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Magnasanti: Large and Terrifying SimCity (2010) (rumorsontheinternets.org)
690 points by ingve 10 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 153 comments

Heh. It reminded me of Kowloon Walled City [0]

[0]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kowloon_Walled_City

There is a fantastic inside-view of Kowloon Walled City from this 20 minute BBC documentary (1980):


If you're ever in Hong Kong, I highly recommend taking a few hours to explore Chungking Mansions, the spiritual successor to the Kowloon Walled City... not your typical tourist attraction, but one you'll remember far longer than most.

I was right outside this afternoon. Someone offered me a tailor, then cocaine.

I can vouch for a really great tailor right off nathan road if anyone needs a recommendation, friends of the family for over 10 years.

But what about the cocaine?

Having gotten hosed in the past by a Shangainese tailor (largely my fault - wasn't nearly specific on my ask), I'd actually really appreciate the reference. Contact details in my profile if you really don't mind.

Stayed there many times, I always thought it'd get closed down or re-developed at some point, but it keeps on trucking.

Hehe, I stayed in Chungking Mansions a couple of years ago and it's definitely an experience!

There is also a really nice interactive explorable article from the Wall Street Journal here:


In his video he made for Magnasanti [0] (which I really recommend watching by the way), Oscala did mention that an earlier version of the city was in fact inspired by the Kowloon Walled City.

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTJQTc-TqpU

The Cheating definition includes A.I software. Made me think A.I is our hope in real life city planning.

Can AI help us defeat nimbyism?

No, ai will help expend it

I think you mean "expand". "expend" is more or less the opposite of that.

The video in the article mentions Kowloon Walled City as one of the inspirations for the design/layout.

Pushing games to their limits, reminded me of the 210 day roller coaster for Roller Coaster Tycoon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aje-DrGpvKs

I'm rather fond of the pre-1 AD spaceship launch in Civ IV: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/lets-play-deity-bc-sp...

For some context, in Civilization IV you play a civilization from the year 4000BC. One of the win conditions is to research all the way into the information era, and build a spaceship that goes to Alpha Centauri.

Through horrible game mechanic abuse, this player managed to tech all the way up and launch the spaceship in the BCs, before 1AD, on the highest difficulty level.

Honestly that looks like the most boring roller coaster ever invented by man. I prefer the Sim City one, with its strong dystopian vibes ;)

Mr. Bones Wild Ride is a funnier version of the same roller coaster concept.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ix-aVhIgBO4 (the ride never ends)

Mine was only 2.6million in population but definitively nicer: https://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/90226/my-city-is-...

It got into a chronic recession. The city became a ghost town at some point despite having a massive population.

It is a shame that I didn't have a backup for that particular city (no dropbox back then)

What's almost more amazing is that the developer spent 1.5 years planning and 3 years developing.

I find it absurd but also inspiring that someone can devote that much time and energy to a hobby or unfunded personal research project.

How many hours in 4.5 years does an average Netflix users spend? Seems absurd to spend that time consuming than creating your own content.

it's much easier to consume content, and it produces endorphines just the same.

Creating content (or any creative endeavour) is hard, and most people don't like hard work.

I don't watch TV (or more correctly I very rarely watch TV).

The amount of time that free's up for activities is insane, I go to Chess twice a week, cycle, spend time keeping up to date on programming stuff and still have time to read.

3hrs a day over a year is the same as 6mths of working a 40hr week.

And even though it will reach to the top in HN and other sites we'll probably forget about it in a couple of weeks as any other meme.

But then again I spend my time daily in other meaningless activities that won't even be noticed by a single person. So good for him. I hope I'll reach that level of determination in the future.

No worries, I'll post it again in six to twelve months to farm karma.

speaking of "other meaningless activities"

Don't worry. People will complain when they find out he's karma farming and it will bounce right back.

Life feels more fulfilling when a person focus on increasing the happiness of people immediately around her instead of international fame,

Having just finished a PhD and working full time in industry, I still find myself having the appetite for some unfunded personal research projects. Clearly didn't want to continue in academia, but there seems to be no middle ground yet, apart from landing a job at Google or the like.

