Project requirements

From Charm Cities Wiki
This article remains incomplete. Please watch for future updates.

This is an overview of the fundamental project requirements of the game tentatively called Charm Cities:

Minimal Requirements

The game is accessible

The list below is adapted from the Game Accessibility Guidelines project based on what seems practical to achieve in a city-builder game.

  • All actions are available via pointer device
  • Pointer sensitivity is adjustable
  • Any action that requires click and drag can be remapped to work another way
  • Any action that requires a button to be held down can be remapped to work another way
  • Remappable keyboard shortcuts are available for key functions
  • UI elements like icons and menus can be resized
  • UI elements are predictable and do not move on their own
  • UI elements can be rearranged and resized
  • UI elements have a visually distinct hover state
  • UI elements have individual, unique, and predictable associated sounds
  • Can run in windowed mode to allow use of virtual keyboards
  • Provides a quickstart option to skip complicated game start menus
  • Uses simple clear language, formatted simply and in high contrast, with key words highlighted
  • Allows user to switch to a font designed for dyslexic people
  • Where possible, includes audio recordings of critical in-game text
  • Includes a replayable tutorial system and in-game contextual help systems
  • Avoids any elements that might cause photosensitive epilepsy
  • Allows non-critical background animations to be disabled
  • Shows a thumbnail and brief description of game state with each savegame file
  • Allows diegetic city audio, UI sounds, music, and voiceover volume to be controlled (or muted) independently
  • Avoids using color as the only means of conveying information where possible
  • Uses yellow-blue color gradients to convey information rather than red-green gradients by default, and allows remapping to alternate gradients
  • Ensures the cursor is always visible and allows the user to change cursors
  • Online help is optimized for screenreaders
  • Avoids using sound as the only means of conveying information
  • Includes visual cues for important in-game audio, including subtitles for speech
  • Allows audio to be switched between mono and stereo
  • Remembers all accessibility settings between sessions

The game is a desktop city-builder game

  • Is capable of running on a typical, 3-5 year old desktop computer at a reasonable framerate
  • Allows the player to represent, in some capacity, the leadership of the city (or the city itself!)
  • Gives the player broad authority to affect the overall direction of the city, but not to micromanage the lives of individual citizens
  • Leaves the player's objectives up to the player, who will rarely if ever reach a win or loss state
  • Depicts the city from a bird's eye view in full 3D
  • Depicts a generally contemporary setting
  • Uses UI elements and overlays to provide the player with information about multiple aspects of the city's status, so that they can decide if they are meeting their objectives, including
    • population
    • wealth
    • citizen happiness
    • land value
    • access to utilities and amenities
    • burden on transportation networks
    • pollution
  • Begins by default by presenting a terrain map representing a greenfield site where the city is to be founded ex nihilo
  • Provides the player with a starting pool of funds with which to found the city
  • Allows the player to use those funds to directly construct "ploppables":
    • transportation networks such as roads, rails, paths, and public transit
    • utilities such as electrical grids and water/sewer distribution networks
    • amenities such as schools, parks, and fire stations
  • Allows the player to designate zones where "growables" will appear if the player has provided sufficient amenities
  • Differentiates, at a minimum, residential, commercial, and industrial growables, each of which grows in its own zone
  • Simulates citizens, or HONs, who live and work in growables
  • Simulates HONs building more and more expensive growables as land value increases due to increased amenities
  • Allows the player to derive income from the economic activity of HONs, forcing them to balance income and expenses to stay solvent
  • Allows the player to set policies which affect the behavior of HONs and the shape of the city
  • Allows the player to speed up and slow down or pause time while still taking actions
  • Unlocks new options as the city increases in population, wealth, happiness, or other metrics

The game adds something new

  • Is set in a society which, like our own, features power differentials
  • Classifies HONs into at least two groups with differing power levels in the game society
  • Simulates interactions between HONs that model real-world behavior across power differentials
  • Provides the player with information about the status not just of the city as a whole but of each group in particular
  • Places the player's city in the context of a larger province with its own leadership
  • Changes the player's relationship to the provincial leadership based on the player's gameplay

Big Ideas