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ysalimari
Active Member
Joined: 2 weeks  ago
Posts: 8
10/01/2017 11:22 pm  

First of all just want to say I'm highly enjoying the potential this game could have. It's a beautiful game with some great things going for it, but it feels very bare bones at the moment (understandable given that it's a Beta build). I'm at a standstill during the Winter because I cannot control my employment. Standstill is a strong word, I can get through Winter, but not optimally because I cannot tell my colonists to go to the Greenhouses. And I cannot close the Farms (which have 0% production in the Winter, there are two slots in each of my farms being taken by colonists that are doing absolutely nothing) because they have power or some such nonsense.

 

  My question is, will there be a way to directly control where someone works? Or even a system that can be implemented ala Stronghold where you can *guide* your people where you want them to go? If not, my request is there be some such feature to hire people from their commutes or apartments to work in specific places *and* to give me (and all players) the ability to shut down farms and the like during Winter.

 

  If I'm missing some control option that lets me do this, please let me know. I can get through Winter rather easily, but it would go much smoother if I had more control.

 

  Thanks in advance.

 

  edit: Also, this forum seems very dead. That's worrying. 🙁


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LZIM
 LZIM
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 week  ago
Posts: 32
11/01/2017 1:30 am  

"edit: Also, this forum seems very dead. That's worrying. 🙁"

This game is new. As the beta picks up Steam, assuming more people are interested in it, more people will come to the forum.

--

I think a response to this would be 'as designed.'

Greenhouse work during the winter is clearly stated to be reduced because the crops can't grow effectively. You're looking at 50% or less of your workforce that can go there. You'd be better off stocking up on produce during the growing months of the year and hoping that the workforce that can't work while it is dark and cold have other jobs waiting or a VR center open to keep them occupied. So you could be looking at it like Winter frees up your workforce to do other jobs. Such as geo thermal plants where they can recharge the colony's emergency batteries?

 


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ysalimari
Active Member
Joined: 2 weeks  ago
Posts: 8
11/01/2017 1:54 am  

I think you're misunderstanding me.

 

  I'm well aware Greenhouses work in the Winter at 50% efficiency, but that doesn't mean colonists can't fill up the slots. The problem is, I can't control the colonists at all. I would *like* a feature implemented where we can send anyone to any job. For example, if I click on my Habitat and choose "Ron Howard", I would like the ability to 'assign' him to a Greenhouse or to a Farm or to the Geo Thermal Plant, etc. It's a little frustrating relying on the commuting from the Habitats and Apartments when they skip over certain buildings or fail to fill them up altogether.

 

  The other problem is the inability to temporarily shut down the farms in the Winter without cutting power to them and I also cannot reassign the colonists working those farms to go elsewhere during the winter. So each farm has 2 colonists doing absolutely nothing and producing absolutely nothing.

 

  Maybe I wasn't clear in my OP but I'm well aware Greenhouses work during the Winter at 50% efficiency, what I'm asking for is the ability to assign colonists to jobs rather than putting my faith in the AI to figure out what I want.

Edited: 1 week  ago

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LadyAquanine735
Eminent Member
Joined: 2 months  ago
Posts: 33
11/01/2017 9:49 pm  

Now that you mention it, I remembered a way you could deal with this in some city-building games.  In games such as Zeus/Poseidon, and Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom, you had the option of bringing up the employment menu and prioritizing different areas.  You could choose between High, Average, or Low.  In those games I usually prioritized Agriculture and Safety, though it would be different for this game.  I didn't have to deal with oxygen or electricity needs in those because they took place on earth thousands of years ago.  But still, giving a menu where you could prioritize different job sectors would help a lot.  

Both the games mentioned above also gave you the option of shutting down different businesses, if you were strapped for employees.  I usually tried leaving the food-producing industries alone.  One thing Emperor has in common with this game was the ability to manipulate the number of employees at any single workplace building.  Only thing is, Emperor's version was more primitive, where you could choose to have people working there, nor not.  You couldn't choose how many like you can with this game.  


