A few months ago, I started working on my own WebGL-based city simulator, Citybound.
A few weeks ago, I created a DevBlog for it, where I announced and described the project.
I then submitted the post to the /r/Simcity subreddit - the reaction was mindblowing.
Since then, I started writing weekly posts on the development process, here are the first ones:
The Road to Alpha, Week 1 - A Slow Start
The Road to Alpha, Week 2 - Camera, Action!
The Road to Alpha, Week 3 - A Fresh Canvas
The Road to Alpha, Week 4 - REBRANDING (April Fools)
The Road to Alpha, Week 5 - Every Town Starts Small (First update with video!)
The Road to Alpha, Week 6 - Intermezzo & Community Activity
The Road to Alpha, Week 7 - First Signs of Gameplay Detected
A few articles about the project have already been written, most notably:
"Citybound: One man's attempt to build a better SimCity" (Gamasutra)
"Interview With Citybound Developer Anselm Eickhoff" (Thirteen-1)
Most of the discussion so far happens in the /r/Citybound subreddit.
But since some of you started talking about it in the SimCity thread here, I wanted to have a place for it here as well.
I'm looking forward to your comments and questions!
(But please read the FAQ first)
anselm_eickhoff fucked around with this message at Apr 23, 2014 around 00:26
|# ¿ Apr 10, 2014 17:38|
|# ¿ May 22, 2017 19:21|
Good luck! This game looks great so far.
Simple, but interesting. The basic economic resources will be food, services, goods and workforce.
I will hopefully already have implemented some of that in next week's update.
If there are agents, how granular are they?
Very. My goal is to simulate and display individual citizens.
My very unoptimized traffic simulation prototype could already handle ca. 50,000 cars on a complex road network.
So I'm confident that I can scale that to realistic city sizes.
If need be, there could be 1 agent for every 5 citizens or something like that.
How will mass transit be handled - as a 'road' type?
Well, buses will just be cars, railways and subways will be different "road types" like you say, ports and airports will be areas that you zone.
|# ¿ Apr 10, 2014 17:53|
I notice you say in the FAQ that roads will be customizable. Can you go into any more detail on what you mean? It would be really cool if you could essentially build a road out of a kit of parts either in plan view or as a cross section. Something like the below image. Where you could maybe drag and drop things like drive lanes, bike lanes, medians, Right-of-way(to allow for future expansion), planting strips, side walks, etc. And then make them wider or narrower based on your preference. Certain aspects of the road could then inform what kind of buildings pop up. Wide lanes and no side walk creates out-lot style commercial, narrower lanes with a bike lane and a wide sidewalk would create something akin to new urbanism or traditional development, etc.
I want to add essentially what you are describing, but make it more intuitive by embedding it directly inside the game world.
Image selecting a "lane tool" and just clicking on a road and dragging away to fork off a new lane, etc.
This should allow for complex interchanges and all kinds of shenanigans without being complicated to use.
Will there be currency? Does the player represent an abstract government or rather the disembodied will of the community?
Yes, you will have a budget. You are a mixture of dictator for life and all city departments at once.
What control do you have over bus lines - do they exist entirely outside of player control, can you place stops/stations, can you devote variable resources to a general bus system? What is the function of sea/air ports?
You can place stops, rotes will be created automatically.
Mods could allow for more granular control here.
sea & air ports offer access to international trading of goods and services and allow tourists to come.
Not to speak for the OP but I don't get the sense this game is the Urban Planning Nerd Holy Grail. When the FAQ says that new zoning types are moddable internally I groaned and asked when there will be a game with a control panel to establish zoning types with setbacks, permissible FAR, parking min/maximums, land use types...
But mods could allow for all of that.
The procedural building system will contain most of this as variables anyways, but they will be determined automatically.
Making that player controlled via a new UI would be pretty trivial.
Esablishing right-of-way would be a killer feature in a city builder. Games with variable street widths (CitiesXL) drive me up the wall when you have to tediously knock down every structure on a block just so you can widen the roads by a couple lanes.
