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Table of Contents

At the Freeciv scale of play, the primary “played entities” in the Galactic Milieu are nations, also known as civilisations.

The idea of “creating” such an entity can be seen as an ambiguous idea, since on the one hand such a term could be used to refer to the process of adding yet another nation to Freeciv's repertoire of nations and on the other hand the term could be used to refer to the act of deploying such a nation withn the game itself, that is, actually making use of such a nation.

So firstly let it be understood that the normal vanilla distributions of Freeciv only contain so many nations “out of the box”. Increasing the repertoire of nations would require either getting your new nation(s) added to such distributions or creating some kind of expansion pack containing them. All players would need to use your extension pack (modpack) in order for their Freeciv clients to properly support your new nation(s).

The Galactic Ruleset is just a ruleset, it contains no graphics. A “modpack”, containing actual nation flags and such would be needed to implement more nations. Thus so far the Galactic Milieu makes use only of Freeciv nations that come with normal distributions of Freeciv.

So, onward to actually deploying such a nation within the Galactic Milieu.

Basically what is needed at the Freeciv scale for a nation to exist, that is, to not be considered dead for example, is at least one unit. Since most units require upkeep, this usually means the nation must also control at least one city, to provide upkeep for that unit. (Although one could for example exist as just a Diplomat or Spy unit, or any other unit that requires no upkeep.)

At the current stage of play, there are many nations already “in existence” in the Galactic Milieu that are not being played, so for some time yet it might turn out that taking control of such an existing nation will be more common than the “creation” (deployment) of yet another nation.

In game terms the cost of hosting a nation can be regarded as the cost of the political apparatus propaganda and so on needed in order to actually be in effective control of whatever “government type” is running that nation. It does not change from one government type to another, and is not generally thought of in terms of the planet-local currency that the Freeciv software refers to as “gold”. It functions as one of the main barriers to arbitrarily taking control of any unplayed nation you might like to take control of, by making control of large nations quite expensive when viewed only in terms of how much fiat it would cost if you used fiat currencies from the planet known as Earth to pay with.

If you wish to deploy into the Galactic Milieu a Freeciv nation that has not yet been deployed, you basically just need to choose a nation that is not yet in use, gain control of a unit of settlers or a unit that (in ]]Freeciv]] has no upkeep requirement and pay the hosting cost for the number of square miles the resulting nation, in position on a Freeciv world in the Milieu, controls.

Gaining control of that initial unit is therefore, inside the game, the hard part. Building a unit maybe not seem expensive when measured in Freeciv's own terms, but each unit of production in Freeciv is a million tons of goods or resources. Looked at from individual character scale that is huge. The logistics of accomplishing it are thus probably best explored within the game itself, by creating an individual character at the individual character scale and exploring its options. Forming a clan or guild or association or society or some such social group of players might help, but of course opens up internal control issues about division of responsibilities, powers, costs, incomes and so on. This i, basically, part of the “richness” of the game: creating a nation is not a trivial accomplishment.

Cost

The various server machines running the software of the Galactic Milieu need electricity, they need internet connectivity, they need updates and maintenance, bugfixes, continued development and so on. This all has to be paid for somehow. Also, the deployment of a Freeciv scale nation requires the existence of a planet upon which that nation exists, which in turn requires a Freeciv server running such a planet. Many nations can exist on one planet, so “hosting” fees are charged to nations in accordance with the number of “square miles” the Freeciv software reports that nation as being in control/ownership of. If you look at the “demographics” report about your nation in the Freeciv client you should see the number of square miles is reported. Each of those so called square miles would require at least a four regions by four regions swathe of OpenSimulator regions in order to represent it using OpenSimulator. Actually running every one of your square miles live in OpenSimulator all at once would be very expensive. Even just having that many regions each fully detailed and saved ready to run at a moment's notice would be rather expensive. So in order to make the idea of running a nation at all be even remotely affordable we have to abstract somewhat. The current level of abstraction allows a price of only 1.6 “units of Deuterium” per month per square mile. Thus typically a nation controlling only a single city and a few Freeciv scale tiles around that city tends to cost only maybe CAD$3.00 to CAD$3.50 a month or so (depending on the conversion rates between “units of Deuterium” and CAD prevailing at the time) but a nation with hundreds of cities could cost thousands of dollars per month.

It is important to note that this hosting fee is not accounted in units of any fiat currency. It is accounted in internal units that currently are based on the “units of Deuterium” used in the Galaxies Online server. Basing the fees on an in-game commodity in that manner allows a lot of flexibility because ultimately those units can be converted into any currency by comparison to the prices offered by and charged by General Mining Corp for that commodity, which in turn allows nations to pay their hosting fees using any in-game or out-of-game currency. That in turn allows large nations that are economically successful to pay their hosting fees largely or even entirely in in-game currency.

Income

Since large nations are going to be “expensive”, obviously nations are going to be interested in obtaining income with which to offset their expenses. Quite a few options are available, and of course really the main limit is simply the imagination, entrepreneurial spirit, skill, effort and so forth of the nation itself.

Starting with just the basic Freeciv system, there is the possibility of sellling ”Freeciv gold”, the local currency of the world the nation is located on. Resources can also be sold. If the nation has starships, transportation services can be offered, though at that point one is moving beyond the functionality of Freeciv itself since Freeciv is a one world at a time system. Moving from one Freeciv world to another is not yet something the Freeciv software itself directly provides.

So moving beyond basic Freeciv stuff such as its so called “gold” and its resources and its units, an important part of what one gains by being a nation is real-estate: the map tiles of Freeciv worlds are huge. Just one tile would take at least 160,000 OpenSimulator “regions” to represent thus it is enough real-estate to fit 160,000 such “regions” into. So far it does not seem likely that any particular nation will actually manage to find 160,000 people who would each like a “region” on their planet but that is back to marketing; the real-estate exists, making good use of it is up to the nation that controls it. Actually hosting 160,000 “regions” would be fabulously expensive, so it is expected that very little of the surface of any particular planet will be actually online in the form of OpenSimulator “regions” at any given moment; even just storing that many regions in ready-to-run form would be quite costly. So obviously how much of their real-estate a nation chooses to make how ready to fire up in OpenSimulator will probably depend mostly upon how mnay paying customers that nation manages to attract to such a form of representation. Some people think that three-dimensional immersive graphical representations of places is an easier sell than other forms of representation, but each nation is free to exploit its real-estate in whatever way they find serves them best.

Nations that build markets, banks, and/or stock exchanges in their cities might find it useful to “bring alive” such institutions using tools such as Open Transactions, so that each such city-improvement can become an entire game in itself, a game of trading and exchanging, “playing the markets”, speculating on currencies, commodities, bonds, shares and such.

A few nations have even gone so far as to issue game-currencies of their own, such as Canadian Digital Notes, United Kingdom Britcoin, Martian Botcoin and United Nations Scrip, to better play currency-trading and international trade games.


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