Author Topic: Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.  (Read 363 times)

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Online smurphys7

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Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.
« on: December 23, 2017, 11:28:02 AM »
The goal is to design a town that can last forever with no human interaction.  No correcting mistakes.  No solving crisis.  No manually changing jobs.  Truly a set and forget town.

My first version was pretty darn close.  After several adjustments the town lasted 300 game years without human input.  The danger is fluke years.  I did correct some things to survive future fluke years but the danger still existed.  Even with disasters off diseases can still occur.  If a disease hits during a fluke year with super low population I could lose an actual employed worker, rather than a Laborer.  Once one important worker is lost losing more becomes inevitable.  I did not see a way to ensure I could survive a fluke year and a disease simultaneously.  In the ultra-long-term that is inevitable.

I believe my issues with this first attempt were town being too small and too inefficient.  I made this town quickly on the map I randomed.  I guesstimated three Gatherers Huts and made them pretty good.  I think the town was successful in showing proof of concept. 

For this attempt I have found a map seed with four near-perfect Gathering Huts are extremely close together.  I need to be careful not to fill up storage with non-essential goods.  I need to keep Hunting and Tailoring low.  At times my people will be naked.  I will also be running without tools.  Iron is not infinite and trading is another employed worker.  Trading can be inconsistent.  I would also need to ensure I don't fill up the barns with tools in the ultra-long-term. 

I am making a save-game file right before I run out of tools.  This point is my "end of human interaction".  From this save file I can make adjustments and attempt again.  Link to Album of Setup.  These pictures are also attached.  Attempt #1 is without trimming down to absolute necessities.  The attempt will have 32 jobs: 16 Gatherers, 2 Hunters, 2 Woodcutters, 4 Foresters, 1 Herbalist, 1 Tailor, 2 Vendors, 2 Teachers, 1 Physician and 1 Cleric.  Some of these are clearly non-necessary but the hopes is that my population is sufficiently high enough that I can support these workers even at the lowest points in population.

Pre-attempt #1 the town produces 12,000 food per year.  That number is with tools, with nearby barns full, and at near max population.  The town can likely reach 130 or 140 citizens.  The food limit is currently at 150,000 and there are many barns nearby.  Hopefully the town can survive higher populations by storing sufficient food at lower populations. 

Google Drive Saved Game FileMega saved game file.  Feel free to adjust and try yourself. 

I am using Cheat Engine to crank the speed beyond 10x.  I am using no mods.

Now, time to crank the speed and see how things go.

Offline Nilla

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Re: Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2017, 12:07:27 PM »
Interesting experiment! A selfrunning settlement this small. I'm not so sure that it can work the way you want it, but I'm eager to see.

Did you look at @irrelevantīs very old settlement? He has a somehow different approach.

Online smurphys7

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Re: Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2017, 01:08:33 PM »
Attempt #1 was not successful.  I stopped at year 100.  Failure was inevitable in the long-term.  My save point is at year 44.  Two pictures of Town Hall windows show results.

The hunting lodges I placed were too effective.  I have maxed out on coats and now leather will build up.  In the long-term my barns will fill with leather.  My options are to remove a hunter, move hunting lodges, or increase population.  I believe I want about 60-80% of the hunting I get now.  I will keep two hunters and move the hunting lodges to less effective positions. 

My food production looks very solid.  I believe I can support a larger population.  Remember, as food goes down the barns empty and my food production rises.  The Barns next to my Gathering Huts are perpetually full and drastically reduce production.  I will also add five additional houses. 

Reloading the save, moving Hunting Lodges.  Adding five homes.  Trying again.  On to attempt #2!  Picture of town shows changes to layout.  Also adding six additional barns that are not pictured.  CHANGE:  Still made too much leather.  Moved Hunting lodges further.  Added more Barns.

I am familiar with irrelevant's 2600+ year old town.  In my view, that town seems like it is big enough to survive 10-24 hours with no human intervention at 10x game speed.  Balancing a town that big is very difficult.  There are so many factors.  The concept of my town is that it is small enough to make all the factors more manageable.  Also, by going to 200x speed I go through iterations much more quickly. 

The nadir of my adult count was about 50 through two cycles.  That leaves a reasonable buffer to my 32 employed citizens.  Hopefully these five additional houses make the gap larger.  There will be "fluke" years where the adult count falls substantially lower than 50.  Those years are what matters.

