Suggestion: Rare Building Upgrades

Talk about Sarah's upcoming game in the Rebuild series.

Suggestion: Rare Building Upgrades

Postby Llapgochmaster » Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:45 pm

Here's the idea in a nutshell:

Some rare-ish buildings can be modified to provide specific benefits. Examples:

Big Mall -->

* kindergarten: well-protected children, advanced children skills on obtaining age of majority, general morale boost
* boot camp: more effective soldier training, gives "indoctrinated" perk which makes soldiers immune to persuasion from other factions
* storehouse: reduced raiding losses, theft resistance, bonus to material salvage

Bank -->

* fancy house: housing w/ defense bonus, can be used to "buy off" a dissenting VIP colonist or recruit one from another faction (with water & electricity)
* jail: address some events with repression
* armory: protection against weapon theft, mutiny

Big Skyscraper -->

* transmission tower: more incoming stragglers (with radio)
* luxury apartments: morale boost, lots of housing (with water treatment)
* surveillance tower: earlier warning of encroaching raiders, other event options (with tower tech)

As a rule, the modifications could only be done on "virgin" buildings, a.k.a. ones you can't build yourself, so you'll typically have a limited number of opportunities per game to add modified buildings to your colony. The upshot is that choosing your modifications gives you an opportunity to give your colony a bit of a twist and experience unique event options, etc. Modifications should involve a substantial outlay of materials & builder time.

Limiting modifications to only rare building types would help keep the art budget under control. All that would be needed in most cases would be a slight graphic tweak (e.g. drawing of a pistol on the bank door, radio symbol on the side of the skyscraper).
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Re: Suggestion: Rare Building Upgrades

Postby Will It Work » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:46 pm

One reason I like banks is they're a huge defense bonus. If I convert my bank to a jail, would I lose the defense ability? (Vaults are for holding prisoners, now my walls aren't as good.

I like the idea of skyscrapers. Although Office buildings are kinda those, this reflects to another thread about choosing urbanization of your city, and another thread on multiple housing choices. I'd love to see in a high urban city no apartment buildings, and have them replaced by sky scrapers. And not be buildable.
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Re: Suggestion: Rare Building Upgrades

Postby Llapgochmaster » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:45 am

Will It Work wrote:One reason I like banks is they're a huge defense bonus. If I convert my bank to a jail, would I lose the defense ability? (Vaults are for holding prisoners, now my walls aren't as good.


The way I see it is you'd initially seize a bank on your perimeter, as usual, and enjoy the defense bonus. Later as you keep expanding your colony, the bank will no longer be near your colony's wall and so the defense bonus will be useless. That will be the time to transform it into something useful and special if you can spare the materials and building time. Whether a prison still provides a defense bonus or not would just be a question of balancing and logic. I'd guess "no".

I had initially thought it would make more sense to transform police stations into jails, but because I wanted these "colony" upgrades to be relatively scarce, I moved the idea to banks.

As an aside, I find the defense bonuses from police stations and banks not very useful on harder difficulties.

Will It Work wrote:I like the idea of skyscrapers. Although Office buildings are kinda those, this reflects to another thread about choosing urbanization of your city, and another thread on multiple housing choices. I'd love to see in a high urban city no apartment buildings, and have them replaced by sky scrapers. And not be buildable.


Yeah, office buildings is what I meant to say! I called them skyscrapers because what they have that is unique is their height on the game map.

