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alex macnamara

Discussion about City Tile Size

1,285 posts in this topic

I don't quite understand what you are trying to tell us, but a one large citytile can be played as a region with no problem whatsoever. Everything can be balanced out and make the city work.

mrb

Supertask likes this

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I don't quite understand what you are trying to tell us, but a one large citytile can be played as a region with no problem whatsoever. Everything can be balanced out and make the city work.

mrb

I can live with a large tile in a new simcity game because you can fit a whole downtown and the spur loops of freeways around it. Its the medium size that prevents any meaningfull traffic flow (worse when you have a downtown river going through). Also consider this size is the same as the old SNES Simcity. So far it isnt looking good unless the devs are too early in development and may squeeze larger sizes out later in time. Time will tell i guess.

AUGUSTUS_PRIMA likes this

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I don't have any issue with just a 2 km x 2 km tile if there is still region play, since the LARGE tile in SC4 tends to be a little cumbersome and slow once the whole tile is developed. Obviously, I understand your issue, but we have to hope that region play is better than in SC4, so that technically the 2km tile is just the loaded area and doesn't act as A SEPARATE city, but just a section. I think you are overreacting about the size of the tile. As long as region play is involved and is better implemented than SC4, I think the 2km x 2km tile might be the ideal size, so as not to overtax our PCs.

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2x2k never stopped me in SC4. Also, what you have to remember is this is going to be a fully 3D/ graphics intensive game. Can you imagine the average PC trying to handle something substantially larger...

This game could potentially be amazing, don't let the city size limit break the deal for you.

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I'm slightly with Alex on this one but I'm not out.

SC4 was ten years ago, made for computers ten years ago. Yes, it is now in 3D but 2km by 2km seems just a little small. I wouldn't mind 4km by 4km (the large SC4 tile), but 2km by 2km makes it a little hard to build some areas, particularly CBDs, large ports and large suburb areas, and get a good picture. As I said in another thread, when I played SC4 way back then (when I was 8 years old and continued playing for a few years after :P ) I wasn't fond of the "big metropolis across a whole region" thing and tended to stick with the large tiles, but still used surrounding tiles. Since then, I've been spoiled with City Life's 6km by 6km and Cities XL's 10km by 10km (though, both without regions, which does detract quite a bit from the gameplay) - though I will admit CXL does slow quite a bit when you have a large city, but Monte Cristo weren't as professional as Maxis.

I can live with the 2km by 2km, but I will make a plead for Maxis to try 4km by 4km (maybe mix it up like in SC4), then I'll be perfectly ok with the map sizes. As I also said in that same other thread, Maxis should make it a possible option to have 4km by 4km for those like me that have high performance computers and can handle it (the system's requirements seem quite below my computer's specs) - but of course how that option would work with the whole 'online' thing is another issue.


  Edited by Asheroo

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I don't quite understand what you are trying to tell us, but a one large citytile can be played as a region with no problem whatsoever. Everything can be balanced out and make the city work.

mrb

We dont know how will be the region management. If it be like SC4, a 2x2 map is a huge downside.

Question like: If i have 3 cities in a row? The first will "comunicate" with the third as neighboor too? Or the second will be the bridge?

This can be a problem to the simulation.

But if they improve the regions, maybe this will be no problem.

Eg: Imagine if we could see the surrounding cities, showing some buildings and network transport to be possible a nice blend. Maybe a fade out effect to avoid problems..

I think we should have the choice of map size, even larger than 2x2. Just as there is the option in SC4.

My pc is not very good, but other people can be. In two years the situation may be different ... If the game is so long-lived as SC4, 5/6 years we can have computers that can simulate 10x10 maps (as CitiesXL) without problem.

We should not be limited to 2x2 maps.

syszone and cshmech like this

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I'm guessing that the 2k x 2k limitation is due to the increased complexity of the display, and possibly that of the traffic simulator as well. Nevertheless, the lack of a 4k x 4k option is a big downside for me. It leaves SC4 with at least one big advantage over the new SC.

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Hmmm, I'm sort of confused as to what you're talking about, will the amount of land for construction be a lot smaller than SimCity 4?


  Edited by Pandemic

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Hmmm, I'm sort of confused as to what you're talking about, will the amount of land for construction be a lot smaller than SimCity 4?

At present the developers have said that a city tile will be 2km x 2km or in SC4 terms.. a medium sized tile.

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^ It actually is... well it tries to be anyway. When we make BAT's we try to make them to exact real world sizes.

Cleaner475 likes this

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8x8 hopefully should make an appearance in the future, and if not. We can pressure Maxis to make some time to make it. But the game is being designed to run on low end systems (The sort your average 11 yr old child who has used a console all his/her life will have access to). The problem here is that many of us have medium to high end rigs and we'll be able to run Simcity on Ultra with 60FPS, and maxis has to cater to both audiences.

