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Metropolisim from developer Halfway Decent Games is releasing next year, with a pretty bold aim to be the deepest city-building simulation experience ever.

I take a healthy dose of scepticism any time a developer says something like that, as it rarely ends up being true. Even so, I'm a big fan of city building games and I'm always keen to see how developers can do it differently.

Planned features:

  • Build cities up to 10,000,000 population where every citizen is a fully simulated character. Watch them go about their lives as they travel to work, get stuck in traffic, take the bus, enjoy leisure activities, and more.
  • Designate areas within your city for residential, commercial, high-technology, and industrial growth. Then watch as construction begins.
  • Construct city buildings to deliver essential services to your residents. Ensure you have the appropriate coverage in every category to meet their needs if you want your city to continue to grow.
  • Oversee the budget of your city. Balance tax revenue against expenses like essential services, maintenance, and cultural attractions to keep the treasury full.
  • Plan your city layout by precisely laying out streets, avenues, highways, and mass transit options to make sure your citizens can reach their destination quickly and safely, otherwise get ready to hear their gripes.

Going by the videos available on their YouTube channel, it seems to be in the early stages so it's going to be a while on this one I think.

It has a Steam page up you can follow, even though there's only Windows system requirements the official site very clearly states "It will never be ported to consoles. Windows, Linux, and Mac builds will be available.".

Hat tip to Tiedemann.

10 Likes, Who?
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rkfg 13 December 2018 at 11:58 am UTC
QuoteI take a healthy dose of scepticism any time a developer says something like that, as it rarely ends up being true.
This. However, it's easy to verify the claim by just asking "how is your game going to compete with Cities: Skylines?" as it's arguably the best (most complex and popular) city simulator to date. There's also the perceived complexity aspect: it doesn't matter how detailed the simulation is if the player doesn't see it, can't affect it and can't use it to their advantage. I.e. if it seems random, it is random. If it looks simple, it is simple. Anyway, here's hope it'll be good!
EDIT: aaaand it's actually asked already! Looks like the developer goes for more micromanagement. This really depends on the implementation, it might be a chore to manage or an exciting feature that "makes the game". Another hope, it's the latter.


Last edited by rkfg at 13 December 2018 at 12:03 pm UTC
Kimyrielle 13 December 2018 at 3:58 pm UTC
Yeah, if they want to be "deeper" than Cities:Skylines, they have their work cut out for them. And more micromanagement usually results in more tedium, rather than more fun.
Ketil 13 December 2018 at 5:10 pm UTC
Cities skylines is a great casual city builder, but I wouldn't call it very deep even with all the DLCs. I think it would be nice to see if anyone could pull off adding a lot more depth to it, but I suspect even if they succeed it will be a niche game.


Last edited by Ketil at 13 December 2018 at 5:11 pm UTC
Purple Library Guy 13 December 2018 at 5:12 pm UTC
rkfg
QuoteI take a healthy dose of scepticism any time a developer says something like that, as it rarely ends up being true.
This. However, it's easy to verify the claim by just asking "how is your game going to compete with Cities: Skylines?" as it's arguably the best (most complex and popular) city simulator to date. There's also the perceived complexity aspect: it doesn't matter how detailed the simulation is if the player doesn't see it, can't affect it and can't use it to their advantage. I.e. if it seems random, it is random. If it looks simple, it is simple. Anyway, here's hope it'll be good!
EDIT: aaaand it's actually asked already! Looks like the developer goes for more micromanagement. This really depends on the implementation, it might be a chore to manage or an exciting feature that "makes the game". Another hope, it's the latter.
Um. Looked at what the dev said. That doesn't sound really good. I'm fine with micromanagement where it's, I dunno, meaningful and appropriate, but if I want to set the patrol routes of cops I'll play a police station manager, not a city builder. I can see something like setting policies for policing (although it would inevitably get political), like drug zero-tolerance vs. harm reduction or whatever like that. Setting funding levels, even, although probably not on a per-station basis. But hiring the officers?! Heck with that. That's the police chief's job (or maybe the police chief's HR department's job)--I'm the mayor, I hire the police chief, he/she handles the grunts.
If the city gets beyond hamlet size and you're doing that level of irrelevant detail, you'll get lost. If I wanted depth from a city sim, it wouldn't be from adding lower and lower level functions, it would be from adding more factors and detail affecting my work at the mayor/planning staff level. More zoning, political pressure from different groups like developers, residential areas spontaneously tending to stratify into luxury and working class neighbourhoods leading to different pressures and management needs, gentrification and displacement, yadda yadda like that.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy at 13 December 2018 at 5:24 pm UTC. Edited 4 times.
STiAT 14 December 2018 at 7:40 am UTC
KetilCities skylines is a great casual city builder, but I wouldn't call it very deep even with all the DLCs. I think it would be nice to see if anyone could pull off adding a lot more depth to it, but I suspect even if they succeed it will be a niche game.

Yeah, but I've to say I like the more casual approach to it, especially if you're like me and want to rebuild the city you live in (or at least a bigger part of the city you live in), it's pretty great not to have too much micro management.
ChiKin 18 December 2018 at 10:25 am UTC
It could be cool if there was a city builder that wasn't 90% about traffic management.

Most of the work in Cities Skylines has to do with traffic. You can build a large police station and not worry about crime for most of the game, but you will be obsessing about intersections, one ways, subway routes, bus routes pedestrian walk ways, bridges, tunnels and train tracks for a lot of the time.

Not that this isn't fun. It really is. I love it. I just wish there were options to focus on other things.
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