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PostPosted: 29 Jan 2013, 01:49 
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My personal idea for INFRA Tycoon is to include four different building sets;

¤ European - with mostly typical 2x2 and 1x2 blocks in the inner most centre, with 1x1 in other zones
¤ N American - with typical highrises in the inner most zone, and lowrises in other zones
¤ Arctic - Snow covered buildings
¤ Mediterranean - typical mediterranean/tropical buildings

I'm also thinking that while each set is meant to be used separately, a user would probably want to mix and match, e.g. European/N American, for the sake of variety. European and N American buildings will also have snow covered versions, and my intentions are - if possible to code - to control summer and winter using game years. I don't fancy snowline effects, but prefer if the entire map/scenario goes into winter seasons on a regular basis - based on game years...

Any thoughts regarding this?

Also, will it work using typical European lowrise buildings, (i.e. downtown wall-to-wall "w2w"), also in the N American building set?

wallyweb wrote:
Those would definitely fit well in North America where much of our architecture is influenced by our European heritage.

I only have one question ... Is that a self portrait on the side of one of those buildings? :mrgreen:

Is that a self portrait on the side of one of those buildings? :mrgreen:


Yes! :twisted: I'm going to be in everyones game, sneeking around once this is released... :P

wallyweb wrote:
Those would definitely fit well in North America where much of our architecture is influenced by our European heritage.


My idea is also to have these particular building sets coded so a user can chose whether or not to use only one, or more. Also, though not posted yet but they're coming, we need to have a discussion about proper sizes for highrises. For obvious reasons I find highrises more suitable for the N American Set, whilst the European is more suited for lower buildings - but again, I'm pretty sure people will mix and match anyway...

The way I see it highrises needs to be either 1x2 or 2x2, and if I remember correctly it's also possible to code buildings up to 2x2 in size. Or? Another question regards town zones as I want to establish already from the beginning where certain buildings will appear. The zones are, if I'm not mistaken;

Zone 0 - Downtown, (surrounded by trees on the pavement? Or is it zone 1?)
Zone 1 -
Zone 2 -
Zone 3 -
Zone 4 -
Zone 5 -

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PostPosted: 29 Jan 2013, 02:33 
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Creating a successful buildings set is hard (coding) work. You need to know exactly how the local authority is working.

Here some information ...

Town Zones

There are 5 town zones in which a building can be situated. They range from between 0 (outermost) and 4 (innermost). Smaller towns have fewer zones. Roads are plain in zone 0 and 1, have pavements in zone 2, have pavements and trees in zone 3 and have pavements with street lights in zone 4.

A small town may only start with zones 0 and 1; as it expands a new zone (2) is added in the town centre and zones 0 and 1 move outwards.

However zones 1 and 3 are very narrow belts and are unsuitable for buildings that are designed suitable for just one zone; they simply may not get built.

When allocating a town building to a particular zone(s), use any of the following schemes or a combination of them :

Zone 0 only
Zone 0 (+1)
Zone 2 only
Zone 2 (+1)
Zone 2 (+3)
Zone 4 only
Zone 4 (+3)

Allocating a building to just zone 1 or zone 3 only should be avoided.

For CanCity, we consider 3 zones :

Zone 0 : residential housing / suburbs.
Zone 2 : medium density housing with shops and low rise offices and services.
Zone 4 : Central Business District (CBD) with high rise office blocks and towers.

Should a building be suitable for zones 4 or 2, we may allow it to appear in zones 4 and 3 or zones 2 and 3 respectively.

We also have a way to construct buildings, at the time of construction, in the innermost zone only; i.e. the building will always appear in the centre of a town, even if it is built early in a game; thus creating the typical city landscapes of North America.

Building Size

A town building can have any of the following sizes :

1 x 1
1 x 2 (NW-SE)
2 x 1 (NE-SW)
2 x 2

Towns have problems placing large buildings (2x2), especially in inner zones later in a game. There is normally no vacant land available or the destruction of older buildings is made difficult, due to building protection schemes. Permission needs to be sought first for the demolition of up to 4 individual buildings before the construction of a 2x2 building can commence. This permission is granted by the GRF, however, it is not known what the town's intentions are. The only information available is whether the town wishes to construct an industry, such as a bank or water tower.


