Simcity class clone work alike anyone interested in helping develop - By dreamer3

Author :  Drakker

Well, we could keep the city small and keep loads of Ram for the other things you mentioned. I would like to work on the statistics side. Graphs of growth, economy, maps of crime and real estate value.

Author :  exocet

Great project, as a SimCity fan I would be happy to get involved if I had more free time :) 

I think SimCity SNES feels good regarding the pacing and the city size, maybe that would be a good benchmark?

Author :  dreamer3

16x16 though. (from Micropolis, the open source SimCity thingy)

Author :  jicehel

Hello, does you continue to work on this project ? Any progress or news ?

Author :  dreamer3

I still poke around with graphics ideas occasionally.  This "Itty Bitty City" PICO-8 game got me thinking:

New mockup:


What if you tried to make the whole city fit on the screen, used "auto-roads", and limited each building to 13x13 - although seems the tall ones could have larger bounding boxes.  The biggest above are like 18x18.  You can see I squeezed a stadium into 14x29 (2 tiles).  You also have room for larger tiles (like the power plant) - or even merging two tiles together to make a larger building if the population density justified it.

So you'd have more of a "pairing" game... the goal being to get the highest value/utility (check out the PICO8 game), but you'd also have room for some upgrades and custom logic etc... and "old school" messages like "Your citizens demand a police department."

And of course if it worked well enough on one screen it'd be easier to expand and make it a scroller with an even BIGGER city using the same tileset.

Anyone interested in a graphical challenge like this?  I wonder if such a small size is enough to get meaningful visual distinction between residential, commercial, industrial, etc.

Author :  jicehel

Me i'm always happy to help but i don't me enough good for this. You'll use low res so 80x64. It's a real challenge to do a playable im city with a correct view. I think that fpr this game Hi rez could be usefull but this mean 16 colors. It's a big challenge. Anyway, i think that if you think you could be able to do it, you should try to create a little part of the main mechanics of the game to try the graphics, messages, ... if it's works well ypu could continue to add other mechanics or else you could try to correct it... It's a real big works in all cases. I'll be probably short of time in the next weeks but if i can helpl i'll explain how and ill try ;)

Author :  dreamer3

Definitely high-res - 16 colors was what the original Sim City classic had, for comparison.  But of course with a few custom render engine tricks you can easily get high-res full color - particularly for a slow render type game like Sim City.  I think 32 colors would be a nice compromise.  But if someone came up with an amazing tileset in only 16, that'd be just dandy.  As far as playability try Sim City Classic or the game I linked to on PICO8.  I think that proves the playability.  I think the game concept is sound.  My one worry would be if one screen would be too small... and true you might have to play it a bit to answer that... but again if it was just the game space itself that was too small you'd just make the world bigger.

I also had the idea of building sister cities that you could then trade with or connect them in some way... so you wouldn't scroll but rather build say like a 5 or 9 city "metropolis" where each city was tiny and self contained.

What I wonder if is the restriction on 13x13 (18x18, whatever) tiles for building is simply too harsh to make a good distinct tileset.  I drew a few buildings (as you can see) but pixel artist isn't what I'm super good at.  Guess maybe it's a chicken in egg problem.  Don't want to write out an engine then not find anyone to make the graphics for it.  I'm technically capable (if anyone is worried).  Programming is my day job and you can look at the tiny little SimCity I built for PICO8 also - it's not quite what I'd call "finished" but it's got all the basics, and a simple growth engine and even traffic on the roads!

Oh one easy nice thing if 160x128 proves playable but a little "tight" for some it'd be SUPER easy to just add a 2x zoom mode so now you zoom in and out and now the city is 4x the size of the screen.  So you could play it in the more "typical" 80x64 if you really wanted.

Author :  Drakker

I was going to post pretty much the same thing as dreamer. Sim City had like 4 fps, which is enough for waves, smokes and low res traffic jams. So its possible to use full res and full color and skip the framebuffer altogether (or use a smaller one that's like 160x16 and render row by row).

I'd love to do the graphics for a sim city game, but I don't have a lot of free time right now. However it sounds like a great winter project to me.

Author :  

Hi everyone, i've just subscribed to the gamebuino forum after seeing this thread. In fact i discovered this neat little console not long ago and i wanted to play with the "Meta" 16 colors palette to see what can be done or not. Actually the palette is really interesting ( as is the pico8 one. ) and i tried to put together some 8X8 sim-city-esque tiles ( with some obvious advance wars influence.). I'm not a coder at all but seeing that dreamer 3 was seeking for some inspiration on such a project, i wanted to offer my help. As i imagine for all of you, time and availability can be an issue, but this kind of limited ressources project should be reasonably affordable. ( naively he thought of :)

I don't know if i overdid it, if it's still readable or not. I'm not yet well informed on memory restrictions and such, which kind of tilesheet size could we use and if 8 frames animations for some assets and 1-bit transparency are possible on top of displaying a whole city. ( I don't know if 1 tile sized roads and vehicles are a good idea but i thought it was cute :)

( I've also quickly assembled some kind of Civilization/Anno-esque tilesheet with the same japanese rpg style. Because why not. Sorry if it's irrelevant.)

And a volcano. Great land value. Clean energy disposal. But one day... Broooom. Your citizen flee in panic. 

                                                                                                         ( Damn, it looks like a fire camp. )

Author :  BobDeFortuna

@Reno Pixellu Your tiles look absolutely fantastic! The small vehicles are so lovely! These would really elevate a GBMeta version of sim city.

@Dreamer3 Your mock up also look super lovely in a real old school retto way. Great stuff. I used to play sim city on the c64 and amiga myself back in the day.

Author :  STUDIOCRAFTapps

I was about to comment that the old tiles wouldn't really be looking that good but then I saw what Reno did and I blew up.

Author :  STUDIOCRAFTapps

I could also give out some help for generating the world generation. I would love to make it procedural. I can't really help with the base engin because I don't have the coding skills require to do so.

Author :  STUDIOCRAFTapps

Last thing, what ever y'all do with this project, please make it 160x128

Author :  STUDIOCRAFTapps

I almost forgot, we should use Siegfried's tilemap write/reader for the project! That could be so useful!

Author :  

Thanks !

I'm all for the 160x128 resolution. But i don't own ( yet ) a gamebuino, what is the exact screen size in centimeters ? Would it allow such a game with a mosaic of 8x8 tiles to be clearly readable ? I didn't had the chance to find a real footage of the console with a 160X128 displayed game running on it.

Author :  Sorunome

Wow, those look great!

Also, IMO the volcano is recognizable, especially with the scale of the houses etc.

Author :  Drakker

This. Is. Amazing.


Author :  jicehel

Nothing else to say than the tiles are great. If you're inspired, feel free to propose any tiles for one of my games or conversion and if i like the i'll upload in game. You seems to be more talented that i am for graphics  ;)

Author :  dreamer3

1 bit transparency - do you just mean transparent or not?  I think if you only use 15 colors then the existing library make it super easy to use the 16th for masking/transparency.