• Moose
  • The Circulatory System of Simcity.


    Monster's Cat

    everyone! I’m Tyler Thompson, the Gameplay Producer here at Maxis and I really enjoy helping the team make the new SimCity into a great game.

    The new SimCity’s simulation is driven by Sims, road networks and traffic. I enjoy explaining it with a biological metaphor: The roads are the city’s arteries and veins. The Sims circulate through those roads. They help keep the city alive by going to work, making factories run, keeping stores open, taking home money, going shopping with money, etc... Power, water, and sewage also flow under the roads. Almost every building relies on a vehicle to be effective: garbage trucks, police patrol cars, coal delivery trucks, school buses, taxis and more. The result is a city where the streets are filled with a variety of vehicles and pedestrians, streaming from place to place and keeping the simulation alive.

    Traffic jams strangle like a heart attack. Several times, I have looked up from decorating a casino to see dreaded lines of red tail lights.The consequences are pretty dire: Ambulances don’t get to injured Sims before they die. Police don’t make it to the bank in time to stop a robbery. The coal power plant shuts down from lack of workers. Homes and factories are starting to become abandoned at the edges of the city. In a panic, I start demolishing troublesome intersections, replacing roads, and adding new avenues across town. I also apply some civic “blood thinner”: I create a mass transit system featuring shuttle buses, large inter-city buses, light rail and heavy rail. This usually clears the major arteries and gets things flowing again.

    Combine this circulatory system with our curvy road tool, and it means that you can make functional, organically shaped cities. We’ve made face-shaped cities, concentric rings, guitar-shaped cities, and on and on. Often, the city’s topography encourages curves: River-side towns can have a snaking boardwalk. Mountain-side cities bend around the base. Lake-side cities with a high-wealth district hug the waterfront. Yeah, I love to play optimized grids, but this game is frequently tempting me to throw away the ruler and start painting roads with a brush.

    These curvy, organic cities can be effective because the simulation isn’t about distances – it’s about flow. When you start to understand this, it totally changes how you lay things out. When I place a fire station, I usually try to find a place that is central, well connected but not near heavy traffic. When I create a central avenue, I often limit the number of intersections with it so that cars don’t wait for light after light. I sprinkle commercial sectors at the ends of residential roads to encourage pedestrian traffic. As the city grows, I watch for the long line of red brake lights and plop down bus stops like crazy.

    Many times, I find myself just sitting back and watching the flow.

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    User Feedback




    cirugo

    Posted

    it has...wait for it...curvy roads everyone!!!!

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    ferryv

    Posted

    Why do you still react to the game Cirugo? Your already said multiple times your not gonna buy the game. So stop comment on the game plz and do something else with your life.

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    maddogmark25

    Posted

    Seems like those are some pretty dire consequences for traffic....should these police and ambulances be using the shoulder anyway in traffic....?

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    cyruskafaiwu

    Posted

    " I create a mass transit system featuring shuttle buses, large inter-city buses, light rail and heavy rail. This usually clears the major arteries and gets things flowing again."

    It's confirmed!

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    alexbill

    Posted

    I hope you can somehow prioritise lanes or roads to ambulances and police cars/firetrucks.

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    Harbin91

    Posted

    Hopefully you now have buildings that will fit these unstraight roads or roads that would normally not fit into a grid.

    Would also be nice if you had road upgrades, so you could add proper pedestranised areas, or roads with bus lanes, and change how speeds work, so rural roads have higher speed limits, and have intelligent pathfinding so the quickest route is used instead of the shortest, and commute time is less of an issue.

    Also, why the hell as a Brit, do I have to pay more to get UK cityset tiles?

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    Harbin91

    Posted

    Double post because I can't edit.

    I don't want a multiplayer SimCity by default either. I'm more interested in single player. Do have a question about regions though, is there better support for having little villages and hamlets scattered around larger towns and cities, such as distinuishing with placenames, etc?

    Seems like those are some pretty dire consequences for traffic....should these police and ambulances be using the shoulder anyway in traffic....?

    In the UK they do. On motorways, if a hard shoulder is present they will bypass the traffic jams and get there quicker, cars will move out of the way and let them pass, either on the outside of the lane or inbetween lanes.

    If an emergency vehicle has their blues and twos on, they get priority access.

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    cirugo

    Posted

    Why do you still react to the game Cirugo? Your already said multiple times your not gonna buy the game. So stop comment on the game plz and do something else with your life.

    why do you respond to my comments? take your own advice please.

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    CoolColJ

    Posted

    Yay, finally no more radius for services....

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    alexbill

    Posted

    only online means no buy to me....

    How many times people already said that? Sorry , but just shut your mouth already!

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    zimmie

    Posted

    I think this game is going to be bittersweet for alot of SimCity fans. Despite doing away with some key features that many see as crucial to the game, and adding the unwanted element by so many that shall not be named ;), the simulation engine seems like it's going to be pretty impressive. Lightyears ahead of SC4 in that department.

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    Sandis_van_Great

    Posted

    longtimepcgamer, on , said:

    only online means no buy to me....

    How many times people already said that? Sorry , but just shut your mouth already!

    Hey hey drama queen, hes just saying out hes thoughts, don't like it dont read them dont even quote them

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    alexbill

    Posted

    alexbill, on , said:

    longtimepcgamer, on , said:

    only online means no buy to me....

    How many times people already said that? Sorry , but just shut your mouth already!

    Hey hey drama queen, hes just saying out hes thoughts, don't like it dont read them dont even quote them

    Hey butthurt , don't like my objection , don't even quote them.

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    P_lagos

    Posted

    Despite those comments...

    Some city planners around my city should have considered all that stuff before creating an ink spot... with traffic jams everywhere...

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    Resia

    Posted

    Seems like those are some pretty dire consequences for traffic....should these police and ambulances be using the shoulder anyway in traffic....?

    I use to think this until i lived in an area where that doesn't work all that well in some spots. I like the traffic options they confirmed though. Will be interesting to adjust my setup when there is no longer just an area of influence to consider.

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    Tonraq

    Posted

    I smell inflammatory comments again :|

    Guys, please refrain from posting inflammatory/offensive comments. Moderators will ban you for posting that.

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    longtimepcgamer

    Posted

    Hey alexbill...based on your posts one can only assume your probably around 12 years old or younger. You really should ask your parents how adults act when posting on website forums.

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    lol5567

    Posted

    How do you get on simcity?

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