March 2017 Update

March 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Currently at GDC 2017. Not too much to say. Synekism Inspire daily timelapses are working now fairly reliably. Not much time to work on Synekism itself lately. Should have more next month.

February 2017 Update

February 1, 2017 at 3:22 pm

Just last week I finally finished the automatic creation and uploading of the daily timelapse videos for Synekism Inspire. I have since caught up with the present.

Synekism work should resume shortly. I have some experiments to run first for two brand new, still-in-development, C++ features. Those features are modules and coroutines. I'm hoping to rely on these quite extensively (if they turn out to work the way I expect them to!).

PS: This is also the 100th update since Synekism.com launched. Yay!

January 2017 Update - Synekism Inspire

January 1, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Happy New Year everyone! I finally have something to actually announce. It's been a while. Today is the official launch of Synekism Inspire, a YouTube channel where I'll be uploading timelapse videos of cities. The main attraction will be a daily automatic upload of a 24 hour timelapse of downtown Toronto, Canada. You can access that here:


Work on Synekism should slowly start picking up now as I wrap things up with the timelapse video uploading process.


December 2016 Update - Timelapse

December 1, 2016 at 8:41 am

I actually managed to get a significant amount of work done on Synekism this month, despite the Hong Kong trip. The trip was great and I'm still working on the mini-timelapses I managed to do there.

I'm still being cautious with expectations but I'm getting very close to the launch of the timelapse YouTube channel, ideally with automated daily timelapses as the main content and one-off videos like the Hong Kong mini-timelapses.

All that remains is a logo, some graphics, and figuring out the automated YouTube upload process. Very close! Hopefully this distraction from Synekism will be neat.

November 2016 Update - Trips

November 1, 2016 at 9:43 am

I went to Seattle last month for Steam Dev Days. Learned a lot about publishing on Steam and also did some mini-timelapses from my hotels. It was a pretty nice trip.

I am now in Hong Kong, taking yet more mini-timelapses and getting a reminder of what real urban density looks like (Toronto is like a village compared to this).

I did manage to get some real Synekism work on the plane rides - first time in months. That said, I'd say that I probably will not have time to seriously work on Synekism proper until next year. I still want to finish setting up this timelapse project. But, I would argue it's all related work.

October 2016 Update

October 1, 2016 at 3:50 pm

Not much to update this month as I was sick for most of it and busy with work work. Timelapse test pictures continue so there is that.

September 2016 Update - Timelapse

September 1, 2016 at 11:40 am

Synekism turns 6 years old today! Man, they grow up so fast.

The timelapse work continues. I have now been taking pictures almost continuously for a month. It is still in the testing stage but everything is looking good so far. With a bit more work I should be able to start producing mini-24-hour timelapses soon - still planning to try and put them up on the webs. We'll see.

August 2016 Update - Timelapse

August 1, 2016 at 12:18 pm

Timelapse mount is done! It's attached to the wall, the camera boxes are done and my "light shields", which reduce window reflections and prevent dust from setting on the lens, are also done. Should be ready to start taking pictures soon.

...and start work on Synekism again.

July 2016 Update - Timelapse

July 1, 2016 at 11:01 am

Still no Synekism work as the camera mount for my Timelapse project continues to be a pain. I managed, with help, to put something together. It''s not the most precise metal work but it should do the job. Just need to mount it to the wall and attach the camera boxes to it. Getting close.

June 2016 Update

June 1, 2016 at 11:45 am

Work on the Timelapse project continues. Like most things I try, it's more work than anticipated.

I have solid decisions on the camera, lens, and post-processing/encoding software I will use. That's done.

What remains is the mount to which the cameras will be attached and the soundproof box to shield me from the DSLR's loud clicks that will happen once per minute for the next few years. All of this stuff involves custom physical work and as a programmer by trade, it's not proving trivial.

The main objective is a 2 min video of 4 years of real time, roughly speaking. However, I do plan to publish regular mini-timelapses during the wait, for example, a 24-hour 1-min timelapse published every day. We'll see.

Fetch Older Updates

v0.5.5.90 - September 1, 2014


Synekism is an attempt at a modern city simulator rooted in procedurally generated content. The project was started in 2010 to address some frustrations with the city simulation video game genre. It is actively developed on and currently in a purely alpha-experimental stage. Updates on the project are posted on the first of every month. Note that work on this project is more or less done by one person so progress will be slow, but steady.

The game is a sandbox where control is not explicit but indirect. The player can designate residential, commercial, industrial, and government zones and watch them grow, instead of explicitly plopping each building manually. The game tends to lean towards macro-management.

The key features of Synekism include grid less 3D environments and procedurally generated buildings. The lack of a grid results in total freedom when zoning and building roads allowing for more realistic looking cities. Procedurally generated buildings allows for more visual variability. Instead of querying a finite list of static models, a building is generated uniquely upon creation using local as well as city-wide conditions.

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