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Author Topic: The next Bridgewater-Brunel game could be planned for player-built towns  (Read 684 times)

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Offline Matthew

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James recently noted that the population explosion of the Industrial Revolution is not as rapid in real life. Player-built towns are the historical and practical solution to this.

I think that player-built towns are desirable for two reasons.

The main reason is that 'company towns' were a common feature of 18th to 21st century British transport. Famous examples include Barry, Crewe, Middlesborough, and Swindon. In other cases, existing towns and cities grew rapidly because of transport facilities (such as Cardiff's rise to become capital of Wales as the result of its docks, or the 'Metro-Land' suburbs). So it makes historical sense to have new towns appear around player depots, shipyards, etc.

In addition, this could put to good use the excess cash that is piling up in the bank accounts of major players. No one is obliged to spend money on new towns, but a comment on the Discord makes me think that players don't do it more because of the performance effects. This problem could be solved by starting with fewer auto-placed towns in 1750. It is very unlikely that any town placement algorithm will be better at spotting good locations than human players.

It might be thought that the downside of player-built towns is that players can use them to generate custom, so that the passengers are created to serve the transport company rather than vice versa. Well, if players were going to use this exploit they would be doing it already and they are not, even though some players could afford the £5m fee many times over. And the example of 'Metro-Land' in the UK, Discovery Bay in Hong Kong, and many other commuter towns shows that real-life transport companies do create communities in order to profit from the transport opportunities. In fact, some transport economists consider that this is the only sustainable way to fund urban public transport.

The other concern is that fewer towns mean there will be fewer spots where new players can find a niche. I do not have a good solution to this yet. But encouraging bigger players to found new towns might occupy more of their time and effort, leaving auto-placed towns for new players.

So I would like to suggest that the next Bridgewater-Brunel game should begin with fewer towns, so that players can found towns later in the game.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 12:17:13 PM by Matthew »

Offline jamespetts

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Re: The next Bridgewater-Brunel game could be planned for player-built towns
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2020, 12:40:36 PM »
Thank you for your suggestion. How properly to balance players founding towns is a very complex question for the long term that will need to be considered carefully in light of the proposed revised town growth algorithm. The proposed revised algorithm would prevent founding a new town from being capable, by itself, of increasing the population: instead, the population increase would be fixed and founding a new town would just give people an alternative place to live and work.

However, there is a subtle and complex distinction between actually founding a town and simply developing an existing small village into a town, as was the more common feature of railway towns and even new towns.

I will have to analyse the performance situation in more detail once we have reached the 21st century in game before deciding how to deal with the number of towns to generate, but I am planning on generating the next map by making fuller use of the existing zipf's law distribution algorithm, with the result that there will be proportionately more small villages and fewer medium sized towns.

Offline Spenk009

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Re: The next Bridgewater-Brunel game could be planned for player-built towns
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2020, 12:31:01 PM »
Phystam already suggested something along the lines and even has a branch with it incorporated:
https://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=17792.0
If this can be extended to industries with large amounts of commuters, it would improve town growth.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: The next Bridgewater-Brunel game could be planned for player-built towns
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2020, 05:44:59 PM »
Phystam already suggested something along the lines and even has a branch with it incorporated:
https://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=17792.0
If this can be extended to industries with large amounts of commuters, it would improve town growth.

Note that the proposed town replacement town growth algorithm, as discussed in the thread to which you refer, is intended to make growth of towns based on specifically local mobility.