Stellaris Dev Diary #193: Signal Discovered

Stellaris Dev Diary #193: Signal Discovered

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SeekingEtermity

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Request for the Devs, whom I hope are still watching this thread:

With the revamping of how FIrst Contact works and the new Intel system, I wanted to request an option for Custom Empires for those of us that like to force spawn our custom creations.

What I am asking for:

- When creating a Custom Empire, set it as a Template, so that all names (including species), as well as species portrait and type are only determined when the game starts.
- We would still create our Custom Empire normally, but when we set it to forcibly spawn for the AI we can set it to be used as Template rather than exactly as is,


Why:

- Being able to forcibly spawn empires is important for my enjoyment as it guarantees certain types of empires, such as Barbaric Despoilers and Devouring Swarms are present to help shake things up.
- But without this randomization, I think it would invalidate a large part of the whole First Contact and Intel system if I can immediately tell "Oh, this is one of my creations, I know everything about it."



Suggestion thread
The best way to do this would be, at empire creation, be able to leave some items random. Like, say you want a generic Barbaric Despoler: you pick the ethics and one civic, and leave everything else (government, species, second civic, name list, origin, etc.) up to the random generator. At game start, if any player (human or AI) is running that template, then the game fills in the details with valid values.

Ideally, you could even specify that you want multiple instances of a template. For example, suppose you want to force-spawn a bunch of cooperating Fanatical Purifiers, because that is a very fun sort of galaxy! You create an empire template including picking the species (name, body), the ethics, and one civic (Fanatical Purifier), and leave everything else random. Then you spawn in 5 of them. Instant story-time: long ago, some intensely xenophobic species seeded itself, or was seeded by some greater power, across this galaxy. They live on different worlds, have slightly different cultures and governments, and probably aren't even mutually intelligible at first. One thing unites them, though: all sentient life is divided into Us or Enemy.

Or maybe you want a galaxy full of machines! You pick the machine "species type", but don't pick anything else - not even the specific form of machine - and then force spawn as many of them as there will be AI players. Some will be exterminators, or assimilators. Others will be servitors, or nothing special at all. Some will have mysterious pasts or maybe even live on a shattered ringworld or totally-harvested system; others will seen economic success and increased drone production. You don't have to worry about any of these details at, or before, game creation!

Or maybe you just want a galaxy where every single player starts on a doomed planet, with no other properties specified, just for the fun of it.
 
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Balesir

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Having species constructed of randomly chosen elements seems unlikely to work well, to me - hence why the AI races are chosen from a designed list in the game - but a division into, say a "skin" and an "essence" might work. The "skin" would include all the obvious, observable features such as type (machine, lithoid, plantoid, hivemind), species graphics, ship types and so on. The "essence" part would be ethics, government specifics, civics and background. "Essence" might also contain a few clues such as diplomatic room background, but home planet type would be "skin". You could then design 'skins' and 'essences' and save them separately to be mixed and matched at game start.

Edit: sounds like rather a big change, though...
 

Peko?

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Having species constructed of randomly chosen elements seems unlikely to work well, to me - hence why the AI races are chosen from a designed list in the game - but a division into, say a "skin" and an "essence" might work. The "skin" would include all the obvious, observable features such as type (machine, lithoid, plantoid, hivemind), species graphics, ship types and so on. The "essence" part would be ethics, government specifics, civics and background. "Essence" might also contain a few clues such as diplomatic room background, but home planet type would be "skin". You could then design 'skins' and 'essences' and save them separately to be mixed and matched at game start.

Edit: sounds like rather a big change, though...
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean but the game already does sort of half of this. The game definitely creates semi-random empires in addition to the pre-designed ones. When it creates empires the portrait, ships, and name list are from the same species type (I believe always but I can't say 100%). The rest of the empire is mostly randomly generated with some weights to make the galaxy somewhat heterogeneous. So it has skins as you put it but not essences. Though I believe that room background is actually weighted for empire ethics.
 

Balesir

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Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean but the game already does sort of half of this. The game definitely creates semi-random empires in addition to the pre-designed ones. When it creates empires the portrait, ships, and name list are from the same species type (I believe always but I can't say 100%). The rest of the empire is mostly randomly generated with some weights to make the galaxy somewhat heterogeneous. So it has skins as you put it but not essences. Though I believe that room background is actually weighted for empire ethics.
OK, that maybe just shows that I'm out-of-date with what it can do - in which case, cool! ;)
 

SeekingEtermity

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Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean but the game already does sort of half of this. The game definitely creates semi-random empires in addition to the pre-designed ones. When it creates empires the portrait, ships, and name list are from the same species type (I believe always but I can't say 100%). The rest of the empire is mostly randomly generated with some weights to make the galaxy somewhat heterogeneous. So it has skins as you put it but not essences. Though I believe that room background is actually weighted for empire ethics.
Name list, room background, and so on for random empires are always determined by the species family and empire type (respectively), where empire type is determined by authority and civics (and maybe ethics; I forget). Unsure when the game auto-generates empires using the lithoid room background vs. something based on their government.

The problem is, there's no way to say "I want at least 5 lithoids" and let the game handle the rest. I was absolutely assuming that, if the player specified a lithoid species or even species group (in the template) and left the rest "random", the game would fill it in as usual (meaning it would use a lithoid body type, a lithoid name list, and the lithoid ship set, plus the usual logic for choosing government types and so on).