Banished is a recently released medieval themed village/town building simulation.
I would suggest give it a try as it demonstrated how resource distribution and map's geographic feature is important as the "fixed" game element.
At most what it requires you to do is to adapt to the given environment and situation, such as, resource distribution, resource production fluctuation, geographic feature(river, mountain)
in order to survive and grow the population. As well as basic workforce distribution and resource/product management. None the less to say, building and road lay out is crucial to
maximize inhabitant's productivity as they have limited capacity to work.
Medieval era or Modern times, there is resource and time consuming work which requires careful position selection and transportation infrastructure.
Steel production, chemistry, cement, power generation and other resource hungry sectors.
I don't expect synekism to give detail to all different industry types but few things can be said.
- It would be very interesting if game can ask player to carefully select the location of heavy industries which affects the rest of city(cities) growth(and other elements).
As it shapes the road network and rest of city's shape.
I could suggest something like, well placed and efficient industry is more productive and becomes foundation of faster growth.
I believe it gives more content than to make it simple city block placement only bound to player's imagination.
(Think about the size of airport, seaport, railroad, industrial zone, highway compared to other city surface. They are not necessary important in terms of area, but
projects HUGE influence over how whole city is shaped in real world. They are the heart and blood line of the city. Resource transformation, refinement, production, distribution is
base of economy.)
I think it would take for synekism resource distribution such as abundance of fresh water, power cost and price of construction material as new variables to represent those.