Menu

LEX File Exchange
EA Support Files
SC4 Wikipedia
Network Addon Mod
Dependencies
Chat

Author Topic: Features and Priority  (Read 14948 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline townscape

  • Forums Councilmember
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Total likes: 0
  • Reputation: 0
  • CityMania Graphic Designer
Features and Priority
« on: October 26, 2009, 11:14:25 AM »
This is a list of Features that are meant to be discussed and approved  by the community and developers. Like a Table of Contents
It's the list of all features that will enter version 1.0.

After each feature is discussed it is approved by one of the project leaders signing the field near the feature. Additionally, a coherent description of the feature and details are welcome or even necessary.





Simulation

Demand                                     (description or link goes here) (signed:________________)

Desirability                                 ()(signed:________________)
           -Close connection with land value, pollution, crime, service coverage, and taxes

Utilities
           -Power                                                   ()(signed:________________)
           -Water                                                   ()(signed:________________)
           -Sanitary(Garbage)                                   ()(signed:________________)
Services
           -Education                                              ()(signed:________________)
           -Fire department                                      ()(signed:________________)
           -Healthcare                                             ()(signed:________________)
           -Police department                                    ()(signed:________________)
           -Tourism and Leisure

Land value(next line)                     ()(signed:________________)
           -Affected by elevation, proximity to water, pollution, crime, neighboring buildings, environment
Environment
             -Pollution                                               ()(signed:________________)
             -Trees and flora                                      ()(signed:________________)
             -General climate                                      ()(signed:________________)
                              -Temperate                           ()(signed:________________)
                              -Tropical                               ()(signed:________________)
                              -Canyon Desert                      ()(signed:________________)
                              -Alpine/Arctic-Northern            ()(signed:________________)
              -Resources                                            ()(signed:________________)
              -Landmarks range                                   ()(signed:________________)
             

People
              -Transportation, Passenger                       ()(signed:________________)
                               -Commute                             ()(signed:________________)
                               -Public Transport                    ()(signed:________________)
                               -Speedlimits?                         ()(signed:________________)
              -Job (requirements, level of income)            ()(signed:________________)
              -Wealth                                                 ()(signed:________________)
                      -Low income                                   ()(signed:________________)
                      -Medium income                               ()(signed:________________)
                      -High income                                   ()(signed:________________)
                      -Very High income?                           ()(signed:________________)
               -Household                                             ()(signed:________________)
               -Satisfaction                                          ()(signed:________________)
               -Level of Education                                  ()(signed:________________)

Economy
              -Budget                                                  ()(signed:________________)
              -Taxes                                                   ()(signed:________________)
              -Loans                                                    ()(signed:________________)
              -Money                                                   ()(signed:________________)
              -Interaction between businesses                 ()(signed:________________)
                                        -Storage                       ()(signed:________________)
                                        -Import                         ()(signed:________________)
                                        -Export                         ()(signed:________________)
              -Transportation, Freight                             ()(signed:________________)


End User Tools and Procedures

Blueprint tool                                  ()(signed:________________)
               
Road-tool                                       ()(signed:________________)
                  -Number of lanes                                   ()(signed:________________)
                  -Sidewalk width                                     ()(signed:________________)
                  -Dividers                                              ()(signed:________________)
                  -Parking elbows                                     ()(signed:________________)
                  -Decorative and Environmental Elements    ()(signed:________________)
Zoning Tool                                     ()(signed:________________)
           -Residential
                   -Rural
                   -Low density
                   -Medium density
                   -High density
           -Commercial (this is where height limits will be more useful because of non-density classification)
                    -Core Commercial
                    -Commercial mixed use
                    -Service Commercial
           -Industrial
                    -Light Industry/Private Businesses
                    -Heavy Industry
                    -Agricultural
           -Parks                                                         ()(signed:________________)
           -Landfills                                                      ()(signed:________________)
           -Open Space/Conservation                              ()(signed:________________)

The building                                     ()(signed:________________)

           -Placement and Edges Location                        ()(signed:________________)
           -Decorative Elements                                     ()(signed:________________)
           -Parking                                                       ()(signed:________________)
Terraforming                                     ()(signed:________________)
               
Location                                          ()(signed:________________)
      -Regions                                                            ()(signed:________________)
             -Cities                                                        ()(signed:________________)

Nature                                             ()(signed:________________)
             -Disasters                                                   ()(signed:________________)
             -Weather                                                    ()(signed:________________)
             -Seasons, seasonal behaviour                         ()(signed:________________)
             -Climate                                                      ()(signed:________________)
             -Flora                                                         ()(signed:________________)
             -Fauna                                                       ()(signed:________________)