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ysalimari
Active Member
Joined: 2 weeks  ago
Posts: 8
11/01/2017 11:21 pm  

Caesar III also gave extra options for 'assigning' people to certain jobs. There was a mechanic in it where when you put down a Prefecture or a Farm or what have you.. there were "recruiters" that constantly patrolled the roads you put down and went into housing districts to make sure every possible position at the jobsite was filled. You also had a Labor Advisor (not unlike SimCity games) and you could assign priorities to which type of building you wanted occupied with workers. It was possible in the 90s, it's definitely possible now. And Caesar III is not only a great city sim, it's probably one of the best. The devs for Aven Colony would do well to look at the basics and groundwork provided by a game like Caesar III as it still plays great today because the systems are intuitive and they work.


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LZIM
 LZIM
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 week  ago
Posts: 32
13/01/2017 4:34 am  

Oh yeah.. 

The first time I played the game I figured the reserve 2 are always "maintenance workers".  When you go to build anything the UI should indicate how many workers would be required to have the building remain operational. But the decay rate should be much less than if it was being attacked. It would give you the option of saying I absolutely require to have these workers elsewhere and don't mind losing half the buildings integrity over the winter. Some of the bigger buildings should have a bigger pool of these workers otherwise they buildings would start to break down on their own like the shanty towns/slums that developed in SimCity. Which would probably present new possibilities since in some Sci-Fi the majority of a colony is a nearly self sufficient shanty town but is still productive.

Another thing that would solve this (more below) is a bonus structure and pay rates above how many slots are available. If you paid more to have your greenhouses running at peak efficiency during the winter, you wouldn't have to micromanage. Your colonists would remain faceless and nameless and the work would get done.

Otherwise the musical chairs they play is hierarchical based on the colonies actual needs, not your perception of what is required. Power then food, then whatever else.. but even food sometimes takes a back seat. I often found all of the thermal plants full when the farms weren't. But it eventually pools out as the need for food increases if the power situation is handled. If not, lock out the power plant and deal with a power shortage and hope the greenhouses don't shut down.

It also helps in the 'crowding' issue because they pool out into available slots. If everyone, as above, quite annoyingly, pooled at power stations when food was low, just lock them out. They''ll eventually fill the other jobs as you lock them out in a top down manner. The only other game that I know of that does this is Majesty 2.

You can't control the peasants in that game and ultimately you learn that it is better you don't have to until they level up (more on that below). You just monitor the jobs available and they will fill them. By adding a money incentive even the greenest plebs would go fight anything to the death.

But this game doesn't have a money system and so there's no way to set incentives for them to make food so they don't starve.

Also this  is a rare game that does allow you to track potentially thousands of colonists by name (few do that), no you wouldn't want to micromanage at any stage beyond locking out all but the "maintenance crew". However if you could assign anyone to a given job, it should be someone that actually will make a difference. You're too big and busy to deal with peons. 

Arguably a better feature which could probably be implemented, but which isn't what you described because what you want only applies to the early games, is veterancy. Because let's face it, Ron Howard is too important to be a maintenance worker and hopefully he can find a much better gig elsewhere.

If you could assign a manager to bigger buildings and have the effect of a good manager affect nearby buildings, then it would be great to have a set of manager colonists that you had to treat better than the rest (always have to be happy and have their quota of enhancers etc).

If the manager isn't happy everyone else gets unhappy faster etc. Finding managers among your colonists would be a cool mini-game in itself because you'd always have a little section of your base that has to be a little Eden. Like Majesty if you could retain your managers through the campaign you could get a leg up for the later game.

It just makes it sad the game doesn't have wages or a proper work shift cycle so you could see which employees were working and on their way home, or out trying to have fun. Heck if you could follow the money (the non-criminals or dumb ones that have less money or more money than they should) you could find where the criminal managers were and solve sudden crime waves. I accept that the time scale is rushed so you can appreciate the growth of the colony, and have that much less to micromanage, but it makes things so impersonal that you don't ever need to care about any of them individually despite how small colonies are at the start.


