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LivingInThePast last won the day on
May 11 2012

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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). 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!
  4. 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? 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. 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.
  5. 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. 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). 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) riots (based after riots working in Prison Architect, run around and set fires, more challenging as it sets a "no-go" zone for fire trucks) industrial explosion (based after the West, TX fertilizer explosion, basically creates centralized earthquake zone with a scary-sounding explosion) chemical spill (based after the ammonium spill in Houston in the 1970s which I'm pretty sure SC2K based theirs on, will pollute water, destroy trees, and hurt people but otherwise dissipate)
  6. NAM: Development

    Pathing-wise this is amazing. It reminds me a lot of how overpasses work in Texas, with a four lane road approaching a freeway sprouts a turn lane that goes straight across the stoplight and then turns left. (I work in Houston) What I have yet to see (and I think I suggested this many, many years) was a way for highways to exit onto OWRs that parallel the highway and have stoplights at major intersections. It may have been done already, I don't know. (Usually this comes in a few flavors, sometimes it creates a third or fourth lane on the OWR, sometimes the OWR slims down to one lane to allow for the new exit to create a new lane, sometimes it involves yield signs).
  7. Four Lane Roads (no, not avenues)

    I imagine that the skewed speeds/travel times are based on the warped scale. The largest map in SimCity 4 is just 2.5 miles squared. So the game is imagining you going into town to go to work, but if I lived in a SimCity 4 city, I would go almost halfway across the map just to get to the nearest Walmart, much less work. 20 miles out is reality for many commuters (even in mass transit areas, and that's counting 20 miles by radius) and I don't think the simulator would account for people traveling across 8 (or more) city tiles across the region, at least in the same way as a daily transit sort of thing. It is too bad I have yet to see any city sim with a halfway decent transit sim. SimCity 2013's Glassbox was a really cool idea but it had no idea how pathing worked, so if there was a crowded road and a bypass that was a little bit longer but lacked stoplights, everyone would crowd onto the road because it was shorter. C:S isn't a whole lot better in that respect because it makes the presumptuous assumption that every household is an extra car on the road, which makes traffic really bad even for small towns and is probably just there to force mass transit. Ideally, mass transit (at least trains) should be uneconomically expensive until density reaches a critical mass, but no one asked me on how to design things.
  8. Looking at this topic, I never realized that SimCity 4's network speeds were pathetically slow, with Streets being about 20 mph (this would be standard only for school zones and residential streets where they've put up a fight to prevent cars from zipping down it), Roads at less than 30 mph, Avenues at 25 mph (less than roads interestingly, and also far below roads), and Highways about 60 mph (posted speed for urban highways with lots of exits and entrances, though in addition to not being able to account for more rural highways, traffic goes faster than that IRL). I (think I) understand that the NAM fix some of the broken speeds and travel times, and of course the RHW goes faster/as fast as the Maxis Highways. But wait...the RHW was designed to be very flexible with variable lane widths, even if the speed is the same (since speed is tied to networks). So why isn't there an alternative to Roads? Something with the same speed as a Road but as wide as an Avenue? (or if the numbers were re-adjusted to allow for Avenues to be faster, than why not two-way avenues?) I mean, we have six lane avenues now, right? I admit it's been a while since I tooled around with the NAM and they may very well be in there, but this would be a way to "drop/raise the speed limit", right?
  9. So, "as I see how taxing the game is for your computer hardware" was actually a typo? If true, I'm sorry I took offense. Maybe I'll load up C:S again and see if anything has been fixed, but first impressions count and I didn't enjoy it as much as I wished I did.
  10. OK, so #1 is a non-issue essentially but #2 can't be shrugged off. The scale issue in SC4 dealt with the extra height for aesthetic reasons because the view was fixed, but the X and Y scales were essentially perfect. Granted, there weren't a lot of curves and the 16m*16m tile size left a lot to be desired if you were trying to build anything more dense than suburban California. But while in SC4 you could try lots with multiple buildings on it, there's not really an option for C:S, nor does SC4's scaling issues change the situation at C:S. With the X and Y scale already strongly warped, the Z scale warping makes everything look even worse. And no, you can't pass off the "scales of the world" issue unless you live in Hong Kong or something, and even then it would be just as limiting to scale to SC4 is (besides, C:S is clearly designed with Western gaming in mind). I spent a bit of time looking at European cities and their suburban areas to see if this actually makes sense. It doesn't. The traffic issue in C:S is hampered by that silly hospital/cemetery mechanic and not just people trying to get to work on time. More thought in that area would've been great, if you could adjust stoplights (without making it too, and I hate to use this word, "autistic") and you could deal with the cost/benefits of making underpasses and overpasses. My computer is actually fine, thank you, and trying to pass off "your hardware just sucks" when the devs have clearly made a terribly optimized game is insulting. It's one thing to like and appreciate a game but it's another to stick up for developer under any circumstance (if you are being paid to say that or if you actually were a developer that just shows how awful CO is, but I'll assume good faith). I think someone on this thread said it best that the developers may have a lot of interesting ideas but there's no one in place with a clear vision for the game and making sure those interesting ideas are properly implemented and work well, and with the developers refusing or incapable to fix that makes a C:S a game not worth it in the long run.
  11. I don't think CO really knows what players wanted to begin with. Everyone wants SimCity 5, but CO is still thinking Cities in Motion 3 with some more SimCity elements. That's why you can do some nifty stuff like designate turn lanes to go which way but can't really do anything with them. There's no real challenge to the game and the creators decided to basically outsource modding which leads to major performance issues. The three fundamental problems of why I lost interest in C:S are such. 1. The game punishes you for using mods. So if you want to get rid of Chirper or change any of the building styles to something less hideous, then no achievements for you. The basic coal power plant, for instance, is extraordinarily underpowered. The SimCity series had the coal power plant which was a big polluter but was cheap and was able to power up to a medium-sized city before it started failing (and by that point, you should be considering something more powerful/cleaner). Mods can fix that, but you can't do that either. To say nothing of the performance issue. 2. The scale issue. This affects Workshop items (even the nice looking ones) so a McDonald's can take up the same block as a big skyscraper, and houses look like houses for hobbits. When you take into account the actual scale that the buildings work with you get the equivalent of a 2x2 SimCity 4 block, or 1024 meters squared. That's the size of a lot of a convenience store with about 8 or so pumps. You CAN get buildings to scale but they're just for show. 3. There's no strategy. Obviously there's the opportunity to use it as a city painter but I want to have functional cities. With SC4, you were allowed to fail and had to know what you're doing. You couldn't expand too fast and had to balance out income. I always felt SC4 had the better learning curve than its predecessors (for instance, SC2K was extraordinarily difficult at first, you had to gain a positive net income before 50 years when the power plant blows and issuing a bond was basically financial suicide, but at a certain point money keeps flowing in and you can do whatever you want with it). The cemetery mechanic is the "replacement" in C:S, which is disappointing since it's a bad mechanic and a shame since CIM focused on keeping everyone and everything moving. The SimCity 4 Prima guide kind of touched on this, with cities growing to "Phase 9" (yeah, I know growth stages only go up to 8, I think this was more arbitrary), where the land maxes out and you end up with skyscrapers. But not everyone wants skyscrapers. Sure, I guess you could have a "Phase 9" city, something like Los Angeles, Houston, or NYC--a cultural powerhouse with wealth and some terrific-looking buildings as you, the player, deals with traffic and aging infrastructure, as well as keeping the crime in check, and you can have a very different challenge if you wanted to build a "Phase 6" city, perhaps a small college town or a tourist-oriented city (or both!) as you attempt to maintain an affordable quality of life. I shouldn't be too hard on C:S on this aspect, pretty much every 3D simulation discards strategy in favor of eye candy. At this rate, I'd rather see an open source re-implementation of SC4 that reuses the copyrighted SC4 assets (sorta like OpenRCT2 in that you need the original to play) than see another company take a stab at replacing it, since it's been more than a decade and no one has done it right.
  12. What do you want in Cities: Skylines?

