Layers of simulation, and in what order to make things

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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David Buunk
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Layers of simulation, and in what order to make things

Post by David Buunk » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:37 pm

( This is a brief summary I wrote, and post here with Demian's approval. It is far from complete, and posted with the intent to incite discussion. )

The SotE simulation would consist of many subsystems, that interact with each other. While any subsystem can influence any other, there are still cases where one subsystem is difficult to build without some other in place. Thus, there arises an order in which things should be made. Below is the proposed order for the subsystems to be implemented for the first public release.
  1. Geology / Tectonics*
  2. Climate / Weather*
  3. Wilderness / Ecology
  4. Population
  5. Economics / Trade
  6. Technology / Culture
  7. Government
  8. Military
Things provisionally postponed to a later version are marked with an asterisk.

Now, this does not mean one of those needs to be complete, in order to move on to the next, it needs to be complete enough, that is, the following parts must be able to build onto it, revisiting the existing parts will be possible, and sometimes needed. The first version should have some implementation of all of these, to be expanded upon in later versions. Now to delve into each of these subsystems in more detail.


Geology / Tectonics
For this, a temporary model will be used for now, either with an adaptation of the code Demian developed recently, or with some form of Perlin noise. This will generate height, and optionally ruggedness. The other thing needed from this model is zones of tectonic activity, for generating volcanoes and earthquakes.
Later on, a true tectonic model can be used, whereby such variables naturally emerge.

Climate / Weather
This, too, will for now have a temporary model, with a static model describing the average air pressure, wind velocity, and evaporation and precipitation. These, then, with the elevation data, can be used to describe the course of rivers, and the general moisture levels of various locales. The other thing needed from this model is zones at risk of extreme weather, like tropical cyclones.
Later on, a true climate model and weather model can be used, so that such behaviour emerges naturally, however, this may turn out to be a strain on processing power.

Wilderness/Ecology
Presumably, for the first version, SotE will only use a single wilderness biomass variable per tile, because dealing with various species, both flora and fauna, will take up too much memory and processing power.

Population
This is where the fun starts: various races, various pop types, interacting with the land and wilderness.

Economics / Trade
Now we get into the production and consumption of various goods. Supply and demand will determine prices. Prices will drive changes in employment, and longer-distance trade.

Government
This gives rise to the idea of countries, and subdivisions within them. Internal politics will be developed as an integral part, not grafted on later. This might also lead to the representation of individuals, which fulfill roles at the various layers of government.

Military
The design of a military system is wide open. One crucial point to take into account is “military diplomacy”, and settling of wars. A model must be developed that works for all societies, from the stone age until the start of the industrial revolution.


What does the forum think? Feedback of all kinds is appreciated.
Last edited by David Buunk on Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:59 am, edited 2 times in total.
Programming SotE.

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gutza1
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Re: Layers of simulation, and in what order to make things

Post by gutza1 » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:25 pm

I think you've nailed it. However, I think that we'll have to include at least a temporary implementation of all of these subsystems by the release of version 1.0, and greatly expand upon the latter later.

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David Buunk
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Re: Layers of simulation, and in what order to make things

Post by David Buunk » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:00 am

gutza1 wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:25 pm
I think that we'll have to include at least a temporary implementation of all of these subsystems by the release of version 1.0, and greatly expand upon the latter later.
Thank you, updated the post to reflect that.
Programming SotE.

Demiansky
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Re: Layers of simulation, and in what order to make things

Post by Demiansky » Sat Sep 16, 2017 12:17 pm

I thought this was a great summary. I'd even call it something like a "pyramid of simulation" where each level above is supported by the level below. We kind of have the basic provisional geologic component done, so now we need to sort moisture. I'm probably going to, again, go for something relatively simple for the climate/weather stage. Ideally, it would be nice to get some operable system for each level and see how they interact so that we may "see what we learn" from it. What would be cool is if we could even get some kind of infographic for these "layers" of simulation :-)

Strossi
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Re: Layers of simulation, and in what order to make things

Post by Strossi » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:59 am

The overlay model of representing spatial content and the underlying geology is an excellent approach. The order presented is logical and realistic compared to how the real world works.

Geology / Tectonics
Find a good way of generating landmass which corresponds to plate tectonics. However, emergent geological formations are unrealistic in a normal game scope. These things take milions of years. In a thousand years you could extend a delta for kilometers, or increase valley ruggedness, but you can't expect to generate a new mountain range.
Seizmology is a good factor to model on this level as well; for volcanism and earthquakes you can have a static value for all world tiles with a insanely long MTTH. Then,
IF tile x is i tiles away from constructive plate margin,
then the MTTH for volcanism and earthquakes is increased by a factor I,
and so is the magnitude variance.

This layer should also assign altitude and lattitude values for temperature calculations later, and waterflow models.

Climate / Weather
Temperature is Alpha and Omega for Climate/Weather. All models can be based around it.
Temperature can be statically modeled based on altitude, lattitude, and a variance based on distance to large water bodies.

Based on temperature values you can model wind speed and directions; the greater the temperature differences the greater the amplitude.

Based on wind direction you can model precipitation;
IF wind blows from over water bodies,
FOR each i tile away from waterbody,
there is a chance to shed moisture based on temperature.

Wilderness/Ecology
Amount of biomass and temperature amplitudes can determine biomes.

Beyond this, it just get more fun =D

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