Monday, September 09, 2019

Understanding the Supply Chain AI

The Supply Chain AI is based on how real world companies do it.  While there is supply on demand companies such as UPS and FedEx.  There are transportation companies that have supply built into their networks.  For example, companies can rent rail cars and place goods on them, even before those goods have buyers.  In this case, the rail car is rented until all the goods are removed.  Almost like a warehouse on wheels.  Similarly, gas producers will have supply in the pipelines to meet customer demands, they only turn on or turn off gas pumps as supply in some fuel diminishes.

This technique is called caching, and this means that the game can simulate the cache mathematically without having to simulate it.  It means that supply yards don't have to keep tanks and tanks of supply, rather they just have to have source supplies meet ultimate demands.

This means the AI will identify the rate that units can be added to the system at all of the mining sites, and as units are used, the units can be added from the mineral sites into the system to satisfy the temporary shortfall.  It means I do not have to simulate the infrastructure to do this, instead it can be just a simple calculation.

Fast forward a few months ...

The way the game will work is each piece of technology will have a "wave function", which is shown here as the curved 3 line band.

There are four minerals required for the "L2 Scanner", Quartzious, Laminsite, Thertize and Browlemite.  Each of these minerals will have a grade, 0 to 100, and the grades available to the player are shown as green ticks.  The game picks a grade required for the perfect wave, and this is shown as a white tick.

When the player has all 4 ideal grades for the device, then the device uses 1 unit per second (u/s).  When the player does not have the right grades, they have to figure out a set of chambers to alter the flow of energy to match the ideal wave.  These chambers (shown as the circles 2,3,4) are fuel hogs.  So the player can get high efficiency at 13.87 u/s.  This might not be a big deal for one device, but L2 Scanners are used all over the place, and if you had 150, then the player needs to be able to mine:
  • 150 Scanners
  • 13.87 unit/second
  • 3600 second/hour
    = 7,489,800 mined units/hour
This configuration only works if you have a supply source of 7.5 Muh (Millions of units/hour), but as soon as you add your 151st scanner, then the game won't work as well; how the game reacts to a fuel shortage, has not been written.  If you had ideal mineral grades, then you could support nearly 2100 scanners for the same fuel load.

Note: The 7.5 Muh value is required for all of the mineral sources.  

Fuel sources are limited, so a specific configuration at the game start might not be what you use at the game end because of how you consumed the sources.  An 18Bu deposit (Billion Units) ... means you can power your fleet for 2400 hours (3 months), but if you had ideal units (~46 months).