You will be able to customize intersections as well and either place traffic lights or set right of way.
Buildings will only be demolished by widened roads if the wider road actually goes through solid building structure.
If just cut away their front garden, nothing will happen.
|# ¿ Apr 10, 2014 18:14|
When it comes to traffic simulation, how many "trip types" do you have?
I basically want to do all of this.
For every need that a citizen or tourist or business or whatever have, they will actually need to go there and get it.
|# ¿ Apr 10, 2014 18:15|
Thanks for including a shoutout to the subreddit in the OP.
Hah, didn't know you were here too!
When I first saw SA pop up in Google Analytics and I went there I thought "what, you need to pay to register?"
But I think it's more than worth it, people here seem very interested and civilized.
I wouldn't worry about poly count. I've seen WebGL handle about 2 million polygons, which should be enough even for huge cities, even more so, if I implement a level-of-detail system for the buildings.
The difficult thing is actually having the simulation run smoothly and that is currently CPU bound.
|# ¿ Apr 10, 2014 18:28|
How are you planning on handling player construction in the long run?
See this reddit post and my reply: http://www.reddit.com/r/Citybound/c...planning_tools/
|# ¿ Apr 10, 2014 18:30|
Although the gameplay focus is a different one, Banished has been a great inspiration for me.
Just to name one thing, it showed me that a single dude could actually make and finish such a game.
In what ways did you find it too simple?
|# ¿ Apr 10, 2014 18:39|
How is taxation modeled? Can you pass ordinances? Restrict building permits? How much do you plan on simulating the details of local government, or are you going to leave that abstracted?
I think I will just copy SimCities taxation model.
I want to have ordinances, but I don't know which yet.
Details of government will be abstracted.
Will there be actual routes, or will commuters just rabbit hole between different bus stops with some kind of system displaying bus usage via vehicles on the road?
I'm not sure, but I'd prefer actual routes.
Furthermore, do you plan on simulating parking?
Will there be an export economy, as in goods produced beyond local demand must be shipped off-map to be converted into tax revenue or whatever?
|# ¿ Apr 10, 2014 18:46|
So, followup: SC4 only did commuting and freight for what are clearly CPU reasons. Heck, on big cities, SC4 -still- chugs just pathfinding what it has. How will you handle this? How often will you update?
I have an agent based simulation that is updated all the time.
As I said above, I am confident that I can scale it from just medium sized cities as it is now to large cities.
I don't know why SC4 pathfinding takes so much CPU when it doesn't even simulate individual cars.
|# ¿ Apr 10, 2014 18:50|
Yeah, you say there are time cycles in this game. How long in simtime does each cycle represent, and how often does the trip engine update per simtime cycle? From my experience with O/D trip generation research, cycles of a week or month are the typical time unit.
Was this question directed at me?
What exactly do you mean with cycles?
|# ¿ Apr 10, 2014 19:07|
You say in the FAQ there are both day/night and seasonal cycles. Will the trip generation conform to this, as in during each daily cycle you will see an approximate daily level of trip generation? Or are these cycles decoupled from the simulation and purely aesthetic, as they were in SC4?
Oh, yes it will. People will drive to work in the mornings get back home in the afternoon, go shopping and relaxing inbetween or on holidays.
The trips are not decoupled, they pretty much are the simulation.
|# ¿ Apr 10, 2014 19:19|
Do you mean actual special days, or just that some proportion of agents will have variant schedules on any given day to reflect non-work trips?
Hmm why not actual free days... Might give interesting variety in how the city behaves.
|# ¿ Apr 10, 2014 19:25|
How do you combat a sped up day/night cycle with agents? As is from leaving a house and driving in real-time and obeying the flow of traffic, a commute would be hours long potentially. Would you either speed up the traffic animations (you monster!) or just allow them to take their time, have a four-hour work day, and leave at 5 get home at 9?
A combination of both. Speeding it up isn't as bad as it sounds, the cars already have 3x the acceleration than would be realistic, but because they are so tiny, it looks ok.
|# ¿ Apr 10, 2014 20:25|
Hmm I don't think it would be feasible to collect all that information for each street section all the time, but you could start a query and get the exact result with maybe even more info after 1 ingame day.
