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Everything posted by Heresiarch

  1. I have already read that, and you are right - it is extremely interesting (especially after having read the books)! :-) The problems with trying to replicate that in Dual Universe exactly are that we don't have the AIs which are a necessary cornerstone. And that having an entity that almost never engages in warfare, does not have sharp borders, and only really works because it is a lot more powerful than all neighbouring entities ... is just not very fun in a game. That is not to say that if one faction in Dual Universe where to absolutely dominate, it could not take on similar characteristics to Ian Banks "The Culture". Still, it would not make for very engaging stories (which is the reason that Ian Banks stories are told on the fringes of the culture - there just would not be enough conflict otherwise). So I am trying to lift a few ideas from the books, at least enough to give it a passing similarity, and have stolen the name. But I am in no way saying that I am trying to replicate the society of the books in the game - it would not work, as you rightly say. And as noted initialy - I am just throwing this out to see whether anybody is interested in something like this. Or whether something like it has already been proposed. EDIT: Just thought of another argument to justify taking up the name "The Culture": From this political framework Ian Banks "The Culture" could have straight up arisen. No revolution necessary. So, it's like a proto Culture. ;-)
  2. You are right, the two ways of organizing societies (Ian Banks "The Culture" and what I am proposing in this thread) are quite a bit apart. And I am open for alternative naming ideas. But there are at least some similarities, or I would not have thought of the name: Every ship in the Culture is an autark entity. It can do anything it likes, as long as it respects the basic rules - like letting anybody leave who does not want to stay on it, and otherwise respecting the rights of the beings aboard it. So a ship is kind of similar to a member organisation, in that the overall Culture makes no judgement calls about how it should behave, or how its internal society works. And you can kind of compare the "speaker" role I defined to a ship mind. Only kind of though, we have no all knowledgable AIs here. ;-) The big difference is of course that there is nothing like the ability to make binding laws if 60% vote for that - Ian Banks "The Culture" is much closer to anarchy. But it would definitely be cool if one member organisation is just a ship flying around and exploring, at the same time as it is a member organisation of The Culture, don't you think? :-D
  3. I am keeping a close eye on any devblog posts detailing asset management and organisation (voting and legates). I think that what the developers intend to implement should easily allow for both direct and indirect democracies to be formed. How competetive these would be (reaction times, for example) of course remains to be seen. But that's a part of the fun for me (darwinism of organisations)! :-) It is well possible that we need a much bigger player base before democracies in any form make sense. The other risk is whether the promised systems will actually be implemented. But I have a very good feeling about how the developers reject a lot of ideas to be able to concentrate on what they promised. They obviously have a clear vision, and appear very competent in engineering the game to match that. In light of all that: I am looking for an organisation that has a more interesting form of government than just rule by fiat or oligarchy. But I'll wait until I see the actual in game systems before making a decision, or deciding to create something myself. I first want to see what is actually possible. :-)
  4. Hi! I primarily intend to enjoy this game by designing ships and treating it as a huge sandbox creating stuff. However, my interest in the game was also fueled by the potential I see in trying out social ideas. Because Dual Universe will give us very, very powerful and flexible tools we can use to mold organisations in any way we desire. I am really frustrated with the way our real life democracies work, yet I am not a fan of authorian regimes or anarchy either. But what else is there? Well, the flexibility Dual Universe organisations will give us, will let us experiment however we want! With the caveat and advantage both that the stakes here are way lower than trying stuff out for real after winning your local revolution. :-) https://devblog.dualthegame.com/2017/03/31/organizations-purpose-management/ https://devblog.dualthegame.com/2015/03/20/organizations-build-your-corporation-faction-nation-or-empire/ If there is any interest at all from other players, I will take the time to translate my thoughts about this subject into english and post them. But the basic idea is pretty simple, and I will detail it here: In Dual Universe a member of an organisation can be either a player, or another organisation, allowing for a hierarchy of organisations. So imagine an organisation, where only other organisations can be a member (like an alliance of guilds). We'll call this organisation "The Culture" (like in the books from Ian Banks). The basic rules for The Culture are thus: - Every member organisation has voting power proportional to the number of members it has - With 60% majority, laws can be created (restrictions, obligations, ...) - With 40% of the votes, laws can be abolished - Every member organisation is completely free to determine its decisions, and how it votes, in any way it sees fit - direct voting, electing of representatives, dictatorial fiat, oligarchy, whatever! - Every member organisation can give itself any rules it wants, so long as they do not contradict laws of The Culture. - Obviously everybody can leave a member organisation at any time. A member organisation does not have to accept somebody wanting to switch to them from another