The Software

Client                                              ()(signed:________________)
-Graphics Engine                               ()(signed:________________)
             -3D                                                            ()(signed:________________)
             -CAD(Blueprint mode)                                    ()(signed:________________)

Simulation Engine                               ()(signed:________________)


Nature                                             ()(signed:________________)
             -Disasters                                                   ()(signed:________________)
             -Weather                                                    ()(signed:________________)
             -Seasons, seasonal behaviour                         ()(signed:________________)
             -Climate                                                      ()(signed:________________)
             -Flora                                                         ()(signed:________________)
             -Fauna                                                       ()(signed:________________)

Open to changes by the moderators and community
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 09:02:48 AM by townscape »

funny how I link the banner to the only place I ever post :)
The Greatest place to get a game name

Offline croxis

Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2009, 12:49:11 PM »
I did some minor edits.
Here is my proposal for the first major release (minor release snapshots can be done in the interim prototyping new features.)

Release 1: CityMania Classic!
This is essentially the feature set found in simcity classic. Basic RCI, land value, crime, fire (actual disasters can come later, but the citizens will demand coverage), basic road and rail, power, pollution, desirability. If development of multicity play isn't finished then we can just use a single city filling up the region. The construction layer should also be implemented here. This will also test multithreading if we integrate that into the simulation layer.

Offline Nique

  • Moderator
  • Forums Governor
  • *
  • Posts: 288
  • Total likes: 0
  • Reputation: 6
  • The dutch will do it ;)
Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2009, 02:02:01 PM »
I did some minor edits.
Here is my proposal for the first major release (minor release snapshots can be done in the interim prototyping new features.)

Release 1: CityMania Classic!
This is essentially the feature set found in simcity classic. Basic RCI, land value, crime, fire (actual disasters can come later, but the citizens will demand coverage), basic road and rail, power, pollution, desirability. If development of multicity play isn't finished then we can just use a single city filling up the region. The construction layer should also be implemented here. This will also test multithreading if we integrate that into the simulation layer.

I agree croxis. Don't make it to heavy in the first release. We can build upon each major release.. (thinking about future). We absolutely need only to do major requirements for a release at the classic version. This means: BASIC RCI, basic gameplay.. but leave options open to extend it (extend classes). In fact, the classic version is the FRAMEWORK for future versions.

But, we can make a list and vote for it for 14 days.. the most popular features will be build in the classic one, while the rest will have to wait till a next release. Because the classic version will be a framework, it will be easy expendable by (new) teams of developers (think about the NAM team, and the teams that build upon NAM)
« Last Edit: October 26, 2009, 02:05:34 PM by Nique »
Proudly developer of

Offline townscape

  • Forums Councilmember
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Total likes: 0
  • Reputation: 0
  • CityMania Graphic Designer
Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2009, 02:05:14 PM »
-RCI- No branching
-Zoning
-Utilities: Power
-Pollution
-Desirability (only some or maybe ALL the factors should be implemented?)
-Road tools, only one default
-Rail Tools ,one default
-Land Value (will it include ALL the factors that influence it?)
-Police Departement, Crime
-Fire Department, Fire Hazard

-Also should base economy simulation be implemented?
« Last Edit: October 26, 2009, 02:08:21 PM by townscape »

funny how I link the banner to the only place I ever post :)
The Greatest place to get a game name

Offline Nique

  • Moderator
  • Forums Governor
  • *
  • Posts: 288
  • Total likes: 0
  • Reputation: 6
  • The dutch will do it ;)
Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2009, 02:06:38 PM »
townscape, keep your ideas, lists coming, nothing wrong with that of course, but for the first classic version we need very basic stuff
Proudly developer of

Offline Atomius

Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2009, 05:38:55 PM »
as long as you leave the branches open for expansion the classic version should go alright. i reckon your spot on about having the features of simcity classic (and other branch stubs where the game differs markedly from that game)

but yeah a good stable tested basic classic first version to be the base trunk for future expansion is a great idea

Offline kancamagus

Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2009, 01:29:45 AM »
I just discovered this project this past evening, and am amazed! Particularly by this thread, which really brought up a bunch of topics of ditching the "everything must be discrete components created by developers" model of SC4 and allowing a "everything is tweakable by the user" model of lots, road sizes, etc.

EDIT: I know this is really long, but consider these ideas for something like Version 2.0, or Version 3.0, or something well after the initial first release. These are just brainstorming ideas, but some of the concepts behind them (everything modular, completely modifiable transportation networks, etc) could be used to help guide the basic architecture behind Version 0.5 beta of CityMania.


