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Mr Saturn64

What would you say a Perfect City Builder would Have?

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It's is all a matter of opinion as to what this is, but let's share our ideas.

For me, the bare necessities are a wide variety of buildings, roads, transit options, and more. Designating building by position, but with an on/off feature (like inCXL) is ideal.

Fr buildings, a variety of densities, heights, and most importantly, architectural styles is best. A variety of time periods for the styles is bet as well.

For roads/transit, having many types of public transit (bus, subway, elevated trains, anything is best. Be creative.

I'd also like variety of landmarks. Credit to CXL for having the Colosuss of Rhodes and credit to SC4 for having my hometown landmark, except next, time SPELL THE CITIES' NAME RIGHT.

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Additionally to what you mentioned, I'd like to have procedural buildings that are built fitting to the lots they stand on, thus creating realistic W2W environments with crooky streets and alleys.

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Multi-use buildings are a must, like buildings with commercial at the bottom and apartments or condos at the top, or high class condos with gyms and medical clinics inside.

 

To combine you guys' ideas and mine, you'd select an area to zone which could be any shape you please with curves, then check as many types of zones as you want (e.g. residential and commercial service). These next parts are all optional, you can zone without using these extra options:

 

You could also select which type of architecture you want. Then you can also specify where alleyways must be. And just like in real life, you will have lots of (optional!) control and customization on what they are allowed to build in the zone: You can require them to plant a specific or minimum amount of trees, and set the amount of space that an office must dedicate to public space, and choose what they have to build such as fountains and benches. This customization would be easy to use, all you have to do is tick and un-tick check boxes, and use drop down menus to select choices.

 

Then you click the finish zoning button and buildings of the types and architectural style that you selected will grow in the area you selected and they meet your requirements and build alleyways for civilians and vehicles to pass through where you designated.

 

Modders could add new procedural algorithms to generate different buildings and zones and add new architectural styles, along with providing textures and props for use in these algorithms. These procedural generation would have a bit of randomness to it so everyone's buildings would be different but still meet the customized requirements you select and so everyone's cities will truly look different and feel unique. But of course there should be the option of installing custom buildings that would be the same in everyone's cities.

 

And civilian pathways, stairs, elevated pathways, and bike paths all need to be present and also easily customizable. Plus cable car lifts/ski lifts and underwater road tunnels as options for transport. Plus the ability to make elevated cities, like cities with multiple levels, plates/ground like Midgar for FFVII or Hengsha from DX:HR and underground city levels possible.

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The perfect city sim would have to achieve a genius balance between simulating a huge city in detail and not blowing up computers.

 

This is why I'm not a huge graphics junkie.  Actually it's probably more because I'm poor and can't get a nice computer, but I still have an argument.  You can't get the same depth of gameplay when so much power is wasted on displaying even the smallest objects.  Can anyone argue that some of the older games are not timeless, despite their outdated graphics?  Besides, the simpler it is, the easier it is to make custom content.

 

Eye candy will never beat quality gaming.

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1378553_648196475201276_902814880_n.jpg

This is my game Virtucity I am making with Game Maker.

 

I am trying to create what I want in the ideal city sim. I doubt it'll ever come to pass because of my limitations with this sort of thing. However I have managed to find a script to make curvy roads so...

 

I think the ideal city sim would have a glass box that worked but not one that operated in a manner limiting creativity. I don't think cities should run out of water, especially if they are situated on a freshwater river delta...

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My ideal game would be similar to Cities XL with some improvements, such as 

 

-Actual growth stages (currently all buildings in cities XL of a certain density provide the same number of jobs or have the same residential capacity)

- Legitimate highways, better bridge tools, and improved mass transit (You can't even build in the spaces around interchanges because of the collision box. I know there are mods to fix that, but seriously, I'm pretty sure they could have done a better job with the core game highways. ) 

- disasters, etc... to make it feel like less of a homework assignment and more of a game. 

 

Overall I think CXL went in the right direction. It was just a bit incomplete in my opinion. I do hope Focus Interactive releases a future update to improve some of the core game features. They could attract quite a crowd if they addressed some of the community's concerns there. 

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My ideal would be SC4RH with curved roads and a real zoom 6, and also a region mode where you can customly define the borders of a city and even expand it if the city grows.

 

No real need to go down to street level imo, I don't think a real 3D engine is needed.

 

Of course like SC4 it should be completely moddable.

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I would also like to see CXL do away with the non-linear population growth. I would also like to see actual crimes (not just security and crime statistics/maps) but not just class warfare like in City Life. I think it would be cool if homelessness was simulated and that the pollution emitted by factories was affected by education level of citizens. If Cities XL had those improvements (everything else can be fixed by modifications), it would be my ideal city builder.

--Ocram

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I would also like to see CXL do away with the non-linear population growth. I would also like to see actual crimes (not just security and crime statistics/maps) but not just class warfare like in City Life. I think it would be cool if homelessness was simulated and that the pollution emitted by factories was affected by education level of citizens. If Cities XL had those improvements (everything else can be fixed by modifications), it would be my ideal city builder.

