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Author Topic: Research System  (Read 17950 times)

Drabus

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Research System
« on: June 22, 2013, 03:07:35 PM »

Okay, this one is one I'm very excited about, because there are so many possibilities here. I know your current research system is very alpha (hasn't been a big priority for good reason!) but I look forward to the build with a lot more research when it comes!

I feel like there should be always a purpose to grabbing more research, so that there's always a competition with other tasks in your colony to really try to pick and choose how to play it out. Lots of compelling actions means prioritization and fun!

I'll list a few possibilities of research but I know you have a ton more in your head, thought I'd jog a few here!

Multi-level research: This type of research has many, many levels, and they produce a passive bonus to everyone in your colony. Similar to experience but in massive group setting.
-Construction designs/architecture: Increases construction speeds by X% where X is either level, slow exponential, your choice
-Construction durability: Less likely to have damage/busts/etc by X%
-Mining picks: Speed of mining increased by X%
-Prospecting: Mining yields X% more minerals
-UV lamps?: Speed of food growth increased by X%
-Bioengineering: Food growth yields X% more food
-Weapons engineering: Increases range of weapons by X%
-Puncturing bullets: Increases damage of weapons by X%
ETC for all types of actions. Limit/limitless?

ALSO: This type of system would really need either a queue system to set what is being researched so you don't have to choose each time, or a % allocation to each type. For example, 20% of your total research goes to Bioengineering, 30% to construction picks, and 50% to big project #1.

Second section of research - Non-leveled/one-time-research bonuses - These would mostly cost a LOT more research time, depending... so that some of them could be very long-term investment for a large bonus.
 -New types of X... these could be a lot. Eg
      -New bedding provides better rest?
      -Alternatives to Nutrient Paste Dispenser, other options for food that would take a long time to research but be faster/use less/provide more happiness
      -New kinds of doors that prevent air loss, or built-in airlocks
      -Other "technologies" that you don't need to start with but you can gather over time.
      -Cloning? - Could be a super-long-term one but the ability to have Clone Person as an option
      -Clone Person - Long term research to try to clone someone. Has a % chance to work, if successful, would replicate the person into a full grown colonist with same specializations and levels.
      -Will post more as I think of them!
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 10:38:30 AM by Hypolite »
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Hypolite

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Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Research System
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2013, 02:00:28 AM »

From what I undestand about the real-world research :

First is the fundamental research has no predictable goal nor time, but produces raw discoveries once in a while. People assigned to research should be creative.

After that, raw discoveries can be exploited by engineers, who work toward a known goal for a more prodictable time. It produces inventions that have a direct outcome. People assigned to invention should be equally creative and technical.

After that, inventions can be improved to be better in any way possible, again with a known goal and a very predictable time. People assigned to improvement should be technical.


The improvement is the multi-level research you describe : limitless but i would put a sort of cap on it by decreasing the gain for each subsequent level. You can still spend time improving endlessly, but for very limited gains compared to other less advanced fields. It provides both choice and consistence, as it encourages logically to even out the research through all available fields.

The invention is the one-time research you describe. For me it should be based on the knowledge they have access to on the moon. Improved access to knowledge could be gained by restoring a communication link with the rest of the human civilization.

And I would like the fundamental research to be added as a very late-game possibility. We are speaking about stranded colonists on a lonely moon, it's unlikely that they will start looking for deep answers before their basic needs are fulfilled. But I think it should be necessary for the most powerful/bizarre inventions. Fields could range from hard sciences (physics, mathematics, etc...) to psychology with ecology, as I saw plants during my first game.
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koja

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Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Research System
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2013, 03:37:30 AM »

Material pre-requisites(In some cases, especially with 1 time research tech) would nice.

E.x.:
Research boomrats for access to some type of explosive or bio improvement, alien tech for XXXX, and so forth. That, or bonuses to X research branch by reverse engineering said item.

Resource costs:
Other more plentiful resources(metal, organic, colonists, whatever) might be interesting as a component or a boost. Provides a sink for excess resources of a specific type.

