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ExtraNoise
Apr 11, 2007



I can't wait to amateur traffic model analyses of my hometown from my PC. So excited!

Can't wait to see the functionality implemented into the rest of the system. Keep up the great work, Anselm.

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anselm_eickhoff
Mar 1, 2014


New Update!

The Road to Alpha, Week 14 - Intermezzo & Design Goals

Baronjutter
Dec 31, 2007

"Tiny Trains"


I'd love to see some pictures or video of the building system working with the new roads.
Also that's quite the heat wave you guys have right now. Take a break from coding and go jump in a lake? Maybe your camera needs a swim too to cool down!

Baronjutter fucked around with this message at Jun 10, 2014 around 21:35

anselm_eickhoff
Mar 1, 2014


Baronjutter posted:

I'd love to see some pictures or video of the building system working with the new roads.

Really not that exciting yet.



Edit regarding your edit: If the camera worked, you could see that I have somewhat of a sunburn going on, spent the whole sunday on bicycle

anselm_eickhoff fucked around with this message at Jun 10, 2014 around 21:54

ExtraNoise
Apr 11, 2007



anselm_eickhoff posted:

Really not that exciting yet.



Edit regarding your edit: If the camera worked, you could see that I have somewhat of a sunburn going on, spent the whole sunday on bicycle

An exclusive sneak peak!

anselm_eickhoff
Mar 1, 2014


New Update again!

The Road to Alpha, Week 15 - A Mixed Bag

Baronjutter
Dec 31, 2007

"Tiny Trains"


I'm not a big fan of reddit for the most part but their urbanplanning sub is actually pretty good, if you don't already read it. Should be tons of inspiration there.

anselm_eickhoff
Mar 1, 2014


Baronjutter posted:

I'm not a big fan of reddit for the most part but their urbanplanning sub is actually pretty good, if you don't already read it. Should be tons of inspiration there.

Thanks, subscribed, indeed some really interesting stuff there.
In my experience the more narrowly focused a subreddit is, the better.

ExtraNoise
Apr 11, 2007



Thanks for the subreddit shoutout, Anselm. I'm glad you really appreciate it being a big part of the community. I'm there silently flairing posts users forgot to tag and upvoting threads to help generate visibility. I really appreciate you being so active in the moderation of threads as well.

A user in the thread volunteered some 3D work and I thought I'd throw in my hat as well, though probably for more 2D things. I do quite a bit of design and pixel/3d art and would be happy to help pro-bono from time to time. I have an out-of-date "portfolio" here if you want to check it out.

Baronjutter
Dec 31, 2007

"Tiny Trains"


Post your 3d cities dude.

ExtraNoise
Apr 11, 2007



Baronjutter posted:

Post your 3d cities dude.

Sure.







anselm_eickhoff
Mar 1, 2014



drat ExtraNoise, did you tell me about that earlier?

That looks very nice, can't wait to see what procedural buildings people like you come up with.

ExtraNoise
Apr 11, 2007



anselm_eickhoff posted:

drat ExtraNoise, did you tell me about that earlier?

That looks very nice, can't wait to see what procedural buildings people like you come up with.

Yeah, as a JS developer I'm pretty excited to get into the guts of modding Citybound.

Edit: If you want to have any "unique" buildings for skyscrapers, you're welcome to have all of my assets above. Most are simple boxes that aren't of any use but the 100 tallest buildings in each of the cities I've modeled are fairly accurate low-poly representations of those buildings that you might be able to utilize. They represent hundreds of hours of work.

ExtraNoise fucked around with this message at Jun 19, 2014 around 00:14

Baronjutter
Dec 31, 2007

"Tiny Trains"


I loved the system of coming up with the little "rule sets" or what ever to define the procedural buildings in City Engine. It's a bit complex but once you figure it out it's so easy to slap in some textures, define some rules, and off you go. I hope we end up with "mod tools" or something later.

I also really really hope you give us fairly robust in-game tools to help define our city's looks, and that the massing of our city actually has some effect.

Cruseydr
May 18, 2010

I am not an atomic playboy.


Those are nice. I can tell it's Seattle!

Baronjutter
Dec 31, 2007

"Tiny Trains"


Also I'd be fine with the game looking like that, but with terrain/roads of course.

Goodpancakes
May 18, 2004

Redlining my shit posting machine


Fun Shoe

Not just Seattle. I think Chicago and San Francisco as well.

Opals25
Jun 20, 2006

TOURISTS SPOTTED, TWELVE O'CLOCK

Yeah, it's San Francisco, Chicago, San Francisco again, and Seattle.

You can see the Transamerica tower in San Francisco, and Chicago has a lot of recognizable buildings. Willis Tower, Smurfit Stone, Trump, the Art Institute.

Edit: I also think a game in that style would be awesome. Something that sort of feels more like you're watching over a simulation of the city then some god's eye view

Opals25 fucked around with this message at Jun 20, 2014 around 18:52

Mandalay
Mar 16, 2007

WoW Forums Refugee

What program did you use to make those 3D models? Can they be textured in beech like BRIO toys?

ExtraNoise
Apr 11, 2007



Mandalay posted:

What program did you use to make those 3D models? Can they be textured in beech like BRIO toys?

Everything was done in 3DS Max.

Also, you guys were right about which cities. I was working on New York City when the recession hit and I had to close my tiny studio making these models. (I also had part of Las Vegas done.)

A few more:









Honestly, regardless of the recession or not, it wouldn't have been an industry much longer. LIDAR has basically replaced what I was doing.

Baronjutter
Dec 31, 2007

"Tiny Trains"


Yeah, google maps basically has everything you have plus textures.

anselm_eickhoff
Mar 1, 2014


Since the forums are finally back online,
here is the new update:

The Road to Alpha, Week 16 - Going Shopping

Iunnrais
Jul 25, 2007

It's gaelic.

Wonderful! I like variation in traffic, and having some people need to go shopping before going home is perfect for that.

Still hoping for a traffic route analyzer tool like SC4's though, and this looks like it might make that more difficult. I guess agents could leave ant-trails showing where they go, which could then be looked at by a query tool?

xergm
Sep 8, 2009

The Moon is for Sissies!

I've had something that's been on my mind for quite a while regarding meta-game with regions and connecting roads.

I think an interesting concept would be some sort of adaptation of a federal highway system. What I mean by this is that during the initial region/city generation, there would be some sort of highway planner that takes care of plopping an initial road network in the region. As time progresses, and populations increase, you might get a message saying something like this:

code:
Congratulations, [governing body] has decided to fund a major highway through your city.
It must connect [Other City A] to [Other City B].
The idea is that you would need to meet certain goals before it would be complete, and the road would serve as a major hub connecting the various cities in the region. As you progress, the requirements might get more strict if you have 2 major metropolitan, and the federal highway must meet freeway standards or something. The flip side of meeting these requirements is a nice grant, highly reduced maintenance cost along these roads, etc.

They could also be kind of annoying sometimes, with the Feds bugging you to upgrade that little route that was put in when you had 3,000 people to a freeway now that you have 300,000.

You could even put a little shield over the road mimicking the US highway shield or some other route marker with a randomly generated route number in the middle.


This might be too early, or might end up being kinda stupid, but I like looking at Google Maps and seeing all the various grades of roads, the major route signs and such and thought this might be a serious consideration for a city building/planning game.

xergm fucked around with this message at Jun 26, 2014 around 15:03

murk
Oct 31, 2003
Never argue with stupid people, they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

I think game play that specific might be better implemented as a mod. Seems like it could be a cool mod.

AMISH FRIED PIES
Mar 6, 2009

GUITARS

Yeah, I'm totally geeking out over the transportation side of this game, too.

I really hope Anselm is getting the financial planning (in real life, not in-game) taken care of before he starts taking in money for alpha access, because holy hell did that bite Notch in the rear end when Minecraft started taking in money.

anselm_eickhoff
Mar 1, 2014


The Orange Mage posted:

I really hope Anselm is getting the financial planning (in real life, not in-game) taken care of before he starts taking in money for alpha access, because holy hell did that bite Notch in the rear end when Minecraft started taking in money.

What do you mean, what happened?


Just a Heads up: There will be no update this week

I had to do more university-related stuff (psychology exam and a presentation) and while I did make a good amount of progress on the savegame feature, it is not finished yet and there isn't really anything to see.
Expect more next week!
Thanks for your understanding.
 
