Victoria 3 - Dev Diary #3 - Buildings

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Hello again everyone! It’s Thursday again, and that means that it’s time to talk about Buildings. Buildings are a core mechanic of Victoria 3, as it is where the Pops work to produce resources such as Goods. Buildings represent a wide range of industries, businesses and government functions, from humble subsistence farms to complex motor industries and sprawling financial districts. In this dev diary, we’re going to broadly cover the main types of buildings and their function in Victoria 3.

To talk about buildings though, I first have to mention states! States are a concept that should be generally familiar to anyone who’s played some of our other games such as Victoria II or Hearts of Iron IV - a geographic unit of varying size in which much of Victoria 3’s gameplay takes place. States are where Pops live and (more importantly for our subject matter) where Buildings are located and built.

The State of Götaland in Sweden
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We will return to states more in later dev diaries, but for now let’s keep talking about Buildings!

Before we start on Buildings, something that’s important to note is that Buildings are just places where Pops can work and generally do not represent a single building - a single level of Government Administration, for example, represents the necessary buildings and infrastructure to support a certain number of Bureaucrats. Buildings always need qualified pops to work in them to yield any benefit, and an empty building is just that - empty and completely useless. This holds true even for buildings like Railroads and Ports that did not need Pops to work in them in Victoria 2.

Most buildings are directly constructed, but some (like the Subsistence Buildings below) will appear automatically based on certain conditions. When Buildings are constructed, the construction uses Pop labor and goods, and the costs involved will be subject to market forces.

But onto the different building types! First out, we have Subsistence Buildings. These are a special type of highly inefficient Buildings that cannot manually be built or destroyed, but rather will appear anywhere in the world where there is Arable Land that isn’t being used for another type of building. The vast majority of the world’s population starts the game ‘working’ in subsistence buildings as Peasants, and much of the game’s industrialization process is about finding more productive employment for your Peasants.


Peasants eke out a meager living in these Subsistence Farms, contributing little to GDP and taxes per capita
dd3_2.png

Another special type of building is Urban Centers. Like Subsistence Buildings, these are automatically created rather than built, with the level of Urban Center in a State being tied to the amount of Urbanization generated by its other buildings. Urban Centers primarily employ Shopkeepers and provide a number of important local functions that we will get into at a later point.


The Urban Center is where you’ll find most of your middle-class Shopkeepers
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Next up we have Government Buildings. These are buildings that are fully funded by the state (ie, you!) and provide crucial civil services required for the smooth running of a Victorian nation. Examples include Government Administrations where Bureaucrats produce Bureaucracy for the administration of incorporated states and funding of Institutions, and Universities where Academics produce Innovation for technological progression.


Bureaucrats work in Government Administrations to provide Bureaucracy - the lifeblood of the government
dd3_4.png

The counterpart to Government Buildings is Private Industries. The vast majority of Buildings in Victoria 3 fall under this category, which includes a broad range of industries such as (non-subsistence!) farms, plantations, mines and factories. Unlike Government Buildings, Private Industries are not owned by the state but rather by Pops such as Capitalists and Aristocrats, who reap the profits they bring in and pay wages to the other Pops working there (usually at least - under certain economic systems the ownership of buildings may be radically different!).

Many of these buildings are limited by locally available resources such as Arable Land for agriculture and simply how much iron is available in the state for Iron Mines. Urban Buildings such as Factories however, are only limited by how many people you can cram into the state, simulating the more densely populated nature of cities. In short, there is no system of building ‘slots’ or anything like that, as we want limitations on buildings to function in a sensible and realistic way.


Several different types of Private Industries are shown below
dd3_5.png

Finally there are Development Buildings. These are often (but not always!) government buildings that distinguish themselves by providing vital state-level functions. A couple examples are Barracks that recruit and train soldiers from the local population and Railways that provide the Infrastructure other buildings need to bring their goods to the Market.


From left to right: Barracks, Port, Naval Bases and Railway
dd3_6.png

To finish up this dev diary I just want to mention that building up your country is meant to be more of a hands-on experience in Victoria 3, as this is absolutely core to the society-building aspect of the game and forms a major part of the game’s core loop. This naturally also means that we need to give the player the necessary tools to manage their buildings in a large empire, which may involve some form of autonomous building construction, though we haven’t yet nailed down exactly what form that would take (and whether it will involve decision making on the part of the investor class). Ultimately though, we want the player, not the AI to be the one primarily in charge of the development of their own country.

