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More than one city field for larger cities

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 2:05 pm
by derBert
Hello,

I like to suggest spatially growing cities, which in my opinion would allow a better way to play largepox without interfering smallpox.

The Idea:
There's not only one city field (the field you found your city on) but larger cities can have more city fields.

The Suggestion:
If a city grows to size k, then one of the adjacent fields of the first city field is chooseable to be the second city field. The city area (the fields reachable for
micromanagement) grows to cover all fields within distance 2 to one of the city fields. The next city field becomes available when the city grows to 2*k and the city area grows
as well and so on every time a city grows to n*k.
In a city with more than one city field all the surrounding fields in the city area are choosable for workers. On all the city fields themself it is automatically worked on
without counting a worker -- the same way as it is done for the single city field in the todays game.
As user interface I would suggest an option in the city dialogue/report available since the right turn or an special extending settlers unit which can do a move and then a
build command within one turn. I would not suggest a popup window at any time. (Players should imho be able to do things when and if they want to without being interfered.)

If two separate cities are growing and touching now there should be a merge dialogue in the city reports of the two cities where the player can decide to form one city with all
their city fields out of these two former cities. This could be available only if the sum of the populations of the two cities excesses the threshold a growing city must take
to allocate the total number of city fields of both cities.

City Radius:
Additionally this works quite well together with the new, still experimental variable city radii (see http://gna.org/patch/?1235).
Alternativly to the acutal experimental ruleset, it is imaginable to let the radius of the city area increaseby an adopted formula.
For instance if a city grows to the m-th city field the maximum distance increases to 3 which means that all fields within the distance 3 of one of the city fields are available for workers.
This increase of the radius by 1 could happend every n*m city field (= every n*m*k city size).
I could imagine, that k=6 and m=4 would be good values. So a city growing to 6 would can get its second city field, the third growing to 12, and growing to 24 would increase
the radius of the city area to 3 (having 5 city fields).

Combat:
For attacking and conquering such a city I would think that every city field can and must be attacked and conquered separately. This makes conquering these cities harder, but
the defender has to distribute his units over the city fields to not leave a part undefended (and reachable because of a lack of control zones). I think, this is realistic
(think of Berlin, Jerusalem), well playable and interesting if an attack get's stopped and the city is split. But I'm also open-minded to discuss the design of defending and
conquering such cities at a whole.

Comments to the Guidelines:
* Does the suggested change increase or decrease the time it takes to complete a normal game? (If so, explain why this is a good thing.)
- I don't expect a substantial change on gaming time.
An increase is impossible. Smallpoxers aren't affected at all. Largepoxers would benefit from the additional city fields which is worked on, so big cities would grow faster.
See the point "Which period of the game is affected?".

* Does it increase or decrease the micromanagement (read as 'small and somewhat tedious operations that do not progress the game much')? (Micromanagement is generally thought
to be a bad thing.)
- It imho definitely decreases micromanagement, when you can take over smallpoxers' cities and let them grow together to one city. The other aspects of the suggestion don't
affect the micromanagement.

* Does it change the amount of randomness in the game? (This may be a bad thing. The game should be about skill, not luck.)
- No.

* Are most players likely to use the suggested change (if optional)? (Changes that few players are likely to utilize are generally pointless and just bloat the game.)
- I think so, because:
-- there is no disadvantage for the own game, neither for players who let their cities grow extensively nor for the rest (and see next point)
-- k and m could be configured to best playable values.

* How does it work with smallpox and largepox strategies? (Both strategies should be viable.)
- I think this suggestions compensates (partly) the advantage of smallpox strategies that in every city the city field accounts for production, and so makes more interesting
largepox strategies possible. But this suggestion imho does not penalise or even interfere smallpox strategies.
There could be some tactical advantages with this suggestion. E.g. if you have a narrow land bridge (isthmus?) of width 2 then you could now build a city which reaches from
coast to coast using it for ships to get from one ocean to the other.

* Does the suggested change radically alter one or more parts of the game? (Such changes are extremely unlikely to be adopted. Go back to the drawing board and think through
your suggestion very carefully. Please do not fill up this forum with unlikely suggestions. This makes the forum much less useful both for us and for you.)
- No, I don't think so.

