdness was happening with the quotes haha.

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1 hour ago, Mr. Scruffy said:

@Veeltch: Well, i was more thinking along the lines that each program would have, well, a mission tree, very much like a tech tree, and you can choose one or more of the next tier in order to proceed, and they give you rep, when you complete them. Each program would also have a base funding per interval (and - as said - its own interval), which would get modified by the rep you have in this program. BUT, at each interval, each program also has an individual rep-decay. So, as long as you have that program active, you should get ahead with it. But you can choose to disengage, at a cost (maybe something like 5x intervals worth of rep), and resume later. It´s not ONLY based on your progression within the program, but also on the time it took you to get there. And that makes all the difference, in our usual discussions about a meaningful time-aspect in the management game.

(keeping to edit- sorry): Heck, you could even tally up a score, once all the programs are complete, which would be directly related to the time it took you to get there (and the number of kerbals). Each completed program pays it remaining rep into your score. Or you can have it as funds... whatever... but there is an incentive do proceed quick. And that´s the point, when you want to make time meaningful.

Alright then. I like the idea a lot.

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Do we want to do a kind of re-cap to consolidate the scheme here? A lot of solid ideas are floating around at the moment and its hard to gauge overall picture.

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8 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

Do we want to do a kind of re-cap to consolidate the scheme here? A lot of solid ideas are floating around at the moment and its hard to gauge overall picture.

Yup. Would be nice to have something like that. I might update the OP soon.

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Here's a thing:

Quote

9hvSW37.png

OK, so here's the explanation:

1. - Using money you build and launch vessels capable of doing science experiments
2. - Science experiments show the HQ that you are not passive (useless); reputation increases
3. - Reputation proves you useful; annual funding increases

MONEY - You get more cash for accepting programs; spend it (and time) on tech (parts' research).
SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS - No longer rewarded with science points (now they get you rep); each experiment is weighted based on how hard it is to perform (the closer to the surface of a planet/moon it's performed the more rep it gets you).
REPUTATION - If you do experiments, then it means you are not sitting on your butt all day long; income increases.

Programs - this is what is offered in the Admin Building instead of strategies; programs influence the theme of your missions (if you've picked the Jool Exploration Program then you should expect missions to be based around Jool's SOI).
Missions - Those are what you get based on what kind of program you've picked (previously called 'contracts').
Tech - The tech "tree". Now more of a loosely connected set of groups of parts which you can research without caring much about previous steps (takes money and time to research).
Failed missions and time - The reputation goes down with time; failed missions have much worse consequences and hit your reputation harder.

This way all the resources are meaningful even when the tech tree is finished. Unless you've collected all the science in the Kerbol system (which is unlikely), but even then you have the mission feeding into the system (preferably commercial, like hauing ore back to Kerbin, tourism, spy/communication satellites, etc.).

It's the simplified version of what we've been discussing so far. The rest of the ideas would be (hopefully) easy to implement into this loop.

Do you guys approve? Can this be exploited in any way? Did I miss something?

Edited by Veeltch

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Holy crap I just realized something.

There are two ways to close the loop even when you exclude some of the elements: you don't want to do missions - the loop is closed, because you still feed the system by doing experiments. You can also not care about science and still close the loop by doing missions.

It's two game modes in one, except you can change your approach without starting a new save!

All that needs to be done is balancing the points.

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On 13.05.2016 at 0:54 AM, Pthigrivi said:

Right, but the question is what is the minimum? If your budget is only reset once a year can you just do one little mission and then warp money for year without consequence?

I don't mean to bump my thread all the time, but was actually thinking of ways to deal with this problem recently.

So, let's say you have a program in progress ('Mun Manned Landing' for example. Let's say it takes 6 months to fund and complete). Now, the 'big' program is in progress and we can't harvest rep for it yet. You may think "Oh, crap! I'm gonna be left with no rep before I finish the program!". Well, not really, actually.

I think that one mission (either LKO or HKO, or keostationary, or any other orbit within Kerbin's SOI) per month should be enough to keep your reputation at the more or less same level. That way we spend our time actually doing something while also waiting for the bigger job to get completed and we don't lose rep in the process.

Same with longer duration missions. Why the hell not put a few extra satelites in the polar orbit or resupply your space station while one of our probes is on its way to Jool? It's not a problem when you have the annual funds granted per month (based on your rep).

