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Old May 27, 1999, 16:40   #1
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TECHNOLOGY (ver 1.5)- hosted by SnowFire
Continued from <a href="">Technology 1.4</a>.

After much confusion surrounding Octopus's resignation, I have come into the position of thread master of the technology list. In any case, the current summary so far is below. This was written by Octopus; any comments of mine on it will appear in bold with "SF," at least usually. Some editing is mine as well. Some comments may actually be longer than the actual item; don't forget that when this is shipped off in final form, these comments will be deleted. So, if you agree or disagree with the idea posted in the comment, make youself known! I'm wrong too (very rarely, of course ).

And another reminder: I will have personal opinions spliced into here too; don't take them as official rebukes or anything. I will not try to squash or destroy your idea; but I will try and summarize them fairly and impartialy here in the summary and in the final letter to Brian. Without further ado, the current summary...

I have reorganized the summary of the first three technology threads into sections. Since this is such a major reorganization, there is a very real danger that I may have lost something in the process of cutting and pasting this thing together. Everyone should pay special attention to make sure that I didn't drop anything. I've made an effort to improve the explanation for a few of the items. Some of them still need work, but I guess that is for the new thread master to deal with.

<u>Section I: The Research Process (How do I do research into technology?)</u>

1) MULTIPLE TOPIC RESEARCH -- Many of the following ideas require that you be able to research several ideas at once. There must be some advantage to researching things in parallel rather than serially, or else no one will do it.

2) TECHNOLOGICAL FIELDS -- Many of the following ideas require that the techs be placed into a small number of broad categories. So far, the suggestions have been: Philosophy, Agriculture & Biology, Economics, Math & Physics, and Psychology. Effort should probably be made to make the different fields roughly equal in terms of number and usefulness of techs (trying to put the old tech tree into these categories give Math&Physics a big advantage...)

3) MAXIMUM RESEARCH RATE -- Have a maximum rate at which research can be accumulated. No amount of "prodding" will enable your scientists to research faster than some basic human limit (probably limited by communication in the real world, what game effect should limit this?) This is handled quite handily by the "efficiency" theory of tech being applied not just to changes in tech, but to changes in the tech rate over the whole empire (if the CivII/SMAC system is used). Just as in SMAC, if you devote 90% of your economy to research, you will go far past the point of declining returns. However, over time, the inefficiency penalty would decrease.-SF

4) HAVE THE NUMBER OF TECH POINTS REQUIRED FOR A TECH BE FIXED INSTEAD OF RELATIVE -- Pottery should not be just as hard to research as Nuclear Fission, even if you are actively researching them both in 1945. Basing the number of research points needed for a particular tech on the number of techs you already possess can lead to ridiculous situations like that, like in CivX. Instead, if using the SMAC chart, make all techs labeled as level one cost 50, level 3's cost 400, level 5 techs cost 1500, etc.

5) TECHS SHOULD BE HARDER TO RESEARCH -- It is unrealistic for a civ to have the ability to realistically research every tech in the game without help -- historically nobody has developed everything. Techs should have a higher cost relative to the number of research points that are expected to be produced by an empire than in previous games. Another poster says this feature takes away the option if isolationism. Ideas?

6) DIFFERENT COST FOR 'TRAILBLAZERS' AND 'FOLLOWERS' -- Civs who research a tech already discovered should get a bonus on the cost of researching it, since pioneering new technology is hard, while reproducing an already known advance is easier (Maybe the extent of the bonus should be based on civs you have diplomatic contact with, and the extent of that conflict? It doesn't do you much good if a tribe on the other side of the planet discovers the wheel, but you never hear about it...)-SF & Octo

7) BASIC THEORETICAL RESEARCH -- Have some reserch points devoted to "basic research" that isn't likely to produce any specific advances (i.e. won't give you a specific building or unit or something), but which enhance research in other areas (e.g. research in "Basic Physics" might enhance the speed at which you research "Lasers", "Nuclear Fission", and "Nuclear Fusion", but you could achieve those advances without doing the basic research, just at a higher cost. This would be a tradeoff -- Do I want Fission now, or do I want to invest a little more up front, and be sure of getting all three sooner in the long run, even though I wouldn't get any specific advance until later).

8) TECH PRESERVATION -- If a civ doesn't work to maintain a technology (e.g. by building libraries) they should lose the tech. This can simulate the Dark Ages. (Question -- how to keep this from being micromanagement headache?)

9) LESS DETERMINISTIC RESEARCH PROGRESS -- Instead of just "100 Research Points gets you an advance" it should be "100 Research Points gives you a 5% chance of discovering tech each turn, 110 RP gives you 10% chance of discovering it each turn, etc". This way you can have a rough idea of when you will discover a new technology, but you can never be exactly sure because there is an element of uncertainty, just like science in the real world. This is basically how things were done in Master of Orion 1.

10) TECH SYNERGY -- you can research multiple techs simultaneously, and researching related techs provides synnergistic effects, i.e. researching "Physics" and "Calculus" together would get you done faster than researching "Physics" and "Communism", since the results of one field are applicable to the other.

11) RESEARCH SYNERGY THROUGH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS -- We should get bonuses to our technology development rate if we are on friendly diplomatic terms with other civs researching similar technology because of international science conferences, wider circulation technical journals, access to each other's research, etc.

12) TECH BLEED -- Scientific Advances should be able to "leak out" from high-tech civs to low-tech civs, giving the civ that lacks the technologies the high-tech civ has bonuses on researching it. The rate of leakage should be proportional to the age of the tech (If we drove up to a stone-age tribe they would probably realize the significance of our advanced "wheel" technology before we even got out of the car...) and also proportional to the level of diplomatic relations (if we constantly interact with another society, we are likely to be more familiar with their technology). This is quite similar to point 6.

13) AI TECH TRADING INTELLIGENCE -- Make sure that the AIs only make tech trades that make sense. Why trade for "Mass Transit" if you don't have "Automobile"?

14) REVERSE ENGINEERING -- Fighting and destroying or capturing enemy units with superior technology should aid in the discovery of that technology with bonuses on the tech cost.

15) DEVELOPMENT INERTIA -- It doesn't make sense that the same researchers who just gave you "Nuclear Fission" would be able to turn around and give you "Television, because they are only peripherally related. Scientists are specialized, and can't easily be pushed around to different fields. You should have multiple "teams", each of which is working on a different project. When they are done with one, they will research a second project in the same field at a faster rate than an unrelated field (or pay a higher cost to research an "outside our expertise" field -- the effect is the same). See 16 for a similar idea.

16) RESEARCH PRIORITY SLIDER BARS WITH 'INERTIA' -- There should be several fields of research (see item 2) and you can set different allocations for the different fields (e.g. 25% of research points to Philosophy, 25% to Ag, 50% to Econ.). However, whenever you change the allocation, you take a hit to the "efficiency" at which you research the topic you changed(i.e. number of research points per turn decreases), which is proportional to the magnitude of the change. This "efficiency hit" gradually diminishes over time (an exponential decay?) until your society reaches "scientific equilibrium" at the new settings. This effect is likely to result in a "character" for different civs, because some will emphasize one field over another depending on their AI, and be unlikely to change because of the cost.

