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Walker suggestions and other ideas

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:30 am
by JaAchan daVariso
It's a bit early to make proper suggestions, and I haven't really played Caesar IV (the only from the series that I didn't get into), and I also don't know what kind of suggestions you already discounted for previous games (have I covered my ass enough yet? :P ) but here's my 0.02$, for whatever they're worth:

* Don't spend too much resources on 3D; it didn't really add anything for me to Caesar IV and it was really buggy at first. If you can do it easily, great, if not, no problem.
* To help resource distribution, maybe players could hire NPCs with specific transport orders, for example, hiring someone to continuously haul a single resource type from this warehouse to that. Doesn't have to be fancy, as long as it's explicit.
* In OpenTTD you could create a small window you could use to keep an eye on a different part of the land while you were busy doing other things. Maybe that could be useful here too? You could keep an eye on your favourite neighbourhood while you're off building a new industry zone.

IMHO, YMMV, etc. Wasn't sure I ought to be making a thread for each suggestion, so I just posted it here.

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:09 pm
by Jeff Fiske
"Keith" wrote:At this stage, I'm guessing the game design is probably pretty well set. Now is the time they'd be working out the bugs on what they have already programmed.

And, yeah, you should have probably started a new thread on this. :)

Yes to the new thread.... (So I moved it for you.)

Development is not at the same pace it used to be... what used to come first, can come later, so....we do want to hear what you have to say even if you think we have already worked it out....

There is a lot to be said about walker behavior. What does it mean? Can you grab a walker, like Zoo Tycoon? What if you clicked on a building and another walker came out like a power up? What about Zeus where there were gods that would bless buildings? What about the market lady, vs the cartpusher vs. the engineer? What if there were twice as many walker, or half as many.... My point is a lot of thought can go into these amusing little indicators of city life, and we are curious what is on your mind.

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:32 pm
by vic_4
In CotN I diliked lack of cohordination in behavior, scribes recounted the same fields, priests sticked alltogather in the same structure and buyers went home if their perspective acquisition was sold out, even if it was in quantity in next shop.

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:13 pm
by PCDania
Make sure there are guilds in the game (e.g. shoemakers guild) which are to be appeased to some degree so they don't go on strike or cause unrest/revolt in the city. In the medieval times the guilds could be very powerful and could make or break a Major.

With the newest generations of CPUs it would be great if the game engine is aware of the number of cores making it possible with more AI controlled units/walkers. Maybe put some more of the load on the GPU also if possible.

Bandits attacking traderoutes with the player being able to counter by sending a detachment of soldiers to protect the traders on the way. The upkeep for these soldiers should be a little higher when they are out there but if they survive/repel an attack they should earn points towards becoming veterans.

Having workers wandering off to the inn or staying at home when they should be working because of low pay/bad working conditions/too long way to their work.

Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:50 pm
by Keith
"Jeff Fiske" wrote:Yes to the new thread.... (So I moved it for you.)

Development is not at the same pace it used to be... what used to come first, can come later, so....we do want to hear what you have to say even if you think we have already worked it out....

There is a lot to be said about walker behavior. What does it mean? Can you grab a walker, like Zoo Tycoon? What if you clicked on a building and another walker came out like a power up? What about Zeus where there were gods that would bless buildings? What about the market lady, vs the cartpusher vs. the engineer? What if there were twice as many walker, or half as many.... My point is a lot of thought can go into these amusing little indicators of city life, and we are curious what is on your mind.

A definite "no" on the market lady. I think the CotN and Caesar IV models are much more desireable. I think there should be a market center where people go to buy their goods and food items and to which farmers deliver their crops, etc.

Never played Zoo Tycoon so I have no frame of reference. Walkers in Jurassic Park Operation Genesis would migrate towards the big and popular attractions, which had to be built and improved on to maximize walker visits. This would increase your park's income.

I was never a big fan of the gods strolling the streets blessing buildings in Zeus. If anything it made more sense for that game than it would for one based in medieval times.

Engineers? Were there civil engineers in the dark ages? I would think that any engineers were probably controlled by the king and his army.

How about a "power down"? An executioner that would lop off your head for some gross infraction, and thus end your game.

A town crier that would wander about announcing the game news would be fun. Zoom in and hear him speak.

Illness and plague always comes to mind when I think of this period of history.

I always enjoyed the bits of humor that the various games had built in, usually in the form of something amusing that a walker says like it CotN, or the actor suspended from a rope over the stage complaining about the spinning in Zeus. It would be a shame to leave out this sort of thing.

What country and culture is this game going to based on? England, France, Germany, Italy, etc.?

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:20 am
by Amrine
I am thinking about the Crusades, Lords, the King and how that will all interact together. I think Townships paid military duty or taxes or something to their local Lord or King. I am not sure of that; It is just me thinking. Would the walls be decorative or martial?

I like the idea of a trade center where your foodstuffs, clothing, tools etc could be purchased.

Are they going to be called walkers or surfs? heh Or surfs for the farming, animal tender, fisher types and peasants for the city people. Servants for the well to do.

