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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
dd3_1.png

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
dd3_3.png

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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araipiyo

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Honestly, I'd rather have the player as part of the building construction logic even as just the final sanity check on the capitalists and not need it with good automization, than need it due to bad AI and not have it. And let's face it, sorry Wiz, but PDX does not have a stellar record of its AI operating intelligently for micromanagement automization. Some systems work decently, like HOI4 planners, but others like Stellaris sector AI or Vicky 2 capitalist AI are sometimes worse than worthless, being actively detrimental to both me as a player and themselves as a game unit.
Building AI in Stellaris and Vic2 was terrible indeed. Vic3 should support unlimited number of buildings in a sector. Because that is a more realistic simulation of economy, and bad AI is not a problem anymore. Capitalists build numerous factories and companies, and many of those fails miserably, but a few of them flourishes.
 
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Heatth

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I realize it is likely because it is not the proper diary yet, but I noticed there haven't been no talks about artisans. It wasn't in the POP dev diary or in any other source I've seem so far. I wonder if the "shopkeepers" are related to that.
 
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Panthera_Tigris

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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.

Awesome dev diary Wiz! I love the direction you have set for this game.

Regarding that statement about resource gathering buildings, it seems like each state will have specific resources that can be gathered. For example, in this screenshot it seems that state has a MAX capacity of 18 fishing buildings, 12 timber buildings and 5 iron mines. So every state at game start will have specific resources & max capacities allocated to them? (And more may be discovered over the course of the game.)

 
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TheMongoose

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Strong, strong disagreement from me on this one, especially the technology side. Technological growth is often driven either by states (see the development of early computers during wartime) or by monopolies that don't really face competitive pressure anymore (see the development of the transistor by Bell Labs back when AT&T had a government sanctioned monopoly in the 40s).
While true that states often do achieve technological innovation, it is important to remember that this happens regardless of the economic system. The governments of the soviet Union and the United States both achieved many technological advancements. However, that was the practically the only source of innovation in the USSR, where as the private sector in market economies also plays a huge role. In planned economies, almost all innovation comes from those whose job it is to innovate. In a market system, many more individuals have an incentive to innovate. That's why I think it would make sense for a game mechanic to add an innovation bonus to a basic technological advancement system that is shared by all types of economies.
 
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WedjetSEA

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In my humble opinion, it is truly disappointing that the developer basically concede that AI will not be able to function on its own. Not only the player can’t delegate repetitive tasks, non-player factions in the game will not be able to compete with the player. That would make Vic 3 in essence a multiplayer only game.

So I sincerely hope that developers can sort this out. I don’t have friends who play Paradox, and would be eternally grateful if I can spend hundreds or thousands hours into a game I love so much.
 
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And for every example of a private inventor coming up with a breakthrough invention and capitalizing it, there are thirty of a firm cutting R&D because they’re focused on short term profit and the next quarterly earnings report.
I think you may have too narrow a view of what constitutes innovation, or at least a more narrow view than mine. The invention of new technologies is great, but applying old technologies to new situations is just as important. Changing many production processes in many small ways that reduce costs ends up having a massive impact on overall efficiency. That is the kind of innovation that markets excel at, and a lot of that innovation isn't happening in the R&D department.
 
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Building AI in Stellaris and Vic2 was terrible indeed. Vic3 should support unlimited number of buildings in a sector. Because that is a more realistic simulation of economy, and bad AI is not a problem anymore. Capitalists build numerous factories and companies, and many of those fails miserably, but a few of them flourishes.
That's a pretty good point. Bad AI building decisions are vastly less problematic when there's only a soft cap on factories from available workforce and infrastructure rather than a hard cap.
 
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TheMongoose

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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.
This is disappointing to me. Governments have so many tools to steer investment and development in market economies. Taxes (domestic taxes and tariffs), subsidies, government investment or R&D, price guarantees, price ceilings, crop insurance, etc... can all be used to increase or decrease investment in certain industries. I would love to play around with a few of these options (even though some are generally anathema to economists). Couldn't at least some of these options be turned into manageable game mechanics? The alternative is just making market economies play like planned economies and passing up the potential for some truly awesome and unique gameplay.
 
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Will workers resign and find a new job within a state, just for higher salary? Will factories raise their salary to attract workers, or cut it down for higher profit? Who will make these decisions?
 