17) STARTING POSITION DEPENDENT CIV SPECIALTIES -- When a civ is placed on the map, give it a tech specialty. This solves the problem of saying "the Phonecians should get a seafaring bonus because they had a maritime empire" by instead giving a civ that starts close to water a maritime bonus (and if that happened to be the Phonecians, then you could play the Phonecians like the existed historically, although hopefully they'd last longer ). A tech specialty would be a small bonus to research in related fields (or simply a higher beginning allocation to a certain field, if the RESEARCH PRIORITY SLIDER BARS WITH 'INERTIA' ssystem is used). The bonus should disappear in modern times. (not necessary with SLIDER BAR system) Maybe give user the option to decide which type of place to start in, so that he or she can determine character of civ?

18) HISTORICAL ERA SHOULD PLAY A ROLE -- Since in ancient times scholars studied a wide variety of fields (they were real Renaissance men ) it makes sense to have tech specialization only play a role in more modern types of research (e.g. an ancient Greek philosopher might have contemplated both the role and practice of government as well as the laws of motion).

19) LOCATION DEPENDENT RESEARCH LABS -- Research is done in labs and universities, and labs and universities have to actually exist somewhere. If you are counting on your scientists who are developing "Nuclear Fission" to win the war for you, but the city they are conducting the research in gets captured, you should be up a creek... Isn't this already in CivX? Lose an important science city, be up a creek? Perhaps the writer could clarify...

20) DIFFERENTIATED 'SCIENCE BUILDINGS' -- Have buildings which enhance the scientific output of a city differentiated: You have your choice of a Physics Lab, a Biological Research Hospital, etc., which only add their bonus when the city is contributing to the appropriate kind of research.

21) DIFFERENTIATED 'SCIENCE BUILINDS' ALTERNATIVE- If the system described in 2 is used, when a new library is built, it can be dedicated to one of the five categories of science. When a university is built, one more discipline can be added. These disciplines get bonuses in research done at the city, in addition to the library and university's normal effect. Then, the bonus in research provided by other buildings (like Nuclear Plant: Normal Effect. Adds +50% to Math & Physics research, if the city has M&P as one of its specialties at the library or university. Research Hospital: Normal Effect, and same as Nuclear Plant except with Biology. Capitol: +100% to Philosophy. Etc.)

22) SCIENCE CITY IMPROVEMENTS MORE IMPORTANT FOR SCIENCE THAN ECONOMIC BUILDINGS -- Apparently in CtP, buildings which boost your economic output are more worthwhile for your research progress than Libraries and such. Don't do that in Civ 3.

23) DIFFERENT BUILDINGS HELP WITH DIFFERENT KINDS OF RESEARCH -- Barracks can conduct military research, temples can conduct religous/philosophical research, all independent of the normal science output (similar to the Biology Lab in SMAC- a set +2 Research/Turn, in a specific category of science).

24) BLIND TECH -- People seem to either love or hate the blind research from SMAC.

25) BLIND 'HISTORICAL' TECH -- research follow Blind Tech model up until Industrialization, after which the player can use the Directed model, emulating the superior control and direction that people have over scientific discovery with modern methods.

26) BLIND 'HISTORICAL' TECH ALTERNATIVE -- Have a 'ratio' which controls how many techs you get to pick. When you first start, all of your tech choices are blind. Then after some time, you get to pick every 4th tech. Then every 3rd tech, etc., so you start with no control but eventually get complete control. Perhaps the changes from every 4th to every 3rd to every other be controlled by specific advances? (The University: May pick every other tech from now on?)

27) SERENDIPITOUS ADVANCES -- Technology discovered "accidentally". Basically a random event that gives you a tech advance.

28) FAMOUS SCIENTISTS -- Scientific personalities, such as Einstein or Pasteur might provide some "flavor" to the scientific experience. Maybe these are random events that give you one time bonuses? ("Pasteur has established a laboratory in Paris, science output doubles in Paris for one turn" or something).

29) ARTIFACTS -- Similar to the Alien Artifacts in SMAC, these would be similar to the "goodie huts", but would simply help research into a particular technology.

<u>Section II: The Tech Tree (How do I get specific techs?)</u>

29) LOTS OF TECHS -- Some people think we need lots, and I mean LOTS of techs. Others think that too many techs may be bad, because they would grow hard to differentiate. Another problem is that lots of techs would also mean lots of techs with no immediate help from them, aside from them being pre-requisites to other techs. Many of the tech suggestions below depend on this system.

30) MULTIPLE PREREQS -- More than just two should be possible. This suggestion is probably implicit in some of the more ambitious prereq schemes.

31) MULTIPLE PATHS TO A PARTICULAR ADVANCE -- Instead of having rigid prerequisites that demand that a civ follow a particular research path to get to a tech, allow several different ways to achieve a particular advance. Thre are several alternatives...

32) PREREQUISITE EQUIVALENCE -- instead of having a hard and fast prerequisite, allow some of them to be 'equivalence classed'. For example, if you wanted to develop "Technocracy", you need the advance on "Microchip", as well as knowledge of three government types, such as "Democracy", "Fascism", and "Monarchy".

33) BOOLEAN PREREQS -- The prerequisites should be specified with boolean logic, i.e. AND, OR, NOT. For example, the prerequisite for "Labor Union" might be "Capitalism" and "Assembly Line", because the workers band together naturally to fight for rights, OR "Communism" and "Mass Media", because the communist activists are able to convince large numbers of workers to bargain collectively. However, "Capitalism" and "Mass Media" wouldn't do anything to advance "Labor Unions" without the other techs. -- Labor Union <= (Capitalism AND Assembly Line) OR (Communism AND Mass Media).

34) PREREQUISITE POINTS -- In this suggestion, different technologies each contribute a certain point value to satisfying the prerequisite of a follow-on technology. For example, If you were interested in researching "Trench Warfare", you might need to gather 10 prereq points, where "Machine Guns" would give you 4, "Artillery" would give you 7, "Chemical Warfare" would give you 3, and "Conscription" would give you 3. Supporters of this concept argue that many of the other suggestions in this list can be incorporated into this new scheme (for example, DIPLOMATIC SYNNERGY can be implemented by giving you a prereq point for having diplomatic relations with a civ that already has the tech in question) and that it will allow multiple different strategies, making the new complexity worthwhile. Others oppose the system because it seems too complex. The debate rages Sorry, still not an optimal explanation. I'd like to have a better example -- Bell, can you come up with one, preferably using techs we are familiar with from Civ or SMAC, not very low level like longbow/crossbow, so people can relate a bit more easily?

35) REDUNDANT TECHS -- have multiple different ways to achieve the same in-game effect (say, a 2-1-1 unit or a "makes one unhappy person content" building) with different technological paths (for example, either "Religious Fanatacism" or "Professional Standing Army" techs might allow the 2-1-1 unit over the 1-1-1 unit). This allows different civilizations to take a less "cookie-cutter" approach to technological development, since there are no longer an "vital" technologies. (Maybe this and MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE TECHNOLOGY are redundant, or at least related?)

36) MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE TECHNOLOGY -- Developing one technology might not make sense when another one already existed. "Green Industries" and "Advanced Toxic Waste Disposal" might be examples of this.

37) RANDOM TECH TREE!!!! -- As long as there are multiple paths to each tech, there can be a probability that each path may or may not exist in a particular game. This adds to the excitement, and also the realism, since you can never quite be sure what your scientists will come up with until they come up with it. This is probably more easily accomplished if the REDUNDANT TECHS idea is implemented, since there is less likelihood of a civ being stranded without easy access to an important feature.

38) OFFSHOOT TECHS -- Minor technologies related to Major Technologies (i.e. Major techs are the ones we are familiar with) that are recieved as a random bonus for researching the Major Tech. They're not available every game, and only give a small bonus. Example: Researching "Warrior Code" might give you "Longbow" technology, which would give you better archers. Hypothetically these "minor techs" could be linked to specific civs to give them "character". On the other hand, they could give "specialties" to the first or second civ to discover them (the first civ to discover chemistry gets "industrial chemistry" as a bonus, and gets a 5% bonus to their factories the rest of the game)

39) FORBID 'OUT-OF-ORDER' TECH -- If you don't have the prereqs for a tech, you shouldn't be able to use it, even if you trade for it, etc. If (through some quirk of fate) Columbus has plans for an A-Bomb, and traded them to the Native Americans he met, it is unlikely that they would have been able to nuke Europe, since they didn't have the infrastructure to make use of the idea. Suggested enhancement to this suggestion -- link things to "literacy", or possibly "era" (e.g. bronze-age tribe can't use Renaissance idea).

40) MAKE TECH TREE REFLECT GAME SITUATION -- the current game situation should affect the tech tree. A land-locked civ is unlikely to develop "Navigation", and a civ with poor mineral resources is unlikely to develop "Advanced Mining".

41) HAVE GOVERNMENT/DIPLOMATIC CHOICES AFFECT TECH DEVELOPMENT -- Would a Democratic government ever research "Doctrine: Loyalty"? Link penalties on the costs of certain techs to social engineering.

42) FACTION/CIVILIZATION SPECIFIC TECH TREES -- different cultures look at the world in different ways, so it wouldn't be surprising to see that they would follow different paths or discover different technologies in different orders. (concerns over accusations of unfairness and "racism" abound...)

43) CONCEPTS vs. APPLICATIONS -- Instead of an "all techs are equivalent" way of looking at the world, break techs into "concepts" and "applications". A "concept" might be "Gunpowder", while an "application" might be "Musket" or "Tunnel Construction". The application techs would all have a concept tech as a prerequisite, and the concept techs only (mostly?) have other concepts as their prereqs. This way, a civ can be very advanced in general principles, or concentrate on developing known techniques. This might reflect the differences between invention and innovation.

44) SENSIBLE TECH/ADVANCE CORRELATION -- Certain advances were linked to techs that really didn't make sense, e.g. "Labor Union" and "Mechanized Infantry". Don't do that.

45) RANDOMIZED APPLICATIONS -- Techs shouldn't always give you the same benefit. Some games, a specific tech might give you a particular unit, in others it might give you a building, etc. Or, after developing the technology, you have to pay money to actually devleop each seperate application of the technology, or at least pay a prototype fee. See 43.

46) ARMS RACES -- There should be more differentiation between "identical" techs. All of the major powers had "tanks" in World War II, but the designs of some countries were superior to those of others. (How might this be implemented without too much micromanagment? Since the rate of "obsolecense" is relatively quick, would this effect be too small to bother modelling in Civ III?)

47) SPACING OF TECHS IN THE TREE -- Make sure that the techs are judiciously placed in the tree so we don't have too few in one era and too many in another. Try to keep it balanced.

48) SUPPORTING TECHS FOR OTHER IDEAS IN OTHER THREADS -- Some ideas in other threads give new abilities (such as specific types of specialist citizens) so it makes sense to have techs that bestow these abilities.

49) DOWNLOADING TECHS -- Firaxis should periodically expand the tech tree by posted new techs on the website to incorporate into the game (Could this be done without ruining play balance?)

<u>The Techs Themselves...</u>

Currently existing advances I've put in quotes. Don't be offended if I have some questions with your new tech; remember, those comments will be lopped right out when the letter is sent.

50) TECH ADVANCES TIED TO GAME FEATURES -- Features such as 'borders' should only be enables once the appropriate tech is discovered. (Any discussion about this? Good, bad?)

51) RESOURCE LIMITATION LIFTING TECHS -- In SMAC there were some techs that you needed to research before you could gather more than 2 resources of each type. While an interesting idea, the implementation in SMAC was too limiting. The techs which lifted the limits were too indispensible, and came in too late, often choking off an empire until they could be found. Perhaps there should be a more gentle gradation over the ages? I'd like to include some concrete suggestions for improving this. Shining1 suggested that resource limits should be a function of Social Engineering. Other thoughts?.

52) EVERY TECH SHOULD HAVE SOME 'BASIC' BENEFIT -- Each tech should have some effect of the 'basic' parameters of a civ, the kind of things that are likely to be influenced by Social Engineering (e.g. "Trade" should benefit your Economy rating, and "Crop Rotation" should benefit your Growth).

53) GET RID OF OVERBROAD TECHS -- For example, "Industrialization" encompasses many things (technical, social, and economic), and should not be lumped into a single tech.

54) AN OPTION FOR A LESS 'MECHANISTIC' WORLDVIEW -- Some people feel that Civ emphasis science and technology, not allowing for the possibility of a civilization that has a less mechanistic worldview, and focuses instead on other pursuits, like philosophy or psychology. Is this workable? Suggestions? Could this have happened, even if it didn't historically?

55) MORE EMPHASIS ON FOOD MAKING TECHS -- Plants cultivation, Farming, Irrigation, Genetic manipultion...

56) GREATER EMPHASIS ON THE ARTS -- The tech tree in general focuses on military hardware and hard science, leaving the Arts somewhat unaddressed (this suggestion probably needs to be fleshed out more). some posters question whether this is a good suggestion.

57) MAKE ARTS ADVANCES 'SCORE BOOSTERS' -- Maybe Art and Culture advances should simply be score boosters (like "Future Tech") or one time benefits.

58) TECHNOLOGY SHOULD INCREASE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ENTERTAINERS -- Certain technologies should enhance the effectiveness of your "entertainer" specialists in the city screen (e.g. Television).

59) TECH: Music -- A dead end tech that adds +50% to the effectiveness of entertainers. So an entertainer gains an early boost of +100% with the discover of music and construction of a market place. This suggestion seems to be even more unpopular than last time. Should it be removed or altered to make it more palatable?

60) TECH: Computers -- if you're reading this list, you know what these are

61) TECH: Programming -- the art/science of making computers do what you want. You'd think that this would go hand and hand with computers, considering how tied together these two techs are... -SF

62) TECH: Systems Analysis -- ?? A tad specific for Civ games.-SF

63) TECH: Computing Machine -- A mechanical or electrical device that demonstrates that arithmetic and logical tasks can be done by machines. Examples would be an adding machine or a punch-card sorter. This would be a pre-req for...

