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Districts in Civ VII

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Park Hyun, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Park Hyun

    Park Hyun Chieftain

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    In another thread, the topic of districts came up, with several people agreeing with me in feeling that districts are a cool idea that need improvement. They tend to sprawl out in ways that make the map feel too tight and too small, and often don't result in aesthetically interesting or realistic cities. I'd like to present my idea for a re-do of districts, but also hear whatever ideas other civ fans have for improvement.

    Bottom line: Incorporate non-specialty district buildings into specialty districts.

    My approach would create two different lines of buildings:
    DIRECT______________INDIRECT
    Science______________ Financial
    Faith_________________Growth
    Culture_______________Housing
    Diplomacy____________Happiness
    Military_______________Loyalty

    Each districts gets four slots. A slot can hold a building, either removable (e.g. libraries), or permanent (wonders). Two slots are reserved for direct buildings (which contribute to a victory type). One slot is reserved for indirect buildings or wonders, and one is a free slot, which can be used for anything.

    Each building contributes a different kind of bonus. For example, Financial buildings either generate Gold (a bank), an additional trade route (a market), or Great Merchant points (the stock market). Science buildings could generate bonus science (a library), bonus Great Scientist points (a university), or specialist slots (the research center).

    Districts are built next to a city center. They get no terrain bonuses and cannot have identical buildings. Harbors and naval buildings are built in the city center (making coastal cities valuable again).

    Example: FDR settles Los Angeles. He builds two districts, one culture and one military. In the culture district, he creates a theater (bonus culture), a museum (bonus Great Artist points), an aqueduct (speeding growth), and uses the free spot to add a film studio (bonus tourism, culture). In the military district, he adds a barracks (faster recruitment), workshop (production), neighborhood (more housing), and builds the Alhambra wonder (which can only be built in a Military district).

    The benefits: Cities are tighter and more aesthetically pleasing. Wonders don't take up whole tiles but stand out more than they did in Civ V. Players are faced with interesting choices in how they want to arrange their cities. Designers have more options for civ-specific bonuses (e.g. Germany gets an extra free spot) or mini-games (e.g. a wonder requires three specific buildings in the district, or certain combos provide additional bonuses). Players can specialize cities further (want a trading city with markets in all districts - go for it!).

    What do you think? What would you do with districts?

    Moderator Action: Moved to Ideas & Suggestions. ~ LK
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 8, 2021
    Timewarp, BuchiTaton and mitsho like this.
  2. Ryansinbela

    Ryansinbela Prince

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    very nice, everyone agrees
     
  3. Codeword Iroquois

    Codeword Iroquois Warlord

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    I'd kinda personally been playing with the concept of collapsing tiles into the big tiles, so one settles on the big tile, which then has seven spaces for districts, resource extractions, and wonders, and could expand to adjacent tiles as the game goes on.
     
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  4. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Yeah, more or less something like that.
     
  5. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    My idea is that when you build districts, instead of taking up a tile outside of your city center, districts could go into separate tiles inside of your city center as well as wonders. That way most of your tiles outside of the city center would be used for improvements such as farms and mines etc.

    Some districts would have to be built outside the city center such as military encampments, aerodrome, and probably neighborhoods.

    I'd also like buildings to be more flexible and not as rigid. Some commercial hubs could have a market for gold and some could have a caravanserai instead for more trader capacity.
     
  6. Lonecat Nekophrodite

    Lonecat Nekophrodite Emperor

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    My ideas is that Districts that made to build specific unit types should have each of their own project slot in addition to city center project slot.
     
  7. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    I've been playing around with a new 'District' concept for some time now, incorporating and decorporating various ideas from other posts and thread, the Humankind 'Quarters', some recent studies of how ancient/classical/medieval cities developed, etc.

