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KotCity 0.49.3 (last updated 4/13/2018): an open source city simulator

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  • For those of you interested in the roadmap / general game details I have posted a quick sketch of my ideas in the repo. Explains some engine internals and also shows some open questions I have, as well as next features to be implemented. This is just a quick sketch.KotCity.png

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    6 hours ago, kotcity said:

    For those of you interested in the roadmap / general game details I have posted a quick sketch of my ideas in the repo. Explains some engine internals and also shows some open questions I have, as well as next features to be implemented. This is just a quick sketch.KotCity.png

    I recommend you to split some of the mind map tree into parents and branches, especially in "Money is shown..." in Economy tree.

    Thanks.

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  • 2 hours ago, chfzdn said:

    I recommend you to split some of the mind map tree into parents and branches, especially in "Money is shown..." in Economy tree.

    Thanks.

    This is just a quick sketch... hopefully just the beginning of some coherent design docs. At this point I'd rather everyone see what's in my head so they can comment vs. have a super slick looking doc :) You'll notice I go for quick iteration almost always -- I want to give results every day, even if they are modest.

    PS... the raw doc is in GitHub under docs. It's "MM" format... use "Freeplane" to edit if you wish.

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    Very good ideas. :yes: Then again, in my opinion, you can't go wrong if you take SC4 as baseline. I think it is the pinnacle of Maxis city building series, although I believe that the basic structure has changed a little since introduction of original SimCity. There are many things I would want to improve in SC4 and perhaps some things were left unfinished, but for me it represent the best base for an ultimate city builder.

     

    I think EA / Maxis made a serious mistake with SC2013 when they "went out" from the original series. And Cities Skylines' credo was that "they wanted to do a better game than SC2013". Ok they did succeed, but with SC2013 the bar was not too high. ;) I would have been more impressed if they would have said that they would want to better SC4. Well they are a small team and from Cities in Motion series I can see they like light simulation / problem solving games, but are not hard core city builders.

     

     Anyway. So I like what you are doing. However besides of the simulation, I like buildings and architecture.  So to me graphics are must. No full 3D. It is a wrong direction if one wants to play simulation and large cities / regions. But I would like to have SC4 style with isometric view. (faked half 3D with pictured boxes as buildings.) This user discovered HD level 6 zoom is enough graphic detail for me. So that the game would have 6 functional graphic levels. (Even with HD option, current SC4 has only 5 zoom. If one uses HD model then level 5 zoom is distorted) Actually Level 6 HD zoom has more details that 3D in Cities Skylines.

     

    I understand that you want set up core mechanics and simulation first. If ever go in to graphics. That is right thing to do. But until you (or some one else) can get graphic, I will just follow the development. If you get into graphic and use SC4 style isometric models, then I will gladly donate all models I have made to this project.

     

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    Btw few random comments.

     

    I would not need culture and region as such, but I would like to see some progress through time. Sim cities start on 1900s and I would like to see earlier start. 1800s Victorian times with horses as on option. There was an interesting game Urban Empire, but I think they missed all that is good in city building. And if I want tech trees, I play Civilation, so I would things like periods as light. And later in development stage.

     

    I think that "happiness" is a good idea to simulate the demand. Of course the employment is probably the main happiness drive in this kind of city simulation. The sims (kots?) should tolerate some degree unhappiness, but when conditions are met abondonment etc should happen.

     

    I would like to see other traffic that commuters for work. Commuting should be main form of the traffic, but perhaps there can other "randomly" selected traffic. Schools, shopping, tourist (so that airports and Sim Nation connectios would have functional use) and import / export freight. Simulated is good enough. No need of agents for every role.

     

    Cycling is nice, but I would integrate it with walking. Unless you live in The Netherlands or Denmark, the cycling is minor from of commuting. Even Chinese are trading their cycles into cars. 

     

    The NAM team probably want multiple forms of Highways and besides of the Road, lower speed Streets and Dirt Roads could be nice options.

     

    The rails I would like to see as four levels. Instead of the Monorails a High Speed Rails. (most of today's monorails are really into light rail category) For SIm Nation connection and inter region traffic (if there would be regions as in SC4) Futuristic monorails are of course different matter. ;) Then "normal" heavy rail for passenger and freight. Metro would be for traditional urban underground and light rail / fast trams. Passenger only. Final and lowest speed / capacity would be street trams. These would intregated into road network. Would be cheap and but suffer from road congestion.

     

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  • 1 hour ago, Bombardiere said:

    Very good ideas. :yes: Then again, in my opinion, you can't go wrong if you take SC4 as baseline. I think it is the pinnacle of Maxis city building series, although I believe that the basic structure has changed a little since introduction of original SimCity. There are many things I would want to improve in SC4 and perhaps some things were left unfinished, but for me it represent the best base for an ultimate city builder.

     

    I think EA / Maxis made a serious mistake with SC2013 when they "went out" from the original series. And Cities Skylines' credo was that "they wanted to do a better game than SC2013". Ok they did succeed, but with SC2013 the bar was not too high. ;) I would have been more impressed if they would have said that they would want to better SC4. Well they are a small team and from Cities in Motion series I can see they like light simulation / problem solving games, but are not hard core city builders.

     

     Anyway. So I like what you are doing. However besides of the simulation, I like buildings and architecture.  So to me graphics are must. No full 3D. It is a wrong direction if one wants to play simulation and large cities / regions. But I would like to have SC4 style with isometric view. (faked half 3D with pictured boxes as buildings.) This user discovered HD level 6 zoom is enough graphic detail for me. So that the game would have 6 functional graphic levels. (Even with HD option, current SC4 has only 5 zoom. If one uses HD model then level 5 zoom is distorted) Actually Level 6 HD zoom has more details that 3D in Cities Skylines.

     

    I understand that you want set up core mechanics and simulation first. If ever go in to graphics. That is right thing to do. But until you (or some one else) can get graphic, I will just follow the development. If you get into graphic and use SC4 style isometric models, then I will gladly donate all models I have made to this project.

     

    Let me be clear -- I am not opposed to isometric / diametric display -- but I needed to have a plan that would let me 100% finish the project without any outside help at all. I think I MAY get help but I don't want the project to depend on it.

    If I find an artist that will contribute all 100% of the isometric / diametric art that I need, I will gladly pivot. Until that person materializes -- this is all I can do. I fully recognize that 2D is less than optimal but I want to ship this game to you folks ASAP.

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  • 37 minutes ago, Bombardiere said:

    Btw few random comments.

    Bravo sir. I agree with just about everything you said.I would love for the NAM team to be on board. I will add as complex transit simulation as we can come up with. I am not scared of making this game "inaccessible". Quite the contrary -- I think the community hungers for a game with worthwhile and meaty choices. I think we all want "SC4++".