Religion is a major detail to consider, and I like the idea of being able to build a large and beautiful cathedral that GillB mentioned.

Apothecaries would be a big thing also. Hospitals were death traps in those days, but herb lore was good.

No roadblocks, please. I love the freedom of CotN people.

Minstrels and puppet shows for entertainment.

I hope others will comment and we can form a great discussion. :D

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 2:34 am
by Azeem
Big NO to the old "walkers" and "market ladies." So glad you never revived that afterwards.

I actually liked that there wasn't so much coordination in CotN. Simply said, people don't always do what you want them to do and that gives a game a more organic feeling (doesn't mean it should end up as a total chaotic free-for-all, of course!). I think there ought to be some constraints on how free you can be, however. A game still needs to feel like a game and I think the freeform nature of CotN ultimately made it repetitive, even when it broke with old conventions to allow for a huge degree of flexibility. Perhaps keep it that people would be willing to go only so far before you need to set up another neighborhood.

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:09 am
by vic_4
If a model like CotN is used it would help if it would be possible to assign specific tasks, but also a specific range of action (i.e. a priest acting in a specific district you assign).

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:30 am
by Khopesh Sidearm
So many things to talk about here, and these thoughts are in no particular order...

I'm in the "no market lady" camp - much prefer the Caesar IV method where the townfolk go to the market themselves.

Presuming the game will cover numerous countries of the medieval era,will the music/architecture/accents and so on reflect whichever country the city currently in play happens to be in?

Never was a fan of the wandering gods. I like the idea of religion being important to the people (a la Caesar IV) without there being a manifestation of a diety.

I very much like the idea of a space being alotted for housing, say, or a warehouse, but then the structure must be built as in CoTN. I found the idea of just clicking on a space and having a house spring into being fully formed, just waiting to be populated, a little too "video game". Maybe each immigrant must first gather timber and stone to get a building started, and then regular housing evolution takes over, or something like that.

Staying on the topic of housing and expanding it to the overall look of the city, I'm wondering if a certain level of "randomness" could be included in the structures. How to explain Caesar IV all the houses were the same. Yes, there were different types of housing for plebians and equites and so on, but within these classes the houses were identical. They evolved, but at each level of development they looked the same. What if the basic design of houses was the same but once in a while, at random, the game changed some minor feature as they evolved? So you could have seven houses along a street but a few of them were a slightly different color, or had four windows on the upper floor instead of three, or were flying a flag or had a window box of flowers or whatever. Nothing drastic, nothing that would screw with the basic design of the house, and I'm not talking about each and every building of the same type being rendered individually and uniquely. But I think this might result in cities that look and feel more organic and real.

Random events are great. And I mean truly random - on a replay of the same city you shouldn't get the same crop failure or plague at around the same time. I guess there would have to be some kind of a cap on these things - if you got the plague one year, a major flood the next and a potato blight the next, even the best of us might not pull through! Plus, not all random events need be bad - a traveling band of troubadors or an especially fruitfull growing season would be a nice change too.

Loved the weather effects of Caesar IV, and liked the "one daylight cycle=one year" idea.

I don't play these games only for warfare strategy and combat, but it's one of the reasons I play. I like defending the city I built. Make me work for it! The AI of some of the foes in previous games has been a bit weak. Once I hit upon a strategy that worked I could just use it over and over. In Caesar III I would line up two legions of spear throwers and rotate them backwards as the enemy advanced, softening them up and leading them right into my heavy infantry. Each time the enemy fell for it and just plowed ahead. The only challenges arose from invaders arriving before I had a strong enough military, or if they simply had sheer numbers. In Caesar IV I had enemies who would get cut to pieces attacking a manned gatehouse when there was an unfinished section of wall right around the corner! The other side of the coin is my own troops - if there is going to be a variety of troops (pikemen, archers, mounted knights, etc) give them each strengths and weaknesses that I'll have to work with. In past games it seemed like all you really wanted was the heaviest troops; they did it all.

Appropriate to the time period and level of available architecture, I want to build awesome castles and glorious cathedrals. From motte-and-bailey to curtain wall, from romanesque to gothic. Period.

I like being able to click on walkers and hear them say something, usually something funny or interesting. But even more I liked it when what they said reflected how they were doing or feeling about the city, not just a stock phrase. It was like getting a "man on the street" interview.

Wow! You'd think from all this that I've got nothing but complaints. But seriously I love you guys and am thrilled that there's something new in the works. I have full confidence in you all. The fact that you're even asking for our input is a wonderful sign. We've got something to look forward to!

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:10 pm
by Malkael
Just a couple of thoughts for now:

1. I am open to different ideas and improvements, but so far I personally prefer how Children of the Nile and Caesar IV handle the 'Walker' issue compared to Caesar 3 and Pharaoh.

2. A range of different appearances for buildings would be nice to see, at least for each hosing class one could hope. Since procedural generated buildings I have to assume may be too taxing currently on time and budget. As said by Khopesh Sidearm, just something to break up the monotony of every building looking exactly the same, if there are the resources to achieve it of course.

