Rethinking the planets

luovahulluus
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Rethinking the planets

Post by luovahulluus » Tue Apr 08, 2014 4:51 pm

I recently found an asteroid with 200km diameter and about 230 million people living on it. Apparently the place was pretty much self-sustained, as there was no food other than animal meat in the imports list. Maybe there are some deeper technical issues that need to be fixed first, but in my opinion, after the broken trade, this is the most important thing that should be fixed in the game. I'd like to open a discussion about what kind of planets there should be, what are the imports/exports and what are the population limits for each type of planet. Ittiz already told us about where we can find life, so let's use that as a reference.

Imports and exports should be system-wide value (with some in-system variation). In a system there should be freighters that transport stuff from planet to planet. If one system produces for example extra food, it should share/trade it with it's neighbour. First I'm going to divide the systems into groups. Here are the original system descriptions from FFE (scroll wayyy down).

1. Mining
Mining worlds should be hostile to (human) life. Ore should be processed on location, except maybe on asteroids. Ore has so little of the wanted material, there is no sense to haul it up to space.
Planets that are not hostile, probably will have some other use as their main function, as green worlds are so rare.

Imports: mining machines, food, water, oxygen
Exports: gems, metals, precious metals
- Some prospecting and mining
- Some small scale mining operations
- Mining and ore refinement

2. Mining and Industry
I'd imagine this requires a bigger planet. There could also be factories on orbit.

Imports: food, water, oxygen
Exports: gems, metals, precious metals, consumer goods, luxury goods, all machines, computers, (weapons), medicines
- Mining and heavy manufacturing industry
- Extensive mining and industrial development

3. Agriculture
Oxygen atmosphere, 0.8 to 2 x earth radius.

Imports: Farm machinery, (slaves), robots, consumer goods
Exports: Food, Liquor, narcotics, and luxury goods
- Frontier outdoor world. Farming and some tourism
- Outdoor agricultural world
- Terraformed agricultural world

4. Other green worlds
Imports: luxury goods, consumer goods, (narcotics?), liquour
Exports: food?

- Outdoor ice and water world. Tourism and fishing
- Outdoor jungle world. Tourism and agriculture
- Outdoor desert world. Some agriculture
- Terraformed garden world. High-cost tourism
- High population outdoor world.

5. Misc systems
- Isolationist religious enclave. Permit required
- Prison colony. Permit required
- Scientific research station
- Naval base

I can edit this list if you have some suggestions for system types or what they should import/export. We probably should open a new thread to discuss about what items should we be able to trade in.
Last edited by luovahulluus on Wed Apr 09, 2014 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Marcel
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Re: Rethinking the planets

Post by Marcel » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:38 am

I think you've pretty much nailed it, but I think that an agricultural world would potentially be able to export more than food. Liquor, narcotics, and luxury goods like exotic body care products and perfumes and luxury textiles that could only be produced on such a world come to mind.

luovahulluus
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Re: Rethinking the planets

Post by luovahulluus » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:26 pm

Marcel wrote:I think you've pretty much nailed it, but I think that an agricultural world would potentially be able to export more than food. Liquor, narcotics, and luxury goods like exotic body care products and perfumes and luxury textiles that could only be produced on such a world come to mind.
Thanks Marcel! I added your suggestions to the list.

I made a formula that could be used to calculate the maximum sensible population on a planet. This amount should not be exeeded without some good reason.
Max population = Pi * radius of the planet^2 * environmental multiplier/5
Environmental multiplier is from 1 to 1000 (or more), Earth being 1000. If you can breath the atmosphere the number should be close to 1000, if not, it should be close to 1. We could make up a more precise formula that is made up from atmosphere, gravity and temperature.