Well, there you have it. There is of course a lot in here (such as Production Methods) that will receive further explanation in the many more dev diaries we have planned, so be sure to tune in next week as I talk about Goods. See you then!
 
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Wizzington

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This comment will be used over the next few days to collate developer responses for ease of reading.

really like the change to require pops for ports and railroads!

Looks pretty promising. Will there be cosmetic difference between buildings of different cultures/regions? And do building show up on the map (based on the preview images showing cities in your provinces?)
We're not ready to discuss the map yet but we will definitely have a lot to share there in the future.


Presumably they turn the extra 10 money into dividends, which is a thing.
That is correct, as the Cash Reserves fill up more and more profits will be withdrawn as dividends.

Hey! Dev Diary! Looks cool, I like that bureaucrats use stationary to do their work. Can't count taxes with your fingers!

I've got a question though: what happens when the cash reserves max out? Like if a factory is putting 10 pounds a week into its reserves what happens to those 10 pounds every week when the reserves are topped up? Thanks!
If cash reserves are full, that money is paid out in dividends instead.

Did I read it right that I could create a Megalopolis in Southern sweden with 1000s of Pops and numerous factories?
I'm going to be a very authocratic figure to resettle and keep my pops in Megalopolis but otherwise there doesn't seem to be a limit?
There may be sort of a 'practical limit' in the sense that you can't cram 5 million people onto St. Helena but it should certainly be possible to have huge cities anywhere there's enough land, infrastructure and jobs.

All of this seems good, but I wonder how crops like coffee are going to be limited or if you are going to be able to grow coffee in Great Britan
Which crops can be grown depends on the state, so coffee should only be able to be grown in places where it was either grown or plausibly would have been grown in the span of the era.

While I think this is a reasonable way to represent subsistence farming early game, is there any way to improve the effectiveness of such buildings, or are they fated to forever be the VIc3 equivalent of clerks? I'm thinking mainly about how one might represent the traditionalist/conservative programs to modernize but maintain the peasant way of life in Eastern Europe and Asia.
You can improve your agriculture by building farms and plantations (think enclosure systems and industrial agriculture as opposed to tiny subsistence farms).

I know this development visions will not change, but a realy strong point in victoria 2 was the private sector being independent from the government (player) with the laissez faire policy.

The Government deciding to produce lumber has sense in planned economy, not in laissez faire.

I suppose is easier to let the player micromanage the production that coding a better AI.
Honestly, while AI is of course a challenge the main reason for this is that which buildings are built in your country is so fundamental to the both the economic gameplay and society building aspect of Victoria 3 that we don't think it makes sense to not let the player interact with it. We don't want the game to play itself, so to speak.

Do subsistence farms have a product? If not, who's paying the peasants?
Yes, subsistence farms produce a small surplus, most of Peasants' labor is self-sustaining though so they're only marginally integrated into the wider economy.

So a single RGO per province as a concept is dead? That's wonderful, seems way more flexible in a realistic manner. I notice though that I can only see three types of resource buildings based on the icons - fishing docks, lumber mills and iron mines I think - is that because those are the only thing available in that province? Would icons for coal mines, sulphur mines, rubber plantations, tropical wood, etc. show up in the appropriate areas as well? Or are the shown handful of options meant to encompass many different types of resources? Such as the lumber mill being able to output tropical wood if it's in the right place, or the mine outputting coal if that's the resource around it?

Also, I understand the player should ultimately be the national gardener here, but if the player chooses to give investors the freedom of a much looser economy policy I would love to seem them get the freedom to do their own thing, scaling that autonomy up with increasingly liberal policies! It's part of the risk-reward of liberalizing in my opinion - the risk of bad investments on the part of investors, but the reward of an economy that can self-sustain and even reach critical mass without full player micromanagement. Obviously this would only work if the AI worked better than prior Victoria games' AI, but I believe!
Yeah, you can have numerous different mines, plantations, etc as potentials that you can exploit in the same state. As long as you have the people to work it and the infrastructure to support it, of course.

how quickly do buildings fill up with workers? If I build an iron mine will it take months to employ the workers or will it be instant? Also is the bar under each building employment?
It depends on how many pops you have that are qualified for the jobs, whether those pops are willing to take the salary offered, etc. It's possible for instance for a mine to remain largely unproductive because there's almost nobody qualified to be an engineer in the state.