Now we find out if I can balance all the factors for the ultra-long-term.  My previous town survived 300 years with no intervention.  However, failure was inevitable in the ultra-long-term.  My goal for this one is 5,000 years simulated successfully.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 01:49:25 PM by smurphys7 »

Online Gatherer

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Re: Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2017, 02:33:32 PM »
As Nilla said, an interesting experiment. It's nice how we all play the same game differently. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your town to succeed on its own.
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Online brads3

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Re: Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2017, 06:55:46 PM »
define "fluke year"? do you mean disease disasters? or is it that your population ages and dies on its own and slowly recovers? attempting this in a vanila game with no mods does bring its own issues. i recommend the renewable resource mod. that will save fix the issue of running out of iron for tools. it brings a forester that harvests stone or iron the same as a forester does trees.
      to be sure you have enough laborers to replace older workers who get sick and die,you will need about 20% of adult workers still being laborers. also remember though the game shows you adults and children there is 4 brackets of population or 5 but 1 is a split. children including students,breeding age adults,non-breeding age adults,adults in the end stage or old. you need the same # of children as the # that is in the old age bracket.equlibrium is not easy to find.

Online smurphys7

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Re: Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2017, 03:40:37 AM »
Attempt #2 was unsuccessful.  I had the same issue of too much leather.  My original estimation of how much leather I wanted generated per year was wrong.  I dropped down to 1 Hunter in the best location which is inside the one Gathering Hut area.  That single hunter gets an average of 4 kills per year.  Clothing will fluctuate between 40-80% which is just fine.

I added a 2nd Herbalist at the second market.  I noticed in the long-term that one Herbalist cannot keep up with a population of about ~150 with the diet I provide. 

In the long-term my woodcutters cannot fully stock all homes with firewood.  The markets allow distribution of firewood to about 70%+ of homes.  Thanks to the markets, the homes are spread out and fairly random.  Everyone stays warm no problem.  I will not add a 3rd woodcutter.

I paved a variety of paths.  Seeing the paths citizens regularly take is easy when the speed is at 200x and everyone has an icon above their heads.  Wherever people regularly go -- there I put stone roads.

For Attempt #3: Numbers compared to original attempt: -1 Hunting Lodge/Hunter.  +1 Herbalist/Herbalist.  +7 Homes.  +15 Barns.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2017, 04:01:04 AM by smurphys7 »

Offline Maldrick

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Re: Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2017, 10:51:01 AM »
Very interested to see where you go with this.  Not every game, but generally I'm going for towns that will run on their own.  Generally doable but, as you noted, running unattended forever is a different thing.  Something always piles up or is lacking over extended periods.

Have gotten some towns nicely tweaked to run for a hundred years or more but beyond that I'm usually ready to move on to a new one so never tried to tune it to go beyond that.  So, interested to see what you do with this.
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Online smurphys7

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Re: Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2017, 01:25:36 PM »
Side note: I get about 45-50 years per hour.  I can crank the speed to any number but 45-50 per hour seems to be what my computer is capable of actually doing.  I turn the graphics down to minimum and turn on one mod (no smoke) for the simulation.  The best part is, of course, I don't actually have to pay attention.  I don't think the no smoke mod has any game-play affects.  I can turn off that mod and make saves that function.  So anyone can still load and play my town from any point with no mods.  I have a save point at the start of the simulation where you could load the game, hit play, and hopefully walk away for thousands of game years.... or hopefully thousands of real years.

Attempt #3 was unsuccessful - I think.  I had concerns.  Less than a dozen starvation deaths occur at every population peak.  I am not sure if this would actually be a problem.  At the population peak I had about 80 Laborers.  Perhaps if children died of starvation something strange would happen.  Again, two woodcutters could not quite keep up with demand but I don't think this would be a problem.

Attempt #4: -1 Hunting Lodge/Hunter.  +1 Herbalist/Herbalist.  +3 Homes (41 total).  +7 Barns.  I don't think the Barn count really matters.

Attempt #4 Results: Cautiously Optimistic!  Check out these sweet sweet numbers and graphs:
Population Graph
https://i.imgur.com/8kzXD14.png
Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.

The lowest nadir of Adults seems to be 50.  That green line is the most important.  As long as the green line stays at or above 32 I should be good.  The number 32 is important because that is how many employed adults I have in town.  Other factors are important to watch and indicators that the green line may go below 32 in the far distant future.  However, this green line is "the game".  My goal for this town is to keep the green line at or above 32.  To me, it looks like the green line "normally" stops at around 55-60 adults.  A "fluke" year would be a year where it drops drastically lower.  Those "fluke" years are what matters.  Is 50 a "fluke"?  How much lower will a "fluke" be?  We will find out.
Overview.  Nothing too interesting here.  I am at year 168 which is a little over 100 years of tool-less simulation.  Since game year 46 I have done nothing but click on Town Hall and other non-obtrusive investigating.

Production Tab.  Some great numbers here!
https://i.imgur.com/gaSQ6xJ.png
Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.

