Regulating what goes into a town/city

I feel that the number and type of buildings that are going to go into a town should be pre-determined. This way you can regulate it and get a realistic mix. Almost every town I know has at least one gas station, yet I’ve been in a goodly number of towns in this game without one. Basic necessities for daily life would be more common then then specialty stores. A small town is more likely to have 1 or 2 gas stations, a grocery store, and maybe a hardware store. My hometown was pretty small. It had a gas station, a convenience store, a grocery store (which eventually went out of business), a restaurant (a pizza place which eventually bought the grocery store building), a bank, and a sorta hardware store (sold a lot of random things, but also some paint and tools, was named a general store). Bradford, NH. Smalltown, USA.
For a simple addition, you could add convenience stores to the mix. A lot like a gas station but without the pumps. More shelves too.

Good ideas.

I always find it a bit odd when you see three banks right next to each other, or what have you.

Convenience stores are a great idea, even if they end up just being gas stations without gas. Convenience stores are pretty common and a little more variety in the kinds of shops that generate is always appreciated. (I’d like to see fast food restaurants that have drive-thru windows etc, occasional veterinarian where certain pharmaceuticals can be found (and zombie dogs), churches, cemeteries, etc. I guess I could go on and on, but the point is that more variety and less repetition of buildings is always a good thing. Also spreading some of the gear spawning around would be good. I’m surprised how infrequently I find guns in cabins, for example. You’d think there’d be more hunting gear in such places. But I’m going off on a tangent here.

I’m not sure I’d be in favor of a cookie-cutter model for cities (or even a few different cookie cutter models) but it does seem like cities should have a bare minimum and perhaps a maximum number of certain kinds of buildings, depending on the size.

Small: 0-1 Library, 1-2 Restaurants, 0-1 Gunstore, 0-1 Army Surplus, etc
Medium: 0-1 Library, 1-3 Restaurants, 0-2 Gunstores, 0-2 Army Surplus, etc
Large: 1-2 Library, 2-5 Restaurants, 1-3 Gunstores, 1-3 Army Surplus, etc

But frankly I don’t know how the game decides how large a city will be. It may be sort of incidental.

I thought that cities were weird too, until I went walking around my own town one day and spotted a burger joint flanked by hardware stores, across the street from a military surplus store, and sharing a back alley with a gun store and ANOTHER military surplus store, all of it surrounded by car repair places (or garages, as the game calls them). It was at that point that I just gave up and decided to assume that all of the towns in Cataclysm are, like mine, apparently designed by crazy people.

(To be fair, one of the Mil.Surplus stores was going out of business)

Overall, I kind of like the proportions that occur naturally in the game. What I’d really like to see is more variety in the buildings. Someone around here suggested adding things like movie theaters and other entertainment spots, and I like that idea. Once Z-Levels are implemented, we can have apartments and office buildings. Overall, while it’s probably a good idea to make sure that a town is never composed of nothing but pawn shops (unless it’s somewhere on the Oregon coast), I do enjoy the absurd spawn patterns that show up now.

I agree that sometimes you can have insanity in a regular town. You can represent this by having low percentage chances for things that don’t really make sense. You can always imagine a story as to why it ended up that way. I really would like to add this to my suggestion for streets and shops to have names. Would make things feel less cookie cutter.

Are we suggesting new building types in here as well? Because I cannot describe how desperately I want there to be a Mall building type.

Anyway, forcing a town or city to be generated with at least 1 place to buy food and gasoline should be considered. If none of those exist in a real-life town, one soon will spring up. Supply and demand and all that. All the other insane possibilities can stay as far as I’m concerned, real life cities layouts often make about as much sense. Some set-piece style building layouts could be nice as well (An area solely composed of houses: a subdivision).

Pet stores, flower & gardening stores, cinemas, bowling lanes, arcade & billiard parlors, motels, schools, small farms…

There’s already a mall, though it’s not exactly laid out in a way that makes me think of a mall so much as a Walmart. It shows up as a 3x3 square of blue Ms.

I’d love a huge mall complex similar to how labs are laid out.

Anyway, on topic; a little bit of insanity is fine, agreed. But there should always be at least one of certain things.

I’d also like to see more houses away from town centers. In real life you tend to see houses pretty far from towns, and finding a spattering of four or five houses along a sideroad in the woods would be rad. Especially with static spawns, it would make it a little bit easier to find random gear without always having to risk your neck getting close to cities.