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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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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.
What's about land ownership? It should be an important social topic of those days. "Peasants" should just not be one type of pops. There are smallholders, tenant farmers, farmworkers, serfs,... and among land-holding peasants there are divisions between rich and poor peasants based on the size of their lands. Also can rich peasants invest money to expand their land? And should the state/the capitalists have to pay money to buy their lands for building factories, railroads, etc...?
 
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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.
Challenge accepted.
This should be an achievement:
"You can't cram 5 million people onto St. Helena"
On any one province island state, have 5 million people.
 
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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 like this idea and may in fact end up stealing it.

Quote weirdness aside:

Don't have paper consumption actually go done with telephones etc. unless it actually did! Paper use in modern offices didn't go down as computers came along iirc. now in 2021, yes. But computers started entering offices in the 1980s, it took a long time to get to where some of us don't use paper at work (yay IT jobs!). Beurocracies kept focused on actual paper paperwork for many many years.



Other opinions on this dev diary:
Multiple RGOs in one province! YAY!
Railroads that need staffing: YAY!
Urban development, with electrification & transit development as part of the things to do for these growing cities... YAAAY!

Vicky 3 is looking like the best Paradox game ever.
 
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Challenge accepted.
This should be an achievement:
"You can't cram 5 million people onto St. Helena"
On any one province island state, have 5 million people.
Better yet:
Los Malvinas son Britanas.
As Britain have a population in the Falklands greater than the population of Argentina.
 
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>private industries

Horrible, I hate it. Where are the guillotines?
 
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wtrmute

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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.


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.

Then you've completely misunderstood my original argument. My suggestion was to provide the minimum scripting capacity so that those people who want to play laissez-faire can write a mod to automate the handling of the investment pool, which they do not like. Everybody else (including your humble servant) uses the investment pool like the devs intend. Is that diverse enough for you?

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.

I've seen nothing about tariffs in the DDs, but there might be something in an interview somewhere. If so, they will probably mention it in the DD about markets.

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.

Ok, my understanding that "peasants" in the Victoria 3 job sense are strictly small (and even not-so-small) freeholders who interact very little with the external economy and are practically self-sufficient. If an aristocrat has a latifundium and employs serfs, those serfs aren't considered "peasants" but farm workers instead, and the aristocrat's lands would be a "commercial farm" the profits of which go to the owner. If the "profits" of a subsistence farmer go to someone else, then they aren't quite subsistence farmers.

Of course, in case of normal serfs there may be some effect which prevents them from quitting the farm and seeking employment elsewhere (like almost definitely exists for slaves), but otherwise I don't think we need the concept of a third-party-owned subsistence farm.
 
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Can mines deplete over time? Are some mines better than others, all other things being equal?
 
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naq29

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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.
An automaton option can mimic it. You can set the AI to invest in cheapest/most profitable/random... factories so you can roleplay moronic Vicky 2 capitalists as well!
Challenge accepted.
This should be an achievement:
"You can't cram 5 million people onto St. Helena"
On any one province island state, have 5 million people.
St. Helena cannot into overpopulation?
 

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We're all kind of like Stalin, crushing subsistence farmers to build an administrative building?

As if there ever was any doubt.

Sounds good! The building pictures look beautiful. But I don't think they are good icons. I would prefere more stylized and easy to remember icons für industries - just like the character traits in ck3 for example (or the good icons in anno 1800 to name another game about the era). victoria 3 is a very information heavy game - clear icons help process informations faster!

I dont like the building icons. They seem cartoonish and not really compatible with other artwork. Why not make them closer to victorian representations of buildings from historical art and less a kind of ANNO art

I agree, the artwork feels far too gamey, and mobile gamey, at that. I really don’t want cartoonish 3D renderings of anything. Something more stylized, less shiny, more matte, maybe make it look like Victorian-era art, if possible.

I think a good rule of thumb: if the icon were pulled out of Vicky3 and looks like it would be right at home in some mobile game ad on youtube, it probably shouldn’t be in the game.
 