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    Hey KotCity.

    I am on board and am an active NAM team member. I am just wondering how you are going to implement the transport stuff.

    Here are my thoughts...

    You could do a hybrid between how we do things in the NAM and make curves like in C:SL.

    The NAM relies on the use of static pieces tied together to make a whole piece by either Puzzle, Draggable or flex.

    Cities Skylines uses on the fly morph models for making curves as far as I can tell.

    So my thinking is that you could use static pieces for Road intersections and Railway turnouts since the geometry is very hard to change on the fly. Morph models would be desirable and I have an old spreadsheet and a Surveying  book on how to make these curves in terms of code. So I would need to at least learn a little bit about the coding for Kotcity.

    That way we have the best way of making an awesome out of the box transport system.

    On Idea that would help. Have you thought of a grid that can change size?

    For instance, You could set the grid from 16 meters to 8 or 4 meters and that would allow you to place content based on the size of the grid.

    I have used one of the alpha versions and am quite impressed. I know it is still elementary but the fundamentals have to be done right.

    I'm sure you know that already *;)

    -eggman121 (NAM Team member)

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  • Original Poster
  • 1 hour ago, Eggman121 said:

    Hey KotCity.

    I am on board and am an active NAM team member. I am just wondering how you are going to implement the transport stuff.

    Here are my thoughts...

    You could do a hybrid between how we do things in the NAM and make curves like in C:SL.

    The NAM relies on the use of static pieces tied together to make a whole piece by either Puzzle, Draggable or flex.

    Cities Skylines uses on the fly morph models for making curves as far as I can tell.

    So my thinking is that you could use static pieces for Road intersections and Railway turnouts since the geometry is very hard to change on the fly. Morph models would be desirable and I have an old spreadsheet and a Surveying  book on how to make these curves in terms of code. So I would need to at least learn a little bit about the coding for Kotcity.

    That way we have the best way of making an awesome out of the box transport system.

    On Idea that would help. Have you thought of a grid that can change size?

    For instance, You could set the grid from 16 meters to 8 or 4 meters and that would allow you to place content based on the size of the grid.

    I have used one of the alpha versions and am quite impressed. I know it is still elementary but the fundamentals have to be done right.

    I'm sure you know that already *;)

    -eggman121 (NAM Team member)

    I do have a minimum size in the grid (resolution of one "tile" is what I call it). However, I knew full well that I wanted to have highways and so forth so it also does allow for larger roads and so on (like the highways in SC2000).

    This engine will be more sophisticated in some ways than SC4 but a lot more basic in others. If this initial project is successful it will be followed up with a full 3D environment but I need to see this work first.

    Please do post your spreadsheet if you can. I want to make it as easy as possible for the NAM team to get on board. If I had my wish, NAM won't be a mod, but baked right into the engine.

    Quote

    So I would need to at least learn a little bit about the coding for Kotcity.

    Feel free to jump right in. I've tried to keep it clean and it's done with 100% open source tooling. Kotlin's been REALLY easy to work with, and I'm saying that as a Kotlin novice (~3 mos)

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    Posted (edited)

    Is a custom road builder (I've been nicknaming the concept CuRB for ages) a thing you could squeeze in? All I have are conceptual drawings about it and a spreadsheet that takes NAM's FA stuff to the extreme (though really, it's just a bunch of angle measurements.)

    The angle and segment measurements I have were to be used in place of a (is this what it's called?) a spline-based system because I didn't want to math myself to death; also, I have the spreadsheet uploaded, but there's a bunch of extraneous notes, like what angle systems would be approximated. (Ignore the road widths tab; that's to be reworked.)

    I also have a concept for chunkloading (YES, CHUNKLOADING), like with Minecraft. I'm not sure how appropriate this idea would be here, though.

    arctangent_table.xlsx


      Edited by Ganaram Inukshuk  

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  • Original Poster
  • 30 minutes ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    Is a custom road builder (I've been nicknaming the concept CuRB for ages) a thing you could squeeze in? All I have are conceptual drawings about it and a spreadsheet that takes NAM's FA stuff to the extreme (though really, it's just a bunch of angle measurements.)

    The angle and segment measurements I have were to be used in place of a (is this what it's called?) a spline-based system because I didn't want to math myself to death; also, I have the spreadsheet uploaded, but there's a bunch of extraneous notes, like what angle systems would be approximated. (Ignore the road widths tab; that's to be reworked.)

    I also have a concept for chunkloading (YES, CHUNKLOADING), like with Minecraft. I'm not sure how appropriate this idea would be here, though.

    arctangent_table.xlsx

    What's a custom road builder? As long as it works with a fixed grid system I'd be into it.

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    56 minutes ago, kotcity said:

    What's a custom road builder? As long as it works with a fixed grid system I'd be into it.

    Imagine a blank road that's, say, 16 meters wide. Assuming a sidewalk width of 2 meters and a lane width of 3 meters, you can construct a 4 lane road out of modular pieces.

    Now imagine a blank road that's 20 meters wide. If we assume a median that's 4 meters wide and use the same components from the 16 meter example, we can create a basic avenue.

    Wait, you want a turn lane median? No problem; switch out the original median with a turn lane median. No, wait, you wanted a 2+3 road that you can pass off for a turn lane setup but you don't like how that 4m lane is being too wide? No problem; partition that 4 meter space into a 3m lane and a 1m separator between the two directions of traffic.

    Apologies if I'm saying this unscripted because I don't have the notebook I wrote this in on hand, but you basically have blank roads that are a width of a multiple of 4 meters (4, 8, 12, 16, 20, etc) and you build an entire road out of that blank space. Of course, there'd be presets for popular road types (and between SC4 and C:S, there's plenty to go by), but this is if you want really fine lane control. You can define a preset before you lay down the road or, if you want a new design right now, you can modify an existing road.

    In my notes, however, I designated the entire road to be blank and you have to build the road from the ground up, even the sidewalks, and when you're done, there may be some wasted space. A slightly easier implementation from that would be to have the 2m sidewalks pre-installed on the sides of the road and picture the rest of the road as a blank canvas for you to carve up into lanes. Side note: I don't know if you've ever been where I'm at, but where I live, we've had road configurations become repurposed; for example, we had a 6 lane road with turn lane median and shoulders (a TLA-7 by NAM standards) and it got demoted back down to a TLA-5, but the decomissioned lanes and shoulder were converted into a bike lane and parking zone. (This was a really wide road, by the way, and I have a link to the road in question before it was converted; I can also show how the road looks now if need be: https://www.google.com/maps/@34.1349409,-116.3152464,235m/data=!3m1!1e3 )

     

    This fits into its own grid-based system because I'm specifically forbidding the use of measurements less than 1 meter (so nothing that's 1.1 meters wide, for example). A 4m road would be more suitable as a tiny alley (not sure how your game would react to that), so I'm saying the minimum working width is 8 meters and declaring that as an SC4-grade street; the 12, 16, and 20 meter examples are used as the 2L road, 4L road, and 4L avenue, respectively (SC4+NAM standards); widen all three by 4 meters to add a parallel parking strip on all three (C:S standards; the convention here is 2.1m parking buffer, but I'm rounding it down to 2 meters; not sure if that's a good idea.)

