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PostPosted: August 4th, 2016, 5:31 pm 
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Duke

Joined: May 30th, 2015, 6:01 pm
Posts: 1323
Location: Michigan, USA
Hey all,

After some discussion about changing the population calculator and boatloads of tinkering on my part, I have come up with a new model for calculating population. There are quite a few similarities with the old model, but it is slightly more complex and does a better job of keeping settlement populations sensible. Here is the process:

Step 1: Counting the Number of Buildings
This is a relatively easy step. When conducting a census, one would first count the total number of buildings. The census-taker should also note the size of each building (i.e. whether they are small, medium, large, or extra large). Small buildings would be things like one-story houses, storage huts, small stables, and other comparably sized buildings. Medium size buildings would be things like multi-story houses, smaller embassies, barracks, and the like. Large buildings would be things like forts, many-storied buildings, great halls, etc. Extra large buildings would be things like castles, cathedrals, palaces, and other such massive constructions that are absurdly large (real world examples include the Gates of Dunn, Redstone Cathedral, and the Ostur). For further clarification of these categories, an album of example builds for each category could be compiled. Once this step is completed, the census-taker should have both the total number of buildings in the settlement and the total number of each kind of building. I will use Miradost (a town by the current standards) as an example to explain the process.

Ex: Miradost has 11 small buildings, 7 medium-sized buildings, 0 large buildings, and 0 extra large buildings, for a total of 18 buildings.

Step 2: Determining Building Value
This is where things start to get interesting. Each building size is assigned a multiplier: 1 for small buildings, 2 for medium, 5 for large, and 10 for extra large. This will give larger buildings more weight in the population calculation. In order to determine the total building value for a settlement, multiply the number of each building in its category by its multiplier, then add those totals together.

Ex: 11 small buildings x 1 + 7 medium buildings x 2 + 0 large buildings x 5 + 0 extra large buildings x 10 = building value of 25

Step 3: Adding Multipliers and Calculating Total Population
Now that we have the building values, we can begin to add the multipliers that give us our population value. This is where it gets a little more complicated. The first modifier changes the building total value, and is equal to the total number of buildings ^ 0.95. The purpose of this multiplier is to boost the population of settlements that have a large number of buildings relative to smaller settlements. The second multiplier changes building value and is equal to the total building value of the settlement ^ 0.6. The new building volume value is then multiplied by the new total building value. This value is then modified again by taking it to the 0.95 power. The final multiplier is just a flat multiplier to be added in to increase the value to something resembling a ‘real’ population total. In this case, it is a flat multiplier of 40. Yes, this is complex, but it allows for the tapering of settlement population for larger settlements and puts proper emphasis on both number of buildings and size of buildings. I feel that this process is more easily understood in equation form:

{[(Total number of buildings ^ 0.95) * (Building Value ^ 0.6)] ^ 0.95} * 40

Ex:
{[(18 ^ 0.95) * (25 ^ 0.6)] ^ 0.95} * 40 = 3,402

Other examples of the population calculations can be seen in the Google Sheet here. The sheet has the formula built into it so settlement populations will automatically be calculated using the above formula. If people are interested, I can give them the ability to edit the sheet to add in their own population, or they can PM their settlement details and I can sort it out for them.

What does everyone think of this new system? I personally think it produces more reasonable settlement sizes given the scale of our world. Also note that these population calculations are more like the cap for that settlement's population. You can always adjust it downward for lore purposes if you so choose.


**Archive of old system [DO NOT USE]**

Hey all,

A few players mentioned in Mumble their desire to adjust the scale of settlement population downward and how said population is determined. After some thought, I think I have come up with a system that will address both of concerns, as well as provide a relatively unbiased method for determining the population of a given settlement. Without further ado, here is my proposal for the new system of determining population:

Step 1: Counting the Number of Buildings

This is a relatively easy step. When conducting a census, one would first count the total number of buildings. The census-taker should also note the size of each building (i.e. whether they are small, medium, or large). Small buildings would be things like one-story houses, storage huts, small stables, and other comparably sized buildings. Medium size buildings would be things like multi-story houses, embassies, barracks, and the like. Large buildings would be things like castles, cathedrals, palaces, and other such massive constructions. For further clarification of these categories, an album of example builds for each category could be compiled. Once this step is completed, the census-taker should have both the total number of buildings in the settlement and the total number of each kind of building. I will use Miradost (a town by the current standards) as an example to explain the process.

Ex: Miradost has 14 small buildings, 4 medium-sized buildings, and 0 large buildings, for a total of 18 buildings.

Step 2: Determining Building Value
This is where things start to get interesting. Each building size is assigned a multiplier: 1 for small buildings, 2 for medium, and 5 for large. This will give larger buildings more weight in the population calculation. In order to determine the total building value for a settlement, multiply the number of each building in its category by its multiplier, then add those totals together.

Ex: 14 small buildings x 1 + 4 medium buildings x 2 + 0 large buildings x 5 = building value of 22

Step 3: Adding Multipliers and Calculating Total Population
Now that we have the building values, we can begin to add the multipliers that give us our population value. The first modifier is a building volume bonus, determined by taking the square root of the building total. The purpose of this multiplier is to boost the population of settlements that have a large number of buildings relative to smaller settlements. The second multiplier is just a flat multiplier to be added in to increase the value to something resembling a ‘real’ population total. In this case, it is a flat multiplier of 100.