However, I wouldn't discount the possibility of Larger City Tiles being brought in Later, Perhaps the 2x2 one is the only one working and they just need more time to see if 4x4 or 8x8 will work?, You gotta remember they're about 30% of the way through development.

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[...] When we make BAT's we try to make them to exact real world sizes.

except the 130% vertical scale I'll never understand why...

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And the elevated networks being some 3-4 storeys up in the air. Still wondering why NAM did a double-height for some elevated networks instead of a half-height.

But anyway as for the map, after seeing it visually I worry about 2km being too small, too. I wonder if they could up it to 3km as a compromise? 3km at least would provide enough area to have a diverse arrangement throughout the tile of parks, dense business, industry, outlying residential, and make highways and rail feel a little more useful instead of just a short run through the area with 1-2 exits/stations

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And the elevated networks being some 3-4 storeys up in the air. Still wondering why NAM did a double-height for some elevated networks instead of a half-height.

We are coming back to that. The current plans are to make four levels, each with a 7.5m difference. This would result into levels that go in-between the current elevated networks, like L1 and L3 heights.

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Why are people making threads on whether they are going to buy the game or not, especially a year before? Do we need to know? Is it valuable information? Have you played the game yet? The demo? Exactly.

A city tile is exactly that...a tile, a part of your region. A region is essentially the City, tiles make up neighbour hoods.

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^^ But if you want to build a decent sized city with only medium city tiles, you need at least a dozen or two to get to that size. That's really hard to manage, and managing metropolises would be practically impossible. See my example from above, where I would require 16 city tiles only to simulate a pop. 120K city...

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^^ But if you want to build a decent sized city with only medium city tiles, you need at least a dozen or two to get to that size. That's really hard to manage, and managing metropolises would be practically impossible. See my example from above, where I would require 16 city tiles only to simulate a pop. 120K city...

The thing is though that the occupation of the houses and buildings has never been realistic. A small bungalow could have 10 people living in it. Somewhere in the demonstrations it looks like this will be the case in the new game to.

As a quick test I just started a new 2km x 2km square in SimCity 4 and within 10minutes I had a town with 30,000 inhabitants. The town wasn't at all realistic but just as an example.

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Why are people making threads on whether they are going to buy the game or not, especially a year before? Do we need to know? Is it valuable information? Have you played the game yet? The demo? Exactly.

A city tile is exactly that...a tile, a part of your region. A region is essentially the City, tiles make up neighbour hoods.

I agree. I'd like to see the tiles a little larger, and perhaps the game will allow modding of city tile sizes. But these threads popping up about 'alright I've made my mind up a year in advance' feel a little...what?

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Perhaps even if the cities are 2KM x 2KM, maybe they'll be an option to "merge" cities, where even though they have the same tile limitation, the simulation factors in multiple tiles as one (same city name, same crime, combined population). That would be fine.

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I posted this in the wishlists section earlier believing that it would be more relevant there than making my own topic. However, now that someone did make a topic, I think that placing my comment here would be much more relevant especially because it address one of my biggest concerns.

Responding to a Maxis comment on the Reddit boards...

25) Zakerias:

Hello Kip, Ocean and Dan,

I have two questions:

1. Could you tell something about the maximum size of a city? Will it be the same scale as a massive city in 3 & 4, or should we expect final cities to be a bit smaller because of the new Glassbox engine?

2. What do you think will be the biggest gameplay improvement over Simcity 4?

Maxis:

[Dan] The size of our new cities are roughly equivalent to the SC4 medium sized city (2 kilometers square). That said, you can connect cities together inside a region and build out a network of connected cities - each city providing different resources and abilities to its neighbors and the region. For example, one city could be a residential suburb which provides workers every day to a nearby industrial city. The industrial city could be providing power to the suburb. You can play both of these cities yourself, or even run the entire region by yourself, or invite a friend to help out.

As for the biggest gameplay improvement, we’re moving from a purely statistical simulation model to an agent based model. So one example of how that’s different would be that the vehicles you saw in SC4 were just visual representations of ‘traffic density’ at that location, they weren’t real, if you watched them long enough they’d fade out as they turned corners. By contrast, with our new simulator, each and every vehicle and person is a real simulation entity heading to some real destination.

So traffic jams occur naturally – it’s really fun to build out a road structure, start zoning, play for a while, and ‘discover’ where your busiest intersections are. Thanks for your support, we really do take our community seriously and are trying to deliver the game that we all want to play!