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PostPosted: 29 Jan 2013, 02:48 
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Thank you for this information OzTrans! :W

Based on what you write, is it good idea to have highrises for the N American building set coded to appear in zone 4 only, with lower buildings to appear in zone 3/zone 2? Providing a descriptive "donotreadme-file" the requirements for highrises to be built in zone 4 could be explained properly. In addition one could imagine an alternative for the European Set with 2x1 and 2x2 buildings only in zone 4, with single downtown buildings to appear in zone 3/zone 2! This would in fact open up for some creative blocks to be created...

Problems may occur when a player wants to mix and match for instance the N American Set and the European - from a visual point of view! I'm thinking lower European building blocks, (1x2 or 2x2), along with N American highrises in an odd mix... :P A player preference after all, but is it possible to code so that if a player decides to mix and match those two sets together, the European building blocks for zone 4 will not appear in zone, but in zone 3/zone 2 instead? If so then the more proper visual effect of highrises in the inner center with lower buildings appearing in those other zones could be uphold... :?

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PostPosted: 29 Jan 2013, 03:40 
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The issue is, that not you (your GRF) builds the houses. It is the city management. You only tell the city how you would like to have things done. There are certain properties you can set and hope the city will honour them. Saying a building should only be built in zone 4 (especially a 2x2) is a bad idea. You need to tell the city, to build it in the inner most zone, what ever that zone is at the time of construction; thus the building is in the right spot, regardless how the city grows.

The city evolves over time. Residential buildings will move outwards as they are rebuilt constantly. The GRF is in control whether a building can be replaced or not. The city will ask to destroy a particular building, because it wants to build a new one in its place. In CanCity, I decide on the age of the building. I give permission, if the building is old, but refuse if the building is relatively new. I can also decide, whether the old building can be removed, because it is no longer in the desired zone.

Mixing City sets is possible, but they do not relate or talk with each other. It can and will happen that the city will ask for permission to remove a building from set 1 in order to build a house from set 2. If the 2 city sets employ different strategies it may not work well.


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PostPosted: 29 Jan 2013, 10:35 
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Hmmm... given the information I'm starting to wonder if perhaps it's a better idea to focus on one single building set for both the European and the N American sets? My thoughts are about getting as much variety as possible, but I'm not sure I fancy an odd mix of lowrise buildings and highrises in the inner most centre of a city... :?

Question is, how to do this in the best and most effecient manner? My personal thoughts are as follows;

A - 2x2 - HIghrises - to be built in the inner most zone, to start at a certain age
B - 1x2 - Highrises - to be built in the inner most zone
C - 2x2 - Lowrise blocks, (i.e typical European inner city blocks) - to be built in the inner most zone up to a certain age, then in zone 3 and 2 only
D - 1x2 - Lowrise blocks, (i.e typical European inner city blocks) - to be built in the inner most zone up to a certain age, then only in zone 3 and 2

E - 1x1 - Single buildings, (i.e typical European/N American inner city buildings) - to be built in the inner most zone up to a certain age, then in zone 3 and 2 only

For example; a player starts a new game using a mix of European and N American building sets. In early stages only buildings from European C, D and E and N American E will be built in the inner most zone. At a later stage only buildings from N American A and B will be built in the inner most zone permitting those earlier stage buildings to be removed from that zone, while buildings from European C, D and E along with N American E only instead will be built in zone 3 and 2!

Does that make any sense at all, given that I understood your explanation correct - and above all; is it doable?

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PostPosted: 29 Jan 2013, 20:42 
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Sounds possible, though I've never coded any town building grfs, the specs should allow for those features.


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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2013, 00:18 
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It is difficult to say at this stage, as I don't know what type of buildings / features you want / have.

For a nice block of buildings in a 2x2 square. I would not code them as a 2x2 building; rather as 4 1x1 buildings. In your sprite sheet above, you do have a selection of corner buildings and a selection of buildings that go between 2 corner buildings. It is possible to code, say a 3x3 square, all being 1x1 buildings, but use a corner building if there is a street corner, if not build a in-between building. If you get my idea. Thus, you'll get a typical European cityscape.

You should only use 2x2 buildings, if that building is really that big, that it does require a 2x2 site, like a catherdral. In CanCity, most buildings are 1x1 and make up very nice cityscapes. I do have one big department store, but it is hardly ever seen because it is a 2x2. I need to recode that one and try to get it to appear more often.

You should assemble all your buildings, allocate them to one zone (0, 2 or 4) then we may come up with a workable solution. Building size does matter; 1x1s are by far the easiest and they can be mixed randomly just as well, including selecting them according to streetscape.


