Developer blog #7: Town simulation

We just released the seventh developer blog video. Today we present how towns look and feel in Transport Fever.

Towns form the basis of the game and consist of residential, commercial and industrial areas. Each resident is individually simulated and lives in a specific house. People have places where they go for shopping and where they go for work. Commercial and industrial buildings require end products of the cargo chain. The better a town or city is connected with passenger and cargo lines, the faster it will grow.

Since the game starts in the year 1850 and time progresses through the eras, it was a big challenge to develop the town buildings so that they adapt to the eras and change their look. The growth and look of a town is highly dependent on the player’s transport infrastructure.

As always, the whole Urban Games team looks forward to receive your feedback and comments!

Posted in News.

Tom (Community Manager)

Community and Project Manager at Urban Games


  1. It looks better than previous title. However, game systems, UI, game world economy, those things need to be tested. Take your time to do it properly. Delay a game for half a year to make polished product, rather than release a technology demo.

  2. Ein ganz großes Lob für die bisherige Arbeit!!! Das schaut schon alles sehr gelungen und mit viel Liebe fürs Detail aus. Ich freue mich, wenn es endlich los geht!
    Eine winzige Kleinigkeit ist mir bei eurem Video aufgefallen. Die Gebäude sind so detailliert dargestellt, dass die Grundstücke leider wirken, als wären diese “noch nicht fertig”. Speziell der braune Holzzaun reiht sich teils Haus an Haus. Ich bin kein Profi in solchen Dingen und habe keine Ahnung, welchen Aufwand dies für einen Programmier darstellt. Aber besteht die Möglichkeit oder ist es bereits geplant, den gelungen Häusern auch unterschiedliche Zaun-Elemente zu verpassen? Ich denke da bei diesem schicken weißen Haus mit den Terrassen z.B. an eine eine dazu passende weiße, flache Steinmauer, eventuell mit einer Hellgrauen Deckplatte. Oder anstatt dem braunen, einen weißen Holzzaun oder grüne Hecken. Unterschiedliche Grundstücksbegrenzungen würden sicherlich das Stadtbild abrunden und noch lebhafter wirken lassen.
    Nett gemeinte Kritik auf sicherlich “hohem Niveau” – bis jetzt eine tolle Simulation!!!

      • Danke Uli für deinen Zuspruch.
        Mir ist da noch etwas aufgefallen, wie die Stadt noch lebendiger und authentischer wirken könnte… wie würden sich am Straßenrand parkende Autos machen? Damit die Einwohner vor Ihrem Haus parken können und sich die Autos beim Aussteigen nicht “in Luft auflösen”? Wenn ohnehin jeder Bürger einzeln simuliert wird, könnte doch auch sein jeweiliges Auto einen Parkplatz finden. Ich denke da an eine Lösung ähnlich wie bei CitySkylines. Das ergäbe dann zusammen mit Straßenlaternen und den immer wieder gewünschten Ampeln ein rundes Bild. Natürlich in Verbindung meiner größten Hoffnung – dass mit einem späteren DLC unbedingt Tag/Nacht-Wechsel und Wetter-Szenarien mit tollen Beleuchtungseffekten folgen.

        • Könnte schwierig werden. Da die Häuser in die Höhe gehen, wäre am Bordstein gerade mal für 3 oder 4 Autos Platz. Da bräuchte man schon eine Tiefgarage oder Hinterhof.
          Wäre nur für Einfamilienhäuser eine gute Idee.

        • Ein Tag/Nacht-Wechsel wird es sicher mal geben, (hoffe ich halt) sonst hätte es keinen Sinn, außer bei Tunnel, das Fahrzeuge Licht haben!
          Wünschen würde ich es mir auch, das Autos nicht so einfach verschwinden, und das man bei Gleisen einen sogenannten Haltepunkt setzten kann, das Züge, z.B. auf Abstellgleise geschickt werden können und dort dann stehen bleiben bis man sie halt wieder benötigt/einsetztem will.
          Cool wäre auch wenn man Züge Vorrang geben kann, so dass Schnellzüge bei Gleicher Benutzung von Gleisen wie Güterzüge, schneller ans Ziel kommen.. Ich hoffe auch, dass die Leute in Zügen nicht mehr so einfach verschwinden, oder ist schon mal wer von Fahrenden Zug gesprungen! ^^

          • To clarify (before an unnecessary discussion starts): ‘public’ transportation is usually defined as organized by the government (nationwide or local), and the transporters have an obligation to transport everyone, and cannot refuse any passenger (unless they don’t pay the fare of course). Both of these points usually do not apply to airlines, which means they are not ‘public’ transportation.