And how to deal with this problem if you don't have enough rep to go into space? Accept a few atmospheric missions (because NASA also has SOFIA and the Scramjet programs going on while keeping their astronauts aboard ISS alive and running the Juno mission). They would give lower rep rewards, but would also be a lot cheaper since you land your aircraft back at the KSC.

So to sum up: One space Kerbin SOI mission or two atmospheric missions per month should keep your rep at the (more or less) same level. Of course the player could squeeze a few more of each mission during the one month period, but he/she would also have to think about engineering challenges to have enough money to keep completing them (SSTOs? SpaceX-style recovery? Cheap launch system like the Pegasus?).

I'm actually not sure if Pegasus is cheap tbh.

EDIT: Wolololo it's actually almost the same price as F9 but who cares? It's just an example.

Edited by Veeltch

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Why would you need to complete a whole program to get rep? Why not give portions of rep per mission? You would select the Mun landing program, and be given a program tree (which could either look like a mini tech tree, or not be visible, and use a similar UI to contracts now). When a mission is completed, you get rep, which gets you funds. You would also be offered the next set of missions. For example, when complete the Mun flyby mission, you could be offered both an orbital mission and a long duration multi-flyby mission. Each completed mission would give rep, and they would be much more rapid. Also, funds could be given in smaller amounts monthly, spreading it out to make it easier to do rapid-fire missions. 

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3 hours ago, Veeltch said:

So to sum up: One space Kerbin SOI mission or two atmospheric missions per month should keep your rep at the (more or less) same level. Of course the player could squeeze a few more of each mission during the one month period, but he/she would also have to think about engineering challenges to have enough money to keep completing them (SSTOs? SpaceX-style recovery? Cheap launch system like the Pegasus?).

I'm actually not sure if Pegasus is cheap tbh.

Wolololo it's actually almost the same price as F9 but who cares? It's just an example.

You want to do 1 Kerbin SOI mission every month, have you forgotten how long it takes to get a probe to Jool?:0.0: 
That is seriously going to frustrate players who feel that they have done all the Mun/Minmus landings they wanted to, and now just want to focus on Jool and nothing else.

You need a better way of managing the punishment for time-warp abuse, because players want to do things every 5 minutes...which is OK in Kerbin SOI because everything is only 4-50 days. But on the way to Jool it is like 1600 days away, players will want to skip that waiting period.

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10 hours ago, Panel said:

Why would you need to complete a whole program to get rep? Why not give portions of rep per mission? You would select the Mun landing program, and be given a program tree (which could either look like a mini tech tree, or not be visible, and use a similar UI to contracts now). When a mission is completed, you get rep, which gets you funds. You would also be offered the next set of missions. For example, when complete the Mun flyby mission, you could be offered both an orbital mission and a long duration multi-flyby mission. Each completed mission would give rep, and they would be much more rapid. Also, funds could be given in smaller amounts monthly, spreading it out to make it easier to do rapid-fire missions. 

Yes, I totally agree. The missions from programs should also grant reputation for completion, but what I meant was a situation when the player focuses his/hers time on researching tech only. Let's say he/she spends the money from the program (the bonus that is granted every month for 6 months) on the tech, but doesn't have enough to land a probe on Mun (maybe also lacks the landing gear). If that's the case the player would spend the money (the rest that is left after spending the program's bonus on the research) to perform an LKO mission. They wouldn't have to, but if they are in danger of losing too much rep for doing nothing they should be offered a way to at least keep the rep on the same level. So it looks more or less like this:

The player accepts the program and gets the money bonus (11k from the annual budget influenced by rep + 60k from the program). Then he/she spends the 60k on the tech needed for the Mun landing. He/she is left with 11k (let's assume it's not enough to get you beyond LKO). Then to maintain the healthy amount of rep he/she performs an LKO mission (they have 60 points of rep. The rep drop is 2 per day. The mission gives about 60 rep and the player is left with roughly the same amount of rep by the end of the month).

7 hours ago, Blaarkies said:

You want to do 1 Kerbin SOI mission every month, have you forgotten how long it takes to get a probe to Jool?:0.0: 
That is seriously going to frustrate players who feel that they have done all the Mun/Minmus landings they wanted to, and now just want to focus on Jool and nothing else.

You need a better way of managing the punishment for time-warp abuse, because players want to do things every 5 minutes...which is OK in Kerbin SOI because everything is only 4-50 days. But on the way to Jool it is like 1600 days away, players will want to skip that waiting period.

