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 Post subject: [DD] Research
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:04 pm 
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In 2 topics (topic #1, topic #2) it was decided that research should be a part of Transport Empire. The Design Document doesn't mention it anywhere though. The last poll on how powerful research should be wasn't conclusive either. Allow me to suggest how research should be implemented.


Research
Research allows transport companies to improve and invent technologies that apply to vehicle properties and construction speed and abilities. Examples of technologies that are available to invent or improve are:
    - Belpaire firebox
    - Westinghouse air brake
    - jet engines
    - diesel engines
    - hydrofoil ships
    - tempered steel
    - track-laying machinery

To invent a technology a transport company has to hire a researcher. Researchers approach a random transport company and ask if the company is interested in their ideas. An interested company hires the researcher and awards a negotiated bonus when the researcher actually invents something. A researcher doesn't invent something immediatly after being hired. The required time depends on variables like research climate and earlier inventions done by researchers in the transport company.

Improving existing technologies is executed by a transport company's own research division. How large improvements are also depend on the research climate and on how many outside researchers have been contracted by the transport company.

When transport companies merge the inventions and technology improvements of the dissolved companies revert to the newly formed transport company. Competing transport companies can take a license on inventions from other transport companies for an annual fee per vehicle or constructed object.

Research is a selectable game feature that is switched off by default.

Question 1: are transport companies able to choose research per vehicle type?

Question 2a: do researchers recieve a salary?
Question 2b: if researchers recieve a salary, is this a fixes salary or a negotiated salary?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 1:52 pm 
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Question 0: No this doesn't really need to be discussed at the moment :wink:

Question 1: Yes. There would be no point getting research only to find out your guy discovered a fantastic ship propellor when you aren't anywhere near the ocean.

Question 2a: Yes
Question 2b: Fixed but chooseable. The better the pay, the better the results or the faster the results.

BTW, how about R&D department instead of just one guy? This way the more pay the more guys they have, etc...


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:02 pm 
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Why doesn't this have to be discussed now, doesn't it have to be in the Design Document :roll: ?

About your answer to 2B: I imagined that a researcher that knocks on your companiy's door with ideas that might result in an invention is a single person like Rudolph Diesel or George Westinghouse. If you hire them they just join your your company's research department (or you have to start a research department for them).

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:24 pm 
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Hyronymus wrote:
Why doesn't this have to be discussed now, doesn't it have to be in the Design Document :roll: ?
Well yes, but in terms of programming order, it can be done after the main stuff is done and its already game playable. Whereas things like the GUI need to be done now to make it game playable, yet the discussion of this was questioned. So I'm just a bit confused...BTW, i think *everything* should be discussed...

Hyronymus wrote:
About your answer to 2B: I imagined that a researcher that knocks on your companiy's door with ideas that might result in an invention is a single person like Rudolph Diesel or George Westinghouse. If you hire them they just join your your company's research department (or you have to start a research department for them).
Based on what I read in the Wiki, they would first get the idea, patent it, and set up their own company to sell the idea or the actual thing iself to the rail companies. I'm not sure its as simple as a person working for you, because then they dont hold the patent, your company would. (Which is a sucky thing about inventing anything at a uni...)


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:47 pm 
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Which Wiki?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:51 pm 
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The pedia Wiki, known as the Wikipedia under the bio's for messers Diesel and Westinghouse. I'm too lazy/busy watching Family Guy to get the links for you. :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 3:09 pm 
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Ah yes, but that is real life. I don't think it'll be easy or nice to introduce Inventing Companies (:P) in Transport Empire. Don't know what other people think.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 7:47 pm 
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Very interesting, you may or may not be pleased to hear that I disagree completely with your proposal Hyro...

My own proposals:

R&D (Research and Development)

First of all, you have 4 options (in the in-game options menu) to choose from:

1)follow real life timeline to the letter
2)follow real life timeline closely - research only affects time of discovery of technology by a couple of years (early OR late)
3) loose following of timeline - technology up to 5-10 years early (very expensive) [or late] and MUST be researched by investment in the area OR specific project, will not automatically be aquired when the timeline says it should
4)Full control of R&D - what you pay for is what you get


when research is enabled (ill use option 4 for this)

first you have to fund your own research and development department. it requires a building, if we still have a HQ building then a part of your building will be given to that department and the size of your HQ dictates your R&D capacity. once you have that sorted, you can invest any part of your R&D budget into research.
discoveries are randomly made in research, the amount invested only gives you more staff and resources in research and therefore only gives you a higher chance of a breakthrough. these are not regular but are logical. if a particular breakthrough needs another breakthough before it then it cannot be discovered before its predecesors.


