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Baronjutter
Dec 31, 2007

"Tiny Trains"


Nition posted:

As long as there's also an option to automate that stuff if you can afford it, so the whole game doesn't turn into micromanagement.

Yeah, it was really annoying in simcity 2000 hunting down and replacing old power plants. Just loving auto-rebuild or bake it into the upkeep costs. If the power plant lasts 50 years and costs 5,000 just let me check a "fund replacement costs" box and have it deduct an extra 100 a year.

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Mandalay
Mar 16, 2007

WoW Forums Refugee

Simcity 4 did something similar with power plants. Once they got to a certain age, their efficiency would decrease over time. Sure, you could put off replacing it, but after a while you were paying exorbitant amounts for your coal power plant that was barely producing anything.

e:fb

Poil
Mar 17, 2007



Baronjutter posted:

Yeah, it was really annoying in simcity 2000 hunting down and replacing old power plants. Just loving auto-rebuild or bake it into the upkeep costs. If the power plant lasts 50 years and costs 5,000 just let me check a "fund replacement costs" box and have it deduct an extra 100 a year.
If you had disasters turned off and enough money the game would auto rebuild them.

In Sim City 3000 you had to do the same with garbage facilities and water pumps as well. It was awful. But still better than the loving slider micromanagement of Sim City 4.

Unimpressed
Feb 13, 2013



Nition posted:

As long as there's also an option to automate that stuff if you can afford it, so the whole game doesn't turn into micromanagement.

No, let's please have Public Private Partnerships, and consulting firms writing reports that overstate the value of the infrastructure and understate the taxpayer cost, oh and corruption, please, lots of corruption.

Red Bones
Aug 9, 2012

"I think he's a bad enough person to stay ghost through his sheer love of child-killing."

nielsm posted:

3) Scrap the whole concept of having a money bin and only have the city work with a budgetary balance. Handwave the lack of a bank account away as the state taking any profits made for the city. Anything you build costs not just upkeep, but also draws cost during construction. If combined with a planning mode, whenever you're about to begin implementing a plan you can choose the efficiency at which to implement it, modifying its effect on the budget, balanced against the time taken to complete the plan. Obviously this requires all construction in the game to be non-instant. To get the player started, there could be some state grant so the budget is in positive initially, avoiding a deadlock.

I actually really like this idea using a budget instead of a money bin to not force players to just grow the city forever. In terms of the bonsai garden appeal of city games, it'd allow a player to make a small town and have it function without decaying because it's not meeting some "growth" demand that the game is arbitrarily throwing at them, or gently caress up the balance if they do grow later by giving them an enormous money bin. And it would potentially allow growth to be something that a player chooses to do. Maybe a system where a yearly budget is something you have to work within, but meeting the population's needs accrues political capital which you can spend to increase your budget or to gain permission from the national government to do things that expand your city like put in railway infrastructure, obtain more land, bid for national or international events hosting and build a stadium, etc? I'm not sure how it'd tie in with immigration/emigration though.

Whiz Palace
Dec 8, 2013


Mandalay posted:

Simcity 4 did something similar with power plants. Once they got to a certain age, their efficiency would decrease over time. Sure, you could put off replacing it, but after a while you were paying exorbitant amounts for your coal power plant that was barely producing anything.

Power Plant No Spring Chicken

Shibawanko
Feb 13, 2013

"I would infinitely rather live in the 1970's or 80's DDR than in the contemporary US."

Yeah just make old power plants have higher upkeep or something, or just ignore that aspect altogether and just make them build and forget, except when you get a new technology or something. Maybe have high pollution cause riots around the plant if it's too near a neighborhood?

Nition
Feb 25, 2006

You really want to know?


Poil posted:

Still better than the loving slider micromanagement of Sim City 4.

Argh always having to manage your sliders to be just above the required amount. That would've been so easy for the game to automate for you as well. I wonder if there's a mod that manages it for you, I've never actually checked. It made the game really hard for newbies who didn't know about it as well. Makes your spending way too high if you leave it at full.

