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

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  • Original Poster
  • 20 minutes ago, LivingInThePast said:

    I do like the idea of requesting "GOOD"s. I wrote out some city simulation ideas not too long ago and one of them was that trucks and railroad cars would have actual units of goods that were produced, and it trades with other industries, so you can have a chicken farm, which goes to the chicken processing plant, where it can go to supermarkets or further processing, and then the further processing can go to restaurants (or something), or a rock quarry can be connected to a rail line and produce X units of rock/granite to help out with the economy.

    Just to get started we have the abstract "GOODS" but all the framework is there to do like you say, with chickens, processing, supermarket, etc. Even labor is traded as "units" right now!

    21 minutes ago, LivingInThePast said:

    The other thing that has really bothered me from C:S is just how off-scale it is, based on size of tiles and how large they can go. I did some calculations a while back but if I recall correctly the largest functional tile was only 32x32 meters, which produces some really tiny houses and tall, narrow skyscrapers. SimCity 4's scale was a bit exaggerated (especially when it came to height but that was more for aesthetics at the angle it was viewed) but in terms of measurements it worked very well (the cities of course were non-proportional, to support the kind of infrastructure downtown means houses for miles out).

    Our sim can support any rectangular size building... although I am not sure we will worry too much about scale & accuracy, especially being 2D at this stage.

    23 minutes ago, LivingInThePast said:

    I like the idea of this but don't get too bogged down in adding tons of features like disasters (that's what expansions are for), just put the infrastructure to do so. I recently wrote out a small document on potential disasters a city could have, and based them after real disasters. Short version of this:

    fires (basically destroys buildings and other above-ground structures, every building has flammability value)

    floods (based after Hurricane Harvey, causes abandonment, washes out bridges, damages infrastructure)

    I read an interview with Will Wright where he said players would often get their feet wet by bulldozing buildings randomly, or starting fires and see how they would affect the city. They would then take an interest in building it back up. Since this effect is so strong, fire, flood, etc is definitely in scope for our 1.0! From there it's a small jump to the "scenarios" from SC or SC2000 where you would say, repair San Francisco after an earthquake with a time limit.

    We already have a terrain importer so it'd be fun to get elevation data for Pripyat and model the area after the Chernobyl incident, or any other disaster one can think of.

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    Let me just spitball some more ideas since we're talking disasters: a building (commercial, industrial, or even civic service) can become abandoned due to any of the following reasons:

    • Economic downturn resulting in the tenant/owner(s) moving out
    • Disaster that puts the building into complete disuse
    • A newer/bigger facility replaces the old one and the old building falls into disuse
    • The building itself is unsound and cannot safely house anyone or anything; possible causes as to how this can happen is sketchy construction/engineering practices (perhaps from a building boom) or the land the building's on deforms; this can overlap with the disasters scenario if it happens to be a sinkhole or earthquake

    This was something I discussed with my brother, but an abandoned building (or even an unoccupied building) is the last thing you want because all it does it take up space and (if it's even using utilities still) wastes resources. A disaster (or anything else I mentioned) can make a perfectly good building fall into disuse. If it gets fixed and a new tenant moves in, that's great; if not, it takes up space and wastes resources. In between then and the time the building becomes occupied again, the building will break down and need repairs, which may result in the building becoming usable again if the damage is fixable (though who's to say, for example, an abandoned shopping mall doesn't become a recycling facility?) or the building becoming unusable and requiring demolition if there's too much damage.

    An abandoned building will fester crime and (as with SC4) bring down surrounding land value. If the building is big enough and left by itself for long enough, it may collapse. Apply this to roads and you have crumbling roads that no one wants to drive on and bridges that'll collapse the moment a big rig starts driving on it. Apply the "newer/bigger replacement" thing to roads and you have the basis of what happens to Radiator Springs in the Cars movie (or some place like Amboy, CA). (It doesn't have to be a replacement road leading to an entire town falling into disuse; it could be an old railroad crossing being replaced with an overpass going over the railroad and the old road segments are just left there.)

    The only thing I have on how this'd apply for residential is this: the reasons people would move out of a house is because they found work somewhere else and they need to move or they can't afford payments and foreclose. Either way, the house would be unoccupied for as long as it takes for a new person to move in, and that's normal...ish. But what if there are no buyers? Does the house undergo the same abandonment process as with a shopping mall? (There's also moving out due to the town being undesirable or a disaster drives the owners/tenants out, so in those two situations, the abandonment process would apply, so maybe the abandonment process can work here, too.)

    Uhh, is it too early to be talking about abandonment procedures?

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  • Original Poster
  • 4 hours ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    Uhh, is it too early to be talking about abandonment procedures?

    Not at all! This is actually the next part of the game I'll be implementing. We have various modules that make up the city simulation. Right now, when a building is bankrupt or cannot acquire goods, the "Liquidator" comes along and bulldozes the building. This will be getting replaced with an abandoned building. Buildings currently measure their happiness, and factors like long commute, pollution, crime, disasters, etc. may cause them to abandon.

     

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    13 hours ago, kotcity said:

    Just to get started we have the abstract "GOODS" but all the framework is there to do like you say, with chickens, processing, supermarket, etc. Even labor is traded as "units" right now!

    Our sim can support any rectangular size building... although I am not sure we will worry too much about scale & accuracy, especially being 2D at this stage.

    I read an interview with Will Wright where he said players would often get their feet wet by bulldozing buildings randomly, or starting fires and see how they would affect the city. They would then take an interest in building it back up. Since this effect is so strong, fire, flood, etc is definitely in scope for our 1.0! From there it's a small jump to the "scenarios" from SC or SC2000 where you would say, repair San Francisco after an earthquake with a time limit.

    We already have a terrain importer so it'd be fun to get elevation data for Pripyat and model the area after the Chernobyl incident, or any other disaster one can think of.

    I know that trying to create a whole system for GOODs can get horrifically complex (like a company that makes boxes for others, or snack/drink/bread trucks going to each and every convenience store) but I was also thinking of a better way to use railroads. In SimCity 4, freight railroads were little more than window dressing, but a busy freight line while being a boon to the economy could really screw up traffic (delay traffic, increase emergency response times, or others, like cars slowing down so they can make sure that they'll be able to clear all the tracks), but it would be expensive to build grade separation (on the other hands, building separations for lesser-used lines and spurs is just a waste of money). Finally, the tracks and roads don't have to be separated, why not have both?

    street-07f1.jpg

    As for scale and accuracy, it is entirely to do it in 2D. I live in Houston, which I've always wanted to do in SimCity 4 since 2005 (sadly, lack of BATting, SimCity 4's limitations, and the sheer size of the city make that impossible). But the scale of the city is more or less compatible with SimCity 4, largely owing to a mostly planned grid. Inner Loop areas like West University Place have residential lots that fit neatly into 16m*32m spaces. Up near the highway, a Wendy's restaurant sits on a 32m*80m lot. But Houston and California (where SimCity 4 was designed around) have large, generous lots that are really only found in post-WWII America, and there was a lot of talk of how 16m is luxury footage in most everywhere else. C:S fixed that to an extent, where each "tile" was 8m2 but did not change the max size a building could develop, resulting in a very off-scale city and off-scale Workshop items.

