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I am experimenting on the very last unbuilt neighborhood in my Vulcan Vale huge tile city, which is nearing 100K Sims with nowhere left to build but up. I have constructed this high density housing shown below, so that in order to get out to jobs, the Sims have to go by, first, the subway, and if that doesn't grab them, second, a Park Here lot. I'll be curious to see what percentages each captures and what percentage ignores both and heads out by car. 

Screen shot 2018-07-09 at 5.52.39 PM.jpg

 

I see I still have to break connection to that side road on the left, oops.

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6 minutes ago, Synergy67 said:

I see I still have to break connection to that side road on the left, oops.

Seems to me you also have two ways out north and south where the street connects to the road. And even if your Sims decide to Park-n-Go, their only choice seems to be the subway stations that they will already be able to walk to once those residentials grow.

Here's how I forced them to Park in the garage:

imghp0078.jpg

^ All the jobs are to the west and all the homes are to the east.
*;)

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  • Original Poster
  • Urgh, I'm tired! The parking lots would only be useful in this application if those subs weren't within walking distance. I...knew...that. It would make sense, if this were one of my more typically extended kind of neighborhood access points. OK, so, I will keep the subways and have garages further along at major intersections where there is another subway to hop onto if they, or anyone else passing by, parks. I'm not sure if the game decides for each Sim absolutely whether or not they will use mass transportation, or if each time presented with the choice, they roll the dice. Does that work, forcing -all- of them to use the subway? Don't a certain percentage want to use their car no matter what, and they will just abandon if they can't? If it works without a hitch, I'll start setting up such draconian measures, because I am starting to see some red on my transit maps.

    Hmm, yes, I wonder if that can be successfully accomplished: having, say, your entire downtown accessible -only- by subway. I'd enjoy constructing such a living flow chart.

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    2 minutes ago, Synergy67 said:

    Does that work, forcing -all- of them to use the subway? Don't a certain percentage want to use their car no matter what, and they will just abandon if they can't?

    Contrary to popular belief there's no evidence to suggest they won't use mass transit if that is their only choice. On the other hand there's no evidence that they won't all drive a car if that is the only choice. When both options are available then there is the percentage chance they will use their preferred method based on wealth level.

    Here's an example I did a long time ago where the only way to work was via getting to and then riding the subway:

    03_Sub 1180.jpg

    ^ That was before I started using a slope mod. :O

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  • Original Poster
  • I have grown to appreciate dragging a rail first over rolling countryside or a hill with a slope mod in order to create a nice steady incline for a road or street, yes. I used to spend sooo much time trying to make slopes look nice without one early on, and without god tools in mayor mode. I think I remember seeing this experiment of yours in recent weeks, now that I see it again. I'm going to rebuild this neighborhood with a subway interchange bottleneck and see what happens. I haven't been daring enough to be so heavy handed yet, because it's so weird to have anywhere actually cut off from cars, right? But functionally, it's really optimal. If this works with no ill side effects, I am going to isolate a cluster of Very Large apartment towers which are just to north of this neighborhood and are causing too much traffic onto a couple of roads despite all my subways and such. It makes me wonder how people design cities with hundreds of thousands without having various interchanges be hopelessly congested. I expect you've noticed that Sims will also walk right through a bus stop or a subway access if it is nestled between two roads. I've used that fact to make more efficient use of transit stops in neighborhoods, capturing foot traffic from two streets at once. So, this neighborhood should be this simple to achieve the goal, including letting any Sims walk across over to the mall if they want.

    5b440fbc68391_Screenshot2018-07-09at6_44_30PM.jpg.8b9ae562be5ceae886891916a20de89a.jpg 
     

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    Posted (edited)
    19 hours ago, Synergy67 said:

    I haven't been daring enough to be so heavy handed yet, because it's so weird to have anywhere actually cut off from cars, right?

    On a somewhat related note, this reminds me of a neat trick @CorinaMarie taught me about landfills. Since higher wealth levels consider them a NIMBY influence, it can be worth placing them in a more desolate part of a tile. (Maybe the perfect place would be in one of your patented Industry Pits™ such as from your Twinridge tile.)

    When located in the wilderness, unlike what logic may suggest, landfills needn't be connected to the main city via a long and adventurous road through the mountains. In fact any landfill zones only require a street or road access, with a minimum of one residential somewhere along the route, and also a place where they can work. This can be anything from a Farley's Foundry, to a Fire Station (or other ploppable lot with jobs). The residential is needed for the lone trash worker to live in, and the workplace is where the logistical operations of the landfill processing are managed. Or in the case of a Fire Station, it can be useful to prevent the property burning down all of a sudden, since the coverage area provides automatic fire protection.

    So this way by zoning landfill anywhere remote and out of the way from civilization, they can still successfully process trash for the entire tile. They're very proficient at hurling those 25 ton garbage trucks cross-country through flora blasted cities forests. :whatevs:

     

    18 hours ago, Synergy67 said:

    Whole new strategies for city design developing now. I've got some neighborhoods to rework...

    Very cool. I believe this is an area which is particularly special about SC4 and where it really excels.