This is one of my biggest fears.

I hope it works in a organic and gradual way.

A building should lose and gain workers every month, not just use workers as if they were a stable manpower pool, workers should give this Vic2 organic feeling that they have their personal and individual circumstances.

I don't want to see "you click a button and you get an instant benefit" mechanics like EU4 has.
While buildings aren't just going to randomly shed workers, Pops are not obliged to take jobs and can leave a building to take a higher paying job elsewhere (which is one of the ways you can actually have standard of living go up in a state, as buildings hike wages to compete for labor).

The thing is, some people puts the player as the government, so the player building all the factories and stuff is incompatible with more liberal forms of government.

However, I think the devs are putting the player as the country itself, its society, etc. So theres no incompatibility with the player building factories because the player isnt the government itself but a embodiement of the country and its society.
Yep, you don't play as the government, you play as the 'spirit of the country'. It's hardly the only example of the player being able to do something that would be outside the purview or against the interest of the government in one of our games. That said, we've not completely set our mind on the investment pool as it works now and are discussing other ways we could do it.

Does this include areas where it could have been grown but for whatever reason wasn't until later? I'm thinking primarily of coffee in places like Kenya and Uganda, which in terms of climate could have been grown during this time period or even earlier, but for various other reasons did not spread to the region on a commercial scale until the mid 20th century outside the game's time frame.
Yes, with the caveat that it's not as simple as 'if the climate allows it' since then half the world would be covered in opium potentials. We try to strike a balance between climate, farming traditions and what feels like it could have been a potential grow site during the Victorian era.

This is probably hoping for too much detail, but will the agriculture system model agronomy at all? Will monoculture crop plantations lose yield over time? Will fertilizers appear eventually as a way to improve yields?
We do not currently have any system for losing yields over time, but the use of fertilizer is for sure a big deal in making your agriculture more efficient in Victoria 3.

One thing that I'm still not able to understand is what is the GDP % in the state screen (I know what is GDP). Usually GDP is expressed in absolute economic value. Does it refer to annual growth? (24% increase is HUGE.) Does it refer to the proportion of that state over the country? (if this, I guess it can be useful and less abstract than an absolute number in pounds, but it will be constantly varying up/down depending on the expansion of your country and may be misleading -- the state GDP is growing but its regional % is decreasing because you are adding new states)

Also, cheers to all the devs. Don't let the pressure from all the forum doomers to derail your plans. Wouldn't like to be in your place, though!
The state's contribution to national GDP.

One interesting thought I had with bureaucrats now consuming paper. Since the game runs up to the 1930s, it would be interesting to have a late game tech for very early computerization that would begin to reduce the amount of paper consumed per bureaucracy but make government administration start requiring maybe electric gear or telephones/radios.
I like this idea and may in fact end up stealing it.

Will I be able to see this as a foreign nation?
Could be very useful strategic wise to know occupying which state would hurt my opponent most
Yes we don't hide any information when inspecting other nations States :)

If the player has total control of the country's economy regardless of economic policies
This is for sure not the case! The country's different economic systems enable and prohibit both certain pop behaviors and actions the player can take, in addition to making it easier or harder to engage in certain playstyles. So both a set of hard locks/unlocks on actions and modifiers/cost adjustments. We'll get into more details on this in the near future.

Like @Wizzington has hinted at a few times already in this thread, a crucial bit of design intent behind our approach to never prohibit the player from engaging in new construction, or put construction wholly on AI autoplay, is that choosing which aspects of your country to invest into and expand - represented by different buildings - is the core of Victoria 3, informed both by economic and political concerns. Expanding an Iron Mine in a newly conquered unincorporated part of your country can have very different long-term knock-on effects from expanding one in your capital, and predicting or discovering these kinds of effects in retrospect is a big aspect of our enjoyment when playing. We don't want the player's choice of economic system to either make the game unplayable because of micromanagement requirements nor remove the society-building aspect from the experience.

To put this a different way, we want the decision to switch to a different economic system to be based on a play strategy that develops in response to the game. For example, the Industrialists (or the United States) might demand you open your market and you decide you're not in a good position to fight them, or perhaps you welcome the opportunity. This demands each system be a valid choice in its own right, without forcing the player into a kind of game they don't like playing. We never want to force the player to make a decision about which direction to take their country because the alternative is boring or impossible to manage.

But that for sure doesn't mean it should feel the same to play a Laissez-Faire country as one with a Command Economy.