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    Oh, so many things on which to comment!!

    • About the top-view vs isometric issue: I'm also on the side of keeping things as simple as possible by now, but making the transition to isometric view a thing to do when the resources become available is a must. You wouldn't be the first indie developer on making that jump on a city simulator: the guys at Lincity and Lincity-NG did that too, over imposing an isometric layer over the simulation and objects of an existing game. Considering that both of them are open-source, maybe you could reuse parts of that code, to get ideas for implementation or directly to copy graphics from there too!

     

    • Also, I'm pretty sure that it would be feasible to reuse the FSH files of SC4 to create isometric graphics for the new game. Even more, I guess it wouldn't be really hard to implement an application to port SC4 buildings, given that the simulation elements don't become radically different. And even if that happens, you could still just import the FSH "models" for making KotCity buildings (I guess you'll also implement a lot editor at the final stages of the development).

     

    • About social and historical considerations, we would need to consider the scope of that. The easiest way is to reflect it only on the architecture and to let the player do the rest, which is a bit what SC4 already does with the tilesets (a function that would be nice to expand on, f.e. being able to mod new tilesets). But this still leaves us with the problem of the underlying biases and assumptions of the simulation, as the parking clearly exemplifies; there are easy measures to ameliorate those issues, as making the commuters to be pedestrians in principle (whom can get into cars but that don't require road connections to even get out of their residences, as in SC4).
      • But there are literally tons of assumptions on the simulation that aren't so easy to resolve while keeping a unitary simulator: Paolo Pedercini, a game researcher and developer wrote an essay precisely on these, and maybe you can find some useful insight reading it. For example: should the simulation simply assume that social stratification is a given constant? Shouldn't cities without such stratification be sustainable? Which changes the player could feasibly do to make that possible?
      • As a passing idea, I think you could make the simulator tweakable on these assumptions: just as the NAM's Z Simulator allows you to change between different degrees of preference for public transportation, your automatas could have different settings for assessing desirability:
        • a traditional, 'capitalist' simulator on which desirability is driven mainly by homogeneity (i.e. residents of a building are happier if their environment is populated by buildings more similar to theirs, and on which business are only viable if they produce a surplus of goods.
        • a radically opposed, 'socialist' simulator on which desirability is driven by heterogeneity and business depends on their ability to produce full employment (while also sharing their budgets with the overall city one, so they don't go bankrupt but can make the city go into one if they aren't productive enough.
        • a somewhat sandbox-y, 'futuristic' simulator on which desirability is driven by the number and quality of civic services provided and business produce enough output to be rentable almost regardless of how many sims (or kims?) work on them.

     

    • I remember having read about some early efforts by the SC4 modding community to 're-scale' the game entirely from its current 1 tile = 16 metres to a more flexible = 8 metres, something that was aborted by lack of enough workforce. Still, the idea isn't a bad one, and provided you can manage the extra difficulties of programming and pathing such networks, it would be really useful for future developments.
    • In any case, I feel that you should keep in mind that the resources created through 14 years of modding SC4 are mostly available to be reused and can save you a lot of work. I'm very positive on that most active creators will be glad to allow you to use their graphics if you decide to go isometric, and with a little effort, you can even contact the developers of the tools used to create such custom content, and maybe repurpose them for KC.

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  • Original Poster
  • 41 minutes ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    Imagine a blank road that's, say, 16 meters wide. Assuming a sidewalk width of 2 meters and a lane width of 3 meters, you can construct a 4 lane road out of modular pieces.

    Now imagine a blank road that's 20 meters wide. If we assume a median that's 4 meters wide and use the same components from the 16 meter example, we can create a basic avenue.

    Wait, you want a turn lane median? No problem; switch out the original median with a turn lane median. No, wait, you wanted a 2+3 road that you can pass off for a turn lane setup but you don't like how that 4m lane is being too wide? No problem; partition that 4 meter space into a 3m lane and a 1m separator between the two directions of traffic.

    Apologies if I'm saying this unscripted because I don't have the notebook I wrote this in on hand, but you basically have blank roads that are a width of a multiple of 4 meters (4, 8, 12, 16, 20, etc) and you build an entire road out of that blank space. Of course, there'd be presets for popular road types (and between SC4 and C:S, there's plenty to go by), but this is if you want really fine lane control. You can define a preset before you lay down the road or, if you want a new design right now, you can modify an existing road.

    In my notes, however, I designated the entire road to be blank and you have to build the road from the ground up, even the sidewalks, and when you're done, there may be some wasted space. A slightly easier implementation from that would be to have the 2m sidewalks pre-installed on the sides of the road and picture the rest of the road as a blank canvas for you to carve up into lanes. Side note: I don't know if you've ever been where I'm at, but where I live, we've had road configurations become repurposed; for example, we had a 6 lane road with turn lane median and shoulders (a TLA-7 by NAM standards) and it got demoted back down to a TLA-5, but the decomissioned lanes and shoulder were converted into a bike lane and parking zone. (This was a really wide road, by the way, and I have a link to the road in question before it was converted; I can also show how the road looks now if need be: https://www.google.com/maps/@34.1349409,-116.3152464,235m/data=!3m1!1e3 )

     

    This fits into its own grid-based system because I'm specifically forbidding the use of measurements less than 1 meter (so nothing that's 1.1 meters wide, for example). A 4m road would be more suitable as a tiny alley (not sure how your game would react to that), so I'm saying the minimum working width is 8 meters and declaring that as an SC4-grade street; the 12, 16, and 20 meter examples are used as the 2L road, 4L road, and 4L avenue, respectively (SC4+NAM standards); widen all three by 4 meters to add a parallel parking strip on all three (C:S standards; the convention here is 2.1m parking buffer, but I'm rounding it down to 2 meters; not sure if that's a good idea.)

    I really, really like this system but it's going to be out of scope for my "KotCity 1.0". If you want to send a pull request I will merge it but it is too complex for what I want to do. I will definitely star this and this seems like an awesome system for V2. I have a relatively rudimentary grid system in this version (think SC2000).

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  • Original Poster
  • 7 minutes ago, matias93 said:

    Oh, so many things on which to comment!!

    Likewise! This is a lot to unpack. Fortunately I am a big city-builder nerd and can do this for years.

