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TOPIC: City growing mechanics

City growing mechanics 1 year 11 months ago #5637

Hello to everyone, but especially to the experienced citybuilders.

I would like to get a overwiev about everything which is important got grow your city as fast as possible.

I'm playing mostly on server 12 and 12A so I concentrate on 8k temperate cities but I think the most mechanics are the same on all CB servers.

Here what I know:
-start with a well placed town with as many houses as you can find.
-provide to your city passengers and mail as soon as possible.
-get maximum rating for your city as soon as possible. (by having at least ?5 active stations, no inactive stations, planting trees)
-know what comes next -> goods at 1500 people and provide it already before you reach it in order to not miss a month or more.
-check the real inhibitants on BTpro-client and stop providing things once you reach 8000.

Now the point is that I had some games where I followed the above rules perfectly but someone else who started later reached the goal faster than me. And not only a few seconds, a lot, and actually with much less buildings but I may be wrong on the last point.


This brings me to the conclusion that I still miss some very important things but I have no idea what it is.

One thing is maybe the used street grid. I did read some things about it didn't fnd out what really matters. One pretty obvious thing is to use 2 tiles distances. And I did read something about dead ends but don't know if it matters or not.

An other thing may be to destroy non-people buldings like fountains but I never did that. As far as i know town rating depends apart fromother things on the number of buildings you have. So destroying fountains would create space for other buildings but decrease the number of houses. And it doesen't looks like you haven't enough space for buildingd on 8k servers.

So, what else, what do I miss? Please help me.


PS: Obviously you could say, check what the faster guys are doing but 1st I tried and 2nd when I see that there is a fast guy the game is already over :)

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City growing mechanics 1 year 11 months ago #5638

Obviously I'm no CB expert but you forgot to mention road layout, like described here

Spiral works better and main idea is to avoid CS (cycle skips). Not much I can add... lets see if the real CB experts give some tips ;)
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City growing mechanics 1 year 11 months ago #5641

On btpro growth is based on town population, not house count. So if you want highscore you claim towns that are already growing past 500 pop (i.e. have > 500 real pop). Also you need to be lucky and get big first houses as it showballs from there.

Having less population with more buildings usually means you have ineffecient road layout (like 2x2 grid). Town growth mechanics is a quite complex topic, and it's not explained very well anywhere. I usually give these three links, at least they cover some of it:
http://wiki.openttdcoop.org/User:Mfb/Towns
https://wiki.citymania.org/index.php/Advanced_town_growth
https://citymania.org/tools/townsim
TL;DR use double spiral .

Destroying fountains is questionable. It's harmful on house-based growth but here may actually be helpful because of snowballing growth. Ofc, you need to be smart and keep max rating while doing it.
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Last edit: by dP.

City growing mechanics 1 year 11 months ago #5642

Sounds like you have most of it worked out, but:

- Don't bother planting trees - they stop having an effect at 200 rating (and you should never go this low)

- As ST says, road layout is hugely important. In the BTPro client you can see "CS" which is "Cycle Skips" - this is the number of times the house building algorithm gave up and didn't build a new house... for a perfect game you should keep this at 0. The way the algorithm works is to start at the town center (crossroad under the sign) and randomly choose a direction. When it gets to a dead end it gives up, when it gets to an intersection it randomly chooses a direction, when it comes to the same place 5 times it gives up. So in short: NO dead ends close to the last house, and NO loops. The spiral setup that ST links to above is an example of this - the "dead ends" are way out of town and you extend them whenever the houses get close. A typical 2x2 grid pattern won't have dead ends but will loop on itself massively and make it hard for the algorithm to find an empty space to build.

- Blowing things up is a double-edge sword, it costs you ratings and houses which both factor in the GR (Growth Rate). I experimented with it for a while and decided it doesn't improve things much, the only exception is the 4-square stadium near the center of town... normally it will rebuild itself on the outskirts, but if I'm getting close and it hasn't and I have a GR of 1 or 2 days then I'll blow it up... only ever blow up one building in a month, you need to keep your rating above ~800 to maintain the maximum GR, and if you can, blow it up on day 29/30 so your rating goes back up immediately. Also only do it on streets with streetlights on them - these are the only streets where big pop buildings will be built.

- As the game is exponential a quick start is more important than the end, so get your ratings started immediately as they are the slowest. I build 5+ bus stations before doing anything else and let 5+ busses wander amongst them (no orders). Once I have the pax/mail train system setup, I build the spiral road setup with one-way tiles keeping those busses in.

- Missing a month will slow you down, so it's better to have 3 smaller trains arriving every 10 days than one big one every 30 days which might miss the end of month by a day... just watch your budget as it will cost a lot more. With goods I always transfer from the trains to a station and let trucks deliver it smoothly over the month... I keep an eye on the amount and add another truck or two when I get to less than 100 over the amount needed per month.

- Joining a game late gives you an advantage as you can start with a 23+ house town instead of a 15 house town. All the top scores are (as far as I can tell) in games where the player started a few years in.

- Mail get get scarce at the end, I build short routes using one-way tiles as I extend the town to minimise this (ie >>S S<< with a single truck inside).

I'm not the best player so others may have corrections/things to add. I can usually get under 40mins on the 4k server and under 50m on the 8k.
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Last edit: by Tobus. Reason: Spacing for readability

City growing mechanics 1 year 11 months ago #5643

Let me list the most important things in my opinion:
1. Picking a town with already big population and big houses.
2. Double spiral layout.
3. Smooth delivery.

Funding + advertising may also help.

And, a little bit off-topic, but if you try more challenging APHID CBs, the most important are:
1. Money-line at the beginning.
2. Passengers/mail lines next (they are not required from the very beginning as on regular CBs).
+ double spiral + smooth delivery.
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starting from TT in 1994 to find home at BTPro in 2015... nice journey :-)
Last edit: by tomb.

City growing mechanics 1 year 10 months ago #5742

what is the trick at smoothing out city delivery?

On servers 10 & 14, I am often short one requirement (by a small amount), only for the next month for it to be oversupplied. (with another requirement short). :S

I've tried using transfer stations (with trucks or trains) but the GS seems to make transferred cargo disappear for some reason.

Just wondering how the experts deal with it

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Last edit: by tulkas.
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