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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 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.
Capitalists in a laissez-faire economy should create business on their own, even against players will, at least in some degree. Period.

If you want to increase player intervention in a laissez-faire economy, there should be ways to encourage or seduce capitalists to make whatever you want. But having the player directly grab the capitalists money and deciding what to do with it’s not laissez-faire at all.

I understand you don’t want to follow the Vic2 system, but I don’t understand why you are being so radical in the change and doing directly the opposite thing. It’s an awful decision. I’m sure you can figure out something in between, at least. For example: okay, let the player use the investment money to build whatever he wants, but also let capitalists build sometimes buildings without the player’s permission. That kind of organic feeling is fun. Capitalist being alive entities on their own is fun. Capitalist making bad decisions and you having to deal with is fun. Make an hybrid system at least. But don’t dismantle the autonomy capitalists had in Vic2.

And, as it has been said in this thread numerous times: the game needs a good AI in the building making decisions in any case, because all the non-player countries will have an AI managing their buildings. If the player is good at making buildings because all the other countries suck at it, that’s going to make the game extremely easy and boring.

Vic2 has a lot of flaws that are being improved in Vic3, and that’s good, but I think you shouldn’t lose sight on why does the community love Vic2 so much and why is probably the most “cult game” Paradox has. Vic3 should be an upgrade from Vic2, but maintaining the “economic simulation” spirit.
 
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Yagami913

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If you want to increase player intervention in a laissez-faire economy, there should be ways to encourage or seduce capitalists to make whatever you want. But having the player directly grab the capitalists money and deciding what to do with it’s not laissez-faire at all.
I get your other argument about the organic feeling of capitalist build things, but about this quote i would argue that it is laissez-faire people just can't get rid of the mentality of playing as a government, but i think playing as the "capitalist" and not the government is more fun.
 
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Alfred Dreyfus

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I get your other argument about the organic feeling of capitalist build things, but about this quote i would argue that it is laissez-faire people just can't get rid of the mentality of playing as a government, but i think playing as the "capitalist" and not the government is more
Okay, but if you can play as the capitalists, the capitalists shouldn’t be an interest group that can rebel against yourself.

Also, if more player intervention is wanted, why can’t the player move POPs at will, for example?

I don’t know, I just don’t think this is a good idea.

I repeat: make it so the player can indirectly encourage capitalists to build something, but don’t let the player directly control the capitalists money.
 
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naq29

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Okay, but if you can play as the capitalists, the capitalists shouldn’t be an interest group that can rebel against yourself.

Also, if more player intervention is wanted, why can’t the player move POPs at will, for example?

I don’t know, I just don’t think this is a good idea.

I repeat: make it so the player can indirectly encourage capitalists to build something, but don’t let the player directly control the capitalists money.
well if your country is capitalist, the capitalists will not rebel against themselves.
but if it is communist, then should you let the capitalists build stuff in your glorious socialist motherland?
 

brifbates

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a crucial bit of design intent behind our approach to never prohibit the player from engaging in new construction,

Of course it is, lord knows we can't make the player deal with any sort of sub-optimal build up or not having full control. Dumbing it down for the masses and a shiny new graphics paint job, it's sorry CK 3 all over again...
 
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wtrmute

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Okay, but if you can play as the capitalists, the capitalists shouldn’t be an interest group that can rebel against yourself.

Also, if more player intervention is wanted, why can’t the player move POPs at will, for example?

I don’t know, I just don’t think this is a good idea.

I repeat: make it so the player can indirectly encourage capitalists to build something, but don’t let the player directly control the capitalists money.
But you're not playing as the government, either; the proof is that you don't get a game over if you lose the elections (or suffer a revolution).

At the end of the day, the developers have been fiddling with the game for a while now and have come to the conclusion that having "indirect" control over investments plays worse than having a more "direct" control. By the same token, they have come to the conclusion that not letting the player move pops around plays better than letting them do so. This is all the consistency that is needed in their decision making: they will grant the player any powers they feel make for a better experience.

