City Grid / Masterplan

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Bizkit
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City Grid / Masterplan

Postby Bizkit » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:11 pm

My #1 suggestion comes from my #1 frustration when playing city builders: having to build without a master plan and then realizing buildings are not where I want them to be.

Wouldn't it be nice to have a secondary menu with some sort of city masterplan? It could look like a math sheet superimposed on the landscape. The player would be able to calculate how many squares away from one another the buildings should be in the future. For instance, if a regular house is sized 2x2 squares, you can leave precisely 20 spots for 10 houses and not leave 19 or 21 by mistake (and then end up with a useless spot).

Or late in the game, when your tech tree allows you to build a huge cathedral, there is already perfect room for it and you don't have to raze half the city center.

The signs you make in the 'masterplan' could appear like small wooden sticks/posts in the actual game.



I would also like an option where you can move smaller buildings around. It would have to work very slowly and cost some wood (for the tree trunks that are used to roll the building on).

vic_4
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Postby vic_4 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:41 pm

I strongly support at least the grid like in CotN.

Caesar Clifford
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Postby Caesar Clifford » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:08 am

I'm playing Forge of Empires at present and one of the best things is being able to move the buildings around as you get new and bigger buildings but thats so not what you want in a city builder game. City building games should reflect real life in that if you build something somewhere you have to either live with it or demolish it and build another one. the layout and s etting up of a city is part of what makes them so enjoyable. You build and build and as you get more money and labour you expand your city and walls and its like a real city. i love that part of city builders.

Czech Centurian
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Postby Czech Centurian » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:12 am

Some sort of layout master plan overlay where you can place buildings bases without actually placing them on the real map might be interesting. Like creating a city wide plan view.

Caesar Clifford
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Postby Caesar Clifford » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:15 am

Yes but they did not have any opportunity to fly overhead in those days and everything had to be done from ground level.

Keith
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Postby Keith » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:40 am

I think most cities grew in a organic random manner at that time in history. Rigid planning designs probably didn't dome into effect until later in history.

EmperorJay
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Postby EmperorJay » Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:23 am

I quite like how Grand Ages: Rome handled this: demolishing a building for city redesign made you lose popularity but that would be offset if your new buildings would indeed make the situation better (both there and city-wide).

BrazNomar
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Postby BrazNomar » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:00 pm

"Keith" wrote:I think most cities grew in a organic random manner at that time in history. Rigid planning designs probably didn't dome into effect until later in history.


We're dealing with a series of games that has a major focus on a single player building the city, though. A tool like Bizkit proposes sounds interesting - I myself many times wanted to visualise a new area for my city, and had to count squares or just build the entire area already. That, only to discover I didn't think over just one more factor (building, road, attractivity, ...).

PCDania
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Postby PCDania » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:05 am

To get an idea about how cities developed in the Middle Ages, try look at the oldest part of some old european cities.

Pharaoh Pepy
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Postby Pharaoh Pepy » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:05 pm

European medieval cities had winding narrow streets usually. There was some elements shared with earlier classical cities. Wealthier merchants and religious houses might have piped water, there could also be fountains and there had to be an aquaduct to carry the water - remember mostly that the Roman one was a pipe with the impressive archwork only in rare places. On that point, bridge construction was something that was rare and something more from the later Middle Ages, and that was when modern things like joint stock companies and complex banks appeared. Occasionally if a new section of a city was laid out, say a suburb, where often most commercial activity took place, and not necessarily in the walled area, which might be a hulking Late Roman structure, which might have been defensible, but not easily adapted or extended. That section might have a basic regularity and even a basic form of grid, but that was rarer, usually it just meant a straight road from a gate with potters and smiths alongside it. There has to be some unplanned look to the city, or else it will not look medieval.

Ashkir
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Postby Ashkir » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:17 am

My biggest gripe about the CotN grid was the red was annoying and headache prone. I'd love an easy way to change the coloring or make it lighter.