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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2013, 00:25 
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Okey, this sounds workable... In another topic I raised the question about how to treat some of the larger structures, and the idea about having them coded as industries came up. The advantage here is that various layouts can be considered, and possibly this ccould open up for a solution where a user creates a typical N American downtown centre with highrises - and for some European scenarios of course - using this method instead. This way all building sets can focus on mainly 1x1 buildings...

Another advantage is that a user can customize a city centre with the ability to place industries manually. :)

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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2013, 01:21 
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SAC wrote:
.. industries in cities ...
An industry set can place an industry inside a town; e.g. a bank, a water tower. City sets have no control over that, the city management does that; although a city set will be asked for permission to remove a building, if it is in the way.

Another, option is, to code a city building to act like it was an industry; e.g. a hotel can accept and produce tourists. In other words, any city building can be made to accept any cargo type and produce any cargo type. Normally, they accept passengers, mail, goods and food and produce passengers and mail. You will not be able to select the location of such industry, other than you selecting a location for any city building.

There is no manual construction of city buildings by players; players can only construct industries at a very high cost.

You cannot select the location for a true industry either, unless the player wants one. You (your GRF) can only knock it back, if you occupy the site and your building is in the way.


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PostPosted: 30 Jan 2013, 11:35 
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Okey, now I'm not sure how to solve this really! :? My personal opinion is that highrises, seeing as their sizes in the first place should differ from single residential houses as well as more common lowrise downtown buildings, ought to be at least 1x2 and 2x2 for the best visual effect. And this size is what I'm using when drawing the highrises I've published in my tracking tables inside the Project Academy.

I have tested highrises in my game for awhile, and I'm quite pleased with the visual effect they create, forming a typical modern downtown area. So the question is, how to find a solution to this? Downsizing any of those highrises to fit a 1x1 tile isn't the answer, as they simply doesn't look good compared with more common 1x1 buildings in game.

The most simple solution is of course to have these larger structures coded as eye candy, (as they indeed currently are), but I'd prefer to have them functional rather than just sitting there looking good... :P

Would this perhaps work;

¤ Base Building Set - Merged European/N American Sets - 1x1 buildings only
¤ Arctic Set - 1x1 buildings only
¤ Mediterranean Set - 1x1 buildings only

¤ Base Addon - 1x1, 1x2, 2x2 structures only, provides each set above with additional buildings such as churches, hospitals, parks, plazas, petrol stations, and so on...

¤ Base Commercial - 1x2, 2x2, and larger, provides each set with highrises coded as industry/industry chain to accept food, goods, passengers, mail, valuables...

Requirements for the Base Commercial;

¤ Can be built in the inner most zone only
¤ Can't be constructed until a certain size of a city is acheived
¤ Several units can be constructed close together, (possibility to code so that a city benefits from having more of these constructed in the inner most zone)
¤ Irregular sizes allowing for a user to place eye candy such as parks, plazas, trees and whatever in empty spaces
¤ Can work in conjunction with ECS and other major industry sets

Any thoughts?

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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2013, 01:17 
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I do understand your reasons and I agree with what you've just said. But, having lots of 2x2 buildings is a matter of getting them to appear in the centre of a city in a game. The mechanisms available today are just not geared to that.

There is another solution, but codewise a nightmare. You could start extremly early in a game with the placement of 2x2 'buildings', in the form of a park, of some lowrise 1x1 buildings as a cluster. As the game progresses and the time and zone are right for the 2x2 highrise ones, you transform those already built 2x2 sites into high rise buildings.

As for having many different GRFs for your options, you should think putting them into a single GRF and have parameter settings to allow for all or some of the buildings to appear.

A city GRF cannot talk with other city GRFs to come up with management solutions for your city. This is only possible, if they are all in the one GRF.


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PostPosted: 31 Jan 2013, 02:07 
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OzTrans wrote:
I do understand your reasons and I agree with what you've just said. But, having lots of 2x2 buildings is a matter of getting them to appear in the centre of a city in a game. The mechanisms available today are just not geared to that.


Which is why I actually think the best solution - currently available - is to have these highrises coded as industries instead. With reference to my suggested proposals of course. Then a user can decide on his own whether to use that or not...

Quote:
There is another solution, but codewise a nightmare. You could start extremly early in a game with the placement of 2x2 'buildings', in the form of a park, of some lowrise 1x1 buildings as a cluster. As the game progresses and the time and zone are right for the 2x2 highrise ones, you transform those already built 2x2 sites into high rise buildings.


As you say, a nightmare - and again, a seperate industry.grf may be the best solution...

Quote:
As for having many different GRFs for your options, you should think putting them into a single GRF and have parameter settings to allow for all or some of the buildings to appear.


That's the idea. I just listed them above as separate parts, but all of them - excluding the industry.grf - will be included in one .grf, using parameters for different options... :)

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PostPosted: 01 Feb 2013, 02:16 
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Can those 'industry grfs' be smart enough to respect the road layout the player has selected (2x2, 3x3)?
So for example for a 2x2 road layout in game generation a 5x5 'industry' would be used and placed correctly [and in a 3x3 a 7x7 'industry'].


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PostPosted: 01 Feb 2013, 04:32 
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athanasios wrote:
Can those 'industry grfs' be smart enough to respect the road layout the player has selected (2x2, 3x3)? So for example for a 2x2 road layout in game generation a 5x5 'industry' would be used and placed correctly [and in a 3x3 a 7x7 'industry'].
You can check for the road layout; you can also define layouts to fit into a particular space. But, I do not know how the selection of a particular layout works; it may just be selected randomly.

I do not think it is a smart idea to code buildings as true industries in order to place them manually.


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PostPosted: 01 Feb 2013, 09:25 
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OzTrans wrote:
I do not think it is a smart idea to code buildings as true industries in order to place them manually.


So in your opinion, having them coded as eye candy is the best way to go?

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PostPosted: 01 Feb 2013, 20:58 
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It all depends upon the goal of your playing style:
1. Creating Scenarios - For this style there is no need of production values nor for player reaction to ever changing challenges presented by the game - NewObjects are perfectly acceptable.
2. Playing The Game - For this style, players expect and are expected to be presented with an ever changing set of challenges to be dealt with in order to ensure a win (success). NewObjects are purely decorative eye candy that consume resources (cost to build) and will never have any expectations of contribution to success (win). The most successful players will ignore NewObjects.

With respect to that second style, both TTD and OTTD are focused on transport of products and population.

In one phase, the game builds industries that supply resources and materials that require transport to other industries also built by the game. The end products (goods, food) then require transportation to towns. These industries will appear and disappear depending upon the player's success in servicing the transportation needs of the game. Passengers do not apply to this phase of the game. Town components are not appropriate.

In another phase, the game builds towns whose components accept and produce passengers and mail that require transportation. The components also accept end products (goods, food) resulting in the expansion (growth) of the town, resulting in ever increasing quantities of passengers and mail to be transported. The game causes the components to appear and disappear resulting in an ever shifting challenge to the player. Town buildings are very appropriate here but are subject to change.

There is a third style, a blend of the two extremes (1. Scenario; 2. Game play) described above. This would be appropriate to playing the game as a means to grow a scenario. The player should be aware that winning is not the focus of this style. NewObjects are quite appropriate here. Using industries for town components would not affect the outcome of the game simply because the game is now a scenario disguised as a game. However, there could be an impact upon the availability of an industry, especially if an industry set GRF is being used.

Conclusion ... Graphics should be coded according to their intended purpose. Town buildings coded as industries are not appropriate to style 2, Playing The Game, and are questionable for style 3, Playing A Game As A Scenario.

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2013, 01:40 
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SAC wrote:
... having them coded as eye candy is the best way to go?
If you want to place a building manually, or anything for that matter, you should have them as NewObjects. This is not to say, your buildings of any kind should not be part of a town/city set.

On the one hand, you can place buildings according to your style of play, while true players get them hopefully automatically (town authority permitting).

NewObjects are for eye-candy purposes only, they are so remote from everything else.


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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2013, 16:05 
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So perhaps include some 1x2 and 2x2 buildings in the actual building set, and have the rest available as eye candy?

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2013, 16:58 
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SAC wrote:
So perhaps include some 1x2 and 2x2 buildings in the actual building set, and have the rest available as eye candy?
1x2 and 2x2 buildings in the building set (As well as 1x1 buildings) for game playing productivity.
The same 1x1, 1x2 and 2x2 buildings in the NewObjects set (as well as larger buildings - 1x3, 2x3, 3x3, etc,) for scenario creating flexibility.
Keep in mind that the game does not play nice with the towns. It will build a nice 2x2 building only to eventually replace it with a 2x2 stadium or worse and then the town might replace the stadium with 1, 2, 3 or 4 1x1 buildings. Who knows? Only the town knows.

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PostPosted: 02 Feb 2013, 22:18 
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Surely a building grf can tell the town "do not demolish this building [for at least X years]", no?


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