Ex:
Building Volume bonus = 22^(.5) = 4.24
Population multiplier = 100
Total Population = Building Value x Building Volume bonus x Population multiplier
Population of Miradost = 22 * 4.24 * 100 = 9,334

Other examples of populations using this calculation:
Ankylos (large city) = 44,400
Secara (city) = 15,069
Risia (small village) = 800
Voltau (village) = 3,900

Review of the System
With this system, there is a reliable and consistent way to determine a settlement’s population with minimal bias or confusion. With the current modifiers, it produces a lower population than the current system while maintaining the same relative scale between the different settlement types. The system is also quite modular, as it allows us to adjust the weight of building sizes, building totals, and the total population multiplier to arrive at the desired range of population. With that said, let me know what you all think of this system. Do you think we should change from the current system? Any recommendations for adjustments of the weights/multipliers? The process above is just an example that we can (potentially) adjust following a community discussion.

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PostPosted: August 4th, 2016, 5:40 pm 
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Duke

Joined: August 9th, 2015, 12:19 am
Posts: 388
Location: United Kingdom
I like where this is going. I think the numbers given in your examples are much more realistic and roughly what I would expect to see in towns/cities built on our server.

Other than discussion over the exact multipliers, I'm all for a change as described above

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PostPosted: August 4th, 2016, 6:16 pm 
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Duke

Joined: May 30th, 2015, 5:52 pm
Posts: 522
Location: Stirling, Scotland
I too like the idea for this change.

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PostPosted: August 4th, 2016, 6:19 pm 
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Joined: April 28th, 2016, 6:15 pm
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Location: California
Septimus wrote:
I like where this is going. I think the numbers given in your examples are much more realistic and roughly what I would expect to see in towns/cities built on our server.

Other than discussion over the exact multipliers, I'm all for a change as described above


Agreed

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PostPosted: August 5th, 2016, 2:40 am 
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Count

Joined: August 3rd, 2015, 7:58 pm
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I like this idea.

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PostPosted: August 6th, 2016, 4:23 am 
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Duke

Joined: June 1st, 2015, 12:47 am
Posts: 700
I just did all my lands in New Hermertia, and though I am somewhat disappointed at the lower numbers, it's nice to have a more objective assessment (also I want to build even more now).

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PostPosted: August 6th, 2016, 3:53 pm 
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Duke

Joined: May 30th, 2015, 6:01 pm
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Location: Michigan, USA
It seems that there is a good amount of general support for this, so let's shift the discussion to the specifics. I think a good starting point would be to have everyone answer a few questions about the modifiers and the magnitude of the population they want to see out of settlements. I have put together said list of questions below.

1. What should the scale of magnitude (e.g. tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, etc.) for the average realm's population be?

2. What do you think the average population of each settlement type should be (e.g. village = 100, town = town = 2,000, city = 10,000, metropolis = 50,000)?

3. How important should number of buildings be in the population calculation?

4. How heavily weighted (e.g. small = 1, medium = 2, large = 4, extra large = 8) should larger buildings be in the calculation?

If all interested parties can answer those questions, we can get a good idea of where the community stands on this formula and move from there.

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PostPosted: August 6th, 2016, 4:56 pm 
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Joined: April 28th, 2016, 6:15 pm
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Hamlet: 1-5 buildings

Village: 6 - 40 buildings, some must be of medium size

Town: 40 - 100 buildings, many must be of medium or large size

City: 100+ buildings, with a good number of large and a lot of medium buildings

Metropolis: Anchor city with at least 3-4 outlying towns or villages

That's a super rough idea of how I see how it could/should work. It should not be easy to build a city or metropolis.

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PostPosted: August 6th, 2016, 6:00 pm 
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Duke

Joined: May 30th, 2015, 6:01 pm
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Location: Michigan, USA
Here are my answers to the questions:

1. These are the ranges I picture for realms of various sizes: 25,000-40,000 for small realms, 40,000-100,000 for average-sized realms, and 100,000+ for the realms on the larger end of the spectrum.

2. Average population for each settlement type:
Hamlet: 0-100
Village: 100-1,000
Town: 1,000-5,000
City: 5,000-100,000
Metropolis: 100,000+

Generally speaking, the average realm would be mostly composed of hamlets and villages with a few towns and one (maybe two) cities. The sizes listed above are based on historical population estimates for medieval city sizes (with more liberty taken on the lower end of settlement sizes to better match our world).

3. I personally like the level of impact that building totals have in the original calculation.

4. I like the following weighting system for building sizes:
Small (huts, small houses, etc.) = 1
Medium (two-story houses, larger stables, inns, etc.) = 2
Large (many-storied buildings, forts, etc.) = 4
Extra large (palaces, castles, cathedrals, etc.) = 8

EDIT: Revised some numbers.

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PostPosted: August 6th, 2016, 6:13 pm 
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Those population numbers look pretty good, so lets perhaps try to tailor the building numbers around those?

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