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 Transition to Society Stage

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NickTheNick
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PostSubject: Transition to Society Stage   Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:08 pm

The transition between pre and post sapience is a tricky one, and has troubled me and many others. It has been summarized before, but never in very much depth. Here, I have finally covered, for myself and you others out there, a fleshed out description of this transition, based off of the work I have been doing on the Strategy Mode in the past weeks. It is a gradual transition, and seamless if I might add. Be sure to discuss its contents or the stage in particular below.

Key terms are italicized and in blue.

I have also made some changes to keep it up to date with the current concept.
One last thing before reading, this actually covers the transition from Aware, through the Awakening Stage, and to the Society Stage. I only realized that now and I need to make some changes to some areas. Now that I've made the changes, note that the specific threshold of the stages themselves mean little. It is a transition that takes place over time.

---------------------------------------------------------------

One of Thrive's seven gameplay stages, Society Stage begins after your sapient race (developed in Awakening Stage) begins to form larger groups, or societies. At this point, Strategy Mode becomes the primary focal point of the game, rather than Organism Mode (although the player can still access any mode at any time.) The Nation Editor is also unlocked for use. Finally, the player's race can begin to form Society Centers.

Throughout Society Stage, one of the major goals is to develop more and more advanced technology. As such, the Society Stage ends when your race develops sufficiently advanced technology to enter the Industrial Stage.

The Awakening Stage begins when the player’s species achieves sapience. However, at this point, little changes, other than the ending of evolution for the player’s species. Strategy Mode is still locked, the Nation Editor is locked, and Society Centers don’t exist. The initial transition is mostly symbolic, and the substance of the change is gradual.

What is enabled, although not at first visible, is the Research Web. Interaction is also automatically discovered. Researches cannot be directly researched at this point. Instead, the actions that you carry out, such as communicating or interacting with the environment, now have a chance of discovering new Researches or Inventions, in effect developing your technology. This is the effect of having discovered Interaction. For example, using objects in the environment as tools runs the chance of discovering the invention Tools.  

The Language invention allows the player to task other members of their species to do specific assignments. Every time a task is assigned, Cooperation has a chance of being discovered. Cooperation builds upon Language by allowing other species members, at this point advanced enough to be called tribe members, to discover Researches as a result of their own actions. Remember, before this, only the player’s organism could discover new Researches. This frees up the player to take more of a management role in their emerging tribe.  

The Strategy Mode is also unlocked with the invention Cooperation. This allows the player to finally detach their perspective from that of the specific individual they were playing as, and instead zoom out to access the species from an RTS perspective. They can give orders to the different  units of their tribes, and they can control multiple at the same time. Organism Mode is still available, and at any time the player can select a tribesman and begin playing as them in Organism Mode, with access to all the same abilities as before.

The next big milestone comes with Communities. All members of your species automatically become assigned as Citizens, the very first Specialist (Although, Citizens are a unique exception amongst the Specialists), and the Nation Editor panel is unlocked. Nevertheless, it is still very limited at this time.  

Crafting unlocks the Tech Editor, as well as Worker Specialists. However, none of your population can become Workers until Collective Residence is discovered, which will be explained momentarily. Tools allows Tech Objects made by the player in the Tech Editor, which are tagged as “Tools”, to be equipped by members of their species.  

Social Tradition unlocks Procedural Culture Generation, leading to the spawning of Arts in your nation.

Collective Residence enables the forming of Society Centers. Once your first SC is formed, the Society Stage begins. The player will be able to designate any cluster of buildings to the computer and register it as a Society Center, which would then get a procedurally generated name. New stats would also appear for that SC (Society Center), such as happiness, health, and stability. Species members can now be designated to Populate these SC’s, which means they disappear as a controllable unit and instead become a digit in the population of that SC. Although populating units into SC’s takes away lots of their capabilities on the field, it opens up a whole new range of opportunities. Now the label of Citizen, Worker Specialist, or whichever other Pop they are becomes important, since the computer now treats all the members of that Pop as a whole. Taxes can be collected, they are subject to Population Growth, and they can employ buildings that require operators. They essentially become just numbers on the screen. Their models will no longer be important other than to arbitrarily walk around the SC to make it look busy.

Nevertheless, members of the Pops now inhabiting these SC’s can always be Deployed, which takes them out of the SC and put them back as a unit in the game. Founding new cities works in this fashion. Units would have to be deployed from one city, and then travel to a new destination and build several buildings. These buildings would then be selected by the player and coalesced into a new SC. The units used to build the city could then be used to populate the new SC to get it off the ground. 