then theres the development. you invest any amount withing your R&D budget into any area/s of development. these include improvement on current vehicles, developing an useful device of some sort on the most recent discovery, aerodynamics (once people realise that they do anything), drivetrains, chassis, and so on. once they develop something they pass it onto their designers (part of the same department so dont worry about them) and create a usable design and file a patent. for the sake of simplicity, the patent is auto approved and you can then sell this design to another company...or not. new designs take time and are directly affected by number of staff (budget) and resources (yet more of your budget) as well as any master designers you have.
a capable designer might contact you to take a job and you can choose to hire him, a contract is negotiated including salary and bonuses for really good designs.


we have already decided that AI has to follow the same rules as us and therefore this also applies to them.
independent discoveries can be made by random companies
discovering something doesnt mean you have a design to build something...

i think that about sums everything up, if i missed anything, ill post it

discuss and decide whether you this idea or hyro's more

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:26 pm 
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I don't see much difference between our mutual ideas, to be honest. I think I used the wordd "research department" with which I too mean that a part of the company HQ is reserved for the researchers. Your patent proposal fits my proposal too: the development or invention made by researchers working for your company revert to your company.

Your four option of game settings for how to treat research are nice but I don't quite understand the first 2 options. Option 3 says "[...] will not automatically be aquired when the timeline says it should", does that mean that in option 1 & 2 inventions are being done regardless of ongoing research? That would be quite silly I think, I prefer my approach of having "real inventors" knock on your company's door better then. For those who like realism it is possible to let them knock on your company's door in due time.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 11:04 pm 
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I much prefer the concept of an external company developing, for a fee, a component or a new train or something of your choice.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 11:51 pm 
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I must say I like Hyros idea about door knocking researchers, as long as they don't apear to frequently.

One researcher may not be realistic, but it gives some charm to the game! We can have "photos" of the researcher + names and so.

Not sure about how the resarch thing should actually work. But charm is nice. :)


Guess I look too much flower power now... :p

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 Post subject: Re: [DD] Research
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 11:39 am 
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IMO;

Hyronymus wrote:
Question 1: are transport companies able to choose research per vehicle type?


Yes. But I don't think the vehicle types should be the only research categories. Something like infrastucture could be a category too.

Quote:
Question 2a: do researchers recieve a salary?
Question 2b: if researchers recieve a salary, is this a fixes salary or a negotiated salary?


Well, you could handle the costs of researching in different ways;
- Pay a fixed amount of research, the more you pay, the faster research goes (like in RCT)
- Hire one person which researchs. Better researches got higher salary.
- Define how many researches you want to hire. The more you got, the faster research goes (perhaps some researches could only be unlocked if you got a specific number of researches working on it, but that might be going too far).

I'm kinda neutral about which of these options you take, actually.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 1:30 pm 
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I wasn't too clear perhaps but transport companies can research construction or vehicles but for vehicles there might be a need to narrow things down by vehicle type.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 2:02 pm 
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There's another option for research. Tho I don't think it's good for TE, I mention it anyways.

Researches cost a specific amount of money (perhaps time too). You can simply start the research whenever you got the money for it. (This is more RTS style). Advantages would be the player knows beforehand what exactly he is researching, and that you can have an advanced Tech-Tree. Disadvantage would be it's unrealistic.

EDIT: Btw, for categorizing research, I think cargo/passengers, and diesel/electric for trains, would be important differences too.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:09 pm 
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I think the way things are divided into sections should be neutral to the different transport means. With that I mean that we should not grant greate control over research in one area and then in other areas users got almost no control.


I don't think you should be able to exact specify what to research as in an RTS game. But "Trains, Engine, Low Tech" is surely okay.


I think that inventions should be made available to all companies say 10 years after someone researched it. It could be even longer or shorter but I think there should be some such time limit.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:21 pm 
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Zuu wrote:
I think that inventions should be made available to all companies say 10 years after someone researched it. It could be even longer or shorter but I think there should be some such time limit.


Disagreed. That would make spending money on research much more unattractive.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:24 pm 
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Thats why I said 10 years but let it be 25 or 30 years. It's really depends on how fast the game becomes.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:29 pm 
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I'd rather not have the limit at all. Keep research for yourself, I'd say. (Or sell it, perhaps).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 9:32 pm 
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Purno wrote:
I'd rather not have the limit at all. Keep research for yourself, I'd say. (Or sell it, perhaps).

Just set the research release limit to 1.000.000, or we could make an option to turn it off. I would like to see the feature in game anyway as I find it more appropriate that other companies can also benefit from your environment saving technologies for example.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 2:10 pm 
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XeryusTC wrote:
I would like to see the feature in game anyway as I find it more appropriate that other companies can also benefit from your environment saving technologies for example.
Using real life as an exmaple. When Westinghouse invented air brakes they eventually became mandatory (by law) after some time because of the superior safety benefits. It would also seem unfair if someone had Diesel's technology and never shared it, meaning that only one person can build Diesel engines!


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