Caesar IV

Tilted Mill and Vivendi are going back to Rome after eight years among the barbarians. Caesar IV was announced in Leipzig.

I loved Children of the Nile and am delighted to read that C4 will keep the walkers the way they are in that game, moving to fill needs instead of random paths. The loss of the “area of influence” effect took a lot of getting used to for many gamers, but I thought it made the city more alive and even more viable since you could make do with a less than ideal city grid.

Troy

It was announced in Leipzig? What’s in Leipzig? Das Gameskonventionvivendiwerkz?

http://www.quartertothree.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=20849

Not a surprise, but great news nonetheless!

Fall 2006… ouch. But it will be worth the wait if they keep up their high standards. Children of the Nile was pretty good imo. The 2nd generation with 3D graphics will be even better now they’ve learned to work with it.

Is this basically the next Immortal Cities title, but with added money hat?

Are plebs still needed?

If they follow the CotN model, then I imagine plebs will be very much required (but self-managing).

  • Alan

Not a successor to CotN.
Definitely a successor to Caesar III.

(Bear in mind that both games played homage to what makes that culture unique. The Romans actually did plan and build cities. The Egyptians evolved a culture over time.)

For those of you interested, you get a pretty good drift of where we are heading with the systems on the website TSG links to. Also, bear in mind we learned alot from CotN and we have until Fall 2006 to work on it. That is longer than what we are used to.

When we are done, we really hope it will feel like everything that makes Caesar special, while presenting it in 3d.

Planned cities are good, so long as the scenarios don’t require the precision planning that C3 did. As great as that game was, midway through the campaign it became difficult to predict the growth and needs of your city. You could end up in a terrible loop of booms and crashes if you put your farms a little too far to the left.

One reason that CotN was so great was that the economic system didn’t put such a premium on perfect placement. And a flawed city could be redeemed and played through with some tweaking instead of the wholesale reloading that C3 often forced me into. I hate city builders that turn into puzzle games where you have to count the exact number of spaces for efficiency. But CotN let me tear things down and build them up and experiment, and, most importantly, gave me lots of early clues when things weren’t working quite right. For all it’s little quirks, CotN grabbed me and held me for a long time. (Dammit. Now I want to reinstall it.)

I note that another Rome citybuilder is coming out soon, Heart of Empire from Deep Silver. Has anyone gotten a look at it? They were at E3, I think.

Troy

TSG- You are right that smart people who go and do what they need- providing that service is available- allows for much more flexibility in your planning. (Fun and realism at the same time.)

So yes, that aspect of people going to get what they want is modeled, but I can’t say too much more about the details. I will summarize it by saying that it will feel more like a Caesar that makes sense, than a CotN system.

Since you mentioned CotN- People are still making new maps for it if you are re-installing or firing it up again.

Yeah. I noticed. I checked the CotN site regularly waiting for an announcement of your next game and was always delighted to see a bunch of new stuff to download.

Troy

Yea the problem with the City building series such as Ceasar III, Pharoh, etc… was the walkers who delivered services. It forced you to make completly ineffecinet unrealstic city plans. I hated trying to make my city a long winding S road opposed to a grid wich would in reality work best because I needed to force all my service walkers to only have two random choices. Nothing was more irritating then having the high value realistate devolve into tents because the water walker refused to go there.

Things I liked about those were the economies you could develop to make money utilizing local resources and figuring out what your trade partners wanted, however this again was stymied by the bad city design layout so a factory, while geographically close to a warehouse might still take forever to get there because they had to follow the winding path.

I did like the gods stuff too, I would not mind if a new ceasar game made the gods much more important and actually do a lot more, kind of like in the series that was before pharoh but after rome (i forget its name).

Finally the big moumnets or engineering projects of Pharaoh were great, however the game really needed a ‘speed up time’ button. It kind of sucked to actually have to play for 4 hours to make a pyramid even though everything is setup perfectly.

Zeus/Poseidon? (released after Pharaoh, but less complex game design) I’m not sure which religion system I would prefer in a new Caesar game; direct deity-involvement has good and bad points.

As for the monument building, there was a “fast monument construction” option in the Cleopatra expansion. RotMK was also pretty good about pacing monument construction, although it was the availability of raw materials that was usually the bottleneck in that game.

  • Alan

Hooray. I think Caesar II got me started and those Tilted Mill guys may have a minute amount of experience with the City Building games. :wink:

I’m looking forward to it! The Caesar games are my favorites, thematically, of the City Building series. There’s just something incredibly satisfying about building Rome in a day… ;)

Though I really liked the setting for Emperor, too. I’d love to see you guys revisit China someday.

I need to try CotN again. I loved all the Impressions citybuilders to death but CotN just didn’t grab me.

Some of it was that I liked the campagin progression in Pharaoh, etc. better… always something new unlocking in the next scenario. Seems like you get everything right out of the gate in CotN.

MORE PLEBS ARE NEEDED!
MORE PLEBS ARE NEEDED!