* In which period of the game will the suggested change kick in, timewise? (Generally the game can be divided into three periods: Early game expansion, medium game war and late
game wrap up. Things that make the early game more varied and interesting are welcome. Things that add to the 'things needed to do' in the medium period are generally less so.
Things that just slow down the last period are bad.)
- This depends on the player's strategy.
(Extrem) Smallpoxers aren't affected at all.
For (extrem) largepoxers it will affect most of the game making it imho more interesting.
For the rest it is in between, maybe still affecting in the expansion phase, maybe not until the medium war phase or even the last phase, but then speeding it up because of
faster growing and producing cities.

* Does it require a new popup window or menu? (This is extremely unlikely to be implemented. We hate popups and have been eliminating them gradually the last few releases.)
- No popups are required. (I hate popups, too.) See above for my implemenation suggestions.

I'm interested, whether you think, this is a good idea, too. I don't know the freeciv source code. Maybe it wouldn't require too much work to be realized.

derBert

Re: More than one city field for larger cities

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:40 pm
by Sarilho1
I have some questions.

* Can a city in a frontier grow to outside the country? If so, it would be controlled by me or by the owner of the other country?

* Constructions would happen separately in both cities? If not, how does the construction affect the large city? (for example: what would happen with city walls (it would protect one, lets call, district or both)?)

* What happens to the constructions of both cities, when two distinct cities merge? Are they sold in the weaker city/district?

* Imagine that we have a city in 7 and other in 9 that merge. What would be the size of the new city? And if the city of size 7 doesn't have a aqueduct, what would happens then?

I had already though about that, but it is really difficulty to implement (I think), but I would like to see this implemented.

Re: More than one city field for larger cities

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:51 pm
by Caedo
I think it sounds interesting, but there's a problem with the radius: Radii are measured in its square value. so, for example, standard City radius 2 uses a radius_sq value of 5, small radius of 1 uses 2, radius 3 uses 10 (I think) and so on and so forth.
Sarilho1 wrote:I had already though about that, but it is really difficulty to implement (I think), but I would like to see this implemented.
I haven't looked at the code of Freeciv, but I guess it could be implemented that cities next to each other would simply count as one, and if a city reaches a specific size(OP called it "k"), it can push off some of that size to a neighbor field. If a citymindist is set, settlers could only "Build a City" next to a complex of sufficient size which would simply be part of the big city. That way it would be easier to handle partially-conquered cities. Which part of the surrounding land would belong to which player can be chosen the same way it is done with borders: A bigger city/part has bigger influence.
Sarilho1 wrote:* Can a city in a frontier grow to outside the country? If so, it would be controlled by me or by the owner of the other country?
Well, a city, even if it's really small, always pushes the frontier at least forward to the four(six if you're playing hex) adjacent fields, so that won't be a problem.

Anyways, I, for one, support this suggetion.

Re: More than one city field for larger cities

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:57 pm
by derBert
Hi,

thanks, good questions! They made me think more in detail about certain rules which would be needed.

Generally, I don't want to make it too complicated, and I want to know, what others think about it.
Maybe, it's better to aim at a simple version first, which later can be refactored more into detailed rules.
Some thoughts about this at the end of the post.

Sarilho1 wrote:I have some questions.

* Can a city in a frontier grow to outside the country? If so, it would be controlled by me or by the owner of the other country?

I think, this could depend on the diplomatic state, just like unit movement and settlement do already.
If I'm allied or in peace with another player, I sugggest that it shouldn't be allowed to settle and so to expand a city into his territory. Doing such a move would break the treaty with the usual consequences.
I suggest that the same rules apply in cease-fire and armistice like they do for military actions: They are possible (if not objected by the senat), but drop the diplomatic state to war.
Being at war could allow me to expand my city and to capture this tile.
Maybe, it could be implemented like building a fortress in an enemy territory.

Sarilho1 wrote:* Constructions would happen separately in both cities? If not, how does the construction affect the large city? (for example: what would happen with city walls (it would protect one, lets call, district or both)?)

As I said, I think for the start, the idea should be kept simple to have a chance to be implemented.
So, as a first approach, a citywall could protect all city tiles.

Sarilho1 wrote:* What happens to the constructions of both cities, when two distinct cities merge? Are they sold in the weaker city/district?

