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Planning System, questions on it.

 
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Planning System, questions on it. - 2/22/2013 11:02:25 PM   
RyanCrierie


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How detailed will the planning tools and AI agents for BARI...er; SPM be?

One of the big problems with BARIS was that you had to basically do everything yourself -- recruit astronauts, then 'handhold' them into basic training then advanced, and finally assign them to missions. It was...somewhat doable with the Mercury era astronauts, but by Gemini and Apollo, with at least 20+ astros in the system, things broke down, when you had to do that and juggle program development/assignment elsewhere.

At one point, I actually began to plan things out using a simple Excel-based planning chart to remind me of what decisions to make, and where. Unfortunately, I didn't save it, so I can only show you a mockup which I put together in a minute or two; It has no bearing to the actual chart I made:




Something like this would be invaluable in SPM, to show how projected and planned trends "line up"; and to set in stone future recruitment dates; e.g. telling the AI to automatically recruit astronauts at specific dates.

It would also be really helpful if you had an AI 'agent' to play the role of 'Deke' in the game; to automatically place the new astronauts into basic training, then into advanced training depending on their proficiencies, etc; freeing you up to work more on higher level decisions.

You of course, would be able to override "Deke's" decisions; maybe an astronaut actually writes directly to you in your role as Space Program Manager and protests that he's been assigned to "Advanced Training, Command moduel" when he wants to be a lunar module pilot, and if you don't give him his request, he might take a hit in "morale", or whatever.



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RE: Planning System, questions on it. - 2/25/2013 5:46:51 PM   
Nacho84

 

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Hello Ryan,

Apologies for my late reply! In SPM we'll provide several screens in order to manage the personnel (i.e., astronauts, SET personnel and Flight Controllers) and it will be relatively easy to get a glimpse of the tasks they are assigned to along with their stats.

We're not planning to add an 'AI' agent to help with the personnel management, although it sounds like an interesting idea and we might explore it if time permits during the development process.

< Message edited by Nacho84 -- 2/25/2013 5:49:23 PM >

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RE: Planning System, questions on it. - 2/25/2013 10:21:01 PM   
RyanCrierie


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Nacho84
We're not planning to add an 'AI' agent to help with the personnel management, although it sounds like an interesting idea and we might explore it if time permits during the development process.


It doesn't have to be a full blown 'AI agent' -- I'd just like the game to be capable of making some decisions regarding personnel management on it's own, like being capable of recognizing that you need to place a newly recruited astronaut into basic training after he joins the space agency, and then to move him to advanced training once basic is complete.

It was such a pain in BARIS to have to remember to check how the astronauts were doing each month, to see if their training was done or not; because the game was 'dumb' in that it wouldn't do anything if you didn't specifically tell it to.

Thus, if you forgot about checking astronauts each month to check up on their progress; you'd easily waste several periods of possible training time for unassigned astronauts.

As I said earlier, this wasn't a problem when you had just a single Group (Mercury), but by the time of mid-game (Gemini and Apollo), there were so many people coming and going that it became a chore to check on each one to see how they were doing.

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RE: Planning System, questions on it. - 2/27/2013 7:16:15 PM   
Nacho84

 

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Hello Ryan, we can certainly try to include some default options (and the possibility to disable/override them) in order to automate the astronaut and overall personnel management. I'll bookmark this thread in order to revisit it in the near future. Feel free to ask more questions and open more threads with suggestions, I'll certainly read them.

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RE: Planning System, questions on it. - 2/27/2013 10:44:36 PM   
ezz

 

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I never liked the who gets on with who aspect. It mostly just involved having poor stat crews who all got on with each other, sitting around for reserve missions. I remember there was a lot of trial and error in finding good crews, and it was mostly a chore. A good idea but it was troublesome to manage.

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RE: Planning System, questions on it. - 2/28/2013 12:45:30 AM   
jcjordan

 

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Since we're talking about crews here, will the crew rotation/assignment be easier or made easier? That's one thing I hated about BARIS was that all it took was one stinky f*rt to get another astronaut to announce his retirement causing all kinds of ripple effects in assigned missions

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RE: Planning System, questions on it. - 3/1/2013 6:07:38 PM   
RyanCrierie


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quote:

ORIGINAL: ezz
A good idea but it was troublesome to manage.


While there were a few examples in real life -- McDivitt being offered the LMP seat on Apollo 13/14 with Shepard as CDR, but declining as he would rather be CDR on a lunar landing mission...the astronauts were all professionals at the end of the day, and would have flown whatever mission they were assigned to with whoever.

Ultimately, it all came down to how "blackboxed" BARIS was.

There was no real feedback on your astronauts or development programs, other than random announcements at the beginning of each year: "Astronaut Bob Johnson has chosen to retire for personal reasons." "Due to whatever, the Soyuz Program has taken a 5% hit in reliability."

It would have been better if you had gotten a pop-up going:

"Letter to the Director - Astronaut Bob Johnson is unhappy due to being assigned CMP training rather than LMP training." and if you don't do anything to placate him, like assigning him to a backup crew or prime crew; or changing his training; a turn or two later he leaves NASA -- establishing some cause and effect for some of the astronaut resignations -- same thing with R&D programs, you could have gotten a letter warning you that if you didn't fund a development program at a minimum level, there would be an increased chance of delays or something.

< Message edited by RyanCrierie -- 3/1/2013 6:10:48 PM >


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RE: Planning System, questions on it. - 3/2/2013 12:05:05 AM   
Nacho84

 

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We're still working on the astronaut management mechanic. I'm heavily inclined to not include the "who get on with who" thing, as it's something I found a little bit annoying in BARIS. At the end of the day, as Ryan rightly pointed out, these folks were truly professionals, so I don't imagine a mission being scrubbed in real life because of personality problems among the crew. We'll surely tweak this aspect of the game during the beta testing process.

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RE: Planning System, questions on it. - 3/15/2013 8:27:11 PM   
fremen


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A doubt. In BARIS you cannot name the missions, in the future game would be possible do it?
BE: name a mission as Capricorne I, Orion III, etc....

Thanks.

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RE: Planning System, questions on it. - 3/17/2013 11:14:36 PM   
Nacho84

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: fremen

A doubt. In BARIS you cannot name the missions, in the future game would be possible do it?
BE: name a mission as Capricorne I, Orion III, etc....

Thanks.



To be honest, I didn't even think about adding such a feature. But yes, if you think that's something you'd use while playing SPM then we might add it. Would you like to be able to name a mission any way you want irrespective of the program it belongs to?

Cheers,

--Nacho

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RE: Planning System, questions on it. - 3/17/2013 11:45:36 PM   
fremen


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Well, so imagine this program will be in a fictitional space agency, may be will count with fictitional missions also.

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RE: Planning System, questions on it. - 3/18/2013 7:45:02 AM   
Nacho84

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: fremen

Well, so imagine this program will be in a fictitional space agency, may be will count with fictitional missions also.


Fair enough

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