Some examples:
  • Earth: 25.5 billion. That is 3.5 times more than what we have now. We have had 1200 years to develope new GMO plants and lot's of stuff can be imported off-world.
  • Earth sized planet with hostile atmosphere: 25.5 million. How big are our biggest cities in a hostile environment? A million people living in one place is quite alot. Could they all live indoors or in a dome? How many of these cities would you want to have on a planet where growing food is very limited?
  • Asteroid with 100km radius: 6300. There is really no reason to go to this kind of rock if you are not there for the minerals. I believe mining will be done mainly with robots and machines, and the miners are there just to fix and operate them. Then there are the few shopkeepers and bar personnel and the like.

FluffyFreak
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Re: Rethinking the planets

Post by FluffyFreak » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:21 pm

Got to disagree on one thing the asteroids. In many ways it's planets that don't make sense since you have a deep gravity well that you have to lift things down-to and up-from.
With an asteroid however: you arrive at one, coat/wrap with materials to stop things floating away, then you start digging into it giving it structure internally.
After that you can easily come and go about your business with it's minimal gravity. Any visible surface settlement will be dwarfed by the spinning internal area which provides gravity.

Colonising planets will certainly be the oddball activity for a long while.

nozmajner
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Re: Rethinking the planets

Post by nozmajner » Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:32 pm

You must be some kind of telepath. :D I'm justlooking up stuff about asteroid bases.

impaktor
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Re: Rethinking the planets

Post by impaktor » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:03 pm

Environmental multiplier is from 1 to 1000
Need to take oceans into account as well.

I think editing the first post (or a wiki?) with what we discuss here will help keep everything in one place.

luovahulluus
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Re: Rethinking the planets

Post by luovahulluus » Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:38 pm

impaktor wrote:
Environmental multiplier is from 1 to 1000
Need to take oceans into account as well.
Good point.
Edit: I don't know how the surface textures are made. Is it easy to use the planet's textures to determine the ocean percentage of a planet?

I can edit the first post when we have a concensus on something.
FluffyFreak wrote:With an asteroid however: you arrive at one, coat/wrap with materials to stop things floating away, then you start digging into it giving it structure internally.
After that you can easily come and go about your business with it's minimal gravity. Any visible surface settlement will be dwarfed by the spinning internal area which provides gravity.
Another good point :). So I guess the atmosphere is breathable in that case, and we can use a higher environmental factor. Ef=1000 on an r=100km asteroid gives us max pop of 6.3 million. Also they need atleast 126 000 km² of coating material that is strong enough to keep the asteroid from flying apart from the added angular speed. Is this plausible?

Asteroid of r=1km already requires 13km² of coating. Is the stuff just some cheap glue you can easily spray from a low orbit or is it more expensive and difficult to apply? Do you need engineers to do some additional re-enforcing to the asteroid? Are all mining operations done this way or is it too expensive?

I think maybe r=1km should be a limit for bases made out of asteroids. Bigger can be made but are generally too expensive. These asteroids should use a different formula, maybe something that is used to estimate max pop in bases.
Edit: You should also be able to land in these asteroids as you can in star bases.

impaktor
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Re: Rethinking the planets

Post by impaktor » Sat Apr 26, 2014 6:55 am

Latest News Letter had some intresting things on trading:
Elite Dangerous News Letter wrote: The rules are, of course, simple and universal - buy goods cheaply, where they are made and there is plentiful supply, and then sell them where prices are high, in a location that has a high demand for your cargo. Of course that may be easier said than done because of people who have honed their combat skills and are not averse to a little piracy as they spot you travelling from A to B - but let’s not worry about that for now…!

In Elite: Dangerous there are thousands of star systems with commodities markets – and some with multiple markets. Each of these markets exist in a starport – generally an orbital station or stations far above the planet surface.

Each star system has a different basic type of economy – for example Agricultural, Industrial, Hi-tech, Extraction, Refining or Service, and some have a mix of these basics – such as extraction and refining are often (but not always) in the same system. From a commodities perspective all but a service economy produce items for consumption. This creates an active trade network.

The core economies also have further variety, as there are more specialized sub-economies - for example an Aquatic Agricultural economy is focused on marine activities and will not produce Grain or Meat – though the locals may still consume it, so there will be demand for those goods.
Most markets will only produce a few of the many different possible types of core commodities – and in some places exotic variants of them – so of course you need to explore this fabulous galaxy and discover your own favourite trade runs!

