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Author Topic: What is the goal of Sim City 4?  (Read 831 times)

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Offline fantozzi

What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« on: November 26, 2018, 02:35:36 PM »
Ah ... philosophy. I'm pretty shure this question raised before ... but ...

is there a goal a final state to reach, a city builders heaven, a glorious end ....

or what is SC4 about? Is there a final state of a region or ist all about to destroy everything when growth of mankind reached final limits?

At the end - is it at a fatalistic, dystopian game? - as all developments ends nowhere but in calling "God Mode" for the final apocalypse. Destroying all.

Or ... is there more than one ending to the game?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVaQN240G80
« Last Edit: November 26, 2018, 02:38:02 PM by fantozzi »
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What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« on: November 26, 2018, 02:35:36 PM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline romualdillo

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 04:35:41 PM »
In fact, what's art's goal?

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 04:35:41 PM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline fantozzi

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2018, 01:27:00 AM »
In fact, what's art's goal?

There are as many goals in art as there are artists, I guess. So I doubt there can be a general answer to your question. Just when you ask the artist why he is doing art and you ask the beholder why he is enjoying art - answers can be very different. When we enjoy erotic photography we may even want to ignore that to make erotic photography is hard work - to train this body was pain the surgery was pain, they worked outdoor, maybe in cold weather naked the whole day ... I highly doubt artitst enjoy art the same way as we as beholders may enjoy art.

How much we enjoy the work of MattB325 - but I doubt, he enjoys when Autodesk freezes or nightlights don't work - there is a big space were art is work, sweat and even suffering. Or - how much your arms hurt when you wer hammering several hours on the chisel just to get the shape of an angel from a stone. How the stone weakens and ruins your own bones during the years.

The goal - on side of the artist is pure obstinacy and selfishness - to become better, very similar to a top athlete, to push the limits of aesthetics to get closer to the heart of expression and beauty. Like  a race car driver - trying to be the best. You don't want to be the best because of the audience, you want to be it because of yourself. Like those people climbing the Mt. Everst without oxygen - and there are cases where it is unclear if it's a strong will or just madness.

Perhaps one can go with the philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel who said there are three levels of beauty: the beauty of nature, the beauty of art and the idea of beauty. They can be sperated by different goals where the idea itself don't wear any goal. It's the "naked beauty" that has overcome all goals.

I don't know - but maybe because of this - just because nature and art are bound to always compete on beauty, art can't be reduced on one single goal. As in this competition with nature the challenges are endless.  Beauty can grow on so many fields. Even when we look up into the total hostal outer space we may discover beauty. On side of the artist it's like nature gives you challenges - look at Korvers artwork f.e. - he picks up challenges from nature. Art is a battle, a sports on beauty. Yes, that's my opinion. You can think of always new sports, new challenges to battle on beauty. Therefore we will run in circles if we use art to answer the question. Imho.

With this magic and strangeness of beauty it's impossible to reduce art to one single goal.

So I suggest we keep on focussing on the smaller question first: what is the goal of SC4? Even if you call it art and I agree - imho this doesn't shed much light on the question of the different goals of different artworks.

« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 01:46:52 AM by fantozzi »
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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2018, 01:27:00 AM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline Terring7

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2018, 06:03:43 AM »
The goal of Simcity is like the meaning of life. It doesn't exist, so build one by yourself and make it as awesome as you wish.
"The wisest men follow their own direction" Euripides
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My English is far from perfect and I want to improve it. If you find any mistake (especially the grammar ones), feel free to correct me.

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2018, 06:03:43 AM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline FrankU

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2018, 08:22:04 AM »
The goal of Simcity is like the meaning of life. It doesn't exist, so build one by yourself and make it as awesome as you wish.

Yes!

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2018, 08:22:04 AM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline romualdillo

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2018, 08:46:29 AM »
Fantozzi, your first question was much of a rhetoric question, so I answered with another one... They have so many answers, that they don't have anyone...

The goal of Simcity is like the meaning of life. It doesn't exist, so build one by yourself and make it as awesome as you wish.

That's totally the point.