    At the moment, here's where my ideas are:

    1. A City may incorporate numerous smaller towns as 'Districts', but to be a visual depiction of a city, for at least the first half of the game all the parts of the city must be together in a tight mass, with the minimal 'footprint' on the game map. The size of every ancient to Early Modern (Renaissance) city was strictly limited by transportation technology, and for most cities that meant horse-drawn carts, sedan chairs or Human Foot - if the average city-dweller couldn't walk across the city in an afternoon, the city was simply too big for every citizen to get access to everything the city had to offer. That means that Transportation Technology has to be incorporated into the adjacency and placement of Districts throughout the game.

    2. The Civ VI pattern (and to a somewhat lesser extent the Humankind pattern) of specific and strictly defined Districts is artificial. The concept of each city having only one of each kind of District in most cases is also artificial. The idea that adjacency bonuses are almost all terrain-based and apply to Districts results in the scattering of Districts and artificial adjacencies that simply don't apply IRL. Anybody notice how many real University 'Districts' are poorly placed nowhere near any mountains? Why didn't Harvard realize that it needed to be nestled in the White Mountains of Vermont to be a really great University?

    3. From the beginning, Cities were 'fed' all sorts of materials from a distance - satellite settlements, towns, hamlets, villages containing mines, farms, 'plantations', etc that were not physically connected or adjacent to any city, but provided needed 'goods and services' - and this has been going on since the settlements at Arslantepe and Hacinebi were mining and smelting Copper for the 'first city' of Uruch in 3700 BCE! That means that the current pattern of City - Country with no other possible population point on the map is False and needs to change. Humankind does it by allowing certain Quarters that are in the same Region but not necessarily adjacent to the city and provide Resources or bonuses to the city: Civ needs something similar.

    So, with those thoughts as my (current) basis, here are my current 'solutions/suggestions':

    1. Aside from the City Center District, which has to have some kind of Administrative Center/Building in it, ALL Districts are generic: what character they assume is based entirely on what Buildings/Infrastructure are constructed in them.
    2. All Districts have 5 'slots' for Buildings/Infrastructure. Not all Buildings take up 1 Slot: especially later in the game, things like Factories may take up 3 or 4 slots. Most Buildings are associated with one of the Victory Condition 'currencies' in the game: Industry, Military, Commerce, Religion, Science, Trade, etc. ALL adjacency bonuses are applied to Buildings, not Districts. Thus, 'grouping' Buildings of a similar type into 'Commercial' Districts or 'Religious Quarters' makes sense - it increases the adjacencies they will provide to each other. For adjacency, in some cases being in a neighboring District works almost as well as being in the same District, which also encourages grouping into 'specific' Districts.
    3. ALL Districts in a city must be adjacent to another District and trace a 'district path' to the City Center. At the beginning of the game, that path is only 1 District long - in other words, a Starting City can cover 7 tiles - a City Center and 6 adjacent tiles around it. Transportation Technology will increase that 'radius' later in the game, until by the Modern Era it becomes virtually Unlimited (enter the Megalopolis). Some special circumstances allow more 'sprawling' cities early in the game: from the start, you can extend up or down a navigable river (no waterfalls!) by 1 or more tiles (as boats improve), same applies to canals and coast. There is also a Special Infrastructure which can be built in any District, taking up 1 Slot, called a Processional Way (later Grand Boulevard), which, if the Way extends to the edge of the City Center, can from the start extend the city by 1 tile of Way - allowing an extra tile of District at the expense of 1 Slot in each of 2 Districts leading back to the City Center - a distance which will grow later.
    4. Settlements are specialized Districts not adjacent to the City Center. A Settlement also has 5 Slots, but one must always be an Administrative Center (Governor's Palace, Chief's Hut, etc) and the others can hold Mines, Farms, Plantations or other extractive Improvements over resources - including Trading Posts to extend Trade Routes or military garrisons ('Forts') which can extend your borders. In other words, Settlements are the Smaller Than City collections of people that can extract the resources that the city needs and extend the borders of your Civ. Which city gets the 'bonuses' from a Settlement depends initially on which city provided the Builders that built the Settlement (requires 2 charges: 1 for the Settlement 'District' and one for the initial Improvement in it that gives it a Reason For Existence: mine, plantation, farm, harbor, fort, trading post, camp, etc) but that can be changed later. Eventually, most Settlements will probably be absorbed by expanding cities, but for most that will not happen until the late Modern Ages of the game.
    5. Wonders may also be built in Districts. Each Wonder will have, as now, Placement Criteria, and sometimes that will include getting the maximum benefit from the Wonder by placing it as close to the City Center or Processional Way as possible. Think about it: where else are you going to put a major Temple or Cathedral? Except for Wonders, any Building can be Replaced. In fact, many early Buildings will need to be replaced by later, more powerful and influential Buildings of the same type: the Ancient Era Pottery Workshop has little place in the Industrial Age when a Pottery Factory or Machine Shop can be built for more Production and other Bonuses, and a Classical Marketplace may be appropriate right up through the Early Modern Era, but becomes redundant when Shopping Centers become available in the Modern/Atomic Eras.
    Ideally, the City should never be a static Thing, but in a constant state of rebuilding and upgrading both internally as Districts change their character, and externally as Transportation technology allows expansion of the city's 'footprint' on the game map.
     
