City sizes are in the ruleset now!?

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Treefingers
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City sizes are in the ruleset now!?

Postby Treefingers » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:38 pm

Grrr. :evil:

Whose idea was it to put city graphic changes into the ruleset for 2.4? :shock: What a city looks like at a particular size is not relevant to gameplay. So if an artist wants a new graphic for more city sizes (instead of just at 1, 4, 8, 12, and 16) why do they need to get people to download a whole new ruleset? And while it might be fine for single player, I assume multiplayer insists on everyone using the same ruleset, which immediately brings to mind a host of unnecessary issues. :|

Keep function and visuals separate, people! I was planning to order my city graphics to better fit the likely size spread of each age (i.e. ancients unlikely to reach 16, possible to hit 24+ by postmodern). And I wanted the option to fill in the gaps to every 1-2 pop instead of 4. Doesn't seem to be an option for this version, though :cry:

The change just seems more than a little daft for more than a few reasons.

/rant

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HanduMan
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Re: City sizes are in the ruleset now!?

Postby HanduMan » Fri Nov 29, 2013 6:35 am

Treefingers wrote:Grrr. :evil:

Thanks for pointing this out, I hadn't noticed it yet.

And I totally agree, second & support your "rant"! :evil:

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JTN
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Re: City sizes are in the ruleset now!?

Postby JTN » Fri Nov 29, 2013 10:42 am

This change came in in bug #17110. I think it's not without utility for ruleset authors, but I can see that it makes life more unpredictable for tileset authors by increasing coupling between ruleset and tileset.

The image used is not just a function of the city's population; it can now depend on many other attributes such as buildings/tech.

For instance, some rulesets have a notion that a settlement changes status from "town" to "city" when certain requirements (maybe not just population) are met, or have major changes such as workable city radius tied to some combination of population and buildings/tech. I think it's reasonable for ruleset authors to want visually distinct graphics for these stages (although of course they don't have fine control over what the graphics look like unless they provide their own tileset).

That does complicate the convention for authors of tilesets that are supposed to be usable across multiple rulesets (e.g. if a popular ruleset uses the second image a particular way, that constrains your art).

Not sure how to solve your problem of wanting to add additional graphics. If image were purely a function of city size, it would be possible to add "fractional" steps that tileset authors could interpolate with additional graphics. But the thing determining the image can't be represented as a continuously varying function any more; to get finer grain with the current effects system, every ruleset author would have to specify every additional step. Off the top of my head: perhaps we could, I dunno, add an optional extra population-based tag to the tileset to allow the finer-grained graphics?

Treefingers
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Re: City sizes are in the ruleset now!?

Postby Treefingers » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:00 pm

Well, I guess it doesn't change much apart from the end result. And I remember making a skin for civ2 back in the day, which iirc was similarly restricted. I can just see ambitious artists wanting more than 5 images for city size. Of course, I can see wanting to have culture-specific variants of the different tech ages as well, and I think that's also not an option outside of ruleset mods. So, it is what it is.

I guess I feel city size should still be on the art side (tech ages should indeed be ruleset determined). There's still the population number tag on each city to reflect the game state. So it's not gameplay-critical to have the city visually reflect reaching certain thresholds the same way, say, an irrigation graphic is.

And in general, I think the expectation for tilesets should be that they are made for the default ruleset(s). Makers of alternative rules should fully expect to need a correspondingly modded tileset (even if it just means tweaking some spec file tags). And as JTN pointed out, unless the ruleset only changes basic values, a new tileset will be needed anyway.

cazfi
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Re: City sizes are in the ruleset now!?

Postby cazfi » Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:37 pm

I've never been big fan of that change as it trades important feature (one people have already been using, so it's a reggression to them) to arguably less important one. Note that the new feature benefits custom rulesets only - supplied rulesets do not need it. Experimental ruleset has been implemented so that city gfx depends on city radius, but as city radius itself depends on city size, the effect is not different from gfx depending directly from city size.

That said, I have been planning to make "City Walls" kind of gfx more tied to ruleset. The idea is that there could be multiple buildings that change city gfx in a different ways in the ruleset (instead of just having city gfx with and without City Walls). But then again, increased ruleset control here is not reggression to tileset control, as it never has had it.

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GriffonSpade
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Re: City sizes are in the ruleset now!?

Postby GriffonSpade » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:30 pm

Treefingers wrote:Grrr. :evil:

Whose idea was it to put city graphic changes into the ruleset for 2.4? :shock: What a city looks like at a particular size is not relevant to gameplay. So if an artist wants a new graphic for more city sizes (instead of just at 1, 4, 8, 12, and 16) why do they need to get people to download a whole new ruleset? And while it might be fine for single player, I assume multiplayer insists on everyone using the same ruleset, which immediately brings to mind a host of unnecessary issues. :|

Keep function and visuals separate, people! I was planning to order my city graphics to better fit the likely size spread of each age (i.e. ancients unlikely to reach 16, possible to hit 24+ by postmodern). And I wanted the option to fill in the gaps to every 1-2 pop instead of 4. Doesn't seem to be an option for this version, though :cry:

The change just seems more than a little daft for more than a few reasons.

/rant


There is an easy ruleset change that can fix this: additional increments.

Currently the increments are 1, 4, 8, 12, and 16, or 1+4, but 1+3(1, 3, 6, 9, 12), 1+2(1, 2, 4, 6, 8), and 1+1(1, 2, 3, 4, 5) increments could be added (and references made in tileset ofcourse). This would need city size increments at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 16. (2, 3, 5, 6, and 9 would be the only new ones!). Then all a tileset editor would have to do is change which image a particular city size looks at. For the default tileset, 2 and 3 would be identical to 1, 5 and 6 would be identical to 4, and 9 would be identical to 8.

Treefingers
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Re: City sizes are in the ruleset now!?

Postby Treefingers » Thu Dec 05, 2013 3:39 am

GriffonSpade wrote:There is an easy ruleset change that can fix this: additional increments.

That's all I'd need to make me happy.

If there was an effect change in the ruleset for every size increase, then the functionality is there in the rules but artists remain free to make images for every size change, or reuse the same image for multiple sizes if they prefer. I could even live with it if the default rules only covered cities up to, say, 20 pop.