    11 hours ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    Let me just spitball some more ideas since we're talking disasters: a building (commercial, industrial, or even civic service) can become abandoned due to any of the following reasons:

    • Economic downturn resulting in the tenant/owner(s) moving out
    • Disaster that puts the building into complete disuse
    • A newer/bigger facility replaces the old one and the old building falls into disuse
    • The building itself is unsound and cannot safely house anyone or anything; possible causes as to how this can happen is sketchy construction/engineering practices (perhaps from a building boom) or the land the building's on deforms; this can overlap with the disasters scenario if it happens to be a sinkhole or earthquake

    This was something I discussed with my brother, but an abandoned building (or even an unoccupied building) is the last thing you want because all it does it take up space and (if it's even using utilities still) wastes resources. A disaster (or anything else I mentioned) can make a perfectly good building fall into disuse. If it gets fixed and a new tenant moves in, that's great; if not, it takes up space and wastes resources. In between then and the time the building becomes occupied again, the building will break down and need repairs, which may result in the building becoming usable again if the damage is fixable (though who's to say, for example, an abandoned shopping mall doesn't become a recycling facility?) or the building becoming unusable and requiring demolition if there's too much damage.

    An abandoned building will fester crime and (as with SC4) bring down surrounding land value. If the building is big enough and left by itself for long enough, it may collapse. Apply this to roads and you have crumbling roads that no one wants to drive on and bridges that'll collapse the moment a big rig starts driving on it. Apply the "newer/bigger replacement" thing to roads and you have the basis of what happens to Radiator Springs in the Cars movie (or some place like Amboy, CA). (It doesn't have to be a replacement road leading to an entire town falling into disuse; it could be an old railroad crossing being replaced with an overpass going over the railroad and the old road segments are just left there.)

    The only thing I have on how this'd apply for residential is this: the reasons people would move out of a house is because they found work somewhere else and they need to move or they can't afford payments and foreclose. Either way, the house would be unoccupied for as long as it takes for a new person to move in, and that's normal...ish. But what if there are no buyers? Does the house undergo the same abandonment process as with a shopping mall? (There's also moving out due to the town being undesirable or a disaster drives the owners/tenants out, so in those two situations, the abandonment process would apply, so maybe the abandonment process can work here, too.)

    Uhh, is it too early to be talking about abandonment procedures?

    I like where you're going with this. One of the things I've thought about if I was designing a city simulator is to save money, you could turn civic structures like schools "off". The teachers employed in the system are re-assigned to other schools (hopefully improving them) and maintenance drops dramatically on the school, but you still have to maintain it minimally and all the benefits of that school (land value, YIMBY, etc.) vanish. There does need to be a limit of to when "closed" (business for lease, house for sale) becomes "abandoned", like 5-10 years. I don't think that things will just "collapse" spontaneously (more likely, arsonist or natural disaster does it), at least within our lifetimes.

    Roads are a different beast though. Abandoned roads would decay into nothing as well as bridges collapsing (usually these things are blocked off) but if you cut maintenance on them, contrary to the YOU CAN'T CUT BACK ON FUNDING! YOU WILL REGRET THIS! guy, they'll just develop more and more potholes, which would drop traveled speed limit (despite speed limits) and maybe cause more accidents (which would cause traffic snarls). Spontaneous bridge failures (heck, that can extend to structure failures) are exceedingly rare and when it does happen it's 99% some glaring engineering failure, like what happened in Miami last week. If there's any tiny worry about aging structures and collapse, what they do in America (dunno about Europe and abroad) is restrict heavy trucks (I think that's a feature of C:S as well) and put it on the rebuild list. But again...if it was liable for collapse, it's far more likely that a heavy rainfall would wash it out than a truck.

     

     

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  • Original Poster
  • 1 hour ago, LivingInThePast said:

    I like where you're going with this. One of the things I've thought about if I was designing a city simulator is to save money, you could turn civic structures like schools "off". The teachers employed in the system are re-assigned to other schools (hopefully improving them) and maintenance drops dramatically on the school, but you still have to maintain it minimally and all the benefits of that school (land value, YIMBY, etc.) vanish. There does need to be a limit of to when "closed" (business for lease, house for sale) becomes "abandoned", like 5-10 years. I don't think that things will just "collapse" spontaneously (more likely, arsonist or natural disaster does it), at least within our lifetimes.

    SC2013 got into this a bit. I did like it when budget were tight. I don't think they had a cap on how long you could have a building "off" for... but it makes sense.

    1 hour ago, LivingInThePast said:

    Roads are a different beast though. Abandoned roads would decay into nothing as well as bridges collapsing (usually these things are blocked off) but if you cut maintenance on them, contrary to the YOU CAN'T CUT BACK ON FUNDING! YOU WILL REGRET THIS! guy, they'll just develop more and more potholes, which would drop traveled speed limit (despite speed limits) and maybe cause more accidents (which would cause traffic snarls). Spontaneous bridge failures (heck, that can extend to structure failures) are exceedingly rare and when it does happen it's 99% some glaring engineering failure, like what happened in Miami last week. If there's any tiny worry about aging structures and collapse, what they do in America (dunno about Europe and abroad) is restrict heavy trucks (I think that's a feature of C:S as well) and put it on the rebuild list. But again...if it was liable for collapse, it's far more likely that a heavy rainfall would wash it out than a truck.

    Roads did VERY similar in SC2k. They would disappear faster and faster the lower you set your transportation tax.

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  • Original Poster
  • KotCity 0.44

    cooltext279912335863040.png.c89098305f547a9d900e92a93b13ccc8.png

    Hey folks! We are keeping it going! Now featuring police and crime, some tweaks to our economy, bug fixes, and more!

    The next release is going to be really exciting because we should finally be able to show you some level 2 - 5 buildings, with land value, upgrading, abandoned buildings, and more.

    https://github.com/kotcity/kotcity/releases/tag/0.44

    Changes in this release

    • Green terrain
    • Buildings now build properly in the most desirable areas
    • Police stations and police coverage
    • Contracts / Economy reworked to avoid "swinging" in economy
    • Improve layout of query window, title screen and map gen
    • Zots display properly now
    • Fixed bug where user could pan outside map and crash the game
    • Pathfinding uses all cores now :)
    • Contracts void themselves if their source is out of goods
    • Buildings obtain up to 3 contracts with suppliers, to fill in when they run low on goods

    Next up!

    • Upgrading of zones to level 2 - 5 buildings
    • Pollution
    • Land value

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    2 hours ago, kotcity said:

     

    Roads did VERY similar in SC2k. They would disappear faster and faster the lower you set your transportation tax.

    SC2k's roads only did that because there was no real way to differentiate between road and no road. If you set transportation to zip in SC3k, there would be just be potholes everywhere, and same with SC4. It then became a good way to save money when starting out. I would hate to see to see roads "disappear" in a forward-thinking city sim and have that not just be temporary until a more permanent solution was made (since SC3k was also based on SC2k's code base). Another SC2k problem that SC3k fixed was loans and bonds, where SC2k's system had a bond system with a fluctuating interest rate and SC3k had loans with a definite payback and interest. It was very easy to get financially screwed over in SimCity 2000 due to this system, probably why they changed it (one of the few times where simplification is better).

     

    3 hours ago, kotcity said:

    SC2013 got into this a bit. I did like it when budget were tight. I don't think they had a cap on how long you could have a building "off" for... but it makes sense.

