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DevBlog - Organizations: build your corporation, faction, nation or empire!

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#1
NQ-Nyzaltar

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(Posted Friday 20th of March 2015 on the DevBlog)

 

 

politic-small.jpg

 

One of the ambitious and new aspects of Dual Universe is that traditional organizations that are found in other video games, like guilds, nations or corporations, should actually emerge in the game. This means that we have to design a generic structure to represent the union of several players, without biasing it towards one particular type of organization or another. The term we use to designate this structure is "organization". A state, a city, a guild, a nation, a group of pirates, an alliance, etc, are all organizations in the game. They differ in the particular way they specialize the generic definition, and in doing so they specify political orientations and implicit organizational goals. Let’s have a look at how it works.

To start with, organizations are divided into legates and members. All legates are not necessarily members, and vice-versa. The legates literally own the organization, which is divided into several shares that are distributed to the legates. Members don’t own the organization, but they have what we call “roles”. Roles are defined by a set of rights, duties and privileges that apply to members. A member can have one or several roles (and, as an legate can also be a member, there can also be roles for legates, but not always), and a role can be fulfilled by one or several members. Roles can be organized hierarchically, so that sub-roles inherit their default set of rights/duties/privileges from their parent.

One could say that legates are making decisions regarding the organization structure, while members are more in charge of running the organization. The mechanism by which legates make decisions is voting, with a weight based on the number of shares owned by the legate. A delegation system enables certain legates to gather the voting rights of other legates. This delegation can be limited in time or not, and can be for every vote or for certain types of votes only. Note that the wording used here, “vote”, induces a notion of democracy, but this is not necessarily the case. In an organization where all legates have permanently delegated all their voting rights to one single legate, you have a de-facto dictatorship. Intermediary cases involve a parliamentary system, where a subgroup of legates concentrate the voting rights of all the others, but none of them can rule alone. All nuances are possible.

There are several types of votes that legates can cast, but one crucial type is about creating roles and assigning/revoking members in those roles. Other types of votes involve approving new legates or revoking them, deciding whether organization shares are tradable or not, and many subtles details on the voting system which are meant to prevent obstruction situations.

Roles, as we said, are about rights, duties and privileges. Rights are defining what a member can do with the organization properties. Can you open containers? What type of containers? Can you access the bank account? Can you delegate your rights to other members? Can you fly ships owned by the organization? Can you control the organization territory system? Can you create subroles? Can you hire/fire members? etc. Duties are things like paying taxes on your in-game revenues or when using certain organization property, obligation to deliver a certain amount of certain assets per month to the organization, etc. And finally, privileges are things like salaries, insurances in case of death, protection in case of aggression, and other practical in-game benefits.

And last but not least : legates and members can be organizations themselves. As such, organizations can be hierarchical, like an alliance, a federation of alliances, or any kind of union.

Now, what can you do with this? Let’s try to build a corporation: you have a board of shareholders, representing all legates through delegation. They elect a CEO, who is a member with a special role that grants him/her the right to create subroles (head of marketing, head of RH, etc) and who will run the company. Each member gets a salary, and the profit of the company is shared among the legates with a dividend mechanism (voted by the legates). This is pretty close to how a real company works. Now, can we imagine creating a democratic nation? In that case, every legate has only one share of the organization and is also a member. Voting can happen through parliament representatives through the delegation mechanism by the legates/members (same thing here). Member roles’ duties include paying taxes, and privileges include possibly a minimal wage (sort of “salary”). A president role can be created and granted subrole delegation powers and full access to the nation’s assets. This president can create roles for prime minister, ministers, etc.

We will provide default templates for typical organizations, but it’s easy to figure out how you could create an interplanetary alliance of planetary organizations, themselves organized in a hierarchy of nations, cities, etc. Corporations can be members of nations, with specific roles separating them from regular citizens. And you can also structure corporations in a hierarchy of conglomerate, trusts, etc. Now, can you imagine how you would like to create your own organization, your own political system, your own subdivision between legates and members? We hope to see pretty amazing things emerge from this, let us know what you think!

JC Baillie,
Project Lead


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#2
Ai Austin

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Please don't forget the role of the explorer alone or in a small team in a small ship perhaps with a small crew (including robots or NPCs)... think Millenium Falcon!

Not everyone wants to build a mega corporation, own a planet, star system, empire or a death star... :-)
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#3
Klatu Satori

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I have to say this sounds great. How could you set up a small crew of pirates on a single ship, roaming space? Everyone is a legate and a member, but the captain has total control through delegation. Shares a distributed unevenly by rank with captain holding the greatest number of shares. There are no salaries but crew members get a share each time they score some loot. The captain can maintain control as long as he brings the money and glory in, but if he doesn't, there could be a mutiny - maybe a Klingon style fight to the death after which the victor becomes the captain... That leads to a question though: can shares in the company be redistributed or a legate ousted altogether by force or would it require the losing captain's/challenger's consent?