As plot hook:
Of course, bioengineering might cause its own plot events... as could agricultural research, explosives research, etc... Gives another opportunity for things to get interesting.
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Tynan

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Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Research System
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2013, 12:06:42 PM »

The general thought with research is that they're not really doing anything original - just figuring out how something works, or how to use a piece of equipment, or how to build something they saw on TV once. The RimWorld universe includes very wide technological spreads between different factions, from tribal to transcendent machine/human godlike entities. So everything has been seen and hard of, mostly - you're just trying to figure out how to do it. This is how one person can, say, invent hydroponics alone in a few days.

Repeatable research is an interesting idea, definitely a possibility. It would simplify some things.

I am really fascinated by the idea of using special materials as research prerequisites. It has a bit of an XCOM vibe. E.g. a trader passes and you buy some transcendent-tech artifact, which, after research, can be used as some kind of super-weapon or power source. Maybe it takes research just to identify items!

Or we spawn the map with some archaeological ruins and you research those. And, of course, the research spawns events (cthulhu arrives, for example). It's like managing the UAC Phobos base in DOOM.

So many possibilities.
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Hypolite

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Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Research System
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2013, 05:10:29 PM »

I'm currently enjoying everything I read on that topic, and I thought it would be a good thing to tell. :)
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AspenShadow

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Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Research System
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2013, 09:37:31 AM »

A basic outline I've considered after seeing the current Alpha stage  of the game to work with is this:

We could split research into 5 branches: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Humanities and Special Projects.

Physics would encompass things like energy production, new technology, weaponry, construction time, etc.

Chemistry can influence drugs, new/stronger materials (better mining picks), mutations, various fuels (rocket) and environmental studies (such as water purification).

Biology can influence agriculture, husbandry, disease, biotech and healing.

Humanities can cover things to help your society like psychological research, education (maybe a project that helps colonists learn skills 5% faster?), pleasurable things to keep colonists happy essentially.

Then of course you have your special projects that would mostly require an event to begin such as finding an ancient civilization's ruins, deadly parasite, solar wind, end-game ship construction (if you like end-game, personally I like expanding/building with no limits), etc.

As a rough framework to build upon I think it tends to cover all bases, though I'm sure I've missed some things. Thoughts?
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Spike

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Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Research System
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2013, 10:06:56 AM »

I like the idea of organizing research into areas.  However, I think there should be a difference between... figuring out how to do known stuff, and theoretical research.  For example: I bet a lot of us "know", just from fiction, how a nuclear fission reaction works - but in order to actually make a working nuclear reactor or bomb, we would have to research it. 

So the crash survivors would only be able to build things they personally know how to make, or that they are provided blueprints for at the start; anything else, they would have to do the equivalent to browsing the web for a DIY tutorial.  And then there would be theoretical research, for figuring out how to do new things, or to study discovered artifacts.  Which leads to the idea of anyone being able to do the DIY research, but you need a Scientist to do theoretical research.
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AspenShadow

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Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Research System
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2013, 10:11:12 AM »

An important point, though I think Tynan has already expressed that surviving colonists who've just crash-landed on a Rimworld won't be looking to understand the big answers in the universe and won't be doing ANY research other people haven't already done (DIY).

However the ancient civilization factor does change that a bit, along with other mystery-oriented events that could spawn Special Projects, therefore I fully support the notion that you need a proper Scientist (above 9/10 in research perhaps? Or ex-navy scientist?) to start any of the Special Projects.
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British

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Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Research System
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2013, 10:42:54 AM »

Something that would be nice to have in research is simply more things to build/create, instead of being mostly only about enhancing other things that already exist.
But maybe that's just a concept that has to be labelled as "Production", for instance.
It would have some sort of tree with pre-requisites (X-Com comes to mind indeed).
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Gargrant

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Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Research System
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2013, 12:09:56 PM »

I agree with the general theme of the group that there could be 2 classes of research:
  • DIY - Attempting to build something known to exist, with principles understood, but with materials/supplies available on the planet
  • Theoretical - Attempting to expand the knowledge available to the "known world"

I just wanted to point out that what is "DIY" and what is "Theoretical" depends on the overall tenor and capabilities of the colony's staff.  We've all heard the trope that "Magic is science sufficiently advanced".  A colony of 2 low-tech knights and 1 mid-world bureaucrat is going to find a lot of concepts ... magical.