You can become an independent researcher. I've discussed this approach on Hacker News before:


Reading your other posts makes me realize I might be headed in this direction. I'm going to be making silly amounts of money soon enough (at least what I consider to be silly), meaning I could retire in 10 years if I wanted to. I do enjoy the work I am doing, but this means I could go in whatever direction I want. One challenge would be to establish proper collaborations, because working with other people feels very pleasant and rewarding to me.

You're right, collaboration could be difficult. I'm hoping to identify some other likeminded people in my field who I could collaborate with online at the very least.

The losses to the human species caused by the relentless drive to work longer and longer hours, destroying all leisure time, are utterly incalculable. Almost all great advances in art, science, and culture occurred as either a direct or indirect consequence of people working towards things which interested them during their leisure time. Bertrand Russel's "In Praise of Idleness" is more relevant now than ever before.

It's certainly more admirable than the amount of hours I have logged playing video games.

This is also what a lot of Simcity 4 players did. Some of them have spent years building highly realistic cities, taking care of all details the game would allow them, while some devoted their effort to the making of high quality models, MODs, and various plugins that helped the 2003 game to be still full of new contents a decade after its release.

Few games offer the same level of openness and depth as the (old) Simcity games does.

An inspired artist in other mediums would spend comparable time.

Has there ever been a study of the gamification of city building? Or rather the results thereof?

E.g. give a simulator the current population and layout of NYC with the current influx of people with a budget and see what the results are? It would be fascinating to see people try and "beat" the high scores on different cities (i.e. Austin would be an easy level, Boston harder, and NYC the hardest level, etc.). Then we could collate what worked and what didn't without dumb projects like the Mopac Expressway.

Either way I'd play that game.

Not for cities, but in the same vein of a more real-world sim, SimHealth was developed in 1994 to debate the Clinton's healthcare plan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SimHealth

> dumb projects like Mopac

OT, but, er, what's wrong with Mopac? I didn't really have any problems with it while I lived in Austin, but it's been quite a while now.

They've spent the past several years on a massively expensive project to add ONE lane of traffic in each direction, rather than a high-volume mass transit artery like it needs.

And it doesn't even work! I took the toll a few months ago because I needed to head North for a meeting, but the thing was moving slower than actual traffic from all the people merging/leaving it.

The construction lobby strikes again I guess...

This article[1] summarizes the recent problems.

[1] https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2017-08-04/mopac-and-th...

This is why we need to research arcologies. The end goal isn’t supposed to be stagnation at mid-20th-Century development, but space exploration.

I guess I’ll think about this every time someone says, “But why don’t we just focus on solving the problems on Earth, first?”

This guy did “solve” those problems.

So we need space exploration because someone made a depressing SimCity city?

  Sims don’t need to travel long distances, because their workplace is just within walking distance. In fact they do not even need to leave their own block. Wherever they go it’s like going to the same place.
Sounds like modern urban development with minimalist cafes and hanging-air-plant boutiques.

Sounds like the dream city of strongtowns.org.

Many do not see the artistic expression in games. That includes many game creators. They create fictional worlds that have to be inherently woven from their own beliefs about how the world works, and they don't even think they're making any kind of a statement. I've always actually thought of SimCity specifically when considering this. You hire more police, and crime is reduced. The creators clearly had absolutely no concern with oppression. They had no historical sense or failed to recognize that there's actually a reason that there has never been, and will never be, a happy, productive police state.

The old Sierra games (Caesar III and Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom, at least, but I think others also) worked in a more realistic manner. If you had some "police" crime went down, but if you had too many, dissatisfaction among the population went up and eventually you might end up with a rebellion in your hands, which could wreak serious damage to the city with people running around with torches and setting fire to everything.

> They had no historical sense or failed to recognize that there's actually a reason that there has never been, and will never be, a happy, productive police state.

(devil's advocate) Singapore?

You may find more joy in a game like Tropico.

Thanks for sharing. I would love if SC3K or 2K had some sort of API to allow bots to control the game. Would love to see some AI-generated hellish landscapes (to see what I have to look forward to?).

Could be added to the open source version https://github.com/rage8885/OpenSC2K

I used to have so much fun with SimCity 2000 and it's money cheat, building ridiculous cities.