64) TECH: Stored Program Computer -- A device which maintains its instruction sequence in a dynamic storage medium (e.g. the DRAM in the computer you're using right now). Allows much more flexibility than a direct input computing machine.

65) TECH: The Transistor -- Among other things, can be used to build digital logic circuits. The transistor is the basis for all modern computers. Integrated Circuits (ICs) use transistors to accomplish most of thier functions. The Transistor is what made the "Information Age" possible.

66) TECH: Vacuum Tubes -- Among other things, can be used to build digital logic circuits. Vacuum Tubes were the basis for the first electronic computers. (This is an excellent candidate for some of the prereq ideas -- Transistors and Vacuum Tubes are mostly unrelated technologies that both allow computers, but the Transistor has other benefits. So the prereq for "Computers" might be "Computing Machine AND Vacuum Tubes OR Computing Machine AND Transistors", but you need "Transistor AND Computers" for Microprocessors. This also fis with point 29- unless there's many techs, these techs may be too specific).

67) TECH: High Level Programming Languages -- Give the user an easier way to program computers.

69) TECH: Astrology- Sounds the same as mysticism to me. But a useful tech as predecessor to astronomy if option 29 is used, and differentiation like that can be made. -SF

70) TECH: Algebra- This would be under "Mathematics" on the CivX tech chart, surely. -SF

71) TECH: Calculus- A good pre-req for physics. -SF

72) TECH: Orbital Mechanics- I'd put this under "Space Flight" myself, but this is definitely a cooler name than "Space Flight." Perhaps that category could be renamed this?

73) TECH: Architecture- Even under #27, this is surely the same as "Construction." Perhaps a better name for "Construction" though. -SF

74) TECH: Plumbing- A Pre-req to Sanitation under #27... -SF

75) TECH: Engineering (this is already in the game. I'm deleteing this the next time through. -SF)

76) TECH: Simple Machines -Again, probably already known to all the ancients... but otherwise, a nice pre-req for Construction under a #27 system.

77) TECH: Clockwork -Part of "Mathematics." Could the person who suggested this please explain where/how this would fit in? -SF

78) TECH: Gearworks (not sure exactly what is meant here...) Same here. -SF

79 & 80) TECHS: Electromagnetism, Thermodynamics --If BR wants to split Physics into two categories, these sound like good divisions. Otherwise, the catch-all physics is probably safer. -SF

81) TECH: Relativity -- An important concept in modern physics. Good pre-req for nuclear power.

82) TECH: Electric Light -- This would probably be a minor tech in addition to electricity that improves the living standard of homes, is my guess.

83) TECH: Periodic Table -- An important advance in chemistry. Realizing the "order" of chemical elements allowed discovery of new ones and prediction of their properties. Aided understanding of underlying theory of chemistry. Would this be part of "chemistry", though?

84) TECH: Industrial Chemistry -- Again, my guess is a minor tech after chemistry that gives a slight bonus to factories.

85) TECH: Ceramics -- Presumably the branch of modern materials science, not just plates and bowls... perhaps a bit too minor.

86) TECH: Lens Grinding- See #27. A pre-req to Germ Theory?

87) TECH: Copper Smelting (before bronze)

88) TECH: Artificial Fertilizers -- another good boost to food production to fill up the Ag&Bio category.

90) TECH: Oceanography is this a tech on its own? -Octo Sounds like a minor tech to me... -SF

91) TECH: Herbal Remedies These have been around since the Stone Age. Not sure if you would have to research these.

92) TECH: Cash Crops -- farm goods which are grown primarily for export because they can command a high price, not because of their local food value. Coffee, cotton, and tobacco might be examples. They might allow you to turn excess food into money.

93) TECH: Crop Rotation -- Important agricultural concept. Improves farm productivity.

[This message has been edited by SnowFire (edited May 27, 1999).]
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Old May 27, 1999, 16:42   #2
InterSite Democracy Game: Apolyton TeamApolytoners Hall of Fame
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Ahem... Part II.

95) TECH: Physiology-- What exactly is this? The science of physical things? Sounds a bit over-broat to me... could you clarify? -SF

96) TECH: Surgery -- cutting people up to make them healthy. In early years, mostly limited to amputations, etc. I would say Antiseptics instead of surgery... surgery's been around forever, but it wasn't safe until then. And perhaps antiseptics could be combined under Germ Theory

97) TECH: Botany- A definite possibility, but how exactly would you incite the player to want to discover this?

98 & 99) TECH: Cell Theory, Germ Theory-- Diseases aren't caused by demons getting into your body after you sneeze. A revolutionary development, perhaps a better replacement for the over-broad "Medicine."

100) TECH: Immunization -- I'd use 101 over this.

101) TECH: Antibiotics - A minor tech devloped with Medicine and Germ Theory, perhaps.

102) TECH: Genetics/Inheritance Theory -- Gregor Mendel style understanding of inheritance.

103) TECH: Evolution -- presumably you mean Darwinian Evolution, i.e. evolution via Natural Selection Perhaps it would also cause slightly less effective churches.

104) TECH: DNA -- Or put this under Genetic Theory? DNA's been around for ages, after all.

105) TECH: Credit

106) TECH: Capital Markets -Using the minor nations idea, perhaps this could allow ruthless trade politices and imperalist economies.

107) TECH: Keynesian Economics -- The notion that government fiscal (i.e. taxes and spending) policy should be used to limit the effects of the business cycle: low spending during boom years, high spending during recession/depression.

108) TECH: Geography Been around forever. That's how you map at the beginning of the game. I mean, you can't fail to notice where the mountain is and what the name of the river is; that doesn't require a tech. I'd simply use "Map Making" instead of this as a better technology. Could you elucidate on this further? -SF

109) TECH: History -- Once again, I can't think of a culture without a history.

110) TECH: Tragedy/Literature

111) TECH: Rhetoric

112) TECH: Sculpture

113) TECH: Potter's Wheel

114) TECH: Painting

115) TECH: Weaving

116) TECH: The Loom -- important for weaving

118) TECH: Internal Combustion Engine -- Instead of "Automobile?"

119) TECH: Submersibles

120) TECH: Microbotics (little robots), Astrobotics (space robots?), Hydrobotics (water robots?).

121) TECH: Satellites -- "What goes up must... just keep going around."

122) TECH: Brewing-- Makes beer. While discovered by many civilizations, why exactly would you want to discover this? {/editorial mode}

123) TECH: Masonry- Already in game.

124) TECH: The Bow

125) TECH: Gunnery

126) TECH: Standing Army -- The army is composed of professional soldiers employed by the state, not just regular citizens who grabbed weapons to support the war effort, and then went back to their lives afterward.

