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 Post subject: Tall Empires Mod Idea
PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:05 pm 
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The point of the mod is to keep it simple and have a drastic change in the way the game is played by adding advantages to staying a tall empire rather then expanding to become a wide empire.

Some simple changes I would like to make would be

1: Colonies cost 100BC to build (Outpost costs stay the same)

2: Expansion linked to Moral

3: Tech for Expansion to off set Expansion Moral penalties

4: First Building upgrade on a new planet is 10BC then goes to normal.

5: Fist 20 turns you get a -1 BC cost of new colony maintenance

6: Allow Outposts to build Trade and Tax buildings

7: Give outposts a Population max of 250,000

8: Allow Outposts to be placed on any planet type including gas giants

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The idea behind this is to make Outposts much more useful and easy to build while full on Colonies cost a ton of money. Im hoping it will be easy enough for the AI to understand the new costs in Credits and Moral. This would greatly slow down expansion and the game as a hole. It will also allow you to focus on exploration and combat more while making Colonies a really valuable asset once they get going but take a while to get going and are long term investments.

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 Post subject: Re: Tall Empires Mod Idea
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 6:51 am 
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Just in case you don't know it:

The behaviour you describe here is implemented in Endless Space.

PS: I don't like this artificial limitation. It's like having star lanes on the "eXpand"part of 4X.

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 Post subject: Re: Tall Empires Mod Idea
PostPosted: Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:10 pm 
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Xyquas wrote:
Just in case you don't know it:

The behaviour you describe here is implemented in Endless Space.

PS: I don't like this artificial limitation. It's like having star lanes on the "eXpand"part of 4X.



This is why I am going to make a Mod out of it instead of suggesting it to be an actually update to the game. I know lots of people love the expand part of the 4x games. Personally I like Tall Empires that are easier to manage and more focused on what you have then getting more. Currently when playing by turn 200 its easy enough to have 5 to 10 colonies and once you get transforming you can easily triple that in short order.

Im hoping to be able to mod the game so I can play a game with less colonization and more focus on building up what you have and expanding slowly. And having the AI also be effect by these changes so they also don't over expand into the galaxy. I would love to have a game that runs for 2000+ turns with still room to expand.

I also want outposts to be more then fuel stations with maybe a station. Giving them something like Trade and maybe 1/3 of the build points a planet would normally get would allow you to still expand with small outposts but to make them into full blown colonies will cost you a chunk of change and some time.

Im wondering if once Modding is possible if these kinda changes can be made. My first couple mods on this game will be very personal and focused on making changes that I would like to have like something for Tall empires and custom made Random Events.

My Question for the Devs is will these types of mods be possible in the near future?

PS: I got allot of the ideas above from Endless Space which is one of my fav 4x space games made, I also played the alpha for that game and was very active on their forums. Although I think Horizon has the potential to easily become my fav 4x game of all time.

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 Post subject: Re: Tall Empires Mod Idea
PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:32 pm 
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I hope we can enable Modding soon after we finish looking at streamlining tactical combat (which is our current priority).

In general if the mechanics already exist or if it's a value/cost those are fairly easy to do, other things like "expansion linked to Moral" might not be if we need to add or alter game mechanics so we will have to consider case by case.

I really like your MOD idea, it's a substantive enough change to alter game play.

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 Post subject: Re: Tall Empires Mod Idea
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:13 am 
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First of all let me congratulate the devs for creating this little gem of the game. It is obvious that this is no AAA title, but it is a labour of love, and for me this is the most important thing. Of all the other 4x space titles this is the only one that totally grabbed my attention like those old strategy classics: MOO 1-2, Fragile Allegiance, Imperialism 1-2, Star Trek BOTF... to name the few of my favourites. I played those to the death back in the days, and for me, Horizon truly catches the spirit of those old classics. My gaming days are long gone now, due to the real life constraints, but still this game got me so much hooked up last few weeks, that I sunk in it almost of all my free time.

