Victoria 3 - Dev Diary #69 - Feature Game Jam (part 1)Read Full Forum Post
Hello again and happy Thursday! Today I'm going to tell you about a new dev team initiative we ran last week, after we had locked down the final 1.1 build - the Vicky 3 Feature Game Jam! We know from experience that some of the best features and aspects of our games come from passionate developers acting on their own initiative to build what they want to see in the game. Sometimes this is a high-impact tweak to some UI element, other times new game content like new events or building types, or even some under-the-hood improvement to the game engine. For the Game Jam, we challenged devs to join up into cross-disciplinary teams and make the coolest feature they could think of in a week's time, with prizes for the team that could make the highest impact on the game. Here are some of the things they came up with! Please note: only a few of these features will be included in 1.2, and there are no guarantees any of them will ever make it into the game or its future expansions. Some are cool prototypes that would take too much work to implement, while others may need a lot more supporting code or content to work as a standalone feature. Consider this a peek behind the curtain of what our team is experimenting with and what type of things might come in the future. First up, we have team War Never Changes, with a set of experimental enhancements to the military system! ----------- Hi, I’m Guilherme, one of the programmers! During this game jam, Nik - one of the designers - and I decided to team up to explore potential improvements for our military system. Because of that, we haven’t implemented many new things, but we did dig up things that could be potentially improved. For example:
Combat units on a front each have a 20% chance of suffering 5% - 15% casualties from attrition each week, an average of 2% casualties per week from attrition alone. This sounds like too much.
Generals are currently selected for battles mainly based on their total number of battalions. We should probably check their manpower and morale instead, and/or maybe their traits.
On the actual implementation side of things, we did a few things we thought would be fun to try out. Such as having simultaneous battles in a front:
As a game jam hack, I just made it so when battle advancement progress reaches 100% we spawn up to 2 battles in different states, as long as you have at least 2 advancing generals. This is funny and a bit chaotic, but turns out this might introduce other issues as it affects the rhythm of war and also gives the advancing side some advantage: if they win one of those battles they capture a bunch of provinces; if the defending side wins one of those, welp, they just won’t lose a bunch of provinces.
We also added the ability of locking province captures to the same state as the battle province, which again, is fun as it looks more like a well planned military invasion, but currently has the effect of capturing whole states most of the time.
All in all, I really appreciate how this game jam gave us the opportunity to explore all sorts of potential improvements for Vicky 3. We certainly can improve many things, but we need to be very careful as our systems are interconnected and small changes in one system can have a big impact in other parts.
Hello, my name is Nik and I am the second half of this Game Jam experiment. As stated above I am a designer on the team. My goal going into this Game Jam was to see what quality of life could be added/explored for the game without needing to rework many systems. Primary goals I had going into this week were:
Communicate information to the player more readily
Reduce some of the pain points that frustrate myself and other player
War Exhaustion ticking
Generals and Troops selected for Battles
As stated above by Guilherme, one of the primary goals of this was to experiment with the idea of multiple battles. I personally wanted to experiment with the idea that the length of the front would determine the amount of battles taking place across it and that battles should be spread out and only take place one per state to attempt to avoid player frustration of battles potentially canceling each other out.
Another goal was to attempt to increase the information that the player could easily see. First goal was to include the advancement bar of the opposing side to the Front tab so it can be seen there as well.
Additionally, I wanted the player to have more information on the battle screen. For this we added a demoralized count for units. We noticed it might be confusing for the player to see that they started a battle with 15k troops only to see that they have lost the battle, but only showed that 3k died and 6k were wounded, but at the end of the battle it shows that you have 0 troops remaining.
I wanted to look at the ticking of war exhaustion as I felt like losing one province could sometimes have a massive impact on the effect of the war exhaustion. There is a lot I would like to do with this system in the future, but for now I focused mainly on lowering the values of these numbers while increasing the impact the loss of men has on a country's war exhaustion.
The equipment Adjustment Modifier can be irritating at times, and added to prevent people from just turning their army on and off again, without penalties. I have now made it so the penalty is worse for the primary PM, but all other PMs will now have a smaller one, that will affect you as a whole but should not inflict as much pain as before when switching.
Another area I wanted to improve was which generals and troops were selected for certain battles. Often inferior allied troops and their generals would take the battle and tie the front down. There are now additional checks to increase the chances of a General being picked based on his traits, as well as the PMs of the troops under his command.
The changes this team made to various aspects of warfare will be made available in 1.2, but (likely) with multiple battles limited to single states turned off by default. If you'd like to experiment with multiple battles and/or state-limited battles you'll easily be able to change some defines in the script files to do so, or download a mod that does it for you. In the interim we will use this team's work to test and attempt to balance multiple battles per front to see if we can make it a viable feature for the future, without accidentally introducing game-destroying metas like "whoever has the most generals win".