Road Network:
For the Road Network, if Number of Lanes, Sidewalk Width, Median Size/Type are all modifiable by the user for each road, I'd suggest also adding in an Easement/Building Setback variable. This could also be implemented as total width of land available for the Road, such that a 2-lane road would be upgradable to a 4-lane road without needing to bulldoze any buildings. Then this option could be "lockable", such that if locked, increasing the number of lanes would automatically reduce the size of median/sidewalk.

Roads should also be definable as "Named Roads". Such that I can click on a bunch of roads in a row, and define them as "Main Street". Even if they were drawn separately, if I go to the properties of "Main Street" and upgrade sidewalks or add decorative medians, it changes properties to the entire street. Different types of streets/roads can just be given different names, like "South Main Street". By default, every street/road/ave drawn gets the default name X St, where X is an auto-incrementing number. Roads are rename-able to anything the user wants.

Mass Transit:
In keeping with the "Everything is tweakable by variables instead of giving the user a gazillion discrete options", how about this get extended to the mass transit networks? The more I look at mass transit networks, the less I see discrete systems and the more I see various technologies with various levels of service. For example, in Boston has the Green Line, which acts like a streetcar (mixed with traffic on E Line), rapid transit (dedicated ROW on D Branch), light rail in median (B, C branches), subway (downtown), and elevated (north of downtown). Therefore, the city simulator should work the same way. Just like the tweakable roads, mass transit needs to be tweakable.

For this to be implemented correctly, we'd need a way of creating actual bus and train routes, instead of just plopping stations and letting them find any path between them. But let's say this bus and train route tool was implemented, then each route could have tweakable variables like "Rush Hour Frequency", "Normal Frequency", "Late Night Frequency", "Number of Tracks" (for trains), whether it's electric, diesel, or hybrid, if electric, if it's powered by third rail or overhead (This is important if there would ever be streetcars/trams or for light rail), etc. From here, a modular system could be created, so any number of additional transportation networks could be added using the same basic principles, such as ferryboats, gondolas (like Venice), monorails, etc.

To Take it even further, each bus route/train route could have the option to select a custom "vehicle" for that route, so that like Boston, an Orange Line can have Blue Line could have blue metro trains, the Orange line orange metro trains, etc. These Routes could even be given separate names by the user, also the default names are Route X, where X is an auto-incrementing number. All stations have names, with the default name being Station X, where X is auto-incrementing number unique to that line. So there could be two Station 2s, one on Red Line and one on blue Line. All names are user editable.

Highways/Freeways:
For Highway and interchanges, I'd say let's break the idea of having "preset" interchanges. You should be able to drag highways either over each other. Then make a tool to "split/merge" ("offramp/onramp" if you will) lanes. This would be modifiable to select the number of lanes to split off, and whether they are "Exit Only" lanes or they just branch off. From here, all the user would need to to is to create a 3D spline between the offramp and the onramp to create a flyover/exit ramp. This same idea could also be used to create regular highway exits. To create a T interchange, the user would draw one "thru" highway and one "spur" stub-ended highway. Using the "split" or "offramp" tool, the user could then split the stub into lanes, which could then be dragged using the flyover tool to onramps/offramps on the thru highway to make the connection. Since all these flyovers would use splines with varying heights, the user is free to draw whatever interchange their heart desires. This frees up development time from creating a ton of "discrete" highway exits and interchanges.

Highways can be given names, like "I-95" or "Cross Bronx Thruway".

Land Value: (this is more directed at programming the simulator)
Building things like parks, schools, proximity to water (waterfront property always worth more), and mass transit (electric more so than diesel) should increase land value, while polluting industry and highways (due to pollution, noise) should decrease value of residential land. This being said, zone density should be tied into land value. E.g. building a flat parking lot or a suburban style house on a 1/2 acre lot in Manhattan is aweful waste of land and therefore "underzoned", but zoning high density in the middle of nowhere without highways or mass transit is "overzoned". In balance with taxes from each property, each property should also have a cost to the city. For example, a low density residential zone has low monthly cost, because it would never NEED large amounts of water or electricity. But a high density zoned land should have a high monthly cost, because the city needed to build and supply large capacity water/sewer/electric/gas lines. This will prevent the user from zoning everything high density at the start of the game and letting it grow with time, instead zoning higher incrementally as land value increases (this creating demand for higher density). This would also make the user spread out to fill a city more thoroughly instead of like SC4 where a small cluster in a big city could have skyscrapers while all land around it is empty (but note that parks DOES NOT EQUAL empty. Having something like Central Park should make the land value increase almost enough to offset the price of the park).