3. I like the idea of being able to construct great 'monuments' such as Cathedrals and other grand statements as a sort of legacy. It also opens up a range of different victory conditions for scenarios - building a cathedral might be a simple goal but it historically was hardly cheap and without peril.

4. The idea behind persistent cities in Zeus' 'adventures' intrigues me and I wouldn't mind seeing it return at some point if it could be incorporated well somewhere. The whole 'Home City' and 'Colony' design in Zeus gives me ideas about plotting the rise of certain economic trade cities.

Take the practice of Carthage for example in the Classical era where it would establish colonies to open up access to new resources to expand and maintain their national economical dominance and that of Carthage the city. Or going off on another tangent, once again inspired by the Classic Era, eventually Rome relied on grain from Egypt to feed the masses so somewhere in an 'Adventure' the player could be sent to establish a large and successful farming operation before return to Rome to continue their progress with Rome's food supply secured.

To apply it to a more medieval setting and a more condensed set of locales study the economic and cultural rise of settlements like Bruges through the power of trade. In the interest of telling a story about the golden age of Bruges you could tell the story of the rise of Bruges and the story of the economic colonies which were apart of that (even if some were of different sovereignty).

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:10 pm
by pcgamer2
"Keith" wrote:
What country and culture is this game going to based on? England, France, Germany, Italy, etc.?

Good question. I would really be interested in Medieval Mayor becoming a platform for future expansions and dlcs rather then a one hit wonder. Perhaps a few classical or maybe just 1 to start the game and dlcs and expansions to add other foreign cultures later? I would really love to see different challenges, twists, and architecture when I play so there is a replay value. Would also give us a chance to experience some of the lesser represented cultures in city building. I would love to work with a Ottoman or Russian culture set. ;)

Other then that, I really can't give any suggestions at this point, there's nothing much to suggest too! Looking forward to more information to come. No doubt in my mind though that whatever you guys do is going to be magic, its why all of us are still around!

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:20 am
by EmperorJay
A thing about walkers and city-planning that I've always kept in mind is the importance of road condition and width.

In most city building games there's an optimal strategy for building blocks and while my suggestion below does not alleviate that situation, it would call for more planning and more careful consideration on the road network.

Most ancient roads I've seen and most medieval town centres I've visited (Carcassone rocks!) don't allow much more than one cart at a time to pass through a street. Similary, narrow alleyways would not allow a man riding a horse to take that passage.

If roads can deteriorate, if hills would make traffic slower, if 'walkers' of any form can actually get stuck in some sort of traffic jam, it would probably make planning and road building more important and more challenging.

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:52 am
by Malkael
I quite like the theory behind EmperorJay's suggestion. Give us Mayors a reason why we should construct wider or better quality roadways in our settlements, and it is another consideration to take in to account when planning for the present and the future.

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:57 pm
by JuliaSet
Don't forget cats. Without them you can't control the plague.

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:41 pm
by Chris Beatrice

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 8:47 pm
by Caesar Clifford
And you need black ones for the witches too.

Posted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:15 pm
by Caesar Clifford
Really up to 1300 or so cats were regarded as being very bad. They were thought to be familiars for witches and as such usually killed when seen - any woman living alone with a cat was usually burnt as a witch too. Then in early 1300's [ after this game finishes ] the black plauge arrived and spread thru rats which because cats were in short supply caused a lot more deaths than what could have happened. In many cases whole villages were wiped out and between 1/3 and 2/3 of the total population of Europe was lost to the black death. All because of cats.

All veyr interesting but just outside the time area for MM. And the little Ice age was after 1300 as well so doesn't feature.

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:05 am
by vic_4
(cats) : (Medioeval Mayor) = (monkeys) : (Children of the Nile)

Cats stay to Medioeval Mayor as monkeys stay to CotN :D

Posted: Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:50 pm
by BrazNomar
As I posted in the other forum: in the end, I think the whole walker system used until Pharaoh was hard to maintain in big cities, with just no other way our of crossing too many roads. Zeus and ROTMK tried fixing it, but CotN and C4's systems felt much better (especially by killing market ladies, poor ones) - even though those systems needed easier ways to check the stocks in a whole city's distribution points.

I think more city life is brought up by its residents getting their stuff around than by workers delivering them.

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:23 pm
by mad_genius
In terms of walkers and the transportation systems I tend to feel there are 3 possible choices:

1 - The system used in CotN and Caesar 4 where the inhabitants go to the service buildings when they need to;

2 - The walkers from the service buildings (market ladies, prefects, education people, etc.) go to the houses like in Caesar 3 and Pharaoh but in an intelligent way like the cartpushers instead of beeing random. Maybe with a tool to setup patrol routes for those buildings or making all walkers having specific destinations like the cartpushers;

3 - Maintaining the system of random walkers, with our without configurable roadblocks (roadblocks where you can specify which types of walkers can pass like those gates in Emperor - RotmK) but with the possibility to upgrade those service buildings for them to spawn more walkers.

The concepts of road width that EmperorJay mentioned are insteresting, specially if combined with the system of boulevards that we had in Zeus and Emperor. The challenge here is to implement the required collision detection system in the game engine for walkers to know if they have enough space or not.