Conversely, during this whole period of advancement, other tribes of the player’s species would also begin to emerge. Each tribe that would arise out of the player’s species would take a part of the species’ population with them, so there would be a limited number of tribes that would form from the same species. Other species can also achieve sapience and begin forming tribes. Only the tribe, and later nation, formed by the player would be controllable by the player. These other nations would be the AI nations, and would be the source of competition with the player in the long history to come. They will still be part of the same species as the player, but will not be controllable, and may even become hostile towards the player. They would discover their own Researches, form their own SC’s, and take their own path towards civilization.

By this point, the player’s species will have sufficiently transitioned into the Society Stage. They would be discovering new Researches and Inventions, able to control their species from an omniscient perspective,  able to create new objects in the Tech Editor, have a growing culture, and have a series of developing cities, i.e. Society Centers. Later in their future, they would be able to start dedicating Research Points to general fields, and then to specific Researches. The player would be able to have advanced interactions with the other nations, and the competition between them would grow both in terms of magnitude and complexity, with the emergence of wars, diplomacy, and trade. At last, the modest organism and its species members of the player will have now become a developing civilization.

--------------------------------------------

This summary assumes you know many things about the current concept, which you might not, so be sure to ask any questions you have. Also, the Procedural Culture Generation is something I will make a thread on soon, and which is a revised version of the previous Cultural Trait system.

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Last edited by NickTheNick on Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:38 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: re: Transition to Society Stage   Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:35 am

So, first things what we need to have is language, primitive shelters, and use primitive tools. and then we unlock research tree. Then we can research less primitive language, tools, huts, which will open new ,,branches'' of research tree to us. Then we can research things like art, music, religy and etc.

We should get language by making several various sounds what mean thing like ,,hunt'' ,,here'' and etc, which then expand and number of words become biger.Now im not sure how we could make shelters without tech editor. I think its somewhere deep on other thread made by Tenerbarum.
Primitive tools would be, as example:

Branches
Rocks
and etc.

after we research ,,society'' in research tree, what comes after fire, we go to Society stage, and unlock RTS mode.
What about that? Did i understand it well?
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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:21 am

I love this. It looks much better than i could ever had imagined, and i dont think there will be any problem implementing it.

I've got many ideas on how to do Procedural Culture Generation, i'll wait until you start the post to tell them.

About other species geting to society stage the same time you do, we might want to, once the process starts and evolution is stoped, check if any other species is close enough to be able to get to a society and give it a evolution boost, to make double sentinent species planets/saves more abundant.
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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:24 pm

This. Looks. Awesome. Great work as always Nick. It seems perfectly seamless and at the same time not too subtle so that the player can't tell the difference.

I agree with Daniferrito's statement about giving other species evolution boost to get them into the society stage along with your species. One of the things that annoyed me most about Spore was that only one specie entered the Civilization stage, and it had to be yours.

One question though: will all evolution stop at this point? I understand that would spare the computer from hating its life, but it feels unrealistic.

Fantastic job overall though!

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PostSubject: re: Transition to Society Stage   Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:48 pm

WJacobC wrote:
This. Looks. Awesome. Great work as always Nick. It seems perfectly seamless and at the same time not too subtle so that the player can't tell the difference.

I agree with Daniferrito's statement about giving other species evolution boost to get them into the society stage along with your species. One of the things that annoyed me most about Spore was that only one specie entered the Civilization stage, and it had to be yours.

One question though: will all evolution stop at this point? I understand that would spare the computer from hating its life, but it feels unrealistic.

Fantastic job overall though!

I hope evolution wont stop on start of society stage. That would make problems, if a example, you species stop using some body part (as we now dont use things like hair, we now have clothes.)
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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:04 pm

That is a very seemless transition, very well written as-well.

Daniferrito
I agree with the idea of an 'evolution boost', I think this should be used in other situations as-well. ( For example: creature has just went on land so a few others should follow.) However I don't think we should have a 100 % chance of looking for a species to boost. (gameplay with a second sapient species will feel much different then if you were alone) I think we should boost a species again once you get to the industrial age, so you can have other sapient species evolve once the player thinks they are alone. (Maybe end up in a planet of the apes type scenario)(maybe boost a species in another part of your solar system so once you do get to space you may have an industrial race to deal with. )

We could randomize these to make gameplay more interesting.
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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:42 pm

Well, i wasn't saying a second specie should always be boosted, but IF other species are close to geting there, help them a bit giving them a boost.