We would be able to perform multiple programs, so waiting for the Jool mission to arrive would not be a problem if we had alternative ways of getting reputation in the meantime.

So: the Jool mission is on it's way. While it's going there you start a new program. Let's say it's a Minmus exploration program. You do missions the program throws at you but you also have those low-rep LKO missions in case you are stuck and waiting for the tech needed to land on Minmus (as previously stated: the tech needs money and time. If you've picked a lot of tech the time needed for the research adds up. If it happens to be a whole month, then you do the LKO/atmospheric missions to maintain the reputation on the same level).

If, for example, the player decides to warp until the Jool mission hits the Jool SOI, then they should be allowed to do so. It's their choice. Maybe they accumulated enough rep and are able to take the hit once they stop warping for three months. Maybe they want to go back to launching sounding rockets again. It's their choice. All I'm saying is that the time should be relevant. It isn't in the current version of career.

 

EDIT: I also think that every part that just got researched should also give a tiny amount of reputation.

Edited by Veeltch

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I'm late to the party, I skimmed some but attempted to read most of the thread.

 

On 12/05/2016 at 1:03 PM, tater said:

Time warping is not a problem.

In fact, we WANT time warping, that's the point, in fact.

<snip>

 

3 years have passed, and much of it was hitting a warp button. So what? In stock KSP, all that would have happened in 3 DAYS.

So much this! What is the obsession with saving Kerbal-time, anyway? People feel like they missed something if they timewarp, it seems to me. Coupled with the ridiculously long deadlines stock contracts offer you, and it's simply impossible to fail a Stock mission.

On 12/05/2016 at 2:12 PM, Pthigrivi said:

The devil is in the details here. The trouble is you can't say you want people to time warp and then punish them for doing so. Rep loss can't happen linearly with time for reasons mentioned here

Um. It says there, 3 years to Jool. The post just above yours has a sketch for a couple LKO/Mun missions that warp thru a year. What's the problem here that I don't see?

On 10/06/2016 at 4:32 PM, Veeltch said:

Here's a thing:

This way all the resources are meaningful even when the tech tree is finished. Unless you've collected all the science in the Kerbol system (which is unlikely), but even then you have the mission feeding into the system (preferably commercial, like hauing ore back to Kerbin, tourism, spy/communication satellites, etc.).

It's the simplified version of what we've been discussing so far. The rest of the ideas would be (hopefully) easy to implement into this loop.

Do you guys approve? Can this be exploited in any way? Did I miss something?

APPROVE! Simple, effective, well-explained. Has a loop. You can close it in any way you want.

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21 hours ago, monstah said:

Um. It says there, 3 years to Jool. The post just above yours has a sketch for a couple LKO/Mun missions that warp thru a year. What's the problem here that I don't see?

You can't have reputation reduce linearly with time because it punishes players for doing something the game requires. The missions listed in the post above don't take a year, the take a few days, which leaves hundreds of days of time warping all the while your reputation is bleeding away. The only way to prevent this is to do dozens of tedious filler missions while you wait for your Jool probe to arrive. 

Edited by Pthigrivi

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What I think Panel was getting at is requiring the player to do one mission a month means doing 50+ kerbin SOI missions while you wait for your Jool probe to arrive. That doesn't sound fun.

Just a quick question for @Veeltch, is conducting experiments the only way to get rep or can you get it just for landing? If the latter is there really a requirement to do science at all? Part of what makes science points important is that they are a currency exclusive to earning parts.

Edited by Pthigrivi

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4 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

 

Just a quick question for @Veeltch, is conducting experiments the only way to get rep or can you get it just for landing? If the latter is there really a requirement to do science at all? Part of what makes science points important is that they are a currency exclusive to earning parts.

The experiments would work the same way they do now, except they would generate reputation points instead of science points. Also completed mission objectives would grant you reputation. The tech would be unlocked with money and time.

That way we wouldn't have to deal with the "go places, unlock parts afterwards" mechanic.

EDIT: As the science is no longer directly tied to tech we are not forced to gather it in order to progress. We can perform missions only, gather science only or do both! Isn't freedom better than grind?

4 hours ago, Pthigrivi said:

What I think Panel was getting at is requiring the player to do one mission a month means doing 50+ kerbin SOI missions while you wait for your Jool probe to arrive. That doesn't sound fun.