    Maybe there shouldn't be. The former Dallas High School (built in 1907) is one such case, where it eventually became a technical school before closing in 1995. By 2004, it was a creepy, boarded-up building right outside a major train stop. It was a source of contention among many--some wanted to see it restored and saved from demolition, but some were more pragmatic and thought the asbestos/outdated features would make restoration financially unfeasible, and the building went through several votes and discussions before in 2016 when restoration FINALLY began. 90 miles away the Waco High School was a similar situation. The downtown school closed in 1971 in favor of a new campus and the district finally moved out entirely in 1990. The building was then shut until work began in the late 2000s to renovate it into low-income housing. Maybe they could remain "off" indefinitely (but have a slight value increase, like maintenance increases by x% every year, so at some point you'll have to make a decision on it). A way to renovate buildings (schools might be graded poorer if they were in obsolete 1970s/1980s states, for instance) might be also good, but first things first.

    Commercial buildings and houses, on the other hand, have a definite cap as to when "for lease/sale" becomes "abandoned". Just look at Detroit!

     

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  • Original Poster
  • 2 minutes ago, LivingInThePast said:

    SC2k's roads only did that because there was no real way to differentiate between road and no road. If you set transportation to zip in SC3k, there would be just be potholes everywhere, and same with SC4. It then became a good way to save money when starting out. I would hate to see to see roads "disappear" in a forward-thinking city sim and have that not just be temporary until a more permanent solution was made (since SC3k was also based on SC2k's code base). Another SC2k problem that SC3k fixed was loans and bonds, where SC2k's system had a bond system with a fluctuating interest rate and SC3k had loans with a definite payback and interest. It was very easy to get financially screwed over in SimCity 2000 due to this system, probably why they changed it (one of the few times where simplification is better).

    Very interesting! What do you think the effects of the potholes should be? Should the roads eventually fail entirely?

    2 minutes ago, LivingInThePast said:

    Maybe there shouldn't be. The former Dallas High School (built in 1907) is one such case, where it eventually became a technical school before closing in 1995. By 2004, it was a creepy, boarded-up building right outside a major train stop. It was a source of contention among many--some wanted to see it restored and saved from demolition, but some were more pragmatic and thought the asbestos/outdated features would make restoration financially unfeasible, and the building went through several votes and discussions before in 2016 when restoration FINALLY began. 90 miles away the Waco High School was a similar situation. The downtown school closed in 1971 in favor of a new campus and the district finally moved out entirely in 1990. The building was then shut until work began in the late 2000s to renovate it into low-income housing. Maybe they could remain "off" indefinitely (but have a slight value increase, like maintenance increases by x% every year, so at some point you'll have to make a decision on it). A way to renovate buildings (schools might be graded poorer if they were in obsolete 1970s/1980s states, for instance) might be also good, but first things first.

    Commercial buildings and houses, on the other hand, have a definite cap as to when "for lease/sale" becomes "abandoned". Just look at Detroit!

    I did think about modeling building "condition", where unprofitable buildings would fall into disrepair and affect land values. Profitable ones would be assumed to be getting "reinvestment" and would keep excellent condition. This same concept could be extended to the municipal buildings like schools, fire departments, city hall, etc.

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    7 minutes ago, kotcity said:

    Very interesting! What do you think the effects of the potholes should be? Should the roads eventually fail entirely?

    It would take a fairly long time for roads to fall apart entirely, basically if a pothole got large enough that it completely separated the road with an inaccessible dirt hole, and that would only put that lane/section of road out of commission, and even then citizens may end up taking care of it themselves (it's not unheard of even in United States metro areas for neighbors to fill in potholes with rocks and gravel). Of course, terrible roads can cause traffic to crawl along at 15-20 mph and who wants that? I think that there should also be two choices to build roads: concrete and asphalt. Asphalt is cheaper to build and cheaper to maintain, but requires maintenance more often (in the long run becoming more expensive), whereas concrete is more expensive to build and maintain but rarely requires maintenance (in the long run being fairly cheap). For bridges, I'm not sure it's the same thing. Probably what would be a better way to handle it is have the bridge (or continuous viaduct pieces) have some internal number that starts counting down when it is built, and at the end of that a box would pop up and tell you that you have to either "make necessary repairs" or "abandon the bridge". If you choose to repair it, the number is replenished slightly, and abandoning the bridge means it is inaccessible to vehicular traffic. It won't collapse unless it is hit (like a train derailment, or something). This "hidden number" goes down faster if you don't maintain the bridge, and can also go down when the bridge is damaged (18-wheeler from below, disaster). That's how I would do it, at least.

    Anyway, best of luck to you! I do like the idea of 2D (assuming the art style is aesthetically pleasing), seems when we made the jump to 3D simulations we left a lot of the cool, behind the scenes stuff in favor of eye candy, even if C:S and SC2013 introduced some neat concepts. I must admit I'm torn between "I want a comfy and nostalgic SC4/SC2K-tier title" and "I want to satisfy my road and rail autism", even if my ideals combine both aspects.

     

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  • Original Poster
  • 49 minutes ago, LivingInThePast said:

    I must admit I'm torn between "I want a comfy and nostalgic SC4/SC2K-tier title" and "I want to satisfy my road and rail autism", even if my ideals combine both aspects.

    So keep C:S around and play KotCity on the side! The world is more than big enough for one... we just need that SC4-ish feel back in a modern(ish), live game.

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    Another suggestion, how about the building construction? In SC4, it's only applied to growables only. Yes, there are mods designed to activate the construction but it modifies some data in buildings, resulting to incompatibilities to other mods. I hope you can apply the construction "animation" into all buildings, including arcologies.

    OK, after some day absent from contributing to the repo, I will contribute. That's a surprise until you see.

    Thanks.

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  • Original Poster
  • 3 hours ago, chfzdn said:

    Another suggestion, how about the building construction? In SC4, it's only applied to growables only. Yes, there are mods designed to activate the construction but it modifies some data in buildings, resulting to incompatibilities to other mods. I hope you can apply the construction "animation" into all buildings, including arcologies.

    OK, after some day absent from contributing to the repo, I will contribute. That's a surprise until you see.

    Thanks.

    This is one of those things I definitely want to have but we are not close to implementing yet.

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    On 3/18/2018 at 11:37 PM, kotcity said:

    So keep C:S around and play KotCity on the side! The world is more than big enough for one... we just need that SC4-ish feel back in a modern(ish), live game.

    Who said C:S did the latter correctly? The way C:S did railroad placement was more wrong and annoying than SC4 ever was, with double tracks, those girders/wires above it, sticky crossings that never looked right, and mods will never really fix it (plus, mods only make everything run worse).

    Another question is the "grid" question. Everyone complained about the grid in SC4, how it made cities look too boxy and artificial, but the attempts to fix it haven't been optimal. In C:S, it's very easy to screw up and never make a perfectly parallel street due to this (requiring Precision Engineering to fix). Furthermore, the "grid" still exists relative to the road, and a result creates a "dead zone" on places between buildings where the grid doesn't exist. This is most noticeable in Cities XL, but it's in C:S as well.

    I thought that maybe one way to fix this would actually have the grid be small triangles (at 90 degree angles, essentially, cut a typical SC4 tile into four squares and then divide those squares into triangles). I don't have the diagram I drew up, but that would allow any item to be tilted at any orthogonal angle without wasting space, and custom lots could easily be drawn up that use the leftover triangles.