I'm open.
Maybe also that they could be active in the merged city as well.

Sarilho1 wrote:* Imagine that we have a city in 7 and other in 9 that merge. What would be the size of the new city? And if the city of size 7 doesn't have a aqueduct, what would happens then?

A simple approach could be, that all buildings necessary for the merged city have to be built before the merge.
In this example, 7+9 > 12, so the merge would be possible, if the is a sewer system. I'm not sure, wether it should be built in both merging cities.
Maybe, this could/should be part of the ruleset.
For more complex rules depending on the single districts, I have some also ideas below.

Sarilho1 wrote:I had already though about that, but it is really difficulty to implement (I think), but I would like to see this implemented.

Thanks. Unfortunately, I can't estimate this, but I also would like try this out in a game with many players and really large cities.
That's why, I think for the start, the idea should be kept simple to have a chance to be implemented.

So, for the start, I would suggest simple rules, especially for the buildings which intuitively depend on the size of the city, like citywalls, aqueduct, sewer system, mass transit, and so on.
A simple rule could be, that a building affects all tiles; the ones, which were already part of the city, when the wall was built, and also the later settled ones.
This would be the assumption, that the building (like the city wall or the mass trainsit) is extended automatically and wihtout extra cost, when the city expands, just like already the sewer system fits for all future sizes once it is built.

Later, as a more complicated rules:
I could imagine, that size-dependend buildings could have a cost for each tile (plus maybe a base price for the first installation). And like it is with the aqueduct and the sewer system, before the city can expand (or also maybe soon after expansion), the buildings could be expanded by "buildling" an "expansion of the aqueduct" or something like this for the new tile(s).
Maybe it would be usefull, to have an expansion building available, which expand all existing size-dependend buildings into the new tile. When I have an aqueduct, an "aqueduct expansion" is available. When I have "aqueduct + sewer system" there is also one expansion.
When these buildings have costs dependind on number of tiles, it would be justified for the case of a merge to have all buildings built on all necessary tiles/districts before they can actually be merged.

For the other buildings (library, barracks, bank and so on, which do not depend on city size) one could think about the possibility to choose, in which city tile the building is built. This could be important, if a part of the city is conquered. Then the buildings in the conquered tiles belong to the conquered city part, and the remaining unconquered city has lost these buildings.

derBert

Re: More than one city field for larger cities

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:18 pm
by Caedo
derBert wrote:
Sarilho1 wrote:I have some questions.

* Can a city in a frontier grow to outside the country? If so, it would be controlled by me or by the owner of the other country?

I think, this could depend on the diplomatic state, just like unit movement and settlement do already.
If I'm allied or in peace with another player, I sugggest that it shouldn't be allowed to settle and so to expand a city into his territory. Doing such a move would break the treaty with the usual consequences.
I suggest that the same rules apply in cease-fire and armistice like they do for military actions: They are possible (if not objected by the senat), but drop the diplomatic state to war.
Being at war could allow me to expand my city and to capture this tile.
Maybe, it could be implemented like building a fortress in an enemy territory.
As I said above, such a case is not likely to happen due to how borders seem to be calculated, but when it does happen, these ideas seem good. However, I'd say that in an alliance, the player whose border would be intruded has to say "That's ok" before it is allowed to happen.

derBert wrote:
Sarilho1 wrote:* Constructions would happen separately in both cities? If not, how does the construction affect the large city? (for example: what would happen with city walls (it would protect one, lets call, district or both)?)

As I said, I think for the start, the idea should be kept simple to have a chance to be implemented.
So, as a first approach, a citywall could protect all city tiles.

Sarilho1 wrote:* What happens to the constructions of both cities, when two distinct cities merge? Are they sold in the weaker city/district?

I'm open.
Maybe also that they could be active in the merged city as well.

Sarilho1 wrote:* Imagine that we have a city in 7 and other in 9 that merge. What would be the size of the new city? And if the city of size 7 doesn't have a aqueduct, what would happens then?

A simple approach could be, that all buildings necessary for the merged city have to be built before the merge.
In this example, 7+9 > 12, so the merge would be possible, if the is a sewer system. I'm not sure, wether it should be built in both merging cities.
Maybe, this could/should be part of the ruleset.
For more complex rules depending on the single districts, I have some also ideas below.