Land Value should have a slight positive trend versus the wealth of the inhabitants of the property, but it should be flexible. For example, a rich person could live 100 miles away from their job on a ranch/mansion in the middle of nowhere (while their house is worth a lot of money, the land itself isn't worth that much) while a poor person could live in high-density slums near the downtown area. However, in general, since land value increases the closer to downtown one gets (and thus higher densities), and since recent trends in population growth are shifting towards higher incomes living closer to the cities (such as from gentrification of former ghetto neighborhoods into middle/upper class areas when something like a new mass transit line or new high-land-value target opens), the game should reflect this.

Parking:
All buildings in CityMania should have a "Parking Index", which is the number of cars which could park at that location. For example, a Wal-Mart type of store would have a huge number of parking spots, whereas a skyscraper in an urban area probably wouldn't have anywhere near enough parking spots in an underground or attached parking garage. This is because in suburbia, land is cheap enough to afford enough parking, while in downtown land is too valuable to waste on endless parking lots and garages. Thus, not having enough parking spots should encourage citizens to either find a different place to go where there is enough parking, or to use mass transit.

Biking/Personal Transport:
In addition to walking to places (which in city planning, about 1/4 mile or 1/2 kilometer is definitely good, 1/2 mile or 1 kilometer is about the maximum most people will walk from/to transit stop), citizens should also be able to bike. Bike Lanes could be an option for the Roads, along with streetcar/light rail, to form multi-model transit corridors. There should also be separate right-of-way  bike lanes, such as rail-trails - paved bike/pedrestrian paths about 12 feet / 3-4 meters wide built along abandoned railroads. The wider sidewalks are, the more bike lanes, and the more bike paths in a city, the more likely citizens are to use them. Since walking and biking are healthy exercise, the more people that walk/bike in a city, the healthier they get, and the more effective its hospitals become.

Utilities/Services:
This should be modular, to allow new utilities/services to be added as mods. In the basic game there should be electricity, water, and garbage. To make electricity more like the real world, there should be a need for power lines and electric substations. For example, in SC4 you could send power to an entire metropolis of 500,000 through low density homes. In CityMania, power lines should be built along roads with a capacity proportional to the road capacity. At low land value, all power lines are visible as overhead power lines. When land value escalates to a certain point, a "underground wires" option is enabled allowing the player to "hide" the power lines underground at a higher monthly cost. At a high enough land value (approximately equal to high density), power lines are automatically put underground.

In the case of endless suburbia, small roads won't have enough power line capacity to supply an entire town. There could be an option for selectively upgrading roads to a moderately higher capacity, as well as have the option to build dedicated power lines in various sizes, from small (like this http://www.pewclimate.org/docUploads/images/Power%20lines.preview.jpg ) to to large (like this: http://environmentallaw.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/transmission-lines.jpg ).

Just like in SC4, at low density city water is not mandatory, as they can dig wells. But pollution, density and wealth of inhabitants would require city water. City water comes from pump stations, which harking back to SC 3000 should have higher capacity if placed near bodies of water. Water filtration plants would be required if pollution is too high. Instead of laying pipes individually like in SC4, the player could either lay pipes individually to connect pumps/filtration plants to roads, or they could draw a huge plot of land like they are zoning, and pipes could automatically be laid underneath all the city streets in the zone. To make it more realistic, the higher in elevation water has to be pumped, the less efficient pump stations become (because they have to work harder to get water to the top of a hill instead of just on flat land. To increase the efficiency of the water system, water tanks/water towers could be added. These help increase efficiency of the pumps, as they help generate a higher water pressure.

Garbage should have landfills, incinerators, plasma arc gassification plants (developing technology that eliminates garbage without pollution and can run at profit, but has high initial cost), or the option to load on freight trains or barges and "sell" to another town to deal with. Recycling centers should reduce the amount of garbage produced.

In an advanced part of the game, sewers are introduced. When building water pipes in this advanced part of the game, sewers are built at the same time as with the water pipes. To simplify the pipe view, these can be shown side by side in different colors. For the sewers, construction of a waste water treatment plant is necessary.

Other modular utilities that could be added to the game as addons, such as the Postal Service. The Postal Service if built and managed properly by the player should have a net budget impact of $0. For the Postal Service to work, players must divide their city into zip codes. To simplify this, each zip code can hold as many as 50,000 citizens. The Zip Code could be a separate layer, where the user can draw shapes to define zip codes. If a zip code is only assigned to 100 citizens, the Post Office branch will have a negative effect on city budget, but as it approaches 5,000 citizens it should become budget neutral. If a zip code exceeds 50,000 citizens, the Post Office Branch starts again having a negative drain on cash flow, as they are overworked and must pay everyone overtime.

