At the same time? :)
Actually yes, my idea is that people will just chip in with whatever they want, the only rule is for it to be at least week after the last idea to keep it kinda clearer. If people got interested I had a plan for a website which would be all about discussing ideas (content from here would be moved there) ^^... but not many people are interested yet :D
Well, discussing seriously costs a lot of time, and discussing theoretical games of someone else even more so. More technical questions are easier in that respect, you either know it or you don't, you cannot really think about it :)
I am considering to make a game where you are the mayor of a city. The obvious prior art is of course the simcity games. I played the very first one, and sc 2k iirc, and while the idea is quite nice, they feel too abstract, too distant from the actual people in the city. It's understandable if you have 1e6 people in your town, but I don't want that, the city should stay small, I was thinking 16th century, or 18th century or so, instead.
I see what you mean. simcity never felt like actually managing a living, breathing city :/ Thats why I always lost interest after few days of playing it. 16th / 18th century idea is great for a smaller city. I'm curious what restriction will be in place to keep the player from building a large city? will the world be smaller and out of town interactions are going to be managed via spawn points / teleports ? or is it just going to be discouraged by the gameplay? :)
Good question, no idea at the moment (but perhaps below?)
Many RTSes also have the "gather resources" part of the game set up in this way. The entire "mayor of the city" idea is gone there however, it's all about gathering resources for making war.
Yeah, simcity solves this nicely by just needing electricity, dumps, water and stuff like that. it's not exactly gathering of resources, but it's still management of resources! Also do you want the "war" aspect in your game? I mean, will it be mostly economy or somewhat of a war management like in civilisation games or full on battles (AoE, Stronghold?)
I don't know what kind of city resources there were in the 16th century, electricity seems unlikely :p
I should really read about cities in those times :)
I'd like to avoid war, but why would you need a city with people living and working in it otherwise? Perhaps for trade, or taxes for the king? Without a goal it becomes more of a sandbox game. That is not bad in itself, but having a goal would be interesting.
As for war, afaik, those times were not so peaceful, so I guess you'd need to build defenses, and setup food storage in case of siege.
This may be where you put limits on city size. You need to grow more food a year when you have to feed more people. More food means more land. More land means longer transport and less protection for the outer land, bigger cities mean a bigger chance of having an enemy getting an unhealthy interest in your city :)
I am wondering how to marry both aspects and make a city managing game.
could you elaborate on this? what do you want in the game, what should be the possibilities. Do you have anything concrete in mind? The main thing that would probably connect a city simulation and resource gathering would be resource management, so maybe it would be problematic to built a city with too much resources because of storage and stuff.. You know, the whole infrastructure would have to be somehow balanced for the city to even work correctly oO.
I was still at the "wondering" stage, no concrete plans or ideas yet, but here are some thoughts :)
In knights and merchants you spend time on putting down infra structure (paths only), and planning the houses of people working in the city. A bakery, but it needs to be close to the market as well as the grain mill. A grain mill needs to be close to the grain fields, which need to be close to fertile land. Similar chains exist for other resources, such as stone (eventually to build houses etc). I really like this part of that game.
Knights & merchants has a warehouse system, you put down one or more ware houses and you have people working for the warehouse that walk around providing transport services. You don't have much control over it. You cannot move wares from one warehouse to another. You cannot dump a large number of orders to be done, or they will start doing things you want have done later. (ie there is no way to give priority to eg "build a bakery".)
I can also see other solutions to the transport problem, someone of the bakery could walk to the grain mill to get grain, and to the market to sell bread. Maybe the bakery can hire people instead... would be a nice evolution :)
This is all very detailed, you build house by house, you see what everybody is doing. Not much planning like in the simcity games where you can say "we need industries in this area". After allocating some space, you watch it, and see that the industry is not getting built. At that point you start looking around why that is, and what you need to change.
In knights and merchants you don't really have performance data, but that could be added.
The detailed view would give you a feel of being in the city and it gives you endless opportunity for tweaking paths and buildings :)
There should probably also be a more planning-like level, especially if things grow in size, or for long-term goals (or short-term, such as getting enough food for the winter).
My project: Messing about in FreeRCT
, dev blog
, and IRC #freerct at oftc.net