Civ 6 idea - What about simply getting rid of tiles?

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Marla_Singer, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. Marla_Singer

    Marla_Singer United in diversity

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    I won't come back on the heavy divide between Civ4 and Civ5 fans: hexagons or squares, 1UPT vs SOD and so on and so forth. The fact is that no matter on which side you are, obviously both approaches have their limits.

    Hence a simple idea: what about no tile at all?

    I used to believe that tiles were necessary for a game like Civilization, just like I believed they were necessary for a city builder. But then, Cities: Skylines arrived and totally changed my perception of things.



    Tiles are not really necessary for a game like Civilization. Granted we need squares for production, but those can be set up and oriented freely on a 3D map, exactly like the buildings shown on the image above. If a production tile would be 65% on grassland and 35% on plains, then it would produce 65% of the food of a grassland tile and 35% of the food of a plain tile. It's just simple math.

    It's essential Civilization remain a turn-based game, otherwise it would simply kill the concept. However, tiles are not necessary to apprehend limited movements in a turn-based game. The length a unit could walk by on a no-tile map could simply be limited. And the same applies for the rest: city radius, culture radius, fog-of-war and so on and so forth.

    As a matter of fact, tiles (no matter if they are squared or hexed) are actually more restrictions than they really serve the gameplay. And no matter the approach, they do limit considerably the realism of the strategies used by players. Getting rid of tiles would also allow the world map to actually be a sphere.

    The more I think about, the better I find the idea.

    And what about you? Do you see anything which really makes tiles that necessary?
     
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  2. rschissler

    rschissler King

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    You say "we need squares for production," but then say tiles aren't necessary. Sorry, but that makes no sense, plus you haven't given any good analysis for getting rid of tiles.
     
  3. Wild_Woojsha

    Wild_Woojsha Scourge_Of_G0d

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    It would make the game more real, without tiles. After all, the idea that a scouting unit just wanders around for 3000 years without seeing their family is kind of silly. Tiles aren't necessary to define borders, we don't use tiles in real life. Borders can be drawn with a mouse, and armies can be placed wherever the supply line can get them for that turn. I think it's do-able, and I hope they do it. I'd love to see it not take 1000 years to build an over-sized library either, but that's another topic...
     
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  4. Marla_Singer

    Marla_Singer United in diversity

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    Check the screenshot from the game "Cities: Skylines". There's no tile on the map, roads are drawn freely, however, buildings do occupy a square area which is oriented alongside the road. Those square areas used by buildings weren't predetermined by preexisting tiles, they were generated according to the road.

    Applied in a Civilization game, we could imagine a city being placed freely on the map, and then its production plots would "pop up" as squares around it, exactly like buildings do alongside the road in that game.

    Freedom. Accuracy. Realism. Sense of space.
    In the City builder genre, I've seen how far more advanced was a no-tile system compared to old-school "tile" games such as Sim City 4.

    I'm really convinced the same would apply even more in a Civilization game. Especially that "tiles" in a civ game are actually far bigger than in a city builder. Think about it, the maps we've played on in any civilization games are of a very low resolution, and units movements are severely restricted as a consequence. The whole debate between "stack of doom" and "1 unit per tile" actually proves how restricting tiles are in their nature, and how much that restriction affects gameplay.

    Removing tiles is a bit like bringing the Civilization serie to the Ultra HD era. I'm convinced it would bring a lot more freedom. :)
     
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  5. Vandal Thorne

    Vandal Thorne Warlord

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    Just because you don't see the tiles doesn't mean that they aren't there. More to the point though...DO NOT WANT.
     
  6. Marla_Singer

    Marla_Singer United in diversity

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    They aren't there. Roads are vectors in that game (actually everything is vectorial). The maps are totally tile-free.

    :hmm: I must say you convinced me. I'm all open to hear good arguments validating the principle of restricting the game with tiles. But the more it goes and the less I believe it's necessary.

    And for the matter, it's been more than 20 years I'm playing, editing and modding Civilization games.
     
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  7. rschissler

    rschissler King

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    Sure it would be stunning to "bring the Civilization series to the Ultra HD era," but is it realistic? Just look at Civ V and the long wait between turns. I think the main reason for 1UPT was to reduce the number of units on a map that isn't big enough for it. If Civ V can't handle what it has, how can Ultra HD resolution and a much larger map be feasible?

    And if a city doesn't exist on a tile, how do you capture it? The Civ V AI is so weak as it is, so how can it add the complexity of figuring that out ?
     
  8. Marla_Singer

    Marla_Singer United in diversity

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    Well, I'm not here to make the advertising of "Cities: Skylines", but the game succeeds to operate flawless 100,000 agents simulatenously. That means it calculates in real time 100,000 simulated "citizens" and make them move in the city from home to work, to leisure or to whatever they want to do.

    I can't tell about Civ5 but I have a good idea how Civ4 programming works and lags are generated by the massive use of loops: for instance the program operates one task for all tiles, then for all units, then for all civs, then it operates a second task for all tiles, then for all units, then for all civs, and so on and so forth.

    It's sure that making the game "pure 3D" (because that's actually the purpose of removing tiles) would require a complete overhaul of the engine. Starting the game from scratch. That's what was succesfully operated between Civ3 and Civ4 so it's not totally impossible to imagine. Now clearly, if as I've heard the game is expected to be released in late 2016 and this isn't the road which had been followen by Firaxis, it's clearly too late to implement it. :lol:

    But hey, brainstorming can always help for Civ7! :mischief:

    It couldn't be easier. Instead of saying to the computer "move to that tile", you would say to it "move to that object called city". We're in 2016, it's not as if 3D gaming was invented last saturday.

    Anyway, the question isn't really if it's technically possible, I'm sure it is with a good engine (such as Unity for instance). The question is more about what would it brings, what would it removes. Would it make the game better or not? :)
     
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  9. Patty14

    Patty14 Chieftain

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    This is pretty awsoume, I've always wanted to draw my own borders that aren't restricted to tiles. But sadly I doubt they'll rid of tiles.
     
  10. Iapetus303

    Iapetus303 Warlord

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    One advantage of this is that it would make a spherical world possible.
     
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  11. jeorgun

    jeorgun Chieftain

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    Going tile-less isn't necessary for spherical worlds— this guy, for instance, came up with a pretty cool approach using irregular tiles.
     
  12. Kid R

    Kid R Emperor

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    I don't see tiles as necessary but I suspect if the devs went tileless it would be as part of making the combat more military-sim-ish, with proper weapon ranges, ballistics, unit movement speeds etc. That might not be a popular way to go as the simplistic 1 move/2 move, 1 range/2 range of the tile-based units is pretty deeply ingrained. And with no tiles it might start to look absurd that horses run as fast as cars and only twice as fast as cannons, or arrows can fly as far as bullets!
     
  13. Optional

    Optional Deity

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    I think Sid Meier once said that Civ was always going to be based on turns and tiles.

    You can make a game like this without, it wouldn't be new either. An old game like Rise of Nations, from 2003, was without turns and tiles, and that game is as Civ-like as Civ itself.
    But I think artistically turns and tiles belong with Civ.

    Practically they also use a lot of stuff from the previous game to build the new one on. Like the mother-code for generating worlds has already remained unchanged since Civ III. And I'm not an insider in the game's code at all, but I believe a lot of AI code will be lifted over as well between games, and that code is obviously based upon turns and tiles.

    I think it would be interesting to see a Civ-like game without tiles, but it's possible a lot of developers wouldn't be interested in competition and comparison with Civ.
     
  14. Marla_Singer

    Marla_Singer United in diversity

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    Turns yes! Tiles no!

    As I've already told in the opening post, getting rid of turns would totally change the nature of the game. Instead of taking our time to develop our strategy and organize ourselves, the game would become a speed race where doing things faster than the opponents would be the key to victory. A Civilization game without turn would not be a Civilization game anymore.