128) TECHS (future, possibly realistic): cloning, orbital construction, commercial spacefaring, wakeways, artificial intelligence, spaceport, xenobiology (exobiology), terraforming, eugenics, metallic foam, neural interface, nanotechnology, laser induced fusion, zero point energy, hydroponics, microgee agriculture, xenopsychology, cryogenics, nanomedicine (cell repair), personality constructs, mass drivers (without aliens, xenobiology is mostly useless, xenopsychology even more so , what is practical application of cryogenics in game terms? -Octo

129) TECHS (future, and "realism" questionable): warp drive, psychohistory, robopsychology, ICE, eptification, elite conscription, phaser, turbolaser, artificial gravity (antigravity), universal translator, scrith, hyperatomic motivator, twin ion engine, liquid metal (mimetic polyalloy), positronic matrix, spindizzy generator, planckscale machines, antimatter containment, ekumen, matter replication, Anti- anything (matter, gravity, realisty...), Kinetic Weapons (????), Inertia Nullification (thanks to the space operas of E.E. "Doc" Smith) (I don't know what a lot of these are, and a lot of the ones I do know are definitely impossible in the "real world")-Octo

130) TECH: Dyson Sphere -- a huge sphere that encloses a star, thus capturing all of a star's radiated energy. Problem: vast undertaking to construct. There is no way it can be done in a Civ III timeframe. Problem: A sperical shell generates no net gravitational field on the inside, i.e. you do not get pulled toward the surface of the sphere on the inside. This is due to the inverse-square nature of gravity and the geometry of the spere. Net result - what's keeping the star in the middle, and not bumping into the sides?

131) TECH: Ringworld -- more popular alternative to Dyson Sphere, just a big huge ring around a star. Still not realistic for Civ III.

132) SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT THAT HAVE BEEN OFFERED AS TECHS BUT I'M NOT SURE IF THEY FIT: Social Refortm, Women's Movement, Aristocracy, Imperialism, Total War, Environmental Ethics, Entrepenurialism, Globalization, Humanism, Empiricism, Nuclear Disarmament, Animism (early religion), Heliocentrism, Discipline, Art of War, Mercantilism, Rationalization (a la Max Weber) ???, The Enlightenment, Money Economy, Herbalism, Nuclear Deterrence, Nuclear Warfighting, Nuclear Defense

133) FIELDS OF SCIENCE THAT WERE OFFERED BUT I'M NOT SURE IF THEY FIT: Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Geology

134) APPLICATIONS OFFERED BUT I'M NOT SURE THAT FIT: The Pump, Calendar (What benefit would this have to a civilization? I think all civs had at least some form of calender, and even if they never had a written one (which I assume you refer to), the problem was usually not "no written calender" but "no writing..." -SF[/b]

135) ACTIVITIES THAT HAVE BEEN OFFERED AS TECHS BUT I'M NOT SURE IF THEY FIT: Venture Capitalism, Mercanary Warfare, Multinational Corporation, Agricultural Investment, Mechanical Farming, Training, Mobilization, Urbanization, Regulation, Revolution, Fortifications

Parts of this are horribly wrong and need correcting? Great! Post now and tell us what your idea is to make this list better, which is our only goal here.

SnowFire, Technology Thread-Master.
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Old May 27, 1999, 18:14   #3
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Okay, how about this list of techs, cannibalized from various sources in this thread, in my favorite modpacks, in Civ II and Call to Power:

ARCOLOGY (architecture+ecology)
ARTIFICIAL SELECTION (selective breeding of livestock)
DISTILLATION (between Alchemy & Chemistry)
DRAFTING (science of architectural drawing, not conscription)
EPIDEMIOLOGY (prior to organized Medicine, the early study of the spread of disease)
FORAGING (one could assume every human civilization, no matter how primitive, must begin with this)
GLOBALIZATION (multinational corporations' term for their own philosophy)
HYDRAULICS (early pumps, the Archimedes screw, etc.)
INTERCHANGEABLE PARTS (instead of "machine tools")
INTERNATIONAL LAW (late game advance)
LASER, the
LOGIC (before Geometry)
LOOM, the
MECHANICAL CLOCK ("clockwork" may be a better name)
MECHANICS (an all-encompassing but primitive science of motion, which predated physics and studied machines, falling objects, etc.)
MERCANTILISM (specifically, construction of massive ships, maximized for cargo space and minimal crew, for purely economic voyages)
MERCENARY WARFARE (mercenary units could cause less war discontent)
NAVIGATION (stellar navigation)
PLOW, the
POLITICAL ECONOMY (the "first social science")
RATIONALISM (because "age of reason" doesn't sound like a technology or philosophy)
REPUBLIC, the (of course, you couldn't call it republicanism because you might offend the liberals...)
SMELTING (before Bronze Working)
THEORY OF GRAVITY (or "gravitation," if you like)
TIMBER CONSTRUCTION (or "carpentry," a very early tech)
TOOL MAKING (perhaps another technology every human civilization is automatically assumed to have)
WHEEL, the
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Old May 27, 1999, 21:04   #4
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How about Prohibition as a Tech?

Could be good, could be bad. Maybe sort of a random chance of the exact outcome.
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Old May 27, 1999, 21:10   #5
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This was originally developed by the Romans and used in the same way it is today. Ash taken from nearby volcanic mountains was mixed with other ingrediants, and the Romans were the first to widely use it as a building material, especially for the construction of the great Aquaducts. I didn't see a listing for construction which I thought was a CivII tech, but this would be a tech which spawns from it later on, as well as pottery and stone working.

ps you can take the Dyson Sphere and Ringworld out, they were jokes =)
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Old May 27, 1999, 21:23   #6
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Legalized prostitution. (possible HR issue for Firaxis)

Now you might laugh, but this is definitely a serious issue. Prostitution IS the oldest proffesion mind you.

Gun Control

After the advent of firearms/muskets a possible random chance of gun control tech or random event causing riots in cities with defenders who use firearms. Once again, a semi modern issue, but one some people take for granted (especially Americans) is the right to own a gun, which many countries dont allow. Possibly certain SE choices force gun control, and lower happiness in warlike nations???

Someone else mentioned simple machines, and it was stated that most civs would know this,
I disagree, I think this should be a real tech. think about what simple machines are: the screw, lever, pulley (unsure of others)
Did all ancient civs have these? No, but they did develope them, and they are an integral part of building larger structures with much less manpower. I think its a definite must as an early tech and prereq to construction.

[This message has been edited by Travathian (edited May 27, 1999).]
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Old May 27, 1999, 22:00   #7
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(sorry I am at work and bored to death tonight)

As far as having too many techs, I'd have to say the more the better. But, some techs just dont have any apperent game effect other than score bonus, yet have had a decided change on history.

For example, the cotton gin. This immensely changed the way cotton was gathered and processed. The prep time on cotton dropped drastically and clothing prices dropped. No, no great monument was built, or artifact remains, but it was a historic technology.

Maybe some techs should be researched just for the sake of research! And when its complete, just a world wide announcement saying so. ie The Arabs just completed work on the cotton gin, cotton supplies skyrocket.
And nothing else, thats it, nothing to build, no new units, etc.

Fireworks, lightbulbs, hot air balloons, the chimney/fireplace, tanning, etc etc etc

Maybe by learning certain techs you have a chance of learning these (minor techs) and just gaining a point bonus.

Unfortunately this has already been mentioned, but it needs to be stressed again (also cause of the fact that I missed it in the loooooooooong list above.)

Also, in SMAC, once you got ahead in tech, you were always ahead for the most part. Like someone else mentioned not a single civ developed everything. Most learning was done thru trade or conquest. This is why I think the more techs the better, to promote trade and peace and devlopement, or to go and conquer civs to gain tech. Its just not realistic ( I know that evil word) that one civ can jump ahead and leave everyone else in the dust. (also another reason for blind research).

