• Moose
  • Owning The Streets of Simcity


    Monster's Cat

    Hello SimCity fans! I’m Guillaume Pierre, Lead Gameplay Scripter on SimCity, and my team & I build the game’s simulation using the GlassBox Engine. You may remember my post about the water system back in April, but today I’m going to talk about something dear to my and transportation geeks’ hearts: public transit!

    When left unchecked, cars will quickly take over city streets, resulting in massive traffic jams and the economic loop coming to a stop. Your Sims won’t be able to get to work on time, robbers will get away as police cars get stuck, and trash will mount as garbage trucks can’t make their rounds anymore! To solve your traffic problem in SimCity, we’re providing a variety of public transportation options, starting with the shuttle buses and going all the way to the heavy rail trains and beyond.

    Shuttle buses are the cheapest and easiest public transit system to set up. These small busses carry a limited number of passengers and are appropriate for smaller cities. To set some up, you just need to place a bus depot, plop some bus stops on the sidewalks of your residential, business & factory districts, and Sims will start riding the shuttle. At some point, you may invest in the larger municipal buses by building a bus terminal, and Sims will queue up at the same stops as they did before to ride them. You can also plop some park & ride stops that Sims will drive to and park their cars at before taking the bus.

    In this SimCity, we’re also introducing streetcars, or trams, which ride on a dedicated track in the middle of avenues, and carry more Sims than the shuttle or municipal buses. Those tracks use up two lanes of car traffic though, so you may get more congestion at first as the system gets going. You can also connect two separate parts of town with light rail tracks placed by themselves, without car lanes or sidewalks.

    Some of the biggest vehicles going through your cities are heavy trains, which come from the region and bring in tourists and neighbors into your city, more so than could ever drive in from the regional highway. Your Sims may even ride the train between two stations on opposite sides of town, or use them to go to neighboring cities. Rail is by far my favorite mode of transit; it really makes the city feels like a model train set.

    Much like in real-life, people will only walk so far to take public transportation, so when placing public transportation stops, we show you that distance as a green bar directly on the sidewalks via a data layer. As a result, you can easily tell which neighborhoods are accessible, and which ones Sims will have to drive out of.

    Each stop is responsible for figuring out what kind of destination exists near it, be it a work place, a home, or even another stop that may lead Sims to their eventual destination. Your Sims may very well start their journey aboard a local shuttle bus, then transfer to a streetcar, and eventually to a train in order to work at the factory town next door.

    Players will be able to evaluate the performance of their systems by: 1. Checking how many people are waiting to be picked up. 2. How long they have to wait on average, 3. How many passengers are currently riding in vehicles, and 4. How many have been dropped off that day.

    Each stop will also have similar information available, so it’s possible to really drill down on the data and make decisions on whether to add more vehicles or turn off infrequently used stops, for example.

    Be sure to check out SimCity Insider this Friday for even more details about how the GlassBox Engine simulates traffic.

    Ok, now this is me speaking. Sorry i got the last 3 news I don't know if I'm the first to find it or what.

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    Zodicus, Stuart98, Bookitty and 9 others like this


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    NCGAIO

    Posted

    Yada Yada Yada ..... details ?

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    Wiimeiser

    Posted

    Confirmation of no highways; has the US outlawed freeway construction or something?

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    nukeu123

    Posted

    ^^ no highways maybe... but within that boring text is also confirming trams (or) street cars...

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    Jaime_ua

    Posted

    Simulation (not only for transport) seems awesome, but the graphics are aweful... Not much is going to change in the following months... the theme is definitely childish and cartoonish...

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    Bipin

    Posted

    Do they not realize that the more blog posts they put out, the more we lose interest? I mean, the developers are doing a great job at what they are doing, but they are doing the wrong thing; bad direction.

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    zimmie

    Posted

    well yeah, it doesn't change the fact about things we don't like having or not having. But we learned that there will be tram tracks that can be laid seperately and not only in avenue. Park n' Rides are cool to have, and that actually function as such. Sims using multiple network types to get to their destination is cool. And all the extra data will be pretty cool. Bittersweet I tell ya.

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    alexbill

    Posted

    You are all hating at the blog posts , but by far this one is the most informative of them all. They told us there is going to be light rail , heavy rail , shuttle buses and more types of transportation.

    It seems that since you don't like something you all just ignore all the other good facts only to attract more followers to your negative point of view.

    Fine the city tiles are small , its a new and powerful engine , therefore its demanding , yes they know we want it to be bigger since we have powerful computers , god , after the game is launched they can even release a patch containing larger tiles.

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    zimmie

    Posted

    uh oh, it's the opinion police. shhh... don't say what you think. unless of course it coinsides with what they think. although you may say a little something, something if you follow their limitation guide.

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    Mithrik

    Posted

    Definately an improvement on the information now. But now I am worried about subway. They made no mention of it. I don't know what they would be thinking if they don't add Subways.