I can see how a single ship like this might be a part of fleet, with commodores and an admiral in charge of multiple ships, and the fleet might then be a part of a larger organisation or empire. This system has great potential.

#4
jbonez3213

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I love the idea of this. I play many games of clans/guild/organizations..etc. But this is the best I have seen in games with the clans...etc. Now i really can't wait to play the game when it is released.



#5
Comrademoco

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Interesting, though this makes me wounder if a player or group of players can create what is known as a military / navy type of hierarchy.

Personally because this my type of playing style, being the commander (Admiral) of a group of players and their ships.

Much like what KlatuSatori mentioned.

I make logos for orgs:

http://comrademoco.d...lery/?catpath=/

contact me for further details


#6
Klatu Satori

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I don't think it would be hard to set up a fleet. Everyone in the fleet would be a member with role that describes their rank. Assuming all ships are multiplayer crewed and you have a very large fleet, your ranks might be Ensign, Lieutenant, Lieutenant Commander, Commander, Captain, Commodore, Admiral, Admiral of the Fleet. Commander and above might be able to promote some of the lower ranked members. Each ship could be its own organisation with the captain at its head, but the ship itself is the member of a larger organisation of say 5-10 ships which answer to a commodore. Those 5-10 ships might be called a "wing" or something, which in turn is a member of sub-fleet, which is a member of the fleet with the AOTF at the very top.

As I understand it legates are basically owners. So the legates might not be members of the fleet at all, i.e. the legate(s) could be another organisation such as an empire, or just another player(s). Or the legate(s) might be members of the fleet.

What I'm not clear on is whether the organisation can be set up such that once a member has a certain role they automatically gain some shares and become a legate. Say you want all captains and above to automatically become legates with a certain number of shares.

And are legates' powers absolute? Can a legate be ousted by members? Or by other legates?

#7
NQ-Nyzaltar

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Organizations won't prevent some players to adopt a "Lone Wolf" gameplay style. It will be possible to play solo or in small groups. However, there is strength in numbers: The bigger the group is, the easier it becomes to explore, acquire/control territories, etc.
 
In the beginning, we'll provide generic templates for different types of organizations based on classic models (democracy, oligarchy, dictatorship, etc...). After that, it will be up to the organization's creator to set the admin rights as he sees fit for the legates and/or simple members ;)
 
Two organizations starting from the same template will be able to evolve completely differently in structure, according to their leaders actions.
 
However "forming a Fleet" is something a bit different, not necessarily tied to an organization:
When forming a Fleet, the roles and admin rights in the Fleet depend on the situation:
- If you act in your personal name, then fleet admin rights are pretty open and regulated mostly by the skills of the members composing it.
- If you act in the name of an organization, then fleet admin rights will be delimited by organization rules (who has which admin rights, how many people he/she can have under his/her command, etc)


#8
LassiPrine

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Maybe I'll be a little of-topic here, but I was wondering what kind of mechanisms you'll offer for temporary groups?

 

I mean, the system you describe is perfect for permanent groups/organizations/guilds/you name it, but it seams a little bit overweight for temporary groups. For example, what about friends who like to work on projects together but only for short time span on a regular basis? Will there be a more lightweight alternative that would allow them to communicate and coordinate their project easily (text/voice chat, resources exchange facility, ...) or will they need to create an organization?



#9
NQ-Nyzaltar

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What we have in mind is indeed to have one game feature to create permanent groups (for organizations) and one game feature to create temporary groups (for creating fleets or building teams). But temporary groups will be under a permanent group rules in some situations. We will give more information on this subject in the future (probably in a Blog Post ;))


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#10
Klatu Satori

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What I'm curious about is whether there will be mechanisms in place that will allow leadership and ownership of organisations to pass hands by means other than voting. Perhaps these means and/or conditions were written into the "constitution" when the organisation was created or written into by legates voting at some point after it's creation.

#11
NQ-Nyzaltar

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Organization management features are planned  to be very flexible. 

A default template will be provided at the beginning with a vote system. 

But that doesn't mean you will be bound to this game mechanic. 

For example, it will be up to the Organization Manager(s) to edit succession rights for a more authoritarian system.

Basically, you will be able to have very different types of organizations. Some democratic, others oligarchic or dictatorial...  