     

     

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  • Original Poster
  • 1 hour ago, LivingInThePast said:

    Another question is the "grid" question. Everyone complained about the grid in SC4, how it made cities look too boxy and artificial, but the attempts to fix it haven't been optimal. In C:S, it's very easy to screw up and never make a perfectly parallel street due to this (requiring Precision Engineering to fix). Furthermore, the "grid" still exists relative to the road, and a result creates a "dead zone" on places between buildings where the grid doesn't exist. This is most noticeable in Cities XL, but it's in C:S as well.

    I thought that maybe one way to fix this would actually have the grid be small triangles (at 90 degree angles, essentially, cut a typical SC4 tile into four squares and then divide those squares into triangles). I don't have the diagram I drew up, but that would allow any item to be tilted at any orthogonal angle without wasting space, and custom lots could easily be drawn up that use the leftover triangles.

    Unfortunately for the sake of simplicity our 1.0 will be gridlike. After all the kinks are worked out of our simulation, we plan for a fully 3D, gridless reboot, but we have a lot to learn before then!

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    Hey Kotcity.

    I have been lurking in the shadows as I work on NAM 37 (Which will take priority) but am still keen on lending a hand to Kotcity.

    Thinking about the grid situation I think the best implementation is that grids can be drawn onto the map at various angles. That way you can have most of what has been previously made ported over to the new setup.

    Those are my thoughts for now.

    I am really keen to see the progress and I am glad kotcity is progressing quite well.

    Once NAM 37 is done I think I should have some breathing space for Kotcity.

    -eggman121 (NAM Team Member)

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  • 2 hours ago, Eggman121 said:

    I am really keen to see the progress and I am glad kotcity is progressing quite well.

    Once NAM 37 is done I think I should have some breathing space for Kotcity.

    Really excited to have you on board. Catch us on the gitter (https://gitter.im/kotcity/Lobby)

    or reply here... whatever works best!

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  • Original Poster
  • 5ab2fa653bf45_CoolText-KotCity046280350024385727.png.4f98d9c8c91e46809f5901dd0efebeaa.png

    What's up everyone! A big cleanup for 0.46!

    We have a reworked UI and our first "level 2" buildings. More levels to come soon (we plan to have up to 5).

    Download release at https://github.com/kotcity/kotcity/releases/tag/0.46

    See our roadmap at https://github.com/kotcity/kotcity/wiki/Roadmap

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    Let me just take the time to spitball some more ideas (and given what my schedule is like, that's all I can do at the moment):

    • Some means of eliminating or reducing building repetition that's apparently common with SC4 and part of this has to do with my next points...
    • Mall system. A monolithic building (traditional US shopping mall that are all dying for one reason or another) or cluster of adjoining buildings (strip mall) that serves as multiple types of stores and has a running total of how many stores and employees (jobs) are at the mall itself.
      • Tenants can come and go, but (especially if it's a monolithic building) you can't just demolish it all unless there are zero stores left. If it's a bunch of sub-buildings, then you could demolish the abandoned sub-buildings.
      • This can follow the SC2013-style upgrade system.
    • Variable lot system. Allocate space for parking (unless you're relying on C:S-style roadside parking) and then allocate space for the building itself.
      • Also follows the SC2013-style upgrade system.
    • Power line system? Every city-builder in existence uses some 4-phase (4 phase?! It's usually 3 phases and any more than that gives diminishing returns!!) 60Hz alternating current wires that look like this. (I'm honestly not sure if that's the same size as the C:S power lines.) There should be at least a distinction between transmission lines and distribution lines, or distribution lines and those aerial bundled cables.
      • Underground cables are an option.
    • This has to do with the grid system for 1.x and beyond. There are two ways to go about it: don't and go with free placement or insist on doing so anyway but make the tiles smaller. Something that I've thought about is a grid system where the smallest cell is 4×4 meters and things are placed down on those centres of those cells, whether it be the nodes for roads or the epicenters of buildings or whatever. (I figured plants would be the only thing that can be freely placed, unless you go with an even smaller subdivision and treat it like Minecraft.)
      • I say epicenter because a building has to be placed on a grid tile, but it can be rotated accordingly like you just skewered the building through that tile. From that epicenter, you define the rest of the lot as with the variable lot system from before. (If you tried this right now by representing the entire property as a bunch of rectangles, such as one rectangle for the building and a bigger rectangle for the parking lot, how easy could it be to draw a rotated rectangle?)
      • Ever heard of Creeper World 3? Imagine the relays are road systems. The endpoints of a road segment (or nodes) are fixed to those grid tiles, but you can freely place a connecting node within a certain radius of the first node. (There should also be a minimum and maximum size for node-to-node distances.)
      • I have this concept for subdividing terrain by successive powers of 4, and I have it in this illustration here:ig_chunksystem.thumb.png.c982db7f8d889c641d68bb6f62900147.png
        • I later figured the primary subdivisions should go by powers of 16 instead, so you go from 1 to 16 to 256. The next jump would be 4096, but I stopped at 256 because that's a huge jump and that's 4 kim's or a little over 4 kilometers (I created a united called the kibimeter, which is 1024 meters). If you wanted to emulate the smallest SC4 city tile in this manner, you'd arrange 16 of these superchunks into a square; a large city tile would be 16 of those groups of 16 arranged into an even bigger square.
          • What I had in mind was a Minecraft-like system of chunkloading, something I discussed with others at one point. You could eliminate the need for a region view. Heck, you can freely transition between one city and another. Others have brought up a prompt that asks you if you want to switch cities. I see no need for such a prompt, but ehh, if there is one, it should be configurable at least.
          • I was even thinking about these ideas during a time when I was addicted to CW3.
    • Speaking of road systems, I thought up a node system but I left all the notes back at home so I'm relying on memory here. Define different types of nodes as such, though some of these could be lumped together:
      • Terminus node, basically a dead end
      • Connector node, a node that connects two segments of the same network
      • Transition node, a node that connects two segments of different networks
      • Intersection node, a node that connects 3 or more segments together, not necessarily the same network either
      • Splitter node, a node that breaks up a network into smaller pieces; for use with slip lanes, ramp interfaces, and those weird intersections that look like this
      • Overlap node, for use with stacking an elevated node on top of a ground node, not necessarily with the segments running together either
    • I saw "scenarios" in the roadmap. How about a story mode? I'm not sure how a story can fit into a city-builder, but the way I had in mind is that it would start off with building a single house. Dialogue would appear on the screen but you never see the characters' faces (the goal is to use your imagination) and based on the dialogue and whatever the game would tell you to build, you would piece together their stories. Certain characters move in, struggle to cope with change, move out, move back after several years, die an untimely death...
      • I really wanted to write fanfiction at one point but I never had a chance.
    • Time system? There's this alternative calendar that divides the year neatly into 52 weeks (364 days) and all the accumulated days (from leap years and the fact that you've trimmed the 365th day off of each year) get added back as a 53rd week every 5 to 6 years. The fact that it's such a clean division makes me want to use it as the basis of what I call episodic time.
      • Ever heard of Zoo Tycoon 2? Ever noticed that a day-night cycle encompasses one in-game month (even though there isn't really a night in the game and the month is defined by the sunrise-to-sunset time)? ZT2 crams an entire day-night "cycle" within a span of an in-game month.
      • Ever heard of Prison Architect? Prisoners sent to your prison may be sentenced to your prison for several years but in-game it may be a few days.
      • And let's face it. Most of the day-to-day activities you go through aren't memorable enough to remember in great detail; heck, I can't remember what I ate for breakfast three weeks ago.
      • And while we're at it, not even SC4's passage of time isn't guaranteed to be synced with the day-night cycle (and some people even turn it off). (C:S may be the same deal, but I haven't played that in ages... *:???: )
      • One episodic day corresponds to 7 absolute days, and the purpose of the episodic day is to cram all the exciting stuff into one single day. You can go by episodic time or absolute game time.
      • Honestly, I haven't ironed out the kinks in the episodic time system, and the system divides each season into 13 weeks, which is an odd number. The only ways I thought about remedying this is to use one of these:
        • Designate each successive episodic day a random weekday (so in the extreme case, if today's Thursday, tomorrow could be Wednesday)
        • Define an episodic week as being 5 weekdays (Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri), 1 weekend day (Sat+Sun combined), 5 weekdays again (Mon...Fri), and 2 weekend days (Sat and Sun separated)
    • Distance calculations? This is (so far) a 2D game, but what happens when you finally have a 3D game (which is at least eight dimensions when you add things like coal, oil, temperature, wind, and ground fertility)? Sure, the 2D distance formula works fine, but if you have an uphill grade, it's probably worth adding in height. Good thing the distance formula can be generalized to higher dimensions: sqrt((x^2) + (y^2) + (z^2))