    Mostly I want to see a fix of the base game, like more realistic lot sizes, better textures, rebalanced mechanics, and several other features (a lot of that can be fixed with mods, but it disables achievements and bloats the game--and the lot sizes can't be fixed without making them non-functional). SimCity 4 had a solid base game. C:S does not. Once that gets smoothed out, then we should start looking at other things.
  13. I gave C:S a spin but the game is really starting to turn me off as they add expansions that do little but bloat the game, create incompatibilities, and don't deal with the horrific imbalances and cartoonishly tiny lot sizes, smaller than SC4. A lot of the features of Mass Transit just look awful... - Blimps and cable cars are gimmick transit. The latter sees almost no use at all in reality except in theme parks and ski lifts, and the former no one uses for mass transit. The blimp in SC13 was only popular because the traffic system was so bugged. - Trains (with large stations) are cool but sorta useless if you don't have a region. - There appears to be no option to do things like set bus stop areas. I'm not sure if this was already implemented, but if they are going to do mass transit, I want to see more fiddling and micromanagement.
  14. Welcome our new Staff Members!

    I've been here for over 10 years on and off (mostly off), and of these, I've only heard of maybe one or two. I'm a bit concerned because often mods will make or break communities, as they start to become echo chambers for certain point of views and use their small bit of granted power to run what they can like a despot and engage in disproportionate banning and petty battles, and all forums start to become this sooner or later, but my knee-jerk response is that too many mods spoil the broth. Just my opinion.