I really dig the atmosphere and the lore of the game. Story mode with random generated galaxy is a great idea. Would love to see some great finale with Korthaz and Varaians dragging the whole galaxy into epic interstellar conflict or something similar.
Regarding game mechanics, I like how you elegantly handled research, and colony management, TB combat is also a big plus. You have a really good base, and as I read you are planning to do a sequel. I really hope that you will build on this mechanics and expand them, not to change the formula.
I like how you simplified colony management to a point that reduces much of the tedious micro, especially in mid to late game stages, but still kept it interesting enough. I can see how this model can be easily expanded by maybe adding planetary districts that suit some economy sector better than other. Or to add some special projects that can be build only once per planet, system, galaxy... But to keep it under control, not to spam player with to much micro. Maybe add light espionage and politics models, simple tax/moral mechanics, political party bonuses or similar.

Same thing could be done to research part of the game. Keep the mechanics, but expand the idea with new techs, more diversity between choices. More control over RP spending, like to be able to determine how much to invest in particular field of research.
Keep the MOO 2 galaxy setting, stars with different planets, no star-lanes, thank you. There are better ways to add strategic complexity to a galaxy map, like nebulas, ion-storms etc. Also maybe adding some strategic resources that can be found on few planets and mined, so they can be used to enhance weapons, economy etc. Dig mechanic is awesome for exploration part of the game, expand this also. Adding events, monsters, pirates, everything that can bring more life to galaxy is also welcome...

And definitely expand game/galaxy customization options, from number and type of planets to research times, and enemy customization. Allowing player to create different and specific galaxies and scenarios always benefits replayability. This is actually kind of a introduction to a main purpose of my post. And this is, now that I played couple of games I would like to do little tweaks to create gameplay more close to my personal taste.

So my question is, what is actually moddable for someone with limited modding skills? I already played with tweaking some things in research xml, and edited other races stats, so they can be more challenging and distinctive. I really like idea of ''Tall empires'' where expansion would be much more expensive. Can this be done? Can building costs be changed? Or maybe to increase costs of colonizer modules (right now I only managed to increase basic hull costs in ship design xml). And how would AI react to this higher cost values?

Oh and I almost forgot to ask. I always play the game on very hard, but I am curious about the difficulty settings, I couldn't find any clarification as what bonuses AI receives on hard, very hard.

I have a lot of more suggestions and ideas, but this is already a long post :)
Once again, thank you for creating this beautiful little gem, and I wish you all the luck and success in your future work.

Kind Regards,
Februarius


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 Post subject: Re: Tall Empires Mod Idea
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 11:45 pm 
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Welcome Februarius and thank you for writing about your experience with Horizon, it's very encouraging to hear your enjoyment of the game. It was indeed a labor of love to make it and I very much hope we will be able to expand on it's design.

It's interesting how you write about Planetary districts, something that I've also been considering as a natural progression of the current design to expand the colony management model and yet keep it easily manageable. With regards to other parts I think there could be both some progression and some re-working of the core designs to give more control and choices such as in research.

For the idea of "Tall Empires", some of the things you could do via modding quickly and easily are:
- Disable the Terraforming tech (set it to "-2" so it's not discoverable)
- Change the Barbeck special ability Eco-adaptive so they can't colonize every type of planet
- Consider changing every race homeworld type to "Terran" (which sets their native type) to limit the pool of available planets for colonization. Then you can also set at the start of new game "Habitable planets" to Rare.
- Increase the cost of "Colonizer Pods" (in tech_stats.xml) and enable "Destroy Colonizer after use" in the game options. The AI is affected the same way as the player, it will cost more to build them but it will still try to build them and budget for it.
- Building costs have not been exposed so they aren't moddable atm but this would be a good way to go if we did expose it.

Difficulty settings affect the following:
- Changes the aggressiveness of the AI for conquering via military means
- Increases the chance of picking on the player when considering hostilities
- More aggressive at expansion (lowers threshold for colonizing planets of lower value but it still prioritizes by best to worst for their native type/size/resources etc)
- The AI will purchase buildings/ships if it has enough money only on difficulty of Normal and higher
- Industry/Research production is increased or reduced based on difficulty setting for player only
- Trade/Tourism money generation is increased or reduced based on difficutly setting for player only
- The starting level of AI races is reduced on 'very easy' and 'easy' when playing non-classic mode (in classic mode everyone starts with level 1 techs of course)

Thanks for the well wishes on our future work, much appreciated. I plan to open up about our future designs in the near future and would love to get more of your input once we do that. Cheers!

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