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LZIM
 LZIM
Eminent Member
Joined: 1 week  ago
Posts: 32
13/01/2017 4:47 am  
Posted by: ysalimari

I think you're misunderstanding me.

Maybe I wasn't clear in my OP but I'm well aware Greenhouses work during the Winter at 50% efficiency, what I'm asking for is the ability to assign colonists to jobs rather than putting my faith in the AI to figure out what I want.

But yeah again, in short I believe this is the game's design. If you aren't already prepared for winter your colony will die. So save for the problem of greenhouses being extra inefficient because colonists never max them out during the winter, the result in game is actually what you were warned about. I didn't mean to ignore that. They don't want you shutting buildings down just to reassign workers. BUT besides having really high population (obviously you'd have more food problems) it is trying to balance workers to food output. It is understood that in certain scenarios that output will be too low if you didn't already have enough reserves to make it through the entire winter. IF you CAN output that much food during the winter you're wasting resources. Having more workers wasting time adding only a little extra food output, but who are extra mouths to feed might not be more efficient in the long run? Best to have really high production during the sunlight hours each Sol so you have more stock to coast through the winter even if you end up running out of food. Production will resume at a much higher capacity. 


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ysalimari
Active Member
Joined: 2 weeks  ago
Posts: 8
13/01/2017 11:04 pm  

Nah, I don't buy that. If "not being prepared for Winter" causes me to die then Greenhouses wouldn't work at all during the Winter.

  "They don't want you shutting buildings down just to reassign workers"

 

  Well then they shouldn't really call this a colony or city simulation, then. Especially when many others before it enable me, the one pulling the strings, to do this very thing. You're typing a lot of words but not a whole lot of them are actually relevant or helpful. It makes absolutely no sense for two colonists to stay employed in Farms during the Winter when they literally do 0% production. It's not like there aren't such things as Winter crops or vegetables or anything.

 

  It's inefficient to have colonists literally doing nothing when they could be more productive elsewhere. This is a flaw and it needs to be corrected because as I said before.. even a game as old as Caesar III got it right. And do the workers actually have job titles in this game? Again, you're just spouting a whole lot of irrelevant stuff here. I'm talking about the game and what gameplay mechanics it is missing when compared to other, much older, city sims.

Edited: 6 days  ago

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Paul Tozour
Estimable Member
Joined: 7 months  ago
Posts: 200
14/01/2017 12:11 am  

Hey all.  Apologies for the delay in commenting -- I've been super crazy busy and worked through Christmas break on the new features we're adding to the beta.

  My question is, will there be a way to directly control where someone works? Or even a system that can be implemented ala Stronghold where you can *guide* your people where you want them to go? If not, my request is there be some such feature to hire people from their commutes or apartments to work in specific places *and* to give me (and all players) the ability to shut down farms and the like during Winter.

We don't ever want the game to become "person A works at job X, B works at Y," etc ...  that "Banished"-style micromanagement is explicitly against our design goals.

However, we're considering some way to encourage or force more workers to go to a specific building -- possibly a "high-priority job slot."  It's on my list to look at in the next few weeks.


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Paul Tozour
Estimable Member
Joined: 7 months  ago
Posts: 200
14/01/2017 12:15 am  

Also, this forum seems very dead.

I wouldn't worry about that.  Partly that's my fault for having been so crazy busy for the last 6 weeks and not visiting the forums enough, and partly it's due to our decision to go with itch.io instead of Steam for the beta -- we're going for quality feedback, not high sales numbers, until we launch.

We have some huge announcements coming in the next few months, so things will change soon.


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R3AP37
New Member
Joined: 3 days  ago
Posts: 1
16/01/2017 5:26 pm  

I think a pattern priority selection would be best. Priorities down the side such as Power, Food, production etc.

While on a priority then all excess colonists would move to those stations, during the winter you hit Power and Food and it will fill those stations to brim at the cost of other stations loosing staff. If you want growth you hit it and Immigration fills up etc.

Took me a few restarts but once I had a steady understanding and started building districts I quickly went from 170 to 1700 with no issues. pretty much maxed out at 500.  

 


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