Somewhere I've still got a copy of Sim City 2000: Power, Politics and Planning[1], which was really interesting. Some of the elaborate cities featured in there are still available at: http://patcoston.com/sc2k/cities.asp, and you can still load them up and play them.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/SimCity-2000-Politics-Planning-Revise...

That's so cool on multiple levels. As a gamer, with some OCD issues, this is really impressive just from the "It looks so neat and perfect!" level.

But from an "artsy" point of view, this is so much more, it's actually saying something. And all that by just playing the game like it's intended (mostly), no modding at all, just working with what's there and trying to min-max the given systems.

It's really bleak, really awesome art. Whether it wass intentional or not it really makes one think about how zero-sum and exploitative a lot of our activities are.

In the first Blade Runner movie with the voice over version, Deckard says that LA has 106 million people in 2019. The visuals for both movies do show a super compacted city similar to Magnasanti, with presumably a similar quality of life.

Greater LA covers 86k sqkm and has 18.7 million people, for a density of 200 people per sqkm.

At London’s density (about 1000 people per sqkm), LA would have ~95 million inhabitants. Close to Deckard’s estimate.

And though I don’t like London much, it doesn’t seem hellish to me.

I am not sure you can equate a Greater LA CSA to a city. CSA includes multiple cities (and some deserts) that are ~200km apart.

Densities in these cities are not so outrageously different. ~5,600/sqkm in London vs ~3,300/sqkm in LA

They have cars though!

... flying cars ... :)

Horrifying indeed. Like Kowloon Walled City (1) on steroids. I've always been fascinated with extreme structures like that.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kowloon_Walled_City

> I wanted to magnify the unbelievably sick ambitions of egotistical political dictators, ruling elites and downright insane architects, urban planners and social engineers.

Reminded me of Plan Voisin: http://www.businessinsider.com/le-corbusiers-plan-voisin-for...

Facism appealed to Le Corbusier and some other modernists (Mies van der Rohe), partially because they hoped it would lead to top-down huge projects like the Plan, or Brasilia (https://bombmagazine.org/articles/a-day-in-brasilia/)

I would have like that the Plan was put into action, I was yesterday in the area concerned and not much has changed since Corbusier's time.

China's big cities today are on their way to becoming just like that. Police presence and surveillance cameras, workers that don't move much past their neighborhood, good public transit, pollution, propaganda.

A very good observation, actually. The history of China has always been that of a very strong Central State managing the mainland. With the advances in technology in the future, the State will surely consider this form of urbanism "ideal": concentrate the population in dense urban areas, while the rural hinterland is farmed/mined by automated machines supervised by a few highly trained engineers.

They could even promote the dense urban clusters as "utopia" at first, attracting most of the populace. Once they are in, the conditions of the city would slowly deteriorate; but a population that was born in the city and never moved beyond a few blocks would just not know that there is anything better.

I literally read this on a bus to Hong Kong from Shenzhen, taking dystopian cyberpunky photos out the window, and sending them to a friend in another hyper-polluted area: the air is bad at the moment (~150). A huge number people don't leave their apartments or workplaces already: they just order delivery. My startup http://8-food.com/ is making a network of wholly owned and operated vending machines that cook and sell custom food, targeted at mainland China as the initial market. One of the more interesting and pertinent criticisms of the business model I have heard to date is that people are now too lazy to go down the elevator! Just yesterday I read[0] that in Beijing they banned street vendors and closed enough markets that people are now having problems finding food and the government's urban planning department, in their infinite wisdom, are now attempting to stimulate a resurgence of food retail by - get this - subsidising the establishment of convenience stores, as if the number of Quick-e-Mart's per capita is some kind of development index! I have read multiple articles comparing the density of convenience stores in "developed" economies such as Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan with mainland China, suggesting there is more growth to be had. Who knows what the future will hold ... but at least we will give people a choice and the option to take a damn walk.

[0] http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201801/04/WS5a4d8db6a31008cf1...

Hopefully there isn't one of the cyclical collapses that China has also historically experienced any time soon, where that central authority atrophies and splinters into warring regions. Rebellion and warlordism always results in a lot of dead people and massive destruction when the centralized government falls apart in China.