    8 minutes ago, matias93 said:

    About the top-view vs isometric issue: I'm also on the side of keeping things as simple as possible by now, but making the transition to isometric view a thing to do when the resources become available is a must. You wouldn't be the first indie developer on making that jump on a city simulator: the guys at Lincity and Lincity-NG did that too, over imposing an isometric layer over the simulation and objects of an existing game. Considering that both of them are open-source, maybe you could reuse parts of that code, to get ideas for implementation or directly to copy graphics from there too!

    Good to know someone else survived the jump. One factoid I don't possess is I wonder if any code at all got re-used between SimCity '89 and 2000. Maybe someone on this board will pop up with this. Re: reusing Lincity and -NG I did take a peek at them, but didn't look at any source. I recall Lincity back from my ancient Slackware Linux days. I never got into NG too much... until you posted I didn't even know Lincity-NG will still getting updates (last was only 10mos ago) However, since I haven't seen the SC4 crowd pick up Lincity-NG I would guess it does not scratch the proper itch.

    10 minutes ago, matias93 said:

    Also, I'm pretty sure that it would be feasible to reuse the FSH files of SC4 to create isometric graphics for the new game. Even more, I guess it wouldn't be really hard to implement an application to port SC4 buildings, given that the simulation elements don't become radically different. And even if that happens, you could still just import the FSH "models" for making KotCity buildings (I guess you'll also implement a lot editor at the final stages of the development).

    Very very very smart. You'll notice I do already implement region import for SC4 bitmaps. I would feel foolish to ignore years and years of SC4 mods and art. When I got back to do "KotCity 2.0" I will at the very least want a converter for it. I never created mods / art for SC4. Are there any resolution / format limitations that would prevent them from being reused in a 4K world?

    16 minutes ago, matias93 said:

    About social and historical considerations...

    VERY cool essay. I tried to immerse myself in SimCity lore before taking this on and never saw it. I'm not strictly against any of the ideas presented, but I do seek to re-create or improve on SC4's model, which is really an evolved and gamified version of "Urban Dynamics", which includes a stratified society. As far as I know there isn't even class mobility in the model. Of course, this being open source, people are free to jump on in and add / modify the engine. I would support and be excited by any "alternate simulators" baked in. I think it would be neat if you hit "New Game" and it had checkboxes for simulator: "SC4 Style, Capitalist Style, etc." All I can tell you is I am doing SC4 simulation with a few tweaks. I have an "SC4-first" design policy on this project. (although I am bringing in a few ideas of my own or from other city builders, such as buildings exchanging goods with each other, similar to C:S).

    20 minutes ago, matias93 said:

    I remember having read about some early efforts by the SC4 modding community to 're-scale' the game entirely from its current 1 tile = 16 metres to a more flexible = 8 metres, something that was aborted by lack of enough workforce. Still, the idea isn't a bad one, and provided you can manage the extra difficulties of programming and pathing such networks, it would be really useful for future developments.

    Complex pathfinding is no problem. Unlike the multi-core problems that seemed to plague SC4 (I've seen so many guides saying CPUCOUNT:1 for SC4) I am going multi-thread and multi-process by default.  Kotlin actually has a great concurrency model. If you have a 32 core processor, I want you to be able to use it.

    21 minutes ago, matias93 said:

    In any case, I feel that you should keep in mind that the resources created through 14 years of modding SC4 are mostly available to be reused and can save you a lot of work. I'm very positive on that most active creators will be glad to allow you to use their graphics if you decide to go isometric, and with a little effort, you can even contact the developers of the tools used to create such custom content, and maybe repurpose them for KC.

    Absolutely. I'm a bit of a doofus with 3D stuff, but unless I'm totally off-base I can't see why the format couldn't be converted and used in any random 3D engine out there. Someone out there feel free to pipe up and tell me why I'm wrong :)

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    First off, I still have a chunkloading scheme that involves a unit called "kim" (binary kilometer, or kibimeter, or 1024 meters, or 2^10 meters); I can explain that if need be.

    Second, are my ideas always that complex?

    Third, I saw "multithreading", and all my yes because I have a Ryzen based system (Ryzen 7 1700) and who out there has a Threadripper?

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    10 minutes ago, kotcity said:

    However, since I haven't seen the SC4 crowd pick up Lincity-NG I would guess it does not scratch the proper itch.

    I guess the cause is that Lincity is outright socialistic on its gameplay: you are the only one responsible for building everything (except slums), having a lot of agency on everything but the kind of residential buildings, while also lacking almost all commercial buildings. Maybe its economical radicallity is due to its underground origins, but what is true is that it doesn't appeal to most users.

    10 minutes ago, kotcity said:

    Are there any resolution / format limitations that would prevent them from being reused in a 4K world?

    As the late @A Nonny Moose used to say, SC4 is a 2.5 D game. The buildings you see in the game are basically origami figures made of flat FSH images, with the real 3D models being kept on the creator's computer only. That means that reusing existing SC4 buildings for a true 3D graphic engine is almost impossible, but using them on another isometric game with similar perspective settings is completely feasible with little efforts. For that, I would recommend you to talk with @cogeo and @rivit, both long-time tech geniuses of the community.

    10 minutes ago, kotcity said:

    I can't see why the format couldn't be converted and used in any random 3D engine out there. Someone out there feel free to pipe up and tell me why I'm wrong

    [see the previous paragraph :P ]

    11 minutes ago, kotcity said:

    I would support and be excited by any "alternate simulators" baked in.

    Thinking on this after sending the past comment, I remembered a nice little game-essay on urban segregation, based on the game theory models of Thomas Shelling. Indeed is really easy to simulate segregation, as most of the behaviour is completely emergent, so you only input simple rules and the automatas do the rest. Maybe something along the lines of the sliders on the last examples could be the way to tweak the simulation on KC.

    11 minutes ago, kotcity said:

    Complex pathfinding is no problem

    It's great to hear that! And about the same theme, traffic is also mostly emergent behaviour in real life, so maybe trying to create a perfect pathfinder wouldn't be only really difficult, but also somewhat self-defeating for a city simulator. If any, drivers are incompletely rational decision-takers who don't know the state of all the alternative routes and choose mainly in virtue of the stated capacity of the networks or in known routes. If you were to do an agent-based simulation (which you won't do) I would recommend you to check this paper on the matter, but a simpler approach would be to make the routes more sensible to nominal capacities and speeds than to the real data on them, or maybe to base the routes on the previous state of the networks (for example, taking the alternative that was the fastest the last day).

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  • 1 hour ago, matias93 said:

    As the late @A Nonny Moose used to say, SC4 is a 2.5 D game. The buildings you see in the game are basically origami figures made of flat FSH images, with the real 3D models being kept on the creator's computer only. That means that reusing existing SC4 buildings for a true 3D graphic engine is almost impossible, but using them on another isometric game with similar perspective settings is completely feasible with little efforts. For that, I would recommend you to talk with @cogeo and @rivit, both long-time tech geniuses of the community.

    Wow... now I feel really conflicted. If I go for 2.0 I wouldn't see any reason why I wouldn't shoot for a full 3D. I can't see taking a half step on this. I'm hoping that 1.0 I will have a really solid simulator which will be heavily re-used for 2.0. Maybe I should consider C:S for import for 2.0. Of course this is all pipe dreams so far, because we sit at 0.41. It's fun to talk about 2.0 but there's almost no way I will change my mind about 1.0 = 2D.

    Since I have had so much talk about 3D and so on, let me step back to the inception of this idea (KotCity) for me. I was getting really irritated that I couldn't find a city builder. I checked out the latest Citybound updates, getting tantalizing but no solid release yet. I hope to see one at some point and will remain following that project. I decided to do an isometric city builder like SC2k. I sniffed around for isometric art and couldn't find any kind of cohesive tileset that had all the assets I needed (various roads, coal power plant, wind turbine, water pump, highways, subway, pipes, power lines, etc.) So then, I had a brainstorm and purchased a drawing tablet. About 3 days later I had 4 or 5 ugly looking isometric style buildings. At that point I decided the art was a huge time suck, went to 2D and coding started at a furious pace, without the art holding me back.

    Probably about 30% of the questions I've had on this have been 2D vs 3D vs isometric but I am extremely determined to ship something, so it's gotta be 2D. Maybe if this project is a success people will crawl out of the woodwork and offer to make a cohesive tileset, but I can tell you whomever takes the job will probably need to contribute 100s of assets, which is a huge ask.

    After learning a little bit on the thread, I'm really liking the idea of being able to leverage Cities: Skylines assets in "KotCity 3000" aka the next version... however I would need to learn more about the actual technical details, as well as the logistics and legality of doing so.

    If this was a commercial project, the answer would be super easy: spend $ on a 3D artist. Since it's a community project and my area of expertise is coding, this is about the best I can do.

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    Let me just say something: given all the internal conflict I have over how to prototype my own games (whose count is still sitting at zero right now unless you count the current project I'm involved in), unless you have a pile of 3D models at the ready, just stick with 2D for now.

    Spoiler

    capture_unitinu_powerlines2.thumb.PNG.f4b4471f7294e9b2202fb623ce8f5e0b.PNG

     

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  • 1 minute ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    unless you have a pile of 3D models at the ready, just stick with 2D for now.

    I don't and I will :)

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    15 hours ago, kotcity said:

    Let me be clear -- I am not opposed to isometric / diametric display -- but I needed to have a plan that would let me 100% finish the project without any outside help at all. I think I MAY get help but I don't want the project to depend on it.

    If I find an artist that will contribute all 100% of the isometric / diametric art that I need, I will gladly pivot. Until that person materializes -- this is all I can do. I fully recognize that 2D is less than optimal but I want to ship this game to you folks ASAP.

    As I said, 2D for Kotcity 1.0 is the right choice. If you don't have a core game, then there is no point to talk about graphic. @matias93 pointed out that SC4 does not use 3D models. Expect automatas. Cars, trains etc are real moving 3D models. That is why cars fade away. To conserve computing power.

    As far as I understand, the buildings in the game are just LOD boxes. Mostly squares. And the buildings are basically images, which are attached to the box. Four images per zoom level. North, East, South, West. With 5 zoom level, it means 20 pictures. (Ok larger building may need combine several picture to make a one view.) Rush Hour expansion gave level 6 zoom. For driving. But that is not fully supported and while it is possible to do HD buildings, it is a compromise at the best.

    This method makes easier to create buildings and props for SC4. Making a full 3D model with polygon count limit and mapped textures is more complex.

    I have two main reasons for wanting isometric (2.5D) view. One is performance.  I want large cities. Really large cities. Huge sprawling metropolises.  Second is that while Cities Skylines look beautiful from distance view, the close up does not match details that can be achieved with SC4 HD. As I said, I like architecture. :D

    Talking about the Cities Skylines makes me creep as it reminds what is bad about modern, post SC4, city builder. Small maps, agent based economy and micro DLC, which offer little and every time break the game. (the mods)

    So talk about the graphic will finish later. I can't contribute 100 % isometric models. I don't have time, skills, nor patience for that. But I can contribute something for 2.5.D isometric game. So i try to be around to see that stage.

     

     

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    15 hours ago, kotcity said:

    Bravo sir. I agree with just about everything you said.I would love for the NAM team to be on board. I will add as complex transit simulation as we can come up with. I am not scared of making this game "inaccessible". Quite the contrary -- I think the community hungers for a game with worthwhile and meaty choices. I think we all want "SC4++".

    All righthy. You got me interested. You seem to want same things that I do and have right kind of dictatorial attitude. People will have ideas and input, but one must be realistic what can achieved and someone has to make the final decision to what include.

    Yes, I want a beefed up SC4. With improvements and fixes. A complex game, but still something playable and enjoyable. So many things should be abstractions and the game should not try to simulate a full real life economic model, but perhaps simulate a simulation. :)

    So in this second post I will ignore the graphics and comment your chart. I guess that that is where you want input. I will mostly focus with reds.

    I already said about the roads etc. I think the best source of inspiration is the NAM work. It is the oldest and perhaps most respected SC4 team. It has been going on over ten years and I believe that they have thought every possible variation. So I have a little add here. However I would say that even 2D Kotcity should be flexible enough to support elevated and underground networks. So that roads and rails can go underground and above the streets.

    I believe that Cities Skylines is basically a grid based game. So I believe that a lot can be done if draggable is included in the base game. I would not need super curvy roads. The NAM has shown that a lot can be achieved with fraction angled roads and smoothed curves.

    "Nation"

    I like that the "Nation" is included. It should be still an abstraction, a very light model. But it could be a source for some raw materials. And population too. SC4 has an endless population pool, but what if it would not be limitless? So that mayor may not always get population growth if the conditions are not right. Also the Nation could be the source of the rewards. Some of which would be negative.

    @matias93 I have very similar ideas of what the Nation could do. ;) I think this is advance, for Kotcity 3.0 or beyond. SC4 has one economic model. Capitalist with heavy influence from Social Democracy. (schooling improves wealth and lowers the crime) It would be interesting if there could options or scenarios for different models. Communist planned economy, socialist, ultra market economy, may be even fascists / dictatorship. These would have bonuses and negations for economic, happiness etc. For example Communist system would give a boost to heavy industry and police control, but lowers happiness and commercial. 

    Perhaps nation could pass laws. Some beneficial and some negative. Ultimate nation disaster could be a war, which could cause damage to the city. But this is mostly for later development.