    I'm hoping that doesn't overload you (or anyone else reading this). I can go a bit overboard with explaining things.

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  • Original Poster
  • 6 hours ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:
    • Mall system. A monolithic building (traditional US shopping mall that are all dying for one reason or another) or cluster of adjoining buildings (strip mall) that serves as multiple types of stores and has a running total of how many stores and employees (jobs) are at the mall itself.
      • Tenants can come and go, but (especially if it's a monolithic building) you can't just demolish it all unless there are zero stores left. If it's a bunch of sub-buildings, then you could demolish the abandoned sub-buildings.
      • This can follow the SC2013-style upgrade system.
    • Variable lot system. Allocate space for parking (unless you're relying on C:S-style roadside parking) and then allocate space for the building itself.
      • Also follows the SC2013-style upgrade system.

    I love it love it love it. We already really want to do the modules... these are two uses I hadn't even considered!

    I also really want to model parking, but I'm not sure if this is a 1.0 thing for me. I always thought that was a big failing how all city simulators had plenty of parking downtown. I want people to have a second reason to have their citizens walk or cycle.

    6 hours ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    Power line system? Every city-builder in existence uses some 4-phase (4 phase?! It's usually 3 phases and any more than that gives diminishing returns!!) 60Hz alternating current wires that look like this. (I'm honestly not sure if that's the same size as the C:S power lines.) There should be at least a distinction between transmission lines and distribution lines, or distribution lines and those aerial bundled cables.

    • Underground cables are an option.

     

    I never liked handling power in SC (drawing lines between zones). I did it in the lightest possible way -- we have power plants with capacity just like SC. However, the power just spreads automatically between zones. (if they are within a 3(?) tile radius). Only if you need to go somewhere else will you have to use power. Interestingly, even though the engine is 2D, I model elevation, so things like underground cables is totally an option.

    I have the same feeling about water. In SC2000 - SC4 it just felt like a chore. If anyone here really liked doing water layouts and adding pipes let me know. We plan to include water but again in a very simplified way. If you want to see something more complex, you'll have to wait for "Municipal Water Simulator" :)

    6 hours ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    This has to do with the grid system for 1.x and beyond. There are two ways to go about it: don't and go with free placement or insist on doing so anyway but make the tiles smaller. Something that I've thought about is a grid system where the smallest cell is 4×4 meters and things are placed down on those centres of those cells, whether it be the nodes for roads or the epicenters of buildings or whatever. (I figured plants would be the only thing that can be freely placed, unless you go with an even smaller subdivision and treat it like Minecraft.)

    I'm firmly committed to a really simple grid system for 1.x just to make sure we can ship you guys something. However, beyond that I may want to use your exact idea. I'm actually not sure how C:S stores building coordinates and so on internally. I also really like that idea of "chunkloading". We could have KotNation :)

    6 hours ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    Speaking of road systems, I thought up a node system but I left all the notes back at home so I'm relying on memory here. Define different types of nodes as such, though some of these could be lumped together:

    • Terminus node, basically a dead end
    • Connector node, a node that connects two segments of the same network
    • Transition node, a node that connects two segments of different networks
    • Intersection node, a node that connects 3 or more segments together, not necessarily the same network either
    • Splitter node, a node that breaks up a network into smaller pieces; for use with slip lanes, ramp interfaces, and those weird intersections that look like this
    • Overlap node, for use with stacking an elevated node on top of a ground node, not necessarily with the segments running together either

     

    Are you talking about puzzle pieces the player would put or is this more like engine internals? I'm going to need some of these concepts already. For instance, if a citizens is walking to a nearby train depot and hopping on, he will be utilizing a "transition node" via the depot.

    9 hours ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    I saw "scenarios" in the roadmap. How about a story mode? I'm not sure how a story can fit into a city-builder, but the way I had in mind is that it would start off with building a single house. Dialogue would appear on the screen but you never see the characters' faces (the goal is to use your imagination) and based on the dialogue and whatever the game would tell you to build, you would piece together their stories. Certain characters move in, struggle to cope with change, move out, move back after several years, die an untimely death...

    • I really wanted to write fanfiction at one point but I never had a chance.

     

    I'm not against this but won't plan on it for 1.0. If you want to contribute some code to do this, I wouldn't be against it!

    9 hours ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    Time system? There's this alternative calendar that divides the year neatly into 52 weeks (364 days) and all the accumulated days (from leap years and the fact that you've trimmed the 365th day off of each year) get added back as a 53rd week every 5 to 6 years. The fact that it's such a clean division makes me want to use it as the basis of what I call episodic time.

    • Ever heard of Zoo Tycoon 2? Ever noticed that a day-night cycle encompasses one in-game month (even though there isn't really a night in the game and the month is defined by the sunrise-to-sunset time)? ZT2 crams an entire day-night "cycle" within a span of an in-game month.
    • Ever heard of Prison Architect? Prisoners sent to your prison may be sentenced to your prison for several years but in-game it may be a few days.
    • And let's face it. Most of the day-to-day activities you go through aren't memorable enough to remember in great detail; heck, I can't remember what I ate for breakfast three weeks ago.
    • And while we're at it, not even SC4's passage of time isn't guaranteed to be synced with the day-night cycle (and some people even turn it off). (C:S may be the same deal, but I haven't played that in ages... *:???: )
    • One episodic day corresponds to 7 absolute days, and the purpose of the episodic day is to cram all the exciting stuff into one single day. You can go by episodic time or absolute game time.
    • Honestly, I haven't ironed out the kinks in the episodic time system, and the system divides each season into 13 weeks, which is an odd number. The only ways I thought about remedying this is to use one of these:
      • Designate each successive episodic day a random weekday (so in the extreme case, if today's Thursday, tomorrow could be Wednesday)
      • Define an episodic week as being 5 weekdays (Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri), 1 weekend day (Sat+Sun combined), 5 weekdays again (Mon...Fri), and 2 weekend days (Sat and Sun separated)

     

    One of the reasons I decided to just do "regular" time is we don't have agents. I'd really like to simulate people travelling to work, back from work, things open/closed on the weekend, etc. One thing that frustrated me is with the mish-mash timescale of C:S, it could take 3 weeks to get to work!