Well, as for answering your question would be necessary to fill a complete enciclopaedia, including knowledge since ancient times to contemporary philosophy and I don't have the wisdom nor the time to answer it, I'll give an ordinary one. I'm not better than German philosophers, who are trying to define this issue since the Age of Enlightment.   

I guess the principal goal is: "Possibilities". People can use it according to their interests, and express their ideas, just as any other artistic expression, without the restrictions other games have... There are lots of types of players. I'll try to make a short list of several ones...

"Eyecandy" Category:

Players building authentic Dioramas, like Korver does.

Players reproducing real cities, like a model, not exactly a diorama.

Players "simply" building beautiful cities, without using any other game mechanics, just eyecandy.

"Functional" Category:

People using game mechanics to build their cities, distinguishing city-planners, urbanists-architects, engineers... approaching problems from different angles and point of views, and giving different solutions, with different levels of "Eyecandy".

"Fantasy" Category:

Inbetween first and second categories are those who build Utopias, Parallel Universes, Sci-Fi cities, completely eyecandy or using game mechanics.

"Train Model" Category:

Special category, just what it name says...

"Players" Category (I had to choose a name):

People who just play the game "vanilla-ish" and enjoy it.

"Creators" Category:

People who create stuff and mods for the game and share it with other players... Sometimes it takes so much time, that playing the game may become secondary.

Finally there are people who don't fit in only one category, but in two or even three...

Game mechanics, aesthetics and graphic engine all together make SC4 a great game, and explain its long life. As a whole, is still superior to newer games (imho)...

This comment doesn't help much, I think, but it's an idea.  :P

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2018, 08:46:29 AM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline Haljackey

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2018, 09:08:54 AM »
SimCity SNES has goals / Milestones

0-1,999- Village
2,000-9,999 Town
10,000-49,999 City
50,000-99,999 Capital
100,000-499,999 Metropolis
500,000+ Megalopolis

When you hit these, music changes and you get ploppable gifts.

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2018, 09:08:54 AM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline Simmer2

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2018, 09:14:02 AM »
The goal of Sim City 4 is........42


Nick
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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2018, 09:14:02 AM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline fantozzi

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2018, 11:46:37 AM »
Fantozzi, your first question was much of a rhetoric question, so I answered with another one... They have so many answers, that they don't have anyone...

I agree it can be read as a rhetoric question or some "fooling around" but on the other hand I'm not that guy opening a thread in this category of general discussion if I'm out for hunting some funny quotes on the sense of life (in detail: the sense of playing SC4). Indeed I recently noticed that I have the same attitude about this question.  But I'll get back later to this point.

For now I must ask for your patience and to believe, if you know already everything you can't be a philosopher. As the soil on which a philosophical thought can grow is amazement. The "thaumazein" (Platon). So without your patience it will be difficult we get any insight here. But I'd be happy if you take the time and walk a little way - like a little walk through the park - through some thoughts. Don't try to smash the doors or put a big rock in front of the way we could walk. Your answer was nothing else than this: to put a big rock in the way thoughts could take a direction.

But okay - let's proof later, if my question is silly or not.

The goal of Simcity is like the meaning of life. It doesn't exist, so build one by yourself and make it as awesome as you wish.

That's totally the point.

Well, as for answering your question would be necessary to fill a complete enciclopaedia, including knowledge since ancient times to contemporary philosophy and I don't have the wisdom nor the time to answer it, I'll give an ordinary one. I'm not better than German philosophers, who are trying to define this issue since the Age of Enlightment.

I can't see the point why to bring the meaning of life in here or what this sentence could explain regarding the goal of SC4. It's just you want to drag yourself away from the initial question and want to make me discuss, the meaning of life. Okay: themeaning of life is simple. Meaning is carried by words. Where no words are there can't be no meaning. I mean words, not letters - so don't think of written words here, but f.e. of words in your memory). Sense can only be carried by those who can name things. If you walk around saying: "This is a tree, oh, this is a nice T-Shirt, oh look, there is bird on the fence" - what you do is giving sense." That's a super easy thing to do. Try it.