Each Zip Code must have their own Post Office Branch, and the City in general must have a Main Post Office. As the City grows larger, the main Post Office must be upgraded. Once the city surpasses two zip codes (100,000+ residents), a mail sorting facility must be added to the city. Once a Main Post Office is established, not all land is required to be in a zip code. However, this will always related in a negative cash flow, as the poor overworked employees at the Main Post Office must do twice as much work in overtime to figure out what mail goes where without zip codes!

The effects of the Post Office result in a slight increase in land value

Citizens:
Instead of Sims, they are Citizens. It makes them should more official and important, and people in your town always want to be important. "We're twice as good as the people of Shelbyville! Just tell us your idea and we'll vote for it!" -Mayor Quimby, The Simpsons

Ordinances:
These should be a modular style, to allow custom plugins. These all tweak values of various things in the city. Sometimes they make certain buildings more effective, such as a pro-youth-reading summer camp ordinance would make schools more effective at raising education. Others can have blanket effects on entire city, such as enabling single-stream recycling to cause higher recycling rates, whereas the increase in recycling could be proportional to something like education level or land value. Other things like a pro-biking campaign could increase percentages of people who bike to work. Some ordinances could have mixed, or negative effects, such as a anti-alcohol ordinance causing abrupt increase in crime, decrease in happiness, but increase in capacity/effectiveness of roads (no drunk drivers = less accidents).

Happiness:
This should be a new index to add to the city, a poll of the happiness of the citizens, with a map showing the happiness values of different parts of the city. The whole point of building cities is to make sure citizens have all the essentials they need to live their life, e.g. have a home, a job, basic utilities, and amenities like parks. Adding buildings like museums, libraries, sports stadiums, and entertainment complexes like movie theaters, operas, etc. should increase the happiness of citizens. Having long commutes or high pollution or low-paying jobs should decrease happiness. Having high education and health should increase happiness. This is kind of like Mayor Rating in SC4.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2009, 01:36:11 AM by kancamagus »

Offline croxis

Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2009, 02:43:10 AM »
I read most of it (started skimming at the end). Much of what you talk about has or is being discussed in other threads. It might take a while but you are welcome to post in topics, even old ones, if you feel you have something meaningful to contribute :)

There is one thing I want to talk about, and that is feature creep. Sid Meier (of Civilization fame) said he would rather make one great game rather than two good games combined into one. We need to remember that this is a city simulator that is a game, not transportation tycoon + railroad tycoon + school tycoon... I have a couple friends I know in real life who loved SimCity 2000, Loved SimCity 3000, but just could not get themselves to like SimCity 4 because it got too complicated.

Sid said that for every itteration of Civilization they break features into thirds. 1/3 they will keep, 1/3 they will get rid of, and 1/3 they will add. IMHO Civ4 is a much deeper game than its predecessors and not because of adding on more and more features. My goal is to keep the conversations to what can we change, rather than what should we add.

Lets look at your suggestion for mass transet scheduling with late night, rush hour, mid day, etc. (Side note, many good ideas to consider, thank you, so don't take this as an attack :) ). For this to work out the game will need a day night cycle that isn't just cosmetic. This sounds like a nifty idea on the surface. But what i do as a designer is abstract away things and look at the basic gameplay. What would actually change over the course of the day that is meaningful to the player? The only thing I can think of in this insomniatic hour is traffic, but in almost every case the same roads will have the same problems, just in the other directions. You also risk the player micromanaging the budget as well over the course of the day to maximize the budget. That is the opposite of what I want.  Not to mention all the updates will be even more taxing to the computer, and with the new region system and multiplayer I think it will be more than taxed enough.

Other ideas are good though. Grouping of roads would be useful. A feature that might eb good to add would allowing changing the speedlimits (which have sane defaults for that predefined road type). But I don't see how such fine level of detail, such as breaking down the bus schedule into morning/afternoon/evening, would be useful.

For those who don't use linux, there are two popular window managers (the gui), GNOME and KDE. Gnome uses sane defaults and does not directly display many options to the end user. But if the end user wants to have fine level of control, it is there. KDE philosophy is to display all options to the end user. I have not checked recently, but last I heard GNOME was the most popular.

Long story short. Brainstorming is good, but sometime someone needs to make sure we don't get too carried away :D

Offline townscape

  • Forums Councilmember
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Total likes: 0
  • Reputation: 0
  • CityMania Graphic Designer
Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2009, 05:46:21 AM »
Edited the OP.

Also on an important note: Toberas asked if there are some already defined functions that should be taken in account when designing the interface (should or not be placed in the interface). This must be a separate list presented here.

