A brief comparrission to Sim City 4

A brief comparrission to Sim City 4

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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

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dj97

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Chirper is really cute and I love it, but it needs some drastic improvements. It needs to tone down filler messages (seriously, they get annoying fast) and there needs to be a feature where only people who actually are living/working/visiting the area will tweet about it, not some random passerby on the highway.
Let's not forget citizens complaining about you destroying the environment by building an oil well, even though they work at said oil well. Plus, the environment quality isn't even a concern for citizens, as long as they don't live that polluted area.

I have to strongly agree with Will Steel in this one. Citizens should not flee because their dead neighbour has not been collected by the coroner or you are prevented from building a certain infrastructure because you lack 2 citizens in your town. The biggest problem arises, when the town mutates into a luxurious utopia. And we all know - where such structures are...look around them to see slums, favelas and other unwanted, crime and poverty-ridden areas. Look at Las Vegas, Rio de Janeiro, New York.

Managing and planning a city is about balancing stuff. Especially balancing needs and taxes.
Every citizen wants some things and contributes by paying taxes. I want to share some of my views here without the ability to say how such a thing can be achieved. I like simulations and feel more immersed, the more depth they offer, so I am pretty immune to looks or 360°- views which feel like dead weight to me. To the point: I do not want to paint my city like in a Bob Ross episode but to plan and execute and watch my plans unfold and tweak them a bit more. Just free up more RAM and CPU for number-crunching and simulating my city and not to make my water glitter in the sunset (which is nice, but unnecessary). So my views will mirror these personal preferences so do not be offended, if you like another style of play.

Actually, you are playing a mayor/city designer with almost god-like powers. So...what is the main purpose of a mayor or city council? Running the city of course, but what is that?
As told before, it is about the needs of the citizens. Why do people settle down and build houses? Answer is somewhat simple: Security and food which translates to nowadays 'have a job there and to be able to meet my needs to stay happy'
And we could try to do something that has been done in the Tropico games: The citizens there had education levels, but also needed certain stuff and if not met, they revolted or left the island.
Your task is to provide an area, where the CIMs can find a job and live happily and this does not mandatory mean be rich and live in luxury.
I will try to sum up the needs:
- job quality reaching from nil meaning no job and thus no income to max which means having a well-paid job
- sanitation access meaning plumbings from fresh water taps to sewerage and waste water treatment
- electricity and web access with the last reflecting needs of modern times. I have seen houses staying empty, because no one wanted to move in because of lacking internet access there.
- shopping reaching from basic foodstuff for sustenance over commodities to luxury goods. I think you agree that you would be annoyed, if you had to live somewhere you won't get basic food and basic stuff like toilet paper, soap for every-day's life. You would not care about driving to the next town for shopping clothes or electronics but be offended, if it were 100km away from you and rather look for a job elsewhere. Luxuries is nice to have, but frankly, no one buys them regularly and they need a large population to be supported.
- Police and Firefighters. You fear crime. You fear your house burning. I'd rather not live in a law-free area where mugs and thugs rule and the police is far away.
- Medical services. Sometimes you need a doctor and luckily and rather seldom, you need a hospital with emergency units. The farther you live from a hospital, the higher the chance is that you are dead before the ambulance arrives. There are people seriously considering this, when moving somewhere like elderly people.
- Education as it is the key to a good job. Not every city has a university and frankly, this is nothing, a city besides a metropolis can cope with. Mostly they are private or federal funded. Education is very important and should be treated with proper respect.
- Recreation. Work is not everything. A walk in the park, a swim in the public pool or visiting a museum or sports stadium can help to blow off some steam as well as using services like visiting restaurants or bars.
- Culture. The mind needs to be nourished as well. While there are some who just enjoy TV trash, there are some, who might enjoy an opera, art or reading a good book. Culture could attract certain kinds of tourists
- Spiritual needs. Not everyone is an atheist but still we all might have the need to flee from the every-day's life once awhile. Be it the silence of a church, wandering in nature or partaking in a religious community - it helps keeping our minds clean.
- Traffic and infrastructure. I do not want to live somewhere without streets leading elsewhere. I have target destinations and I want to reach them quickly, stress-less and safe.
- Pollution and Nature. I do not want to drown in trash and also not have the sky have a funny brown color and the local river being pink or glowing in the dark.

So...basically spoken: Having a simulation game about cities is about simulating the CIMs living there. You have tools like zoning and placing props. Sometimes you can choose what
will emerge from a zone, sometimes you need to find the correct combination of surroundings. But it is not a paint-job.

Going in detail would take pages of posts, so just some basic ideas.
I gave some more thoughts about the whole topic. CIMs should have real needs but to differentiate them, we might need to have a wealth system. The wealthier a CIM is, the more taxes he/she generates, but also needs other things. To facilitate and to use a standard I will use the system used in the UK:

CIMs could be divided into social classes:

E - non-working which covers unemployed persons and pensioners as well as lowest grade workers
D - working class which covers manual workers or 'blue collars'
C2 - skilled working class which covers specialized blue collar workers or such with high experience on the job
C1 - lower middle class which covers the white collar workers in low positions like your typical office drone in administration
B - middle class which cover experienced white collars in manager jobs or administration
A - upper middle class which covers high managers and officials

To determine, into which class a CIM belongs, we need to look at the education level and the job level
The education level could be determined by using the RNG to determine a rigid 'IQ' of the CIM. Imagine a roll of two d4 resulting into numbers between 2 and 8 so 7 levels available with level 2 depicting intellectually handicapped persons which is seldom and 8 depicting geniuses. 4 and 5 are the average joe. The dices rolled must be chosen wisely to not produce too many vegetables or braniacs. Now, this is the potential, they can unlock with education. Each school type will add a portion towards the education count of the CIM up to its maximum determined by IQ level. This means, that a low-IQ person will not benefit from higher lerning and will most likely become a blue collar worker in a job with few decisions and responsabilities while a genius without university access simply wastes its potential. This means, placing and managing education buildings will form your jobforce. Enough said to present the idea while not losing oneself in details.

The buildings offer jobs which can be coded into the prop. Imagine a drive-through restaurant. We might need 1 manager which will be regarded as a white collar worker, we might need 3 to 4 shift leaders counting as skilled workers and about 8 to 10 persons from grade D and E representing occasional students jobbing as 'Lord of the Fries' and hired kitchenhands.
Each of the jobs will create family wealth which can contribute to the family's household of which 1 or 2 persons will count - the 'parents' or 'grown-ups'. The overall wealth level will determine, what kind of housing, shopping, transport and activities will be preferred by the family.

Imagine a class E person meaning low wealth overall. This person will live in small housings and maybe in affordable condos. They are glad, when they can shop something to eat like in a 24/7 store and will most likely do not own a car, so reaching something by foot or bike is paramount but they will be happy about public transport. Even more, if subsidized. Medical services are expected but often are not affordable which has an impact on the longevity of the CIM. Luxuries are not affordable, so these CIMs will ignore delis, restaurants, fashion stores and similar things. For recreation a public park or soccer field might be enough.

The mentioned buildings will service persons of certain classes more than others. A health spa will most likely service persons from class A to C1, maybe C2 with A and B going there regularily. A D or E-class will not visit those as it cannot afford it. The public park is nice and services all but has most effect on lower classes as the richer ones want something more sophisticated than a walk in the park like visiting the opera instead.

This leads to a situation, where you must keep an eye on your workforce and the wealth certain city sectors have and plan infrastructure accordingly, An amusement quarter is a good magnet for all, while the expensive restaurants will not fit into a worker's town(ship) - no customers there and so - as in reality - it is unlikely to find one there.

Add in certain interests like culture, sports, shopping and you will have CIMs going to different places although living on the same spot and having comparable wealth.
Yes, in that case, the city builder mutates into a CIM generator/simulator with the player designing the surroundings and conditions for the CIMs. It is not that you build something to have CIMs but you build something, because you have them.