Of yourse creatrig custom content has a very similar function as inventing new words. Of course you add sense to the game, to SC4. With the NAM bringing different new networks to SC4 it shurely gives new sense to playing. It's like adding words to everyday's talking/language. And so custom content of course adds posibilites of defining new ways of playing.

I'm not shure if those are goals of the game. I agree, the way we did interpret the game and its goal was extremely creative. We use our fantasy and our talents do plaint over the the games goal and deny it like people ignore death by making funny remarks and tasteless jokes and try the best to distract us from truth.

My suspicion is - everything what you discribe, the "categories" - they aren't really products of the basic game but they came up with custom content andthey form a second layer of paint on the original paint and all those". Most of the custom content try to overpaint the original goal. And even Maxis at a certain point tried to hide the real goal.

And all the "illuminated comments" don't help here. They seem to me as if players are afraid to uncover the truth. That SC4 is such a popular game exactly because of the big failure they did about victory. It's like the game gives you the chance to cover the truth about "collecting points" and gaining victory.


But now, let's proof - TOGETHER? - if my initial question is valid.

QUESTION 1:

Is it possible to fail  in Sim City 4?

QUESTION 2:
Is it possible to fail in a game if there is no task in this game?

QUESTION 3:
Is it possible to have a game with a task but no objective? Is a task/challenge without goal thinkable?


I suggest, we discuss this questions first before turning towards the sense of life, God and the Big Bang Theory ...


...


...and of course ...


...with patience...

we'll arrive to page 42
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 12:02:57 PM by fantozzi »
When you look really closely, all mirrors look like eyeballs.

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2018, 11:46:37 AM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline Seaman

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2018, 02:16:20 PM »
Ah... what a fine idea to spark a discussion like that. Even in the case of the thread failing to produce something meaningful, trying to answer what my goal in SC4 is or why I'm playing it, really keeps me thinking!

is there a goal a final state to reach, a city builders heaven, a glorious end ....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVaQN240G80

Well, my immediate response would go like: "to fill up my region in a pleasing way". But when I have a second thought of it, I really don't like the idea, that my region, someday, is finished and I have nothing more to do than start a new one from scratch. In fact, this is giving me horrors!
So it seems like that to me, SC4 does not have a goal in a traditional gaming sense but is rather a continous process of amusement.

-----------------

ok, now my take on the 3 questions:

QUESTION 1:
Is it possible to fail  in Sim City 4?

hmm... good question! I can remember a thread here on SC4D, where somebody needed some help because he had some troubles to build up a working city without cheating. I would consider this a fail, but not because he wasn't able to manage the ingame money or succeed on the road towards a metropole. It's rather that I felt sad for him because he seemed unhappy with the situation and playing the game must have been no fun for him. I mean, I would like to see to what degrees korver's amazing recreations are actually working considering game mechanics. But this is not important as he has achieved something and can take pride and fun of it.

QUESTION 2:
Is it possible to fail in a game if there is no task in this game?

My take on question 1 is close to this question. To wrap up: even if there are no goals in the game itself, one can play the game for recreational use. If you fail to take amusement out of the game (for whatever individual reason), I would consider this a fail.

I believe there are some games out there which try counter this approach and personally, I would rather put them into the interactive art section than into games.

QUESTION 3:
Is it possible to have a game with a task but no objective? Is a task/challenge without goal thinkable?

Oh boy, I failed to differentiate between tasks and goals in the previous answers. Well, I can think of keeping the money balanced and the ratings reasonable as beeing tasks in SC4 and a goal could be something like "reaching a million inhabitants". But since you can ignore the goals in SC4 by not creating your own ones, you still have to balance the money and the ratings.   ...   unless you brake the game by cheating you money :D


---------

I guess the principal goal is: "Possibilities". People can use it according to their interests, and express their ideas, just as any other artistic expression, without the restrictions other games have... There are lots of types of players. I'll try to make a short list of several ones...

"Eyecandy" Category:
[...]

"Functional" Category:
[...]

"Fantasy" Category:
[...]

"Train Model" Category:
[...]

"Players" Category (I had to choose a name):
[...]

"Creators" Category:
[...]

Finally there are people who don't fit in only one category, but in two or even three...

Game mechanics, aesthetics and graphic engine all together make SC4 a great game, and explain its long life. As a whole, is still superior to newer games (imho)...