organisation in The Culture, but this mostly should not be a problem - the new member gives them more voting power after all! - Every big enough member organisation determines a speaker (->role tag). All speakers together form the executive council. This council is purely ceremonial unless laws are voted in, granting them powers. Only organisations with at least 5% of all members of the culture send a speaker to the executive council. Smaller member organisations that together have 5% voting power, can band together to send one speaker. - In contrast to normal alliances, there is no teritorial division between the member organisations. Instead, the members are intermingled. This also makes it easier to switch organisations within The Culture if you are frustrated with the way your organisation is treating or representing you - you do not have to move your home! :-) - people in the Culture are always free to band together and form a new member organisation. There are no conditions or approval process necessary. Okay, that should do it for now. Everything else is details. If you have read the devblog entries I linked, you should see that everything described here should be easily achievable within the framework that Dual Universe will provide us! :-) So: I have not looked through the organisations that have already been proposed. Has anything close to this already been suggested? If not: Would anybody, or any existing organisation be interested in exploring this concept? All that would be needed would be a broad shared goal like "Explore the universe" or "become an economic superpower" or whatever. And then the member organisations could keep their members and work together as described here. This is just a call for interest. If nobody is interested, I'll look for a friendly corp or something, build my ships and be happy with this game. But if there is interest, I could give way more background to the ideas presented here, as needed, and maybe make a dream reality. (I have a whole essay about the problems of democracy, the advantages of having such a meta layer, and how all this could be organised in real life. It's in german atm, though.) So, thoughts, anybody? :-D
  5. I will keep an eye on this. Seems to be a very good approach!
  6. I am not hyped. I am though, extremely curious. ;-) I have no other time commitments on the 30. , so I will definitely try it out, and provide feedback as best I can. I just don't want to be disappointed if it crashes immediately, is unplayably slow, or similar. I expect more of a tech demo than a playable game for this first opening of the servers. But I'll definitely poke around and see what there is to see. My computer should be easily powerful enough for this, anyway. :-)
  7. Sorry for the almost necro. But since I haven't replied here yet, and the thread is not locked, here is my take: 1. KISS - keep it simple, stupid. Do not waste valuable developer ressources on this until it is needed. 2. Avoid horror stories and media backlash before the game is even launched - nobody is arguing for making DACs lootable without any kind of safety net, as far as I can see. Good! 3. Keep your options open - avoid making decisions now that make it unnecessarily hard to change your mind later. 4. Try to keep both sides happy (lootable vs not lootable) - might be impossible, but as long as you keep to points 1 to 3, keeping you early supporters happy is a good thing. :-) Under the assumptions that everybody has at least some kind of (limited) bank space in every safe zone (e.g. locker by your cryo pod?), and that safe zones never cease existing, I'd do it the following way: - There is no limit to the amount of DACs you can put into your Arkship locker - You are unable to leave a safe zone with DACs in your inventory. - You are unable to materialize DACs outside of a safe zone Finished, thats it, nothing else left to implement. :-O Now what does this actually DO!? - Whoever buys DACs with real world money can use them on himself, or trade them on a market (if the market is located inside a safe zone). - You have to put your DACs into the locker (or any other safe container) before leaving the safe zone. Which is normal and prudent behaviour anyway. The game is simply enforcing it to prevent edge cases. - Reselling of DACs you bought is possible. That should avoid any weird price spikes resulting from being unable to resell DACs - There should not be anything for the proponents of lootable DACs to complain about - having DACs you have LESS options compared to normal items instead of more. - There should be no way to spin this as too unfair towards griefed players - your DACs can't be lost because the game prevents you from getting into that situation. - There is a good chance for emergent gameplay because players travel to different safe zones to buy or materialize and sell DACs, because the DACs can't change safe zones. So while you lose emergent game play for DAC traders - hiring escorts and so on - you on the other hand gain gameplay by having more players traveling, making for example passenger liners more likely. Even if win and loss of emergent gameplay only equalize each other, we are coming out ahead! :-D - You keep yourself the option open to allow lootable DACs later on - You only have to remove the check when leaving a safe zone - You are in the best possible position to spin it for the press: "We are only providing an additional option that was not there before." - You have not locked yourself down in any way regarding safety nets - while also having avoided spending developer ressources on that before they were needed. EDIT: Another way to look at this suggestion is that it makes DACs safe zone bound on first trade (because they have to be materialized for that), instead of soul bound (non-tradeable).
  8. Since the new version of the website is now giving us the option to back the game via paypal (https://community.dualthegame.com/pledge), I have now done so. Very much looking forward to the alpha!
