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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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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 :)
 
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lachek

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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.
 
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Will there be any effects of things like pollution? Like if I have 14 factories in an area, life expectancy nearby is going to drop and people are going to get sick. Or is this something modelled into how urban a city is?
 
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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 wouldn't say that reduces paper consumptions, after all as someone said on Babylon 5:

"Every time somebody says we're becoming a paperless society, I get 10 more forms to fill out."
 
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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 player's game 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 the player doesn't want to waste resources fighting them. 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 a really good thing, in V2 liberal ruling parties where awful because they prevented you from doing anything since they had laissez-faire policies. In the end to even be able to play the game you had to always follow interventionist parties and eventually switch to command economy if obliged by social revolutions.

Some people have rose-tinted glasses about V2 or forget about the Capitalists building/closing things randomly everywhere (and i'm not even talking about the whole build something that isn't profitable -> close it the next month -> build it again the next month hell loop).

I tried playing laissez-faire a few times and it was just not possible if you want to have even a small long-term strategy.
 
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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.
Thanks, I feel assured now that you will not change that on us.
 

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But that for sure doesn't mean it should feel the same to play a Laissez-Faire country as one with a Command Economy.
It doesn't seem like it so far, though. In terms of clicking around and plopping down buildings, how are they different?
 
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Can't just people wait for the corresponding DD before shouting doom?
Pretty sure people did. Concerns about capitalists not building their own buildings was raised in the last dev diary. Turns out they do in fact not do it and the player does instead. If you want us to wait for a DD that says 'capitalists actually build their own buildings' we could be waiting forever if they do not.
 
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Pretty sure people did. Concerns about capitalists not building their own buildings was raised in the last dev diary. Turns out they do in fact not do it and the player does instead. If you want us to wait for a DD that says 'capitalists actually build their own buildings' we could be waiting forever if they do not.
Why do you think the only difference beetween command eco and market eco must be how we build factories, this is not V2. Im sure the devs have plenty of ideas/mechanics to play around with, and i dont say judgment on this until they reveal all the gameplay differences.
 
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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?
(...)

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?
These are my doubts as well. I'm sure there's a tooltip for each figure, but it doesn't seem quite clear at first glance. Which makes it challenging from a UX perspective.
 

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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?
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!
 
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Seelmeister

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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!
Thanks for the response, makes sense! It's hard to get the full understanding from a screenshot in any case - tooltips are always helpful and may well already include much of the info/ context to better interpret the numbers :)
 
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Limbojack

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Why do you think the only difference beetween command eco and market eco must be how we build factories, this is not V2.

Because regardless of how Victoria II portrayed it, the main difference between a planned economy and a free market one is direct control of the government, which the player is supposed to represent in one way or another. It's the fundamental difference between the two extremes.

Im sure the devs have plenty of ideas/mechanics to play around with, and i dont say judgment on this until they reveal all the gameplay differences.

I certainly hope so, and based on Iachek's response, I think that's plausible.

Can't just people wait for the corresponding DD before shouting doom?

And, while we're at it: when did the airing of concrete criticism of a design choice become "shouting of doom"? Based on the information we've been given so far, it certainly seemed like most nations would feel like a planned economy - but then Iachek's comment cleared stuff out. If that's the same as shouting doom, we certainly had different ideas of what that is. Besides, if we aren't allowed to criticize the game mechanics as they're presented to us during development, it will probably be too late to do it when the game is released (as long as it's done in a respectful tone, of course).
 
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Because regardless of how Victoria II portrayed it, the main difference between a planned economy and a free market one is direct control of the government, which the player is supposed to represent in one way or another. It's the fundamental difference between the two extremes.
Yeah that's V2. In V3 the player do not represent the government, but the "spirit of the nation" this was told by devs multiple times. Edit: whatever that exactly mean.
 

Limbojack

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Yeah that's V2. In V3 the player do not represent the government, but the "spirit of the nation" this was told by devs multiple times. Edit: whatever that exactly mean.
Exactly, which is why I said: "in one way or another". At the end of the day, the player will feel like they're playing as the government.

EDIT: I think it's the same approach that they went for with Imperator Rome, where we were also supposed to represent the spirit of the nation - and yet it feels like we're playing as the government.
 
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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

I think this could easily be doable in the current system if I understand it correctly. In a country with free peasants like Sweden the owner of the Subsistence Farms are the peasants themselves. This means the peasants earn a wage and gain the profits of selling the goods.
Now in a system with serfs the Subsistence Farms are owned by the Landowners/Aristocrats. The Peasants (serfs) gain a wage, but the Landowners gain the profits from the goods produced. This means that the serfs will have less money and a lower standard of living.

The main thing to simulate proper serfdom would be to put a limit on their ability to go look for a better job. If they are a proper POP class than this could be linked to the class, otherwise it would have to be a limit on their job mobility based on laws.
 

Erilaz

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So, no word on the role of property and landownership?

I feel this is an area where Vicky 3 has the potential to improve significantly on Vicky 2 and 1.

I want to be able to enact land reforms and implement a land value tax!

H20672-L139334005.jpg
 
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WARenie

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Some people have rose-tinted glasses about V2 or forget about the Capitalists building/closing things randomly everywhere (and i'm not even talking about the whole build something that isn't profitable -> close it the next month -> build it again the next month hell loop).
As for me, it's not rose tinted glasses, it's exactly one of things i liked about it: eternal struggle between repeating failures and successes that happens even without any of your intervention, something that makes you feel really cozy when you look at industry/projects tab. Yes, it could be frustrating, but it could be really satisfying, it makes you feel. The closest (but not the same) feeling to it is meiou&taxes's estates and locals trying to build things that will profit them while spending wealth they had collected. The problem here is not mistakes of capis, but cost of their mistakes, when they lose years of income in a day of factory opening.

Really hope that pdx will manage to recreate this feeling in vic3 but i have a feeling that i am just a minority on this question.
 
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