Borders

Kalil
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 6:22 am

Borders

Post by Kalil » Sat May 25, 2013 8:31 am

So, some early experimentation has found that borders grow independent of prosperity, upsetting some commonly held beliefs about the game. There's still a lot more we don't know.

What we know:
Borders expand with time, regardless of prosperity.
- Tested by making two villages, one with 10 prosperity, one with a bit over 100. Both villages grew equally over the course of a 30 minute game.

Growth is slower over 'wrong terrain'
- Tested with a mountain valley town, and with a town with a mountain on one side, and same terrain on the other. The valley town grew significantly slower, the mountainside town grew at an intermediate speed in a lopsided fashion.
- Still need to determine what exactly constitutes 'wrong terrain' (mountains confirmed, need to test ocean and 'different biome' terrain, as well as determine if all types of wrong terrain penalize equally).

'Wrong terrain' placed within existing borders does not penalize growth.
- Tested by placing a Mountain within the borders of a town that had already developed a range of 6. Growth was not stunted on the mountainous side.

Borders can grow to at least 17 range on either side of the city (to cover 38 total tiles, counting city base).
- Tested by allowing a single village to run for a bit over 5 hours in freeplay.
- Need further testing to determine if this is actually a maximum (my gut feeling is 'no').

Ran a test game. Started a flat desert town at game start, a mountain valley town at 10 minutes in, and a mountainside town at 20 minutes in. The valley town appeared to take roughly double the time to grow, the mountainside town behaved oddly. Need to run it longer (and probably rerun the mountainside test, as I made an incorrect assumption and missed the exact timing of the second town growth). Here is my data for the first 30 minutes:

Border Growth, desert town, desert terrain
L3 @ 3:04
R3 @ 5:20
L4 @ 8:51
R4 @ 12:19
R5 @ 17:00
L5 @ 21:50
R6 @ 27:30

Border Growth, desert town, mountain on both sides (t-10)
L3 @ 5:40
R3 @ 10:35
L4 @ 17:15

Border Growth, desert town, mountain on left, desert on right (t-20)
R3 @ 2:29
R4 @ ?7:00?


EDIT: Currently running a 120 minute test game w/ a single town on a completely desert world, with the sole objective of determining the maximum possible city size for Era play. Will post results in a few hours, when I get off work.

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Dunam
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:55 pm

Re: Borders

Post by Dunam » Sat May 25, 2013 10:05 am

I think we must re-assess the premise that borders expand solely based on time, not prosperity.

I did some of the most insane prosperity boosting recently. Creating two oil fields that added about 600 prosperity to a village that had about 600 before that. In a matter of a minute at most, I saw its border move three times to the left. There was no other village bordering on the left and there was no danger on the left.

Kalil
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 6:22 am

Re: Borders

Post by Kalil » Sat May 25, 2013 10:41 am

Dunam wrote:I think we must re-assess the premise that borders expand solely based on time, not prosperity.

I did some of the most insane prosperity boosting recently. Creating two oil fields that added about 600 prosperity to a village that had about 600 before that. In a matter of a minute at most, I saw its border move three times to the left. There was no other village bordering on the left and there was no danger on the left.
Interesting. Perhaps I need to re-run my initial test with a greater prosperity differential. Maybe create one village that I leave alone, and another that I 'play' normally...

coanda
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:46 am

Re: Borders

Post by coanda » Sat May 25, 2013 11:27 am

Well, I just got back after leaving a solo village running with 0 prosperity for about 3 hours to see what would happen. It's borders hadn't moved (they were at 15L, 13R before I left; 15L, 13R when I got back).

Kalil
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 6:22 am

Re: Borders

Post by Kalil » Sat May 25, 2013 11:47 am

coanda wrote:Well, I just got back after leaving a solo village running with 0 prosperity for about 3 hours to see what would happen. It's borders hadn't moved (they were at 15L, 13R before I left; 15L, 13R when I got back).
Hmm, I got a village with 10 prosperity up to 17/17 in a bit over 5 hours.

coanda
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:46 am

Re: Borders

Post by coanda » Sat May 25, 2013 12:04 pm

It's possible that part of what mattered was how long the village had already existed - it was a world I'd been fiddling around with pretty much all day, and that village had been a constant part of it. It was already 4 or 5 hours old when I flattened the world, destroyed all the improvements, and just let the village sit there for a while to see how much the borders would expand.

Or it might be that having literally zero prosperity acts quite distinctly from having the small but non-zero ten prosperity.

Kalil
Posts: 45
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 6:22 am

Re: Borders

Post by Kalil » Sat May 25, 2013 12:20 pm

coanda wrote:It's possible that part of what mattered was how long the village had already existed - it was a world I'd been fiddling around with pretty much all day, and that village had been a constant part of it. It was already 4 or 5 hours old when I flattened the world, destroyed all the improvements, and just let the village sit there for a while to see how much the borders would expand.

Or it might be that having literally zero prosperity acts quite distinctly from having the small but non-zero ten prosperity.
My guess is the key thing is how old it already was - it seems like 'time to grow' is based somehow on age, as evidence by the growth not speeding up when the borders 'pass' an obstacle. I'm guessing that prior to flattening the world, you had mountains or ocean within the borders?

Kalil
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Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 6:22 am

Re: Borders

Post by Kalil » Sat May 25, 2013 1:46 pm

In 120 minutes, my village (with 86 prosperity) grew to 11R and 10L, so a total area covered of 25. This would appear to indicate that 4 cities is 'optimal' for a 120 minute game.

digus
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 5:47 am

Re: Borders

Post by digus » Sat May 25, 2013 3:10 pm

There is a hint on a loading screen that says Mountains and Danger slows the cities growth.

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VDZ
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 8:27 am

Re: Borders

Post by VDZ » Sat May 25, 2013 4:10 pm

The code for growth is very complicated (and uses a lot of local variables, making it really difficult to read if you don't have the real source code). Here's the relevant decompiled code for people who can read C#, though you'll find it hard to read even if you use C# frequently.

The growth algorithm checks the tile right next to the border (the one it's trying to expand to). Tiles of a different type than the village's base type (any type, including ocean and mountain) slow the city's growth (or rather, it grows easier on tiles of the village's base type).

Expansion over non-Forest terrain also seems slower than other terrains.

Other than that, the algorithm seems to be including everything but the kitchen sink in a complicated calculation I can't bring myself to decipher.

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