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Some thoughts on Population centers within the game, I think this should be considered to make more options for the players to deal with.

Population centers:

- Village: No annex within the pop, but can have population of under 1,000, as well as (1) Edu Bldg, (1) Cul Bldg, (1) Armory, (1) Guild Hall, it has No defenses. Dedicatd to just one faction that controls it.

- Fort: (1-5) Annexs within the pop, but can have population of between 1-5000 as well as (1) Edu Bldg, (1) Cul Bldg, (1) Armory, (1) Guild Hall, up to the number of each equal to the number of annexes. The pop center usually has Towers, walls, and Hedge Hogs. Dedicated to just one faction that controls it. Can have one office/temple of what ever faction that controls the pop center.

- City: (6+) Annexes within the pop, but can have population 6000+ within the pop, but can have population 6000 plus equal to the number of annexes. The city is open to have up to one city buildings per annex the city has. They can also have factional offices/temples of any faction that is allowed.

-Perserv: These pop centers are usually a supper structure that encircles (9) hexes square. One hex inside the cube is the city and the others can be developed as desired. Usually there are 25+ annexes with population of 25k+ pop. Usually these are dedicated to just one faction, and only they can enter that protected pop center. These should not just Imperials, but open to all factions.
Note you could built a city from scratch, and this way you can start with a village, then a fort, and then a city, then to a perserv.
I have no problems with your designs, though I don't see any particular need to be terribly stringent about it.

For instance, the old version strictly coordinated population with annexes but the new version doesn't need to do that unless we artificially constrain it.  Is there some particular game reason why annexes must be tied to population?  Conceivably, for a city of a given population, you could built its walls to contain roughly that population.  Then if more population was added later, a new annex could be created for that number of additional citizens.  So you could still have a protected population and a number of annex walls to deal with, but I see no particular reason why those need to be tied together.  We might even be able to allow variable levels and relationships between annexes (e.g. a central core with high walls for the privileged and a large area with lower walls completely enclosing it for the general population).

Can you think of any reason we need to maintain the old restrictions?
Hmm ok I was sticking with what Zan had been using within the game.
That ancient Clipper code had lots of restrictions that I no longer have to follow.  If you think it's a good idea, would you like to propose any particular method of handling these things?

Personally, I think of all these "permanent dwelling areas" generically as "cities", regardless of their size.  We can call them hamlets, villages, towns, cities, etc. as we wish, roughly based on population size, but I wouldn't bother putting fixed restrictions or requirements on their structure.  I'd be fine with allowing any size city to have any city defenses (that they can afford), whatever city buildings they want to put in, offices/temples as needs arise, etc.  If a small town builds good, strong walls, I don't see any reason they can't call themselves a fort.  And a much-enlarged and -protected city could be a "preserve" of any faction that wanted to foot the bills.  Effectively, I'd put all cities of all sizes and factions effectively on equal footing, to be developed as city managers desire, and I see no reason why any particular city or faction (e.g. Imperials) should start off with any special advantages over all the others.

Have you any comments on this sort of a vision?  Is there anything you'd like to propose yourself or change on this idea?
Ok a very good start then.

I think the first choice you need to choose is what Mapping symbols you are going to use? Do you have multiple symbols for the different pop centers?

I was thinking that since "village' is a land upgrade, that it should be the smallest pop center symbol that shows up on the map. So maybe we should list the pop centers as:

 - Fort
 - Village
 - Town
 - City
 - Preserv

The next issue is how do you define what each of these pop centers is? Do you agree with using these(5) population centers as the types we could find?
I don't see a problem using new/different map symbols for different types.  I'm sure we can come up with something similar to the symbols we have now.

