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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

guguizg

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Dec 30, 2020
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Hello I'm Gustavo, from Brasil and I'm a huge lover of Cities Skylines, or else I wouldn't write this massive text. Sorry if it is too long but stick with me. If you want to get on the train and participate on this discussion, be free to leave a reply :>

CS (Cities Skylines) in my opinion is the best simulator there is on the market right now, but there is a simple lacking feature not only in CS but also in almost any city building game. To explain my point, I'll make a quick analysis of the most sold game in gaming history: Minecraft.
Most people have probably played it, but I'll speak anyways. Even tough it is a very simple game with few features, people just love playing it for a simple reason. Playing alone is fun, but the real reason people love so much Minecraft in my opinion is the fact that you can play either with your friends or in servers with thousands of people, creating so much depth and infinite possibilities for the gaming experience.
In that reguard i want to suggest a multiplayer feature to Cities Skylines. I'll explain some of the benefits and also some mechanics i thought would be fun.

How a multiplayer feature would benefit the game:
1. New players: It's not a secret that the game can be overwhealming because of it's complexity, which can lead to begginers just abandoning the game or not even trying it. I was talking to a friend past week and showing around my city. He literally said (in portuguese tough xD) "This seems fun, but i could never do something like this). He is not dumb or anything I promise. The multiplayer feature would make it possible to experienced players help begginers so much, expanding the playerbase - which for you means more $ and for us means more friends that we can play with.
2. Bigger projects: This is simple, if more people are playing simultaneously, the city can grow bigger, more detailed and just overall better, because 5 people can probably do a better job than a single one. This can lead to historical cities that dimensions are never before seen - and that can get a lot of visibilit.
3. Roles distribution: Just like in Minecraft in a map people divide the roles, one goes mining, the other builds, someone makes food, and so on; on CS there could be something similar. In CS we have a lot of roles, mainly traffic & logistics, city vitals, economy, policies, beautification; and in my case i usually can't focus on all of them in my cities development leaving sometimes some of them behind because it doesnt interest me that much. If I could for instance team up with someone who likes the beautifications part of things and i do the rest, that could create a better experience for both of the parties.
4. Content creation: With possibilitites to play with more people, not only will this bring new players, but also new youtubers and streamers, increasing the game's visibility! Also, there already have map reviews - and to be honest that was how i found out about this game - that will get so much more interesting because of the colaborations. Some channels also have a certain scope, and if there is role separation, that may make people be interested in a certain part of the game as a small series on their channel or something.
5. More fun: I don't think i need to explain this one.

Mechanics and how it will work:
I thought about two "modes" that can work but this part can be a bit tricky.
1. Coop mode: In this mode, all gamers involved will controll the same resources, tiles, and everything toguether. This mode is mainly for people who want to join forces both to learn or build bigger projects than they would alone.
2. "Versus" mode: Its not actually one versus the other but i couldn't think of a better name. In this mode, each players controlls their own "governments". Each one has their own tiles, so if one wants a tile, they have to buy it first or make an offer to buy from the other person's tile. A lot of cool interactions can happen, for instance: migrations mechanics, import and export between player cities, making player-to-player loans, one can charge the other for using their cargo ships or something. The interactions possibilities are endless. Maybe if the map was bigger, there could be 20 players in the same map creating a whole country, with city hierarchy, election for a president that can choose some policies to be universal, like electric cars. I'm just saying a bunch of random things because there is so much to explore, it's hard to organize it all.

I don't see this post as the whole discussion, I see it as the beggining of it. Please reply to this so we can make this a very interesting feature and enhance all of our experiences. If you don't like this idea, it's ok as well, tell us why in the comments and also remember this: a multiplayer feature wouldn't exclude the single player experience.

Thank you all that read untill this point, you are true gamers. Also, thank you for this amazing game. I hope you take into consideration what I said.
 
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Fox_NS_CAN

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a multiplayer feature wouldn't exclude the single player experience.

This would be a must. Anything that ruled out single player, or forced an an internet connection would rule it out for me.

The downside is that effort and content for the multiplayer side is not put into the single player experience. How big of an affect it would have is debatable. (I have been wanting to play through GTA5 again, but I don't have the space for it any more (it ballooned so big with launcher and GTA online content that I don't even use)). Also, will the additional code have any performance hit? (I don't know.)

Bigger projects: This is simple, if more people are playing simultaneously, the city can grow bigger, more detailed and just overall better, because 5 people can probably do a better job than a single one.

