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 PCG - Procedural Culture Generation

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NickTheNick
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PostSubject: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:28 pm

THIS CONCEPT IS NOW ALSO OUT OF DATE. CHECK THE WIKI FOR THE CURRENT CONCEPT.

So, to add to my spree of new threads, here's another. Here I will explain the concept behind the PCG, and why I don't like the Cultural Trait system anymore.

First of all, the Cultural Traits, or just Traits for short, were incredibly challenging to think of past the first 18, and I estimated that at least 100 were needed to have a sufficient amount in game, as in having sufficient diversity in decision making. This was with the combined efforts of me, Alaska, Silver Sterling, Jacelevo, and several other people here on the forums.

But then two weeks ago I had an epiphany. Why make it a set list when it can be procedurally generated, like so many other things in the game? Although having the Research Web and the list of Organs be procedurally generated would lead to incredible complications, that is not so for culture, which can become much more diverse if it is not a set list.

The whole reason I proposed the Traits in the first place was because the concept before that both didn't have a major purpose for culture in game, and gave no use to Culture points. Although I felt the Traits an improvement to its predecessor, I always felt uneasy working on it, since I always felt it just didn't fit in with the rest of the game. Finally, I have decided to change the concept entirely, and revert to a hybrid between the original and the Trait-based systems.

Culture is generated just as before. However, they now don't pick what cultural "trait" they receive. Traits, by the way, are now called Arts. The system, which I will explain below, is heavily influenced by Tenebrarum's concepts, some of which is outlined on this page, and I hope that if she comes back to the forums she sees this.

The player generates culture through TO's they build, and sometimes Arts themselves. Every time the player's amount of Culture points reaches the threshold, a new Art is spawned. The thresholds increase by 25% each time. I presume the specific numbers would be like:

100
125
156
195
...

Each time the threshold increases by 25%.

So, when an Art spawns, it has these options.

Celebration
Tradition
Mythology
Sports
Musical
Performed
Literary
Motion Picture
Broadcasted
Holographic
Virtual Reality
Advanced Sports
And a few others that I can't recall without my notes.

Once it has randomly picked one of these, it goes inside that category and then picks the actual specific Art itself. For example, lets say it randomly chose Sport. It would then pick between.

Team Sport
+Stability +Health
Combat Sport
+Morale of units from this SC +Health
Water Sport
+Happiness of SC if near water +Health
Field Sport
+Health +Happiness

So, the final product would look something like:

ART => Sports => Field Sport

It would then be given a randomly generated name, and randomly assigned to one of the player's SC's. The benefits it would apply would ONLY apply to that SC.

However, every time the Culture threshold is reached, there is also a 50% chance that, instead of a new Art being generated and applied to a city, an existing Art will now spread to a city without that Art, giving its benefits to the new city as well.

Some Arts break this rule slightly, but I'll get to that later. What do you guys think? Anything that needs further explaining?

Also, Dani, what were the ideas you hinted at that you had for the PCG?

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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:55 pm

I like this, it's a very organic system.

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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:38 pm

Good idea. However I see one problem, I dont think a society that just started will be getting holographic or virtual reality and etc. If i had just discovered the wheelbarrow and suddenly a hologram appeared in my city I would be like 'What?'. We would need to limit the possible art at first before it gets more technological.

I Suggest a little less randomization to prevent this.
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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:41 pm

Don't worry obviously that won't be the case.

Each branch is unlocked through a certain Research or Invention.

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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:47 pm

How will we implement this?

(From a programming standpoint)
(Yes I'm still programming ), I suppose we could check when ever the player researches an item then add a specific art to some sort of data structure... this wont be that simple ..
Hmm..






----
Cultural centers may be a cool edition (you can make an sc that if it has a certain amount of art and it will boost the culture of all your other scs)


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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:00 am

No, it's very simple.

To give an example, when Athletics is discovered, it allows Arts that spawn in your nation to be Sports. It increases the range of options to be chosen from when an Art is randomly spawned.

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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:03 am

Not what I meant /: i mean how will we handle the different art going to different places and effecting all the palces. We would have to keep track of all the art in each sc , in each nation and the bonuses of each and every 'art' (I suppose arrays would work fine for this though or maybe a separate class) (i'm pretty tired)
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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:07 am

Oh. There won't actually be that many Arts, and Arts would have to be kept track of anyway since the computer would have to know what Arts have spawned in each SC to give the resultant bonuses to that SC.

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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:15 am

I think (and please correct me if i'm wrong as I am still relatively new to c++) The best way to handle it would be to have an instance of a generic 'art' class for each art so we only have to keep track of a few things instead of 30..

Maybe even a single 'art handler' (I will call it) entity that keeps track of all of this.... (anything but having each city keep track of this on its own)
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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:28 am

I don't know how to put it in terms of C++, but to put it as technically as I can, every SC has a list of Arts that have spawned in that SC. Each Art only contains a little bit of information, stating the name, the type, and the effect.

When the computer comes to a point where it needs to spawn a new Art, it first does a 50:50 check. Let's say it rolled a number which means it will have to spread an Art. It would then randomly pick an Art from the list of Arts of a randomly selected SC, and then it would assign that Art to a new SC that does not contain that Art in its list.

I apologize if I'm missing something, but I can't imagine why this would be challenging.

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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:33 am

I'm not saying its difficult I'm just trying to come up with different ways of handling it. (sorry) I suppose keeping track of it by SC wouldn't be too annoying.
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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:51 am

No worries, it's important to have a programming perspective available on this to keep it implementable.

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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:06 am

Woops, this isnt at all what i expected. My ideas where on how to procedurally generate ARTWORK, that is, how to generate paintings, sculptures, tv shows, films,... So i dont think my ideas fit here.

About how to handle units with their bonuses, how if each unit has a pointer to the sc it came from, and then that sc holds the list of bonuses it was given. That way, each unit has easy access to its bonuses. Whenever a sc is destroyed, all units from that sc will lose track of it, becoming "orphans" with no bonuses.

However, i have to say that i dont like each unit having different stats. For example, if you place units inside a building or whatever, it is easier to store 200 rifleman, 6 tanks than to store each individual unit separatedlly. Plus, stacking them is scalable almost infinetlly, while individual units scale badly.
One solution to that would be to treat units as the same thing. For example, storing 130 rifleman from sc A, 70 rifleman from sc B, and 6 tanks from sc C.
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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:21 am

Dani, I think you misinterpreted a bit here. I'm not talking about cultural Arts for individual units. I'm talking Arts for a whole SC, independent of any units in that SC.

For example, I reach the culture threshold of 125. I get an Art spawned into my SC that is a sport, and is a team sport. That Team Sport Art, which let's say got the random name of Floopball, increases the health and stability of my SC by specific amounts, independent of any riflemen in or out of the city.

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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:26 am

Oh, so you are not increasing the stats of units produced by a sc, but only the stats of the xc itself? That is simpler. Then, the only thing we have to do is inside the sc component, have an array of arts it got, and that's all.
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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:29 am

Exactly, just the stats of the SC itself. Thats the whole point of SC's, to coalesce values into single values for the SC.

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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 1:54 am

untrustedlife wrote:
I'm not saying its difficult I'm just trying to come up with different ways of handling it. (sorry) I suppose keeping track of it by SC wouldn't be too annoying.

I don't think it would be something too complicated. I already see each SC being a class to handle all its information. You can then make a array of art to list all art related to this SC. You just loop trought it whenever you need it. Pretty simple.

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

My question is :
- Why do we need this feature ?

With my understanding, I feel like it is just one more feature that doesn't bring anything to the actual gameplay. Correct me if I'm wrong and explain me how it is needed in the game and what would happen if we didn't have this feature.

Good job as usual!
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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:04 am

The reasons are twofold. One, Tenebrarum advocated on behalf of other pacifists that the game lacked for players at peace. She then proposed the Culture Editor to ameliorate this. Everyone generally agreed since the Culture Editor wasn't necessary for gameplay.

I then came along, and I revised it since it was originally with little purpose. I made a use for Culture points, which previously had no use and didn't exist. However, without the existence of culture points or culture in general, many FP's and Researches would lose their purpose. For example, what could a museum do other than generate culture?

However, the first system I came up with was very rigid, so I changed it to this, which is more organic and can be completely ignored by the player if they want to, but still gives purpose to Art and Culture points, in effect preserving the usefulness of all those FP's and Researches.

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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:15 am

@rodgame, yea I tend to over-complicate things
An array (Or multiple arrays) would be fine, I just wanted to come up with different ways of handling it
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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:57 am

I agree that we need to consider player playing peacefully and just chilling on the game. It should be possible to finish the game without fighting or close to.

If I understand it correctly, trought research and FP, you can get access to new culture, that would give you benefits like :

+health
+speed
...


Am I right ? If this is the idea, I think it could make sense. If we realize it's pointless and just a superflous feature later on, we can just remove it then.
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PostSubject: Re: PCG - Procedural Culture Generation   Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:55 pm

That's the idea. On the surface, its culture, deep down, it just gives small bonuses that build up here and there.

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