The makeup of each market is governed by several factors: Its galactic location typically indicates which of the main factions the system belongs to; whether Federal, Imperial, Alliance or Independent.

The type of government in each system helps define the legality of individual goods in that particular market; ranging from anarchies where ‘anything goes’, to theocracies who have their own idiosyncratic strict proscriptions, and many points in between.

The kind of planets, chemical composition, temperature, presence of asteroid fields, and other celestial bodies govern the resources that are prevalent in system, and hence what drives the economy and what goods are produced.

The system population determines the scale of production and consumption and capacity of the market - this can be modified by the type of government, too.

As in today’s world, supply and demand drive prices. Elite: Dangerous’ galactic market uses a server-based background trading simulation as a foundation. Initial supply and demand levels are influenced via trading between local systems. In this way, markets are not isolated but affect their near neighbours; if there is an increase or decrease in the supply of a particular commodity it will have a knock on effect on the pricing in other local systems too, as traders (AI or player) rapidly level the prices a little based on supply and demand.

Of course your actions will also contribute to such market activity. The smaller the market the more you will be able to influence that market through trading. The more valuable a commodity the more rare it will be, and therefore the more susceptible to your influence.

All your individual trades are added to the whole, and even mid-sized economies can be influenced by concerted efforts between groups of like-minded individuals. So you may find your ‘milk run’ dries up for a time, forcing you to look elsewhere for the deal. Or you could engineer a fat profit for yourself by cooperating with your friends…

We’re really looking forward to starting to roll out trading in Alpha 4 – there really is no substitute for enthusiastic testing!

Before then, we have been developing the trading system with the help of ‘MiniElite’ – a stand-alone program that enables us to quickly iterate on and refine the galactic economic market. It uses AIs to test the optimal trade routes at any one time, packing weeks of gameplay into just a few seconds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbvEay_YJy0

‘MiniElite’ draws on data from thousands of populated systems and their economies, and shows us exactly the supply capacity, stock level, buy and sell price for each commodity. Then it unleashes AI traders at the markets, who travel between systems, buying and selling according to certain sets of behaviour profiles, upgrading their ships as they are able.

The resulting logs of what was bought and sold where have been invaluable in tuning trading, in preparation for its forthcoming debut!
I think having a separate tool to simulate the trading part of the game is inevitable. We've now seen both ED and Limit Theory use that approach to understand, overview and tweak trading mechanics. Kind of like the model viewer.

I also like the fact that each planet is producing/consuming a number of things at a certain rate, and how much you trade will influence the equilibrium and thus the price. On a big world with a lot of consumption/production, the player selling 10t of X will not influence the price noticeably, and thus not affect the change in price.

On a small world, maybe dumping 100t of Y on the market will change the price quite a lot (change is instantaneous, i.e. each unit sold updates the new market price).

The thing I wonder now is how much will AI contribute to level the prices? If two systems are next to each other and they are in symbiosis where one is producing what the other is consuming, will we have many AI trade ships going between them? Or will we have just a factor in the trading mechanics simulating AIs trading? Or both? Each AI going from A to B with X is actually just a representation of 10 AI ships doing the same thing.

lwho
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Re: Rethinking the planets

Post by lwho » Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:19 pm

Just discovered this thread. This will all be valuable input, once I have the new GalaxyGenerator infrastructure in-place.

This will allow to have different kinds of galaxy generators. I plan to keep the current generator as a stable legacy generator and open up a second experimental galaxy generator track, which we can use as a playground for a new galaxy generator without breaking stuff for people that just want to play the game.

But don't hold your breath, yet, guys! While I'm actively working on it, it will progress only slowly (I'm talking months rather than weeks). I hope to have the basic infrastructure in place in June, but I won't promise.

kennworl
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Re: Rethinking the planets

Post by kennworl » Fri Aug 18, 2017 8:30 am

3 years on, did this (or the life thread referenced in the first post) go anywhere, or make it into the code?

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