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Scrapping the fat X - design theory

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by alms66, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. alms66

    alms66 Chieftain

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    It was suggested somewhere in this forum that the only way to have more civs on a map is to make the map bigger, to which I suggested that it would be possible to have more civs on a maps at current map sizes by simply reducing the area of land that a city occupies - change the fat X of 21 squares to a simple square of 3x3 or 9 total squares. By reducing the area of cities, you can then pack them more tightly together, and assuming you build the same average number of cities you built before this design change, there would be "extra" map area made for additional civs...

    So what else changes due to this design change? The most obvious thing is that your city will have less than half the number of tiles to work than previously. You could simply boost the output of the tiles themselves, let's say doubling them, but I think that would unbalance the game by making things (population growth and production) occur at a much faster rate, until max is hit at least. Even though, doubling tile output doesn't make up for all the loss, so you will need more buildings like the forge which boost the basic resources (food, hammers, gold) of a city to make it as productive as before. In fact, I think that simply adding more buildings that boosted basic tile output rather than doubling tile output from the start would be the best way to make this work. Additionally, with cities being crammed closer together, you'd probably have to slow cultural border expansion some to compensate.

    Is there anything else that would need changing? Are there any downsides or upsides to this idea that I haven't seen yet? Having more civs on a map of the same size is a big plus for me as I always play with the maximum number of civs available, which does tend to slow the late game a bit.
     
  2. MrCynical

    MrCynical Chieftain

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    Potential downsides:

    1)Micromanagement will be worse. Even if you aim to start out with twice the number of civs (which many will not regard as a plus), as a conquest or domination approach progresses you'll end up with at least twice a many cities to look after.

    2)A 3x3 square will tesselate, and with fewer squares to start with overlap will be more detrimental. This seems likely to result in a boring grid of cities, minimising thought about city placement.

    Frankly I'd rather look at directly expanding the map than contracting the cities. It seems an unnecessarily complicated way of fitting in more civs. If anything I'd rather see expanded city radii, or some more unrestricted way of assigning chunks of land to a particular city.
     
  3. Scilly_guy

    Scilly_guy Chieftain

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    I understand that is called the "fat cross" because that is the shape it makes but this is merely because a circle drawn at that resolution becomes a "fat cross". Personally I always play on the largest map possible and I do have the maxium number of civs but I don't yern for more. I would much rather larger maps with each tile representing less land not more. I want tiles to be worked and provide food and resources (including hammers although I would prefer they were changed) for their closest city but that doesn't neccassarily mean that city is responsible for working them. I know the "reality" argument doesn't make sense because this is a game and so there are things that need to be changed, but for me people, who live in cities do not work in the country, in fact the tend to know very little about the countryside.

    Have cities as hubs that represent control over areas, when you build a new city have the surrounding tiles begin to be worked but not by the people who live in the cities. Like the cottage improvement, farms should grow, tracks should spread out to them when they become bigger, have towns spring up on roads which workers can construct to link cities and resources, or on rivers which should play a much bigger roll, they should be harder to cross and provide good transport routes. Resources would still need specialist constructions which workers could build, workers would also be responsible for surfacing roads to link cities to resources, rivers and other cities. The people in cities could manufacture goods, join armies, construct buildings, or become priests or scholars.

    To me this is a better representation of civilisation, city dwellers make things, join armies, research stuff, propagate religion, whereas people in the countryside farm and gather resources.
     
  4. alms66

    alms66 Chieftain

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    #1, good call, but I actually look at that as a positive point - yet another reason not to do it ;)

    #2, You can make a boring grid with little thought to city placement using the fat X too, if you perfectly place all your cities.

    Personally, I'd like to see larger maps as well, but much more importantly, to me, civilizations. Let's face it, we call them civilizations, but once the game begins everything about them is State-like (and by state I mean nation/empire). I'd like to see the game end with a smiliar number of states as the real-world has (around 200) on average. Given the current state of things with the game and computer hardware, that's not going to happen, and I'm going to get nowhere near there without reducing the size of the city radius a bit.
     
  5. Scilly_guy

    Scilly_guy Chieftain

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    I think that that aspect of reality though would not make for a more fun game... if you think back it wasn't that long ago that the world map was filled with only a few colours, (namely pink! cough), not all civilisations have existed simultaneously, none have existed continuously from the dawn of civilisation, and in another millenia I doubt there will still be a "UK" let alone an England. I've lost myself, not sure what I am talking about anymore.

    So you are saying "What is it that a civ is supposed to simulate?". A civilisation isn't a sovreign state/country/nation, its not a culture either, is it merely a name? The will of the people? I think you are right, in the game it is a Country and so that is what we will discuss.

    You say you want more civs in any single game? Why? The only reason I think more civilisations would be acceptable is with a larger map and only then because they would fill the space to managable sizes. But with (or without for that matter) more civs in a game there should be a much better diplomacy system. The AI would not only need to be smarter but also alot faster, in the late game it starts to get REALLY slow. Personally not even epic (thats longer than marathon isn't it) mode is slow enough (technology wise), I like having technologies being researched regularly, I would just prefer that there were more techs but I guess that makes me a micromanager.