I really like those categories. Good thinking. I'm in the middle of the "functional" and "train model" category :D
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 02:19:24 PM by Seaman »

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #9 on: November 27, 2018, 02:16:20 PM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline mattb325

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2018, 02:33:04 PM »
To me the 'goal' has two points.

1) Undeniably there is a frame work that the creator, Maxis, set up.  You start with an empty space and the purpose of the game and the game-mechanics is to increase density, population, zones, education, health and wealth. Unlike other games, you are not really forced to move through different stages. It is quite gentle, and you can have a region of just farms if you want, even though the way that the game is set up, the ultimate 'goal' is to have a metropolis.

2) How it achieves that goal, or lets you meaner around it, is, that the game is additive. And this has been very important for its longevity. Even if you have no custom content, when you open a blank tile, in order to interact with the game, you have to add something; trees, rivers, a street, a zone, power, water and you keep adding to either your satisfaction or the goal of the game mechanics (to get a metropolis). In that way, you can have a tile where you have added only forest, or a tile where you have added only farms, or a highway, or a seaport. The game doesn't overtly pressure you to add more, but it is additive none-the-less.

Additionally, the additive nature is evident in the fact that Maxis allowed the community to create custom content. This expands not only the longevity of the game, but also the time in which you can add different elements at different stages of the game. For example, if your game is to have farms, the 3 or 4 vanilla versions will quickly become dull and you would likely add other zones to maintain interest, or you could add custom farm content and maintain interest within the idea of playing in the farming space.

Most importantly, and why I believe the game is additive in nature, is that in each part of the game's mechanics, Maxis displayed small but tantalizing tid-bits of what could be done, but left the door open to the community to make changes. Many people say this is just sloppy and proof that Maxis rushed the game to market, but I actually think it was benevolence. Examples are:
  • The dirt road network. Unimplemented by Maxis; turned into RHW by the NAM
  • Custom foundations. Maxis did give us some. Vlakhaas did some work and CP took it to a whole new level
  • Seasonal props. Maxis gave us a few examples; cars/sims/the Rockefeller Xmas tree and ice-rink. Porkissimo turned it to trees and now, of course we have CP & girafe's amazing work
  • Seasonal effects. Maxis gave a small example with snow appearing on Dec 25th; look what Xannepan did with that tiniest sliver to create something so extraordinary
  • Moisture effects. The great terrain makers, ennedi, gobias and CP have taken this far beyond the levels that Maxis hinted at
  • The cheat codes. While some are available in vanilla mode, Buggis extra cheats throws open the door to a whole new level
  • Lastly, for those with enough coding knowledge, Simmaster07s work with the sc4 fixes is extraordinary

All of this is additive within the frame work of the game that adds elements rather than subtracts them, and Maxis allowed the community to keep adding, which has meant that we're still reasonably active 15 years on. Surely that's a record.

So to your three questions. 1) Yes. In the context of an additive game, you can fail. When your funds dip too low, you thrown out of office. 2) Fail isn't the right word here; aligning with the purpose of the game would be more accurate. 3) Because the game doesn't overtly force you through its stages, you can overlay your own goals, so in that sense, yes.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 02:35:32 PM by mattb325 »

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2018, 02:33:04 PM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline eggman121

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2018, 02:42:30 PM »
Quote
But now, let's proof - TOGETHER? - if my initial question is valid.

Quote
QUESTION 1:

Is it possible to fail  in Sim City 4?

Only if you are in debt by 100,000 in currency. I don't think there is any other way to fail.

Quote
QUESTION 2:
Is it possible to fail in a game if there is no task in this game?

If there are no tasks than you don't have to do anything. So you can't fail on that part. I think the tasks are self driven.

Quote
QUESTION 3:
Is it possible to have a game with a task but no objective? Is a task/challenge without goal thinkable?

You would have to think outside the region, I think the goal is to make goals to achieve certain types of goals.



Now for the detailed response.

