Peace with Aliens

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slpwnd
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Peace with Aliens

Post by slpwnd » Wed May 21, 2014 7:31 am

This is something we have been thinking about for quite some time. There are many ideas about this in the Ideas & Suggestions section, but since it is quite a big topic we feel it belongs to Dev proposals as well.

What is going on: Now the alien race behavior is kind of straightforward. They generally don't like you. You come close, they attack you. You make too much pollution, they get angry and send an attack against the pollution source. Maybe there should be more intermediate states involved. When you behave nice and don't make too much pollution / don't attack them they tolerate you walking around. You could be able to somehow measure their general mood towards - like friendly, neutral, enemies. With enough research you could even setup a trading station with them to get the alien artifacts without wiping them out off the screen.

This would nicely solve the problem for people who want to play without fighting (now they just switch on the peaceful mode). There would be strategies for them how to finish the game. They wouldn't go for full scale destroy-all-nature dirty automation but instead would focus on the alien communication branch of the tech tree to get to know them better and maybe settle down in mutual cooperation. They would opt for more expensive, but greener technologies (and wouldn't have to bother too much with the military researches).

Anyway, it is not something we are working on right now, but rather something we actively consider.

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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by robhol » Wed May 21, 2014 9:03 am

I like this idea. Another way to play a game is rarely a bad thing, and this would be appealing to the sort of people who have some sort of (probably justifiable) aversion towards massive alien splatter... :D
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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by Iphrid » Wed May 21, 2014 10:50 am

Great stuff! However, the biters don't seem like the kind of aliens one would trade with. I've read somewhere that there is a plan to have more species of aliens so maybe there could be different species with different starting attitudes towards the player. Biters for example would be rather hostile by nature (but not untamable) and some other, more civilized species would agree to trade if the player doesn't wreck their world too much.
Maybe the different species would dislike eachother so trading with one would anger the other(s). You could maybe try your best to befriend/tame the biters and use them to raid the other species or vice versa. You could even try to please all the factions and have peace for all.
I realize that diplomacy isn't really something you have time for in a game like Factorio but I just thought it would be cool. You are after all the first immigrant of many on this inhabited planet so it would seem logical to be some kind of ambassador as wel.
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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by Drury » Wed May 21, 2014 11:28 am

Looking at the RTS direction topic, there are quite a few people who don't seem to be keen on fighting biters and are against the idea mostly so they don't have to get their hands dirty with biter blood.

A peaceful route might be just the thing for those people who feel that factorio should be all about automating factories and aren't happy to deal with combat situations. It could be fully automated - imagine radar-like biter mind control devices/repellents/devolvers that would repel the biter threat without actually killing any of them, all on their own, as long as they have supporting infrastructure behind them. This might be the time to have one of those "monument buildings" that consume materials to upgrade themselves, like something that would create an imaginary dome around your base that would have positive effects on biter's mood and which would grow larger and get more intensive the more resources you feed to it. Something like the opposite of pollution, makes biters less aggressive the stronger the field is. Once the biters get super happy about the whole thing, they start bringing you artifacts. This is the closest you can get to reasonable artifact trade with alien wildlife - you have to feed resources to a building to have biters bringing you artifacts. Once you stop feeding resources to the building, it starts downgrading itself rapidly and pollution takes over, making biters aggressive once again.

This would be analogue to RTS part where you'd have to have an arms industry going and consuming large amounts of resources for building tanks that get destroyed on the battlefield.
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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by Ackos » Wed May 21, 2014 1:19 pm

Some sort of trade good production would be appropriate in this situation. Imagine a train stop at a distant biter village, dropping off trade goods.

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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by Alfdaur » Wed May 21, 2014 4:01 pm

Well, I don't really see a lot of room to work with. The bitters in it's current form don't seem to be intelligent enough for trade. So my only suggestion at this moment would me something in the fain of "2001".

My suggestion would be a giant "black" obelisk or monolith. This monolith would act like a giant communicator with the bitters. The monolith could make a small hunter gather civilization possible for the biters. As a tribute or offering the bitters would "lay down" the artifacts near the monolith. The monolith could be a chest that the biters put into it's "chest". The player could walk at the monolith and open it's chest or could order a robot to go pick it up.

I would suggest that this monolith would require a lot of steel for conctruction, a lot of advanced circuits and processors for comunication, solar pannels for electricity and efficientcy modules for lowering the power requierment. Maybe even add a comunication module that is needed for the construction of the monolith.

so the monolith would be a tall and large construction that looks black at the outside because it's totally covered with solar pannels. Maybe we could even add a "red eye" as a sensor and comunicator (laser technology).