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Looking good. Not having limitred building slots is good, and Admin points being generated by Bureaucrats should aleveate some people's concerns about them constituing a form of the dreaded mana points. However, I am still a little bit concerned that the ability to override build decisons combined with the authority system will effectively make autocratic planned economies always better than everything else.
Also, will certain technologies, like chemical fertilizers and eletric irrigation pumps, be able to increase the amount of Arable Land?
 

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That's a pretty good point. Bad AI building decisions are vastly less problematic when there's only a soft cap on factories from available workforce and infrastructure rather than a hard cap.
I hope to god you're right, but I fear you won't be. Hence, at least for the initial release, I really, really would rather take some form of player control even in laissez-faire systems even if it doesn't make sense over trusting the AI. I hope it would make sense, maybe as, I don't know, a system where every X days the capitalists give you Y projects to approve and you need to select at least a third of them, time out resulting in AI approving whatever it wants and a nice checkmark somewhere in the corner to just auto-AI-approve anything if you'd prefer to ignore this system, but still having the player in the loop as the final check against infinite luxury furniture factories if it comes to that. But I'd rather have a magic hand of god writing their investment plans over a bad AI making a fool out of itself, with me having to play the part of the confused and terrified bystander.

If the AI turns out good, then okay, fair enough, I wouldn't object to removing the direct control and instead having more simulationist systems to manipulate the AI in the form of subsidies, tax cuts, incentives, etc. But if the AI turns out to be crap, having manual override / sanity checking will be necessary to avoid laissez-faire becoming a joke again.
 
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What they should do is allow you to offer subsidies or impose taxes on buildings in certain states. For example, if you want to build a mine in Chicago but you have a government that can't build buildings itself, perhaps you could offer subsidies on iron mines in Chicago to influence your capitalists to build them. Of course, if your government was anarcho-liberal they wouldn't allow even that intervention in the economy, and if you were communist there wouldn't be capitalists in the first place, but this would work well for moderate governments.

Reading this makes me think that there could be some interesting dynamics with the investment pool where we effectively give capitalists cheaper factories if they deviate from what they want by effectively requiring some of the state treasury to be used. Could also see interest group shifts to simulate political/economic favors being given to the capitalists for setting up a business that doesn't align with what their original ambitions lied.

(And of course, still the right to refuse if they don't feel it'll be profitable or it doesn't align with some other aspect of their characters)
 
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armour_crafter

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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.
Can we please have land ownership?
Landowner or Aristocrat pops owning arable land, and peasant pops paying them rents from the surplus...(or slaves/serfs who transfer all surplus)
Freeholder farmers will have smaller parcels of land which they work themselves.

Will allow to simulate the agitations for land-reform all over the world. And the innovative/entrepreneurial advantage of freeholder societies vs landlord-peasant/serf/slave societies.


Will also allow scenarios where, upon conquest you seize the land from existing land owners, and auction/allot it to pops from your culture etc.

And the possibility of pops trading land-ownership.
-individuals who promotes to capitalist(or petty burgeouis) selling his portion of the land and getting money for it.
- freeholder farmers going in debt and selling land to landowners/other freeholders
 
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I of course was not talking about electronic computers. But rather the early analog, primarily data tabulation machines that CTR, IBM, and others developed in the late 19th century and first decades of the 20th century, which is well within the timeframe. Hence why I said computerization and not digitization.

With respect, I believe that most people understood you this way; particularly since Hollerith tabulators and the like did absolutely nothing for the use of paper: it might have reduced (somewhat) the use of chalk, since that (and blackboards) were used for the kind of scratchpad which the tabulating machines made obsolete. Otherwise, calculation logs which were committed to paper using blackboards or abaci became calculation logs committed to paper using tabulators.

That might satisfy people who want it for the realism sake, but it will do nothing for those who want deeper/more varied gameplay. That would require giving player more tools, such as various taxation policies, subsidies (possibly in different forms), selecting tariffs and so on. Not saying that it can't be done in a mod, but that would be more of a large overhaul mod rather than anything simple. Vic2 was lacking those tools, but hopefully Vic3 could include some of those giving the player agency in how the economy works on a macro level.

But laisser-faire is the opposite of agency in Economics. Setting tariffs and giving subsidies is what every student of Mises and Friedman denounces as protectionism. What I mean to suggest is give people the simplest possible method to implement Capitalists choosing what to build, so that players can fine-tune (via weights and factors) what the Capitalists would decide to build given some subset of information which was available to them through standard scripting tools.

