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Power consumption balance

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:34 pm
by worfc
[Moved from Skype so (a) I don't lose it and (b) I can include more people in the discussion. I should probably copy/paste to the forums, too.]

Power consumption balance

I always wanted power/battery-use to be more of "a big deal" in the game, but I didn’t want to saddle new users with constant dead batteries. This is partly why there’s the overnight “lunar-recharge” thing.

Also: there are bigger batteries (future robot-upgrade) and bigger generators (to charge them), which are currently somewhat pointless.

So the question then: How to charge mid- and late-game players more for power without dinging n00bs? (Well, that’s the question I’m considering. A possible answer is: “don’t” ;) )

Here are my current thoughts:

* Leave base power consumption as-is.
* Make antenna-sends use 3x current power.
* Make all of the "special" pins -- the ones that are not even available to n00bs until they advance through the game a bit -- use 5x current power.
* Make all sensors and other "fancy" multi-gate electronics use 10x current power.
* Make chips use 10x current power.
* Add a "combined circuit-power" usage charge. Something along the lines of: (the number of logic-gates in this robot / 20) squared.

(Of course, all of these numbers will be adjusted to be "the perfect value". I inserted some-number just to get things going. Because I understand how power-consumption in the robot currently works (need to document!), these are my 1st stabs at "probably pretty close" numbers. I hope it's obvious that I want things to be fun, so I promise not to make having enough power into a "mystic quest" ;) )

At first, 3x, 5x and 10x may sound like very high surcharges -- and the one that grows exponentially: whoa! But keep in mind that (a) there is only one antenna (that I bet you haven't used, yet!), (b) a typical robot only has a handful of of sensors and chips among dozens (hundreds?) of gates and (c) by the time you're running a 20- or 40-gate robot, you're probably ready to upgrade that crappy old n00b-battery, anyway.

Again, it's not so much that I want to "punish" advanced automation, but (a) I =do= want one aspect of the game to be "ok, that works, but how can I make it more efficient?" and (b) I like the idea of having a "starter robot" that you upgrade with better batteries, better grabbers (can hold more than 1 thing at a time!), better bumpers (focus!), better motivators (hoverboards! ;) ) or whatever.

...But if the cheesy battery that came with your starter-bot is "good enough" forever, then there's no reason ever to upgrade.

So that's where I'm coming from on that.

Thoughts? Comments? Rotten fruit? :)


Seen on usenet:
[Talking about various philosophical issues, including abortion, someone wrote]

> > I don't consider masturbation to be murder .

[to which someone else replied]

> I guess you're not doing it properly.

Re: Power consumption balance

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:05 pm
by Denis
I have no idea how power consumption works as of now, so it's a little hard to comment on specifics, but it makes sense to me that the more logic you use the higher the power consumption would be. Higher level devices => more power also makes sense. Special pins requiring more power are less obvious to me. I guess what I would speculate is that pins that are always "monitoring" consume more power? Pins that "manage" inventory might require more power, etc. Bumpers only use power when the circuit closes, but the grabber is always sweeping to sense things to grab so it uses more power? Advanced grabber would mean more power, etc.

I'd make the increased power consumption a side effect of more advanced stuff (you get the goodies before you get the down side). Increased power consumption as a result of increased number of gates should not hit too hard, but sensors and chips should consume more than simple gates. I don't know if they (chips, sensors, etc.) need to consume more than they do now, but more than simple gates makes sense.

And of course, it needs to be balanced so that players don't feel that for one step forward they get thrown back two steps! ;)

Re: Power consumption balance

PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:59 pm
by worfc
Yeah, I'll document current power consumption soon. Aside: there are no "secret numbers" in worfc. The only reason everything isn't published now is because things are still changing, though much less so than before. Now that all changes are in the 1-10% range, it'll be much easier to publish. I've been working on tools to display the various ratios & whatnot to help me get the balance & "feel" right. At some point, I'll alter them to output wiki-markup tables, then just make wiki pages and update them now & then. :)

Only gates/chips/etc. that are active draw power. The things in your drawers don't use power. (Beavis alert! ;) )

Sounds like we're on the same page in general terms, and the details are still to be worked out. Again, I just wanted to sanity-check my thinking.