  9. The newest kickstarter update says that they will offer a way to support the game via paypal, and get the same rewards as during the kickstarter (except early bird deals). Great!
  10. My problem is simply that there is no word from the developers (that I have read anywhere) about this. A simple "We are looking into it, and hope to be able to do this and that" would be perfectly fine. So, does anybody have any link to an answer from the developers? I am just getting tired of not knowing anything, and I really don't think asking them to answer that question is asking too much... If you are basically shouting "Thats a totally cool project! How can I give you my money?" - and all you get back is silence. Well, at some pont you start thinking that maybe they don't want or need your money after all.
  11. Well, I have been patient. I had also asked the paypal question in the AMA, just to make sure the developers heard the question. I just read through the second part of the AMA answers, and still don't see any word about paypal. So, does anybody have any news? If there is only silence from the developers regarding the question (and I did my damndest to make the question heard), then I guess I'll just forget about the game for now, and hopefully hear about it anew once hits steam. *sigh*
  12. I suppose game mechanics wise that might work out fine. I just don't think it would add much fun to the game. And it would totally break both immersion and the spirit of the game: We are supposed to build up a new society by our own imagination, the way we see fit. The developers are giving us all the tools for that, e.g. minecraft like capabilities to make the architecture we want, and generic "Organisations" which we can sculpt from anything from democracy to dictatorship, and into other stuff we don't even have names for yet. Why the hell should there be a game mechanic which enforces a patent office? Which physical law keeps me from rediscovering something another guy or gal figured out before me!? I am sorry, but very strongly opposed.
  13. Thats the problem I see with any "just figure it out in game" schemes - thanks to information on the internet, the best solutions will be known very quickly, and from that point onwards, very little experimentation will happen. You definitely would not be able to make money ingame for the recipe, if just knowing the information is enough.
  14. Well, having research only in the sense that the developers add in new items, is of course a possibility. I already outlined the advantages I see in having research in the game, but in the end, this is just the idea box forum, right? ;-) As for the changing recipes: It depends on the crafting system. If you immediately go from ressources to finished product, it is no problem: Say a laser weapon takes 100 iron ore and 20 unobtanium to make. You can then have the rule that every damage time your tech increases the damage of the weapon, you increase the iron ore requirement by 1%. So after the 1. increase the recipe would cost 101 iron ore, after the 2. increase 102.01 (rounded down to 102). The fun thing is, the player does not need to know these rules, so they can be way more complex. All he sees is the new builing plan for the improved laser weapon, which lists the ressources it needs. Now what if a a laser weapon recipe instead needs an emitter, a weapon base, a ball bearing, a tracking computer and 2 cans of oil to be build? In that case I would not make the laser weapon recipe itself improvable by research at all. Instead you could tech up the recipe for the emitter (increasing firing speed, damage, and energy draw), and the tracking computer (improving tracking speed and electronic warfare resistance). Almost, but not quite. If somebody just texted you the symbols of the tech in the game chat - that just won't be enough information to do anything with (well not quite, it might still be usefull in reverse engineering, see below). If you got your hands on a building plan (either by buying or by stealing it), then you have everything you need to build the item yourself - these are the detailed instructions after all! But what if you only captured an item? That is reverse engineering, which I did not explain in my first post, because that is an addon to the basic concept (additional work to implement, and not needed for the framework to function). The way I imagine reverse engineering might work, is that you have a scanner you use to analyse your item as well as possible. Depending on your own skill, the quality of your scanner and maybe the amount of time you spend, you would get a data package of a certain quality out of that (the data package is an item). So you don't even have to aquire the item - A spy with enough time alone with the item could smuggle that analysed data out! You would put that data package into a reverse engineering machine (ain't I grand at naming things? ), together with a building plan for a different variant of the same item (so still a laser, but with +10% firing speed instead of +10% damage). Now the engineering machine goes to work (endlessly), and if you are lucky, at some point it will spit out the building plan for the item your data package came from. (Optional: Even if it has not managed to give you the building plan, after some time it will start to figure out the symbols of the tech used to make the item whose data you are analysing (Not all at once, one symbol at a time), allowing you to look for a closer technological match to feed the machine.) What does the difficulty for the reverse engineering machine depend on? -The amount of commonality between the tech you are analysing and the comparison item you gave it, as determined by how long the tech DNA strings stay identical before diverging (this should be the deciding factor - if the analysed tech is only a minor variation of tech you already know, it will be way easier to figure out compared to if development forked of a long time ago). -The tech level of the item it is analysing, the higher the harder -The tech of the reverse engineering machine
  15. So I have not heard anything about in game research yet. Now I am not saying that research is a needed feature for this game, it is not. But then again, this game tries to emulate our universe in a computer, and give us the means to build up a new civilisation. In this grand context, and especially in a science fiction game, I think that research would add a lot of depth, believability, and gameplay options and goals. It is also something I have spend a good bit of time thinking on over the years - how you could represent it in a game with maximal flexibility (the way this game handles Organisations for example). So let me try to describe the framework I would utilize. I can always explain certain aspects in more detail, if people are interested, and I would very much like to hear about weak points in the concept! :-) For the purpose of this concept, I am going to assume that functional elements in this game are crafted gathering the needed materials, and then assembling them (how else would you do it?). My concept: The buildingplan of any functional element (weapon, cockpit, shields, armor, electronic