This being implemented in a mod, a radical liberal would let this choice be sovereign and live with the consequences; a less radical one might offer subsidies and tariffs to bias the selection chances towards some industry or another; and yet a less liberal one might be happy directing the investment pool directly as the base game intends us to do. And then we can play all three and come to an agreement which is best, rather than forcing the One True Method onto the developers.

Is there anywhere the devs have mentioned that the players won't be able to set tariffs and subsidies like they could in Victoria 2? If so, I've missed it. It is all rather orthogonal to the problem of the investment pool, however.
 
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lokthar

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Can we please have land ownership?
Landowner or Aristocrat pops owning arable land, and peasant pops paying them rents from the surplus...(or slaves/serfs who transfer all surplus)
Freeholder farmers will have smaller parcels of land which they work themselves.

Will allow to simulate the agitations for land-reform all over the world. And the innovative/entrepreneurial advantage of freeholder societies vs landlord-peasant/serf/slave societies.


Will also allow scenarios where, upon conquest you seize the land from existing land owners, and auction/allot it to pops from your culture etc.

And the possibility of pops trading land-ownership.
-individuals who promotes to capitalist(or petty burgeouis) selling his portion of the land and getting money for it.
- freeholder farmers going in debt and selling land to landowners/other freeholders
Given they haven't explained basically anything about how the states work or the variety political systems, they might already have something planned for the nations/states that would still be heavily using feudal style agricultural systems (looking at Russia, the southern US, and probably China and Japan primarily for initial playable nations). Or it could all just be abstracted away in the "private industry" farms and plantations mentioned in the diary, with variable modifiers coming from the reform/tech tree or something.
 
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alexti

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But laisser-faire is the opposite of agency in Economics. Setting tariffs and giving subsidies is what every student of Mises and Friedman denounces as protectionism. What I mean to suggest is give people the simplest possible method to implement Capitalists choosing what to build, so that players can fine-tune (via weights and factors) what the Capitalists would decide to build given some subset of information which was available to them through standard scripting tools.
Laissez-faire is not the only form of capitalism. There is a whole spectrum with different degrees of government intervention. At one extreme player may only have access to LVT and defense/infrastructure contracts as means of control while on the other side controls may also include tariffs, subsidies, corporate and income taxes etc... Because those tools are core part of economy and society, I believe that some/many of those tools should be part of the game rather than a mod.

This being implemented in a mod, a radical liberal would let this choice be sovereign and live with the consequences; a less radical one might offer subsidies and tariffs to bias the selection chances towards some industry or another; and yet a less liberal one might be happy directing the investment pool directly as the base game intends us to do. And then we can play all three and come to an agreement which is best, rather than forcing the One True Method onto the developers.
I think you are completely misunderstanding the argument. It is opposite to forcing the one method onto developers - it's about asking developers to implement multiple methods (which is understandably more work). The argument is that the game should include many methods that are different for different types of economic policies. For example, planned economy would have one set of tools, and the state interventionism would have significantly different ones. All of those would come with different type of challenges and resulted in different gameplay.

Is there anywhere the devs have mentioned that the players won't be able to set tariffs and subsidies like they could in Victoria 2? If so, I've missed it. It is all rather orthogonal to the problem of the investment pool, however.
They have mentioned a bit about subsidies and described a fairly limited mechanism (how subsidies on buildings work). There might be other types of subsidies in the game, but I haven't seen anything revealed yet. I don't think anything was said about tariffs. In Vic2 there was no way of setting tariffs on specific products which was making them of limited use as a tool for steering the economy.
 
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alexti

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Can we please have land ownership?
Landowner or Aristocrat pops owning arable land, and peasant pops paying them rents from the surplus...(or slaves/serfs who transfer all surplus)
Freeholder farmers will have smaller parcels of land which they work themselves.

Will allow to simulate the agitations for land-reform all over the world. And the innovative/entrepreneurial advantage of freeholder societies vs landlord-peasant/serf/slave societies.
Land ownership would also allow land tax.
 
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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.
Thanks for the answer.
But when you say practical, does it mean there is a limit somewhere in the game mechanic that says you can'T have more pops than factor X of factor Y?

I could totally settle 5 Millions on St. Helena, they would suffer but who cares if I am the autocrat of all Britons :)
 
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