Exclusive Cities in Motion Developer Diary #4: The Citizens
The second of an ongoing series of developer diaries from Paradox Interactive is here to fill up your holiday excitement. Targeted for an early 2011 PC release, Cities in Motion is a modern day transport tycoon.
Written by Karoliina Korppoo, lead designer of Cities in Motion:
"Happy holidays! It's cold and snowy here in Finland, but we've been working hard on Cities in Motion. This time, the diary is about the people living in the cities.
In Cities in Motion, the main goal is to provide the city's residents with public transportation. To make things interesting, there are many different kinds of people living in each city. Having lines that cater to their different needs is the key to success.
The citizenry are divided into seven social groups: students, business people, blue-collar workers, white-collar workers, tourists, dropouts, and pensioners. Most of the groups commute to work, which is one of the biggest reasons why people move around the city. Some, like pensioners and tourists, obviously don't work, but they do have other needs for transportation, like going shopping, sightseeing, or for a stroll in the park. Students travel to the university and some also work part-time. The blue- and white-collar workers also have other things to do besides work – amusement parks and shopping malls always draw crowds. Airports and railway stations are likely destinations for all social groups, as everyone needs to travel at some time. Business people are more likely to travel and prefer the fastest options, regardless of the cost. Other groups are more concerned about ticket prices. Students are willing to pay only a small amount, as are pensioners. Workers move around a lot, so they prefer reasonably priced routes that don't have many line changes. Blue-collars usually work in factories, which require lots of employees, so whenever you find a factory on the map, you can be pretty sure that loads of people are there, coming and going.
Every person living in the city is an individual. They have a name, a face, and a home, as well as personal preferences for leisure activities. Some like to spend their free time playing tennis or taking a walk in the park, while others would rather go to see a football game or shopping. You can save citizens in "Customer profiles" to easily track them at all times. Different social groups also live in different areas. You are more likely to find wealthy business people in villas, and blue-collar workers and students in apartment blocks.
We did a lot of research on different eras to find the right clothing styles and names for citizens. As the game progresses, the citizens change according to the era they are in. You can expect to see everything from flapper skirts to sleek 1980's business clothing! Some people also own cars and eventually upgrade their rides to modern standards, so you can still see a few 1930's cars on the streets 10 or 20 years later, but they won't last forever."