warfare, ...) has a component called "build pattern", which gives the building machine the precise instructions on how to construct the result. ==Science machine== Now we add a new machine to the game, lets call it "science machine". The science machine takes a "build pattern" (see above) as input. As it's a big bulky supercomputer, it also needs a lot of energy, and possibly other ressources to run. What it does, is that with a very very low probability, it throws out an improved version of the build pattern (think on average once every 10 years). It just runs continously until that happens or it is turned off. That improved version has one of the stats of the previous version improved by a little bit (1% or 2% maybe) compared to the base values of the input build pattern. (I think it is very very important that this improvement is multiplicative - many games make the mistake of making them additive. If you make them additive, later improvements will matter way less than earlier ones, which means that improving everything equally will be the obvious best strategy, killing variety.) There is also a chance that a different stat has gotten worse be a small amount. ==Represenation of science developement== Now there should not be very many possibilities for new versions from any given base "build pattern" - you could for example have 1 of 5 different metrics which could improve, and 1 of 5 different metrics that could get worse as a trade off -> 25 possibilities. If we make sure the possibility space stays about that small, we can express it with a single symbol (letter/number)! That means, that on close examination of the build pattern / the functional element build with it, we can show that string of symbols to the player (if he has the right skill). If that player compares two such strings, he can even see at what point in the development process the two components diverged! That is a pretty cool feature. B-) That compactness should also make the server side storage very manageable, while still keeping the door open for future possibilities like merging of different technologies, or reverse engineering of stolen hardware. If you want to make this system even more complex(!), you can even let every advancement modify the building cost of the component. I would not randomize that though, but only make it dependent on the current improvement, how complex the technology already is, and possibly also which improvements came before (e.g. how often you improved into the same direction). That way, you keep the number of possibilites the same, and can still express this more complex variant with one symbol per improvement. Increasing ressource usage can also be a good way to balance the improved stats of the functional elements a bit. :-) By the way, getting the same symbol when building upon the same base building plan (same symbol string), literally means that you just made an identical improvement. Which means that different players can by chance make the same improvement to a technology - which I think is a very cool thing. :-) You can think of that symbol string as a very compact form of representing the DNA of the tech in question. ==Scientific progress== Another thing this representation is very useful for, is guiding the science machine by the game server. I said earlier that it will only succeed very rarely (you just let it run endlessly). Obviously it would succeed more often the lower level the base tech is (=symbol string of improvements is short). But the server could also change the probabilites of different improvements based on the history of improvements already made. So if it takes so very long for the machine to have a success, how do we as players get our hands on new technology before 10 years have passed? Parallelisation! A big alliance might make a big building with 100 science machines, which all search in parallel for an improvement on the best tech the alliance could get its hand on as base technology. And every time an improvement is found, you'll have to weight the pros and cons of using it as the new base technology for further research: Yes, you just made the tech better, but you also just made it more complicated (symbol string got longer), so any further improvement will be just a little bit harder. That might not make a lot of difference for a single improvement (the work should only become a few % harder for each improvement), but it does compound, and at some point you might just have made a technological dead end which can't compete against a different technological strain whcih has been kept more efficient. :-) ==Effects in game== So now that I have outlined (hopefully halfway understandibly) how I would handle scientific research, what effects would that have in game? We (hypothetically) just spend a good amount of work to incorporate a fairly complex mechanic, so there should be a payoff ingame for that, right!? - Not all components are the same! Without research, all lasers of a certain size in the game would be functionally identical (maybe with some small bonuses for being exceptionally well crafted). With research, you might buy lasers that fire 10% faster, or instead lasers that do 10% more damage per shot, if both variants have been researched. - Not everybody has access to the same stuff! Without research, as long as you crank your skills up high enough, and gather all the ressources, you are able to build all the functional elements in the game. Now with research, everybody can still build a laser, but if you don't have the build patterns for the variant with +10% damage, then you can't build that variant. And maybe the alliance that developed it is jelously guarding it and only using it for its own ships? Now you need spies to steal it! :-D - There is a sense of progress! If you are in a current state of the art warship, and you fight against a similar ship that has not been upgraded in the last 3 years, you will probably come out ahead - Your shields are better, your weapons do a bit more damage! This gives players more to do, and feels very scifi-like to me... - It opens up additional game play paths and goals like building a research center, collecting a scientific library, having a monopol on certain advanced tech, stealing tech, trading tech, and more. Stuff not touched upon in this post: - How you could implement reverse engineering and merging of tech (I'll just state that its possible to do within the framework outlined). - Pseudoscience to explain all of this in game (think simulation/evolution, but I'll gladly go into detail if there is interest) - Effects on markets. How can you have a market for lasers of a certain size if those lasers have different tech levels? I don't have an answer for that one yet, but would love to hear more details about how markets are going to be implemented. I have a hunch that this kind of problem has already occured elsewhere in developing them (e.g. if you think about lasers getting bonuses due to high crafting skill). I am really curious what people think about all of this. Please poke holes into it! I'll update this concept post as I get suggestions to improve it (if I decide to take them ;-)).
