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Population, City growth and Social Stratification

Discussion in 'Gedemon's Civilization, a total overhaul project' started by Gedemon, May 7, 2017.

  1. Knasp

    Knasp Chieftain

    Sep 10, 2011
    I have an idea about population growth, city fortifications and spatial hierachy, that I think could work with the mod. I wonder if it is possible to do within the current modding limits? Or if it would drain performance too much?

    What if City walls didn't automatically scale up with growing population?

    Basically when you build a city wall, only the current population and buildings should be housed within the city walls. So if the city is attacked, the buildings outside the wall are burned down. Population living outside the wall would either need to be crammed inside the walls or they would become refugees (migrating to adjacent tiles), or be captured by the enemy (enslaved) and so on.

    In order to protect more of your population/buildings you'd have to build new walls (or expand the current ones) repeatedly, but walls are expensive and require materials. And the greater population the city has, more area will have to be walled in. So the cost of walls should increase with city size (although the old stone wall could potentially be dismantled and the stones reused).
    Instead of expanding/replacing old walls you could allow building additional walls, resulting in outer and inner rings, protecting different structures and demographics depending on when they were constructed. It would be interesting to have the siege mechanic where you have to break through several walls to claim the city, although allowing multiple walls per city would be more complicated in keeping track of.

    In conjunction with this system, you could introduce a spatial hierarchy, where the Upper classes always reside in the city center and will push out the lower classes to make room, if necessary even relocate them outside the wall.
    Additionally, maybe lower class houses should always be built outside the walls (think slums), since that is the cheapest land to acquire and you can use the cheapest materials. Then the player would have to choose whether to build housing within the walls (upper/middle classes) or outside where they are unprotected.
    Another way to alter housing would be to simply reduce the choice to either build "Housing" within the walls or outside. Building within the walls would be more expensive but would bring the benefit of cramming in more people in the same area (i.e. adding floors or erecting taller houses).

    In this hierarchy, important buildings would always be placed within the city walls (Monuments, temples, palaces, upper class housing etc) and if you build one of those then people would be evicted/relocated to make room. If performance drain or coding isn't a problem, you could even keep track of "unused" space within the walls, building walls would leave some room for expansion and deliberate razing of buildings could likewise leave some open space.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
  2. dunkleosteus

    dunkleosteus Lieutenant Commander

    Aug 17, 2015
    Toronto, Canada
    As far as I'm aware, civilians weren't normally taken prisoner during war. I don't really know about the Bronze age, but at least in the last thousand years or so in Europe, attacking civilians was viewed as against the rules of war. Civilians are not a danger to an opposing army and normally didn't resist them.

    One thing that still sort of bothers me is that we have to build "housing" in our cities. Firaxis decided to use the word "housing" but it was not a good choice for describing the mechanic they wanted to implement. Houses are not built by the thousands in advance, they're constructed on an as-needed basis as population grows. The physical houses that people live in are never the limiting factor in cities. City growth is limited by availability of food and water and most importantly by the spread of disease. Without proper sanitation, plagues and illnesses run rampant. Unfiltered or dirty water are also vectors of transmission. This is what Firaxis was trying to represent and what we should be focusing on if we're working to improve where Firaxis fell short.

    Things that might make more sense instead of building more housing: the existing facilities of the city may fall short as population increases. As was previously mentioned, buildings built after the city walls are completed might exist "outside" of them, leaving those buildings vulnerable. I think it might be fine if the number of houses for each class are still tracked, but I think they should be built automatically as population increases. They can consume resources or production in the city but it should not be a manual process. But to the point I was getting to before, I think it would make sense that certain buildings would only be serviceable for a number of people, and beyond that, they would decrease in effectiveness. Production or resources could be spent to build additional copies of or expand existing infrastructure. For example, a granary might be sufficient for storing food for a smaller city but a larger one might need many more granaries. After the city's walls are built, new housing infrastructure would be built outside of the existing walls, and based on the number of houses that are built outside (and any additional buildings) the cost of expanding the walls would increase. (The cost of building the walls should be based on the size of the city).

    To the point made earlier about cities automating production, I think this is paramount. These are things that are fundamentally not handled by the government (except in some forms of communism...). I expect the AI would have to be doing this automatically as well, so the code to make those decisions should exist anyway, right?

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