    "Supply and Demand"

    Yes, I would like to see raw materials and manufactured products. Inputs for industries and commerce. I would keep these light. Use only as "points". Or divided into simple categories such agricultural products, minerals (ore, oil) etc. Nothing complex. There are multitude of Transport Tycoon games.

    In SC4 the buildings have maxium capacity and actual capacity. Which is based on desirability. For example. A farm lot close to main road will produce less than one in cleaner environment. That is good.  However one thing I don't like in SC4 is that the building can produce full tax value even if it has no workers. So I would like to see that input supply, materials and workers, would affect tax income. An empty factory could produce some tax, but less than a "happy" factory.

     

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  • 6 hours ago, Bombardiere said:

    Talking about the Cities Skylines makes me creep as it reminds what is bad about modern, post SC4, city builder. Small maps, agent based economy and micro DLC, which offer little and every time break the game. (the mods)

    So talk about the graphic will finish later. I can't contribute 100 % isometric models. I don't have time, skills, nor patience for that. But I can contribute something for 2.5.D isometric game. So i try to be around to see that stage.

    I think what I like about Cities Skylines is appearance -- it looks nice. It seems to be pretty moddable. Dev team seems friendly. Bad things - DLC like you said. I think the actual "city" simulation is weak. I just find it too easy. I can zone a whole map in like 30 mins and have highest level buildings. That doesn't happen in SC4. Just tooooo simple all around I think. So if you hear me being enthusiastic about C:S it's because A) at least it's a city builder by a non-scumbag team and B) it looks really pretty. Personally, and I think many people around here are the same, I play C:S a bit but it does not replace SC4.

    Please do continue to follow the project. When we reach isometric or 3D phase we will require lots of help, as I can not model nor draw.

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  • 5 hours ago, Bombardiere said:

    I already said about the roads etc. I think the best source of inspiration is the NAM work. It is the oldest and perhaps most respected SC4 team. It has been going on over ten years and I believe that they have thought every possible variation. So I have a little add here. However I would say that even 2D Kotcity should be flexible enough to support elevated and underground networks. So that roads and rails can go underground and above the streets.

    I love the NAM team. I find SC4 unplayable without NAM... once I tried it I could never go back. NAM is absolutely my inspiration for the traffic models. 2D Kotcity will support multi-layer networks -- I already have a separate layer for power lines (so they can go over roads and so forth) and another separate layer for terrain. This is absolutely no problem. I needed subway, elevated rail and friends since day 1.

    5 hours ago, Bombardiere said:

    I believe that Cities Skylines is basically a grid based game. So I believe that a lot can be done if draggable is included in the base game. I would not need super curvy roads. The NAM has shown that a lot can be achieved with fraction angled roads and smoothed curves.

    What's draggable? I think the main problem we are going to have is my "grid" is the resolution of one square of road. There is no smaller division. This is similar to SC2000.

    5 hours ago, Bombardiere said:

    Perhaps nation could pass laws. Some beneficial and some negative. Ultimate nation disaster could be a war, which could cause damage to the city. But this is mostly for later development.

    Here is something that may interest you. Inspired by the districts from C:S, I will be doing much of the same. For any tax, ordinances, city policy you will be able to designate an "area" on the map for it. So, it will be easy to have industrial section with lower tax and other section with carpool incentive. I think this makes the game interesting and meaty. By default when you begin a map it will be one "administrative area" but they player may choose to divide it to apply polices / tax to one "admin area" or another.

    5 hours ago, Bombardiere said:

    Yes, I would like to see raw materials and manufactured products. Inputs for industries and commerce. I would keep these light. Use only as "points". Or divided into simple categories such agricultural products, minerals (ore, oil) etc. Nothing complex. There are multitude of Transport Tycoon games.

    In SC4 the buildings have maxium capacity and actual capacity. Which is based on desirability. For example. A farm lot close to main road will produce less than one in cleaner environment. That is good.  However one thing I don't like in SC4 is that the building can produce full tax value even if it has no workers. So I would like to see that input supply, materials and workers, would affect tax income. An empty factory could produce some tax, but less than a "happy" factory.

    Right now for the sake of simplicity commerce is modeled as "wholesale goods" (produced by industry, shipped to commercial) and "goods", sold at commercial and consumed by residential. So it's very abstract. My interest is not in having super complex supply chains but it is in the SC4 city simulation. To your later point about "happy factory"... the unhappy factory will not be as productive and maybe unable to pay its tax and it will be subject to abandonment.

    My current model is designed like this: residences produce labor (later on will be separated to unskilled, skilled, management). They attempt to find a job at either commercial, industrial zone or utility. Each worker helps zone either produce goods OR convert wholesale goods to goods. When industrial ships goods to commercial, it is given $. When commercial ships goods to residences it receives $. Workers from residential (if employed) receive $ from the place they work. Goods are consumed at the residences and serve as economy sink. I am still playing with the values to see what "works". Not sure how much people should get paid, how much goods cost, etc. Should goods be dynamically priced? Should salaries be dynamic? It is a very open question to me and I puzzle over it when I away from the keyboard.

    Thanks for all your feedback. Keep the ideas flowing. I am very inspired.

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    Quote

    hink what I like about Cities Skylines is appearance -- it looks nice. It seems to be pretty moddable. Dev team seems friendly. Bad things - DLC like you said. I think the actual "city" simulation is weak. I just find it too easy. I can zone a whole map in like 30 mins and have highest level buildings. That doesn't happen in SC4. Just tooooo simple all around I think. So if you hear me being enthusiastic about C:S it's because A) at least it's a city builder by a non-scumbag team and B) it looks really pretty. Personally, and I think many people around here are the same, I play C:S a bit but it does not replace SC4

    That is true.  And it looks nice, but for a building buff like me, the models are too crude. :D  The Dev team is fellow Finns and they are nice people and I know that I should support my countrymen (women) :D  But they probable  were overwhelmed about their success and as I said are not really into hard core city building. I do not have C: S and I probably wait until I can get a cheap bundle with all DLCs. DLC are of course an idea of their publisher, so I am not really blaming the dev team for it.  I have their first Cities in Motion game. I like it altought I would describe it as "light." Still there are lot of good thing in CiM I and sometimes I think Colossial Order would have done better if they would have based their C:S on Cim I instead of second of the series.

    Quote

    I love the NAM team. I find SC4 unplayable without NAM... once I tried it I could never go back. NAM is absolutely my inspiration for the traffic models. 2D Kotcity will support multi-layer networks -- I already have a separate layer for power lines (so they can go over roads and so forth) and another separate layer for terrain. This is absolutely no problem. I needed subway, elevated rail and friends since day 1.

    Besides of the subway, I would like to see that roads and heavy rail could go underground at will. SC4 is bad in that. So that I could make a urban underground highway. Like there  is in Montreal or Hong Kong's cross harbour tunnel. These are doable in SC4 but it would be better if the code is ready for it.