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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by Calico » Wed May 21, 2014 5:07 pm

Like others already stated, i don't see the Biters as intelligent enough for trade.

But since its on the table, i have a suggestion, even when its a bit off from the initial proposal.

The biters always felt a bit out of place for me... like they dont really belong on the planet. This idea was further enforced when i read about the "tainted land" around their nests, that make build laser turrets impossible. It's not implemented yet, but i believe i've read something about it. So, lets assume the Biters aren't native to the planet, much like us. Maybe they are some "Bio-Terraformers"... genetically constructed to alter the planet for another spacefaring race, changing the enviroment slowly to what their creators want. Lets further assume, there is infact a native, intelligent species to the planet, that now struggles to survive against the biter onslaught, lacking the technology to defeat them. They could be Hunter/Gatherers, or even some iron age culture. And, with some research into their language/traditions we might be able to establish trade and a "alliance" against the biters. They wouldn't like heavy pollution, like the biters, so there would still be a need to go "green" to keep them happy allies. We could deliver them technology that might be crude, but effective in defending against the biters and help them in their struggle against the biters. We wouldnt have to go actively hunting for Biters, getting our alien artifacts from them in exchange for our trade.

I've proposed something along those lines a few months ago, but in another context. Still i feel like it could be a alternative worth exploring.

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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by Iphrid » Wed May 21, 2014 5:45 pm

Calico wrote:Like others already stated, i don't see the Biters as intelligent enough for trade.

But since its on the table, i have a suggestion, even when its a bit off from the initial proposal.

The biters always felt a bit out of place for me... like they dont really belong on the planet. This idea was further enforced when i read about the "tainted land" around their nests, that make build laser turrets impossible. It's not implemented yet, but i believe i've read something about it. So, lets assume the Biters aren't native to the planet, much like us. Maybe they are some "Bio-Terraformers"... genetically constructed to alter the planet for another spacefaring race, changing the enviroment slowly to what their creators want. Lets further assume, there is infact a native, intelligent species to the planet, that now struggles to survive against the biter onslaught, lacking the technology to defeat them. They could be Hunter/Gatherers, or even some iron age culture. And, with some research into their language/traditions we might be able to establish trade and a "alliance" against the biters. They wouldn't like heavy pollution, like the biters, so there would still be a need to go "green" to keep them happy allies. We could deliver them technology that might be crude, but effective in defending against the biters and help them in their struggle against the biters. We wouldnt have to go actively hunting for Biters, getting our alien artifacts from them in exchange for our trade.

I've proposed something along those lines a few months ago, but in another context. Still i feel like it could be a alternative worth exploring.
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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by ssilk » Wed May 21, 2014 6:31 pm

I was always for that. :) That brings in the big questions, about death, about fighting or not fighting. That brings players, which want to sink in deep into the game...

They are the natives of this planet, good damn! Do we have a right to kill them?!


Well. I let it open. This is successfully just a game :) and I want to point to an idea, which I really, really like:

Introduce pheromones and smell...

https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... f=6&t=3440

The biters are a bit like insects - ants - which follow pheromones. That makes their behavior more plausible. And the biters are then no longer an enemy. They are the natives.
The idea is great, because if you are able to "see" those layers of different pheromones, you can see their "mood". And then you have a chance to understand their behavior - this is the key.

Are they angry? Look at the "angriness"-pheromone!
Do I need to switch off the factory? Construct an "angriness-pheromone-detector", which controls over the circuit network the power for parts of your factory and switches off, if it gets too high.
They fight always at the same paths and get always killed? Too easy! The dead biters have a smell and the next wave tries to avoid them and find a better place.
They search for food and mark the way to it with pheromones. Ever looked at ants following a path? Interesting...

And so on. The idea is in my eyes absolutely cool, are there some games outside, which tried that kind of deepness in simulating another species ever?

Please discuss details to that idea in the mentioned thread!
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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by echonic » Wed May 21, 2014 7:02 pm

I'm a big fan of this idea.

I think it could really be angled hard from the trade angle as well. Like the natives don't actually have the ability to produce the kind of goods you do, they lack the ingenuity or something. So they see that you are willing to offer them something they want which helps to broker the peace, and as you say you can trade for the alien artifacts.

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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by inthev01d » Wed May 21, 2014 7:58 pm

Is anyone else imagining native tribes riding biters into battle? :D (Not a suggestion)

Edit: I have to say I really like calico's idea - or those scenarios where you defend your base / the planet from some sort of alien infestation (biters, rapidly growing fungus or whatever) in general.