Firewood: I make JUST enough firewood.  I don't have pictures of the Firewood graph but it barely hits the 1500 Firewood limit.  It hits that limit maybe one in 10-20 years.  I don't think I could perfectly support 1 additional house.  I think I'd survive just fine with slight Firewood shortages but not having any is nice.
Food: I make JUST enough Food as well.  I likely can support one more house with Food.  I make almost 600 extra food each year which supports a house at peak population.  Again, having extra is probably for the best.  I don't think I want to restart the simulation with 1 more house.
Logs, Herbs, Clothing and Textiles are all mostly consumed or produced as needed. 

Citizens Graph.  Happiness, Health and Education are very steady.  I am unsure how I got a few uneducated at some point.  I have two Teachers at all times and it doesn't look like Students crossed 40 at any point.  That is strange.  I have no explanation.

Clothing is an ever so slight concern.  Is the red graph slowly trending upwards?  Will a balance point be found?  Will I max out on clothes and fill my barns with leather in the ultra-long-term?  I am unsure.  Going back to the Production Tab I produce about ~20 Leather per year which is just over 3 kills.  Do I need to lower this number slightly by using a slightly worse hunting location?  I am not sure.

We will find out! 

Time to let it run another few hundred years!

Offline Nilla

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Re: Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2017, 04:21:54 PM »
I guess, the slightly increasing clothes graphs comes from the slightly decreasing population graph. It looks like the average population of one cycle gets down. Will this continue? Will it balance? Will it turn back to a slightly higher population? No idea!

Have you considered to play without producing any clothes? No hunter, maybe instead a fisher or two. No clothes has much less influence than no tools.

Offline Maldrick

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Re: Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2017, 11:47:45 AM »
Loaded up a couple of mods to try them out last night and wound up getting sucked into actually playing. Which was pretty fun because it was pretty much a vanilla game on a really bad seed I normally wouldn't have played. Got it to a point where it basically runs by itself...was at about 100 years unattended when I looked at it earlier.

But it reminded me of the gotchas I've always run into with this...

Tools are largely tenable. Made a lot easier by sticking with Iron Tools and removing coal as a variable.  If you get your auto trading tweaked, have a limit on iron below what's stocked, some staffed mines as a fall back should it dip below, and lots of extra stockpiles you can pretty much stay in tools with no problems for incredibly extended periods.  But I still think, eventually it's going to skew one way or another if truly infinite is what you are going for.  Running out of iron and having some bannies tool-less in one extreme, which could potentially crash the town, and glutting the stockpiles in the other extreme, which could do the same because it could choke out firewood and wood production.  I wonder if using specialized stockpiles and going for the latter would work?  Although I suspect it might not considering maxed storage can send them into that loading/unloading frenzy.  Have only seen that with barns but assuming it would be the same?  That could crash the town, too.

Coats was generally tenable, also.  I set it where 2 tailors made Warm Coats, 1 made Hide Coats, and 1 Wool, with traders pulling the hide and wool, and that generally worked although it works a lot better with a larger town and more "main" tailors so the bleed off of the ones pulling the excess isn't as pronounced (this one is at around 300 pop).  Also tried it without traders and both leather and wool piled up.  Eventually you're going to pile something up somewhere either in storage or in tradeposts, though, so I'm thinking Nilla's suggestion of slightly under-supplying your pop with clothes is probably the way to go for an infinite situation.  Gives you an extra sliding scale to work with doesn't necessarily impact overall performance significantly enough to cause problems.  Didn't try it but also got me wondering about using auto trading to bleed off excess.  I've done it before to an extent with needed goods like iron, but what about dedicating traders just for that?  To balance it, trade for Ale because it's expensive and it gets consumed rapidly if your pop is high enough, maybe?  I want to say I tried something like that once but couldn't really get it to work.  I'm fuzzy, though.

The main gotcha, I was reminded, is food.  We only have one limit for food, but bannies need 4 food groups.  I didn't have time to try to balance population with food production that never hits limit, but with it hitting limit eventually one chokes out the others.  When I last looked this morning, grain was winning and fruit was losing. Lol.  And overall health was dropping as a result. It's more tenable if you can balance your pop wave with food stored/production where food never hits limit, but that takes lots of tweaking and isn't always stable ultimately, in my experience.  I guess you could go for a less than max health situation and it not be a problem, maybe keeping herbalists accessible everywhere to take the edge off of it, but I think that might be inviting problems like diseases...Although that might be workable since most diseases aren't dangerous and you can nip them in the bud with enough hospitals...Still seems like asking for disaster.

I still think this is mostly doable, but to what extent is purely a matter of personal preference because ultimately some management is going to be needed in places.  And ultimately, this sheds light on the limited limits of this game being a glaring design flaw for this particular playstyle.  For most other playstyles it ranges from zero impact to a slight inconvenience, but it's a serious damper on building self sustaining towns.  I've dreamed about having this game with individual limits on everything so it could all be managed for this, but not something we are going to see with Banished, alas.  Even another 10 or 20 limits with the existing system would be a boon for this, but we won't be seeing those, either, and it's kind of a shame.  Still fun to explore, of course. :)

Good stuff. You really got the old juices flowing with this.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 11:59:55 AM by Maldrick »
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Online smurphys7

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Re: Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2017, 07:24:22 AM »
Have you considered to play without producing any clothes? No hunter, maybe instead a fisher or two. No clothes has much less influence than no tools.