SimCity 4 in my opinion is an open space where you can create what you want. Goals and tasks are self driven (e.g You don't have to clean you room but you can if you want). In my opinion the goals of the developers are different from what we have now as goals. This is quite philosophical. Instead of being given a set of directives you are by power giving directives yourself. Your decisions on certain aspects of the game will affect how things flow in the game. I don't think there are any rights or wrongs unless you really push the boundary's you have set. In SimCity 4 you are the master and controller.

Modifications have had a profound expansion to the game as well. I think most of us playing have a list of mods that are used. They can adjust the complexity of how you want to play. For instance... You can have trees that give you infinite money... Nice, But others may want to make the game harder by using mods that adjust the complexity of achieving certain goals.

For myself however, SC4 represents an outlet to peruse our respective talents in the game. Just look at what some of the residential MDers are doing (e.g Kover is doing some amazing work on replicating RL scenes with true earth). The NAM adds complexity and delight to both the users and modder's (We want to achieve great thing in that mod). We don't dismiss playing styles as well. So basically what I am saying is that SC4 means different thing to different people.

Now the community. We have probably the kindest and most helpful community of any games in the space. We freely share mods and creations without hesitation. We have genuine debates. We accolade each other as needed. That is because there are no rights or wrongs. I think if you look at the SC4 Community you can see some answers for yourself. With no tasks that are required in the game there are no judgments that are needed to apply on players.

Final comment, SC4 is a creative space. We take inspiration from each other. So there is no right or wrong.

Just my thoughts.

Edit: Thanks mattb325 I think we have similar thoughts.  :)

-eggman121

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2018, 02:42:30 PM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline romualdillo

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2018, 02:53:19 PM »
Fantozzi I don't find your question silly... I think it's really a good question and it's not the first time it's set. Perhaps I misunderstood the problem statement.

Well, I'll try to follow you through the path you're indicating, and defend my position by the way. SimCity 4 is a game, and you can easily fail if your city managment is terrible. There are also certain goals, as Haljackey recalls, known as rewards you can obtain when certain requisites are fulfilled in a city tile. In a certain way, you win the game when you get all the rewards. That's how games work, isn't it? In this case, we are talking of the "Players" category, I suppose.

But there are ways to avoid failing in the game, like cheats or certain custom content that produces Simoleons... By doing this, you would be morally losing in my opinion, because you're breaking game's rules. (BTW I just found out that Simoleon is another word for Dollar) &scl()

There's another important factor in SC4, it's not only a game, but a simulation game. It reproduces some aspects of real life cities, introducing in the game all those abstract goals and challenges in a city's development: Improving life quality, work, services, commerce, industry... Cities are living entities, composed of living persons. That's the reason why this discussion leads naturally to the meaning of life. Cities have no peculiar objectives, but the ones their inhabitants and managers have. They may have a purpose (even tasks), but not an objective. They can be seen, in a certain way, as a tool for human development by concentrating population and services, but no city gets a special reward by reaching 100000 inhabitants. Even other City Builders, when playing campaign mode, you have the possibility to continue the city's development, if you will, after completing the mission. The goals in the cities you create, are your personal ones in this kind of simulations, just like in real life. There are certain "official goals" in life as in SC4, but at last, the most important ones are those that make you feel fulfilled. We may be still speaking about the "Players" category, but also the "Functional" ones in this case.

Finally, if cities can be described as "tools" used for different purposes, but without a real particular objective, we can also state that SC4 is also a tool for different purposes, and not only a game. It's a tool for "players" to express ideas, feelings, interests... Just like art. That's why I answered your question with another one. SC4 stops being only a simulation game, and starts being a hobby, an art... You can paint with SC4, design, write stories... and even sculpt... Of course, always around city building (or world creation). And that's how all the other categories show up. And what you get are your only and personal goals and rewards, and they are really difficult to describe. In my case, I'm only going to say: "I like it".

I don't consider this the end of the path in any case. I hope I've given an acceptable introduction answer to your question. If you were looking for a concrete answer, I suppose the goal of SC4 as game is obtaining all rewards without cheats, but that's not the way I use it, so it's not my personal goal.

