SimCity 4 - Lots of great ideas we can implement

Archived discussions related to Transport Empire. Read-only access only.

Moderator: Transport Empire Moderators

Locked
User avatar
Steve
Tycoon
Tycoon
Posts: 2085
Joined: 10 Jan 2004 20:19
Location: London
Contact:

SimCity 4 - Lots of great ideas we can implement

Post by Steve » 14 Jun 2006 18:11

I've recently been playing SimCity 4 and have realised how well some of the aspects work towards transportation and we can use similar effects in TEmpire. Obviously it wouldn't be a blatent copy as we specialize in the transport systems opposed to city building. So where as now in SimCity you build the city and the transport works itself (you build track and the trains move randomly), we'd be building the track and let the city work around it.
I'll highlight some areas of coolness, probably adding some I forget in later posts. I'll try to be specific for those of you with no SimCity experience.


Traffic
The game simulates traffic throughout your city and roads become congested etc. The conjestion causing accidents and other bad things is out of our scope, but the way the cars are shown on the screen is great. Rather than each car having a specific source and destination which it will drive between, the cars will fade onto the road, drive for a while and then dissapear. More congested roads have more of these appearing and dissapearing cars.

Why is this good? It solves the problem of having empty streets, only populated by our buses, which we can agree looks a little silly. But it does this in a clever way that means we don't need to know where cars are going exactly, we don't need to keep track of all these cars at different points of the day and so on. We just need to know rough congestion levels in each area.

We could go as far as making buses be slower in congestion, but actually relieve it as commuters take the buses to work instead. But this more detailed discussion can be done elsewhere.


Scale
I think the scale SimCity 4 uses, regarding towards road size and building size, is round about what we're looking for. Real life scale isn't really what we want be we need something in between that and Transport Tycoon. The laying of the track and so forth is very much restricted to a square grid, which I don't see TEmpire doing, but this is where our game will differ from SimCity.

The only slight issue is overall map size. Whilst SimCity has a great landscape setup, the map sizes can suffer. We want nice big maps in TEmpire, so we could also look into how SimCity splits the game world into sections. Rather than 1 big playfield, you zoom into one city at a time, with the rest of the world stopping whilst you play there. Each city has an effect on the others around it, providing there are proper connections. I thought this idea was a bit dumb when I first heard it, but it is actually a stroke of genius, even if slightly flawed. I'm not suggesting this system for TEmpire, not at all, but a system that would allow a computer to only bother holding a smaller section of the map in memory at one time, so it can perform better and we can have better detail.


Engine
Following from above is concerning the SimCity 4 graphics engine. There are 4 views of slightly tilted isometric view, so no full 3D rotation. But it works perfectly. The group is very eaily and flexibly moulded, there are no restrictions around tiles and what not. The movement of vehicles like trains is fluid and of course even with this view, we could have fully 3D trains on our fully directional track. I do believe that this engine not only lowers the work load, but eases the workload required on the computer. Buildings needn't be 3D, only 4 angles are required. There is no need to worry about pitch and such. Camera angles can be annoying when fully movable, so it may be best just to select the angle and perfect the game around it.


Routes
Part of the Rush Hour expansion for SimCity 4 is the ability to check what routes passengers take. This is a handy tool for any TEmpire engineer but this idea of passengers having preferred routes will be good for dealing with flow of passengers around out game world, especially dealing with passengers that have a specific destination that can only be visited after riding on two buses and train and finishing with a short walk.

I believe this area is quite undecided in the design document, so I'll let that rest for now until some things are more decided.


I'll let you discuss those 4 for now.

User avatar
eis_os
TTDPatch Developer
TTDPatch Developer
Posts: 3602
Joined: 07 Mar 2003 13:10
Location: Germany
Contact:

Post by eis_os » 15 Jun 2006 11:31

The question is really how much time / power you can spend on the the project.

The Inside Scoop give you some insight how SC work...
http://simcity.ea.com/about/inside_scoop/index.php

Specially the transit system ...
TTDPatch dev in retirement ... Search a grf, try Grf Crawler 0.9 - now with even faster details view and new features...
Image

User avatar
aarona
Traffic Manager
Traffic Manager
Posts: 221
Joined: 26 May 2006 15:54
Location: Perth, Australia
Contact:

Re: SimCity 4 - Lots of great ideas we can implement

Post by aarona » 16 Jun 2006 09:43

Steve wrote:Traffic
...
Why is this good? It solves the problem of having empty streets, only populated by our buses, which we can agree looks a little silly. But it does this in a clever way that means we don't need to know where cars are going exactly, we don't need to keep track of all these cars at different points of the day and so on. We just need to know rough congestion levels in each area.

We could go as far as making buses be slower in congestion, but actually relieve it as commuters take the buses to work instead. But this more detailed discussion can be done elsewhere.
It all depends on how long it takes for our busses to move around our city. If its true scale then this is appropriate (so we have fast busses if we want to simulate years, or it takes hours to finish one year, think about the "timing" in TT).
If we have TT scale (ie a bus takes a day to go a few blocks...) then an averaging would be appropriate, with fake Sim City like cars to represent the congestion.
Steve wrote:Scale
I think the scale SimCity 4 uses, regarding towards road size and building size, is round about what we're looking for. Real life scale isn't really what we want be we need something in between that and Transport Tycoon.
We need time and spatial scaling really.
Steve wrote:Routes
Part of the Rush Hour expansion for SimCity 4 is the ability to check what routes passengers take. This is a handy tool for any TEmpire engineer but this idea of passengers having preferred routes will be good for dealing with flow of passengers around out game world, especially dealing with passengers that have a specific destination that can only be visited after riding on two buses and train and finishing with a short walk.
I think having a inner-city transportation network requires a different model to the TT solution, which is suited to Cross-Country networks.
What can we do to satisfy inner-city and intra-city transporting? I think the Rush Hour idea is good, but can we simplify it and extend it to intra-city transportation? I think it depends on what scaling we end up with...

Topic locked, no suggestion was processed (14112006).

Locked

Return to “Transport Empire Development Archive”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest