This article describes design decisions that will be rediscussed before their implementation in the future, and as such are not final.
Society Centres (may also be called SCs) are basically cities. How the game will define an area as an SC is still under some discussion. When an SC is defined, the game will count up all of the people (this does not mean humans, but sapient beings) that belong to the player's nation, and store it as a variable. The people will then no longer really exist except to move around the SC and make it look busy. The buildings and their types will also become purely aesthetic and their bonuses will get amalgamated into the SC. In this way, an SC is really just a collection of people and TOs. The SC will be given a randomly generated name and the boundaries of the SC will be shown by a thin line matching the colour of the player's nation.
Now we will look at how the player interacts with SCs. Most SC interaction will be done through the Society Centre Panel. The Panel can be opened by double-clicking on an SC or clicking on an SC and then choosing the 'Society Centre Panel' option. Once in the Panel the player will be able to view and change all of the things in the SC. The different sections of the SC will be shown in a number of tabs. The tabs are as follows:
This will be the default tab selected when the SC Panel is shown. This will show the basic information of the selected SC. This includes the SC's name, population, research value, production value, stability and average health. Simplified versions of these values will be able to be seen without entering the SC Panel. The player will be able to change the SC's name at any time, but changing the name of an SC that has not changed for a long time may cause temporary unhappiness in the SC. This tab will also have a section for the player to view what resources are stored in the city and how much there are.
This tab handles all of the able bodies in the SC. In this tab the player will be able to view the birth rates and death rates of their SC, and thus the growth rate. With the slider on it's highest, the player will be able to select exactly how much % of the population should be assigned to each Specialist Group, at lower values they will be more random. Even at a low slider value, the player can try to influence the amount of each specialist by assigning more wages (not strictly currency, more likely food) to certain specialists. The Specialists will be as follows:
Civilian - Produces small amounts of happiness and production
Gatherer - Collects nearby resources
Researcher - Produces research points
Worker - Produces production points
Military - Produces order points
Medical - Increases overall health relative to the Medical Research Level
Entertainer - Increases overall happiness and decreases overall order
Any person that is too young, too old, or physically incapable of becoming a specialist will be classed as a civilian. Each specialist group will have it's own happiness rating that will reflect on it's efficiency. For example an SC with a Worker Happiness of 8/10 will have a production value of 80% what it should be. The simplified equation: Worker Production = No. of Workers X Happiness X Technology Level. This would work with all specialists.
Any kind of specialist can also be deployed from the SC. This means that they will leave the SC and become a controllable unit or number of units. This can be done by clicking on the 'Deploy' button and then choosing which type of specialist you want to deploy and how many. Using the deploy button, the player can move their specialists to different SCs as they are needed. A unit will take a small amount of time to get their things and leave the city. Deploying Gatherers and Workers will allow the player to control by using regular RTS style interface. Military units will operate similar to most RTS games until the nation completes the Military Training research, wich will make units follow Squads rules. Any deployed unit will be able to be equipped with a Tech Object on it's way out of the city, and may be re-equipped or un-equipped if the desired Tech Object is nearby (unless squads rules interfere).
This tab deals with all Technology Objects (objects created by the player or AI with the Tech Editor). As Tech Objects can be anything from buildings to tools, this tab will need to cater for many different things. For Techs tagged with 'Structure' or "Shelter', the mechanic will be similar to the build mechanic in most RTS games. The player can select the Tech they want and choose a building site. How long a tech takes to build will be relative to the production value an SC is producing. When a Tech Object is being built it will be shown in the build cue, along with it's status (%) and priority (%). The player can change the priority of a TEch by clicking the priority icon on the object, or by opening the build options of the object and changing it. In the Tech Editor each Tech Object will have a complexity value as well as it's associated resource cost. The complexity value will be turned into a construction value in the main game, and the time it takes to build will depend on the production amount, it's priority and the construction value. The simplified equation: Percent done = Construction Value - (Time elapsed X Total City Production X Priority).
This tab shows a more in-depth breakdown of the SC's research. In the early game this tab will not have much on it. It will show the amount of research the SC is producing and that's all. More advanced researches (like scientific method) will unlock more options in this tab. In the late game the player will be able to view how much research is going into each area, and even let the player change the percentage amount that is being zoned to each area. This will allow more concentrated research in the areas that the player feels they need.
So now we know how the player interacts with the SC, but we need to know what effects all of these values will have. Here is a list** of how the values defined in the SC will effect gameplay.
The population is the number of people in the SC. The player can zone the population in the People Tab (see above).
The average happiness of the people living in the SC. Happier people will be more productive, whereas unhappy people will be less productive and have a negative effect on overall stability. Happiness is increased with specialists and specialist buildings, and decreased by bad living conditions, high death rates and close proximity to happy SCs that belong to another nation. The equation: Happiness = (Entertainers X Technology Level X Entertainment Buildings Bonus X Civilian Bonus) - (Death Rate X Population Density X Happy Nearby Nations). Happiness can be a negative value.
Individual Specialist Happiness will be calculated slightly differently, taking into account the wages each position is paid. Equation: Specialist Happiness = Wage - (Overall Death Rate X Population Density). The exception to this is Civilians, their happiness is calculated like the overall happiness.
The average order of the SC. More and happier military units will result in a higher 'Order' value. Entertainment venues and specialists will decrease this value. Equation: Order = (Military X Technology Level X Military Buildings Bonus) - (Entertainers X Entertainment Buildings Bonus). Order can be a negative value.
The overall stability and loyalty of the SC to the player's nation. An instable SC may revolt and start it's own nation, or join another nation. Highly stable and happy SCs may encourage other nearby instable SCs to join the stable nation. Instable SCs may also riot and destroy buildings and kill people. Stability is directly affected by happiness and order. Equation: Stability = Happiness + Order.
The overall research value of the SC. This is simply the number of researchers and the technology and buildings available to them. Equation: Research = Researchers X Researcher Happiness X Technology Level X Research Buildings.
The overall production value of the SC. This is simply the number of workers and the technology and buildings available to them. Equation: Production = Workers X Worker Happiness X Technology Level X Production Buildings
The overall health of the SC. This is simply the number of medical specialists and the technology and buildings available to them. Equation: Health = Medics X Medic Happiness X Technology Level X Medical Buildings
If population for whatever reasons reaches zero, it's considered empty and the player doesn't have any control over it anymore. The SC itself is grayed out, and removed after some time. The player can restore the SC until it disappears, or he can make a new one on the remains of the old one.
However, even if the SC itself disappears, all buildings stay on the place, and eventually fall into disrepair and decay. How long the process takes is based on the structural strenght of the building. A new SC built on the remains of an old one inherit all it's buildings in whatever state they were left.