I'm sorry if I'm still misunderstanding your question...  :thumbsup:

(I started to write this before Seaman, mattb325 and eggman121 answered, and I second all they've said)
« Last Edit: November 27, 2018, 02:56:59 PM by romualdillo »

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2018, 02:53:19 PM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline Seaman

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2018, 03:06:40 PM »
2) How it achieves that goal, or lets you meaner around it, is, that the game is additive. And this has been very important for its longevity. Even if you have no custom content, when you open a blank tile, in order to interact with the game, you have to add something; trees, rivers, a street, a zone, power, water and you keep adding to either your satisfaction or the goal of the game mechanics (to get a metropolis). In that way, you can have a tile where you have added only forest, or a tile where you have added only farms, or a highway, or a seaport. The game doesn't overtly pressure you to add more, but it is additive none-the-less.

I like the idea of the game beeing additive. This would explain my horrors of having the region completly filled, because I cannot add something anymore and the game, for me, ends. Maybe, this is why it's called a city-building game and not a city-having or city-management game.

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2018, 03:06:40 PM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline fantozzi

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2018, 02:57:30 AM »
Thank you all for the illumintive arcticles. I have to muse on your thoughts.

On thinking I'm like a gazelle ...

...or how do you call those white bearded animals again?

When you look really closely, all mirrors look like eyeballs.

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Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2018, 02:57:30 AM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline fantozzi

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2018, 07:10:17 AM »
Really - this is much stuff worthy of consideration. The community may be small in numbers but it is strong in insight. :thumbsup: 

I assume we have to drop the idea you can be victorious in SC4 - the correlation, the goal is to win. This seems to be the sticking point - as there is nothing to win. You can make a lot of money you can build the biggest city - but nothing is defined to be the final trophy.

I think there comes Matt's description of SC4 as an additive game in. One of the brillant things is: you have to create your own trophies inside the game. We became used to understand those - selfmade - objecvtives as the many goals of the game. And with the analysis and the remarks about them I fully agree - they can be plenty. Even more: while you play they can change: Often the graphs may guide you - oh, I have to clean air, so let's make a park, oh - I must create more living space. So one day you dedicate playing to this goal, the ther day to that goal. So they can be even plenty all at the same time!

But still I always could jump on a meta-level and say: the goal of the game ist to find an objective as major, to recognize what needs to be done. Or quirky: to give a meaning to the life of a major.  :D This would be the basic goal of the game.

But rather then talking about a "meta-level" I'd like to see this more like the ground floor, the foundation and I think Matt is on the very right track to separate this. So I think we have already a majoritarian accepted theory and I'd like to call it the Additive-Theory.

Something to work with.

I'd like to focus on the ground floor first, on which we move and discover and add our 'individual goals'.

1) Undeniably there is a frame work that the creator, Maxis, set up.  You start with an empty space and the purpose of the game and the game-mechanics is to increase density, population, zones, education, health and wealth. Unlike other games, you are not really forced to move through different stages. It is quite gentle, and you can have a region of just farms if you want, even though the way that the game is set up, the ultimate 'goal' is to have a metropolis.

[...]

So to your three questions. 1) Yes. In the context of an additive game, you can fail. When your funds dip too low, you thrown out of office. 2) Fail isn't the right word here; aligning with the purpose of the game would be more accurate. 3) Because the game doesn't overtly force you through its stages, you can overlay your own goals, so in that sense, yes.

I agree in some points but not fully. I agree you start with an empty space. If you do nothing, nothing starts or maybe major rating starts to drop anyway. So maybe to prevent major rating dropping you start to fill the space. From there a line of reward-buildings give a direction. The money you have, your reputation and the population - they give the awards so they show the direction towards the goal. It doesn't need to be a megacity imho. More important I think is balance. Balance is a great factor for the goal - spendings and earning must be in balance, nature and industry - demands must be in balance, traffic, travel time. Imho the main challenge is to keep the things in balance. Your biggest enemy is inbalance. The game is made the way you have to do something to keep balance. In SC4 growth is only partially something you want but also you need growth to balance things. The RCI graph, the advisors - they tell what is out of balance. Now things grow by themselves. Your tool for balance is organisation, planning - where to build what, how to connect. So whe have balance and imbalace on one side as poles and we have order and disorder on the other side as poles. In Sc4 you fail when things fall into chaos, when things get so imbalanced that you have no other choice than raze your city to the ground. Like the goal is no victory the same to fail in SC4 doesn't mean 'game over'. You do this by yourself in SC4 - you destroy your city:

is there a goal a final state to reach, a city builders heaven, a glorious end ....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bVaQN240G80

