Elemental:SimCity...I am having Fun with BETA!

SORRY DEVS

By on April 23, 2010 9:25:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

OutlawDR

Join Date 02/2010
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This is not probably what the devs want to hear, but ... I am having fun with the beta (I originally wrote this prior to 1-Z3).

Well not exactly with the beta, but with a mini game that I overlaid on top of the beta. Its basically a simplified version of SimCity, and so far its made me more attached with my cities, and the world around me. I actually think about turns, instead of just plowing through them. I spend time personalizing and tweaking my cities, without being completely drowned in micromanagement. And I think its something the devs might want to consider.

This mini game is somewhere in between SimCity and the making cities in Spore. (skip to the 30 sec mark of the video ---->)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7Uy18ylWWQ
[TLDR]The basic premise of this mini-game idea is where you place buildings within your city matters by conferring some sort of a bonus or penalty. [/TLDR]

In the rules I made up so far for this mini game, the penalties don't lower the base bonus of the building. In other words, a market always makes 1 gold, regardless if you put the it in the worst place for a market.

For example, the housing bonus is a prestige increase, since houses in good locations make people want to live there. Things that I made increase prestige for a house include: other housing (people like a commuinty), moutains (people love building houses up against cliffs), the town center, coastal shores, scenic vies, oasis, palaces, crystal shards (its the symbol of power), estates. Things that lower pretige: slums, refugee camps, mines and other resource gathering buildings, desert, marshes, and so on...Other types of buildings and tiles are neutral. Right now, each tile gives the house .25 bonus/penalty. With 8 tiles surrounding it, thats 2 max presitige total. Its actually very hard to get the max 2 from a house. I average about 1 prestige per house when I really try. These types of bonuses could be a tech upgrade, and even the max bonus could be an additional upgraded via techs.

More examples. Markets get a gold increase bonus if placed next to the appropriate buildings ... such as housing, town center, farms (farmer's market) and so on....other markets reduces the bonus (due competition and lowering of prices, which abstractly means less taxes). Barracks have their training bonus increased if placed next to the command center. The watch tower has its sight increased, if also placed next to the command center. Resource gathering buildings get a bonus if built next to a workshop (easy access to tools and materials)...and so on. You could come up with a never ending list of bonuses and penalties.

The trick is to make it simple and easy to understand.

First, each building gets only one type of bonus from this system. So a house will only get prestige bonuses, markets only gold bonuses. There won't be a mix of different types of bonuses. This will cut down in the confusing on what gets what.

Second, make it easy to understand graphically the moment you place the building...similar to the city building mini game of Spore.
Below is a screenshot I photoshoped so you get an idea of how this might look.

The green squares represent that the tile gives the building a bonus, white is neutral and the red a penalty. The color of the building being placed shows whether or not it overall gets a bonus or penalty (or neither).
The colored, slashed lines in some of the tiles represents how the newly placed building would affect the buildings already there. You will only see this if they both buildings don't affect each other the same way. This means you could have buildings where one gets a bonus and the other a penalty.

SimCity1

SimCity2

 

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April 23, 2010 12:56:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like it.

honestly the House, Market, Factory (paper rock scissors) of Spore was my favorite part about that game ...

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April 23, 2010 1:20:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tasunke,

honestly the House, Market, Factory (paper rock scissors) of Spore was my favorite part about that game ...

Yea that's because it was about the only thing "complicated" and thus interesting about it. Spore had cool tools for making 3D models but that was about it. I wish they had released the game they original advertised in early development where placement of parts mattered.

I like the idea though it could be really hard to implement effectively as well as raise issues with all the resources in game. In sport it was easy with only 3 building types. Currently we have Prestige, Food, Materials, Iron, Gold, Housing, Crystal, Research, and Spellpoint buildings. That is only the buildings I recall and still leaves out % increase buildings and ones that give access to other units, such as stables or harbor. Having a bunch of those buildings interact differently could become a real nightmare.

And just like in Sim City different residents could demand different things. For example Estates and Mansions might not like being next to commotion of the market. And odds are they really wouldn't like being next to slums. There is a whole world of possiblities but it's really just openning up a giant can of worms.

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April 23, 2010 11:37:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting PyroMancer2k,



I like the idea though it could be really hard to implement effectively as well as raise issues with all the resources in game. In sport it was easy with only 3 building types. Currently we have Prestige, Food, Materials, Iron, Gold, Housing, Crystal, Research, and Spellpoint buildings. That is only the buildings I recall and still leaves out % increase buildings and ones that give access to other units, such as stables or harbor. Having a bunch of those buildings interact differently could become a real nightmare.

Thats why I made it so you could visually reduce it to 3 colors. Green good, red bad, white nothing. If you are placing buildings in a hurry, and don't want to spend too much time figuring things out, just quickly go by the colors.

 

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April 24, 2010 2:48:59 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Exactly, what I more or less meant was that even in a complicated system like this, I think a 3 color system is simple enough to be used successfully.

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April 24, 2010 5:21:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have a dilemma. I really like multi-tile cities, they're very fun to make, but from a design perspective they don't make much sense. There's many ways to exploit their use. It's really simple to simply wall off your kingdom, and to build "highways" where a single long city transports units through it. I'm starting to think cities should maybe be more decentralized. Else, we're going to have to impose a lot of arbitrary restrictions on how people build cities or go back to standard 1-tile cities.

