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necrociv

SimPlanet game concept

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necrociv    122
This game concept has been festering in my head for ages. It's largely based on the Simcity genre, but borrows traits from Civilization, MMOGs, and technology from Google Earth and Spore. Yes, it would take the EA's of the world to make, but maybe some ideas might inspire other developers, especially the notion of sim based elections. OVERVIEW SimPlanet would be a realtime strategy, global environment where hundreds, or potentially thousands, of players may be logged into at any given time. SimPlanet would also harbor millions of server controlled Sim residents, each going about their daily business. As in SimCity, players would not be able to directly control where Sims live or work, their opinions or what they built. Players could only influence these factors by providing for the Sims' needs . GOALS The goals for each player would vary, ranging from building up a financial empire to gaining political or military control. Each player would be assessed points in various catagories and could see how they rank against all other players. ELECTED POSITIONS Unlike Simcity, you wouldn't start out being mayor of an entire city. Instead, you'd start your career as a humble entrepeneur, seeking to establish a profitable business venture, perhaps in an existing city. Becoming a wealthy tycoon and controlling vast megacorporations may suffice for some. But those wanting more control at the city level and beyond would need to move up the political ladder. Fortunately, elections would be held frequently. However, running for governor, or even for mayor, would likely fail if few Sims knew who you were. You'd need to serve on a city council and spend time developing new areas or upgrading existing ones to build up goodwill with the sims. Eventually you'd stand a good chance at winning a city mayoral race, especially if the current mayor is doing a poor job and the sims are unhappy. You could go on to seek control of a state and even gain national power. LAND OWNERSHIP You would start the game with limited funds to purchase land and start a business. As your coffers grew, you'd be able to purchase more land in order to expand your financial empire. However, you'd be paying property tax, so there would be limits to how much land you could afford to hold. RESOURCE HARVESTING Resources on SimPlanet would be geographically unique and finite in supply. That means there would only be so many places you could mine iron, for instance. While you may buy distant resource, transportation costs would increase. Therefore, players would tend to gravitate towards each other with synergistic industries. For instance, if you were mining local resources to supply a steel mill industry, other players may take advantage of the cheap local steel to develop, say, an automobile factory. This may lead to nearby tire plants, and so forth. Of course, resources could potentially dry up over time. ECONOMY SimPlanet's economy would truly be global, following the market laws of supply and demand in determining price. Since resources would be geographically unique, you'd have to pay market price for whatever you couldn't havest locally. Fortunately, if prices got too high, other players would certainly see potential profit and ramp up production or explore new fields, bringing prices back down. Likewise, if there were a glut of a certain resource, prices would fall, forcing players to decrease supply until it became profitable again. CREATING CITIES A city wouldn't just be created. It would begin its life by one player harvesting a local resource in a sparsely populated area and providing housing for a small workforce. Once an area reached a certain population, a town may be established and multiple players may join the local council in order to develop public infrastructure such as roads, water, electricity, etc. Once the next population milestone was passed, a player with enough funds may initiate construction of a city hall. Once built, mayoral elections would be held, with all council members eligable. The player most popular with the Sims would win the election. CREATING COUNTIES & STATES As population in a region grew large enough, cities would become eligable to join together as a county, with each mayor voting to join or not. Increased funding would be awarded to those who did. The same procedure would occur for the creation of a state. Each mayor would vote whether his or her county should join the state or not. Gubernatorial elections would then be held by the Sims and the most popular mayor would serve as state governor. CREATING NATIONS Forming a nation, however, would differ from creation of counties or states, since population size would not trigger an automatic vote. A nation could only be formed by 2 or more state governors agreeing to do so. To keep it simple, all governors within a nation would be part of a comittee and be able to vote on matters such as going to war and national ordinances. WAR Any nation would have the capability of declaring war on another nation. Reasons may vary from the desire to capture and control key resources, expand borders, neutralize potential threats, etc. However, war weariness would eventually set in on the Sims and they would start to protest and refuse to work. Eventually your economy might grind to a halt and it's difficult to maintain office under such conditions (unless you're G.W.). Similarly, there would be limits to how big your nation could get, as corruption and waste become a greater problem the further your borders expand. The components necessary for war would have to be produced by each state. So players would have to develop factories to produce ammunition, guns, tanks, etc. in order to supply a successful war or defense effort. BORDERS City, county, state and national borders would be calculated by the server based on several demographic factors. If two cities were close to each other, for instance, the boundary would be influenced by population size, the cultural makeup of the fringe citizens, their happiness levels, etc. Borders may also shift based on the outcome of wars and the occupation of territory. The strength of bordering nations, visible to all, could be assessed to determine an appropriate military build-up to defend against potential threats. INTERFACE Following the technology of Google Earth, SimPlanet would start with the view of an entire planet (not necessarily Earth). You could spin the