Integrating Populous Materials into Common Use

I have previously made some comments regarding this topic in my Katoa government thread. But it didn’t get any discussion, and I think it deserves some. So I’m going to try it as a stand alone thread. Frankly, I don’t love all of my own ideas, and I am hoping that other people either have better starting ideas or have thoughts that might merge with my ideas and make them better.

Objective: Integrate some of the new buildings / products introduced with Populous into normal player use and not government only usage.

Rationale: While it is true that there are government only industries in the real world (e.g. Defense), most industries are mixed use with both business and governmental consumers. Mixed use industries have a larger customer base and market size, and thus become more dynamic marketplaces for competition due to the added number of customers. And even if government needs a special version of a product, the manufacturer frequently has a parallel version coming off the same assembly line that is suitable for consumer use.

Some Specific Ideas:

  • Additional Luxury Items: Introduce one item per class of workers that adds an additional 10% efficiency to those workers at a base, for a maximum possible total of 110%. Decorative Elements and Olfactory Substances are the items that I was looking at when I thought of this idea, but I think the Pharmacy building might be a candidate to produce some more products for this category. Key thought here is that the cap at 100% efficiency seems artificial, but going above 100% efficiency should be increasingly expensive.

  • Introduce a “Greenhouse” farm structure: This idea comes from trying to make SOI and FER usable by general users. The concept is a “Greenhouse” type structure for non fertile planets. The building would consume SOI at construction, and consume FER for each order. As was discussed with Hoogalish, it probably should need MHLs for distant planets, but be usable via solar lighting for planets near the star…thus maybe you vary whether it needs MHL based on the temperature of the planet to approximate this? To differentiate from an HYF…I would intend this to grow everything grown on a regular farm and nothing that currently requires an HYF (aka No Caffeinated Beans).

  • Begin introducing Power concepts to Core Modules: As step 1 towards the power mechanics I expect in the future…require Solar Panels and Power Cells for core modules. I hope the future holds a much more robust power scheme than this, but this would be a step 1 that advances those market niches. Oh, I’ll also use this one to build on my comment in the intro about having separate consumer and government products – the current powercells appear intended to be portable units for use in drones. Obviously a base powercell would need to be much bigger. So let’s have the ECA building make portable powercells for the drone building and base powercells for core modules. Two different products that use the same outputs and the same building.

  • Introduce some industry specific consumables to higher tier building construction: This one borders on grasping at straws, so I hope someone makes it better. Two things that are immediately in my mind here are have the Laboratory building use Test Tubes, and have the Software buildings use Office Supplies (Post It Notes). It is less than ideal because I am suggesting consumables be used at building construction, but I feel it is thematically consistent for the buildings and the easiest way to implement it in the current mechanics.

  • UPF Structures: Almost forgot this one…the UPF makes some neat prefab structures, but currently only for government use. What if the higher tier housing and/or the mixed use housing used unique structural elements from the UPF in construction. “Sleeping Units” or “Apartment Units” or “Kitchen Units” – idea needs some development, but hopefully the concept is here.

I have not figured out how to make the Drone stuff applicable. If anyone has an idea for that, please share.

And again…please feel free to tell me that these are the dumbest ideas you have ever heard…or feel free to take them and turn them into something better. I don’t love them, but I want to get some brainstorming in progress.

Thanks for reading!!

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Regarding to Drone Stuff:
Splitting the Drone Stuff into modules:

  • Controls, including Sensor Tech and Software (“C”)
  • Vehicular Tech / Automotive, including Ground, (Sub-)Marine, Air, Space (“V”)

Adding another module:

  • Manipulating Tech / Robotics (“M”)

These modules can be further used for Buff Buildings like Advanced Construction and Assembly Line (requires C+M) or Autonomous Farm Bots / Ressource Harvesting Bots (requires C+V+M) or in regular Production Buildings.

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I would like to suggest that we have some sort of Delivery Drone added with ship building as well - this would be a much cheaper ship that is limited to intra-system flight (STL Drive only), as it should only require STL drive, cargo bay and Drone frame. This would free up expensive FTL ships for making FTL trips delivering goods between systems.

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Alternatively for a much more involved suggestion, delivery drones could be completely autonomous and we can set them on automated routes. For example we could set up a route delivering goods between Vallis and Montem, each drone granting 50m3/50t capacity. We could then set the goods that we want to carry in each direction and the goods would be picked up and dropped off with each trip.

For example, with 5 drones on the route we could set the route to transport 31 iron from Vallis to Montem, and 91 LST from Montem to Vallis. The drones would need to automatically refuel if available, or halt the route if insufficient fuel is available.