I agree that traffic simulation is the most important part and that is why I actually want to use agent based simulation, to make it as realistic and transparent as possible for the player.
I actually think that the abstract pathing and density calculation of SC4 and earlier don't do a great job at representing something as chaotic and emergently complex as traffic.
I will try my best to struggle through the challenges that agent based simulation brings, but I wouldn't give up something that awesome and immersive just because it didn't work well in SC13.
|# ¿ Apr 10, 2014 21:25|
Just wanted to say it's great to see a developer who seems to really "get" what people want from a city builder, and I love that you're taking people's suggestions on board.
I'm already planning on a park zone. They will then be generated procedurally.
Marking buildings as historic would be a great way to keep procedural buildings that you like.
True. While SimCity 4 (and 3000) do have big, ploppable, monumental buildings, all they do is sit there and suck money while providing a bit of YIMBY effect. They don't actually provide anything to the city, be it homes or jobs.
I'll think about I how I could incroporate such a mechanic.
I'm still very wary of agent based traffic. It seems that some of the problems with SC2013 were entirely inherent to agents.
The road segments already know how many cars there are on them.
I'm currently doing a kind of cached, distributed A* where routes are kept for other cars and are invalidated after a while.
So the system might not instantly react to changed traffic and update weights, but after a while it will (which is also realistic).
Citizens have permanent and unique homes and workplaces, their agents will travel between those.
SC13's traffic simulation is actually more of a liquid simulation where homes are sources and workplaces are drains, in the evening the other way around.
I will do none of that.
Where does that music from the Road to Alpha video come from? It's incredibly relaxing.
It's "River Meditation" by audionautix.com
|# ¿ Apr 11, 2014 23:27|
Anyway, in terms of density management have you considered letting demand determine density then allowing the player to paint height limitations?
This is exactly how density will work. Based on demand and a tool to paint max. height.
|# ¿ Apr 12, 2014 12:56|
Yes, if you donate via PayPal, because then I have your email address and can send you the alpha when it's ready.
I also don't like preorders, that's why I only offer this indirect way and don't market it as a preorder.
|# ¿ Apr 12, 2014 21:19|
New update, kind of:
The Road to Alpha, Week 6 - Intermezzo & Community Activity
|# ¿ Apr 15, 2014 18:41|
Awesome thanks, I will use it for reference and if it is still active maybe ask something myself.
|# ¿ Apr 15, 2014 20:05|
Just wondering how you'll set the game up, being from Germany you'll probably call trams Trams or Light Rail and (hopefully) not streetcars, but will there be an option to have left hand drive cities or roundabouts or even bikelanes as a road/vehicle type?
There will be all three: there's an option to switch to left hand driving, you will be able to build roundabouts and there will be bike lanes.
Streetmix has a nice interface, but I will do it differently. You'll see when I get around to it.
|# ¿ Apr 16, 2014 23:48|
The Road to Alpha, Week 7 - First Signs of Gameplay Detected
|# ¿ Apr 23, 2014 00:26|
This looks so promising and again, it's nice to see a developer so involved with the community. Made a small donation to show my support.
Thanks for the kind words, everyone!
|# ¿ Apr 23, 2014 00:58|
I'm really liking what you've shown so far. And the size. I like the size.
That's what she said.
I'm still skeptical of agent based simulation for large scale simulations like a city, but... I'll give it the benefit of the doubt for the moment.
Right now, neighboring cities are abstract and invisible, but they will require connections.
Additionally there will be regional demand that is unlocked by train stations/highways and global demand that is unlocked by air or seaports.
Later on there might be the ability to connect multiple player-cities together.
|# ¿ Apr 23, 2014 17:25|
Additionally to the global demand, there will be something that models very local demand (could just be "heatmaps" or something similar).