     

    Quote

    What's draggable? I think the main problem we are going to have is my "grid" is the resolution of one square of road. There is no smaller division. This is similar to SC2000.

    I mean in new NAM you can drag fractional angle road, instead using puzzle pieces. Same with elevated heavy rail. They have to use work arounds so it will easier if it is in the code. This will help to break the grid.

    Others have suggested that grid should be 8m. I think that could be a good idea. I think that you could fit a street or narrow road into it and larger roads would use two or more tiles.

    Even if you don't go into graphic now, I think that you need to decide the scale now. It might be difficult if you would want to introduce or change scale later.

    Quote

    Right now for the sake of simplicity commerce is modeled as "wholesale goods" (produced by industry, shipped to commercial) and "goods", sold at commercial and consumed by residential. So it's very abstract. My interest is not in having super complex supply chains but it is in the SC4 city simulation. To your later point about "happy factory"... the unhappy factory will not be as productive and maybe unable to pay its tax and it will be subject to abandonment.

    This is good. Simple enough for now, but gives a new dimension. You may want to add an input "raw material" for industry.

    Quote

    My current model is designed like this: residences produce labor (later on will be separated to unskilled, skilled, management). They attempt to find a job at either commercial, industrial zone or utility. Each worker helps zone either produce goods OR convert wholesale goods to goods. When industrial ships goods to commercial, it is given $. When commercial ships goods to residences it receives $. Workers from residential (if employed) receive $ from the place they work. Goods are consumed at the residences and serve as economy sink. I am still playing with the values to see what "works". Not sure how much people should get paid, how much goods cost, etc. Should goods be dynamically priced? Should salaries be dynamic? It is a very open question to me and I puzzle over it when I away from the keyboard.

    This is interesting- A major change from SC4. I say it needs heavy testing to get balance right.

     

    Oh I have forgotten to ask. Are you doing really large maps, or regions like in SC4?  I kind of like regions and cities inside of it, but region should be implemented better than in SC4. A major weak point in SC4. Even if you are playing in one city, the game should "see" what is in the other cities. Even if those are not "live". No need for precise traffic paths inside of "unlive" city, but the game need to know if there really are jobs etc in that city.

     

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  • 21 minutes ago, Bombardiere said:

    That is true.  And it looks nice, but for a building buff like me, the models are too crude. :D  The Dev team is fellow Finns and they are nice people and I know that I should support my countrymen (women) :D  But they probable  were overwhelmed about their success and as I said are not really into hard core city building. I do not have C: S and I probably wait until I can get a cheap bundle with all DLCs. DLC are of course an idea of their publisher, so I am not really blaming the dev team for it.  I have their first Cities in Motion game. I like it altought I would describe it as "light." Still there are lot of good thing in CiM I and sometimes I think Colossial Order would have done better if they would have based their C:S on Cim I instead of second of the series.

    We have an "ace in the hole". I don't care about accessibility -- I will heap on complexity until we have a "meaningful" game. I want this to be the "hard core" city builder. I guess like Dwarf Fortress except I DO CARE about the interface :) Another advantage -- I have no publisher. I don't care about profitability. There will be no DLC. This is not the lead up to a commercial game. The way I like to think about it is there are high-quality open-source web browsers, operating systems, etc etc. Why not a high-quality open-source city builder? If this engine serves as the base for 10 more similar games like it would be very exciting.

    45 minutes ago, Bombardiere said:

    Besides of the subway, I would like to see that roads and heavy rail could go underground at will. SC4 is bad in that. So that I could make a urban underground highway. Like there  is in Montreal or Hong Kong's cross harbour tunnel. These are doable in SC4 but it would be better if the code is ready for it.

    This will be no problem with current design. I can support N layers, which can intersect or not. The current pathfinder will need to be slightly modified but that has always been part of the plan. Elevation is even baked into the engine (but totally unused right now, except for water vs ground) so we can even get into tunnels and etc.

    46 minutes ago, Bombardiere said:

    I mean in new NAM you can drag fractional angle road, instead using puzzle pieces. Same with elevated heavy rail. They have to use work arounds so it will easier if it is in the code. This will help to break the grid.

    Others have suggested that grid should be 8m. I think that could be a good idea. I think that you could fit a street or narrow road into it and larger roads would use two or more tiles.

    Even if you don't go into graphic now, I think that you need to decide the scale now. It might be difficult if you would want to introduce or change scale later.

    The whole engine is divided up into tiles. The resolution of a tile is the width of 1 street. I settled on this very early on to make sure the sim code is simpler. KotCity 1.0 will impress no one with graphics. I intend to impress with the simulation.

    47 minutes ago, Bombardiere said:

    This is good. Simple enough for now, but gives a new dimension. You may want to add an input "raw material" for industry.

    Beginnings are already there. Map is spawned with gold, coal, oil etc already underground. You can actually view them in the map mode.

    48 minutes ago, Bombardiere said:

    This is interesting- A major change from SC4. I say it needs heavy testing to get balance right.

    I agree and my current plan is simply just trial and error. If I fail to find a workable model I am prepared to abandon this and simply mimic SC4. I will also be looking to see what Citybound has done regarding the economy.

    49 minutes ago, Bombardiere said:

    Oh I have forgotten to ask. Are you doing really large maps, or regions like in SC4?  I kind of like regions and cities inside of it, but region should be implemented better than in SC4. A major weak point in SC4. Even if you are playing in one city, the game should "see" what is in the other cities. Even if those are not "live". No need for precise traffic paths inside of "unlive" city, but the game need to know if there really are jobs etc in that city.

    So here is my intent for 1.0... you set your own size map. It is already totally dynamic. You may make 1km square or 500km square. It is up to your PC and the eventual "load" of the simulator. Some players may choose to have a small map and optimize within. Others may choose to model a larger area (county in US) and manage 4 or 5 "cities" on the map. Others will choose to model a "megapolis" single entity on very large map. It is all up to the player on what kind of scale they wish to pursue. I will allow for feature similar to "district" in C:S where you may control tax/policies separate on the map, allowing for more interesting choices to the player. The only "unlive" part of the sim is the outside modeled "nation" which provides some goods , labor, etc to the player map. Other than that all zones and traffic are statistically modeled. There are no agents involved so I should be able to scale much larger than C:S.

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    2 hours ago, kotcity said:

    The way I like to think about it is there are high-quality open-source web browsers, operating systems, etc etc. Why not a high-quality open-source city builder?

    Maybe a good example of this would be the open RTS game 0 A.D., which has a vibrant developer community and is so heavily moddable that is hasn't spawned complete forks, but several big mods that change important parts of the gaming experience. I'm sure that with enough momentum and a critical mass of people collaborating, KC could get to the same level of vitality.