*stepping off soapbox to look for the next forum to terrorize*
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Old May 28, 1999, 04:34   #8
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Ey Up

Perhaps there is more room to expand the technologies involved in environmentalism and environmental management, even a whole different direction of the game. If pollution and global warming are becoming a threat there is no way you can concentrate your research on for instance space exploration without the earth going to ruin. So at a point either in population level or technology level the possibility of predominantly concentrating research on "green" developments, which are many and varied, such as climate prediction (not just weather forecasting), hydrogeology (so you know where the pollution is going), exotoxicology (do the nasties get into humans?), bioremedition, extinction prevention, contaminated land reclamation etc. There are many possibilities .

I know this is pretty specific and would make the list of possible technologies far too vast, but just because you want to clean up pollution or reforest the planet you can't without specific knowledge.

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Old May 28, 1999, 04:49   #9
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Thank you for the good summary. I am glad the differences about who should host this thread have been resolved by now, and I think we should thank you and the former threadmaster(s) for the good work you have been doing.

Still, I have one minor complaint: I could not find the gateway-tech concept in your summary (my apologies if it is in there and I just did not find it - the summary is quite long...): for every era (renaissance, industrial, etc), there is a central tech, the one that really opens up the era for the particular civ. Suggestions are printing press for the renaissance era, railroad for the industrial era. Without the gateway tech, you may research techs from that era but at a substantially higher cost.

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Old May 28, 1999, 08:18   #10
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Ceramics are used in (at least, I can name) 3 important applications

1. Reentry vehicles (prereq for ICBM, MIRV or Space Shuttle; or as its own tech)

2. Composite armor for tanks to resist ever more powerful shells (the exact makeup for Chobham armor is a highly classified secret, for if a shell maker knows it he can design ordnance to penetrate it).

3. Finally, some ceramics have superconductive qualities (!)

Also, consider this post a vote for the Telegraph.
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Old May 28, 1999, 08:22   #11
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Sorry for the dual post, but here are some ramblings on computers.

1. Vacuum tubes begat transistors begat the integrated circuit begat the microchip. As mentioned elsewhere, all these on the list have good potential as prerequisites for other 20th C inventions.

2. First used for codebreaking, then to model nuclear reactions for bombs.

3. Some important ideas to consider:
a. Storage: from punch cards to magnetic drums to memory.
b. Cooling: from heat sinks to conductive alloys to liquid immersion (in the Cray series).
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Old May 28, 1999, 09:10   #12
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Here are some of my tech ideas. If they have been mentioned, then count them to have two votes.


Animal Domestication


Electric Music


Modern Philosophy
Mass Communication
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Old May 28, 1999, 15:05   #13
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Rainer: Indeed, that's my fault. I was basically stealing Octopus's summary and revising it; I haven't put all the ideas from the 1.4 thread in yet.

I think I have perhaps a variant on what you say: Instead of restricting the gateway tech effect to a few technologies, make is a simple rule that for every pre-requisite you're missing on a tech you recieved (or stole). If number 39 is included (out-of-order techs forbidden), then this is a non-issue. But otherwise, I think it's a great idea that even if you aren't simply disallowed from building fighters after stealing "Flight," those fighters cost twice as much to build for your Rennisance society.

Trav: On Prostitution, Gun Control, and Prohibition, I suggest taking that up with the social engineering thread. Perhaps a checkbox of ordinances that can be enacted over the empire that each have varying effects? (Prohibition: +2 Crime, -1 Taxes, +1 Industry? Negative effects fade with time, and are eliminated in a fundamentalist society?) Of course, it will take technologies to enable them to be checked/unchecked... but it's still more an issue for SE than here. Good idea though.

Oh, by the way, this got accidently cut from the summary:

94) TECH: Anatomy -- A pre-requisite to medicine.

I won't be in this weekend. I'll try and post and add to the summary today (before I leave), but otherwise I'll be gone for awhile.
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Old May 28, 1999, 18:47   #14
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Here is a quick replay to the current tech list ( good work Enochf! We need a catogrized list to easier and faster finding, thought... I'll re-arange one later ).


* Aerodyanamics to Aeronotics, and a new Advanced aerodyanmics tech. You need two levels for planes: Old planes and Delta-wing planes, which include many improvments.

* Vacuum tubes ( Is this on and i didn't see it? )
* Fire ( Do we persume they knew how to make fire but not wheels? )
* Fuel injuction ( Jet engines ).
* Semi-conductors.
* Biologic computers.
* Molecolaric chemistry.
* Mazoscopia ( The science of connection the macro-cosmos into the micro-cosmos... requirement of cold fusion? )
* Cold fusion
* Fiber optics.
* Diferenail math ( critical pre-requirement of theory of gravity )
* Optical computers.
* Digital networks ( how did we forget about the internet? )
* Pressure physics.
* Elctronic commerce.
* Particle manipultion ( Super-colliders )
* Ionazition

* The following techs need to be removed ( just applications that can be included into other techs:
The bayonet
Composite bow
The loom
Compass ( that's magnetism people... )
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Old May 28, 1999, 21:23   #15
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Awesome summary...

I just have one comment for now.
9) LESS DETERMINISTIC RESEARCH PROGRESS -- Instead of just "100 Research Points gets you an advance" it should be "100 Research Points gives you a 5% chance of discovering tech each turn, 110 RP gives you 10% chance of discovering it each turn, etc". This way you can have a rough idea of when you will discover a new technology, but you can never be exactly sure because there is an element of uncertainty, just like science in the real world. This is basically how things were done in Master of Orion 1.
The MoO1 tech method cited above is flawed IMO, and subject to player abuse. A method that rolls dice every time your total exceeds a threshold, or increases toward a fixed number means that the player should always slow tech spending down to a trickle after they get into the few-percent-chance region. That's of course unless they Desperately need the tech. I used the slow-down method in MOO and it works very well.

What you need to do instead IMO to do this kind of thing right is secretly roll a number evenly distributed about the "cost" of the tech. When, and only when this number is reached does the player get the tech. The player Never knows exactly when it will show up and the best tactic is to keep putting in the average amount every turn until you get it.

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(That means I do the things nobody else wants to do )
This Radically different civ game needs your suggestions and/or criticism of our design.
Check our our Forum right here at Apolyton...

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Old May 29, 1999, 13:11   #16
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Some of the options for reasurch can cause a very steep learning curve for people who will be playing a Civ game for the first time. I consiter it to be a good idea when first starting a game to be able to choose 3 options:
1) The standers Civ method of Technolagy-low learning curve
2) A more complex method-medium learning curve
3) Civ3 Historical realism-high learning curve
This way rookies can hop onto the bandwagon and veterins will be challanged. NEVER EVER MAKE THE GAME TO HARD TO LEARN. Rookies to be don't have their voices represented here, so please don't forget them. This might not be the best wording so just reply and I'll try to reword it later.