Maybe if the map was bigger, there could be 20 players in the same map creating a whole country

So, regardless of how a person feels about multiplayer, there are technical reasons that this would be problematic.
Right now, most people's computers bog down with 9 tiles or much less. Console players complain they want more tiles, but their consoles aren't going to handle it. (Maybe the PS5 and whatever XboxSXone360 new console is (I don't have or favour either, it's just Sony's names are simpler to keep track of even for someone who doesn't care!) could handle more tiles, I don't know.)

It doesn't seem too likely that all the extra players and a larger city (with internet speed and latency tossed in) would run very well. How many vehicles/cims would you have to track and pass around to each player? Maybe some could be culled/faked, but if goods are going from player A's industry to player B's commercial, it needs to be tracked. (Or does it? Teleport it all and fake all the traffic?)

Will the PC (with high specs) have a better experience than consoles? Will they be able to play each other? (If so, will the PC be limited by the console's lesser capability?)

Not saying these can't be overcome, but they are significant stumbling blocks.

More fun: I don't think i need to explain this one.

Maybe you should. Can you guarantee more fun? For everyone? Or just some? At least the majority?

How would the game work?

1. Drop in, drop out multiplayer.
So anyone can join? Can griefers join and bulldoze your city? Or build all around it to make it difficult for you? (Does that use your city's money? Or does each player have their own money?) If they can't bulldoze yours, does that mean if they build in your way, you can't do anything about it? Would your masterpiece city you've been building for weeks be surrounded by little crappy towns built by someone playing 30 minutes and then never coming back? How about you and a few buddies trying to co-ordinate things ("Role distribution"), but some random (but well meaning) player keeps messing things up? Or you join a game and after working hard for awhile on your city, you get kicked out because you are in someone else's way, or not up to their standards?

2. Just friends allowed/private games.
So everyone has to be available at the same time. CS is generally a fairly long game. What happens when someone needs to leave? Can everyone else keep playing? If yes, what if the other person who left can't play for a long time? Can other players bulldoze their work and build over it? What happens if they come back?

I wouldn't be upset to be proved wrong, but every time I hear someone suggest multiplayer, I think that how they imagine it to be, and how it would actually be, would be two very different things. I'm left thinking that a lot of work by CO in making multiplayer would go to waste.
 
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guguizg

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Dec 30, 2020
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So, regardless of how a person feels about multiplayer, there are technical reasons that this would be problematic.
Right now, most people's computers bog down with 9 tiles or much less. Console players complain they want more tiles, but their consoles aren't going to handle it. (Maybe the PS5 and whatever XboxSXone360 new console is (I don't have or favour either, it's just Sony's names are simpler to keep track of even for someone who doesn't care!) could handle more tiles, I don't know.)

It doesn't seem too likely that all the extra players and a larger city (with internet speed and latency tossed in) would run very well. How many vehicles/cims would you have to track and pass around to each player? Maybe some could be culled/faked, but if goods are going from player A's industry to player B's commercial, it needs to be tracked. (Or does it? Teleport it all and fake all the traffic?)

Will the PC (with high specs) have a better experience than consoles? Will they be able to play each other? (If so, will the PC be limited by the console's lesser capability?)

Not saying these can't be overcome, but they are significant stumbling blocks.

Performance wise, consoles would be a problem. Maybe with the new console generations it will be ok, but i don't have enough information to say it's possible or not. On PC tho, i think it's viable.

"Coop Mode": this would be a more private experience. I used Minecraft for comparison and i'll use again. In Minecraft you can create your world and open it to LAN, so you can invite your friends. This means that no griefing is possible and you can 100% controll who can access your city. Reguarding performance, this feature wouldnt ask much from processors, because it's meant to be played with few people - else the mechanics would also be very messy.

"Versus mode": With this mode, the access could be in servers hosted by a 3rd party or maybe a subscription so CS hosts it, just like in Minecraft there are the "Realms", which are hosted by Mojang itself. About performance, I believe that each player could render their own city, so the processing needed is the same as a single player map. The vehicles that are a part of interaction, such as import and export trucks would be rendered by both players involved on the activity. Normal vehicles could just spawn in the edje of conected highways, just like it happens in the vanilla game atm- so not a big lag creator


I'm left thinking that a lot of work by CO in making multiplayer would go to waste.

I see what you mean, but along with the fear of it failing, there is also countless oportunities to profit out of it - and therefore make the game grow. The most profitable games nowadays are multiplayer for a reason.

Maybe you should. Can you guarantee more fun? For everyone? Or just some? At least the majority?

Well, I guess that's very personal, but for me playing one of my favoutire games with people i enjoy spending time with is the best thing. I'm quite sure when I'm old and dying i'll be like "i wish i spent more time alone playing a game with sims".