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Curvature of Earth
Sep 9, 2011

Projected cost of
invading Canada:
$900


Pharnakes posted:

I've always wanted to see a city builder try linear time compression. Rather than compressed time but realistic agent movement, make agents move at a speed matching the compression, so it looks like the time lapse images you see of cities. It'd probably get boring once the novelty wears off and you just want to admire your pretty city, but it'd be an interesting experiment at least.

City games don't do that because it takes even more computing power than a regular agent system, because not only are you modeling thousands of agents, but you're modeling them at high speed.

Cities: Skylines already can't run faster than the default slow speed once you hit 600,000+ agents. I think it's a bit much to expect a two-person team to solve a problem that a much larger team of well-paid full-time programmers couldn't overcome.

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Curvature of Earth
Sep 9, 2011

Projected cost of
invading Canada:
$900


KKKlean Energy posted:

I think my favorite thing about Prison Architect is that nothing is built instantly. Everything requires a worker to travel to the site of installation, and then time to install it. That kind of realism is something I'd like to see in a city simulator. Ploppables are a bizarre concept really, just a hold over from the simcities of the past.

To preface my rant: I think it's fantastic that Anselm is willing to engage with his audience while developing Citybound, and I'm extremely grateful that he's making it. I'm looking forward to the finished game, and will almost certainly buy and play it regardless of the rant below. Begin rant:

I caution use of the term "realism" for a city simulator, because all city simulators have to abstract away certain elements, and which elements and how they are abstracted is fundamentally political. For example, Will Wright, the creator of SimCity, was a libertarian. So, naturally, in SimCity flat and low taxes were good and there was only one kind of tax available (property), as opposed to the quadrad of income, sales, property, and business taxes that most cities can draw upon. (Not to mention the games' "high taxes drive people away" thing, despite research showing that businesses will go wherever there are skilled workers and paying customers, and that people will accept high taxes if you can convince them the services it'll pay for are worth it.) Ultimately, there isn't a single element of a real world city that you can simplify or abstract away without altering how it works compared to the real world, and, whether intentionally or not, making a political statement in the process.

Of course, if you're really dedicated to realism, consider this: in a real city, infrastructure gets more expensive to maintain the older it gets, and eventually maintenance costs become so high that you're forced to tear it out and rebuild it again.* The reason nobody's done this before in a city game is that this system would kill the massive financial surpluses that most city games encourage you to have — your job becomes "minimize debt payments" rather than "go scuba diving in your huge pile of cash". Everything you build would have to be carefully balanced against its potential tax revenue. (Want to build a road connecting two small towns on opposite sides of the map? Well you can't, because its maintenance costs would outweigh any increase in tax revenue that building such a road would bring you.)

The point of this long, blathering post is that, ultimately, Anselm is going to pick and choose which parts of reality are going to be reflected in the game. There's no point in requesting a feature because it's "realistic", because if you judge a city simulator on realism, then no game can or ever will live up your expectations. You might as well just read the financial reports for the Chicago city government and masturbate to infographics of transit systems; it's more honest and you'll never be disappointed.

*Incidentally, this is why so many cities in the real world are perpetually in debt. Cities which build lots of infrastructure to accommodate a low-density population (aka post-1970s suburbia and small towns in general) will eventually find the maintenance and replacement costs for infrastructure outweighing the economic value that the infrastructure enabled in the first place. It's pretty brutal.)

Curvature of Earth fucked around with this message at Jun 11, 2015 around 07:14

Curvature of Earth
Sep 9, 2011

Projected cost of
invading Canada:
$900


Suspect Bucket posted:

Name ten American cities in the south. Oh wait you can't because we've all merged into one souless expanse of swamp and subdivisions broken up by strip malls and Dollar General's.

(I do like Dollar General though, they always have canning supplies)

Excuse me? The official Houston city limits contain only 600 square miles (not counting water), a mere ten times as much area as Washington, DC. It's metropolitan area is only 10,000 square miles, barely more land than the entire state of Maryland—it's not even as big as West Virginia. Stop exaggerating. If you want a terrible city that's eating half an entire state, you're thinking of Southern California.

Curvature of Earth
Sep 9, 2011

Projected cost of
invading Canada:
$900


Nition posted:

Yeah, while Anselm is a small dev and Colossal Order is a big company, Cities: Skylines is a Unity engine/C# game and that brings with it a not-insignificant amount of inefficiency (and I say that as someone making a Unity game that's on Steam right now). So it's not totally crazy to say a lot more could be simulated.

Who knows what SimCity 5 was doing, considering they did have a custom C++ engine.

SimCity 2013's UI itself was JavaScript.

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