So even if there is a global demand for food sales, vendors won't move in if there is no place that is easily/quickly reachable by customers.
|# ¿ Apr 23, 2014 17:44|
When your doing videos in the future can you record the game while in a small resolution? Or atleast when your pointing fine UI details. Because in your latest video I had to switch it to HD resolution and the fullscreen for me to be able to easily read the RCI graphs.
Ok, I might create a zoom-in effect in post-production.
Please include some kind of pedestrian infrastructure too! Most cities in the world have large pedestrian downtowns, the typical Simcity model where everything is next to a big road only exists in a few American cities.
Yes I will! But first I will focus on only cars, just to make development simpler.
Local demand, yes, that makes sense... but what about local supply? Again, the situation where there's plenty of global supply, but maybe there's only a single tiny road leading into one part of town and it's flooded with traffic 24/7.
Well, if a resident can't realistically get to any supply he needs he wont move there in the first place.
This might sound like there will be a deadlock, but residents will be ok with having to travel long distances in the beginning.
If their situation worsens because of traffic jams etc. they might move out, however.
|# ¿ Apr 23, 2014 21:37|
Lots of questions, lots of answers:
Regarding one of the previous comments about re-playability/challenge: In previous versions of Sim City, one of the driving factors of the game, (and arguably what made it fun) was the challenge of coaxing your city into developping the way you want it to by using the tools at your disposal.†
One major source of challenge will be the need to constantly generate more interest in the city, I talked a little about that in the video.
First you will be able to use the first neighboring city as a source of growth.
Then you will have to shift your city to become more self-sustained.
Then you can afford or will be offered the opportunity to build new transport connectivity opetions like highways or railway.
This opens you up to a wider market that you can use for further growth.
Then you would have to really start managing the needs and problems of your by now quite large city.
If you succeed you will be able to build seaports or airports, opening your city up for global trade, immigration and tourism.
This constitutes the end-game and is also the hardest part, you now have to manage a whole metropolis.
This whole path is of course full of smaller budget, city style, and other interesting decisions.
Is the current building/lot system more or less a very rough placeholder? I thought we were going to get more flexible procedural buildings that conformed to the roads/lots better. Right now I see the exact same problem Cities XL and Simcity 2013 had: ugly wasted strips of land due to rectangles trying to fill non-rectangular spaces. How can we make a dense european city if we can't have street-walls of buildings gracefully following the curves and angles of roads?
Yeah I hope there will be non-rectangular lots sooner rather than later. In the perfect world also have special rules to generate corner buildings at corners. Maybe even wedge-shaped buildings at sharp corners.
Yes the procedural building and lot generation will get a lot smarter and interesting.
The current implementation is really the simplest example that I had time for.
Non-rectangular spaces and special rules for corner-buildings are something that I already have planned.
Achieving beautiful eruopean building-walls and street blocks (like we also have here in Munich) is one of my personal goals.
I hope that comforts you.
Well, which is it that you want? Yards or eurotowns? As this is procedurally generated, maybe stuff like that could be manipulated by a slider. Your building codes and stuff, allowing areas of such and such population density to develop tightly packed, space maximising buildings. Less dense residential will have more yard and garden space, and lots will be more square to preserve green space.
Or, as someone said, have both in one city.
Yes, there will be a park-zone that works exactly like you describe.
You will designate it and lay foot or bike-paths through it, then it will be filled procedurally.
Man, I'd love a city building game where you could get into building codes, zoning laws and housing ordinances and such. Imagine being a mayor and having to deal with managing the various citizen complaints and improving the local economy in time to make the next election! You try to get higher density and try to increase the height restrictions, but local citizens protest because it would destroy their property values. You want to expand your highway to improve commerce into the city and increase industry, but there's a stubborn homeowner that you have to try to use eminent domain on in order to get him out of the way! You're trying to switch to renewable energy by building windmills, but citizens concerned about noise and endangered birds try to block your attempts!
While I don't aim for that complexity of politics for the main game, mods would certainly allow for it!
That sounds absolutely horrible.