Now that i think of it, if the situation happens, even more species could get to society with you.

@WJacobC: The usual agreed thing is yes, the evolution stops when you get to society. Personally, i would prefer if it didn't.
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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:40 pm

Daniferrito wrote:
@WJacobC: The usual agreed thing is yes, the evolution stops when you get to society. Personally, i would prefer if it didn't.
Ah, well that makes sense. Perhaps it could be an option though, considering that computers will be quite a bit more powerful by the time Society stage has even been started.

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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:05 pm

@WilliamsTheJohn: Sounds more or less correct.

@Daniferrito: I'll have my thread on the PCG (Procedural Culture Generation, one more for our list of acronyms) up by the end of today, if not sooner.

On the topic of evo-boosting, I think that every time the player moves to a new stage, starting with the transition into the Awakening Stage, the computer randomly picks species close enough to sapience and boosts them into sapience. It would be possible for none to be boosted, or several. There should still be a large chance, however, to remain solo. Having the computer run these checks too often would make them too likely, unless the chances were very low per check.

Actually, I don't think it should be per stage. Would per year work better?

@WJacobC: Evolution stops for two reasons. One, for processing purposes, and the second because the rate of time that passes by is not very fast to see significant evolutionary change. The Aware stage in actuality is in the millions of years, while the combined Society, Industrial, and Space stages probably in the tens of thousands. It also makes things incredibly complicated, specifically the current model in place for post-sapience, if it was possible for your creature to keep evolving.

@WilliamsTheJohn: That's a good point, and I would agree that the player be able to shed hair, fur, or other skin coverings over time. However, all major evolution becomes insignificant.

@Untrustedlife: I agree. It should in some cases produce only one species that achieves sapience, and in other cases it should produce several. However, by the time a species has reached the industrial stage, or even the society stage, they would be so far ahead of any other species that just achieved sapience that the new competition would be easily wiped out. The player only really has to worry when new species achieve sapience at the same time or similar times as them.

@Daniferrito: If you have an idea for evolution to persist after sapience, I would love to hear it, but there are a lot of problems it would face.

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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:35 am

NickTheNick wrote:
[color=black]Long interesting post

Good work Nick. Nice explanation of your idea. Formatting also help to read the text and get a better idea. I don't think there is anything you said that I would disagree with.

My idea would be to a lot of different researchs to increase the player customization of its experience, It would allow him flexibility and give him the impression that he is making important decisions. However, different research have huge difference in their effect. Some unlock whole new features(New editor, ability to control other creatures), while other would probably give basic advantages(e.g : faster construction, faster learning, ect...). I think a lot of work would need to be done on the interface of the tree to give the player easy understanding of what is what and which are absolute necessity to advance int the game. When someone will have agreed upon the system, which is currently the case, I would suggest OP to be updated OR a new thread to be created with a list of all the research and their effect clearly explained. A GUI could then be iterated by artist/designer to be ready when the actual implementation will be done as it might come sooner than one think.
Q
Evo-Boost
I would see somekind of option that you can enable at start of game OR anytime during the game trough the option menu.

This would enable the Evo-Boost system. I see two possibilities for it :
- some/all NPC get a boost to get to your level of advancement
- some/all NPC get a boost or are slowed to stay close to your level of advancement, without getting too far from you(Bonus or malus to their advancement speed in regard to the difference with yours).

This leads me to this question : Can NPCs evolve trought stage faster than you, or a stage is unlocked for them when you unlock it? Later might be simpler but wouldn't be as funny. The first one might ruin the experience of SOME players that just want to wander and take their time without having to face Space NPCs while they are just beginning to get sapience. This problem would be solved by the option presented above.

Society Evolution
I don't think processing power is a problem there. System complexity for devlopper might be a problem thought. Stopping evolution there would probably remove a lot of work. However, evolution might be applicable to all society at once, but I'm not sure how that would work to give a proper functionnal gameplay. If the idea make sense, I think it is worth to consider it as I think anyone want to keep evolution in game as much as possible.

Nice work again Nick
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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:54 am

Actually, I have the whole Research Web and a table of all the Researches and Inventions with me now. I could email it to you now if you want, but I want to present it to the rest of the forum more formally.

It is more or less complete. I inherited it from Alaska when I found out that he and the other old strategy guys weren't refining or working on it much anymore. I have been putting a lot of work into it lately. Do you have yEd? I think you do, from when sciocont was sending you the microbe stage charts. The Research Web is in that format. Most of the effects of all these Researches and Inventions have also been planned out. Space stage is the only place that is lacking.

