That people want equidistant start is clear. But I would guess Vic is not sure how to implent it?
My idea for this is these steps:
1. Make the decision wich Zone houses a major, a minor or cityless minors as late as possible
2. Once you know where the majors will be, make sure they have a roughly equal footing
3. If you need some resource or have too many resources in the zone of a major for step 2, just take or send stuff to the zones of minors.
During history creation, you would not yet have a idea wich city will become a major, a minor, a free town - or even a ruin. You would just be using population centers with numbers.
Each of them has a equal chance to become either one, the decision is made extremely late - when generating regimes.
The major regimes and minor regimes are simply the populations that emerged dominant in their zone/neighbourhood.
Sometime around 10 years ago, they found those guaranteed deposits - wich allowed them to become a major.
"We used to be a free town like you, but then I found these water, metal and rare metal resources!" - Major
"We used to be a free town like you, but finding those water deposits and the nessesary gear to exploit allowed us to become the dominant force in this zone." - a Minor with a city
Having roughly equal starting positions for all majors is pretty important:
- A certain minimum amount of population
- the presence of the guaranteed deposits for water, fuel, metal, rare metal
- a certain minimum free population
The thing is, that you do not need to choose Zones that fit these requirements for majors - you pick the zones for majors for distribution reasons - then make their starting zone(s) match the requirements. By taking stuff from other zones.
It would be clunky to just force spawn the guaranteed deposits. The game Stellaris overwrites the systems around the Empire Capitol with guaranteed habitable planets of a certain minimum quality - wich makes sure people have roughly equal starting conditions in a very random game. This does have the side effect that you can have 2 habitable planets right next to yours - and nothing else habitable for light-centuries.
The game Age of Wonders Planetfall used to have a rule that the Amazon race always starts in a Acardian sector (the games most fertile). Even on a planet of Lava Lakes, planets that were PyrX-ed into sterility or planets that are partially consumed by the void dimension - they managed to find the one sector still arcadian! The rule was later removed for some other early game bonus.
But you do not need to do anything that clunky - just take it from a minor or give it to a minor:
- too little population? Take it from the free folks of the Zone. "After it became clear that the resources found and started exploiting would make us the rising star in the local region, a lot of people from neighbouring cities moved to us over the last decade."
- too much population? Move it to the free folk of the Zone. "Fearing that such a rise to prominence would only invite warfare or disaster, a lot of people left the city."
- too much or too little Free folk now? Take it from or send it to a nearby Minor. Nobody cares if Nomadic people have a large or small free folk population
- did a free town drop below a sensible stable population? Make it a ruin.
- did a free town grow beyond the point where they should have turned into a minor? Just turn nearby ruins into a free town to spread the population further
- need a resource deposit or more resources for a existing one? Just take it from a minor as well. Ideally a citiless, they never even propsect!
- too many resources in the starting deposit or the hidden starting zone deposits? Over to another minor with that!
"After all it is not like anyone was doing a proper history or census of the planet in the centuries since the disolution war. And communications was spotty too. So any discrepancies in our records - like maps indicating a large town where there are now only ruins - have to be expected."
By moving stuff around, you can make sure not to increase the overall supply of resources that are rare - you just concentrate it more where it can explain the rise of the Major and City Minor Factions.
< Message edited by zgrssd -- 3/8/2021 7:10:59 AM >