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suggestion box - CW edition
#11
Here are three reports.
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#12
(07-15-2013, 05:41 PM)ixnay Wrote: EC is right up there, in terms of complexity. What's remarkable is that this complexity emerges from relatively simple mechanics. Mine raw materials, grow food, run factories, build ships from a small array of stock components -- it's all pretty straightforward, and random luck plays a minimal role in the game.

As for updating the user-interface, I suggest that you and Vern consider opening up at least part of the platform for open source development. For instance, if I had an unlocked copy of the database, I could build some new reporting screens. These would have no impact on the core functionality -- they'd just display data in different ways. This would not only free Vern up to focus on the core code, it would lead to surprising innovations from players and probably accelerate game development.

Any thoughts?

I like the idea of making Central Command open source. I would need to know more about how to go about that. Any ideas? Also we need Jay to approve but I think he would. The code is in VB-6.
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#13
Making Central Command "Open Source" would be GREAT! This would allow the development of third party "plug-ins" and such that functionality could be expanded and improved without putting the burden on Vern.

I know there are a few existing players right now that could add their own tools into the mix, just as I have been doing for myself.

Also: I notice that the database schema has been revised to separate Planet data from Deposit Survey data. Though it caused me some work to update my tools, it is an improvement approaching standard "normalization" of the data structure.
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#14
Open sourcing some of it at least would be awesome, but I bow down to those of you who have the chops to do some magic. I can fart around in access, but I am no programmer.

(07-19-2013, 09:30 PM)Darth Pedro Wrote: Here are three reports.

The 2nd listed report is AWESOME. I LOVE that. I would chew my left pinky toenail partially off for access to such a report right now.
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#15
I have some suggestions for additional statistics for the Stats Tab:

Fuel Used by Space Drives
Fuel Used by Hyper Engines
Fuel Mined
Metals Mined
Non-metals Mined

I am sure others have though of more but these are ones I noticed a need for while writing orders.
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#16
Farm suggestions:

Make hydrophonic farms (Farm-2 and above) consume Life Support capacity when used anywhere other than an Open Colony.

Make it so farms can consume Non-Metals as fertilizer to boost productivity (or that they get decreased production without non-mets).

Add "Water" as a resource. Make it unlimited on Hab worlds and easy to "mine", but make it a consumable requirement for Farms and Life Support. Maybe even for Mining and Factory production. The point is to reflect that water, necessary for so many activities and easy to come by, still has mass and takes up space -- critical considerations for enclosed space environs.

* * *

I apparently missed reading some of these posts when they went up. I would like to try building some reports out of Access. I'll see if I can crack the game files open and put something simple together as a test.
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#17
Farm's do consume LFS capacity due to the personnel used to operate them. Botanical farming is the primary vein of development for life support systems...in other words, it IS the LFS as a byproduct of it's existence.

If you want to use MS Access to mine the game data, make a copy of the game.mdb file and use the linked table manager to link ALL of the tables. You can open the game.mdb file directly and peruse it. Look especially at the relationships diagram. There are some convoluted relationships most of which revolve around having two basic types of entities which can have duplicated ID numbers (Colonies and Ships).
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#18
There is the Life Support requirement for the people working the farm, and then there is what the farm itself needs. It takes a lot of water and air to grow plants, so I think it merits having farms consume Life Support capacity (over and above their workers needs.) I guess the main problem I have with the way hydroponic farms work now is that they require NO inputs if running in orbit. It's not realistic, and I imagine it would be a fairly simple change to make operating farms depend on Life Support.

The Water idea is probably somewhat more complicated to develop, but still worth doing I think.
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#19
Suggestion for POWER MANAGEMENT:

Currently everything but energy weapon/shield systems (EWP & ESH) and propulsion systems (HEN & SPD) are powered by FUEL CONSUMPTION AND/OR POWER. Remember those Power Plants (think hydroelectric)?..they can't provide energy for EWP's or ESH's...BUT if they required POWER in the following context...

How about Power Generators that consume FUEL to generate POWER which is then consumed by all items in place of the FUEL/POWER solution as it is now? Then you could add a superconducting energy (POWER) storage (SES) plant and also portable BATTERIES which would have two states; charged (BATC) and discharged (BATD). The batteries would be able to draw POWER from the energy storage or as produced at a rate of charge proportional to TL. Batteries would provide a LOW MASS way to haul around readily useable POWER that has been produced and stored in them. They could be recharged and/or jettisoned if desired.

Solar Power would require Solar Collector Arrays (SCA) which could only be installed on OBC's and/or Surface Colonies. OBC mounted SCA's would generate Solar Power at a rate proportional to the TL of the Solar Collector and inversely proportional to the square of the Orbit (out to orbit 11 if desired). Solar Collector Arrays on Surface Colonies would additionally be reduced in output based upon atmosphere for Habitable planets and also reduced a large percentage for the diurnal cycle. Solar Power would need to be consumed as generated or the surplus stored in an Energy Storage unit... otherwise it is LOST.

In all cases, the burning of FUEL would not directly power anything except propulsion systems and POWER GENERATORS. Energy Weapons and Shields would be powered by POWER and NOT FUEL. Power Generators could be assembled in any S/C.

The above scenario would add some complexity but also provide some versatility to the game. I believe it would also add a dimension of realism.
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#20
I like this idea. I would couple it with perhaps a reduction in the amount of fuel available to mine, to make energy management part of the whole puzzle of force readiness. Solar arrays, inner orbits, and planets with bigger fuel deposits would take on great significance. It seems like a logical extension of the whole "power" concept introduced in these alpha games. (We never had power stations in the old EC days...)
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