That being said, I think that being able to mod in the sort of Capitalist autoinvest logic is much easier to do than having to mod it out, so I think that it should totally be moddable so that people who absolutely cannot interact with the investment pool can have their autocapitalists, while the people who can stand the abstraction can just use the pool.
 
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Kompetan

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Dear Developers,
can states show numerical value of GDP instead of percentage. It is also useful in regards to seeing important states so maybe percentage can be in brackets. Also if there is space in the state panel maybe add yearly growth of state gdp? Like GDP:85k money<5%increase compared to last year> (13% of total gdp) or something.

Because percentage does not show the effect of our actions very well.For example a law or tech could effect whole country so percentage does not change but states gdp increased also with buildings I would very much like to see the return on investments from state gdp values. If I build two lumber mills in two different states I would like to see how that affexted to gdp and might keep improving lumber in one but invest in another industry since their gdp did not grow much.
Also territorial expansion changes percanteges a lot. Berlin going from maybe 50% Gdp to 10% gdp upon unificaiton of Germany while its actual gdp value increased since its the capital of a bigger country now is confusing I think.

P.S. Sorry for bad english.


Edit: Is forts still a thing?
 
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wilcoxchar

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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."
Babylon 5 is fictional and is not real.

In any case, it's because the individual task is becoming more efficient and less wasteful, therefore more people can do it without being wasteful, which leads to more people doing it all at once instead of a gradual increase to previous capacity so it ends up with more overall use as an aggregate. But the aggregate increasing because more individual tasks are being done does not make the individual task require more resources.

People act like I'm saying it should cut paper use in half or something drastic like that. I'm thinking something more like a 5% decrease. For most countries the effect would be marginal, but if you're a large empire with a lot of incorporated states or looking to incorporate more states, or if you're a country with little to no domestic production of paper, early computerization will be impactful.

A large empire might end up having more demand for paper from government administration if the states you incorporate create more demand than what you saved from computerization, or you attract more more bureaucrats to do more work and produce more bureaucracy, but that's exactly that kind of tradeoff I was thinking about with the idea and it would make late game non-military tech more impactful. iI would actually create another demand for late game goods production like electric gear, telephones, or radios, which would give countries more reason to build late game factories and introduce a natural demand for those goods. People really need to think about gameplay first.
 

nuarbnellaffej

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Also, if more player intervention is wanted, why can’t the player move POPs at will, for example?
Presumably they want more player intervention in that specific arena, not full on god-mode for every facet of the game.
Dumbing it down for the masses
Dumbed down how? The elements we’ve been shown so far are leaps and bounds beyond their equivalents in Vic2..
lord knows we can't make the player deal with any sort of sub-optimal build up or not having full control.
They’ve also said that there are certain limits and stipulations placed on the player depending on your economic policy, so I would wait for more information before making too many assumptions.
 
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Spartakusbund

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Babylon 5 is fictional and is not real.

In any case, it's because the individual task is becoming more efficient and less wasteful, therefore more people can do it without being wasteful, which leads to more people doing it all at once instead of a gradual increase to previous capacity so it ends up with more overall use as an aggregate. But the aggregate increasing because more individual tasks are being done does not make the individual task require more resources.

People act like I'm saying it should cut paper use in half or something drastic like that. I'm thinking something more like a 5% decrease. For most countries the effect would be marginal, but if you're a large empire with a lot of incorporated states or looking to incorporate more states, or if you're a country with little to no domestic production of paper, early computerization will be impactful.

A large empire might end up having more demand for paper from government administration if the states you incorporate create more demand than what you saved from computerization, or you attract more more bureaucrats to do more work and produce more bureaucracy, but that's exactly that kind of tradeoff I was thinking about with the idea and it would make late game non-military tech more impactful. iI would actually create another demand for late game goods production like electric gear, telephones, or radios, which would give countries more reason to build late game factories and introduce a natural demand for those goods. People really need to think about gameplay first.
I think you could model what you’re talking about by both increasing input efficiency while also boosting throughput, so the bureaucrats use less paper per point of bureaucracy while also using more paper overall.
 
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