Baronjutter
Dec 31, 2007

"Tiny Trains"


I always ended up making so much money that I didn't realy need to mess with sliders, but it was something you HAD to know how to do early on and was a silly level of micro. It's one of those things that sounds nice, sounds like you're giving the player more control, but it's just needless micro because there's a single correct answer. Maybe just a few global sliders to auto-adjust the funding levels would have worked.

It's a lot like Cities In Motion 2 where they gave you literally about 50 different types of transit tickets you could (and had to) set prices for. There was absolutely a single optimal right answer, but it was a feature people wanted so they added it in. It was critical to have your ticket prices "correct" but it was so much micro people didn't bother. Any micro where there's a single correct answer needs to be abstracted away assuming the player is choosing the optimal option. yet there's often people who will fight to keep those things, "I love the detail! I love the sense of control!". There's people who think the pipe management in Skylines is worthwhile for instance and don't want it to go away, for instance.

Poil
Mar 17, 2007



It would've been so much better if the ticket sliders were percentage based instead. For example they start set at 100% and that auto adjusts with the economy or whatever and you can raise or lower for certain groups or modes of transport. Or just leave it out entirely because it's annoying.

Nition
Feb 25, 2006

You really want to know?


Baronjutter posted:

Any micro where there's a single correct answer needs to be abstracted away.

Yes yes yes!

The worst games are the ones that are built around the micromanagement. Ones that need the micro or there's little to no game remaining.

ToastyPotato
Jun 23, 2005

CONVICTED OF DISPLAYING HIS PEANUTS IN PUBLIC

Baronjutter posted:

I always ended up making so much money that I didn't realy need to mess with sliders, but it was something you HAD to know how to do early on and was a silly level of micro. It's one of those things that sounds nice, sounds like you're giving the player more control, but it's just needless micro because there's a single correct answer. Maybe just a few global sliders to auto-adjust the funding levels would have worked.

It's a lot like Cities In Motion 2 where they gave you literally about 50 different types of transit tickets you could (and had to) set prices for. There was absolutely a single optimal right answer, but it was a feature people wanted so they added it in. It was critical to have your ticket prices "correct" but it was so much micro people didn't bother. Any micro where there's a single correct answer needs to be abstracted away assuming the player is choosing the optimal option. yet there's often people who will fight to keep those things, "I love the detail! I love the sense of control!". There's people who think the pipe management in Skylines is worthwhile for instance and don't want it to go away, for instance.

Those people should generally be ignored because they are precisely the ones who will buy the latest X game regardless, especially in a niche genre like sims where there isn't much to choose from. I'm all for depth, but too much micromanagement isn't actually fun and it is even worse, like you said, when there is a clear right choice.

Baronjutter
Dec 31, 2007

"Tiny Trains"


There was a city builder that had a really cool concept where you built a heaven and a hell, you were managing the afterlives for a whole planet and it had a lot of really cool stuff. It had a horrible major flaw though, every single loving building in the entire game had basically a slider for funding. Depending on your population and a few other factors there was a single objective correct optimal setting for this slider to be and it was horrible busywork. They knew it was awful so they added a simple button you could press at any time and it would auto-set all your sliders. Oh but to press this button cost a ridiculous amount of in-game money. You had to pay to not do pointless busywork. Ruined the game. They could have entirely eliminated the entire mechanic because there was more than enough other stuff to do.

Poil
Mar 17, 2007



Baronjutter posted:

There was a city builder that had a really cool concept where you built a heaven and a hell, you were managing the afterlives for a whole planet and it had a lot of really cool stuff. It had a horrible major flaw though, every single loving building in the entire game had basically a slider for funding. Depending on your population and a few other factors there was a single objective correct optimal setting for this slider to be and it was horrible busywork. They knew it was awful so they added a simple button you could press at any time and it would auto-set all your sliders. Oh but to press this button cost a ridiculous amount of in-game money. You had to pay to not do pointless busywork. Ruined the game. They could have entirely eliminated the entire mechanic because there was more than enough other stuff to do.