PS: if you're interested about what I do at university, here are the slides of my presentation, for example

Ofaloaf
Feb 15, 2013



anselm_eickhoff posted:

What do you mean, what happened?
I vaguely recall that early on, back when Notch still posted on 4chan, Notch lamented that when he finally hired a lawyer it turned out he was in a world of poo poo. Something to do with promises made to people who bought Minecraft when it was in alpha, iirc.

Baronjutter
Dec 31, 2007

"Tiny Trains"


A fat nerd with only basic programming and no social let alone legal or financial skills suddenly came into a ton of money and had no idea about taxes or legalities by actually selling a promised product. I don't think anyone's sent citybound 4 million euros though. Also so far it's just "hey send me a donation so I can buy more hats" without any promises attached, not even that the hats will be good or not. I'm actually amazed he's gotten a few hundred euro or so from strict donations. I think that both speaks to how well he's presented the project so far, and how absolutely desperate fans of this genre are for any signs of a project they could get behind.

If anselm was a piece of poo poo he could easily take what he's got so far, make some doctored screen shots of some big cities full of cars and trams and trains along with a huge list of features every simcity4 sperg would want like "custom music folder", throw it on a kick-starter and walk away with at least 50 grand, maybe even a lot more if you really sell it. But he's clearly not going that route and I doubt he's even going to consider any sort of early-access bullshit until there's actually a game worth selling.

Actually anselm have you planned that at all? Are you going to go full "Banished" and only sell the game once it's 100% done, start selling when it's in beta, or full on "early access" selling a barely playable game? I know there's a lot of push-back lately with the over-use of early access. A lot of people get bad first impressions of the game and the game generates bad word of mouth, and as a player a lot of times you burn out on the unfinished game and by the time the final product comes (if it ever comes) you're soured on it. You also then have to deal with hundreds of thousands of super entitled people who knowingly bought into an alpha but constantly flipping out that you're not updating fast enough, that you don't have all promised features yet.

anselm_eickhoff
Mar 1, 2014


Baronjutter posted:

Also so far it's just "hey send me a donation so I can buy more hats" without any promises attached, not even that the hats will be good or not.

Hahaha

Baronjutter posted:

I'm actually amazed he's gotten a few hundred euro or so from strict donations.

Actually more than that, I was able to finance the MacBook Pro just from donations oO

Baronjutter posted:

Actually anselm have you planned that at all? Are you going to go full "Banished" and only sell the game once it's 100% done, start selling when it's in beta, or full on "early access" selling a barely playable game? I know there's a lot of push-back lately with the over-use of early access. A lot of people get bad first impressions of the game and the game generates bad word of mouth, and as a player a lot of times you burn out on the unfinished game and by the time the final product comes (if it ever comes) you're soured on it. You also then have to deal with hundreds of thousands of super entitled people who knowingly bought into an alpha but constantly flipping out that you're not updating fast enough, that you don't have all promised features yet.

From the beginning it was my plan and it still is to go for the "barely playable early access" route, even though people have made a lot of bad experience with that lately.
I really need the early-on feedback and playtesting of as many people as possible to get the game design right.
I will try to avoid the "clueless entitled early-access buyer"-syndrome by having very clear disclaimers of what to expect of the alpha.
Also I will actually refrain from doing additional intentional marketing at this stage and target only the very focused, positive and educated early-adopter communities in my subreddit, at simtropolis and here.

Still, the alpha has to be something that is worthwhile in some way, while being obviously work-in-progress. Let's see what exactly that will be and how it goes!

Ofaloaf
Feb 15, 2013



anselm_eickhoff posted:

I will try to avoid the "clueless entitled early-access buyer"-syndrome by having very clear disclaimers of what to expect of the alpha.

You could make every loading screen and the menu itself be nothing but text reading "THIS IS AN ALPHA" in German, English, French, Latin, Klingon and Esperanto and people would still complain.

anselm_eickhoff
Mar 1, 2014


Ofaloaf posted:

You could make every loading screen and the menu itself be nothing but text reading "THIS IS AN ALPHA" in German, English, French, Latin, Klingon and Esperanto and people would still complain.

