The Road to Alpha, Week 25 - Imperfect Knowledge

So much real life!


What I did

  • Reimplemented neighboring cities
    • They now work as "fake households" in "fake buildings" at the edge of the map
    • This lets me reuse code for normal households and buildings
      • Citizens could immediately start using them as workplaces and shopping locations and navigate there by car
      • Lots of specialized code for neighboring cities could be removed
  • Added imperfect knowledge to economic demand calculations
    • Fixed some unrealistic bottlenecks
    • Makes it easier to balance all kinds of economic parameters

What I will probably do next

  • Continue balancing the economy
  • Work on evolution of neighboring cities

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The Road to Alpha, Week 24 - Signs of Growth

Happy to be alive!


What I did

  • Continued working on multilane traffic behaviour
  • Started implementing higher building densities
    • Created simple building replacement scheme
    • Designed higher density residential building type: small apartment complex

What I will probably do next

  • Continue working on mutlilane traffic
  • More higher density building types
  • Connect microeconomics to neighboring cities

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The Road to Alpha, Week 23 - With a Little Help

Vlambeer represent!


Link to my Twitch channel
Link to discussion about timescaling

What we did

  • Started working on microeconomics
    • farms and factories produce goods based on number of employees at work
    • at specific intervals, goods are sold to local vendors, delivery trucks are sent
  • First implementation of multilane intersections
  • Started working on merging animation and multi-lane traffic behaviour
    • Deeper changes to the pathfinding system are necessary in the near future

What we will probably do next

  • Reimplement pathfinding to help merging behaviour
  • Implement collision-avoidance during merging and on intersections

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The Road to Alpha, Week 22 - Let's do this!

Feels good to be back again!


What I did

  • Implemented a new way to create multilane roads
    • Allows you to set the number of lanes of the road you're currently drawing
    • Automatically transitions between differing numbers of lanes by creating merging lanes
    • Can handle roads with assymetric numbers of lanes
    • Can connect existing roads with very different lane configurations
  • Decided to do more livestreams
    • I will try to do a livestream every thursday and saturday
    • Starting time will be variable, but of course announced

What I will probably do next

  • Implement multilane intersections (I have the technology now!)
  • Make agents interact with neighboring cities (commute there for jobs etc.)
  • Add new kinds of agents (delivery trucks for goods)

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The Road to Alpha, Week 20 - The Calm Before The Storm

Thanks to all the kind donators!


What I did

  • Ordered and partly installed The New PC™
    • Specs
      • Intel i7-4790K
      • NVIDIA Geforce GTX 780
      • 16GB RAM
      • 2x256GB SSD
      • 1TB HDD
    • First capture and encoding test successful:
      • ARMA III, Ultra Settings (most demanding game I came up with)
      • Full monitor capture at 1920x1200, 60FPS
      • h.264 'veryfast' preset, 10Mbit constant bitrate
      • Result: 60FPS maintained throughout the video
      • CPU usage between 40-60%
    • This update is the first one edited and rendered on the new PC!
      (You can't tell a difference, it was just faster for me)
  • Set up the Official Citybound Wiki
    • Self-hosted, forever ad-free
    • A couple of early helpers have already contributed content!
    • Might even be integrated directly into the game

What I will probably do next

  • Study more for my final exam
  • Maybe do another livestream on Saturday
  • Fall back to regular updates after next week, hopefully even regular livestreams!

Discussion on Reddit
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The First Livestream & Call for Donations

So yesterday I did my first development and Q&A livestream on Twitch ever.
It ended up taking 5 hours. It was one of the most fun things I ever did.

Thanks to everyone who joined, you were amazing!

If you missed it, you can theoretically watch the uncut recording of the whole thing, or just skip through it.

What we did

  • Implemented a first rough version of a pollution system
    • Factories create pollution when they are built
    • There is an animated pollution map that shows you the severity of pollution everywhere
    • Residential buildings won't be built in areas where pollution is too high
  • Answered lots of questions
    • Unfortunately, I won't have the time to summarize all the Q&A, but I won't mind answering the same questions again in the future. If something really gets asked again and again, I will add it to the FAQ.

I want to do this more often

My goal would be to do 2 livestreams a week, in addition to the regular weekly update video. In the update video I can then also adress the progress made in the streams in a compact way.

My final exam is getting closer and closer, so I don't know when I will be able to have a regular streaming schedule, until then everything will be pretty spontaneous - but I will keep you informed of course.

I need a better PC

Every component of my system is now a couple generations old. It was was barely able to do 720p30FPS livestream encoding and run the game at the same time, it was laggy as hell (at least on my end) - the CPU had a constant near-death experience and my humble 4GBs of RAM were more than used up at all times. Also (and this is kind of embarrassing), I didn't even have enough space on my hard disks left to do a local recording of the full stream.

In addition, my system is unpredictably unstable, I consider myself very lucky that it didn't freeze or BSOD during the stream, like it often does, especially when the weather is hot like it is now.
Case in point: My PC had a BSOD during my writing of this blog post, I had to start all over again.

I think you get the idea: In order to make high-quality streaming feasible, to speed up video editing and to improve my overall developer happiness, I need a better PC.

I can't really afford one right now, and people already suggested that I should ask for donations, but out of a false sense of humility, I didn't. But I really should:

If you have some spare money and you enjoy the content that I've been putting out, the best way to support me right would be a donation (even a small one!) that I can use to buy a new PC:

Update: I have received over $2000, this is enough, please stop donating :D Thank you very much!

Thank you, and see you soon!