Keep in mind that as the Jool mission is en-route there are also other programs available. Completing them would also get you reputation. Preferably way more than standard Kerbin SOI missions. They would be simply a way to keep your reputation healthy if you are running low on reputation.

You accept a program -> spend the whole money given by the program on tech (which takes about a month to research) -> you are left with the money you had from the reputation -> launch and complete a Kerbin SOI mission -> now you are left with roughly the same amount of rep by the end of the month and get the same amount of money next month.

It's just in case you can't afford "excessive" time warping without doing anything.

Of course we are assuming the career has just started in this thought experiment. If, for example, you have an Eve probe and a Duna probe orbiting each of the bodies, you could do orbital manouvers, which would also count as completed missions (and thus raise/keep your reputation in a healthy state).

Quote

You can't have reputation reduce linearly with time because it punishes players for doing something the game requires. The missions listed in the post above don't take a year, the take a few days, which leaves hundreds of days of time warping all the while your reputation is bleeding away. The only way to prevent this is to do dozens of tedious filler missions while you wait for your Jool probe to arrive. 

One mission per month is not really a problem. We already have to do dozens of tedious missions in stock, which is something you don't seem to complain about much. You would do a mission and warp for the rest of the month instead. The difference here is you would be able to pick what kind of mission you want to do (either a station crew rotation/resource refill/spy sat/whatever) instead of grinding through a bunch random missions the current career offers us.

 

Alright. I'm done editing this post.

Edited by Veeltch

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I bought KSP about two months ago, and started with a career-mode game for its gradual introduction of the parts.  I really liked the gradual unlocking---the ordering is not perfect but still helpful for a new player.  I often really want a new part, so the unlocking is a real psychological reward.

When I wanted to unlock docking ports I was short science points, read the wiki, and did taxi mystery goo around KSP in a light aircraft for a while.  The silliness of observing mystery goo to get a docking port, plus the tedium, made me stop collecting science that way.  I muddled along somehow, eventually putting mobile processing labs on the moons.  I still don't enjoy learning and remembering what gives science points, so I neglect to do things like collect surface samples during a south-Mun-pole rescue.

It is nice how KSP lets you play your game your way. (I enjoyed 'renegotiating' a contract when I realized landing 6000 units of liquid fuel on the Mun is less fun than the 6000 kg I though I had agreed to, simply by editing the entry in the savefile.)  I came here to see how people make the technology tree work for them.  My favorite idea now is a variant of actual R&D but with _recently-unlocked_ nodes being considered the prototypes. 

I am requiring myself to sufficiently use parts on each node of the tree before I unlock the next node.  Each science point, reputation star, and each 1000 funds, gives a point of experience to the nodes containing parts on the vessel that returned the data or completed the contract.  When the points add to the science points designated for that node (or, honestly, whatever I feel sufficient) I consider that technology 'established' and can cheat-unlock the following node.

If I was building a mechanism into the game to do the accounting, I might divide the science + reputation + money/1000 equally among the part-types on the craft completing the contract, or recovered with the science, plus those on the launch vessel with the mission-completing craft's launchID.  Earning 20 science points on a craft involving an engine from a non-established node, one fuel tank, one capsule, four decouplers, and four boosters, would give 4 points of experience to the node of that engine, and probably waste the other 16 points on nodes that are probably already established; that dilution of experience to each node as craft get complex might allow all nodes to have the same cost.

Now instead of taxiing an aircraft and touching its wheel to each KSC building, I am figuring out how to incorporate survey-scanners on rescue trips and get them to survive to landing---slightly less silly, and more fun for me.   This gives me the logical way of earning the next technology that the thread-starter wants, where the unlocking experiments mentioned at the start of this thread can be anything of perceived value (reputation or funds or science) that I choose to do using parts from the nodes prerequisite to the one I am researching.

Of course it would be nicer if choosing science as my perceived-value activity required fewer mouse-clicks (making science more fun).

Re: paying for technology with time and money, I could try increasing buy-in cost for new parts, and giving myself free science, but I suspect that will remove the sense of earning the new parts.

Re: the value of Kerbin calendar time, accomplishing stuff in a reasonable amount of Kerbin time feels to me like it _should_ be a goal, so now I am building more bases while my mapping probe (ScanSat is my first mod) is on its way to Duna.   I do think a mechanism requiring me to complete enough contracts to support KSC and pay salaries, would give a natural game-reward for giving consideration to Kerbin-time.

Edited by OHara
typo

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