Well the problem is that the word alpha has just lost all it's meaning now,
I thought of something more along the lines of

The game at this stage
* is utterly incomplete
* might be boring or terribly frustrating
* might be broken in a million ways
* may even not start at all!

Only buy if you can accept that.

Iunnrais
Jul 25, 2007

It's gaelic.

anselm_eickhoff posted:

Well the problem is that the word alpha has just lost all it's meaning now,
I thought of something more along the lines of

The game at this stage
* is utterly incomplete
* might be boring or terribly frustrating
* might be broken in a million ways
* may even not start at all!

Only buy if you can accept that.

I liked how Prison Architect advertised. "Come, experience completely unfun and potentially gamebreaking bugs!" or something to that effect.

Poil
Mar 17, 2007



anselm_eickhoff posted:

Well the problem is that the word alpha has just lost all it's meaning now,
I thought of something more along the lines of

The game at this stage
* is utterly incomplete
* might be boring or terribly frustrating
* might be broken in a million ways
* may even not start at all!

Only buy if you can accept that.
A lot of people accepted simcity5, so apart from the first one it won't be a problem.

Baronjutter
Dec 31, 2007

"Tiny Trains"


What about just doing a closed alpha with a bunch of interested people? You get the feedback and make sure only people who care are doing it. And you don't have to cannibalize sales for the final game. I mean I wouldn't buy into an 'early access' unless it was hugely discounted vs the final price. Unless you need the cash flow, why not just have as many testers as you need then once it's done sell it at your full price?

I know I'd rather apply to be a tester now then buy the game for $30 or what even when it's done than pay $15 now for "early access". Then again I think I'm just really burned out on "early access" as about 90% of anything I've bought that way turned out to be a huge disappointment.

I think you might even get better feedback that way. The type of person who's willing to gamble on early access is often a "true believer" and may have warped expectations, a sense of entitlement, or just a desperate impatience to get their hands on the game. Actual proper testers would represent a wider cross-section of people and you'd mostly get people wanting to test, rather than people wanting "early access" which can actually be slightly different demographics.

Jamfrost
Jul 20, 2013

I'm too busy thinkin' about my baby. Oh I ain't got time for nothin' else.


Smellrose

Poil posted:

A lot of people accepted simcity5, so apart from the first one it won't be a problem.

That game breaks my heart. At least there's still SimCity 4 until Citybound starts becoming more and more operational. I'd play more Banished, but having a bunch of people starve to death when you clearly have food and even a marketplace is blah.
-
And disclaimers/clear messaging on what the phases mean would help to control expectations. Along with a timeline for implementing planned features.

Carlos Spicywiener
Sep 8, 2011

Moustache fart.

I'd love to see a private server system in place. For all Maxis did wrong, the idea of multiplayer was excellent, although implemented poorly.

Shibawanko
Feb 13, 2013



The concept of multiplayer in a citygame is weird to me, since they're all about building cool looking cities. Competition and working together doesn't really factor into it for me.

Carlos Spicywiener
Sep 8, 2011

Moustache fart.

Shibawanko posted:

The concept of multiplayer in a citygame is weird to me, since they're all about building cool looking cities. Competition and working together doesn't really factor into it for me.

I don't think competition works well, but co-op does for me.

I think sending agents to another city (hello Maxis) is pretty stupid in terms of inefficiencies, but the idea of an abstracted influx of workers and other perks from a neighbour would be cool. Like how the neighbouring cities in SC2000 would move in line with your city, but affected by a friend or someone (they could provide educated workers etc).

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Shibawanko
Feb 13, 2013



Carlos Spicywiener posted:

I don't think competition works well, but co-op does for me.

I think sending agents to another city (hello Maxis) is pretty stupid in terms of inefficiencies, but the idea of an abstracted influx of workers and other perks from a neighbour would be cool. Like how the neighbouring cities in SC2000 would move in line with your city, but affected by a friend or someone (they could provide educated workers etc).

I agree that that would basically be cool, but for me the best part about SC4 was creating a giant interconnected region and looking at it from above like i was Zeus, and that aspect is more difficult to unite with multiplayer (since you're giving up control of things to somebody else), so if there's going to be any kind of multiplayer region, please make multiplayer only optional and also let the cities connect directly to eachother seamlessly like in Sc4, rather than having them be islands, like in SC2013.

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