    Anyway you are basically saying make the area of land a single tile represents larger, in effect lower the resolution, just to squash more civs in??? Personally I don't see how this would make the game any more fun... I just cannot see it. There are enough already!!!

    You want a game with 200 odd states/civs whatever, ok so in a list ordered by size Turks and Caicos is the 200th country and it is 430 square km compared to Russia's 17 million, if we say that each tile is 4km by 4km thats 16 square km, Turks and Caicos would have 27 tiles whilst Russia would have 1,067,200 tiles, and the map would be made up of 31,875,000 tiles. I would love a map of that resolution, and perhaps I'll be able to buy civ XXV for one of my grand kids in 70 years time and they can enjoy it, but even then I doubt 200 civs would be fun, perhaps at the start but they would quickly get whittled down. Maybe 70 years is a bit pessimistic, maybe civ 6 will be that detail, in 10 years time, but I won't hold my breath.
     
  6. alms66

    alms66 Chieftain

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    I guess a little clarification is needed...

    I'm not suggesting that Firaxis attempt to do this in civ5, 6 or even 7, I'm not even suggesting that Firaxis attempt to do this at all. The discussion is theoretical - hence the "design theory" part of the title. Perhaps it shouldn't even be in this forum, but it seemed like the best fit to me...

    anyhow, any other ramifications anyone can think of?
     
  7. Scilly_guy

    Scilly_guy Chieftain

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    Ok ok fair enough.

    My original suggestion was removing the radius and proximity limitation altogether, instead if you wanted to you could try tiling the entire map with cities, just they would all starve because there would not be enough food and they would not be able to produce anything very fast because there would not be many resources to go around. This way you could make use of all tiles in your territory even if it ment a city was adjacent to an enemy city. Futuristic worlds where huge areas have been urbanised would also be possible and show the problems it would cause.

    I am all for changing the way the city works tiles but I don't think changing the size of circle is enough.
     
  8. alms66

    alms66 Chieftain

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    Actually, that would be my ideal situation, having a city on every tile...
    the old 'population on every tile' idea that's been floating around for some time now

    But doing this in the current model, the city wouldn't have to starve or produce slowly, if you do like I said before and have more buildings that modify base output of the terrain in the same way that the forge boosts hammers. You could do the same for food and gold. So, you might have a 'Farm' building that gives +100% food. With enough such buildings, you could have a very large and productive city.
    You could even make it so that you can build multiple buildings of the same type, two farms for instance, so that you don't have to have dozens of different buildings that do the same thing, just build the same thing dozens of times. That would make the mechanic even more silly though, as they don't have farms in cities, but if you make the tile's area large enough (in terms of square miles in relation to the real world) you could justify it as being the farmland surrounding the city.

    All I'm saying is that it's possible to make it work in civ4 evn, but I also think the underlying mechanics of cities are just plain broken and certainly need to be fixed.
     
  9. rysmiel

    rysmiel Chieftain

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    I know I have argued for epic-scale games lasting months, but with 200 states in one game, it seems to me you are looking at games that last years, if you're actually going to interact diplomatically with all of them to any extent. And if you're not, what difference would it actually make ?
     
  10. rysmiel

    rysmiel Chieftain

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    Surely a city working every tile in its fat cross is effectively simulating population on every tile ?

    Upgrading irrigation to farmland as in Civ 2 simulates this, and I'm all for more upgrades in terrain enhancements as the game progresses.

    The real problem I see with cities on every square is that it excludes different complementary uses for different terrain, which is to my mind a key part of Civ.

    I'm generally happy with the fat cross; if it must be modified, I'd like to see Civ 3 type culture borders such that you can only work the inner eight squares until you have a cultural expansion, and possibly expanding the fat cross by another ring of tiles once the city is larger than size 20.
     
  11. alms66

    alms66 Chieftain

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    The real time it takes to play the game isn't of much concern to me, and I'm expecting there would be a top 20-50 or so nations that were in regular contact, while the others would be sporatic contacts. The real difference to me then would be the simple fact that they are there. You could fight wars over them (proxy wars), fight to keep them from being invaded by another power, fight for access to their resources, give them cash aid, etc. I think it could add much to the game.

    Try this little demo to see for yourself what population on every tile can bring to civ vs the abstraction civ has.
     
  12. Scilly_guy

    Scilly_guy Chieftain

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    No I like the way buildings such as the forge do not produce Hammers, I despise the idea that you could have cities on every tile and they could all support high populations and be productive because they have 10 farms in them producing food out of the ether. I think cities should require open land, countryside, and fisheries, to provide their food.

    I do not understand this "Population on every tile" concept, do you actually require a number to say that there is population there? Currently there is population on every tile, its just that they all counted within the city. Of course if there is not enough population in that city then there is not population on every tile, and why must cottages and villages be worked to grow into towns, surely the people live there!. So yes I am a little confused, is this what you mean by population on every tile.
     

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