    However, I'm a lot more sceptical about tiles.Tiles are limitations more than they serve the gameplay. It's a massive restriction to unit movements. We can perfectly imagine units walking distance being limited at each round without needing tiles for it.

    Tiles are not necessary for this game to remain turn-based.
     
  15. killmeplease

    killmeplease Mk Z on Steam

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    whoa, thats cool
    thanks for sharing
     
  16. killmeplease

    killmeplease Mk Z on Steam

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    maybe you have noticed turn based games always have tiles, and realtime games do not. whereas the latter may actually have tiles under the cover, those are smallish and the player doesnt have to know about them. Turn based games are a different story. As the time is divided into turns, everything else should also be of a discrete nature so the positions and states of the game objects are fully determined at the end of the turn and are easily measured from the UI.

    Imagine you have an archer and you want to shoot upon an enemy unit which is not in range so you have to get closer. And you want to know if you have enough movement points considering the terrain. With the tile system its a trivial task while without tiles it will be very hard to guess. You simply wont be able to do that without some UI complication. Even if the UI will have an option to show your move-and-shoot area you wont be able to plan the turn after the next or it will be overcomplicated much more.

    Turn based strategies test your thinking, and realtime test your reactions and eye. TBS are inclined to even numbers, discrete spaces and stuff because thats how we think. Introducing irregularity you kill the strategy imho.
     
  17. Marla_Singer

    Marla_Singer United in diversity

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    That's funny because I actually see tiles as what kills strategy: no matter if you win wars with a "stack of doom" or a "carpet of doom", the direct results of tiles restriction is to considerably limit your choices.


    I strongly disagree with your idea there's a correlation between tiles or not and turn-based game or not. Real time games used to have tiles (think Sim City or Transport Tycoon). I don't know many turn-based games outside the Civilization series, but no one has given any valid reasons why they couldn't work without tiles. Actions would simply be "paused" at the end of the turn. As for finding your targets, a right-click on them would be quite enough. There's actually no complications at all in this regard.
     
  18. Optional

    Optional Deity

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    RPG's are often turn-based without having tiles. Divinity OS and Dragon Age Origins are a few examples. There are excellent UI solutions for the issues you're mentioning.

    But what these RPG's always have is a limitation to the amount of units you can have. Otherwise things can become a mess. Already graphically it looks bad when more than one unit is occupying the same space, but with a limited party number you can still more or less work out who is where and who is doing what.
    But imagine a Civ game with no tiles and an unlimited army number - Shaka assaulting a city with a few dozen impi and some ranged backup. Against Japan who also also have lots of units. How to prevent that from becoming a mess?
    I only know games where there are either tiles or there is a strict unit limit to keep things manageable.
     
  19. Blitzscream

    Blitzscream Warlord

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    I have actually thought about this as well in years past, but my thinking was how could Civilization implement some use to rivers for units when rivers are between tiles. I would totally support it and like people have said it would work for having a perfect spherical map compared to using tiles of any shape.

    Some players though question how would mechanics like culture work without tiles. I currently don't have an explanation but I'm sure it could be worked out. Borrowing an idea from other games but I could also imagine randomly sized provinces like Risk or Total War, if such a solution is reasonable.
     
  20. TheBraveGallade

    TheBraveGallade Chieftain

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    in a TBS its hard to get rid of tiles. tiles make things so much more managable with a bunch of units.

    what I propose is smaller tiles. small as no other cic game has done before. small enouch that a city is 7hexes and rivers are a hex wide(at least downsream...), but most terrain, resources and stuff still generate at the normal size at 7 hexes (unless you want to eat up a :) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :):) :) :) :)ton of CPU)

    pop can be in much smaller increments (start with 10 pop instead of 1) and welll... everything can move out faster. you can now move your army in proper formation even through narrow passages, border grouth and everything can be more natural as well.
     

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