(...)

For the other buildings (library, barracks, bank and so on, which do not depend on city size) one could think about the possibility to choose, in which city tile the building is built. This could be important, if a part of the city is conquered. Then the buildings in the conquered tiles belong to the conquered city part, and the remaining unconquered city has lost these buildings.
To grab the idea I posted above: if the districts are calculated as distinct cities belonging to each other, one could simply have the different districts have different sizes, have different buildings and even produce different things, but the shields can also be directed to one big project. That would of course make it a bit more complicated but I'd say one could simply have multiple production lists, write in where the things are built for each of them and distribute the shields.

Re: More than one city field for larger cities

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 7:21 am
by syntron
That changes do you expect for the game if more than one city field is available? The increasing size of the city is implemented by the variable city radii. Additional build slots are also possible (building more than one unit in a turn if there are enough shields). The only thing that is not possible (and I think hard to do), is the additional city tildes. But such a large city will have enough buildings to increase its production/gold output. Merging cities next to each other can be forced by migration.

Re: More than one city field for larger cities

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:31 pm
by Caedo
syntron wrote:Merging cities next to each other can be forced by migration.
One can't force migration, and if the cities aren't very small, it's not possible to move the one city to the other by using settlers.

Re: More than one city field for larger cities

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 8:06 pm
by syntron
Caedo wrote:
syntron wrote:Merging cities next to each other can be forced by migration.
One can't force migration, and if the cities aren't very small, it's not possible to move the one city to the other by using settlers.

Forcing migration is possible - if one has wonders and the other not even a building the migration will happen ... but you are right: one can not say "now go to ..."

Re: More than one city field for larger cities

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:39 pm
by derBert
syntron wrote:
Caedo wrote:
syntron wrote:Merging cities next to each other can be forced by migration.
One can't force migration, and if the cities aren't very small, it's not possible to move the one city to the other by using settlers.

Forcing migration is possible - if one has wonders and the other not even a building the migration will happen ... but you are right: one can not say "now go to ..."


Getting the population of small cities together into one larger (e.g. after conquering smallpox cities) is one aim of my idea. I think, this allows the different strategies to be played equally in one game together.

Another aim is not strategical but tactical: If a city is spread over some tiles, this has several effects.
For combat: It would get more difficult and interesting, from my point of view, to conquer (and defend) a large city. Cities even could be split, if only partly conquered.
Another example: Cite tiles have special properties, like they can be navigable for ships. So have a streched city from coast to (near) coast you could cross a continent like using the Panama Canal or Suez Canal. This also would give tactical advantages to the player owning this city, meaning all these city tiles.

I hope, I could explain, why I don't think that just the larger city radii have the same potential for the game.

derBert

Re: More than one city field for larger cities

Posted: Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:50 pm
by derBert
Caedo wrote:
derBert wrote:
Sarilho1 wrote:I have some questions.

* Can a city in a frontier grow to outside the country? If so, it would be controlled by me or by the owner of the other country?

I think, this could depend on the diplomatic state, just like unit movement and settlement do already.
If I'm allied or in peace with another player, I sugggest that it shouldn't be allowed to settle and so to expand a city into his territory. Doing such a move would break the treaty with the usual consequences.
I suggest that the same rules apply in cease-fire and armistice like they do for military actions: They are possible (if not objected by the senat), but drop the diplomatic state to war.
Being at war could allow me to expand my city and to capture this tile.
Maybe, it could be implemented like building a fortress in an enemy territory.
As I said above, such a case is not likely to happen due to how borders seem to be calculated, but when it does happen, these ideas seem good. However, I'd say that in an alliance, the player whose border would be intruded has to say "That's ok" before it is allowed to happen.

Good point!

Caedo wrote:To grab the idea I posted above: if the districts are calculated as distinct cities belonging to each other, one could simply have the different districts have different sizes, have different buildings and even produce different things, but the shields can also be directed to one big project. That would of course make it a bit more complicated but I'd say one could simply have multiple production lists, write in where the things are built for each of them and distribute the shields.

This sounds very interesting. I'm not familiar with the source code, but I will think about this approach.

Caedo wrote:Anyways, I, for one, support this suggetion.

Great! :D


derBert