General inquiries about developing a Strategy City-Builder game.

I’m BRAND NEW to both game development and UE4 (but not to software and web development) and I’m interested in developing a Strategy City-Builder game.
I’m looking for general suggestions on how to go about doing that using UE4.

Since I’m so new, my 1st though was to recreate a game that I’ve played before: Caesar 4 ( the 1st five introduction scenarios ).
I figure that’ll give me a solid start towards learning the development side of things (that way I don’t also have to spend the time now developing the mechanics of my game.)

WTBS, I’m looking for some advice on how to begin this project:
I’ve watched several of the beginners tutorials about blueprints and other aspects of development using UE4, but I’m looking for some even higher level information than that.
Such as the type of project I should make this (I’m leaning towards ‘top-down’), other assets inside of UE4 or other software I should be aware of, etc.

Any suggestions from advanced users on where to start (because they know where I’ll eventually be going) would be greatly appreciated!


After a couple of days watching tutorials and playing around with different modes of UE4, I guess my 1st specific question is:

  1. What is the best way to go about creating static terrain that have a modifier that would be applied to a object placed on it?

In most SCBs, and specifically Caesar4 (the game I’m emulating as a learning tool) some portion of the map/level has specific areas that are arable land (places where fields can be placed).

-Each section of arable land (AL now, for short) should have a density, 100% towards the center of sections (blocks that are surrounded on all sides by more arable land), with a decreasing factor as the AL block has less other AL around it. In short, the edges of a section of AL will provide less than 100% of the possible yield to the field placed over it. (think Heat Map, hotter/100% towards the center, and less heat on edges).

Any thoughts / suggestion would be greatly appreciated!

Hi @thefrobel ,

I haven’t played Caesar 4, but I imagine its a 4x game like Civilization. Believe it or not, that type of game is fairly hard to do compared to other popular genres like FPS, adventure, etc. I’m not trying to discourage you, but telling you so you are prepared for the challenge ahead :slight_smile:

Now, as far as your questions above - for terrain I would look at a tile-based solution for terrain generation. You can use the Procedural Mesh Component to generate the terrain. You can also look at Hierarchical Instanced Static Meshes to build your tiles. Another solution would be to look at landscape layers to differentiate between land types. In that case, you can use landscape splines to apply a specific layer to a landscape area (and you can have layers for different terrain types like farms, grass, cities, etc).

Alternatively, you should consider buying the Marketplace asset Turn-based Toolkit to get an idea of how the tiling is done. While its not exactly what you want, it may set you in the right direction :slight_smile:

I’d say Caesar is more like SimCity than Civ, whereas you designate areas for resource generation / gathering / processing / etc all while managing population needs / wants to gain stats over time to fulfill scenario requirements. The locations of resources are static, but where you place buildings / objects to harvest them is open.

For Example, the 1st Tutorial scenario requires you to get to a population of 500.
This requires you to place a minimum of 8 level 1 worker housing units (called insulae) that support 70 ppl per** insula**. (8x70 = 560).
Each housing unit has a built in meter to determine ‘happiness’ of the residents, based on 3 conditions: 1. access to potable water, 2. Access to food, 3. access to basic goods.
When you place insulae, it takes a designated amount of in-game travel time for the residents enter at the immigration point on the map and to reach & occupy that building.
Once a building is occupied, the residents then need to travel to at least one of each of the 3 happiness conditions in order to stay living in the building.
If you do not provide access to them, after a certain amount of game time of the residents being “unhappy” & they will leave.

In order to provide food, you need to place fields (of certain types) over arable land and also provide a farm building (of that type) to supply workers (take from the population in your insulae) to gather the resources the fields produce. You then need to get the refined resources at the farms and bring them to distribution centers (Food Market), from which the residents then bring back to the insulae.

The entire concept of the game to attract a population of various types and provide them jobs/necessities, and set up a networked system of interchanges (via specific types of buildings) to provide the resources your city needs in order to fulfill the scenario requirements. The game itself is VASTLY more complex than what I just described, but I’m obviously looking to just tackle the most simple of interactions.

The finest point of this game concept is travel time. How long it takes your workers to get from a resource node (& gather the resource) to the resource building, then the transportation of that good from the resource gathering building to the refinement / storage facility, and then from there to the distribution center, and eventually to the population building that consumes it makes it an intricate and fascinating logistical game.