    9 hours ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    Distance calculations? This is (so far) a 2D game, but what happens when you finally have a 3D game (which is at least eight dimensions when you add things like coal, oil, temperature, wind, and ground fertility)? Sure, the 2D distance formula works fine, but if you have an uphill grade, it's probably worth adding in height. Good thing the distance formula can be generalized to higher dimensions: sqrt((x^2) + (y^2) + (z^2))

    Good point. As mentioned above I do model elevation, so that could definitely figure in to it!

    9 hours ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    I'm hoping that doesn't overload you (or anyone else reading this). I can go a bit overboard with explaining things.

    Not at all! I love the volume of great ideas I'm getting. You were really great at providing a lot of detail and rationale behind your ideas. Keep 'em coming!

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    Let me elaborate on the node-segment system.

    • C:S road networks are based on nodes and segments, but SC4 is based on a grid. I figured it'd be cool to merge the traits of both into one system, and Creeper World 3 is the best example of how it looks like when it's working. So this is more on how road systems are placed, not so much how traffic moves around.
    • Transition nodes are more for transitioning a lane configuration of one road to another road with a different lane configuration, like transitioning from a 2 lane road to a 4 lane road, or two railroad tracks to three.
      • The way C:S does this makes the transitions arguably short, so an alternative is to devote an entire segment into being a transition.
      • What you're describing would be more like a station node (or station segment if the node turns out to be too small). It's interesting how C:S has no devoted buildings for bus stops or tram stops, but still has buildings for train/subway stations.

    Alright, I can't talk about network construction without talking about what's gonna be driving on those networks.

    • Here are the traffic types SC4 deals with: pedestrian, car, bus, freight truck + ferry (these are merged together into one), passenger train, freight train, subway, elevated rail, monorail. (Probably a few others that I may have forgotten.)
    • SC4 stations work by converting one of these transit types into another; for example, pedestrians are converted into buses at a bus stop, drive down the streets as a bus, reach another bus stop, and get converted back into a pedestrian to go to work. If you want to simulate a park-and-ride system, cars have to be converted into pedestrians (at a parking lot or parking garage), get converted into a bus and back to a pedestrian, then walk the rest of the way to work.
      • HOWEVER, it's possible to have illogical or weird conversions, such as converting cars to subway vehicles (which has been done all the time since custom tunnels in SC4 are nonexistent without conversions like this), or converting passenger trains into cars (the mindset behind this would be rental cars, but then where do the cars come from and what happens if someone just takes one of these cars home?).
      • Transit hubs in SC4 often combine a bunch of converters into one single building. For example, there's a station in the NAM that converts between subway, bus, pedestrian, and three of the rail types (elevated rail, monorail, passenger rail), which is P(6,2) permutations. 
        • Basically a crash course in combinatorics.
      • I've not mentioned anything how freight works because I'm not familiar with it, but I'd imagine it's the same.
      • In general, it's OK to convert cars to pedestrians and then to bus, for example, but you don't want to convert pedestrians to cars because, once again, where are the cars coming from?
      • Notice I've never mentioned trams. Tram tracks are a modified form of elevated rail, and as such, their transit types are treated the same because they're the same exact thing. HSR and Monorail vehicles are also the same.
        • I generally don't like using tiny lots that blindly convert between subway, passenger rail, elevated rail, and monorail. It works, but if your station is just a hole in the ground leading to some subway tracks, I feel like that's cheating. There are stations like this that look like actual stations, but they're a little hard to find. Like, would you drive a freight train down a subway tunnel?
        • There could be a problem with a tram to elevated rail switching station in that tram cars could magically fly off its rails and onto the elevated track.
          • That said, you have similar things happening when you try to build viaduct roads next to a building; SC4 has no concept of height in that if you have a lane that's at ground level and another lane that, say, 3000 miles high up and in the same direction as the first lane, they're treated the same.
      • If we added bicyclists, the appropriate conversion station would be a bike rack, but if certain stores already supply a bike rack, there would be no need to convert from bicyclist to pedestrian.
        • That'd be interesting, though: incentivize bicycling by having stores put up bike racks, and the stores that have bike racks already can have customers/workers come in as bicyclists, so there would be no need to convert. Otherwise, they'd have to stop at a separate bike rack.
        • That would be no different from a store that has a parking lot except customers/workers come in as cars. A store that doesn't have parking would have customers/workers first stopping at a separate parking lot (to get converted into pedestrians) and walking the rest of the way.
        • Would you come to work in a diesel locomotive?
    • A station segment would be like those C:S bus stops or a C:S tram stop. I'm honestly not sure how to integrate this with a subway station or passenger rail. Do you make a station segment on a rail segment and connect a ped path from that segment to a parking lot and call that thing a station? Or do you allocate land around that segment and then build a building and parking lot using the variable lot system?

    That's all I got so far; I have a final upcoming...

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  • 9 minutes ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    C:S road networks are based on nodes and segments, but SC4 is based on a grid. I figured it'd be cool to merge the traits of both into one system, and Creeper World 3 is the best example of how it looks like when it's working. So this is more on how road systems are placed, not so much how traffic moves around.

    So I have kind of a hybrid approach -- it's based on nodes, but right now they only exist at the "center" of a road. The good thing is this sets me up perfectly to have say, subway running under road, or something similar, like pedestrian bridge over road.

    10 minutes ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    Transition nodes are more for transitioning a lane configuration of one road to another road with a different lane configuration, like transitioning from a 2 lane road to a 4 lane road, or two railroad tracks to three.

    • The way C:S does this makes the transitions arguably short, so an alternative is to devote an entire segment into being a transition.
    • What you're describing would be more like a station node (or station segment if the node turns out to be too small). It's interesting how C:S has no devoted buildings for bus stops or tram stops, but still has buildings for train/subway stations.

     

    Gotcha. I'm more or less going to support any kind of transit in SC2000, plus a little more. So, these transition nodes will be extremely important to keeping track of all the things.

    11 minutes ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    HOWEVER, it's possible to have illogical or weird conversions, such as converting cars to subway vehicles (which has been done all the time since custom tunnels in SC4 are nonexistent without conversions like this), or converting passenger trains into cars (the mindset behind this would be rental cars, but then where do the cars come from and what happens if someone just takes one of these cars home?).

    We definitely have the horsepower to do this properly. One nice thing is unlike SC4, I won't require CPUCOUNT:1 :)

    12 minutes ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    If we added bicyclists, the appropriate conversion station would be a bike rack, but if certain stores already supply a bike rack, there would be no need to convert from bicyclist to pedestrian.

    • That'd be interesting, though: incentivize bicycling by having stores put up bike racks, and the stores that have bike racks already can have customers/workers come in as bicyclists, so there would be no need to convert. Otherwise, they'd have to stop at a separate bike rack.
    • That would be no different from a store that has a parking lot except customers/workers come in as cars. A store that doesn't have parking would have customers/workers first stopping at a separate parking lot (to get converted into pedestrians) and walking the rest of the way.
    • Would you come to work in a diesel locomotive?

     

    Supporting walking / cycling is really important to me but I haven't thought about it in detail (yet)! We are still tackling the "plumbing", like crime, schools, land value, etc. However, we are rapidly approaching the point where transit needs to go beyond road.

    I'm hoping someone from the NAM team has time to lend us some code :) However, if not I will be implementing it myself once a lot of the other areas of the simulation are more complete. The current roadmap is here if you are curious: https://github.com/kotcity/kotcity/wiki/Roadmap

    14 minutes ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    That's all I got so far; I have a final upcoming...