"A human imprisons one of us? Intolerable!"
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Old May 29, 1999, 19:09   #17
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Another idea could be a new kind of tech tree. You could make 2 kinds of techs: New tech and improvements on old ones. For example you could choose between climbing the tech tree towards musketeers or improving your bowmen. The bowman tech would lead nowhere, but you would improve your units.
The 2 approches would have to be finely balanced, of course.

If you choose the bowman tech then all your bowmen would be upgraded. This seems like a neat way to have custimizable units without getting to many possibilities.(like in SMAC where you couldn't tell units apart)

This would be fairly realistic. Fx longbows were an advanced bow, better than the muskets of the time. But Muskets held the future.

<font size=1 color=444444>[This message has been edited by Thue (edited May 29, 1999).]</font>
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Old May 29, 1999, 19:45   #18
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I posted this in Radical Ideas, but noone has responded, so here goes:

The only radical idea I can come up with has to do with technology. I think that if the Earth started over now, it would be very unlikely that they would follow the same technological path. The game designers should come up with 2-4 different tech. paths and at the begining of each game randomly chose which path each civ. starts out with. The different paths wouldn't be neccessarily better or worse, just different. Each could have it's own strenghts and weaknesses. I'm not sure what the different paths would be, we can leave that up to the game designers.
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Old May 30, 1999, 03:55   #19
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Some issues:
Tech suggestions should be of broad ideas, instead of narrow (if important) fields. Many current ideas seem to be individual professions or inventions, rather than actual 'techs' themselves.

For instance, Demolition is a function of explosives, which is descended from chemistry. It's debatable whether or not all three should be included under the title 'chemistry'.

2)The summary is good, but needs to be broken up more - two sections is not nearly enough. The point by point process shouldn't be applied to each tech, certainly. Suggest:

Tech tree: the whys and hows of the tree(s).
Selection Rules: how the player chooses or obtains a tech.
Tech cost: the various systems and bonuses applied to research for various factors.

And four different levels of discoveries for the suggestions. Suggestions for techs unlikely to be possible at 2100 should either be discounted or listed elsewhere - the Dyson sphere suggestion, for instance (while cool, it would take upwards of 1 000 years work to build - not practical for civ.

Other suggestions should be looked at closely, usually individual items or professions/tasks/ord1ances don't qualify as civ type technologies (unless CTP has taken this to a ridiculous extreme - I don't know).

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Old May 30, 1999, 10:21   #20
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I'ma bit worried about the direction that this thread is going, mostly in the case of diverse techs.

In CivII, we'd discover techs every 5-10 turns, more or less... Now, the general opinion seems to support splitting things up, like Medecine into Anatomy, Germ Theory, Immunization, etc... Now, with 3x the number of techs, the time to research would have to be one third the former time. I wouldn't like to be interrupted every 1-2 turns to have to make the decision of what to research next. Plus, the tech tree would become exceedingly complicated, and much harder to learn.

Some of the ideas for techs are good. But in the case mentioned above, I don't think that there is any reason to have multiple techs when only Medecine is really required. Instead of having 3 techs, each with different bonuses, it's easier to have one tech with three bonuses.

Is this entirely realistic? No, of course not... But this is a game, and not a course in the history of science. I think that fun should go ahead of perfect accuracy.
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Old May 30, 1999, 14:16   #21
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well, NotLikeTea, I belive THIS is the middle-ground...
You see, in a true-to-reality civ III, we would need thousand of techs, litterly. I am not joking. I am one of the supporters of a truely huge tech tree.
CIV II had eighty techs overall... surely even you agree that cant sum up human culture. Not even close... Try to divide them into ages... Can we sum up the computer revoultion into a single tech? Can we ingnore the many sciences, the numerous discoveries?
CIV II totaly ignored the arts and food making techs. Even by limited standards, the tech tree should be atleast doubled.
For example, you can't include germ theory into medcine. Medcine was mainly founded by the minoun/greek/rouman cultures, with the first hospitels, thousand of years ago.
But germs where only found 300 years ago, when microscope was introduced... How can you unite them? They are far away as computers and a note-book.
About learning the tech tree? I for one would say that the tech tree should not be learned, summerized and massmarized.
It would do a world of good if people would stop preping the favorite tech list, from start to bottom, with pointers and hints.
It would be better to have blind tech, and allow everything to slowly evolve.
I point you to idea number 5 in Snowfire huge list ( so good to have a serious person here ), my own idea. The tech tree should be increased, yes, but the time should stay... maxing the time needed to research the tech tree and enforcing cooporation and tech swaps.
Nothing wrong with a little accuracy.
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Old May 30, 1999, 14:43   #22
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I agree that more techs are needed, and that accuracy is a good thing.

Been thinking about this for a bit.

However, take the case of Computers. Let's say that it took 50 years to go from early versions to current versions (I know this is not accurate, but it's just for the sake of simplicity).

Now, what if this were treated differently? You choose to research Computers, plain and simple. However, 20% along the way to this discovery, you get a mini-tech, that gives a little bonus or opens up another part of the tech tree. Later on, at 50% you get another mini-tech, and so forth.

This could apply to all techs. Instead of researching Medecine, then anatomy, then germ theory, then immunization, etc.. you would only research Medecine. It would take a couple hundred years to discover, but along the way, you would be getting mini-techs, with their own bonuses.

This is a bit like SMAC research while blind, where you pick a field of discovery, but not the specific techs. Of course, this would require far more fields, and more control.

This would allow the representation of all the tiny discoveries made alnong the path to Computers, without forcing the player to re-choose what tech they want to discover every few years. Of course, it would probably require multiple tech branches being researched at any given time, so I don't know how applicable it is.

The idea of realistic tech progression is a good idea, but I tihnk that is would have to be implemented in such away thet the player would not drown in technology advances, and become hopelessly confused. As described, it seems like too much micromanagement.

I agree with 90% of the stuff said here, especially in the general comments. It is the specifics of the techs that worries me. The idea of "Weaving" and "Loom" as seperate techs looks like it's taking realism a bit too far. Or researching 5 kinds of bows. Or "Periodic Table" and "Chemistry".. and so forth...
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Old May 30, 1999, 15:15   #23
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Wow, NotLikeTea, that's a very good idea! A very good one... Did you notice how many problems you will solve with that?
First of all, you wrap all all the techs into something like 15-20 MAJOR techs.
Then, you get the small techs along the way... Let's just see how many ideas this sums up totaly ( by Snowfire summary list )
1. You can easiliy research several espects.
2. You have clearly defined fields.
5. Techs are much harder to research, as you have doznes of minor techs.
7. You have theortical research included.
15+16. You have bars, and can easiliy include inertia.
20+23. Specific buildings can easily fit in.
24+27. You have random and blind research ( you don't know how much time till you get another minor-tech, or which one ).
29. Lot's of techs, ofcourse.
43+46. Minor applications and arms race.. wonderful for a SMAC like workshop.

I think you stambled upon the best over-all, idea summerizing idea.
Snowfire, this is vital. Let us try to make this the main tech model, and include the ideas on this model in someway...
Firaxis would stick with the old, un-realistic, un-fun model unless we could present a firm, alternative model, with everyones vote beyond this.
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Old May 30, 1999, 15:48   #24
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Ah yes... nothing like an internet connection on vacation.

