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.