So, synopsis: Emphasis should lie on the CIM and not on the props. CIMs will determine, which props are needed.
THIS. This is what I've been rallying for on the subreddit for a few months (Feel free to take to read). Citizens definitely needs an overhaul in the form of wealth and skill levels, and also personal tastes and dispositions. I want to build a city for human-like citizens, not just for the roads and architecture.
 

Will Steel

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Plus, the environment quality isn't even a concern for citizens, as long as they don't live that polluted area.

That's one of the biggest things I miss from SC4.

In SC4 pollution wasn't just a 5-tile discoloured smoke circle around a factory or other polluting building. Air pollution flowed around based on terrain and affected a large area. You had to place industry behind large hills, and place a small woodland and some parks to "wall" it up. Even then it had the possibility of escaping that and low levels of air pollution would enter the city anyway.

It affected the city as a whole based on where it came from. If your nuclear power plant blew up in the corner of the map, radiation would spread so far that half the town would be running for their lives and other half would die.

Meanwhile I can build the factories just a hundred meter away from homes in Cities Skylines, and no one bats an eye because pollution always only happens within the immediate area of factories and garbage dumps and such.

Pollution shouldn't be a localized thing - it should start affecting the entire city after it grows to a certain limit. That's how it works in real life. I know it's an unfair comparison, but even the old Civ games had got one thing right - dropping too many nukes would turn much of the planet into wasteland.

At least Cities Skylines got the water pollution right.
 

dj97

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That's one of the biggest things I miss from SC4.

In SC4 pollution wasn't just a 5-tile discoloured smoke circle around a factory or other polluting building. Air pollution flowed around based on terrain and affected a large area. You had to place industry behind large hills, and place a small woodland and some parks to "wall" it up. Even then it had the possibility of escaping that and low levels of air pollution would enter the city anyway.

It affected the city as a whole based on where it came from. If your nuclear power plant blew up in the corner of the map, radiation would spread so far that half the town would be running for their lives and other half would die.

Meanwhile I can build the factories just a hundred meter away from homes in Cities Skylines, and no one bats an eye because pollution always only happens within the immediate area of factories and garbage dumps and such.

Pollution shouldn't be a localized thing - it should start affecting the entire city after it grows to a certain limit. That's how it works in real life. I know it's an unfair comparison, but even the old Civ games had got one thing right - dropping too many nukes would turn much of the planet into wasteland.

At least Cities Skylines got the water pollution right.
Even SC2013 did air pollution right, with it being able to travel by wind. You would have to avoid building residential districts downwind from the industrial area.
 

DocDesastro

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@dj97: I remember us two discussing wealth levels, zoning, services like education and props in another thread in here more than 1 year ago. It might be wise to post a synopsis here as I feel, we are all re-telling things already said elsewhere. Feel free to take a read but do not conduct thread necromancy unless REALLY necessary. Maybe because of re-evaluating the situation after 2 years passed and the new DLCs in effect.

https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...-demographics-in-cities.986439/#post-22188105

https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/zoning-and-services-a-new-approach.990953/
 
Last edited:

dj97

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@dj97: I remember us two discussing wealth levels, zoning, services like education and props in another thread in here more than 1 year ago. It might be wise to post a synopsis here as I feel, we are all re-telling things already said elsewhere. Feel free to take a read but do not conduct thread necromancy unless REALLY necessary. Maybe because of re-evaluating the situation after 2 years passed and the new DLCs in effect.

https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...-demographics-in-cities.986439/#post-22188105

https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/index.php?threads/zoning-and-services-a-new-approach.990953/
Yes. Those talks are definitely applicable here.
 

deanwebb

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If SC4 could hold a candle to C:S, then I'd play SC4. I don't.

I play loads of Victoria 2 when I have EU4 and HOI4 on my PC, but I play that game over and over and over again because it's better, even though it's, what, a decade old?

But between C:S and SC4, I'll take C:S, hands down. The only parts of SimCity that I miss are the buildings, and I can bring those into my cities with workshop assets, so I'm good there.