This is shaping up nicely - the implementation on buildings sounds like a vast improvement from RGOs in Victoria 2.

Looking at the first screenshot (The State of Götaland), there are quite a few different units on show that I'm not sure I'm understanding.

Infrastructure has a value of 60 (out of 100?), with usage at 14. Does this mean the state has a theoretical maximum infra value of 60, and it is currently developed to 14, or that it is currently developed to 60, and only 14 units are currently being used by the market?

GDP is shown as 24.3% - does this mean almost one quarter of Sweden's current GDP is in this state, that the state is currently developed to almost one quarter of the theoretical maximum, or that growth is running at 24.3%? (which of course seems very unlikely).

Turning to population, the standard of living is given as 9.2 (an average across all PoPs I assume). How do we interpret this, is 9.2 out of 10, or 100? 8 units are struggling, 16 middling and 23 secure - what do these numbers represent? They do not sum to 100%, to the 9.2 total living standard, or to the 809k population for the state.

Of the 809k population, 192k are peasants (which sounds quite low, depending on the date), and '2' are unemployed. Is this literally 2 people, 2% or 2 units?
Great feedback, our UX designers are on the case :)
Regarding Peasants, those are just the Workforce part of the equation, so in fact the vast majority of the total population are of the Peasant class. The intent is to show how much potential workforce you have available in the state, but side-by-side that is indeed very confusing and will also be addressed. Just wanted to clarify that the population are not actually made up of only 1/4 Peasants in 1836 Götaland!





This comment is meant as a convivence for those whom are only interested in reading the Devs responses to questions. You can access this functionality yourself at any time by clicking on the "Show only dev responses" button located at the top of any post.
 
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Alright!
 
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interesting addition. Will it be possible for private and public “buildings” of the same type to co-exist in a state?
 
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vilkas622

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really like the change to require pops for ports and railroads!

Looks pretty promising. Will there be cosmetic difference between buildings of different cultures/regions? And do building show up on the map (based on the preview images showing cities in your provinces?)
 
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Loving these meaty updates. :)
 
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A very interesting Dev Diary! I understand we'll learn more about States at a later date, but I'm increasingly worried that if population is being tracked on a state-wide level we won't see stuff like the development of cities like Manchester, San Francisco etc. properly modeled. Do we get to specifically place these "urban center" buildings within the state? Or are we stuck to a state-wide abstraction?
 
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Wizzington

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really like the change to require pops for ports and railroads!

Looks pretty promising. Will there be cosmetic difference between buildings of different cultures/regions? And do building show up on the map (based on the preview images showing cities in your provinces?)
We're not ready to discuss the map yet but we will definitely have a lot to share there in the future.
 
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ImperatorLJ

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General Dev Diary Questions:

1. Is there any other information about the topic that you wanted to include or talk about, but couldn't fit into the diary?

2. What about this dev diary topic is the most exciting aspect to you when working on it?

3. What aspects do you think the community should be most excited about regarding the dev diary topic?

4. How moddable is this feature?

5. How are your pets doing? (Post pics pls)
 
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Spartakusbund

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How does the throughput mechanic work? Obviously tech is going to affect it, but I’m guessing Production Method does too? Is it just Vicky 2’s throughput system or are input and output improvements folded into it as well?
 

Wraith11B

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Will there be subsistence fishing as well as farming for those areas nearer the Sea?
 
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thedarkendstar

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I understand the want to give the player control over buildings as a society builder but personally if your building a society especially one where it is lassie faire wouldn't you want your society to run like that.

That aside when it comes to automatic building construction I want this system to very robust and work well we all have horror stories from sectors in stellaris so I really hope any auto builder will work reasonable well cause microing the buildings in every state in a nation the size of the UK Russia or the US could really take the fun out of the game
 
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aGamingMonkey

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Next up we have Government Buildings. These are buildings that are fully funded by the state (ie, you!) and provide crucial civil services required for the smooth running of a Victorian nation. Examples include Government Administrations where Bureaucrats produce Bureaucracy for the administration of incorporated states

Does this imply there is another type of building to administrate non incorporated states?
 
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Commi

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"We want exploration to be a core mechanic in our upcoming Stellaris game, so it will be 100% manual" they said.
First thing community requested was automatic exploration.

Don't get me wrong, building your nation yourself is the most interesting part of the game for me. That said, some sort of automatization is necessary when you have a sprawling empire.
 
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