  16. Thank you! I'll just be patient then. :-)
  17. That just redircts me to https://www.paypal.com/bm/webapps/mpp/home I am going to assume that whatever you see there is a US thing which is not offered to EU citizens. Most people just use their bank accounts (IBAN/BIC) to move money around or pay in shops (when not paying cash). Visa and Mastercard exist, but are only used by a minority (I think, haven't looked at statistics). And as I said, on the internet I prefer to use paypal. I had a need for a credit card at one point to use it as my payment option for the google app store. So I got a prepaid one from "Kalixa". But then they (Kalixa) went b2b only, shutting my account, I noticed that I had not used my card for anything else, and google accepted paypal by then. So I have switched that (google wallet) over to paypal and have not needed a credit card since. I have never gotten any card from paypal, see no such information on their web page, and can not find any articles describing it by googling. Once more, I can only assume you are talking about an option exclusive to the US (like paypal-prepaid.com that I mentioned in my earlier post). Yeah, and I obviously understand that. I might even end up getting a credit card just to support the game, like I did when I first started to use the google app store. But honestly, I will most likely wait until the game is released in that case, as I am sure I will be able to subscribe over steam or something (which again, easily accepts paypal). Point is, even if I do end up getting a credit card for this - most potential supporters without one won't go to that much trouble. In other words, the project will lose out on potential supporters and money. For reference, I have supported three games on kickstarter in the last years (shroud of the avatar, pillars of eternity, tales of numenera), all of which offered me the option to make the payment by paypal (instead of through kickstarter directly). I think those projects got about 10% of their funding through the additional option to pay via paypal (and they did not have it from the beginning of their campaigns). It ends up being a question of the overhead being worth it for the amount of additional funding it would bring or not, which only the developers can answer. But I at least wanted to ask the question to point out that this is a real problem for some potential supporters. :-)
  18. No, paypal is NOT mastercard! (wtf) When I click on "support project" on kickstarter, I immediately get asked for the card number, expiration date, ... and so on of my visa/mastercard/american express. Paypal does not have any of that. The paypal process would instead send me to a paypal overlay where I authenticate myself against paypal which then confirms to the website that I have agreed to the transaction. Completely different process, and there is not button on kickstarter for that. There apparently was once a possibility to get a mastercard for a paypal account, but all google links lead to no longer existing pages. There is also paypal-prepaid.com, but that is only open to US citizens, which I am not. TL;dr - I find no way to use my paypal account as a mastercard.
  19. This is my first post on this forum - please be lenient. :-) So I just found out about this game through the pcgamer article. I looked around, found the kickstarter, and found that I like the design decisions the game makers have made so far very very much. So to make the games success more likely, I would like to support it. I would also like to get beta and alpha access for myself so I can participate in the games creation. I did the obvious thing and made a kickstarter account for myself, and then tried to support it. Emphasis on tried though - turns out that kickstarter only supports visa, mastercard and american express. Where I am from (germany) having one of those is not the norm (I asked my friends, and could not find a single one who has that). I do have paypal though, and have used that for several digital good purchases in the past. Is there any way for me to give money towards the kickstarter campaign (and get the corresponding rewards)? I ended up making an account here to ask this questions, since I cannot find a way to ask it on kickstarter without supporting the project - which I am prevented from doing...
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