  3. Town features I’d love to see:

    Some ordinary buildings from earlier periods surviving as towns and cities modernise, perhaps with updated features, adaptations and uses – e.g. a historic warehouse near station becomes apartments..
    Historic districts e.g. old town squares surviving as above including major iconic buildings, for instance. churches, town halls etc.

    Associated traffic system features:

    Pedal and motor cycles as a means of personal transport.
    Narrow paths accessible for various combinations of pedestrians and cycles but not available to road vehicles.
    Short cuts for pedestrians and cycles across parks and squares.
    Auxiliary entrances to stations formed from path as above.

  4. Towms look indeed better, I’d like you guys to address in a video some aspect of the functionality compared to Tran Fever’s ones.

    For example, in TF when towns grew vertically they actually get less dense and/or shrink in size because for each skyscraper a lot of low density buildings disappear other than the ones that the skyscraper actually replaces on the spot where it grows. Is this still the case? I thing that there should be some mechanism in place that makes cities keep growing wider at all stages of the game (if the terrain allows it), because otherwise you reach the point when you ignore the central areas of the map for anything but vehicle replacement, which makes playing a map after the first half of the 20th century increasingly boring.

    In TF, citizens disappear mid-trip if the building that is ther destination is upgraded, which is annoying. Whould it be possible for the game to reassign them to the newer building on the fly?

  5. I’m really happy to see that there are small buildings that fill in the gaps between large ones. It makes the cities look much more filled in, and thus realistic. The road arrangement also looks a lot more organized (and thus easier to work with) than in Train Fever. Great work!

  6. Was mir schon im Trailer und jetzt auch wieder in diesem Blog aufgefallen ist; dass es “wahnsinnig” viele Fußgänger gibt. Nicht dass diese irgendwann den gesamten Verkehr lahmlegen, wenn diese Straßen überqueren 🙂

  7. Great work! Will there be a possibility to mark buildings as historic sites, so they don’t evolve? This feature would be nice, since one would be able to create beautiful historic districts. Also I tend to disagree on the colorless future buildings. At least in the town I live in, new buildings are often quite colorful in order to make the town picture more vivid.

    Many thanks to Tom and the whole team for all the insight you are providing!

  8. Why do you leave traffic lights out? They are not as hard as you think. There are mods out there for Cities:skylines that let you customize traffic lights, different phases, timed light (the more traffic the longer the green phase for e.g.) If modder can do that, I think you will be able too

  9. I hope the devs will elaborate little bit more on how building change over time and how to mod this – ie. does each building have a “seed” (its initial appearance) and then after like 10 years it changes into another appearance based on a predefined array of possible buildings and then it waits 10 years and then decide to change or keep the same appearance for another 10 years.

  10. I love this :”

    Town features I’d love to see:

    Some ordinary buildings from earlier periods surviving as towns and cities modernise, perhaps with updated features, adaptations and uses – e.g. a historic warehouse near station becomes apartments..
    Historic districts e.g. old town squares surviving as above including major iconic buildings, for instance. churches, town halls etc.

    It can be a part of DLC. It gives nice belivable cyties. Best would be – add to this DLC make one special building in the city center, like a church or Castle. Non destroy-able but high leisure point of interest.

  11. Will all old buildings disappear and get replaced by new buildings? Or can some buildings stay till to new ages like in the real world?
    Target: To have a district “old town”.

  12. Looks Great!! I love the communication with the community you guys are putting in. I don’t mind waiting, and would rather a game be delayed (if it needs to be) to have a polished product. Train Fever is an awesome game, and I look forward to the next step.

  13. It would be great if buildings were not confined to square/rectangular plots. Then there wouldn’t be gaps left all over, and no feeling that you wouldn’t be better off with a block/grid system of roads, which slightly removes the authenticity of a city’s looks.

    Also footpaths for pedestrian access only, so in places they could cut across from road to road, without there needing to be a road.

  14. Create the game only eight man, is this true???
    I`ve few questions:
    – By law, under constraction (when work a crane) the building should be enclosed by a fence )))
    – What ads will be on billboards and signs, it is possible to place your own advertisement? And modern buildings will be advertising animated?
    – Close building with the factory or plant will dirty from pipes with smoke?
    – For realistic, will be buildings of: police, medical, fire depot and etc.?
    – Will be people of different ages? For examle, baby on child yard or old man in park (these groups of people are not used in the calculations of the game, but give the realism)

  15. It would be nice to see some older buildings prevail as the city ages. Older buildings with historical characteristics or design cues should remain as the town grows. Thus giving the feel of a real town whereby old mixes with new.