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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by ian.sinopoli » Fri May 23, 2014 4:02 am

Hello All,

Fantastic game so far!

So about this peace with the aliens talk, I have to say no thank you. I think of the bitters as wild life. Granted a super aggressive and prolific wild life, but really they aren't much different from what a giant colony of ants would be like. I like that there is an opposition force to that of the constant growth and expansion of the player. I think this is something that can be fleshed out more and refined, but I think this is a good mechanic for the game. That said, I can also appreciate the addition of options and I think rather than making peace with the locals, perhaps there could be more varied methods of dealing with them. For instance, maybe there could be bait stations that lure them away, or poison the nests, or reduce growth rate. Maybe some kind of camouflage that helps hide the players location. I am sure there are lots of other methods for a non violent approach to handling the local population...all of which requiring a nifty set of machines to make :D.

I also think the relationship between the bitters and pollution is fantastic. I would like to see not only bigger and more aggressive bitters, but maybe bitters that evolve based on contaminated environment. You already have the big worms that shoot acid, why not have bitters that explode when they die or whose bite is toxic. I think there could be effects from player pollution like dirty water, or ruined soil that last beyond the machine that created it and this has a lasting effect on the bitter population and behaviors. The player scouts for areas to set up operations and locate needed resources, I think the bitters should too. I also think there should be resources the bitters compete with the player for, or even attempt to raid the player bases for, maybe just to keep the player from spoiling another natural area. Those big worms could also be used as forward units not just defense. Imagine a few of those popping up right next to your newly built car plant.

Lastly, instead of oil and tank resources just disappearing when you demolish a refinery, chem plant, or holding tank, shouldn't there be a big nasty toxic spill? If there is still materials inside? Bitters would just love that I imagine.

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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by pbhead » Fri May 23, 2014 4:19 am

KILL THEM ALL!

ok.

options good.

though, you should preserve old behavior as "biters always aggro" option or something.

I was even thinking about doing a no weapons game.... where I get as far as I can without ever firing a weapon, or building turrets... which would be kinda silly if they didnt attack.

I dont know how you could "trade" with them.... but I could see maybe some sort of "nature preserve fence"... as some sort of way to tame/domesticate them.... the more nests in the fence, the more artifacts generated over some sort of time period. Or something.

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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by drs9999 » Fri May 23, 2014 5:50 am

pbhead wrote:KILL THEM ALL!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mvmHwCxw5A :D

Imo trading with them makes no sense, because of the already described reasons. They look and behave more like animals than a civilisation.

I recently stumble upon an article about a plant which produces chemicals to mind-control ants:
http://www.treehugger.com/clean-technol ... dding.html

The same could apply to bitters. So they are not tameable per se, but capsules with chemicals/ mind controlling towers can turn them into something that at least looks like tamed. Bitters on drugs would then happily share their artifacts with you.

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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by YotaXP » Sun May 25, 2014 2:38 pm

I love the idea. If I had any sort of talent, I'd draw a picture of the player holding out a bright light source to a medium biter, which is holding out a dimly glowing artifact to the player. (Do they glow? I feel like they would.)
drs9999 wrote:They look and behave more like animals than a civilisation.
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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by SMOKEYBRUCE » Sun May 25, 2014 3:32 pm

I'm just wondering if the natural progression of multiplayer is to have the aliens as a playable opponent or ally. If you could have an alien factories as well. This game reminds me a lot of playing cc red alert skirmishes with my brother years ago on lan..we spent more time building bases(like 48hour weekend) than fighting except at the very end when spleep demanded a final war.

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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by krux02 » Mon May 26, 2014 2:04 pm

I like the idea. I would also like to have Alien's that are just too strong to fight. Friendly in the beginning, when you attack you will regret it very soon.

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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by Schmendrick » Tue May 27, 2014 6:19 pm

In general, more variety in alien interaction would be great. Whether that's more types of baddies to fight, or different ways to interact (extermination, peace, cooperation, whatever), more variety is good.
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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by DanGio » Fri May 30, 2014 1:17 pm

Love that !

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Re: Peace with Aliens

Post by Koub » Fri May 30, 2014 3:41 pm

Hi,

Bought the game like 2 days ago and spent most of my time on it since then :mrgreen:. Terrific game, and highly playable, even though it's still considered as alpha.

My first post here to agree with the idea that it would enrich a lot the game if there was a choice between several game styles, aka military/pollution/berzerk/Kill'em all vs. peaceful/nature friendly/communication/trade/cooperation. I have never liked the "war" part of games where fight is not the main purpose, and I'd love to be able to play the entire game without firing a single shot.
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