That could most certainly happen again. Usually the way previous empires have broken up though is by keeping aloof of the rest of the world, resulting in the State not keeping abreast of developments in the rest of the world.

The current regime seems to be acutely aware of this and has been actively spreading Chinese influence (and finances) over the rest of the world.

Is that really the usual case, or just the narrative of the Qing dynasty?

There's a lot of mismanagement and climactic shifts in the pre-modern period. Often those are tied together, with failures of the hydrological infrastructure. But another common thread is high imbalances in male/female populations, leading to lots of disaffected young men, and millenarian religious movements.

This is similar to the world from the nov The World Inside by Silverberg. Very good book, I recommend it!

It reminded me initially of the movie City of Ember


Also The giver.

For better or worse, all big cities are on that path.

With really good and fast transit I don't see a reason why we have to live physically near where we work though.

Metro Manila also felt very much like that when I was there (except for the crime). I wanted to leave almost as soon as I landed. He probably got some inspiration from his country's capital.

It's actually funny you pointed this out since China often points to their huge population as an excuse for not valuing human rights and individualism as much as the West.

Stability provides ample opportunity for society to grow harmoniously, especially during a period of high growth.

Is the name a nod to Arcosanti[0]? I grew up about 10 minutes from there.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcosanti

Yes, it's mentioned in the video mentioned in the article.

Reminds me of the 10-year long game of Civilization II.


Has there been any updates in the past five years?

There was a whole subreddit[0] dedicated to it. And multiple people 'solved' it.

[0] https://www.reddit.com/r/theeternalwar/

Gotta love how the easiest solution boiled down to a WarGames WOPR style: "Don't do anything, let the AI kill you and peace will be declared in about 20 turns." aka "The only winning move is not to play."

An extension of the idea behind the article here, if maximizing share holder value is the goal: https://www.newyorker.com/cartoon/a16995

"When a city has grown so overlarge and crowded that it is in immediate danger of collapse...when food and clean water flow into the city at a rate just sufficient to feed every mouth, and every hand must work constantly to keep it that way...when all transportation is involved in moving vital supplies, and none is left over to move people out of the city should the need arise...then it is that Crazy Eddie leads the movers of garbage out on strike for better working conditions."

From Niven's "The Mote in God's Eye"

How can this work with no fire stations? Won’t a single fire wipe the entire city out?

This isn't the max population though, is it? It'd be interesting to see neural nets play this game given different win conditions.

An American version of this would be an endless freeway interchange system. No parks, and hospitals too expensive to use, no actual housing as it’s so expensive that everyone just lives in their cars stuck in one giant traffic jam. Like this one, plenty of police.

There are no transportation issues because there is nowhere to go because everywhere is the same.

Tangentially related: Is there a new version of SimCity that isn't mobile based? The controls were so clunky on mobile, that made it not very fun to play. This strikes me as the perfect game for a browser based multi-player ecosystem.

Try SimCity 4 with NAM[1]. It adds quite a lot of features to bring it up to nearly the level of Cities: Skylines without any of the stuff you might not like about that game. Essentially NAM enables unreleased transportation simulation rules and adds more building pieces, making it a lot more realistic (in both how sims travel and how you design cities).

I prefer it to Cities: Skylines but it's extremely buggy and you'll probably face a ton of crashes (and lose data in the process).

Someone needs to make a FOSS clone of SimCity 4 or 3000. I'm not the only simcity fan that dislikes Skylines.

1: https://community.simtropolis.com/forums/topic/73555-simcity...

You might want to check out City: Skylines. Intuitive controls, deep mechanics, and thriving mod community. Some of the stuff on r/cityskylines is pretty amazing.

My only complaint is that it really does need a proper GPU. Zoom out much and it starts to chug on my 2014-vintage MBP. Admittedly that's not super modern, but we're also talking about a game that came out in 2015.

CS was built on the Unity Engine, which is popular in part because you can get quite far with poorly optimized code.

Cities:Skylines is lacking the "deep mechanics" side, which is why many people still play SimCity 4.

It's best looked at as more of a "city painter" than something which is going to be challenging to build a large, successful city in.

Play Cities: Skylines instead. It's what I always wanted SimCity to be.