I looked into that game but it just didn't seem very fun to me for some reason, and I didn't know about the sliders thing. The concept seemed cool though.

Iunnrais
Jul 25, 2007

It's gaelic.

The game has a GREAT concept. Basically, you're building two cities simultaneously... one you want to be a typical densely packed megapolis with low traffic, good public transportation, no crime (equivalent) no pollution (equivalent), and so forth... and the other city needs to be a shithole with terrible traffic backed up at all times, maze-like streets, barely functioning infrastructure, sprawling out in every direction so that travel times take for ever, high pollution, etc.

The problem with it was that the implementation sucked rear end, and they didn't go whole hog on some of their basic premises... such as, there's still a "crime" equivalent in hell that you want to REDUCE (supposedly it's angels invading and trying to help people not be tortured as much, or pleasant flocks of birds or whatever) so you're still trying to make a "good" city in hell sometimes. And the pointless micromanagement, as mentioned. And the lack of differentiation between the 7 virtues and 7 sin buildings. And the fact that there was one "right" way to build a city in order for it to grow at all. They also based a lot of the gameplay around dealing with unavoidable disasters you can't turn off, in both heaven AND hell, and even in hell the disasters are things you don't want for some reason! The traffic model was boring as gently caress... sims simply move from one sin/virtue location to the next after a certain number of years being tortured/being pleasured. And so on and so forth.

Great concept, good basic ideas, lots of funny bits in it, but man is it not fun to actually play.

Someone taking the basic concept and redoing it with, say, simcity 4's gameplay? That would be wonderful.

Iunnrais fucked around with this message at Mar 24, 2017 around 02:10

Suspect Bucket
Jan 14, 2012

SHRIMPDOR WAS A MAN
I mean, HE WAS A SHRIMP MAN
er, maybe also A DRAGON
or possibly
A MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM
BUT HE WAS STILL
SHRIMPDOR


Baronjutter posted:

There was a city builder that had a really cool concept where you built a heaven and a hell, you were managing the afterlives for a whole planet and it had a lot of really cool stuff. It had a horrible major flaw though, every single loving building in the entire game had basically a slider for funding. Depending on your population and a few other factors there was a single objective correct optimal setting for this slider to be and it was horrible busywork. They knew it was awful so they added a simple button you could press at any time and it would auto-set all your sliders. Oh but to press this button cost a ridiculous amount of in-game money. You had to pay to not do pointless busywork. Ruined the game. They could have entirely eliminated the entire mechanic because there was more than enough other stuff to do.

Yeah, Afterlife. It was super cute and clever except for that. And the soundtrack is fun and trippy as hell. I played it a lot as a dumb little kid. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daDSrWd7OLE

Baronjutter
Dec 31, 2007

"Tiny Trains"


I really liked how you could influence the planet as well, but once again it was a cool feature that didn't quite pan out. It was super expensive and by the time you could afford to do anything your influence was a drop in the bucket. But you could like encourage people to become atheists or believe certain things. I wanted to make most of the planet atheists and those who were not believed in quick reincarnation, all to keep my micro down.

Shibawanko
Feb 13, 2013

"I would infinitely rather live in the 1970's or 80's DDR than in the contemporary US."

Simcity 4 was just really confused about what it actually was. It was more like a landscaping tool than a game, the "game" part was just there to give something to work with to create something that looked cool. It had this really great 2.5D engine that still looks good, and you could use it with mods to build photorealistic cities and landscapes. It simulated long distance traffic and rail lines and stuff so you could create an integrated region to play around in, like a model train set, but it was really just a sandbox. Money ceased to matter once you developed maybe 3 cities and went into high tech industry. All of the difficulty, gamewise, was artificially crammed into the early parts, when you don't have anything built up yet

Managing water supply pipes didn't add to the aesthetics of your city, which was the core of the game, and shouldn't have been in there at all either.

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Baronjutter
Dec 31, 2007

"Tiny Trains"


That's pretty much every city builder though. The challenge is always in the first few years to get that positive balance then it's post-scarcity town.

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