    And I still hope highways will be added at least in the way of DLC/an expansion.

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    slickbg56

    Posted

    I become a bit more disappointed each time I read one of these blog entries. From what I have read, there will not be many transportation options. I do not want additional content in expansions. I maintain high hopes for the new Sim City, but I want a more complete game. From what I have seen so far, this is not it.

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    LivingInThePast

    Posted

    What an idiot. To the Simtropolians who live in areas with huge traffic jams: Houston, the Northeast, Los Angeles, Europe, etc.: do your cities cease to function when there are traffic jams?

    Didn't think so.

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    slickbg56

    Posted

    I become a bit more disappointed each time I read one of these blog entries. From what I have read, there will not be many transportation options. I do not want additional content in expansions. I maintain high hopes for the new Sim City, but I want a more complete game. From what I have seen so far, this is not it.

    I should add, my overall feeling is that I am much more excited for this game than disappointed. I want this to be a great game, but my excitement wanes when I am lead to believe that staples of transit gameplay, core pieces of Sim City that have been there from the start, are being left out.

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    Monster's Cat

    Posted

    OK, There are tons of people that i read saying "online only=im not buying" I bet everyone knows somebody that said that, so if your not going to buy please don't go saying "online=no buy for me" on every Sim city 5 forum.

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    zimmie

    Posted

    Online only = I'm not buying

    Why not? Once this game is released, the time for voice to be heard will be over. Who has the right to regulate how often and how strongly that voice will be heard?

    Would EA/Maxis give in to a demand if it was weak? Personally, I find it much more annoying to see people complain repeatedly about what other people are saying and how often they say it.

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    warrior

    Posted

    Maybe I've missed it previously, but the last two paragraphs sounds like excellent news:

    Players will be able to evaluate the performance of their systems by: 1. Checking how many people are waiting to be picked up. 2. How long they have to wait on average, 3. How many passengers are currently riding in vehicles, and 4. How many have been dropped off that day.

    Each stop will also have similar information available, so it’s possible to really drill down on the data and make decisions on whether to add more vehicles or turn off infrequently used stops, for example.

    In SC4 I would love to more closely manage my transit network, and as I understand the quote above, it seems this will be possible.

    It doesn't help that most of the blogs are about "funny" shaped cities, or how the data layer looks. but it seems that below the somewhat displeasing cartoon graphics not only is there a lot of data, but we can control that data, more closely than in SC4.

    People complained about poor simulation in SCS and CXL (relative to SC4), here we have what seems like a great simulation and not so great graphics.

    In SC4 you could get to a stage where you could just leave the city to grow itself, in SC2013 it seems like you have more to do, so maybe the lower city size isn't so noticeable after all.

    Please don't decide not to buy it, before the beta comes out and people start playing it.

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    eburress

    Posted

    "...more so than could ever drive in from the regional highway."

    So yeah, like others have said, it looks like highways won't be in at least the game's initial release. Disappointing for sure, but one would have to expect an expansion pack following the launch.

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    A Nonny Moose

    Posted

    More and more it appears that the concentration is on "city" rather than region. It seems that the initial release will have a lot of things missing that SC4 players are used to having. In fact, it looks like if you want this version as tall, you will also keep SC4 simply because the new version is some kind of throwback to SC3K with 3D and some improvements.

    There still appears to be no relief on the size of the city tile, which means things like airports are rather out, and a major highway cutting through town will simiply take up the whole tile with one interchange. So, no highways.

    With current PC gear, what is possible, is possible. I don't expect large SC4-like vistas with a 3D game because it would just, simiply eat the machine no matter how many cores it has. You will still have only one GPU unless some really fancy programming is done and the user is unconscionably wealthy.

    This game is starting to look like it won't run well, if at all, on my current dual core box, and I am certaily not outputting multiple bucks to upgrade my otherwise perfectly adequate machine. As for people with laptops, you will need a cooler to run this to prevent overheat shutdowns.

    If the simulation is actually run on the local PC, then things are going to be limited indeed. This is really a job for distributed processing.

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    MaxisGuillaume

    Posted

    What an idiot. To the Simtropolians who live in areas with huge traffic jams: Houston, the Northeast, Los Angeles, Europe, etc.: do your cities cease to function when there are traffic jams?

    Didn't think so.

    It's all relative of course... it will just take people a lot longer to get to their destinations if there are lots of cars on the road.

    Going through L.A. at 4am is a very different experience than going through it at 4pm!

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    eburress

    Posted

    LivingInThePast, on , said:

    What an idiot. To the Simtropolians who live in areas with huge traffic jams: Houston, the Northeast, Los Angeles, Europe, etc.: do your cities cease to function when there are traffic jams?

    Didn't think so.

    It's all relative of course... it will just take people a lot longer to get to their destinations if there are lots of cars on the road.

    Going through L.A. at 4am is a very different experience than going through it at 4pm!

    hahaha - sometimes. Sometimes 4AM looks just like 4PM!

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