BTW, I got this definition of a "village" from National Geographic:
Quote:A village is a small settlement usually found in a rural setting. It is generally larger than a "hamlet" but smaller than a "town". Some geographers specifically define a village as having between 500 and 2,500 inhabitants. 
In most parts of the world, villages are settlements of people clustered around a central point. A central point is most often a church, marketplace, or public space. A public space can be a open space (sometimes called a village green), or developed square (sometimes called a plaza or piazza). This type of village organization is called a nucleated settlement. 
Some villages are linear settlements. They are not clustered around a central public space, but around a line. This line can be natural, such as a river bank or seashore. (Fishing villages are often linear settlements.) Linear settlements can also develop around a transportation route, such as a railroad line.

So perhaps we can have Hamlets, Villages, Towns, and Cities (and perhaps even a Metropolis, such as ancient Rome, for something extra-large like the Preserve-class settlement?) as our base sizes (increasing from left to right), and we can define population size ranges for each of them?

And here's another nice feature of the new system...  the new mapper allows me to combine symbols together, so we can create symbols for light, medium, and heavy defensive structures and overlay them on (surrounding) the settlement type symbol, so any settlement type can end up with any type of defensive structure, directly on the map.  What do you think about that idea?
For those of you interested in the technical aspects of map-drawing...

If anyone would like to try their hand at building us some new mapping icons for this sort of thing, or simply improving our existing icons, then please be aware of our current definitions...  Our existing mapping icons are 36x36 pixels and are stored in separate .BMP files.  You can specify "transparent" portions of the images by using the exact color Magenta [RGB(255,0,255)].  In the future, I expect to be able to increase the number of pixels available to produce cleaner icons, but I have to balance that with what they look like when zoomed out to a very small scale (for large-area maps).  I haven't tested the new code with different pixel sizes yet either, and every icon in the map will need to be consistently-sized, and larger sizes will make maps a bit slower to display and take more on-line bandwidth and memory, just in case you were getting any grand ideas.

Good luck, and show off your ideas to all of us here so we can all comment on them.
Ok lets do the following, lets define what population centers will appear in the game.

I believe that we should do away with the Persurvs all together.

List of possible Population centers:

- City
- Town
- Village
- Fort

If we can agree on these then lets define what makes up each of these pop centers. I believe they should use in-game structures that define them.

Fort :
Defenses: Walls, Tower, Pits, Hedgehogs, Ditches, and Pits (No greater that 3.0 in size for any of them)
Annexes:  1-3 would give barrecks of 1000/ retainers per Annex
Populalation: 500
City buidgings: (1-3) Armory, (1) Guild Halls, (1) Education Building, (1) Cultural Building, (1-3) Granaries
Note: They tend to be military staging areas

Defenses: any type but no greater than 3.0 in size
Annex; None
Population: under 1000
City Buildings: 0-1 of any
Note: I believe that to build a Village it should require more than just mancycles but other resources as well

Defenses: any type but no greater than 5.0 in size
Annex; 1 to 6
Population: 1000 to 6000 pop within the Town and any amount outside the Town
City Buildings: any number of any city buildings, can also have any number of any Factional office/Temples
Note: Will have a real market, but not as large as a city, can have land upgrades, can have a shipyard

Defenses: any type but no greater than 10.0 in size
Annex: 7+
Population: 1000 per annex pop within the City and any amount outside the City
City Buildings: any number of any city buildings, can also have any number of any Factional office/Temples
Note: Will have a real market, can have land upgrades, can have a shipyard
So you didn't like my idea of making the different population center definitions flexible, so they could contain pretty much anything?  I was proposing to determine the "type" strictly on population and letting all the additional features (including defenses) be defined entirely independently of what they're called.  So, for instance, you could define size ranges such as:
1-500 = Hamlet
500-1000 = Village
1000-7500 = Town
7500+ = City

My way wouldn't define a Fort as a separate entity, for instance, but it would instead be a relatively-well-defended Hamlet-size population which could be called a Fort and used primarily for military purposes.

I'm not particularly fond of saying things like "a village must be X, Y, & Z and nothing else."  I'd like to at least have a migration path for cities to grow from smaller groups, and limiting the definitions seems like it won't allow such changes.