Reading this made me think a lot about "Brave New World". The beginning of the book triumphantly describes the conditioning of newborns to optimize economic contribution. A really good but dark read.

The idea of deliberately stunting embryos' development to have enough dummies to do the boring jobs probably made some sense in 1949, but obviously ignores the rise of automation, which even back then was on the radar with a lot of sci-fi depicting robots handling mundane or dangerous tasks. With sufficient automation, we don't need idiots to do boring jobs, so hopefully this would never come to pass.

However, the idea of making the state responsible for reproduction and child-rearing is promising, considering how awful so many parents are, and the fact that economically comfortable people generally don't have enough kids to maintain the population.

>However, the idea of making the state responsible for reproduction and child-rearing is promising, considering how awful so many parents are, and the fact that economically comfortable people generally don't have enough kids to maintain the population.

I've seen some out-there political opinions on HN, but I never thought I'd see someone calling a totalitarian eugenics program "promising".

And that's not hyperbole. "Making the state responsible for reproduction" necessarily means them deciding who can and can't reproduce, which is literally eugenics.

Ok then, what's your plan for dealing with a population implosion caused by people simply not wanting to have kids any more? Every industrialized nation is seeing this now, and only avoiding population implosion because of immigration, which is not a long-term solution to the problem (eventually everyone will reach some kind of wealth parity, and history shows that sufficiently wealthy modern societies don't produce enough children).

The only alternative plan I can think of is to hope that anti-aging treatments advance enough so that people live much, much longer lives, thus greatly reducing the need for replacement people (instead of increasing the birth rate, decrease the death rate). But this is just sci-fi at this point.

As a hypothetical situation, imagine that, for some strange reason, all immigration between countries was suddenly stopped magically, so they had to either come up with some new solution to get people to have more kids, or face population decline and the economic problems that come with that. What's your solution to this? Forcing citizens to have more children at gunpoint sounds a lot worse than having the state create and raise children (which, BTW, does not necessarily mean that private individuals/couples are prevented from having their own children; I never advocated preventing people from reproducing).

> Ok then, what's your plan for dealing with a population implosion caused by people simply not wanting to have kids any more?

I don't have one; just the principle that the government deciding who can reproduce is wrong. There are many problems that could be solved by killing or imprisoning large swarthes of the population, but we don't do that, because it's wrong on principle.

>state create and raise children (which, BTW, does not necessarily mean that private individuals/couples are prevented from having their own children; I never advocated preventing people from reproducing)

OK, between saying "considering how awful so many parents are" and "economically comfortable people generally don't have enough kids", it really sounded like you were saying "the poors shouldn't be able to reproduce". I'm sorry if that's not the case. But still, how do you "create children"? We can't grow them in vats, so it would necessarily mean the state selecting people to carry them, and again, that selection would be eugenics.

On the one hand you have people on this site advocating for UBI to make up for lost jobs due to automation, and on the other hand you are saying there is going to be a population implosion and that is bad and something needs to be done. Can't we just do nothing if both of these scenarios are likely?

Non sequitur. Even if both are true, it doesn't follow that the reduction in population will cover the loss of jobs to automation. If you posit this, you're basically assuming that the people who remain will all be extremely skilled and talented people who'll all have jobs and not be in danger of their jobs being automated. It doesn't work that way. Much of the population, no matter how large or small, is going to be only suited for simpler jobs like truck driving where robots will be taking them over before too long. People not having enough kids isn't going to change that fact.

I'm not sold on the "population implosion". Eventually, some subculture will reproduce at a higher rate than the predominant culture and gradually become the predominant culture. You already see the beginnings of this in the United States, where Mormon and Hispanic (i.e. predominantly Catholic) birthrates exceed the rest of the country.

In Japan, there is no subculture reproducing at a higher rate.

In the US, the population is only growing because of immigration, not from Catholics. To be fair, they're a big contributor, so the demographics are shifting in their favor, but if it weren't for immigration, our population would not be growing I'm pretty sure. And Mormons, while they have a bunch of kids, are still a very small portion of the overall population.

> And Mormons, while they have a bunch of kids, are still a very small portion of the overall population.

If they keep having a bunch of kids, and the rest of America doesn’t, they won’t stay a very small portion of the overall population forever.