I like your idea about a highrise city. It would be neat if Sarah has or will make it possible to adjust a map on a spectrum between "rural" and "urban". Rural maps would of course be covered in farms and food would be plentiful, but you wouldn't have many opportunities to leverage existing buildings. You'd need to build most of want you needed yourself. On the other hand, urban maps would be food poor (securing a big park for hunting might be the difference between success and failure) but there would be plenty of other resources. This would bring back the "scavenge vs. farm" gameplay dynamic of seasons, without even having to do all the extra art for seasons! Plus I'm guessing it would be pretty easy to assign different building spawn probabilities during map generation.
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Re: Suggestion: Rare Building Upgrades

Postby davea » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:42 am

The idea of a spectrum of building choices is an excellent one. I am sure there is a table somewhere that has the probability of each building. So two tables would easily let you get both ends of that spectrum. Probably this game won't be moddable, but changing that table would be an easy mod.
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Re: Suggestion: Rare Building Upgrades

Postby Shining Hector » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:39 am

I dunno, given the option I'd rather live in a tent city than a highrise in the post-apocalypse. How fun would the penthouse suite be without a functioning elevator? Not to mention if the structure collapses or catches fire you're basically guaranteed to die. These would be fairly likely events even without other factions actively trying to sabotage you. I'd see tall buildings more as relics to be scavenged than affordable housing for the survivalist. Possibly you could fall back to a defensible position in one if the camp got overrun by zombies. Other humans would just set fire to it if you tried the same on them.
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Re: Suggestion: Rare Building Upgrades

Postby Llapgochmaster » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:00 pm

Shining Hector wrote:I dunno, given the option I'd rather live in a tent city than a highrise in the post-apocalypse. How fun would the penthouse suite be without a functioning elevator?


Well, that's why putting the effort into making one liveable would be a rare achievement! It might let you house (25? balancing question) colonists off the mean streets in one deft move, allowing you to concentrate on food and tech/offense/defense or whatever, no to mention give you a big boost towards a high colonist:perimeter ratio. My vision was for these to be somewhat akin to "Wonders" in civilization. Maybe just building this particular Office Building/Skyscraper upgrade would be enough to lure a good chunk of survivors from rival factions.

If you're scared of heights, you should probably stick to the tents. Many people aren't (see links)!

http://www.vice.com/read/atlas-hoods-venezuelas-skyscraper-slum?Contentpage=1

http://weburbanist.com/2013/09/26/skyscraper-slums-insider-tour-of-worlds-tallest-tent-city/
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Re: Suggestion: Rare Building Upgrades

Postby Shining Hector » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:17 pm

It mostly seems like an anachronism. It would be like spending your scarce resources to get a sweet fighter jet running to fight off the zombies rather than using the same resources to get a few trucks with mounted machine guns/flamethrowers which would overall be much more effective. Skyscrapers are all about population density and modern technology, they're really not a very sensible option otherwise. You build up when there's too many people to build out. Take away 99% of the population and they make no sense pretty much anywhere. People in a highrise slum are there mostly because they don't have other options. One would assume vagrancy laws have been relaxed in the post-apocalypse.
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Re: Suggestion: Rare Building Upgrades

Postby Llapgochmaster » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:37 pm

Shining Hector wrote:It mostly seems like an anachronism.


Well, yeah. Kinda like all human civilization in the wake of a global brain-munching pandemic?

If you take precautions against fire and make sure the structure is sound, a tall building gives you a ridiculously high ratio of living space to fortified wall. If 20 colonists find it difficult to defend 20 linear kilometers of wall, they'll probably enjoy concentrating their firepower on just 2 linear kilometers instead.

But whatever. We'll have to agree to disagree, here :P

The main goal, in my mind, is presenting some interesting building and colony development choices to the player.
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Re: Suggestion: Rare Building Upgrades

Postby davea » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:43 pm

The idea of wonders also seems like a good one. In this setting, a big building which has the lights on would be a huge boost to morale, and also could boost recruiting. In Civ, there was a list of wonders you could pick from. Anybody could build each one, but each could only be built once. So, the first player to build the pyramids would get the bonus, and nobody else could build it that game.

Some mods also had the idea of fixed buildings to fight over. For example, suppose the city hall was in the middle of the city, the same distance from each faction. The faction which controlled the hall would get the morale / recruiting bonus. But, that would take decent AI to effectively fight for it.
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