We want to empower players with maximum freedom, even in the organization management.



#12
Neopolitan

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This was and is definitely one of two of the biggest draw's to this game. the other I would say is the ability to have true ship building in a massive multiplayer environment.

 

That said I'm looking very forward to the possibilities. While it would have always been possible in any game to operate as a Republic, Athenian Democracy or any other form of governance the easiest was always a Despotism or a crude Oligarchy because there were no tools in the game to help guide it.

 

I personally look forward to establishing a organisation roughly akin to the Holy Roman Empire, a guild made up of many guilds all working together to expand the domain ever further.

 

Sure seems exciting I cant wait to see all of this in action!

 

I forgot to link to this image for one of the symbols of the H.R.E

http://upload.wikime..._Negker.svg.png


sDPsyyM.png


#13
LouisDeMolina

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Speaking of organizations. Whats to stop a crazy lone wolf (someone inherently anti-social) from making self replicating AI whose goal is to convert the entire universe into paperclips?



#14
CaptainTwerkmotor

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Speaking of organizations. Whats to stop a crazy lone wolf (someone inherently anti-social) from making self replicating AI whose goal is to convert the entire universe into paperclips?

Good luck with that. I don't think LUA goes THAT far. 



#15
Velenka

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Good luck with that. I don't think LUA goes THAT far. 

 

You'd be surprised. But to prevent that, there could be some "spark of life" that a real human player has to give to the DPUs in order for them to work.


Under construction


#16
CaptainTwerkmotor

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You'd be surprised. But to prevent that, there could be some "spark of life" that a real human player has to give to the DPUs in order for them to work.

Unless factories can be programmed with DPUs, and having pre-made DPU units operating to in different bots that go out and mine, and have parameters to explore and so on and so forth, I can't see a player going mad scientist and creating a living, semi-autonomous murder-machine army :P 

Either I'm true, or JC Baillie left the robotics industry with the sole purpose of creating a game that would give him the coding manpower of a playerbase set on creating sentient and autonomous A.I. ... in LUA out of all places. Then, he could conquer zie world!


Or I'm actually right and A.I. can't do THAT much in the game :P


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#17
Velenka

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Unless factories can be programmed with DPUs, and having pre-made DPU units operating to in different bots that go out and mine, and have parameters to explore and so on and so forth...

Again, you'd be surprised. You can do this in Space Engineers, the only other game I know that has real programming capabilities. The constraint isn't LUA. It's how much control the scripting has over elements and constructs, and the ability to sense it's environment, as well as the ability of the programmer that determines whether Replicators, or the Borg will be possible.


Under construction


#18
CaptainTwerkmotor

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Again, you'd be surprised. You can do this in Space Engineers, the only other game I know that has real programming capabilities. The constraint isn't LUA. It's how much control the scripting has over elements and constructs, and the ability to sense it's environment, as well as the ability of the programmer that determines whether Replicators, or the Borg will be possible.

SE uses C-Sharp, which is an entire different beast on its own. The thing is, SE suffers from that due to people overcoding the game and just shredding CPUs when they come near other players. DUAL should limit the number of DPUs per construct imo to avoid such a problem.  


The thing is A.I. can't do so many things as you'd expect. It's another thing to figure out terrain, perform actions automatically, as in the case of a mecha reaching its leg down until it finds solid ground and another to make armies of robots march in a general direction, choose where to attack and keep going. There's a limit to such an A.I. If that was possible, the U.S. would have uploaded an entire database of known terrorists ,hooked up Predator drones to a satellite and we would be having the plot of the Winter Soldier in real life. There's automation and A.I. , and A.I. is more like a "virtual intelligence". It won't keep going and going and going. It would reach a logical flaw and bug out. 



#19
Cornflakes

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I've seen people write automatic mining and retrieval scripts in minecraft /w computercraft mod.
I've seen people build inventory and refinery management in space engineers
And of course the automatic factories in space engineers.

The thing SE is missing is scripting access to ore detectors, else there would be replicators there....


theres all you need for self replication
dont start with physics unless you really want to know about physics
no guarantees for the correctness of my statements
post delivered "as is", no refunds for different delivery than expected

#20
CaptainTwerkmotor

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I've seen people write automatic mining and retrieval scripts in minecraft /w computercraft mod.
I've seen people build inventory and refinery management in space engineers
And of course the automatic factories in space engineers.

The thing SE is missing is scripting access to ore detectors, else there would be replicators there....


theres all you need for self replication

Luckily for you, LUA can read textures, which is how I see mining automatons function. Drill, detect dirt, drill, detect dirt, drill, detect iron, harvest. Something like that.






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