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Starvation bug?
05-26-2013, 02:32 AM
Post: #1
Starvation bug?
I recently got a message that there was starvation at one of my colonies (short 0 food). Unless my colonists are on a hunger strike, I don't see how I could have starvation with sufficient food.

I think what is happening here is that colonists are being charged a food the turn before they are born. You check for colonist births, then you check if there is enough food, then you have starvation if necessary, then you announce how much extra food was needed (in this case 0 because another colonist died of starvation the same turn it one was born). Roc, is that right?

Seems like colonists shouldn't be charged a food until the turn they are actually able to contribute to production/research/farming. I often have starvation when I had more than enough food when I submitted my turn, and I don't think it should be that way... Any thoughts?
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05-26-2013, 02:16 PM
Post: #2
RE: Starvation bug?
(05-26-2013 02:32 AM)Skins0815 Wrote:  Roc, is that right?

Not quite; if it was that simple, then people would have hit this issue more often.

I believe what happened is one of your non-farming colonies produced a new colonist (which, when food shortage occurs the game knows to make a farmer, but since it could not made something else). This in turn left you with negative food when checking a later planet, which lead to starvation.

From looking at the code, it seems to handle the single planet case correctly.
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05-27-2013, 02:03 AM
Post: #3
RE: Starvation bug?
(05-26-2013 02:16 PM)rocco Wrote:  
(05-26-2013 02:32 AM)Skins0815 Wrote:  Roc, is that right?

Not quite; if it was that simple, then people would have hit this issue more often.

I believe what happened is one of your non-farming colonies produced a new colonist (which, when food shortage occurs the game knows to make a farmer, but since it could not made something else). This in turn left you with negative food when checking a later planet, which lead to starvation.

From looking at the code, it seems to handle the single planet case correctly.

Ok, good that it knows to build a farmer when short food (I have seen that before). But that starvation should only occur if I ended my turn short food, which I'm pretty sure I didn't. The only way I could have starvation with sufficient food when I end my turn is if new colonists (or maybe colonists in transit?) charge a food the turn BEFORE they can be put to work, right?
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05-27-2013, 04:26 AM
Post: #4
RE: Starvation bug?
(05-27-2013 02:03 AM)Skins0815 Wrote:  But that starvation should only occur if I ended my turn short food, which I'm pretty sure I didn't. The only way I could have starvation with sufficient food when I end my turn is if new colonists (or maybe colonists in transit?) charge a food the turn BEFORE they can be put to work, right?

There is no guarantee of that. The end of turn simulation is played out in a consistent fashion, where changes in state take effect immediately, with orders from that turn affecting the simulation advancement.

To give another example, else where during beta it was noted that a player had positioned their researchers in such a fashion that it just allowed them to get their next research item in one turn. However, research gained from research pacts is dependent on a value calculated from the current research production of both contributing empires. At the same time you made your turn, adjusting your researchers just enough to skim through, the other player removed all of their researchers entirely. When the turn comes to update, the actual value for the research pacts will be slightly different from what you saw on your turn, thus the original player runs the risk of undershooting.

That case is obviously a bit more complex, but what I am trying to convey is that there are a lot of factors that can, and will, affect how the turn plays out.

In this specific case, I can confirm that population growth is guaranteed on a per planet basis; meaning, if you had one planet in your empire and it couldn't farm, if it "grew" an extra colonist that colonist would appear, and you should get an event that you are starving (this event is generated for any planet that has a negative growth rate). The next turn, the colonist would "go away".

Population growth is a smooth scale measured in millions. So if you "grow" a colonist one turn by going over one million, starve and lost it the next by going just under one million, you can "grow" it back again by earning just enough needed to put you back over the one million. So even in this edge case, you should be able to gain that one colonist back again by adjusting food and regrowing back past one million (you do not need to earn back a full million).
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05-27-2013, 11:05 PM
Post: #5
RE: Starvation bug?
I've been affected by this before, I just didn't say anything. I lost planets that have had only one population on it. When I use shared intelligence, I often have two kinds of planets - those with only 1 population, and those with full populations. So starvation is a huge issue for me.

