One Tile Cities: Portents, Predictions and Perdition

By on March 26, 2012 2:18:39 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

seanw3

Join Date 12/2007
+141

One Tile Cities: Portents, Predictions and Perdition

 

In a tiny little review thread Brad let it slip that cities will be moving the direction of the original Civilizations game. One tile cities with a viewing window for all our buildings. This deserves its own thread, where we can make irrelevant predictions and doom or praise the idea in turn. I think the biggest reason they are moving this direction is the very valid view that the current system has a terrible flow. There is too much gaminess and not enough strategy. City snaking is just terrible. It bothers me to no end. Also, one must see the game on a quantum level to make sense of how a single building could take away hundreds of square miles of space out of the game. Beyond that, cities allow teleportation. This is a -5 in my Metacritic score system. It ruins strategic movement. There are many problems with the current system. The memory costs of each building are also astronomical. That is probably reason number two. The game will be so much more accessible when the memory requirements are decreased. That seems like a no-brainer. So here we have their most logical reasons. The third might just be their love of Civilizations and the remembrance of how well this design worked for GalCiv.

The negative will be that all the wonderful tile art is going to be locked away in a view city option. The least we can hope is that this screen is fully 3D and we can zoom in to look at all the little details, like people and magical effects. Many will overlook this completely after the initial glow wears off. I hope they realize that the cityhubs need to be extremely varied if they are the only representation of a city. They need to be completely redone to look like a full city instead of a mere hub. The scale needs to much tinier too. That single tiles needs to have the look of a massive city at level 5. That means spires, housing, palaces, and walls. It would also be nice if the hub fencing was morphed into a function to put small village huts around the outside of a cityhub. This is really an ambitious undertaking.

It also means that the tiles within the city view can have many many more objects added to increase the detail and wonder of buildings. I am greatly relieved by this, as many of my custom tiles are only usable on the best of systems. I hope the devs adopt staggered buildings that overlap on each other's tiles a bit. It is a great way to make the city feel connected. The current tiles are too neat. They too clearly separate buildings, preventing the whole from seeming like anything other than clearly spaced improvements. I also am hoping for some good UI here. This should be the screen that shows us the function of each building. That means mouseover tooltips and being able to go straight to the Hiergamemnon for a more detailed description.

What do others think about this move?

 

Locked Post 78 Replies +1
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 2:23:49 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Sieges. Do it. Do it. Do it!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 2:26:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It would be cool if sieges could destroy buildings and leave a fiery effect in the city view screen. Maybe even some rubble! 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 2:33:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

DO EEEET

Seriously. Let's pillage some stuff and other things you can do while invading enemy cities.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 2:35:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Only one tile? 

It seems just as easy (considering the engine already supports it) to make cities grow organically across multiple tiles.  No more building placement, ok.  But cities could still grow along rivers or coasts; they could still blob out over the landscape.  (Though instead of 5 tiles across, maybe just 2 or 3.)

The on-map cities are one of the great visual aspects of the game.  I'd hate to see that abstracted away to a generic castle building on a square.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 2:40:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

That is the problem though, growing a city past one tile means taking away hundreds of square miles from the game. Why not simply have the city view screen grow the city along the river? Then on the main screen, have the outlying huts grow along the river.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 3:34:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I am still in a state of disbelief about this whole one tile thing. It really only makes sense if moving improvements to a subscreen actually dramatically reduces memory usage and I can't bring myself to believe it. If it somehow does get implemented I hope they chuck the building placement screen idea. That seems like a whole bunch of work and memory usage for no reason what so ever. The only reason to have it is so that all the existing artwork doesn't get wasted and that's a horrible reason.

Except for the memory usage the current system works fine, there is no reason to change it. You could easily limit the more extreme cases of snaking by limiting how far from the city center you can build. As for the distance thing no measurement in Elemental makes any sense what so ever, literally none. Gildar, turn length, tile length, and whatever are all assigned rediculous values. Civ has the same problem bacause really the entire concept of playing a game that lasts several hundred or thousand years is a rediculous concept.

Sure cities might look slightly more impressive and realistic under a one tile system but only at the cost of all of your cities looking exactly the same. Which kinda seems like it will kill city specialization. How would building beside resources work under a one tile system? Are shards going to be the size of the the entire city? Are lumbermills being removed?

Quoting Heavenfall,
Sieges. Do it. Do it. Do it!

I'm not sure how moving to this system would make implementing sieges easier. Sieges have been pretty much declared a no go several times already.

Personally I think a hybrid system would work the best. Seperate improvements into major and minor ones, with only major ones creating visible improvements on the map. Then have houses randomly generate around the city like suggested. Bakeries and workshops for instance would be minor but castles and unique sctructures would be major. This would reduce memory usage but cities would still look unique. This way you also wouldn't need a weird sub screen for cities. Also building beside resources wouldn't look weird.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 3:42:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To be really constructive here:

BLASPHEMY!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 3:49:25 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DsRaider,


I'm not sure how moving this system would make implementing sieges easier. Sieges have been pretty much declared a no go several times already.

They're moving the city tiles to a separate window/map. If any time was the time to do some sweet combination between tactical maps and city maps, it is with sieges.

Even if the city has no effect whatsoever on the tactical battle, I'd still like it just to be there in the background. And, hell, give us a few archery towers and a gate like Dom3 and you have a siege.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 3:51:31 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

@DsRaider,

Um, cityhubs will change as the city is specialized. Each city will look unique due to city specialization and factions. 

The only reason to have it is to save the art? A city view screen is a wonderful immersion factor. Having a bustling city is very important to me. I am sure others agree.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 3:51:52 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm torn kind of.  I do like how each of my cities do look different with the placement of buildings, and I really never thought that the snaking of cities to allow "teleportation" was really a big issue...but the size of these cities just seemed too much.  They covered a large area of the map, and although very interesting to look at, they were almost too interesting as they all ended up kind of blending together.  I'm slightly worried about defending nearby resources, as they're improvements are easily destroyed.  Also, I worry this will make the map even more boring to look at.  I'm hoping this strikes a good balance of solving problems vs blandness.  I am in constant worry that the devs will cut things that cause problems and the game will work better and better, but be more bland for it.  I felt that happened to WoM from release to 1.4.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 3:55:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think there could be a reasonable compromise between current cities and one-tiled cities -- one-tiled cities with a few possible expansions.

 or  

All normal buildings (90% of buildings) would be built inside City tile. But there would be some special buildings (like University Campus, Military Base or Mage Guild -- random examples) that could be built only on the suburbs/outskirts, i.e. on an Exp tiles. Exp tiles wouldn't be available from the start, but would become available as the city gains levels. If there are much more special buildings than possible Exp tiles in a single city it would force player to specialize cities. Special buildings could be upgradeable. [edit:] Some of them could be mutually exclusive.

[Edit:] With Exp tiles and special buildings cities would be specialized AND their specialization would be clearly visible. 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 3:59:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I wouldn't mind some small buildings appearing outside the city tile when the city grows, in a purely cosmetic fashion.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 3:59:32 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
@DsRaider,

Um, cityhubs will change as the city is specialized. Each city will look unique due to city specialization and factions.

The only reason to have it is to save the art? A city view screen is a wonderful immersion factor. Having a bustling city is very important to me. I am sure others agree.

I don't think they mentioned cityhubs changing as improvements are built. That would pretty much defy the point considering all the combinations of improvements.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 4:02:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting LNQ,
I wouldn't mind some small buildings appearing outside the city tile when the city grows, in a purely cosmetic fashion.

My idea is mainly cosmetic, but not purely. There would be two kinds of buildings: normal and special. In one city you could build only very limited number of special ones.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 4:06:48 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Okey guys, you got me. It could be really cool. But only with sieges, which are not going to happen. But I can see that people can plan there own city lay-out which is directly linked to the battlemap of this said city. Urban warfare, now that will be something new to 4x games!

But personally I won't care for a city view screen. I played enough Civilization to know I never look at it. (Okey two times in my whole life.) I would miss sprawling cities on the map. But then again, I loved AoW1/2 and those didn't have customizable city lay-outs. I agree that there has to be something done against city snaking, but then again, it's the players choice to abuse. It's true that the sizes of cities are a little large in comparison to seasonal movements. In the current version cities can be larger that that a army can move in a whole season.

So my plea is: If sprawling cities on the map are to be removed for single title cities, please add sieges.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 4:10:00 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Alfdaur gets it.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 4:17:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


  I like the idea of cities taking multiple tiles to a point.  Instead of the buildings being placed as is, maybe when they level up they could expand a tile or two so that level 5 cities would be big on the map while level 1 would be small.  I would also like to have a city screen that gives a HOMM view whenever you access the city screen as well.

  The fact that cities allow teleportation is silly, but no sillier than being able to access the shop from just within your civ borders instead of within a city border, or having shops in the beginning of the game that only sell clubs and staff's that you would never buy. 

  I also think the question of scale is a silly one as well.  In civ games during the end game when a turn is 1 year, it takes my battleship multiple years just to transverse the globe! 

  In CIV 5, the one unit per tile thing is horrible for me as I can't stand how my single military unit takes up the same space as any city.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 4:23:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Fb said that minor changes would happen as the city progresses one the outside, while the main building would be on the inside. Since we are getting new art for factions in beta 3 and one tile cities in beta 4, it is only logical that city specialization and faction differentiation will affect the cityhub. The code is already there to do this. I have been working on a cityhub that changes according to what buildings are present. If I can do it, they probably can too.