NotLikeTea, to be honest, I was trending the same way, but I don't want to offend people by telling them their topics are too narrow. I agree with Harel that things like "the baoynet" (by the time bayonets came into existence, people had been stabbing each other for centuries. However, "Diferenail math" (differential calculus?) is also a bit too specific as well, since "calculus," which wasn't in CivX anyway, doesn't really need to be divided even more into differential and integral calculus. In any case, your idea of "One Tech, several minor techs" definitely has merit. How I see it is sort of a combination of the category system and the minor tech system:
5 main categories of scientists.
Each one chooses a more specific field to be working on. Let's say I put my biology group scientists to work on "medicine." They research various new advances (minor things) until I get a message that any further research into medicine is impossible since all subtechs in the medicine group require pre-requisites from other fields (the subtech "Antiseptics" can't be discovered until the advance of Chemistry, for instance). So I switch those researchers to "agriculture," where they discover subtechs like "Irrigation" and "Crop Rotation." I like this idea...

Shining1, I'll consider it.

Spartan: See point 35.

Mark Everson: Good idea, prevents the save & reload cheat as well... I'll make sure to add that the next time through.
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Old May 30, 1999, 17:33   #25
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Actually, after posting I had the same ideas about even broader tech categories..

Medecine under Biology, Computers under Math, etc..
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Old May 31, 1999, 13:34   #26
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The reason I liked NotLikeTea post, it beacause broader catagories are not fitting... 5 catagories were allready suggested, and i disliked that even then...
You can't balance them out, for the first thing, and most tech fall between chairs.
The idea of reasearching several major techs is perfect, as I does answer several questions and problems.
First of all, you won't get a too-huge tech tree per major tech. When you had several catagories, you can have ( if the tech tree would be atleast half of what it suppose to be ), around 50 techs per catagory, even 100 for physics & math. That's very hard to remember. However, when you divide it to easy to remember groups, you can have a nice amount of tech in every section, allowing specific direction ( but not TOO specific ).
The major techs I have been thinking:

Socio-culture ( no other way to say it, major transformation it cultures: Invention, Industralizion, Alphabet )
Physics ( Useful physics, not theortical )
Atomic study ( since the roman Atom theory to today )
Chemistry ( compounds and such )
Construcion ( and works, such as bronze & Iron works )
Engineering ( Better hulls, buildings, etc. )
Flight ( Back even to the days of baloons and flying kites )
Space travel

BTW,Snowfire... I didn't NOT mean diferenial calculus, I mean the math, in it's purest form. The most basical forumla is X squared = 10X + 3, now draw the graph... etc.
As a physicts, I know the VITAL importance to the scientific world. I know, I know.. you are probaly raising your eye brows. But let me say this: we would had nothing of comoputers, physics or anything, without.
This math is the most complex, yet simplest of math. It was created by Newton, as he was a mathamatician before a phycists. Without it, he would have never made the theory of gravity ( and indeed I said it was the basical pre-requirement ). Computers would have never evolved, and many of the physical theories that allow us our world. You have no idea how vital this tech is.
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Old May 31, 1999, 17:18   #27
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I like the idea of two levels of research, here.

On the top level would be things like Math leading to Physics (leading to electronics), Engineering, etc.

On the lower, deeper leel would be all the real tech. Resistors leading to transistors, leading to microchips, leading to computers, or whatever.
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Old May 31, 1999, 18:31   #28
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I think the new idea with tech 'paths' is great. I am totally for blind research, and the way it was set up in SMAC. I don't think it should be major techs in which you eventually learn the major tech, but more like tech paths like in SMAC in which you chose Explore, Conquer, etc similar to how Harel has it setup.

Nor do I think the tech tree should be something players should have memorized or extensive knowledge of. I just hate it when players talk about exactly how many techs it requires to get flight in SMAC, and how thats all they do, or go right for Tree Farms. Come on, that gets real lame after a while. Tech should be hard to come by, and civs should be trading techs to advance, not just playing island and trying to learn them all themselves.

I am totally for having a huge tech tree with the tech path Harel has brought up and blind research, and being able to do multi field research.

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Old May 31, 1999, 22:22   #29
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Harel: I couldn't agree more that it's vital. I just thought it was a bit over-specific and too narrow. However, with NLT's system, narrowness shouldn't be a problem.

I think I've come up with a good blend of both systems proposed so far. I really like NLT's idea, and originally I sort of forced it into the 5 categories idea, which would create some categories with very few subcategories to research (okay, do my economists research economics, or economics? do my biologists research medicine or farming?). Instead, let's even further simplify this. The normal setting can be exactly what NLT/Harel describe. You choose 3 topics in which to research. Subtopics are discovered until you change the focus. You have slider bars for how much you concentrate on each topic- in earlier eras, you can swing them wildly in favor of one topic (see point 18), but as time goes on, you have lower and lower "limits" on how much you can concentrate in one area, and perhaps in modern times you're forced to research 4 topics as well. There would be a slight "interest" effect to discourage too much sliding around the tech bars.

Then, there would be the "advanced science" option. This is a combination of idea 2 and NLT/H. Instead of just 3 empty slots, they would be one slot in each field (so you couldn't research "Bronze Working," "Horseback Riding," and "Advanced Demolition" all at once). You would have 1 field of research for each category (now probably Philosophy, Math, and either Psych/Theology or Bio/Ag, or some combination... economics can be easily combined with Philosophy.). And now, those slider bars can't be easily moved around between those projects. The "inertia" and national character kicks in, since different AI personalities have different priorities.

Looking at your list, and using Psych/Religion/The Arts over Biology...

Ph Rulership
Ph Philoshopy
Ps Arts
Ps Religon
-- Socio-culture ( no other way to say it, major transformation it cultures: Invention,
Industralizion, Alphabet )
MP Mathametics
MP Physics ( Useful physics, not theortical )
MP Atomic study (too narrow?)
MP Chemistry ( compounds and such )
MP Construcion ( and works, such as bronze & Iron works )
MP Engineering ( Better hulls, buildings, etc. )
MP Medicine (no Bio to accept it)
Ps Farming (again, no Bio to accept it)
MP Elctronics
MP Flight ( Back even to the days of baloons and flying kites )
MP Space travel
Ph Economics

Hmm... perhaps Math would split up in later days, and give you a fourth category to research in.

I see a big, friendly screen with three big pictures on the left and slider bars under them. The pictures are all blank and all three slider bars are at 33%. I click on the blank picture under "Math & Science" and choose from a list of fields. I choose metallurgy, so I can get my phalanxs with the minor tech "Bronze working" soon. But who knows? I might not get that tech. I go down and choose techs to research in the other two categories as well.

This sounds like a really cool idea to me. Of course, advanced science would be just an option, a scoring bonus on lower levels and a scoring penalty for not having it on higher ones.
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Old May 31, 1999, 23:23   #30
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So what's the difference between this and the MoO1 tech tree? Whether you call them 'minor techs' or 'subtopics' or whatever, you're still climbing a tech tree that's partitioned into categories.

I don't really see this tree fulfilling the goals of building multiple paths up the tech tree, which everyone seemed so gung-ho about earlier.
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