    Thanks for the details on the grid system, including "chunks" and some details regarding the SC4/NAM internals. Good luck on the final and keep me in the loop with your ideas!

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    Regarding using the NAM as a springboard: Well, most of the NAM is super-duper low-level code that looks like this (and believe me when I say that I can't find any other language that's analogous to this; maybe the closest thing is assembly language, but I'm still not sure):

    ;---RHW-4---
    ;--DOWN--
    ;STS Initiate
    0x57030100,1,0,0x57230100,3,1=0x57733240,1,0,0x57733320,1,0
    ;Extend, down
    0x57030000,1,0,0x57733240,1,0=0x57733210,1,0,0x57733240,1,0
    0x57030000,1,0,0x57733210,1,0=0x57733220,1,0,0x57733210,1,0
    ;Extend, up
    0x57733320,1,0,0x57230000,1,0=0x57733320,1,0,0x57733310,1,0
    ;Stabilise initiation
    0x57733240,1,0,0x57230100,3,1=0x57733240,1,0,0x57733320,1,0
    0x57030100,1,0,0x57733320,1,0=0x57733240,1,0,0x57733320,1,0
    ;--UP--
    ;STS Initiate
    0x57030100,3,1,0x57230100,3,0=0x57733240,3,1,0x57733320,3,1
    ;Extend, down
    0x57030000,3,0,0x57733240,3,1=0x57733210,3,1,0x57733240,3,1
    0x57030000,3,0,0x57733210,3,1=0x57733220,3,1,0x57733210,3,1
    ;Extend, up
    0x57733320,3,1,0x57230000,3,0=0x57733320,3,1,0x57733310,3,1
    ;Stabilise initiation
    0x57733240,3,1,0x57230100,3,0=0x57733240,3,1,0x57733320,3,1
    0x57030100,3,1,0x57733320,3,1=0x57733240,3,1,0x57733320,3,1

    If you wanna find anything related to, say, traffic simulation, I'd start poking at all the research done on SC4's traffic simulator, such as here. (The only things that caught my eye were "10000 calculations per second" and "Pentium III 500 MHz computer with 128 MB of memory").

     

    For stations, poke here.

    This could go into a discussion on how road and station capacities should work, but I can't understand the numbers unless there are units attached (and some of these don't have units) so I'll have to refresh myself on this also.

     

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  • 50 minutes ago, Ganaram Inukshuk said:

    Regarding using the NAM as a springboard: Well, most of the NAM is super-duper low-level code that looks like this (and believe me when I say that I can't find any other language that's analogous to this; maybe the closest thing is assembly language, but I'm still not sure):

    I'm less worried about the actual implementation of the NAM as the results. So having the source is cool, but understanding what it does is far more important. Those are some great links that you found. I'll be analyzing these because I need to lean on this type of information heavily as I modify the transit part of the sim.

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    It has been a very long time since I have checked Simtropolis...but this thread sure has reignited my SC urge after many years of absence and disappointment.

    I wholeheartedly support your effort to make a better SC4. *:thumb:

    Whilst only having discovered and read through this thread in the past few hours, I thought no harm in throwing a few suggestions/observations into the mix:

    • Maritime - Hopefully the use of water transport wont be an after-thought which I feel was the case in SC4 . Ports should allow customization/specialization (e.g. oil terminals don't look like container terminals) which should also influences the types of vessels spawning in your harbors. Your comment about looking for region contracts when local industry doesn't provide resources comes to mind in justifying the need for specific maritime activity in your city.
    • Railroads - Same comments as maritime also apply here. As a railroading fan, there is a bit of an eye-roll when games offer countless configurations for road transport and then simply give you a rectangular freight and passenger station for rail and not much else. It doesn't hurt to customize rail reserved areas of the map such as yards, goods warehouses and service depots that influence the type of trains that spawn in your city.
    • Airports -  Aside from the already mentioned customization, I've always felt that airport elements ( and its overall size) need to have a simple working relationships between the number of runways, aircraft stands and terminals. Every game seems to prefer having a flat capacity linked to terminals, but what if a ratio was used instead to justify airport elements (e.g small runway supports x amount of aircraft stands, and x amount of aircraft stands must exist for specific terminal size). The combinations could serve as a capacity calculator that can be scaled up and down depending on budget and passenger demand.
    • Water Pipes - I agree that its tedious activity that is mostly place and forget and doesn't add any value to gameplay. Simplest solution is to have roads serve as water feeders with a support radius maybe 5 tiles from the edge of each tile, but still offer pipes for those odd situations where no road is within a specific radius (i.e. rural town builds).

    Like others, I could list ideas endlessly, but what's important is getting the base game up and running.

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    4 minutes ago, kotcity said:

    I'm less worried about the actual implementation of the NAM as the results. So having the source is cool, but understanding what it does is far more important. Those are some great links that you found. I'll be analyzing these because I need to lean on this type of information heavily as I modify the transit part of the sim.

    Oh, you wanna know what the code does. Hmm, I do have some sample code if you'd like to see it.

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    I'm glad that @Ganaram Inukshuk is on the same wavelength as me with the tile issue, so let me add my own two bits.

    Mall system: One of my first requests back in 2005 when I joined was some sort of strip mall system, seeing as how I came back from Houston from a road trip. The idea was rotating props on a regular building, and I don't think anything came of it. But I live in Houston now, and strip malls of all types largely dominate even the inner parts of the area. I imagine that if we were keeping things relatively simple, the changing signage on strip malls could represent wealth levels or general health of the area. I don't see this as being particularly high priority though.
    Variable lot system: This is one of the things about SimCity 4 that wasn't really addressed. I know I rag on scale a lot but SimCity 4 often didn't scale parking correctly because it would look weird for the scale SimCity 4 actually uses. I just calculated the average Wal-Mart Supercenter in America, and if we were going to account for the entire building including parking and a gas station outlot, it would come out to a 16x17 tile building, which is huge and would look off-scale to the way that SimCity 4 does city planning. (Then again, SimCity 4 also ignores the sheer size of residential areas to represent commercial space). On the other hand, some buildings are small enough that they don't even leave space for delivery. I can't tell you how many times I've had to change lanes because a delivery truck had to block up a mainlane for delivering something...
    Power line system: The SimCity 4 power lines I think were supposed to be high tension power lines, the giant poles that come off of power plants and often cut through distinctive right of ways even in urban areas (they are very noticeable on Google Earth). The simple cross-shaped telephone poles weren't drawn in detail for SimCity 3000 and SimCity 4 for reasons, they were assumed to be just there. Again, it would be nice to see those types of power poles but in the end they were just window dressing. I'm with the common sentiment that water pipes should (largely) be integrated with the road system.
    Time system: I'm reminded of the way SimTower did time, with two weekdays and weekend per quarter, and four quarters for a year (time would pass relatively quickly this way). The years weren't really seasonal (except for Santa flying past, which would range from more to less noticeable depending on your computer's speed and height of tower). The Kegon Falls scenario in Yoot Tower made time a lot more obvious (trees, flow of water). At the very least, there should be two distinct traffic systems created for morning and evening rush hour (something C:S requires a mod for). Prison Architect is great, it does so many things well that a simulation should do, and proves 2D sims still have it what it takes.
    Distance calculations: Might be useful for creating the way traffic works, and a good traffic simulation is at the core of every city sim. "Failing" a trip should be fairly rare, unlike some games.
    On converting traffic types: One of the frustrating things about SimCity 4 is the way that you can't have both a freeway that everyone uses and a park and ride system. One of the ways that might be mitigated is having different "classes" (not necessarily wealth level) of people prefer different methods (the six classes introduced by City Life is one of the few "good ideas" that SimCity 4 needed--it's like every post-SC4 simulation had a bunch of great ideas that SimCity 4 needed but failed at everything else). Since it was mentioned "GOOD"s were mentioned, why can't people be one of them? I mentioned a truck carrying, say x number of chickens (or whatever freight) to destinations, maybe a bus could carry x number of people, cars carry less, etc. Most of my frustration with city sims comes from the fact that they seem to want to force you to use mass transit because of how the simulation is written, like in C:S everybody having a car so even the smallest towns are crammed with traffic. I'm not anti-car by any means, but there's no need to drive a block to the local convenience store when walking should be fine. Bicycles (and associated bike lanes, etc.) seem like expansion pack material but there needs to be the infrastructure for supporting future bike lanes and all that.
    Also also, thanks for reminding me of the Big Dig BAT project which if I recall had no more than one 1.0 release with bugs. *:(