My solution? I don't believe the counter that says I have enough food. To me "0" is the same as "-1". I try to have 1-2 extra food early game, 3-5 middle game, and 6-10 late game to account for population growth.

Ideally, it should work the other way. The counter should estimate how much you population should be the next turn (not the current turn), and the food estimate would reflect that. If it doesn't come to pass, no problem, you have some extra cash.

And I don't think there are that many variables, are there?

Next turn food needs = SumAllPlanets(Current population at a planet + projected population at that planet) = food needs.

Right now I believe the calculator for food needs are = SumAllPlanets(Current population at a planet)

We don't know when we'll get a new population. We see that we are gaining +125k/turn, but we don't know if we have 1.9M or 1.1M at a planet. But the computer does.

I do believe this would be a good improvement to implement. If you lose a planet to starvation, you could be losing 12 buildings, with no scrap value, and 30-50+ turns to rebuild. If you run out of money, a single building gets scrapped. I would much rather have the food be accurate than the credits.

Alternatively, it would be nice to know how much extra population you'll get. Or show one decimal place on populations. 3.9M, 24.2M.
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05-28-2013, 01:35 AM
Post: #6
RE: Starvation bug?
(05-27-2013 11:05 PM)Diebo Wrote:  I've been affected by this before, I just didn't say anything. I lost planets that have had only one population on it. When I use shared intelligence, I often have two kinds of planets - those with only 1 population, and those with full populations. So starvation is a huge issue for me.

If this happens again, I would like to examine the game in question.
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05-28-2013, 03:00 AM
Post: #7
RE: Starvation bug?
I like Diebo's idea. While not nearly as devastating as losing a planet, it took me 8 turns to grow back the one colonist that starved because pop growth on nearly full planets is so slow. However you decide to implement it, I feel like you should know if you will cause starvation when you submit your turn
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05-28-2013, 11:34 PM
Post: #8
RE: Starvation bug?
(05-28-2013 01:35 AM)rocco Wrote:  
(05-27-2013 11:05 PM)Diebo Wrote:  I've been affected by this before, I just didn't say anything. I lost planets that have had only one population on it. When I use shared intelligence, I often have two kinds of planets - those with only 1 population, and those with full populations. So starvation is a huge issue for me.

If this happens again, I would like to examine the game in question.

Will do. Unlikely now, though, as civic funding has been changed such that 1-pop SI planets aren't as common, and because I always keep a buffer of extra food. It really sucks to lose a planet to starvation. I think I let it happen twice before I learned to add more food.
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05-29-2013, 12:13 AM
Post: #9
RE: Starvation bug?
(05-28-2013 11:34 PM)Diebo Wrote:  Will do. Unlikely now, though, as civic funding has been changed such that 1-pop SI planets aren't as common, and because I always keep a buffer of extra food. It really sucks to lose a planet to starvation. I think I let it happen twice before I learned to add more food.

No bother; I was able to search through all games on the server (since the server stores all previous turns) and found a few examples of "short 0 food". Will look into it.
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05-29-2013, 12:35 AM
Post: #10
RE: Starvation bug?
(05-29-2013 12:13 AM)rocco Wrote:  
(05-28-2013 11:34 PM)Diebo Wrote:  Will do. Unlikely now, though, as civic funding has been changed such that 1-pop SI planets aren't as common, and because I always keep a buffer of extra food. It really sucks to lose a planet to starvation. I think I let it happen twice before I learned to add more food.

No bother; I was able to search through all games on the server (since the server stores all previous turns) and found a few examples of "short 0 food". Will look into it.

I wonder if your "short 0" examples are coming from planets being attacked. That is legitimate.

I also didn't use to use hydro centers much. If you have a hydro center, you can't lose a planet to starvation, as you would always have at least 2 food. I've started using them more. Live and learn.
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