By the time that happens, centuries will have passed and the problems caused by population loss will have already been experienced.

Also, I've worked with and known Mormons, and I've never known them to be huge kid-producers, so I'm questioning this assumption. They have more kids than the current white American average AFAICT, but not hugely so. They tend to be higher income and put a lot of energy and resources into their kids; you can't do that and have 10 kids. In general, it's low-education people who have tons of kids. Mormons are not like this; they're generally very well educated.

Most interesting thing I've found on HN in several days. I think that artistic expression through technology is underappreciated.

> Sims don’t need to travel long distances, because their workplace is just within walking distance.

Working from home, of course! Surely the Magnasantonians run their public service infrastructure in the neighbouring areas from their laptop, the few that are required to maintain it.

With the density of your average block I'd imagine the police force has way more applicants than they need.

There's a socialist critique of SimCity here. https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/10/les-simerables

The article argues that SimCity encodes a set of neoliberal assumptions into its game play that make imagining other forms of city-building impossible.

I actually think I know why this is, for Simcity 4, at least. The original SC4 traffic model, Simulator Z, spent more effort trying to find alternate transit modes (i.e., mass transit) if private road congestion was high. However, it was also very compute-intensive and wouldn't run decently on the lowest-end Intel PCs at the time. Maxis was concerned about backward compatibility, and so the game was shipped with a simplified traffic model that spent less time considering alternate transit.

If you install the Network Addon Mod (NAM) it includes, among other things, a new traffic model that's closer to the original design.

You know how messed up SimCity is when you're trying to make a place like Copenhagen or Barcelona but it's always pushing you to make San Jose.

I think that's a great example of implicit bias -- SimCity/Maxis has traditionally been located in northern California, and as such its modeled after cities in that region.

a lot of the buildings are in southern california. i walk by the equitable building all the time. =)

Designing User Interfaces to Simulation Games: https://medium.com/@donhopkins/designing-user-interfaces-to-...

>Other people wanted to use SimCity for the less noble goal of teaching people what to think, instead of just teaching them to think.

>Everyone notices the obvious built-in political bias, whatever that is. But everyone sees it from a different perspective, so nobody agrees what its real political agenda actually is. I don’t think it’s all that important, since SimCity’s political agenda pales in comparison to the political agenda in the eye of the beholder.

>Some muckety-muck architecture magazine was interviewing Will Wright about SimCity, and they asked him a question something like “which ontological urban paridigm most influenced your design of the simulator, the Exo-Hamiltonian Pattern Language Movement, or the Intra-Urban Deconstructionist Sub-Culture Hypothesis?” He replied, “I just kind of optimized for game play.”

Constructionist Educational Open Source SimCity: https://medium.com/@donhopkins/har-2009-lightning-talk-trans...

>I’ve programmed a plug-in church with a plug-in agent: the Church of Pacmania, and the PacBot. The church spawn PacBots on the road next to it, which eat the traffic on the roads (lowering the pollution and raising their score, of course). So naturally the Church of Pacmania generate a lot of traffic, to attract and feed the PacBots. I’m going to have a “Tax the Churches” option, too. If I lower the taxes, then more people will come in, and the churches will recruit them, and they’ll all drive to church. So then there will be a lot more traffic for the PacBots to eat.



Pretty much every simulation game encodes neoliberal assumptions, which I'm sure is unintentional but it makes playing them very restrictive. But it's why "simulations" lead to articles like "Capitalism shown to be most efficient system through Minecraft simulation".

"Neoliberal assumptions" seems to be a pejorative term for "the best contemporary understanding of economics and social science". I'm reminded of the Bush Administration aide who made derisive comments about the "reality-based community".

Reminds me of that rivalry that I've going on on a Space Astronomy server with a friend. Space Astronomy is a Minecraft modpack with a focus on tech and space exploration, and there's a lot of stuff in there to automate resource extraction, processing and storage. And for some sort of reason, we slipped into a competition over who can mine the most resources.

I think my ME system currently contains (among other things) some 6 million pieces of coal and nearly 2 million iron ingots. Even rare metals like gold count in the 100,000s of ingots. Then there's 10,000s of each kind of common mob drop (e.g. spider eyes, bones), even thousands of creeper heads.