    As for @ww2commander, a lot of the non-road things were afterthoughts. The thing about maritime/heavy freight/airports is that they are huge. William P. Hobby Airport in (again) Houston, is probably 2.5km2 and that's the SMALLER airport. A "realistic" airport would take up basically the whole map or a corner of it. But we don't live in 2003 anymore and we can make (hopefully) sprawling maps. Same with maritime, in Houston, oil refinery complexes can also be about 2.5km2 square feet, and the entire Port of Houston is about 15 miles long with dozens of stops and a massive railroad infrastructure to support it. It's one of the larger/largest examples but even a smaller port is going to be comparatively massive.

     

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  • Original Poster
  • 8 minutes ago, LivingInThePast said:

    Variable lot system: This is one of the things about SimCity 4 that wasn't really addressed. I know I rag on scale a lot but SimCity 4 often didn't scale parking correctly because it would look weird for the scale SimCity 4 actually uses. I just calculated the average Wal-Mart Supercenter in America, and if we were going to account for the entire building including parking and a gas station outlot, it would come out to a 16x17 tile building, which is huge and would look off-scale to the way that SimCity 4 does city planning. (Then again, SimCity 4 also ignores the sheer size of residential areas to represent commercial space). On the other hand, some buildings are small enough that they don't even leave space for delivery. I can't tell you how many times I've had to change lanes because a delivery truck had to block up a mainlane for delivering something...

    I THINK adding simulated parking lots / modules will help with this, because most of the WalMarts I know have larger parking than sqft inside. I'm not 100% sure this will make the cut for 1.0 though because I haven't yet thought it through fully. I have been thinking about mostly the "base" functionality (police, schools, pollution, etc).

    9 minutes ago, LivingInThePast said:

    Time system: I'm reminded of the way SimTower did time, with two weekdays and weekend per quarter, and four quarters for a year (time would pass relatively quickly this way).

    I do recall this! It was pretty fun. I'm strugging for reasons NOT to just do "real time" though. The game currently starts off at Jan 1, 2000 and ticks up each minute.

    10 minutes ago, LivingInThePast said:

    On converting traffic types: One of the frustrating things about SimCity 4 is the way that you can't have both a freeway that everyone uses and a park and ride system. One of the ways that might be mitigated is having different "classes" (not necessarily wealth level) of people prefer different methods (the six classes introduced by City Life is one of the few "good ideas" that SimCity 4 needed--it's like every post-SC4 simulation had a bunch of great ideas that SimCity 4 needed but failed at everything else). Since it was mentioned "GOOD"s were mentioned, why can't people be one of them? I mentioned a truck carrying, say x number of chickens (or whatever freight) to destinations, maybe a bus could carry x number of people, cars carry less, etc. Most of my frustration with city sims comes from the fact that they seem to want to force you to use mass transit because of how the simulation is written, like in C:S everybody having a car so even the smallest towns are crammed with traffic. I'm not anti-car by any means, but there's no need to drive a block to the local convenience store when walking should be fine. Bicycles (and associated bike lanes, etc.) seem like expansion pack material but there needs to be the infrastructure for supporting future bike lanes and all that.

    I did consider doing just that. Items in KotCity are modeled as Tradeables, which have a quantity and can be sent back and forth between zones. Right now "LABOR" has special handling and it's assumed Kots find their own way to work. Maybe this is the method once I get to mass transit... I am just not sure at this point.

    11 minutes ago, LivingInThePast said:

    As for @ww2commander, a lot of the non-road things were afterthoughts. The thing about maritime/heavy freight/airports is that they are huge. William P. Hobby Airport in (again) Houston, is probably 2.5km2 and that's the SMALLER airport. A "realistic" airport would take up basically the whole map or a corner of it. But we don't live in 2003 anymore and we can make (hopefully) sprawling maps. Same with maritime, in Houston, oil refinery complexes can also be about 2.5km2 square feet, and the entire Port of Houston is about 15 miles long with dozens of stops and a massive railroad infrastructure to support it. It's one of the larger/largest examples but even a smaller port is going to be comparatively massive.

    One super nice thing about being 2D and multithreaded is hopefully we CAN support absolutely massive ploppables. I'd love to be able to keep a sensible scale. Maybe airports are made possible via the module system, and you plop a terminal, runways, etc. so each airport is huge AND custom.

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    Posted (edited)

    At this point, I might be curious enough to start poking at the code, but it might be tricky to do so when, 1, some the code is has no comment (I already looked at it on Github), and 2... Do you have a recommended IDE for Kotlin?

    I mean, one of the classes I finished up was software engineering and I wanna keep that software engineer's mindset fresh in my head for as long as I can, but I've never heard of the Kotlin programming language until I heard about this project. (Does it help that one of my next classes is game programming?)

    EDIT: Something popped into my head as I was brushing my teeth: Can the variable lot system (VLS) be used to define a neighborhood and not just strip malls and shopping malls? For example, you can have houses that are all sorts of styles and architectures, but you can also have cookie-cutter houses in a gated community. Since a shopping mall or strip mall can track the number of stores and occupants, you can adapt this for cookie-cutter houses and still be able to track the number of individual houses and total number of occupants. (I think I just generalised an adaptation of the VLS for use with residential and commercial buildings, but I feel industrial ain't out of the question either. I could even go as far as drawing up the relevant class diagram.)

    Apartment complexes and condos can also work under this system.


      Edited by Ganaram Inukshuk  

    Another idea came to me.

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    Kotlin is developed by JetBrians, same company behind Intelij IDE (available here, community edition is sufficient) so I'd recommend using that since it comes with full Kotlin support - though language packs are available for other IDE as well, e.g. Visual Code. Also helps that Kotcity is pretty much configured for Intelij, so you can easily import the project and get up and running in no time.  *:thumb:

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    5 hours ago, vortext said:

    Kotlin is developed by JetBrians, same company behind Intelij IDE (available here, community edition is sufficient) so I'd recommend using that since it comes with full Kotlin support - though language packs are available for other IDE as well, e.g. Visual Code. Also helps that Kotcity is pretty much configured for Intelij, so you can easily import the project and get up and running in no time.  *:thumb:

    *Visual Studio Code (VS Code)

    OK, if I am a proficient on 3D modelling, can I make the game isometric? Also, is it right that KotCity doesn't follow KotCity's principles (simple, fast, control etc)? (Just ask, don't be provocated)

    Thanks.

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