Yea, I think it was called Zeus. I didn’t play it much after pharoh because it was more of the same.

Anyway, was one of the Tilted Mill guys reading this? Anyway here is a wish list for things Id like to see added to these games.

Small Somewhat reasonable wishes:

  1. Smart Walkers (or some mechanisim that does not depend on luck).

  2. More complex manufactoruing. For example instead of just getting clay and selling clay pots, you could optionally process them further by making painted or decorated clay pots. As a production option you might import clay pots (instead of making them) and just paint them and resell them. Of course rich people want the painted ones while poor are happy with unpainted ones.

  3. More complex ‘global’ economy. More cities who provide loads of raw materials cheap, more who buy/provide tier 1 goods (such as unpainted pots), and more who buy mostly tier2 goods. The more mature a city is, such as Rome, the more they want tier2 goods and the less the produce themselves. Also some perodic events that affect market prices. For example wheat might sell for the most in winter. A city that waging a war might suddenly pay a lot more for weapons or a natural disaster may cause the price of bricks to go through the roof.

  4. More special structures you can build that do speical things. Ie: Temple to cerces that improves agriculture or a special farmers market or something. You should be able to build only one or a few of these in any given city, so you need to be picky.

  5. Optional missions to gain city improvements tied to your character. For example you might get plans for a water mill so that you can build these in cities which really improve flour production or plans for hand carts causing workers to be able to carry more, or things like that.

  6. Wonders: You can only make one of each type per game and they cost a lot to build, but have a huge benifit. A sphynx might prvent your city from ever being attacked, a collusus would increse trade and tax profit a lot, for example.

  7. More missions with the same city. Basically in the past it has been, get 5000 gold and 10000 bricks. You do that, you win, go to the next city. Sometimes this is not the case, but usually it is. Id prefer to have new goals added after some bonsus were added so a city might have to shift gears and adapt to new conditions.

  8. Random City Maps with random World maps. Currently if you play the campeign once, you have pretty much seen all the surprises. It would be nice to have a random world map with each city map also random. Maybe the overall goals might be the same (or picked from a pool of random city goals and events). This would just give a lot of replayability other then picking a well known map and build a city all over in a scenerio you already beat.

  9. Rare resources on city maps: Sometimes maybe there might be somethign special you an exploit such as spices, a gold mine, or something else on a map.

  10. Cohort missions. In Ceasar III you made troops, but they never did anything unless you were attacked or had a mission that requried you commit them various actions. It would be nice if you could build them for your own use and send them on missions to do things. Maybe some nearby city is overcharging you for grain (or you just don’t want to pay for it), so send the troops to raid the town and bring back goodies. Maybe you are sick of those barbarians raiding you, so you send them out into the country side to find and beat them down.

Bigger Wishes:

  1. If we get good replayability, id like to see characters you played who have certain abilities and skill trees. For example some archtypes might be The Farmer, The Merhcant, The Warrior, The Architect, The Administrator. They would give bonuses in Production, Trade, Millitary units, Building & Maintaining, and overall Governence respectivly. Then as you progressed you would gain skill points which for the farmer might allow him to buy improved wheat production or improved fishing, or perhaps the millitary guy might get cheaper forts, faster troop movement, etc… In any case each archtype would have a skill tree. A character can buy any skill from any skill tree, but it costs twice as much to buy outside of his own specialization.

  2. Beyond Rome: A much much bigger world map such as something from Rome Total war. You gain controll of new cities by helping your country out (completing missions), by subversion, by diplomacy, or by outright attacking them. Nothing tactical like Rome: TW, but basically build a bunch of cohorts, send them on a mission, and they either fail or succeed. You could even play as differant nations asside from rome with thier own advantages/disadvanatages.

  3. Multi-player: I am thinking more along the ‘spore’ concept here since the game would be far to slow for real player vs player (although just making two cities, building troops and trying to kill each other might be a lot of fun). Basically your city would go to an online database with certain observed personailty traits, such as are you agressive, do you like to trade alot, are you trusting, etc… and then in the ‘random’ world’ of someone else game your city or nation, would appear on the world map.

  4. You play as Ceasar. In addtion to normal city building, you also can choose where new cities go and what they do. You can always go and micro them yourself and do all the city building. However, on a larger scale you can require other cities to provide you with troops, food, building materials, etc… Basically you do nation building in addition to city building.

It always seemed to me that this would be relatively easy to do (caveat: I’m totally not a programmer, so I may just have no idea what I’m talking about). Instead of pathing them randomly, just give them a basic AI that steers them down the street that needs them most every time they hit an intersection.

I actually like the walker mechanic quite a bit, so I hope it won’t get the axe entirely. It just needs some tweaking.

Smart Walkers (or some mechanisim that does not depend on luck).

Assuming the mechanics are similar to COTN this is already in the bag. If you’ve not played COTN, think Tropico. Markets etc no longer walk their wares outwards. A member of the population has a need for food or whatever and goes off to try and find an outlet that satisfies that need. No more shrinking houses because the walker turned left instead of right 4 times running.