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?