--Ocram

 

I agree 100%. The non-linear population growth is very annoying, especially when it comes to low density houses housing 200+ residents in large cities... It's just not realistic at all. 

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@cmdp123789: Not quite. I'd actually like to see (A) diagonal, and (B) non-rectangular lots ("L" shape, "+" shape, "T" shape - you get the idea). As flatron said, procedural lots. You zone something along a diagonal street, and diagonal buildings grow. The backyards are filled with structures taken from a "toolkit" and put together using a procedural algorithm.

 

Mixed-use lots would be great, too. In general, some less focus on lot size and some more focus on type of construction: standalone apartments, closed W2W rows, high-rises, mixed-use vs. pure office / residential - pretty much as in real life.

 

The stage model - very useful for residential and industrial, because nobody would build a 250-metre insurance tower out in the boonies! - doesn't make sense for industry IMO. A large industrial plant will not always settle down in the immediate vicinity of a large city. Sometimes there will be a convenient location right next to a tiny village, depending on infrastructure, available land (and land value/price!), raw materials, and so forth. This way, you may end up with a small village that is home to a huge industrial facility which attracts workers from a wide area. I could imagine a mixed model where you zone industry like before, but occasionally some CEO approaches you and says something like "Look, we'd like to build a factory here, but we'll need X by Y tiles of surface area, and a railroad connection. The game would highlight some suitable spots, and then you'd have to decide: Where to give up land? How to make the railroad connection? Which spot would I rather give up? Is the whole affair even worth it? This could make for some interesting challenges - almost mini-scenarios within the game, albeit non-compulsory. (And I think it would be more realistic than those rewards such as a high-security prison, which you could theoretically build in each and every city.)

 

Oh, and of course a TRUE region functionality. Dividing the map into city tiles makes perfect sense, but larger buildings like universities or airports should be calculated on regional basis rather than limited to the respective city tile, for example. And why shouldn't people from a small suburb or rural village benefit from the service of a large general hospital in the nearby city?

 

Speaking of city tiles, do they have to be squares? Why not rectangles, or - once again - "L" or "T" shapes? Why not draw them yourself on  the region map? How about you decide which tile belongs to which city, and which one forms an independent community?

 

A timeline, with more technology being introduced and buildings being replaced by more modern styles would also be nice, of course. And it would make the "make historical" function much more useful. Plus, you'd have to plan your city and constantly rebuild it - once again, much like in real life. Heck, large numbers of historical buildings could even trigger tourism, so you may even have to decide between demolishing those old houses in order to build a new motorway, or keeping them to make your city attractive for tourists who will fill its coffers...

 

Ah, the possibilities... I could ramble on and on.

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- Different game modes that range in difficulty and allow for different play styles.

 

For example: There should be a simulator mode where you have to manage the city and care about the economy, government, etc, and there should also be a building or design mode where it is all about creating beautiful things without having to care if it is really functional.

 

- T-Wrecks mentioned a Timeline and I think a perfect city builder would have something like that. Evolution of building styles and passage of time should be a big part of the game (depending on which game mode you are playing).

 

- A Weather Engine.

 

- Many world styles, buildings, and maps out of the box. A tall order. The developers of this game have to try and match the amount of content SC4 has today. With a dedicated team of payed professionals working for 3 or 4 years I think this is possible.

 

- Terrain tools for terra-forming and landscaping.

 

- An built-in, easy to use, building creator and mod tools. There should also be options that easily allow more advanced users to import buildings they create in other programs.

 

- Built in Fraps/Cinema tools. Take videos and screenshots of your cities.

 

- Online Optional, Community Based Game. Somehow take what they are doing over here at Simtropolis and integrate it with the game.

1) A way for users to share content built in to the game.

2) A City Journal Center. This can be part of the online; a where people display their cities and have comments and ratings posted on them.

3) A 'Social Club'

 

- An environment where the publisher and developers of the game can work with the community.

 

- Euclideon Unlimited Detail technology. A point cloud search engine indexing system that can provide 'unlimited graphics power', surpassing the need for polygon-based rendering. Who knows if this is possible for a game.

 

 

- Google Maps interface. A system that can extrapolate data from Google Maps and terraform land for the user to build on.

 

- Augmented Reality Cellphone App that works with the built-in building creator. Take pictures of a building, then recreate it in the computer with help from the pictures you taken. Probably easy to do for small 2-3 story buildings, but not so easy or possible with skyscrapers.

 

- Smart DLC.

 

DLC from the publisher of the game should be legitimate expansions and updates to the game (once every year), not things that were held back just so they could be sold to us at a later time.

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Ultimately SimCity 2013 could be a great game, and if city-sizes can't be increased, then at least make city tiles almost touch each other, with highways crammed in between the cities so that it isn't just an inexplicable grassy space between two densely populated cities. Also, the regions of SC2013 are weirdly designed so that areas which would be a great spot for a city are located just outside a city boundary so they remain plain.

 

Basically, I believe SC2013 could be a great game and a fantastic city builder if EA/Maxis changed the way regions worked, or basically crammed cities closer together so that space wasn't wasted.

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I think it would be cool if the traffic sim was based on the players day. As you the Mayor drive's to work, home or across town for a grand opening. you will encounter traffic when you get to the office. You get the transportation dept. to fix it. the rest is a sand box to build any way you wish. oh bring the camera view up about 10 degrees will show depth better. just my thoughts SimCity 4 is king.

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I think it would be cool if the traffic sim was based on the players day. As you the Mayor drive's to work, home or across town for a grand opening. you will encounter traffic when you get to the office. You get the transportation dept. to fix it. the rest is a sand box to build any way you wish. oh bring the camera view up about 10 degrees will show depth better. just my thoughts SimCity 4 is king.

 

Right but you will only see roofs and while you manage the city most of the pleasure of seeing it will be lost.  :meh:

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I like variety. A lot of different buildings, industries, businesses, ect, and a great amount of interactivity between them. I don't want to just build, I want to create.

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Besides the default basics, I think high level built-in customisation engines could be explored more : terraforming (and not just generated or pre-made maps), buildings (and not just plopable components but actual model creation), interactive peeps (personalities, looks etc). The possibility to create as far as your imagination goes and still retain the realities of urban development.

 

Basically, a combination of The Sims, Sim City, and Spore! :-)

 

Hopefully some visionaries read this forum. We need more visionaries and creative people! 

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A quality I honestly liked about SimCity 4 was the introduction of MMP varieties via modding, but MMP seems integral to me since it provides a sense of creativity and makes the area on a whole unique. Seems to make a world of a difference to cities SC4, it's one of the reasons why I was terribly disappointed in SC2013.

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Ideally, a reworked SimCity 4 Deluxe, 64-bit, debugged, 3D, multiprocessing without UDI.  I am interested in the city simulation not driving around in it.  UDI could be some kind of extra item where you could load your city and waltz around without the simulation running.

 

The Rush Hour aspect could be played down and commerce chains added as well as a minor amount of family activity like kids go to school, kids come home from school, momma goes shopping, momma picks up the kids from school and takes them home, etc.  Some of the Sims should clearly be kids who grow up and get careers, or become bums who get ridden out of town on a rail.

 

No science fiction disasters.

 

I'd like to be able to control the climate and the resulting fauna and flora, probably by setting the Lat and Long of the city centre or the region.

 

I still like the statistical simulation.  I think the agent idea needs some more work.

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I think A Nonny Moose nailed it. Thanks to Simtropolis it should be the easiest thing to built up a perfect citiy builder, if you want to. 1. Take SC4 as a reference. 2. Read through Simtropolis what people wished to change/add most. And that's all what you'll had to do.

 

The fascination of sc4 is for me: you draw a street, plop a park and zone some residentials. The next day you do the very same thing at the very same spot - but other

buildings will grow. SC4 is one of the few games I know, where game mechanics don't lead to a stereotypic behavior. Many games I played for a while and I became myself a kind of algorithm – always buying the same weapons, pushing the same buttons expecting the same zombies behind the same corners. In sc4 if you understand how the the algorithms works it doesn't really help to reproduce the same thing twice. I think that makes it a long-time game.

 

The variety of the game depends on two things - it's how the simulation part and the content part work together. Many people complain about their machines freezing when both is getting bigger and bigger - their content folder and their cities. I think this is a "natural behavior" as the combination of simulation and content itself hasn't programmed boundaries (as far as I experienced). The limit is: if this old game has to draw and calculate too much content it freezes and chrashes. If you had a city with only one type of building and one type of workers and one type of trees and so - you shurely can build it bigger than a city with hundreds different trees and network-elements and so on.

 

But - where is the fun? I think - this leads allways to the same answer: the fun is diversitiy. The diversity of cities, the diversity of challenges and so on.

 

If I was a game producer. I would make a city builder for 30 bucks, it mainly would be the simulation part, only some basic content. And then I would make a game engine where you can design custom content. And I would sell this game engine (custom content creator) for 200 bucks. And I'm pretty shure that would work.

 

As far as I understood - what every sc4 player sooner or later wants is to change the aspects of the game. The interests are shurely different and they change - one needs heavy industrial seaports today, anonther needs rual farmelands tomorrow, another a complex network the next day.Depending on the kind of city he wants to built. So, in my opinion the solution is obvious - instead to make a city builder that is trying to fullfill all wishes - don't focus on the content, focus on mechanics. And give people a tool, to make the content as they want.

 

Again: To achive Diversity you need a good combination of logic structure and content and how the logic structure deals with the content. If you discuss the question only on

the content you'll like to see you'll never be able to satisfy everbody. So, I personally think, make a good logic structure. And give the players a tool to make as much content as they like. And then you've got the perfect city builder.

 

My opinion.   

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