A design for simulating demand for products and services

Registered by BinaryMan on 2009-05-29

This is a model for determining the demand for certain building types (particularly ones that aren't vital to survival) and morale effects of these services. For example, each colonist may or may not desire to use a recreational facility (on an individual level). The total demand for a service factors into its % utilization and therefore the % of its morale effect that is present. A simple pseudocode for setting the demand is:

For each colonist (during creation):
    For each product or service (that exists based on current technology):
        Assign a value from 0 to 1 representing that colonist's need for that product or service (either binary or fuzzy)

For each colonist (during update phase):
    For each product or service (that is in colonist list of desire):
        Add the individual demand to the aggregate demand for that service

For each product or service (that exists based on current technology):
    Set % ratio for that service = min(service capacity / aggregate demand, 100%)

For each colonist (during update phase):
    Average all service ratios desired by the colonist (result = 0%-100%, or 0.00 to 1.00)
    Use this as a multiplier for the portion of morale that comes from services

Notes:
* Colony size and tech level have an effect on what is demanded. More developed colonies will demand culture and not just basic living structures.
* Intelligence or other factors like age can affect the demand structure. Individuals may change their tastes over time.
* This development could be either optional or required based on design goals; for instance, it may be nearly impossible to grow beyond a certain point if the player is not paying attention to the colonist's desires, or it could just be a nice bonus to morale.

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