  16. Looks great ! I agree with old districts surviving the modern age, would add a nice touch.
    I also would like to see roundabouts ! It should make traffic flow much better at mildly busy medium size intersections.

  17. Mir hat euer Video äusserst gut gefallen! Eine Sache ist mir aber in den Sinn gekommen welche mir riesigen Spass machen würde. Könnte man nicht eine Option integrieren zum Beispiel wenn man einzelne Häuser aus dem 19 Jh hat welche nicht modernisiert werden? Sprich wenn man also zum Beispiel ein Haus anklickt dass man dabei die Option hat nicht aktualisieren? Ich würde es toll finden wenn auch in einer top modernen Stadt noch einige Gebiete oder Häuser voorhanden wären welche aus einer ganz anderen Epoche sind.

    • Das finde ich auch wichtig.
      Ein Problem bei Train Fever war für mich, dass alle Ortschaften mehr oder weniger gleich ausgesehen haben. Das wird mit der Zeit langweilig. Ich wünschte mir, dass es Landmarks und eben unterschiedliche Ortsbilder gibt in Transport Fever. Das würde dem Spiel helfen, länger attraktiv zu bleiben, unter anderem.
      Ich freue mich schon sehr auf den Herbst. Das sieht bis jetzt alles sehr, sehr vielversprechend aus. Top!

  18. Wow! City looks awesome now. The only missing part is traffic lights. Feels almost like trams without a catenary, But that’s is not important as roads.
    In Train Fever you can build railroads with any amount of parallel tracks. How about the same approach to the roads? For example, I want to build 3-lane road or one way road.
    Also I’d like to see cars to use all the lanes on the road. Because it’s not cool when some truck follows some slow bus and cannot outrun it.

  19. It’s looking awesome, can’t wait to play when this game comes out! Just hope my old computer is capable of running it with all those extra graphics.

    Great work Tom & Team as always!

  20. can`t wait for this game to be released!!
    per my opinion would b great to have option to build subway to avoid pedestrian and public transport congestion near station araes. on train fever after growing cities to enormous size I had big problems transport being stuck near the stations not capabale overcome pedastrians crossing the roads.
    thank you

  21. Looks great.

    There should be buildings of interest such as churches, cathedrals, museums and other attractions, town/city hall, main square, parks, government/political buildings and sports stadiums and other recreational areas.

  22. Besides many interesting features mentioned here, I must admit that I’d also love to see traffic lights (and TRAFFIC SIGNS!!!) in the roads. Games such as Cities in Motion 2 manage these features quite succesfully

  23. Are row housing upon the agenda? Train Fever, and now also Transport Fever cities seem very odd with the individual villa-like buildings. Cities in TF are to me not very convincing. Most cities have row housing, with houses build against each other. Not that it will change the simulation aspect of the game, and for game play purposes it fits the goal, but for looks and immersion row housing would be very welcome.

  24. Die Städte sehen wirklich toll aus, sie sehen viel detaillierter aus, haben mehr Gebäudevariationen und scheinen viel größer zu sein, ein klarer Fortschritt zu Train Fever.

    Allerdings was mich an Train Fever immer gestört hat, war dass Städte viel zu homogen auf der Karte verteilt waren, also bei der Generierung der Karte immer im ungefähr im gleichen Abstand zueinander platziert wurden. Schade auch, dass die Städte fast immer dieselbe Größe haben – es wäre so toll, wenn es neben Großstädten auch Mittelgroße- sowie Kleinstädte und auch Dörfer geben würde, die dann im späteren Spielverlauf zu Ballungsräumen zusammenwachsen.
    Es würden sich so tolle Möglichkeiten für die Linienerstellung ergeben – Busse und Straßenbahnen in die Vorstädte, Nebenbahnen, die in abgelegene Dörfer abzweigen oder komplexe S-Bahn-Systeme in Ballungsräumen; Regionalbahnen, die jedes Dorf zwischen zwei Städten bedienen, ordentlicher Fernverkehr zwischen Städten und Ballungsräumen, etc….
    Ach, die Möglichkeiten wären so vielfältig…

  25. Are there going to be a small towns and villages as well? In train fever are only towns which are all of the same size. But in real world you have some big towns and then some small towns and villages. In villages there are usually very small to none industry and markets, just a residental houses, so people from villages need to use transport to the nerby cities for work or/and shopping. In Europe the villages are often connected to cities by local railways (localbahns) which would be cool to implement in transport fever as well. My idea would be like 2 or 3 big towns on a map, several small towns and the rest will be villages. The towns will be then connected by the main railway lines, while the villages will be connected to the towns by a local lines (localbahns).

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