See, this is why it's important that the game is as adaptive as possible, while still having a focused, designed core experience.
anselm_eickhoff fucked around with this message at Apr 25, 2014 around 21:23
|# ¿ Apr 25, 2014 19:53|
What about tunnels and bridges, will those be buildable anywhere?
Yes, you'll be able to change road height everywhere, tunnels and bridges will be created as needed.
|# ¿ Apr 25, 2014 20:24|
I'd love it if, like Simcity 4, it had a lot of options for building rural areas, including forests and whatnot. Maybe just look at how they did plop placement in that game and copy it, being able to paint the landscape with importable 2D sprites would do the trick.
I think I can do better than 2D sprites for trees.
Constructor modelled a city with individual classes of people who complained about their surroundings etc etc. The whole game was a huge balancing act, and it worked pretty well, but it was a full-time job sometimes just trying to keep everyone happy.
Thanks for the tip. The UI-Sounds alone are amazing
Some of the tile based decoration systems developed for 4 were absolute works of art but I'm not sure a system like that could really translate over to a 3d environment like this. But I would love a variety of texture brushes and trees and such to really go nuts painting the landscape. Either for free at creation or for a cost later. But we're talking about a game that might not even get textures for its buildings, a detailed landscape decorating system might not be in the cards.
City Engine is one of my main inspirations, most of my ideas for the procedural building generation stem from their research papers.
It is now the main goal of Citybound to make you pee a little.
This is looking really cool so far. I'm wondering, do you have ideas about reasonable upper bounds on city scale? Not just in terms of residents, but also spatially. How much area will you expect the largest player cities to cover? How far out will we be able to zoom? And how long do you think it might take a player to grow a city that runs up against the limits of feasibility?
It is indeed hard to say this early on, but I can say that space alone won't be a limit, just how much you put on it in total.
Based off my prototype, which could handle 50.000 simultaneous cars in realtime, I hope to at least double that.
From my data oracle (which is actually a person) I get the fact that peak number of cars at a time in a city is about 10% of the population.
So I hope that cities with 1 million inhabitants would be feasible.
If you would be ok with using one simulation agent for several citizens that could be more.
Also if you are more optimistic in my ability to optimize my algorithms.
This is awesome news. After Simcity I didn't think I'd see another decent city builder for the next few years, let alone an indie one. Sent a few bucks your way too
|# ¿ Apr 25, 2014 23:25|
First, new update!
The Road to Alpha, Week 8 - Intermezzo & Big Announcement
I will answer all you comments and questions in just a sec, when I'm done spamming all the social networks with the update
|# ¿ Apr 29, 2014 23:30|
Alright, time for mega-answer-post
Anselm, I was wondering if you could saturate and contrast the colors of everything a little more. My eyes just do not like the bleached look of the game. If it was a visual setting that'd be great too
Yes, colors will get more saturated again.
I'm experimenting with colors and lighting all the time, so it looks different in the different update videos.
drat, sucks that it never got finished. Checking out the websites about it leads to a lot of dead links. I never liked most of the post a-train 1 games. I could never get my region to grow or develop. I tired the new 3d ones and holy poo poo could you possibly design a worse interface and feedback system? I just want to shuffle around building materials and passengers and watch little houses pop up and then invest in some buildings.
Did not know that about japanese railways.
Now A-Train and this mechanic make much more sense, but I always enjoyed using or even exploiting it anyways.
Yeah, in most stations in Tokyo they have a big JR skyscraper sitting on top of the actual tracks. I never knew why until know though, I did hear once that because revenue in Tokyo and other big cities is potentially so high, the government forces JR to also develop rural lines and take the loss for less profitable ones in exchange for allowing it to run the Yamanote line and such.
It will have trains, I don't know yet how detailed it will be, if it will includes schedules etc.
Or Open TTD but for metro/suburban networks instead of intercity.
Generic modern setting.
Time will not pass in a historical way.
But mods can add that.
First of all Anselm, I'm been quite excitedly following your devblog since the first post, it's exciting because it's super ambitious. But ambition can lead to fiasco so I am trying to temper my optimism.
