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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
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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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The idea of subsistence farming is that they eat their own food.
They produce some surplus though, which they sell to local markets. As you tie local markets more closely into your national market (by building up infrastructure), these peasants should be pressured to either modernize or abandon the land and move into the cities. This is basically what happened during the English Agricultural Revolution.
 

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The state's contribution to national GDP.
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
 

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I love your work, it's amazing. Only caveat, i think pops should be manged at provinces level instead of state level, because a state is too diversified: for example in piedmont the main city, Turin, is different from the northern countryside (where is mountainous) and from the southern countryside (where there are farmland), and the pops density and ethnicity changes a lot
 
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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.

You said that innovation was often states and monopolies. If often is meant to mean "more often than elsewhere", this isn't, as best I understand the data, correct. There's a huge amount of evidence in modern (ie 18th century onwards) economic history that monopolies, in general, stifle innovation. There are, however, times when they make sense - those times being when there are other factors bringing the competitive pressure. But monopolies without competitive pressure tend to stagnate - this was one of the key reasons the USSR (where there was very little market pressure) had a consumer sector that was a decade or two behind that of the West, while its arms industries remained first-class - its arms developers were under pressure from external forces, while its consumer sector was not. There are oodles of examples in modern "free-market" (which is a terrible term - no-one really wants a completely free market - what is best is actually an appropriate balance between regulation (ie, at the least the rule of law, and usually some other things too)) economies where companies have gotten into a monopoly position and, if left to their own devices, fall behind. Indeed, there's strong circumstantial evidence that the lack of enthusiasm for breaking up monopolies in the US and a number of other nations which have seen a lot more market concentration in the last decade or two is linked to a decline in productivity growth - because when there's less pressure, instead of innovating a monopoly can get away with extracting rents and coasting and still get good results on its 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.

This is another very good point, but it's worth keeping in mind that a lot of technological innovations come from non-monopoly private sector firms.
 
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State-wide abstraction instead of per province, the ability to make super cities out of thin air like Imperator, and missing information as a result from oversimplification and poor UI design. I'm overall pretty disappointed in this dev diary.





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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.

Ultimately though, we want the player, not the AI to be the one primarily in charge of the development of their own country.
Yes, best part of the DD. Thank you.
 
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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.

The nations in the game that are run by the AI are going to have its buildings and industry managed by the AI.

So the coding for that is going to have to be solid, regardless of the design choice on how much the player has to micromanage and how much is/can be automated. It's not going to be a fun game anyway if the AI is incompetent, as the fun is in the challenge.

So let's discuss the player's management of buildings as a design choice, instead of assuming lazyness.
 
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Sort of off-topic to the DD itself, but assuming basic art structure is finalized, can you make sure to include an option to disable resource backgrounds (eg, the foundry behind the iron ingot icon or farm behind the wheat icon)? I appreciate your efforts to make an ambient feel and that the game look pretty but I think that's going to get very messy and hard to see at a glance when reduced to an icon on a game screen.
 

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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?
 
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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.

I have to admit I'm a tad disappointed about that, but it also raises another important question: what is the main difference between laissez-faire, interventionism, state capitalism, and planned economy? If the player has total control of the country's economy regardless of economic policies, am I correct in assuming that the only difference between them will be some kind of modifier? If so, what kind of modifiers?

That being said, I think the new approach to buildings is really interesting.
 
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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.

From the above quote, it seems that Arable Lands is a limited resources but this seems to contradict the absence of building 'slots'. Will Land be a province-determined 'resource' capped at a certain number, from which Arable Lands and Buildings (or urban lands) will be subtracted? As more Buildings are built, the size of Arable Lands would decrease.

This could well represent the 'size' of a state/province, limiting both the size of agriculture as well as potential urban centres. This could also be a way to show the phenomenon of urban sprawl that takes away agricultural lands and makes farmers leave their traditional livelihoods to become factory workers.

Second question, if province size/land is a thing, will it be a fixed number or can it evolve with technology or player actions? This could represent for instance irrigation works for clearing marshes or deforestation. Better even, could deforestation be a consequence of (uncontrolled) wood exploitation when lumber is in high demand?
 

Meanmanturbo

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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?

From that 6000 word reddit post what we know so far, living standards go up to 100, being Jeff Bezos level. Reaching much more then 50 will be unusual without breaking the game.

I think the 192 k are active workforce. 809 k includes dependants (children, elderly, women) ie 192 k is roughly the quarter that pops represented in vicky 2.
 
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Axe99

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No I didn't. I said often.

Sorry, right you are, clearly having a wobbly brain day. Will edit my post accordingly. General argument still stands, I think, although less confident given my reading comprehension could be better!
 

dav77-b

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So research comes from public facilities only? Historical most technology comes from private incentives. Companies should provide research for their specific field.
Meaning you need a successful artillery company to develop artillery tech further.
 
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freeaxle

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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.
Will there be any scope for introducing/changing crops in regions based on meeting certain economic/tech conditions? The one that springs to mind immediately is tea being planted in India in the 19th century to substitute Chinese tea, and of course opium being planted in India to fuel the trade to China.
 

WARenie

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I feel that a lot of people wrongly assume that capitalists ai was bad in vic2. The only problem with it was the fact that even 1 level of factory was an extremely massive investment so every every mistake was putting your 0 factory economy back to few years back. If you reduce in game files these enormous 10000 (what an actual hell???) employment factories, to, lets say, 200-500, and divide building costs and times correspondingly, they become quite efficient. But the actual problem was that base vic2 economy system was not able support this efficient capitalist ai. In result rich countries build up extremely fast and their factories gobble up resources from the whole world due the fact that "prestige + mil + ind points" were deciding priority in who is buying what and whole world was a united teleportation based market. So with these efficiency changes if you are lower in ranking than ~20 position you could forget about building anything (you could not even construct a single infantry unit) whatever your economy policy is.

That being said i am also disappointed with stellaris-like command economy where (You) are deciding what exactly will be built and potentially can just delegate to pc some actions, that are still (Yours). The feel of living country that is alive and rapidly developing even without your interactions(or automatised interactions) was a big selling of vic2 to me that i missed in other games like stellaris and imperator.
 
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Hemothep

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@Wizzington can we expand all buildings at the same time?

I'm asking because in V2 you were limited to 8 factories per state, meaning high population states could under best healthcare grow faster than these 8 factories would provide jobs if they were constantly expanding. If there's a limit on how many buildings can be expanded at the same time in a state then the same thing could happen in V3.
 
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Limbojack

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So research comes from public facilities only? Historical most technology comes from private incentives. Companies should provide research for their specific field.
Meaning you need a successful artillery company to develop artillery tech further.

It certainly seems like it, and I'm afraid to say that unless this is something they're actively working on (and not ready to share with us yet), I fear that Victoria 3 will drastically trivialize the historical importance of private initiative.
 
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