If you know something I missed in the above list or exaggerated (like should the residential be classified like so, or simpler just by 3 density types) please announce it here and I or the moderators will fix it.

The OP should be the defined features that are approved by the developers and just need a little more deeper documentation and discussion before getting into programming it.

Any comments are very welcome.





Interface functions:
Main Menu:
-Load
-Save
-Exit
-Photo
-Options
-

Info:
-Population
-Budget
-Income
-Demand
-City Name
-Chat Box
-News and Allerts

Controls:
Camera
Time

Tools:
Zoning Tool
           -Residential
                   -Low density
                             -Rural
                             -Suburban
                   -Medium density
                              -Terraced Housing aka Townhouses or Wall-to-Wall
                                                -Mixed development(Wall to wall with shops)
                              -Everything else
                   -High density
           -Commercial
                    -Low density (to divide or not divide?)
                    -Medium density
                           -Mixed Development(Offices+Shops)
                    -High density
                           -Mixed Development(Offices+Shops)
           -Industrial
                    -Primary producers
                    -Secondary producers
                    -Storage (or place them in the department above?)

Road Tool:
« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 06:02:24 AM by townscape »

funny how I link the banner to the only place I ever post :)
The Greatest place to get a game name

Offline Atomius

Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2009, 01:28:35 PM »
So you're saying that we decide what type of development gets built? Seems sort of like a compromise with a plop tool... Shouldn't the zone develop according to its situation and context? I mean it seems odd that you as Mayor could decide whether a house was 'rural' or 'suburban' in design...

Maybe I am just not understanding the concept enough, but if you can choose that much what sort of development you'll get it sort of takes away the realism a bit...

Unless I just don't understand this list...

Offline townscape

  • Forums Councilmember
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Total likes: 0
  • Reputation: 0
  • CityMania Graphic Designer
Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2009, 01:42:01 PM »
I guess you're right. Probably will go then with just and option to turn on mixed development.
which type of development will be built will be procedurally decided. For example: Rural housing development will grow until a certain population cap. After that, it will grow only close to farms.

funny how I link the banner to the only place I ever post :)
The Greatest place to get a game name

Offline toberas

Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2009, 04:43:15 PM »
Well choosing what you want to be developed at a certain place doesn't necessarily mean that it will de developed. It all depends on whether the criteria that are set for that zoningtype are met and if demand is high enough. It's just a more specific way of zoning. Otherwise you could just have one zoningtype in which everything can develop if you'd put it to the extreme. Where's the fun in that?

My 0,02 about zoning, after every zone I put one or two examples:


Residential - Housing

Low Density - Single Housing
Medium Density - Terraced Housing
High Density - High Rises

Residential & Commercial - Family Businesses and Wall-to-Wall

Low Density - Family Businesses
Medium Density - Wall-to-Wall

Commercial - Shops and Offices

Low Density - Shops and Markets
Medium Density - Malls and Small Offices
High Density - Large Offices and Corporations

Commercial & Industrial - Distributers and Business to Business

Low Density - Distributers
Medium Density - Business to Business

Industrial - Production and Laboratories

Low Density - Raw Material Processing
Medium Density - Manufacturing
High Density - Research and Development

Industrial & Residential - Agriculture and Crafts

Low Density - Agriculture
Medium Density - Crafts (for the dutch: hiermee bedoel ik ambachtslieden)


Note: the examples aren't meant as a 'just that' but they're to give a general idea about the kind of development is possible in that zone. I also understand that maybe things like the mixed purpose zones are not feasible, but it may be interesting and useful to discuss it anyway.

Offline Atomius

Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2009, 12:06:16 PM »
An idea I had that would be more realistic would be setting a height limit rather than just 'low, medium or high' density. So you'd select which zone (res,com,ind level) then select a height either in metres or storeys, and that would act as a limiting variable to development (each development would have a height/storey number variable)

That way you get realism.

As to the more selective zoning options like 'mixed development', in reality this is very complex, so for your Micropolis stage version you might want to just keep to the tried and true Simcity zone options. Where I live, for instance, there are a number of zone types Simcity doesn't have:

mixed residential and commercial (low density)= i.e home offices and shop/houses
mixed res/com (higher density)= i.e apartment blocks with shops or cafes at the ground floor
mixed ind/com= i.e a factory/warehouse etc adjacent to a shop owned by the same organisation

And of course with density we have height limits and type of development.

So what you could do is like this:

To get a mixed res tower with shops at the ground floor, you would select select 'mixed' from the res,com,ind menu. Then select two options from the res,com,ind menu which would again appear (or keep the same one). Then you select the storey/height limit. There could be default ones with similar results to low,medium and high density in SC or you could have what i'd do and have a drop down list of possible height limits.