Jacq
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Postby Jacq » Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:46 pm

"Keith" wrote:I think most cities grew in a organic random manner at that time in history. Rigid planning designs probably didn't dome into effect until later in history.


Actually most cities where planned from the ground up. This is a common misconception. They where usually planned around a central marketplace.

Do we even know if the game is going to work on a grid at this time?

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Jeff Fiske
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Evolution

Postby Jeff Fiske » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:52 pm

Think of how most of the classic city building games begin...

Pretty rugged landscape.
Rich resources.

The initial population has to be grown carefully or you will fail economic. Only once a base city is started can you look to expand it.

Ever been to the British Museum in London? They have a cutout of a London street where you can see different era's in London's history. You can see roman streets, evidence of fires, early paving, modern piping..etc..

My .02 here, not speaking for all Millers...
As a 'purest' designer I want you to have the opportunity to feel emotionally like you are building one type of village, succeeding and then moving on to the next evolution. Part of that evolution will involve sacrificing the old ways, and remapping. Hopefully it is more of a challenge that is fun, than it is a dreadful task.

Recently I heard something that I really think is true. We play games until one day we realize that game has nothing new to offer me. There are no new surprises, no new challenges, there is nothing that I can do with the game that it can offer me I have not already seen or experienced.

So if the same map tile at one time is a dirt road, then a paved road then moved for a warehouse, then replaced by a trade center, I think that is pretty cool.

What I think you want though is a sense of what might be coming for you in the future. For example in Pharaoh there were maps where you could build a pyramid in set locations...

So giving you the tools to know what is coming and plan to some extent should be doable.

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Chris Beatrice
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Postby Chris Beatrice » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:21 am

We have actually discussed this quite a bit internally, allowing players to switch to "planning mode" which functions very much like normal building mode, except it's impermanent. You can save and reload different plans just like you save games. Some of the differences in MM vs. prior cb's may mitigate the usefulness of this, though. Also this may be one of those weird things where providing a tool to make something easier or less error prone could kill some of the fun. There is such a fine line, with strategy games especially. A lot of people felt that you should be able to freely move and archive buildings, as you now can in "social city-building games" (a term which I will probably forever put in quotations, and use air quotes when I talk about them...). Again, though, that could kill some of the fun.

vic_4
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Postby vic_4 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:52 am

It could be interesting to have not "fixed dimension buildings" i.e. a shop could have a certain standard dimension, but it could be fitted in smaller places at an higher price or at a lower efficiency.

arcan
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Postby arcan » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:23 pm

"vic_4" wrote:It could be interesting to have not "fixed dimension buildings" i.e. a shop could have a certain standard dimension, but it could be fitted in smaller places at an higher price or at a lower efficiency.

I loved one CB game (can't remember which one) where houses could be put alltogether, even without acces to the road, to make a bigger block (the small houses were designed with passageways and so). That made for more possibilities of blocks and more different looks (a more varried city).

arcan
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Postby arcan » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:25 pm

One thing I absolutely want is to be able to build independently of the square grid. I'm really fed up of cities with only perpendicular roads...

Azeem
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Postby Azeem » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:42 pm

"arcan" wrote:I loved one CB game (can't remember which one) where houses could be put alltogether, even without acces to the road, to make a bigger block (the small houses were designed with passageways and so). That made for more possibilities of blocks and more different looks (a more varried city).


CotN and SCS worked that way. You could build a city with no roads, and life would still go on. :)

vic_4
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Postby vic_4 » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:45 pm

"Azeem" wrote:CotN and SCS worked that way. You could build a city with no roads, and life would still go on. :)


In COTN you could go without roads, but you always had to leave space in front of each building.

PantherX
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Postby PantherX » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:23 am

One of the funnest ways to play SCS was without roads. I even made one city that used roads but no intersections, auto travel was fast and then they walked into the next area.
:cool:


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