I agree that those mechanics are not really fun.
I will probably heavily simplify them (similar to SC13, roads will be used for water, sewage and electrictiy) and I will try to make them more fun.
I won't go for a straight wooden look, but that inspired me for the look I have in mind.
It will be model-like, but very detailed.
Totally agreed about scale issues being solved by consistent application and modeling, but then the dev has to commit way more time to artwork to get it right, and also be a pretty good artist (not saying Anselm isn't, but the stereotype attributed to developer art is not generally flattering!) Perhaps wood-town is better done as a mod anyway, because people would undoubtably decide the game is a simple toy instead of a deep and serious simulation if the style isn't realism.
I will try to keep scales as consistent as possible.
I use meters as the ingame unit for everything and compare all objects to their real life measures.
The proportions will certainly be more realistic than toy-like.
Regarding slopes, it's hard to say before I implement it, but I will give it my best and I'm ready to try out new approaches that might not have these problems.
gently caress yes your parents are sponsoring the game! This is rad, good work.
I'm studying Computer Science, this is my 6th bachelor semester (it will probably take me 2 more). I'm 21.
Digging the music in the video, SC3000 had an excellent jazzy track and I can't wait to see what else your composers come up with. Threw in a few bucks your way as well. Good luck dude!
Much appreciated! I'm also so excited for the music!
|# ¿ Apr 29, 2014 23:54|
Anselm pulls off mask, revealed to be Ocean Quigley, smothering our hopes and dreams in the crib
I keep hearing these conspirancy theories oO
Personally I wouldn't care for the idea of time periods and stuff, it would make it a bit too much like Age of Empires or something and less like a landscaper. I'd generally avoid the Simcity Societies/Impressions route where puzzle and strategy game mechanics are wedged into a city builder, since it tends to take away from the core. The gameplay should probably just focus on infrastructure and aesthetics.
That is a nice style!
This is more for later once you get mechanics and everything down, but could you also make a 'utility connector' type road? To represent areas that share utilities but are much more loosely connected transportation wise. It always seemed kinda ugly and sometimes nonsensical when I had to do things like that. E.g. In a mountainous rural area its easy to string up power lines through the heights, actual useable roads not so much.
Yes, there will be non-road connectors.
I will think some more on how to make it fun, I think if it captures that "I took care of everything, the whole city is neat and covered"-feeling, it's good.
These are my thoughts on utilities:
That is a nice way to model powerplants, I will steal it.
Some power plants are a lot more scalable than others as well. I'd love a realistic selection of power generating options as well as realistic sizes/costs for the buildings them selves. Also a big thing with coal power is you NEED infrastructure to ship the coal. Coal plants generally have their own dedicated rail lines that constantly work to feed the plants as they eat ridiculous amounts of coal, you can't have a coal plant without a railway, the building should simply not function until there are tracks leading from a certain point on the building to the edge of the map for the coal trains to come, or be built on the water with a special coal dock. Oil and gas need pipelines and or huge storage and shipping facilities. Hydro needs the right terrain and river conditions, rare but extremely good when available. Wind and solar need certain weather conditions and fluctuate widely, wasting most of their output at certain times and not producing any or enough at others (so good for an energy "top up" but useless for base load)
Yes, this also makes the choice much more interesting than "balance price and pollution"
Nuclear needs an absence of german politicians and "environmentalists" near it.
Energy infrastructure is also closely related to industry. Maybe your "green" city is pleasant to live in and the citizens deal with the expensive electricity prices by using less due to all your great energy-efficiency programs, but industry needs cheap power and a lot of it. Maybe that massive coal plant you built is providing dirt cheap power for your massive industrial area, but now everyone's dying young from respiratory problems and your town is seen as a dirty nasty industrial hellhole no one chooses to live in. So once again, choices.
Speaks for itself.
I have an actual watertable/surface water simulation in mind that should support your ideas.
Good idea, and the good thing is that these off-map projects could initially just be abstract (i.e. not represented visually) to see how they influence gameplay.