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April 24, 2010 5:29:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, see if you can make such a highway ... but honestly, if its your land, you can do what you want. A greater degree of infrastructure, ect ... and Troy might be considered an example of this. If you want to wall of an area of land, then build yourself a wall ... and have "citizen scouts" to notify the Militia/Military Garrison where the enemy is approaching, so they can sally forth to meet them there. Alternatively, on the tactical map, the larger your city is, the easier it will be for the enemy to take it unless you have a strong enough military defense. Already 4 city tiles = 1 movement tile on the game map, so the effectiveness of "City Highways" is already halved.

While having 1 game tile = 9 building tiles would be cool, as Boogie said it would place too much strain on the engine (Even having only 1x1, 2x2, and 3x3?). When it comes down to it, having a larger city also means it is harder to defend. I like the idea of big cities, personally.

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April 24, 2010 5:30:55 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To get back on topic, I think a three color system with a very VERY simple design/effect on gameplay ... you could make city building a lot more "interesting" while not really being "time consuming."

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April 24, 2010 8:53:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Or you could allow each building, after placed, to be assigned a color from an 8-bit pallete.

Bit   07 06 05 04 03 02 01 00
Data   R  R  R  G  G  G  B  B

 

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April 24, 2010 9:03:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That sounds more like an attempt at mockery.

In any event, the "background coloration" is Green, Red, or White, depending on how it will affect the unit placed, and the slashed lines on the neighbors (green or red) will determine whether new building will interact positively or negatively.

In any case, the basic things I can see are (Houses increasing wealth of markets, TownHalls increasing prestige of Houses, Houses increasing prestige of temples, Houses increasing Science of all Science making buildings, Estates greatly increasing wealth of money-making buildings, and Slums pretty much penalizing everything (except for military and industrial buildings).

and of course for Military/Industry to bring the prestige down for houses, and for military buildings to compliment each other.

 

Is all this necessary? No. Fun? Yes.

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April 24, 2010 9:17:45 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

"That sounds more like an attempt at mockery."

You offered a 3 color idea. I offered an 8-bit pallete offer. Mockery? Did you even follow the Link?

 

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April 24, 2010 9:20:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am not talking about what the buildings will actually look like. If you need to use 8 colors, then that is 8 different ways that your building could affect other buildings (or to be effected), and at the time it seemed to hint at the can of worms that would be unleashed if this mechanic was pushed into anything beyond the most banal simplicity.

I meant no offense, and yes I did follow the link, but all it seemed to do was confirm that you wanted to use 8 colors, and thus break the system into the realm of overly complex and non-usable.

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April 24, 2010 11:40:04 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting MagicwillNZ,
I have a dilemma. I really like multi-tile cities, they're very fun to make, but from a design perspective they don't make much sense. There's many ways to exploit their use. It's really simple to simply wall off your kingdom, and to build "highways" where a single long city transports units through it. I'm starting to think cities should maybe be more decentralized. Else, we're going to have to impose a lot of arbitrary restrictions on how people build cities or go back to standard 1-tile cities.

Actually this idea would do a lot to discourage players from using their cities as walls or highways. To make the city a wall or highway, a player has to snake it into a long line. However doing so increases the "surface area" of the city, or in other words there are more tiles that border the outside. More building touching the outside means more building not receiving bonuses from neighboring buildings (with a few exceptions).

This idea encourages players to pack in building together radially from the town center, in order to decrease 'surface area' and get as many bonuses as possible.

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April 24, 2010 11:45:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Indeed. This idea is full of win.

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April 24, 2010 11:58:44 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

waaay too complicated. This would force you to focus on building placement to a level that would be too much. The game should be focused on getting you out exploring.

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April 25, 2010 8:48:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting strager,
waaay too complicated. This would force you to focus on building placement to a level that would be too much. The game should be focused on getting you out exploring.

Its really not that complicated (don't let the wall of text fool you). Its a fraction of what many city building games are. Currently, the city building is too bland imo. I know Stardock wants to streamline as much as possible, and we all want to defend that ideal.... but at some point you have to spice it up somewhere.

But like I said, with the colored coded system, it would make it very simple (see Spore city building). Even if you didn't know what the hell was going on, you would quickly understand that red is bad, green is good.... so try to get as much green as possible when you place something.

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May 6, 2010 11:59:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I hereby request this to be modded in if it won't get official approval.

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May 12, 2010 1:26:13 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah this far into beta, I don't think it will make it into the official game (hopefully something similar later on)

But I definitely would love to see it as a mod. I have zero programing skills to mod a game, so anyone who does feel free to use this idea

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May 12, 2010 2:06:15 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well ... technically its *possible* that it could still be added into the core game, but unlikely.

I would like to see this modified into Elemental:Expanded Edition

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May 12, 2010 2:13:33 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I really like this idea.  One of the themes of Elemental's development is depth without complexity, and this slides right in. It does make city building placement matter (instead of right now, where its just a hassle).  If it gets to be too complicated, its easy enough to take out.

 

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May 12, 2010 5:12:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would like to see the actualy placement have consequences, obviously for defensive purposes but perhaps also synergies, housing next to a farm increases output but only huts for instance. So I do like this idea!

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