  8. ColdClimate

    ColdClimate Prince

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    I'd tend to agree with Boris: make districts (or whatever you want to call them) generic but flavor them with buildings and/or wonders. I would also tend to think of them as villages or minor cities rather than suburbs. I wouldn't mind keeping some adjacency bonuses, particularly for improvements (mines or farms for eg) as long as its balanced.

    I might also give them a culture bomb when they are constructed to make them a major driver of territory expansion. If you think of them as settlements it makes, or at least more than your local theatre expanding your borders...
     
  9. BuchiTaton

    BuchiTaton Warlord

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    Still some mesoamerican cities were more populous and bigger than most of their european contemporaries, so if transport tech have something to do with this then the real change should be just until industrial revolution, not before. In any case HEALTH infrastructure should be a bigger factor, Mesoamerican cities are know by their organized city planning and health infrastructure.


    6 slots by distric would be more intuitive since the tiles are hexagons.

    Fit with the recent historical notion of "progress" because from the perpective of efficiency is the better to do, BUT it should be an alternative not a must. For example old traditional/rustic building should have less environmental impact and provide cultural (turism included) bonus, of course at the cost of less of what their more industrial replacement do.
     
  10. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    It's certainly not impossible to have a MegaCity early in the game: the various Chinese Dynastic capitals, Rome, Babylon (which may have been the first city in Human history to approach 1,000,000 inhabitants). Tenochtlan all spring to mind. But it should take some real effort, and as you say that effort will include major Health infrastructure as well as siply providing food and water.

    My original idea was to keep an uneven number of 'slots' so that a District could get bonuses from having a majority of Buildings of a given Type: Religious, Commercial, Military, Cultural, etc. Since then I've come around to the idea of having many buildings, even early in the game, take more than one Slot (like, for example, an Imperial Palace designating your Capital - most of those were not, by their nature, small and unassuming structures) and including 'neutral' infrastructure like the Processional Way (Grand Boulevard) - or, for example, a Canal to extend the 'reach' of the city.
    So I am definitely open to a 6-slot tile.

    I want to include an 'Aesthetic' component to Civ VII cities: the possibility that your city should look unique and pleasing as well as efficient in game terms. Part of that comes from playing Humankind Open Devs recently, and picking up the Anno 1800 game last month, both of which emphasize what can be done with City Graphics far better than Civ VI does.
    So, for certain, I'd like to see Tourism and/or Cultural bonuses from older Buildings retained in the city: the quaint old Marketplace, the treasured historic Castle or Rezidence near the city center, the line of the original City Walls now turned into a strip of parkland around the city - there are a host of potential graphic and gameplay possibilities that I would like to explore and see explored to add an additional spark to our city building.

    After all, from its beginning the Civilization franchise has been all about bulding Cities - we might as well have a chance to make not only Great Cities (size, factors) but also good-looking ones.
     
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  11. Timewarp

    Timewarp Chieftain

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    These are GREAT ideas :) I like the fact that city / district design is being influenced by what we know of cities in human history.
     

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