This is actually just an extension of the progression of neighbor-resources and demands that allows for more player interaction, which is of course always good.
tl;dr I am mad about cities
Thanks for your input! I really enjoy thinking about it!
One thing you didn't touch on is the electric infrastructure related to connecting the grid itself to the consumers, i.e. the transformer substations etc. Those are definitely located inside city bounds and reasonably sized. Although I'm not sure if it would actually be fun to have to manage this.
I don't think it's fun to actually have to manage voltage conversion and the like.
As everything, though, a mod could be made for it.
|# ¿ Apr 30, 2014 21:48|
Good to see that we have the same expectations of myself
Thanks for your in-depth, detailed, colorful description of how you envision gameplay.
There's lots of good stuff in it.
I prefer the "neighboring cities develop and react to your decisions"-idea, I think it can completely replace the off-site-projects idea.
You have enough decisions to make on your city plot and if they become even more meaningful due to the interaction with the region that's even better.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to model flexible regional/global prices before your post, but again, the kinds of decisions it forces you to take are very very interesting.
Thanks for your collective brainstorming, everyone!
|# ¿ May 4, 2014 00:27|
After reading all of this wonderful discussion, let me jump in:
A city will definitely start with an existing road and there will be existing traffic on it that will even be more than eye candy:
It will transport people and goods from one neighboring city to another, based on the respective demands.
(Simulating this is not a big problem, it works almost like inner-city traffic.
The only difference will be that regional cars won't be uniquely persisted, there will only ever be the ones currently in your town)
Now you come along and build a new city that now also starts to offer some things.
The cars that had to go all the way to the other city in the past can now get what they need in your city and return.
This much I know for sure.
What happens then, and how that influences demand, prices and automatic development of neighboring cities, I'm not sure yet.
I really want all player interaction to happen on your own city plot.
The neighboring cities can react to how well you satisfy your demands, sure, but I don't want stuff like player-controlled regional projects.
It's not SimRegion. I'd rather have such things be procedural environmental factors that vary from map to map.
|# ¿ May 4, 2014 22:31|
That's fair enough. But if the region does start out semi-populated with neighbours and they grow and change, could the initial population/development of the region be a map creation option? As well perhaps how quickly the region grows or reacts to what you're doing?
Sure, that could be configurable.
I'd love to see both street parking and off-street parking modeled, I know it's tricky and never been done in a city builder but it's really that important. Parking takes up so much land if it's surface parking, which reduces density, which spreads things out, which then requires more roads (vicious cycle). Parking in an urban environment (multi-level, underground) is extremely expensive and adds hugely to the cost of the buildings.
I also really want to have that but on the [game breaking if not existing ... nice to have]-scale, it's more to the right.
I like SC4s unrealistic style of plopping a city in the middle of nowhere with no connections necessary.
Will you have SC4-ish regions? If so I would fully support developing a city, leaving a blank map, develop a city on another side and then have a road through the previously empty map.
Eventually, I think so. For now I will concentrate on one big city tile.
|# ¿ May 5, 2014 21:04|
The Road to Alpha, Week 9 - A Day In the Life of a Citizen
(I will respond to the discussion soon!)
anselm_eickhoff fucked around with this message at May 7, 2014 around 01:54
|# ¿ May 7, 2014 01:43|
Good compromise would be that when city is starting, player has to make a major road from edge of map to another. This way there is something to build the city around, but player can still decide where the road goes.
I think this is a good result of the discussion.
So what you're saying is that time is a 4-season cube?
Exactly. I guess.
That is an interesting solution for time, to be sure. What will you do when things cost money? Have cash flow determined seasonally?
I think it will be immediate, i.e. citizen goes to work, gets money, later goes shopping, shop gets money.
Eesh, right turns only? I hope that's temporary. Only divided boulevards should prevent cars from turning left into a home or business.
Yes, I know, I know. It's only temporary. I didn't have time to add crossing the road from a plot and it would have been a waste since I will redo the road system now anyways.
|# ¿ May 7, 2014 12:56|
Anselm, you're doing great work and it's really cool to see your progress.