Well, my immediate response would go like: "to fill up my region in a pleasing way". But when I have a second thought of it, I really don't like the idea, that my region, someday, is finished and I have nothing more to do than start a new one from scratch. In fact, this is giving me horrors!
So it seems like that to me, SC4 does not have a goal in a traditional gaming sense but is rather a continous process of amusement.

Imho this is the next greatness of the game - it doesn't tell you you've failed. You must have the insight on your own.

One could say - the principle of the game, the philosophy is: you gain balance with order. You succeed when there is order and balance, you loose, when there is disorder and imbalance.

And it seems, where other game says 'game over' in Sim City 4 its you, when you destroy your city.

So the real challenge would be not how big your city is but how old ? How long mankind did survive under your hands? Could this be the goal of SC4? Keeping things in balance as long as possible? And therefore the game has no "end" because to end the game means to fail. And the supercity would be the one that runs forever in a state of absolute balance?


« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 08:18:28 AM by fantozzi »
When you look really closely, all mirrors look like eyeballs.

Sim City 4 Devotion Forums

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2018, 07:10:17 AM »

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?

Offline Seaman

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2018, 11:34:33 AM »
I think there comes Matt's description of SC4 as an additive game in. One of the brillant things is: you have to create your own trophies inside the game. We became used to understand those - selfmade - objecvtives as the many goals of the game. And with the analysis and the remarks about them I fully agree - they can be plenty. Even more: while you play they can change: Often the graphs may guide you - oh, I have to clean air, so let's make a park, oh - I must create more living space. So one day you dedicate playing to this goal, the ther day to that goal. So they can be even plenty all at the same time!

Well, I think Matt pointed out, that the developers had the Megacity in mind, when they created the game. Of course, they intentionally made it up to you, what to do with your city. But to me, playing the game feels the most natural with the "more, more, more..." or "bigger, better, bolder" approach. I really have to focus myself to NOT end up with a bunch skyscrapers and downtown congestion. It's like the big cities are the default, you're approaching, if you don't decide otherwise.


More important I think is balance. Balance is a great factor for the goal - spendings and earning must be in balance, nature and industry - demands must be in balance, traffic, travel time. Imho the main challenge is to keep the things in balance. Your biggest enemy is inbalance. The game is made the way you have to do something to keep balance. In SC4 growth is only partially something you want but also you need growth to balance things. The RCI graph, the advisors - they tell what is out of balance. Now things grow by themselves. Your tool for balance is organisation, planning - where to build what, how to connect. So whe have balance and imbalace on one side as poles and we have order and disorder on the other side as poles. In Sc4 you fail when things fall into chaos, when things get so imbalanced that you have no other choice than raze your city to the ground. Like the goal is no victory the same to fail in SC4 doesn't mean 'game over'. You do this by yourself in SC4 - you destroy your city

[...]

So the real challenge would be not how big your city is but how old ? How long mankind did survive under your hands? Could this be the goal of SC4? Keeping things in balance as long as possible? And therefore the game has no "end" because to end the game means to fail. And the supercity would be the one that runs forever in a state of absolute balance?

I think romualdillo's categories are a valid approach here, since the challenges and approaches might differ, depending in which category you're in. If, for example, you want to recreate a slum, you might end up in a situation, where you actively try to imbalance to keep the area dirty and undeveloped. And if you are, say korver, you might want to break the "let-it-grow" mechanic of the game by setting up your own lots that suit your intentions.


And it seems, where other game says 'game over' in Sim City 4 its you, when you destroy your city.

... hahaha. And even here, the game lets you decide how you want to destroy your city! Disasters, anyone?
« Last Edit: November 30, 2018, 11:38:36 AM by Seaman »

Sim City 4 Devotion Forums

Re: What is the goal of Sim City 4?
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2018, 11:34:33 AM »

 


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