My two cents. Obviously I want whats best for the game, but I feel that having 'terrace housing' or 'rural housing' seems a bit like a compromise with a plop tool... Which you could easily include with the game as its open source and all... And it wouldn't be too hard to simulate growth depending on external conditions to get rural/suburban housing. For instance if you want rural housing have it close to farms, with a small population etc. I'm aware some towns have suburban style housing even with small populations. Rural housing is often low wealth. So maybe if you have good living standards and a small population you would get suburban housing?

Also whilst i'm ranting I'd like to mention one other type of 'zone'. Complexes. There are places a developer will make as a single development which combine both res and com with multiple buildings into one development. Also there are 'closed suburbs' and retirement homes and churches and in SC2000 there was even an inn. (pub and hotel)

So i guess i'm trying to say that developments should be built according to external conditions, not the mayor's blue prints. If the mayor wants to create a painting city then he/she can use a plop tool or cheat code... or simply edit the source. But i would think an average player would probably want to see their city develop in a less predictable fashion (remember 'gardening'?)


Offline tomkeus

Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2009, 12:57:44 PM »
Model I'm experimenting with works like this:

When lots are created, their surface area is calculated (remember, we're not using predefined lot sizes or shapes; rather, they are adapted to zone shape). Density of construction on a zone is controlled by specifiying maximum square meterage of floor space that can be built on a single lot.

So, small lots, combined with large square meterage allowed will result in high-rise construction (if there is demand for it, off course). Very large lots, combined with large square meterage allowed will result in low-rise sprawling buildings, eg. shopping malls or hypermarkets.

Everything I did so far implied mixed-type construction. Lot type is specified with maximum square meterage so lot specification could be, for example: 5,000 square meters of commercial floor space and 15,000 square meters of residential floor space.
#define TRUE FALSE /*Happy debugging suckers*/

Offline Atomius

Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2009, 01:22:08 PM »
That sounds great except height limit isn't directly controlled, and in most real councils there is a direct height limit control- however that could be fixed by having a storey/height limit calculated based on the floor space/lot size ratio and presented as zoning takes place.

So yeah. Like the floor space idea, that is nice and realistic.

Offline toberas

Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2009, 01:25:35 PM »
So tomkeus, am I reading it right when I think you're trying to say that density cannot be chosen as a zone but is automatically seen by the system by the size of your zone. That's pretty nifty, but I assume then that instead of determining what is built there you can determine what is not built. So you can say that no matter what is needed there will not be such and such. That way you can actually plan your CBD instead of getting a large building somewhere in the suburbs. Sounds as a great new way of looking at it though!  :thumbsup:

Offline townscape

  • Forums Councilmember
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Total likes: 0
  • Reputation: 0
  • CityMania Graphic Designer
Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2009, 03:11:46 PM »
Tomkeus that is excellent and goes very well with any further implementation of zoning. But how about large floor areas of mansions and small towers always present in commercial areas?

I am studying how different cities plan their land and how they classify their zones. It's interesting to compare planning maps and satellite images of a location and understand how they planned it. For now I don't really know how to classify it.

Please join the search for the true zoning types. If you know a city planner, or are a city planner, please contribute with which basic classes should there be. http://www.lansingmi.gov/Lansing/pnd/planning/zone_3_5_07lrg.jpg

If you type "zoning map" and search images in Google you can find a lot of real life maps.

funny how I link the banner to the only place I ever post :)
The Greatest place to get a game name

Offline tomkeus

Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2009, 04:43:47 PM »
So tomkeus, am I reading it right when I think you're trying to say that density cannot be chosen as a zone but is automatically seen by the system by the size of your zone. That's pretty nifty, but I assume then that instead of determining what is built there you can determine what is not built. So you can say that no matter what is needed there will not be such and such. That way you can actually plan your CBD instead of getting a large building somewhere in the suburbs. Sounds as a great new way of looking at it though!  :thumbsup:


You do choose density, but density is specified by how much you can build on a single lot and not overall zone density. So for example, if you build residential suburban zone, each lot will be set with, for example, maximum floor space of 300 square meters. So, no matter how big lot is, large residential building cannot be built on it.

As for height limit, I agree that there should be such option, since majority of cities do have height limits imposed.


Tomkeus that is excellent and goes very well with any further implementation of zoning. But how about large floor areas of mansions and small towers always present in commercial areas?