Next up, team Cookie Clicker, consisting of our VFX artist, Sean. His addition adds visual effects when you interact with certain parts of the terrain:
Improving the interactivity of our map is something we're interested in exploring further, and we will use this as a prototype for future exploration in this area!
Next up was some prototype work on more advanced resource potentials:
Hello everyone, Paul here to talk about the project I was working on for the Vicky 3 Feature Game Jam. This project was titled “Breaking Ground” because it's both related to resources and is an exploratory prototype of what could be done in the future. I took the discoverable/depletable resource system that we utilize for resources like Oil/Rubber/Gold and attempted to apply them to Logging/Mining/Fishing and other normally “capped resources” in game.
Forestry is by far the most fleshed out of the prototypes I built this week, so we will talk about that one. The intention is that forests of the world are all accessible at game start (there is no hidden undiscovered resource) but can suffer from depletion, in this case deforestation.
Deforestation is dependent upon a few things, the higher techs you utilize for base production increase the chance of the resource to be depleted. If it is depleted the logging camp is replaced with a “clear cut" building which can still produce lumber but at a heavily reduced rate. There is also the intent of adding where this mechanic can be utilized to better represent natural and man-made disasters which have affected resource procurement.
Deforestation is shown by clearcut camps which produce resources at a greatly reduced rate
Now why a separate building instead of a modifier? Well it's a prototype and the system lends itself well to that, since it's what we do with gold fields to gold mines. A different building is also a clearer indication to the player of these events (as opposed to a modifier on the building itself), it also makes it where production methods are available, and the profit calculations are different so that you more easily see the employment changes. Lumber Camps will also have new production methods to manage their extraction, decreasing depletion chances at the cost of throughput, while depleted camps have the ability to enable conservation efforts to try and mitigate the loss of resources that have already occurred.
An example of resource management a player can enact to prevent deforestation, or embrace it for much needed throughput bonuses
On a personal level, I think it adds to the mindset of the time. What do I care about 2 levels of deforestation and their inability to produce? I have 40+ levels of lumber left, this is the price of progress! Seeing the rate of balance between the two buildings shows the cost of advancement or progress of industrialization as you wish to see it. Also it allows us to easily measure deforestation and tie that into events and Interest Group reactions.
There’s plenty of places we can go with this, the Conservation Movement of the 18th and 19th centuries, tying industrialization with actual ecological effects that will upset IGs and affect pops. This is not meant to be a complete feature unto itself but a means of making a more realistic narrative to the game. Early industrializers might run afoul of deforestation and poor resource management, and will seek other markets to alleviate this effect, much like we have done historically. Can you keep the balance of man vs nature in effect, or is that even truly your concern when you are facing extreme radicalization and you need to meet the needs of your pops at any cost?
An example of the resource management a player can enact on clearings, Do you let nature take its course, get involved, or just keep exploiting what you can?
What about Whaling/Fishing and Mineral Resources? Here I look to follow the Forestry model where resources are available but can be depleted due to overutilization - as the fisheries of the world were very much subject to the tragedy of the commons.
The difference is as tech scales, the effect of fishing scales not only in depletion but in range. I am experimenting with having the actions of a neighboring nation affect the resource potential of its neighbors. Overfishing in Great Britain can cause knock-on effects to the eventual depletion of the Fisheries of Iceland and Canada/US. The scale of these effects are still very much in a prototype stage. This applies to both fish and whaling industries.
Where Fishing Industries differ is the potential to maybe do aquaculture back at home. My research is showing that it's slightly out of our historical timescale but it's technically a possibility. The world started ramping up aquaculture in the 1950’s to 1960’s but that was in response to the decrease in fish population, who’s to say if an ahistorical Victorian era that goes hard on world fish supplies might need to invest in these technologies a few decades early?
Mineral Resources are primarily focused around discovery over the potential of being depleted. At the start of the game a fair chunk of resources will be available for exploitation, but most will be hidden and require discovery and exploitation to be started. Mines will have the chance to discover new resources as they start excavation down below. These efforts can be expedited by resource exploration PMs, increasing the educated labor force requirement and likely a more modernized set of inputs. In this way, mineral deposits are still greatly important but there is an investment potential in them, the longer you hold and develop a resource - the more you may get to access. For example, you cannot gain all levels of coal in Wales with just hands and picks, some of that is going to require modernization.
Finally, Mike surprised us all by not doing anything at all with trains this time. We're not exactly sure what he's up to, but whatever it is I think it emphasizes the point in the beginning that there are absolutely no guarantees any of this will make it into the game as-is, now or in the future! If any of you have theories of what this might be all about, please give the rest of us a clue in the comments below.
Next week we will look at the remainder of the Game Jam entries, and that will be the last dev diary of 2022 as most of the team heads out for winter holidays, returning mid-January. Until then!