Sieges would indeed make the city view more interesting. I would love it if the city view were more than just a aesthetic affect. It should have some interactive features too. Sieges are a good place to start. I would also like spells to change the way a city looks. Freezing a city should show up on the screen. I should be able to set it ablaze with a fire spell. There are so many potentially awesome things we should be able to do to the cities. Afterall, the more fun thing about Sim City is when Godzilla comes along and stomps your towns.

 

On a side note, I would relish the chance to have a tile design contest at some point when we can use the new editors. This might be a beta 4 thing though.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 5:00:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting seanw3,
That is the problem though, growing a city past one tile means taking away hundreds of square miles from the game. Why not simply have the city view screen grow the city along the river? Then on the main screen, have the outlying huts grow along the river.

 

Why are you talking about miles?  Where in the game is anything measured in miles? Is your next complaint going to be that the rivers are too wide?  How will you justify the inaccuracy in having a tiny hamlet take up exactly as much space as a giant metropolis?

We're talking about a couple tiles.  Tiles that will most likely be completely empty when the city grows big enough to encompass them.

Well, I think going to one-tile cities is a mistake.  It's not a mortal wound, but one of the unique aspects of this game will be gone.  There's upside in that city management will probably be easier (and people will stop complaining about the building placement UI).  And maybe on balance this will work out for the best, but I'll be sad to see it go.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 5:14:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting sweatyboatman,
Why are you talking about miles?  Where in the game is anything measured in miles? Is your next complaint going to be that the rivers are too wide?  How will you justify the inaccuracy in having a tiny hamlet take up exactly as much space as a giant metropolis?

My understanding of cartography based on what I learned at school. Mile is an appropriate term considering that it is a feudal era measurement of length based on very illogical factors. Assuming the game's mile is the same as our mile, it is logical to say that each tile is hundreds of square miles. That is the only reason traversing them would take a season. That is assuming the travelers are not moving in a straight path. When roads are built, the do begin to move in a straight path, lending to faster travel times. Rivers are commonly drawn much larger than the space they actually take up for emphasis. Rivers are very important. Important things take up more space on a map. You should imagine that while you are on a river tile, there is much more land, but the river is the most important feature.

In fact, with one tile cities the scale starts to make sense. If you look at the medieval maps of Europe, you start to notice that for a long time, cities would take up 25% of the map, while the surrounding areas were much smaller in scale. We are simply moving to a more modern map form, maybe even one where North does not point towards Jerusalem. 

I applaud this advancement in cartography. It makes alot of sense. Also, pointing out that the scales don't make sense is not sufficient logic for justifying the enormous size of cities. We should strive to either have a purely logical map form. Be that representational or abstract.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 5:30:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It would make sense that a tile is at least a couple hundred square miles.  10 x 10 mile square is pretty small part of land, but pretty large area for a city in medieval times to take up.  And then if you consider how long it takes to walk over normal terrain, I wouldn't put 62,500 square miles out of the picture for each tile.  Think about it, how long would it take to travel 8 squares?  1 year?  That's only 2,000 miles in one year, pretty damn slow.  

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 5:35:37 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

In also would support it costing road level movement through cities. Free movement is a mistake.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 7:34:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

To add my minimally constructive 2 cents:

AWWWWW YEAAAAAAAH!

I'm all for one-tile cities (obviously). Since, you know, multiple tiles didn't really do anything and they made the game world feel small. I'm sorry to admit this, but this as much as anything else has increased my expected enjoyment level of post-beta FE. Plus, since my system is borderline, I'm super happy that I may squeeze out a few extra fps in the mid to late game.

Thank you!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 8:30:13 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting sweatyboatman,
No more building placement, ok.

What makes you think building placement would be gone, even in a 'miniaturized', city-screen style UI environment?  I think they would be silly to completely scrap this empire-building function because at least a few of us enjoy such things, and the code already exists.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
March 26, 2012 9:26:14 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lord Xia,
It would make sense that a tile is at least a couple hundred square miles.  10 x 10 mile square is pretty small part of land, but pretty large area for a city in medieval times to take up.  And then if you consider how long it takes to walk over normal terrain, I wouldn't put 62,500 square miles out of the picture for each tile.  Think about it, how long would it take to travel 8 squares?  1 year?  That's only 2,000 miles in one year, pretty damn slow.  

to which i say: who cares?

i am talking about a visually distinctive feature that makes FE look different than every other civ knockoff. you're talking about cartography.

if they make the charactets get more moves per turn or make more seasonsin a year does that make the map smaller? the map is a part of the game. miles are not a part of the game. conforming to cartographical standards isn't going to sell more games.

you're suggesting that having a handful of free tiles more on a map with thousands of tiles is a great improvement. it may be a lot of space in real world terms but for the pirpose of the game space is cheap.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #101114  walnut1   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000234   Page Render Time: