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Stellaris Dev Diary #152 - Summer Experimentation

Hello everyone!

Summer vacations are reaching their end and most of the team is back as of last week. Work has started again and we're really excited for what we have in store for the rest of the year.

While most of us have been away during most of the summer, we’ve also had some people who worked during July. July is a very good time to try out different designs and concepts that we might not otherwise have time to do, and today we thought it might be fun for you to see some of the experiments we ran during that period of hiatus.

Although we learned some useful insights, these experiments didn’t end up being good enough to make a reality.

Industrial Districts
As I have mentioned earlier, I have wanted to find a better solution for how we handle the production of alloys and consumer goods. I often felt like the experience of developing a planet felt better with an Ecumenopolis rather than with a regular planet. I think a lot of it had to do with their unique districts and that it feels better to get the jobs from constructing districts rather than buildings. Not necessarily as an emotion reaction to the choice, but rather that the choice perhaps feels more “pure” or simple.

An experiment I wanted to run was to see if it was possible to add an industrial district that provided Laborer jobs, instead of having buildings for Metallurgists and Artisans. Laborers would produce both alloys and consumer goods but could be shifted towards producing more of either.

This meant we added a 5th district, the Industrial District. By adding another district we also needed to reduce the number of building slots available. Since there would be no more need for buildings that produced alloys and consumer goods, this should still end up being similar.

upload_2019-8-15_12-14-17.png

A Laborer would consume 8 minerals to produce 2 alloys and 4 consumer goods, and that amount could be modified in either direction by passing a Decision. What I wanted was to have an industry that could have a military and civilian output, and where you could adjust the values between these outputs.

Having a laborer job that generates an “industrial output”, which could be translated into either alloys or consumer goods did feel good, but the specific solution we used didn’t feel quite right.

City Districts & Building slots
Another experiment was to see how it felt if city districts unlock building slots instead of pops. This experiment didn’t have a specific problem or issue it was trying to address but rather it was to investigate how that would feel and work. It was interesting but ultimately it felt less fun than the current implementation. It would have needed more time to see if it could be made to work.
upload_2019-8-15_12-15-12.png

This experiment did include increasing the number of jobs you would get for the building, so a research lab would provide 3 jobs instead of 2.

City District Jobs from Buildings
At the same time, we also tried a version where buildings applied jobs to city districts instead of providing jobs by themselves. One upside would be that you’d need less micromanagement to get the jobs, but the downside is that it would also be quite a large upswing in new jobs whenever you built a city district. In the end, it felt like you had less control and understanding of what a planet was specializing in.

Summary
Although these experiments were interesting, they didn’t end up quite where we wanted to, so they never became more than just experiments. We did learn some interesting things though, which we will keep in mind for the future. The industrial districts are still something I want to keep looking into, but we have to find a better solution.

Dev diaries will now be back on a regular schedule, but we will be looking into changing the format a bit this time around. For now, dev diaries will be coming bi-weekly, which means we will be back again in another 2 weeks with a similar topic.
 
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Kanzhuu

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If I build lots of industrial districts on an ecumenopolis, would that not increase its industrial capacity rapidly compared to, say, a dedicated research world with housing and labs? So maybe Industrial Districts should provide a production bonus to shipyards or planetary build speed? Maybe you need a certain minimum number of industrial districts for certain things?

If you bring in Sectors, maybe count the districts per sector and provide certain sector wide bonusses, which would be an incentive to build specialized sectors.
 
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glee8e

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I think a better integration of the existing gameplay elements with each other should take precedence over yet another overhaul. As it stands now, every gameplay element stands for it self, but there's not much interaction with other elements.
The last time I said similiar stuff was responded negatively by some fellow players. Glad it isn't the case this time.

Maybe it's just me needing to revise my wording though...
 

Yaskaleh

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Adding industrial districts would probably be one of the b4est ideas I've seen in a very long time. would make the preparation for ecumenopolis less tiresome if you could build industrial districts alongside city districts.

One thing that has been bothering me for a while is how low value there is to natural strategic resources on habitable planets. Such deposits should give jobs without having to build a building that is no better than the building that doesn't need an existing deposit.
 

Kanzhuu

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One thing that has been bothering me for a while is how low value there is to natural strategic resources on habitable planets. Such deposits should give jobs without having to build a building that is no better than the building that doesn't need an existing deposit.

Thechnically it is better by not requiring any mineral upkeep, but that is negligible. I usually just build the normal refineries and ignore deposits, because I am not sure whether the extraction wells benefit from all the same production bonusses as the normal refineries. (Such as from refinery world. I should really check that.)
 

permeakra

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I came to conclusion that I need more clarification on the statement underlined in the quote below
At the same time, we also tried a version where buildings applied jobs to city districts instead of providing jobs by themselves. One upside would be that you’d need less micromanagement to get the jobs, but the downside is that it would also be quite a large upswing in new jobs whenever you built a city district. In the end, it felt like you had less control and understanding of what a planet was specializing in.

I fail to understand how this can be the case. At the moment, in the current model, the composition of building types and districts does not make it immediately apparent, what the planet specialiszes in. It is quite easy to guess, what district is dominating and what buildings are dominating (though in cases of mix of buldings of different level this might not translate into jobs), but it isn't immidiately apparent, what jobs are dominating, because the dominating job can come from districts OR from buildings. I seriously can't see how it is possible to do worse.

Also, seriously? Low-pop planets typically have 3-4 buildings predefined, it is literally impossible to make science-oriented low-pop colony in the current system. Extraction outposts are problematic too.

So. Could you (devs) kindly please expand on this statement?
 

BlackUmbrellas

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I came to conclusion that I need more clarification on the statement underlined in the quote below


I fail to understand how this can be the case. At the moment, in the current model, the composition of building types and districts does not make it immediately apparent, what the planet specialiszes in. It is quite easy to guess, what district is dominating and what buildings are dominating (though in cases of mix of buldings of different level this might not translate into jobs), but it isn't immidiately apparent, what jobs are dominating, because the dominating job can come from districts OR from buildings. I seriously can't see how it is possible to do worse.

Also, seriously? Low-pop planets typically have 3-4 buildings predefined, it is literally impossible to make science-oriented low-pop colony in the current system. Extraction outposts are problematic too.

So. Could you (devs) kindly please expand on this statement?
"That thing you told us you experienced? You can't possibly have felt that way. I demand you explain it again to satisfy my compulsion to interrogate and gaslight you."
 

Maethendias

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am i the only one who finds districts alot less interessting than buildings?
i dont know, they just feel so boring, you can build them all up instantly, they give you so much power, but you dont have to work for it in the slightest...

id rather have buildings in a limited building slot system that gradually opens up thanks to my population management and makes me choose between other buildings that give important boni, instead of "plop this modifier down"
 

Sam Illingworth

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Tbh, I actually really like the current district/building setup. We have raw resources that planets can "naturally" produce, from farms and mines and solar arrays. Then we have advanced and processed materials that colonies can create as you build the infrastructure. Works on both a functional and thematic level for me. (I might even double down by creating a couple tiers of buildings, with prerequisites per level. It might create a cool distinction among your built up and your truly advanced worlds.)

And gating buildings behind pop growth prevents players from just spamming buildings in functionally unlimited numbers. Given how every resource except alloys is superabundant, that wouldn't take long. Restricting buildings to something that the player can't directly control helps prevent that.

I still think that the problem here is more what you do with districts and buildings more than anything else. Districts feel superfluous mostly because what you make with them feels so unnecessary. Every district and building, and the resources they produce, are all just about putting up foundries. And you get so damn many of those resources that they don't have any value. Who cares about those mines when your surplus (not income, surplus) is literally 300 minerals per turn?

So it feels like the game might as well just let you build those foundries directly.

That's the fix I would start with. Give other resources value beside just feeding the foundries and the districts/buildings that produce them will feel more useful again.

If you combine my idea with the getting rid of minerals idea, you could make it so you still build mining districts, but instead of producing minerals they unlock building slots for foundries and consumer good factories.
 

wyldmage

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Hello everyone!



Industrial Districts


My biggest fear if something like this was done in the future is that decisions are particularly inaccurate. Currently you can highly customize your alloy/c.g. ratio based on military versus civilian need. Which is particularly useful if you're in a large federation (and have allies willing to throw alloys at the Federation Fleet), or if you're a small empire starting next to a Devouring Swarm (ie). A simple decision with 2-4 settings just wouldn't do the same thing.

And your example picture costs INFLUENCE? That's just painful. Early game influence is hands down the most valuable resource, so having to fiddle with your capital's production ratio to get the right amounts would be horrible.

Please, if this ever gets looked at again, focus on not making setting up your empire's proper balance of outputs cost influence.
 
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