In this first attempt I am trying to be a magnanimous ruler who provides almost everything.  I figure it will be fun to start more difficult and trim down to only the necessities.  The Fishing Docks would be very ineffective without tools and Hunting is barely affected by tools.  I threw in the Tailor to get rid of the Leather.

Attempt #4: Failure.  I hit a "fluke" around year 300.  Check out this precipitous drop.

https://i.imgur.com/XtAyL4Q.png
Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.


I had 32 employed citizens.  I believe this dropped me to 25 employed citizens.  In a normal game one would simply turn them back on.  The entire idea of this town is I wouldn't do that.  This fluke year will lead to inevitable failure.  Now my town is knocked out of balance and will eventually topple and fall. 

This fluke year looked very similar to other fluke years I have had in other towns with other populations.  Compare to this graph.  This town is smaller but has an extremely similar graph.  These fluke years are this entire challenge.  I need to survive crazy years like these.  The other years are easy.

Attempt #5: Making a lean-mean-grinding machine.  Magnanimity is out.  Cruel and harsh is in.  I am redesigning the town to be close to maximally efficient.  Here is a new picture of town.  I have cut down to a lucky number of 13 jobs.  The population generally flows between 45 and 90.  I have had fluke years where the adult population has fallen to 22.  That gives me a wide berth to my 13 employed workers.

I have cut out providing any Health.  I do have a Hospital to treat the diseases that frequently pop up.  I am currently at year 200 and things are looking good so far.  Well... good for the longevity of the town.  Health and Happiness are at all time lows.

Offline irrelevant

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Re: Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2018, 08:30:39 AM »
To balance it, trade for Ale because it's expensive and it gets consumed rapidly if your pop is high enough, maybe?  I want to say I tried something like that once but couldn't really get it to work.  I'm fuzzy, though.
Buying ale isn't really viable in vanilla, as the only storage that will accept it from the TP is a brewery. The problem here seems to be that the brewery storage capacity (300?) is too small to accept a full wheelbarrow full of ale (500) from the TP. So the traders never seem to move it out. I once had a TP that I marked for demolition which had maybe 1000 ale in it, and it took literally years for it all to get moved out.

Offline Maldrick

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Re: Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2018, 03:56:29 PM »
Aye, I think that's what I ran into when I tried it.

May have to give it another look with a modded tavern sometime.
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Online smurphys7

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Re: Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2018, 02:33:13 PM »
Attempt #5 Failure.  At year 685 I had an insane Fluke year.  I dropped down to 12 Adults.  I employed 13 Adults in that town.  I was one short of surviving it.  I actually was at my computer and saw it happen.  Normally the game is playing on its own without me even in the room.

I'm not sure the size of the town matters.  I think a town, regardless of size, has the potential to drop to an incredibly small number in the ultra-long term.

My next attempt will be far crueler.  I will have mandatory starvation.  I can see my average population on these towns.  If the town survived for 100 years on its own the Food Consumed over 100 years will show me the average population over 100 years.  For example, my one town had 654,192 Food consumed over 100 years.  That means the average population of the town was 65.4.  Judging by the population graphs, that number looks accurate.  If I produce less than 6,500 food per year I will inevitably kill some folks at the top of the population curves.  One of my town that failed had this occurring.  The town survived some 100+ years like that and there seemed to be no "fluke" years due to the mandatory culling.  I will intentionally enact the mandatory culling.

My other option is to try to make my lean-mean town slightly more efficient.  Can I drop a job or two?  Physician, Forester, a few Gatherers and maybe a House?  I don't know.  I was very close.  Another option is save-scumming it.  I don't want to do that.

Could there be any alternative styles that might work?  A larger town.  Firewood trading.  etc.  I am not sure.  The smaller the town the higher I can crank the speed.

Online smurphys7

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Re: Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.
« Reply #14 on: Today at 02:51:27 PM »
Attempt #6 Optimistic.  I am more cruel and more harsh.  I have enforced mandatory starvation to cull citizens.  After 500 years of simulation check out this suffering and misery:

https://i.imgur.com/CQqTP5o.png
Infinite: Designing a Town for no human interaction.


I have accomplished this by dropping 2 Gatherers and turning off one Gathering Hut.  My 6 Gatherers produce ~5300 food per year.  My population regularly rises above 60.  My food production cannot support the population.  The regular culls seems to prevent "fluke" years where I have a drastic reduction in adults.