Decay Mechanics

For discussion on the most 'core' concepts and ideas for the first version of the SOTE project. This is for absolutely necessary mechanics and ideas that form the backbone of the game.
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echidna4
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Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:02 am

Decay Mechanics

Post by echidna4 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:12 am

So, I saw a theory in a book by Ian Morris that really made sense to me. It states that civilization is in a unstable equilibrium, and that it must constantly evolve in complexity to correct its problems. This increased complexity demands an increased energy capture per capita though, which means if its not in ascension, its problems catch up to it and it begins to decline and fall. Because there is a limit to productivity for a determined level of technology(and technology can't increase fast enough in pre-industrial times to avoid this) one day it will start to stagnate and them decline.

Thus one would need to always expand, lest you become vulnerable to decay. And of course after you start to decline you have an ever decreasing amount of resources to change your fate. This means the player is in constant pressure to expand(the larger you are, the faster you need to expand) and when you stagnate you begin to feel an impending sense of doom, culminating in decline(it is more or less unavoidable, though you can fight to decline too much).

After this you will either disappear or become a shadow of your former self. If you are still alive, you can begin a new cycle of growth, but now you have different characteristics from the first time around; you have already set infrastructure and institutions, which means you have a better foundation but is less adaptable. This would repeat until you finally succumb, and in each cycle you would reach a little higher than before, because of slowly improving technology.

Thoughts?

P.S. Just consider magic another kind of technology, as long as its some kind of knowledge and not resource-based.

Zerodv
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:19 pm

Re: Decay Mechanics

Post by Zerodv » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:11 am

I can´t personally agree with the man on this assertion, I don´t see how it makes sense, basically he states that:

-everything is unstable

-you need to evolve in complexity to reduce this unstability

-you need to improve productivity to do that

-if you can´t you will stagnate


This doesn´t really makes sense to me, because it´s too generic for a statement and is almost unfalsifiable, almost everything can be thought as an increase in complexity or productivity and it´s almost universal that something that can fail will one day.




The game can represent that by having successful conquests reward internal factions, resolve resource demand problems and general prestige, legitmacy and all that stuff. This makes an empire internally strong for a while but you reach a point where you are too big and small conquest can´t satisfy your country and more numerous factions and you start to look inward keeping the peace and fighting some succession war or local rebellion every now and then.

Demiansky
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Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:03 pm

Re: Decay Mechanics

Post by Demiansky » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:20 pm

I think it makes sense in some regards. I think the key here is "adaptation." The world around you is always changing and the dynamics in your country are always changing. If you don't reform, you start to decay. When the entrenched interests in your country are too strong and you have no leverage, you can't adapt. However, if you have surpluses due to either economic growth or conquests, its easy to leverage that surplus to appease the entrenched interests while also instituting adaptive reforms. In the absence of these surpluses, you have to come to confrontation with entrenched interests, and this results in a confrontation (which can threaten to tear the country apart).

I often use the French Revolution and English Civil War as examples. While the idealist would say these conflicts were about liberty blah blah blah the truly enduring thing about both cases is legal reform. In both cases you ended up with a monarch again, but you also ended up with a restructured legal system and a revived ability of the government to levy taxes. Of course, the alternative outcome could have very well been victory by the reactionaries and retrenchment of entrenched interests (which would result in continual poor adaptation and eventually being overtaken by societies which COULD adapt).

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soy de river beaver
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Location: Argentina

Re: Decay Mechanics

Post by soy de river beaver » Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:47 am

i am against doing a mechanic such as decay, instead negative modifyers should it should happen due to laging behind on the time's movements (ideas such as the romanticism, realism, subrealism, the renaisance, the low, medium and high middle ages) the more the world came together, the more this ideas affected everyone equaly, and could become a true movement. they affected everything culturaly, many of them changed the way religion was seen, some changed the way someone should live, some questioned the goverments.
if things such as this reaches the people, or people wich can lead people, this is something that may create rebelions

internal conflicts, be it with or without rebelions, should make a country develop slower, giving their enemies time to assimilate the tecnology thye can learn from this country and even surpasing them either culturaly, economically, or militarilly(leading into invasions, such as those from the barbaric tribes against rome)

so basically, even what i said about movements wouldn't be enough, it should mix with discontent from a conglomerate of people, maybe bad administration leading to corruption, and maybe the nobility, burghers or the military trying to make a state more to their liking.

Demiansky
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2017 4:03 pm

Re: Decay Mechanics

Post by Demiansky » Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:34 pm

soy de river beaver wrote:
Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:47 am
i am against doing a mechanic such as decay, instead negative modifyers should it should happen due to laging behind on the time's movements (ideas such as the romanticism, realism, subrealism, the renaisance, the low, medium and high middle ages) the more the world came together, the more this ideas affected everyone equaly, and could become a true movement. they affected everything culturaly, many of them changed the way religion was seen, some changed the way someone should live, some questioned the goverments.
if things such as this reaches the people, or people wich can lead people, this is something that may create rebelions

internal conflicts, be it with or without rebelions, should make a country develop slower, giving their enemies time to assimilate the tecnology thye can learn from this country and even surpasing them either culturaly, economically, or militarilly(leading into invasions, such as those from the barbaric tribes against rome)

so basically, even what i said about movements wouldn't be enough, it should mix with discontent from a conglomerate of people, maybe bad administration leading to corruption, and maybe the nobility, burghers or the military trying to make a state more to their liking.
I don't think we should have a disconnected system of decay, I just think that you should have one specific system for growth and decay, its just that decay works in the reverse of growth. The idea isn't to have some decay system layered on top of everything else which then swoops in and wrecks stuff. Instead I want to have it baked in with the rest of the mechanics. So for instance, your administration spends effort on exerting control to keep everything together, and if for whatever reason the need for control to hold things together is exceeding by your actual capacity, then things start to "fall apart." If your ability to exert control exceeds need, then the structure of your country is improved, and you have a tighter nation. Lot's of things can wear on or improve either your need for control and your ability to control, and the "need" for control can spike at various times (that far flung city of a different culture and race undergoes an independence movement, or that vast famine wrecks trust in government).

With an integrated system like this, we don't need to layer on isolated mechanisms to get these kinds of decay effects.

pełpeł
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Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:02 pm

Re: Decay Mechanics

Post by pełpeł » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:10 pm


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