I'm not sure about zoning laws worldwide, but I'm under the impression that usually, for each zone there is a limit on floor space, so mansions cannot be built wherever some guy points with a finger. If you have population that wants mansions you will have to provide them with lots where such buildings can be built. Same goes for commercial space.
#define TRUE FALSE /*Happy debugging suckers*/

Offline townscape

  • Forums Councilmember
  • *
  • Posts: 87
  • Total likes: 0
  • Reputation: 0
  • CityMania Graphic Designer
Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2009, 08:21:01 AM »
OK, I've found enough info to present on real-life zoning:

Here's a general table:

     
Rural Residential              RR  
Low Density Residential      LDR  
Medium Density Residential      MDR  
High Density Residential      HDR  
 
       
Core Commercial              CC  
Commercial Mixed Use      CMU  
Service Commercial              SC  

Business Professional/Light Industrial      BP/LI  

     
Utilities                              U  
Public/Quasi-Public              P/QP  
Parks                              PR  
Open Space/Conservation      OSC  

A.  Rural Residential (RR). The rural residential (RR) category is intended to accommodate large estate residential properties at the periphery of Portola.
B.   Low Density Residential (LDR). The low density residential (LDR) category is intended to provide single family lots and related uses similar to those currently found at the periphery of Portola.
C.   Medium Density Residential (MDR). The medium density residential (MDR) category is intended primarily for single family detached dwellings on individual lots, although this density range will also accommodate duplex and attached dwellings, including apartments and condominiums.
D.   High Density Residential (HDR). The high density residential (HDR) category is intended to provide for attached or multi-family dwelling units.

A.   Core Commercial. The core commercial (CC) designation is intended to accommodate the businesses, institutions, and services for the residents of Portola and eastern Plumas County. It also includes the retail and service businesses oriented to tourists and travelers. The category includes retail stores, eating and drinking establishments, commercial recreation, service stations, financial, business and personal services, motels, public recreation, and social services.
B.   Commercial Mixed Use. The commercial mixed use (CMU) designation is intended to establish locations that include residential use in addition to employment centers, retail commercial, professional office, tourist commercial, visitor-oriented commercial activities, including hotels and motels, private commercial and recreation facilities, convention and meeting facilities, recreational vehicle parks, campgrounds, retail shops, restaurants, and related services.
C.   Service Commercial. The service commercial (SC) designation is intended for commercial uses that have heavy truck traffic, are engaged in the sale of bulk products, such as sand and gravel, or automobile repair and tire sales. The service commercial uses typically require large retail space, large storage areas, and large parking areas.

A.   Business Professional/Light Industrial. The business professional/light industrial (BP/LI) category is intended to accommodate light industrial, light assembly regional services, public and private commercial recreation, small warehouse and distribution, communications and information services, mail order services, and research and development businesses appropriate to the city's setting.

A.   Utilities (U). The utilities (U) designation includes the infrastructure in the community, such as the landfill, wastewater treatment plant and ponds, and the railroad. Development in these areas is generally restricted to the facilities associated with the primary utility.
B.   Public/Quasi-Public (P/QP). The public/quasi-public (P/QP) designation includes civic and institutional uses such as city hall, the library, the hospital, the post office, parks and schools. Private institutional uses include meeting halls, private schools, and churches.
C.   Parks. The parks (PR) designation includes parkland intended to provide recreation amenities for Portola residents and to provide space for public gatherings that may attract visitors to the community.
D.   Open Space/Conservation (OSC). The open space/conservation (OSC) designation covers those areas of the city in which development is constrained by a historic, cultural, aesthetic, or natural environmental conditions. These areas include drainages and the riverfront area.


Further detailed information can be found here:
http://www.mediafire.com/?hijzm0nmizj

Note: this is taken out of a municipal code and some restrictions found in the detailed info such as very small height limitations may be city specific.
Original document:http://library2.municode.com/default-test/home.htm?infobase=16896&doc_action=whatsnew
« Last Edit: November 11, 2009, 08:59:20 AM by townscape »

funny how I link the banner to the only place I ever post :)
The Greatest place to get a game name

Offline Atomius

Re: Features and Priority
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2009, 01:33:28 PM »
Now we're talking. Nothing like some research to gain realism I always say. Hmm well i guess 'rural residential' is a real term then.

At least with that zoning system combined with the square metre floorspace system and height restrictions you could get various things you couldn't in Simcity, like say mixed commercial/industrial such as a warehouse with offices and a retail outlet.

I notice agricultural wasn't on the list, so I imagine this town of Portola doesn't have farms? Or maybe the city administration doesn't control agricultural zoning...

One thing I liked in Sc2000 was the ability to zone airports and seaports etc, and it would be easy to apply the floorspace/height limit/general zone type restrictions to those areas, and perhaps military usage such as army bases (no I want a city sim too, not a nation/war sim, but cities do have army bases) etc