I'd love to see map creation be very flexible. I've seen the "Inside the Glass Box" demonstration video and love the ability to place, locate, and determine the quantity of natural resources. What I would like to see however is an ability to expand map sizes to infinite amounts (or a really insane number) with a warning and a recommend maximum size for sanity purposes. One of my biggest pet peeves in SC4 was that your city size was greatly limited by that Large map maximum. Even though I was satisfied at the time around release when the computer was barley powerful enough to handle required pressing and graphic power the game demanded for large cities. As time passed, computers caught up and more extreme cities could be built. However, because of the limited city sizes, one was forced to exit into region mode and select the neighboring city(ies). With my current impression, it feels that cites are no longer directly boarding one another with a gap whether it be water body, forest, or plains. I'd love for the ability to be able to further extend the lifespan of the game. In adding a scrollable size map function, I think that it will allow for several seriously unique and diverse cities and city neighborhoods.

I can just imagine it now; in the year 2018-2023ish, I'll take a dive back into nostalgia, and childhood once more in playing SimCity (2013). I start up by creating my own (super-sized) map and begin. After so long, the entire thing begins to resemble that of Tokyo or Paris with an urban sprawl reaching great lengths from the city center. At this point, the idea of replanning and redeveloping several districts to accommodate the new issues on inter-city transportation, high and spread out Hospital/School usage, and pollution levels that grow ever so closer to resemble the descriptions of London and the Thames river during the industrial revolutions. I feel that this combined with the idea that your city really responds to your actions giving a relevant and lively response will really spice thing up. Different neighborhoods would require different things as time goes on.

As I see it now, this will all happen on the game's release, but just on a lesser scale if SC4 medium sized cities are locked.

So to wrap it up, I'm getting that although you could build a bigger city through selecting different districts in regional view in SC4 (annoying as it may be switching continuously between multiple districts, it was acceptable), I'm getting the impression that your cities will not directly border its neighbors. If this is true, I think that it might limit the player too much especially long after the game is released and the hardware becomes able to do such a thing.

To add, by the time the hardware catches up, we will probably have a reasonable amount of CC/mods (with all of the possibilities of the new Glassbox) that a lot of us want to use to their fullest on a grand scale.

In reality, I'm 98% sure that I will preorder the game, and will love it to death if my current vision of how the game will play is true (maybe I'm wrong?). I'm very exited and hope that this point will be taken into consideration during development.

daneoid, syszone and paulytools like this

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If the 2km limitation is "it" for the city size, that absolutely will not fly. Not at all.

If 2km is simply a "working window" which I can slide to neighborhoods that are part of the same city - or not, that could work. That's how I see SC4 now anyway, a "tile" isn't equivalent to a "city" to me. It's just one part of it. And really how much is built by any of us at zoom level 1 even on a small tile? Don't know how anyone can build anything that looks even semi-good without zooming in some. So having a limited area active for building at a time, I can see this. It's not really much change from SC4, except for having a single window size. But be realistic - maybe your machine is a powerhouse that can handle a 4x4km fully-loaded tile, but most people don't. I don't think it's unreasonable to lock it to a single window size, so long as that's what it effectively is, just a working window.

The thing that would make this an improvement over SC4 though would be if I can designate these neighborhoods as part of the same city, or not. If they are, then they share city-level effects such as budget, ordinances, tax rates, etc.... Right now, that isn't directly possible in SC4 - if you want the same ordinances and tax rates, you have to set them yourself. And to share the actual funds requires some form of a cheat. I'd love to see in the new SimCity that when I designate a new 2x2km "window" as part of an existing city, all the funds of that city (for better or worse) are available to the penny in the new window. Any city-effect tuning I've done in the existing city affects the new window. And I can see at least the borders of the neighbors - can't work in them, but I can visually see them. Maybe even slide a "view-only" window over them if I want to look deeper without activating the area for building in it. And I can slide the working window into one of them quickly, in seconds... kinda like save/load in SC4, which can be painfully long if the tiles are built out. Give me this, and I will have no problem at all with a limitation on a "working window" size. Just don't tell me that's a city. It most definitely is not.

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I don't think graphics are the primary issue here but the simulation. SimCity1-4 used a top down approach to give the illusion that there are individual sims running around buying things. This game will actually have individual sims running around buying things, going to work, staying home if they get sick, factories producing actual goods that get shipped to stores, etc and the behavior of the simulation emerges from that. It also gives the potential to make it stupid easy for modders to add new economic elements to the game instead of just generic demand values. This is a lot more processor intensive tha the old method but I like this new way a lot more. I am more than happy to have smaller city tiles with a better and more interactive simulation than a large city with a more shallow game. Remember regions are going to be much better than they were in SC4 as actual goods and people will be going to other cities.

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I can live with a large tile in a new simcity game because you can fit a whole downtown and the spur loops of freeways around it. Its the medium size that prevents any meaningfull traffic flow (worse when you have a downtown river going through). Also consider this size is the same as the old SNES Simcity. So far it isnt looking good unless the devs are too early in development and may squeeze larger sizes out later in time. Time will tell i guess.

You assume that traffic behave the same way in SC4? Have you seen the engine, GlassBox? Unless that is not what the Sims end up doing.


  Edited by Motina

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