    2 hours ago, kotcity said:

    This will be no problem with current design. I can support N layers, which can intersect or not. The current pathfinder will need to be slightly modified but that has always been part of the plan. Elevation is even baked into the engine (but totally unused right now, except for water vs ground) so we can even get into tunnels and etc.

    Ok, this is great news for the transportation simulation! Just to know, have you thought on including underground parking on buildings as an optional characteristic? That could both free surface space while keeping car commuting viable, and making a more realistic assessment of the real life issues of using the underground space (for example, making almost impossible to build underground metro lines under existing buildings).

    2 hours ago, kotcity said:

    Beginnings are already there. Map is spawned with gold, coal, oil etc already underground. You can actually view them in the map mode.

    Nice! About this, it would be great if you also include a climate simulation that considers both temperature and moisture (both things that are indeed simulated in SC4, but with which Maxis did almost nothing), in a way that could influence the availability of underground water, the fitness of the soil to sustain crops, the natural growth of trees and even the placement and costs of buildings (this, if you also include some measure of 'soil hardness'). This can have key effects on the shape of the cities, as Manhattan notably shows (the area between the downtown and the midtown, having soft, sedimentary soils, cannot support skyscrapers).

    2 hours ago, kotcity said:

    So here is my intent for 1.0... you set your own size map. It is already totally dynamic. You may make 1km square or 500km square.

    Maybe I'm not understanding this correctly, but this would mean that there won't be regions with multiple cities in them, as in SC4? Personally, that would be my prefered alternative, as I like big regions but have just modest hardware to simulate them.

    3 hours ago, kotcity said:

    The whole engine is divided up into tiles. The resolution of a tile is the width of 1 street. I settled on this very early on to make sure the sim code is simpler. KotCity 1.0 will impress no one with graphics. I intend to impress with the simulation.

    Sorry if I feel somewhat abrasive on this, but I couldn't stress more the convenience of making the resolution of the tiles smaller: SC4 is severely limited by this design option and the amount of work you would need to adjust right now is a tiny fraction of what would be needed on a more advanced stage of the development.

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  • 21 minutes ago, matias93 said:

    Ok, this is great news for the transportation simulation! Just to know, have you thought on including underground parking on buildings as an optional characteristic? That could both free surface space while keeping car commuting viable, and making a more realistic assessment of the real life issues of using the underground space (for example, making almost impossible to build underground metro lines under existing buildings).

    Wow cool... I was definitely thinking some buildings had "built in parking" but just never thought of the trade off with metro being able to pass underneath. Very cool. I will definitely keep this in mind when we get closer to implementing that feature.

    21 minutes ago, matias93 said:

    Nice! About this, it would be great if you also include a climate simulation that considers both temperature and moisture (both things that are indeed simulated in SC4, but with which Maxis did almost nothing), in a way that could influence the availability of underground water, the fitness of the soil to sustain crops, the natural growth of trees and even the placement and costs of buildings (this, if you also include some measure of 'soil hardness'). This can have key effects on the shape of the cities, as Manhattan notably shows (the area between the downtown and the midtown, having soft, sedimentary soils, cannot support skyscrapers).

    I was almost certain to include wind (for wind turbine efficiency) and "soil fertility" for farms. Hadn't thought about skyscrapers, trees and so on. It's so nice to get your feedback because it is opening my mind to new ideas that I would not have considered by myself.

    21 minutes ago, matias93 said:

    Maybe I'm not understanding this correctly, but this would mean that there won't be regions with multiple cities in them, as in SC4? Personally, that would be my prefered alternative, as I like big regions but have just modest hardware to simulate them.

    I might not be explaining this properly but during mapgen you set the size of the map. After that, you can run that size as one giant city, or divide it up into two (or more) "administrative zones" with separate taxes and so on. It won't be like SC2013 OR SC4 where you work in "city" mode and then switch out to another "city". The active map is the active map (with the exception of the outside "nation" which is never seen by the player). Again... if someone sends me a pull request which lets you "hook together" two cities I wouldn't reject it, but it's just not part of my plan right now.

    You mentioned you have "modest" hardware. One advantage we have on this project is using stochastic and statistic methods of simulation. The requirements are much, much lower than something like C:S. We are not done yet and I cannot give you hardware requirements, but I bet the map you will be able to run will be surprisingly large. 50% of the development I do is just on a boring old i5 processor -- this game shouldn't take a powerhouse to run.

    21 minutes ago, matias93 said:

    Sorry if I feel somewhat abrasive on this, but I couldn't stress more the convenience of making the resolution of the tiles smaller: SC4 is severely limited by this design option and the amount of work you would need to adjust right now is a tiny fraction of what would be needed on a more advanced stage of the development.

    KotCity 1.0 is going to have a lot of limitations. I'm being totally upfront about this. I want to hit "SC2000+ levels" for my initial release. However, if we succeed, KotCity 2.x+ will be aimed at "replacing" SC4. KotCity 2.x might re-use a lot of the code OR it may re-use none and just some of the concepts. I'm afraid if I set the bar too high we will not ever reach 1.0 and this will join the heap of half-done or vaporware city sims. Bear with me for my original simple design and let's evolve it to something better. I'm totally open to a team taking what I have and forking it and going straight for SC4... maybe someone on the NAM team will want to do this. Personally, I'm afraid of that and want to keep it simple so we can ship. From what I know of NAM / SC4 I can probably have a good 50% of the options in my 1.0 offering and then get to 150% of the options for my 2.0 offering. :) On any software you get so much wrong on V1. I'm making mistakes right now I'm sure. Let's plan for something simple, take what works and proceed on to the next version.

    KotCity 1: Simple grid system (but fun, with meaty decision trees for the player), 2D, proving ground for ideas, concepts

    KotCity 2: Complex, high-resolution or no grid, 3D/isometric

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    44 minutes ago, kotcity said:

    I'm afraid if I set the bar too high we will not ever reach 1.0 and this will join the heap of half-done or vaporware city sims

    Well, you don't need to reach the 1.0 to have a mostly functional game that is actively used, even more if you don't have a publisher to which present a release candidate version; once again using the example of 0 A.D., they started the development in 2003 and up to today, they haven't even reached the beta release! The current version is the Alpha 22, and the game is completely playable, has several mods of its own, and championships have been held for several years.

    That's also why I'm also thinking on how design decisions you are taking right now could impact your work for years to come: is more probable that you'll pile up improvements on this version of KC than to make successive versions of the game, and while many things can be changed in an upgrade, some others, as the scale of the game, are easily set in stone on the first alpha versions.

    In any case, this depends almost entirely on the way you develop, but most game development just works that way, and I suspect it is because of more than simply copying the style from previous devs.

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