Because most people involved with the colony are simply users of the technology - they don't need to understand how it works to be able to take advantage of it - I hesitate to suggest that options should be available based on some sort of aggregated statistics of the colony - instead it should be based on the most sophisticated minds available, and those minds need to spend their time working at it.

However, the only difference I think there should necessarily be between DIY and Theoretical Research in gameplay terms is that:
  • Theoretical Research takes longer than it would have if it was DIY
  • The amount of time required to successfully research theoretical topics cannot be known in advance.

Again, what is theoretical and what is DIY depends on the sophistication of the people doing the research.  Because scientific inquiry is a skill and because RimWorld technology research is really about exposure to tech, I do believe that colonists who engage in theoretical research should be improve their research trait over time (possibly affected by other personality quirks - a "hidebound" researcher isn't going to get a lot better).

This approach heightens the tactical value of a scientist, but also allows a colony without such a resource to boot-strap itself back into technological prowess.  Particularly potent scientists may even attract threats to the colony. 
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 12:12:43 PM by Gargrant »
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Spike

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Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Research System
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2013, 12:58:31 PM »

A modern lifeboat could be equipped with a mixed batch of supplies.  So what would a Rimworld universe Crash Pod be equipped with?  In my opinion, it would carry similar things that would be used for survivors: Food, water, basic First Aid supplies, signalling equipment, emergency shelter, emergency (short term) power supply, and most importantly an e-book gizmo with a large portion of human knowledge - a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the complete  Encyclopaedia Britannica, and read-only copy of the Internet (wikipedia, youtube, tutorials) all rolled into one.  At least that's my opinion, for whatever it's worth. :)

So a crash pod would have the equivalent of tent, bedroll, camp stove, mess kits, small-scale solar cells & batteries, and the basic tools & info to improve your situation until help arrives.  Heck, pick a subject and search the internet - want to know how to make a yurt, kimchi or do basic first aid?  You can find tutorials and recipes for all of that right now, if you want to.  If you want to learn how to build a steam engine, you can do that too - but you might have to study up on some other subjects first, in order to build it.  That's my basic idea for DIY stuff - it's in the Involuntary Colonist's Crash Pod Handbook, you just have to "research" it to learn how to actually make it.  But if you're a "medieval oaf", you don't even know how to read, so you can't do that.  And then if alien ruins or unknown technology is added to the game, you would need a scientist to actually do Theoretical Research to understand it - or to design things that aren't in the Handbook.

And as I mentioned in another thread, about the whole "hitch a ride with a trader" concept of why to even stay on the planet...  Trade goods that you buy are dropped into your Landing Area in pods - the trader does not land.  So that's incoming goods... how do your goods get to the trader?  If you can launch things into space, why not yourself to hitch a ride?  Perhaps your Crash Pods have gizmo's that are easily assembled when building a Landing Area that make a one-way Matter Transmission device, that will not work on living beings.  So you can send food and manufactured goods up to the ship, but not people.  (Which would not work out if you can also sell slaves.)  And for that matter, the trade ship might even be automated, with no living crew to negotiate transport.
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Zeiph

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Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Research System
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2013, 01:22:22 PM »

What as been said is generally interesting, but as DIY science is reproducing what as already been discovered, I'm more wondering about DIY industry like producing solar panels out of raw material...
Still I think that DIY science should be mostly about:
- giving you more construction options like new ways to generate energy or producing food
- improving what you already have (or giving you the option to do so, like some kind of an upgrade system), for exemple adding fertilizer to the crops, improving the solar output of your panels by adding focus reflectors
- developping passive boons like improving mining methods and so on

The "conversion" of captured refugee and trading with space vessels could also use a part of research like improving the knowledge of a specific culture in order to gain the trust of specifical people a bit quicker or to negociate tighter prices.
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AspenShadow

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Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Research System
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2013, 01:33:24 PM »

I agree with the general theme of the group that there could be 2 classes of research:
  • DIY - Attempting to build something known to exist, with principles understood, but with materials/supplies available on the planet
  • Theoretical - Attempting to expand the knowledge available to the "known world"

Once again pointing out that crash-landed colonists with scraps won't be performing theoretical research except for one-offs like new archaeology/materials/fauna on their planet.

Everything you can research; barring a small few things, will be DIY-esque and not the future of fusion technology.
With the basic gist of how things work after having lived with and used them for most of their lives, I could sufficiently engineer a basic toaster, it's the same principle with geothermal generators in this fictional future we're set in.
While I understand medieval-world concerns, it can't be that in-detail or this'll get too complex fast and it's actually impossible for a medieval serf to research, while the Lords have to have have a non-medieval background or be a former serf (rare/unrealistic - on that topic in the alpha a male can have the pregnant trait lol).


Quoted from Gargrant: "The amount of time required to successfully research theoretical topics cannot be known in advance."  - Love this idea though not sure how it could be implemented as in the current version research progress is displayed in a bar format that reaches completion.

Perhaps to add some semblance of realism to this Theoretical-DIY debate without over-complicating it, we could simply add a system that means along with the random seed that generates what research you have access to learning upon crashing, the topics available are also dependent on numerical Researcher-Skill value or the highest-tech background?

Researching shouldn't really distinguish between what you can build, improve, add to, etc I think. I mean it'll be there, but I'm not sure separating the topics on such a generic basis is worth it. Then again more easy to navigate UI-wise for beginners perhaps?

Quoted from Zeiph: "improving what you already have (or giving you the option to do so, like some kind of an upgrade system), for example adding fertilizer to the crops, improving the solar output of your panels by adding focus reflectors". Why research an upgrade that you aren't going to immediately implement? I think that sort of system would be adding unnecessary work for Tynan at this point, the passive boons are also classed under improvement then surely?

Once again I enjoy the idea of successfully "converting" captured raiders and crashlanders giving a sum-bonus to a current Humanities/Social research topic, on top of the fact a warden converting someone increases their Social Skill anyway.
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Zeiph

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Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Research System
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2013, 01:41:22 PM »

Quoted from Zeiph: "improving what you already have (or giving you the option to do so, like some kind of an upgrade system), for example adding fertilizer to the crops, improving the solar output of your panels by adding focus reflectors". Why research an upgrade that you aren't going to immediately implement? I think that sort of system would be adding unnecessary work for Tynan at this point, the passive boons are also classed under improvement then surely?

I agree with this but in reality those kind of upgrade would consume time and material to implement, thus it would not be instant, at least for already existing system. The time consumption is more obvious (and adding a layer of strategy: the boon vs other action and some critical material) if you consider that the activity schedule of the colonists may be already tight with hunting or bandit invasion. But I also agree that it would be one more bother in the game production optique.
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AspenShadow

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Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Research System
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2013, 02:35:23 PM »

I agree with this but in reality those kind of upgrade would consume time and material to implement, thus it would not be instant, at least for already existing system. The time consumption is more obvious (and adding a layer of strategy: the boon vs other action and some critical material) if you consider that the activity schedule of the colonists may be already tight with hunting or bandit invasion. But I also agree that it would be one more bother in the game production optique.

I admit I had failed to consider the strategic implications an upgrade to be applied on an individual basis for resource cost would have with your suggestion. I find myself wanting such a system now... curses lol.
At the moment my mind is focused on analysing the alpha footage I've scoured for and the research system presented atm is a click-wait-implemented style. Possibly certain research could require resource-costs? It would certainly fit the story of RimWorld as survivors are going to make mistakes replicating technology without a manual and waste material anyway, let alone the material then used to upgrade every piece of tech.
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