This is a proposal for the transfer model in UFO:AI. It covers base-to-base transfers of goods and personnel, as well as buying/selling things from and to the market, as well as personnel recruitment.
The transfer model
The transfer model proposed here closely resembles the one seen in UFO: Enemy Unknown. A "transfer" refers to a movement of a package materials or personnel (or both), which is sent from one place to another. A transfer takes time to complete, and until the transfer is completed the contents are available to neither the source nor the destination.
A transfer should only be initiated once the player has finished assembling the transfer package and has confirmed that he wishes the transfer to be made and agrees to pay the price for the transfer.
Each transfer involves a cost, which is paid as soon as the transfer is ordered. This cost consists of three parts:
- A fixed cost (equal for each and every transfer)
- A variable cost (determined by the contents and distance of the transfer)
- The cost of purchased goods and hired personnel (Only when buying, selling or hiring. When selling, this cost is negative)
Below is a breakdown of the various transfer types
In base-to-base transfers, the player pays the fixed and variable costs for the transfer. The variable cost is fairly low for materials, but is higher for personnel and live aliens.
UFO Yard-to-UFO Yard
Similar to base-to-base transfers, except in the context of moving captured UFOs between UFO yards.
When buying (and hiring), one end of the transfer process is unknown. In this case, it is assumed that the transfer is made from an imaginary base to the base where the purchase was made. The distance from this imaginary base is always the same in all bases (i.e. there no real on-map location for the origin of the transfer). The transfers from the market should be trackable just like any other transfer, however.
When selling, there is a transfer from the base to the market, but no costs are paid for this transfer. The player will get the full amount of the sold items without added shipping and handling cost. It is assumed the buyer pays for this. The transfer should still be timed, because the items should not appear on the market instantly after the player has sold them.
When a player hires one or more new employees, a transfer is created just like with purchasing materials. The fixed and variable costs will be added to the hire price in the confirmation dialog.
When firing, there is no transfer. There are also no costs associated with firing personnel. It is assumed the employees pay for their own fare home. Fired employees are not re-added to the employee pool.