Interesting point, let me elaborate on that.
This backseat driving is actually what surprised me most about the community (it's not like I have any experience with this).
These "stupid" questions can be pretty annoying, but I think I'm beginning to understand where they come from.
I think it has to do with people not being used to seeing something as complicated as a game at a very early stage.
Maybe most people aren't even familiar with the process of creation at all (we live in a mostly-consumer society after all).
So these questions are their idea of contribution.
It just means that they care so much about what they saw, that they want to be a part of it, even if it just means giving their opinion.
Framing it like this helps me to stay patient and even to appreciate these kinds of comments.
|# ¿ May 7, 2014 22:31|
New update, everyone!
|# ¿ May 14, 2014 01:58|
This maybe is what you were referring to when you mentioned dozen of tools that only intersection nerds would like, but do you have plans to let the player manage traffic stuff like the placement of traffic lights on certain intersections, set the speed of streets, and things like that?
Yes, all of this will be handled automatic-by-default, manual-when-desired.
Rather than a circle tool, I think a nice grid overlay (one you could rotate and move around) would give you what you need. As long as all your ramps start in the same places, your interchange will be nice and symmetrically rounded.
There will be geometrical helpers. Guidelines, maybe grids.
I wonder if anyone has approached you with job offers yet.
In what way do you mean?
I am excited for this game. However I want to recreate my town right down to this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_...emel_Hempstead)
Yes, it will be.
That looks really cool. Will you make it so that you can actually enter a first person perspective too and walk around your city?
Maybe in the very far future.
Just make sure you can build an SPUI. Supposedly traffic engineers love those.
Haha, I looked forward to traffic engineer snobism
But how would you do multi-level overpasses, like the Baltimore junction?
You will be able to freely adjust the height of end-points, ramps, bridges, trenches and tunnels will be created as needed.
Any chance that the road tool will have a way to start with 2/4/6/etc lanes when initially laid down? I like that you can add or subtract lanes at a whim, but I just know the ability to start at 4 or 6 or whatever is going to be a quality of life thing that I'll continually be hoping for.
Yep, I'll add something like that.
That, and probably also having some fixed spacing between lanes in different direction (maybe as "dead" lanes that contain nothing but grass). And let players make lanes that run in the "wrong" direction if they really want. Hopefully there will be a way for mods to have intersection templates or generators, for making quick standardized roundabouts, highway interchanges, road/highway onramp systems etc.
Yes, there will be median lanes and intersection generators that you can mod.
That's a good start for a tool to get really fiddly with roads, but that's something the average user is going to find a little too fiddly. If I want a 4 lane road with wide sidewalks and a treed boulevard I don't want to have to manually lay down those elements every time. I want to just click on a road tool, click on the "4 lane boulevard" tool and lay down some roads. At the same time I'm not a traffic engineer but I know there's a lot of "correct" styles of highway junctions. I just want to click a button, junctions, and plop down a cloverleaf.
With the planned road templates and intersection generators that should all be possible.
Another cool idea would be to select an area of roads and save it as a pre-set. So maybe you designed a really weird interchange but want to exactly reproduce it 10 more times and don't want to spend 10 min trying to draw it exactly the same every time. Or you see a bunch of nerds online made a bunch of realistic intersections and saved them as presets to share.
That could be a simple mod.
Also how are you going to differentiate between different speeds? A 4 lane avenue is very different from a 4 lane highway. Heck a highway shouldn't even be able to have buildings along it. Once again I think we'll need some hard-coded presets for things like "freeways" and "city road" and "lane". What about things like dirt country roads? Or super low-speed shared roads where cars can't go faster than bikes?
I think you will be able to just toggle the road/lane type and it will propagate its type to new connected roads/lanes.
|# ¿ May 14, 2014 21:55|
|# ¿ May 22, 2017 19:21|
Just a heads up for you as well: this week's update will be a couple days late.
I've been really busy with real life (nothing serious though).
Thanks for your understanding.
|# ¿ May 20, 2014 21:25|