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The Charm Cities Wiki

Charm Cities is a collaborative open-source project with the goal of creating a new city-builder game built on models of real socioeconomic forces based on the latest research in the social sciences and urban planning as well as the lived experiences of real city-dwellers. We aim to make an exciting, engaging game that challenges players in a way no game in the genre's 30 year history ever has.

This wiki exists to assist our project management team and other community members as we assemble information on the project requirements and develop a road map for completion.

Gameplay Elements

Virtually all contemporary city-builder games assume that the player must place ploppable buildings and network elements to provide services, including but not limited to:

You can check if you're meeting your goals for your city by looking at overlays - different visualizations that show different perspectives on your city. Some examples of possible overlays might include:

  • Economic overlays
    • Cost of living
    • Land value (per building/tile)
    • Poverty
    • Tax income (per building/tile)
    • Tourism
  • Environment overlays
  • Infrastructure overlays
    • District heating and cooling
    • Power grid
    • Sewer system
    • Stormwater system
    • Waste collection
    • Water system
  • Transportation overlays
    • Access to bicycle routes
    • Access to transit
    • Access to pedestrian routes
    • Traffic
    • Transit ridership
    • Transit routes
    • Vehicle-miles traveled
  • Well-being overlays

Providing these services allows "growables" - the privately owned buildings which generate money for the city through taxation - to appear in specially designated zones. The player, who serves as an unelected city manager, will need to pay for these services, which will involve managing not only the city's financial budget, but also a political capital budget, since many of those services will be difficult to pay for without subsidies from the provincial and/or national government. Getting higher subsidies will require both carefully managing your relationships with elected politicians and steering the national conversations on key issues - two goals which will sometimes be in direct conflict.

The general goal of the game is to improve the lives of the citizens of your city, called HONs. HONs are complex AIs who live rich and multifaceted lives; they want their basic needs met with services, but they also want to be able to form relationships and to grow as people. Helping them to thrive will help your city, since the art, commerce, and science generated by HONs who have the opportunities to achieve their potential will directly impact the city. HONs have a wide range of individual traits and biases, meaning that there will be no one-size-fits-all solution to meet all their needs.