The globally accepted freely convertible currency is Octuple Compressed Cobblestone, a single block of which contains 9^8 = 43046721 blocks of cobblestone. It takes my cobblestone generator about 1 real-life month to generate another one of these. I could easily expand it, but I choose not to to not cause deflation. :)

The point is, we're waaaaay past the point where any of this scale is actually necessary, and the other players on the server are pointing this out to us when visiting our vast facilities and the giant holes that our quarries rip into the landscape. For all practical purposes, you're fine with 10000 iron ingots, you don't need millions of the things.

We're actually sitting around now and wondering what to do with all this wealth. My friend suggested building a temple in a jungle out of pure gold, but that doesn't even begin to decimate our gold reserves. Maybe we need to build something out of octuple compressed cobblestone. :D

That's interesting. I've been listening to the Koyaanisqatsi song for a while and absolutely loving it, I never realised that it's a movie as well. Definitely going to give that a watch.

It's part of a trilogy, and Philip Glass did the score for all three.


And this is what inspired Rob Hubbard for the music of Delta game (related video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jn2h6f1EO2k )

Megacity one...

Exactly. The omniscient police force fits like a T.

Wow 3 years! That's a long time.

Population growth is slowing down worldwide, 9th billion wont be born.

Why the scaremongering?

That estimate is no longer current. The latest estimates has the world population going well past 10 billion, driven by growth in Africa: http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/2015-r...

Sorry, got it wrong! According to Kurzgesagt video [0], the UN forecasts ceiling of 12b.

0: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsBT5EQt348

Your number used to be the estimate, it’s just that things have changed. It’s easy to miss when this sort of thing changes.

That doesn't mean that people won't concentrate in very dense cities.

What's your basis for such a strong claim?

https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Graphs/DemographicProfiles/ has data if you want to make a statistical argument.


> Magnasanti’s water and power needs are supplied by neighboring cities, eliminating the need for much of the related infrastructure.

I call cheating.

It is not cheating, since no rules were broken.

That said, that power and water isn't free. The city must be paying through the nose for all that power and water.

It has been a while since I played SimCity 3000, but IIRC those deals become extortionate after you hit a certain scale.

Well, mixing functional and OO programming is practical, but for some esoteric problems where you want to go purely functional you might say it is cheating, this is what I meant. I guess anyone would think it would be cooler if it was self-contained.

One man's cheating is another man's clever use of game mechanics.

Yeah, I see no cheating here. IIRC, as soon as you brought a water pipe to the border, you were offered a deal from your neighbors to buy/sell water. Same for electricity, roads... The guy just exploited something that was already there.

Because pollution doesn't travel across city borders (In SimCity 4 at least), you can build a bunch of coal plants in your neighboring city, set up a neighbor deal for power in your "real" city... boom, clean air. For your citizens, at least.

This is the kind of stuff I mean. I don't know if it would work but neighbors could strike all those controversial deals with gambling and toxic waste plants etc. You could also export trash as far as I remember.

Sounds like real life. Trains of poo leaving daily from new york, for example.

Somebody builds a maximally efficient, hellish dystopia of a simulated city with no roads, no cars, and everyone's needs provided for within one city block if not a single building. Hackernews gasps in awe, then goes right back to lamenting the existence of suburbs, calling for bans on personal automobiles, and wondering why their city doesn't have superdense "walkable communities".

This isn't the only possible (and not even a likely) outcome of walkability, lack of need of cars, and localization. It's just exploiting the quirks of the SC engine to max out population with a lot of commentary slapped on to it.

Next up, is Call of Duty teaching your kids that killing people rewards you with airstrikes and XP?

What? There's nothing being said about simcity, or what it "teaches".

The whole article is about using simcity as a (distorted) reflection of reality. (And that reality may be tending towards sim city's outcome).

This is not even close to an accusation that city planners have learned poor city design by playing simcity

The linked article is not criticizing SimCity. This is an architecture student who made something unusual with it, and finds a hidden meaning in his project. Nobody is saying that SimCity teaches bad lessons (at least not in this article).

and energy drinks fill your HP eternally

...but cripple your intelligence

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