Some thoughts about editing

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    Hello World,

    I followed just earlier discussions about a map editor and custom made maps. I also watched thoroughly, what the concepts of the game are and I tried to bring that together.

    First of all, as OlaHaldor, I lovoe to create maps, especially realistic maps. It is always  a special challenge to build a city like your hometown or the town you live, like and so on. To play there, watche the vehicles there is a great pleasure.

    Now I understood, the current realization is based on random maps and the buildings are generated in-game, which would take a different way of incorporating this feature to the game. So I think a good way of contributing to the game is not to beg for an editor, but to exchange ideas, how this could work with the current game conception.

    I spend some time to think about it, now I will donate you my brainstorm, maybe you find some new input among these ideas.

    1. Concept: Random maps vs. Static custom made maps
    First is the game approach, the latter is maybe contradictory to the current way, maps are generated. Anyway, custom maps are attractive for lots of Players (see community of other games). This leads to a conflict automation versus manual design of maps.
    Manual design of objects is surely a lot of of work (modelling and so on). Better for the devellopers is not to insist in individual buildings. Generated buildings could still be implemented into an edited map, if the city-designer does not insist in an exact definition of every single building. You could e.g. define categories of buildings, which can be edited on the map and which then will be generated randomly into the map by the building engine when you start the map.

    For example you can edit roads and then you place areas, which are defined as residential buildings. These areas are then made by the engine (i like this idea, how you generate random maps). The good thing for custom made maps would be, that you don’t have so much time to spend to place individual buildings and maybe you don’t have put so much effort in decorating a map with props or small buidings.

    2. The maps

    Following the discussion, you already have a way to import heightmaps, which is great. A very interesting solution for Cim2 was the map builder-Mod, which uses an open-streetmap frontend and creates real landscapes within seconds. Maybe have a look, I like that much.

    3. The Streets, tracks and similar

    Labeling of streets is quite useful, i support this idea which was already mentionned. Should be not that hard. The editor in Cim1 had a good solution for that. The streets and wayscould be built in the same way as the creation of tracks, I saw in your video. Surely different types of roads are nice, this will give a better look of the villages cities and landscapes (ways, streets, roads, squares, highways). With the challenges: highway crossing, bridges, tunnels, traffic circles, diagonal bridges.

    4. Building types

    Resident, Shopping, Industry are mentionned to be incorporated. Maybe with densities (Villa, appartment, block, scyscraper as example)? What about tourist attractions? Would be individual buildings, though. There are many other things which are often forgotten: Post office, cemetary, schools, university, kindergarten, local authorities, bars, farms, churches, fire stations, hospitals, parks, police stations, swimming halls, water supply and so on and on)

    5. Town growth

    A town or a village has a centre. I read, all is dynamic. What about the town center? Will there be fix buildings, which will not change. Many Simgames suffer from the fact, that a town is always a boring cluster of buildings, which look like colonies.


    6. Individuality: Props and decoration

    I saw the blue dustbins in the video around the houses. Nice! Such small things will make the cities great. Tons of such props, most of them modded do exist for Traffic giat and Cim for example. Those things could e automatically distributed within towns/villages. Fences, plains, wastelandstraffic lights, lanterns, pedestrian zones or bridges, signs, ads and so on.

    7. Rivers, lakes, sea

    They look great on the pictures. The incorporation of rivers is the most realistic in Simutrans. When you import a heightmap, rivers are usually most painful. They dominate the map, but in the most games, incorporation is a pain .

    8. The Rest

    What else is nice in such a game in my opinion:

    – Some animals are aways giving dynamics. I never saw cats or dogs in such a game
    – Give the people names. I once made a namefile and watching the random names was very funny

    – City names, a list schould be moddable

    – Country support will make the game poular globally (people from eastern europe as well as from japan love these kind of game)


    Maybe that’s enough input for the while. Remember, I don’t care that much that all these sall things are a wishlist.

    But maybe you can find some idea, which you didn’t have in mind so far.

    Keep on designing a good game


    Greetings Oliver


    Here’s a video I did, demonstrating the height map import feature that was added recently to the maps4cim tool mentioned in the post above.


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