EDIT: On the point of evolution, I can't even begin to describe how much of the current concept would have to be thrown out the window, or at least revised heavily, to accommodate for post-sapient evolution.

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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:11 am

NickTheNick wrote:

@WilliamsTheJohn: That's a good point, and I would agree that the player be able to shed hair, fur, or other skin coverings over time. However, all major evolution becomes insignificant.

I also thought to in society stage, if you organism has fur, hair and etc. some of them can bacome shavers.That might cause your creatures look diferently when you look at them.Something like ,,fashion'' would cause your organism in society stage look diferent and change clothes (if they have it) hair, fur,... (if they have it). Not all to look same, like in Spore.
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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:14 am

Clothing was discussed before, but I don't find it particularly important at the moment, mostly because my efforts into conceptualizing it have yielded little result and I would imagine I would care little for it in game.

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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:18 am

NickTheNick wrote:
Clothing was discussed before, but I don't find it particularly important at the moment, mostly because my efforts into conceptualizing it have yielded little result and I would imagine I would care little for it in game.

As i thinked, we should discuss that later, when we finish microbe, multicellular, and aware stage.
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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:50 am

NickTheNick wrote:
Actually, I have the whole Research Web and a table of all the Researches and Inventions with me now. I could email it to you now if you want, but I want to present it to the rest of the forum more formally.

It is more or less complete. I inherited it from Alaska when I found out that he and the other old strategy guys weren't refining or working on it much anymore. I have been putting a lot of work into it lately. Do you have yEd? I think you do, from when sciocont was sending you the microbe stage charts. The Research Web is in that format. Most of the effects of all these Researches and Inventions have also been planned out. Space stage is the only place that is lacking.

Good to know that it already been take care of I don't have yEd as of now. I'll wait for you to show it formally to the forum, I was just raising the point that it would need to be worked soon, but you already had figured out it seem! Make sure to post some screenshot so not-yEd-user can access it.

About evo, I think we should keep the concept we currently have instead of rewriting it. If we realize something can be added to it to have a good society evo system, we should discuss it then.
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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:16 pm

Both of those are more than valid reasons to stop evolution, Nick. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:18 pm

I don't think we need evolution to continue in the society stage to be honest, for the reasons given. Its not really needed and the aim of this stage is to develop your society, not your race, which was the aim of the earlier stages.

I think it is a good idea to boost other stages up or slow them down to match your position. Maybe just increase their development speed by 15% or something.

I don't know how much people will want to customise clothing and stuff either, it doesn't really have any real impact on gameplay.

Sorry for the slight necropost.
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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Sun Jul 14, 2013 5:11 am

Yeah clothes are mostly an aesthetic thing, maybe just some tweaking of colours and brushing of differently textured textiles onto the body.

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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:59 am

So, please describe to me the method by which researches are first discovered by the player.
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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:12 pm

Well each Research or Invention has a specific threshold of Research Points that it "costs" to be discovered. At the beginning of the game, research points can only be generated towards researches/inventions through the actions of your units. These activate triggers which give RP to a tech (a term referring to either a research or an invention). We were discussing the different triggers for techs here, until we took a short break to discuss gathering. You are welcome to revive the discussion on triggers if you want, since I dont have much time to post currently.

After discovering Record Keeping, The Research Web would become available to view, and the player could begin to invest in Fields of research, not not specific techs themselves, meaning their RP is randomly distributed amongst all the unlocked but yet to be discovered techs of the field they chose. Buildings would be the main way, at this time, of generating RP.

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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:57 pm

Several triggers for techs

Mining: Whenever an organism uses a tool on a source of stone or ore.

Trade: Whenever an organism give a object to another organism.

Naturopathy: Whenever an organism gathers or examines a plant, fungus, or animal.

Animal Interaction: Obviously, whenever a organism interacts with a animal.

Weaponry: Whenever an organism hunts or defends itself using a tool.

Construction: Whenever an organism builds a shelter.

Metal Casting: Whenever a organism uses a metal ore on a fire.

Agriculture: Whenever a organism uses a plant, and gathers it's seeds.
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PostSubject: Re: Transition to Society Stage   Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:59 pm

Please don't discuss the triggers here, and also make sure to not get ahead of ourselves. We are still working on triggers for Socialisation.

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Thrive Game Development :: Development :: Design :: Gameplay Stages :: Society-
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