globe around, analyzing national boundaries and other information at a continental level. As you start to zoom in, state boundaries and major city names would stream in and become visible. Zooming in further would reveal county boundaries, major transportation arteries, smaller city and town names, etc. The level of detail would continue to increase the closer you zoomed in, until you'd be able to view individual buildings and the Sims going about their lives. The overlays you chose to display (road names, schools, hospitals, resources, etc.) would only appear at appropriate zoom levels. All this information would stream in only for the area you'd currently be viewing. You could also tilt the camera down and rotate it, giving a fully three dimensional view of the world. SPLINE BASED TRANSPORTATION Roads would not be limited to orthagonal or 45 degrees, but would instead be splined based. This means that a road could gently follow the contours of a steep canyon side, or wind its way through dense urban development. As in Simcity, various road widths would be available. Other modes of transportation such as train, subway, etc would also follow splines. The player would be able to layout the spline for the entire length before comitting to constructing a single piece. FRACTAL GEOMETRY The buildings in SimPlanet would not be generated from a limited set of premade models, but would be generated via fractal calculations. Using this approach, every building would be unique while requiring very little data to stream. Also, mayors would be able to mandate architectural guidelines, limiting the styles Sims could build with. Players could mold a city of jagged angles or sumptuous curves; a city of futuristic texture sets or classical ones; an ornate city or a utilitarian one. Forcing uniformity, though, might have negative affects on the sims' happiness. If the decisions were instead left up to them, the Sims would borrow architectural traits from nearby cities, creating regional character and identity. BLIGHT Not everything on the planet would be developing for the better. Players who might log off for significant periods of time would find their businesses falling into disrepair. Similarly, a resource may dry up, causing players to abandon entire industries and nearby cities to become ghost towns. Eventually fire and erosion would return the land to its original state, allowing new development, should it become viable again. Of course, blight may also occur within pockets of an active city, providing cheap real estate and redevelopment opportunities. WEATHER/CLIMATE Weather would play a role in the SimPlanet environment. Droughts may affect crops, storms or earthquakes may hit cities, and of course, all of this would affect the mood of the Sims. Also, regional climate shifts may occur slowly, increasing or decreasing the viability of harvesting certain resources. TOURISM Ala Tropico, prosperous Sims would want periodic vacations. This would open up tourism as a potential resource to "harvest" by creating tourist destinations. PLAYER CAPABILITIES (4 levels) 1. At first, new players would be limited to development on their own land. They could purchase existing buildings, demolish them, and rebuild new businesses (based on the lot's zone). In unzoned areas, the player could build any type of small business or industry and allocate land for small housing. They could also subdivide their land for sale, and build roads only on the land they owned. 2. Players that join a town council would be able to lay public roads and avenues, and zone/rezone unowned land (or their own lots) at their own expense. Council members could also build local schools, libraries, hospitals, etc out of their own funds (ingratiating themselves with the local Sims). A player could serve on the councils of a limited number of cities. 3. Mayors would be able to build freeways, public transport, rail lines, airports, power plants, pumping stations, city parks, monuments, etc. from limited city funds. They could also set citywide ordinances and taxes. A player could only serve as mayor of one city, but would retain any council positions they currently had in other cities. 4. Governors would set statewide ordinances and taxes. They could initiate the construction of world wonders (if funds were adequate). They would be able to vote on national matters like declaring war. They would conduct war efforts in their home state, including issuing drafts, setting prices on war equipment, establishing troop levels in given areas, etc. A governor would still retain his/her mayoral seat. BUSINESS MODEL SimPlanet would be free to download. Once installed, a player may explore the entire planet, right down to street level. However, in order to create a character and begin playing the game, one would have to create an account and pay a monthly subscription. Since it'd be free, the software could be released much sooner than normal. Content/features could be added over time. Content could also be submitted by the community for inclusion on the server, offloading development costs. SCREENSHOTS (using Simcity interface) **May have to hit F5 in invalid link** Global View National View Countryside View Citywide View Street View Building View

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CIJolly    282
It sounds like a really good idea, and you've thought it through well. To be perfectly honest, I'm amazed that this game doesn't exist already. Multiplayer Sim City has seemed like a no brainer for years now.

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Nytehauq    328
I've had the exact same idea about a MASSIVELY online game where players play the entire world from the level of the Sims to the level of Planets. You go from Sim to Businessman to Tycoon to mayor to President to God:

The Sims -----------> Sim Tower -------------> Sim City -> Diplomatic Strategy game -> Sim Earth.
---- Sim Golf -> Sim Safari -> Sim farm -> etc.

It would probably be better to cap the simulation at nation level though. Good stuff.

Also, due to the open ended and noncompetetive nature of Sims, you wouldn't have to worry as much about cheating and the like, especially if everything had to be stored server side (Map files for cities and the things you describe would be miniscule in size compared to actually storing real, completely custom made objects). You can only edit according to the rules the game provides and there is little incentive to cheat - it'd be like cheating with your toys as a kid.

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