    There are many creative strategies which can be used for fine-tuning various aspects. That way it's possible to best tailor the gameplay to one's liking. I'm still learning about them all the time from these kinds of discussions, and I'm sure it will continue when I get around to explore SC4 again. I think the great thing is how Maxis intended SC4 to be multi-dimensional, and it's all about being open to new strategies like this and having a little bit of patience. I personally feel it's how the game should best be played. Not rushed, but being aware at every step. To observe details from the data provided by the simulation, and then make decisions on what to change or tweak next.

    There was an Omnibus article I recall reading about toll booths. Basically how it's possible to force traffic to take certain paths and therefore maximise the total income gained. Since with nowhere to go, the poor commuters must travel on the designated route and dispense of a chunky portion of their salaries. Similarly by using other networks whether rail, subway, or even ferries, it's possible to design the layout of a city to help with optimising traffic flow, and resultantly improve commute times.

    There's quite literally near endless possibilities.


      Edited by Cyclone Boom  

    Minor correction of misinformation. (Thanks Cori)

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    Here's a CoriTip for your subway layout. *;)

    Contrary to the logic of the real world where the stations are in line with the tubes, lay them out such that Sims traveling a long distance don't go thru stations where they don't intend to disembark and keep them at least one full tile away from the main route as even immediately adjacent counts the same as in-line. If you lay them out all on the route the stations will count all the traffic passing thru and get overwhelmed.

    img4353.jpg

    img4354.jpg


    Also, I try to never run subway under streets or roads in the same direction they are traveling to avoid the confusion on the Traffic Congestion map. (Obviously they do have to cross them perpendicular.)

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  • Original Poster
  • @Cyclone Boom: I do love how I keep learning new facts, tricks, and strategies for this game. In the last month since deciding to resurrect my playing, I have learned numerous things I did not know before, making it more fun and rewarding than ever. I didn't know that about landfills either. I haven't used one for a while, though. I usually use the Black Hole Waste Management lot, because dealing with trash is one aspect of the game I don't enjoy micromanaging. I -could- go through all the bother of setting up an isolated trash/dirty power city tile and continually adjust intercity deals to keep it all out of my proper cities...or I could just pretend I am doing all that, but not actually spend the time and bother on that and get to spend it focusing on the parts of playing I do enjoy. Good to know if I want to get more real again at some point.

     

    @CorinaMarie: That is some especially useful information on running subways. I had been noticing how running them under streets might be confusing how much actual congestion is on the street, or giving me proper volume counts, but I hadn't thought yet to make a point of making sure not to run my lines under them at all. And also not running the subways through the stops...that seems obvious now, but I hadn't thought that far yet either. Yes, even with my cities of 50K-90K right now, I am getting certain subway stops or intersections/roundabouts which are already going over 100-300% capacity. These new tricks will do much to alleviate that, I think. I'm going to start implementing them. Traffic is by far the most critical element to design and micromanage well in order to have cities in a region keep growing, and it was the hardest part for me to control successfully in the past.

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    @Synergy67 and @Cyclone Boom

    I've split this part out into its own topic cause we were getting really off topic from the Mac Fixes thread. *;) (You'll want to re-follow this one.)

    Also Synergy, since yours is the first post in this new thread you can edit the title if you'd like it to say something else. (Maybe edit out the first sentence of your first post here and re-post it by itself in the old thread.)

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  • Original Poster
  • Right on. Good idea. I tweaked it appropriately. I'll start making more separate threads for specific topics, including starting a city journal post when I get around to showing what I have been doing for the last couple weeks with the Pacific Rim National Park region.

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    7 hours ago, Synergy67 said:

    I'll start making more separate threads for specific topics ...

    Good plan. *:yes:

    It's so easy for one idea and convo to lead to another. We've all done it. The good thing is that it's just a few mouse clicks to parse things out and move them around so you can ask any staff to do that should the need arise.

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    13 hours ago, Cyclone Boom said:

    When located in the wilderness, unlike what logic may suggest, landfills needn't be connected to the main city via a long and adventurous road through the mountains. In fact any landfill zones only require power, a street or road access, along with a minimum of one residential somewhere along the route.

    Just a couple slight corrections. *:P

    The landfill itself does not need power and the lone residential requires some place they can work. Be that a Farley's Foundry, a farm, a small commercial, or a fire station. Many times I like having the station so my sole Sim house doesn't burn down while I'm not looking. *;)


     

    7 hours ago, Synergy67 said:

    I usually use the Black Hole Waste Management lot, because dealing with trash is one aspect of the game I don't enjoy micromanaging.

    That works perfectly well and it's prolly the most popular garbage management option overall. (I'm still playing pre-enlightenment era so I have landfills in every city tile.)

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  • Original Poster
  • Yeah, I don't consider it a cheat for me, because it's just the symbolic representation of all that work I'd do on an isolated neighbor tile and all that endless jockeying around of Neighbor Deals I'd be doing, if I were playing the real world conditions dealing with trash (and sometimes power). I'm not pretending the garbage isn't a real horrific issue like it is in real life. I just don't want to deal with it in this game most of the time, since it requires so much micromanagement, if you want to ship it off somewhere else. You have to keep remembering to up the amount of garbage you are shipping out, and I keep forgetting that kind of thing. I'm too busy building and organizing the city!

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    1 hour ago, CorinaMarie said:

    The landfill itself does not need power and the lone residential requires some place they can work. Be that a Farley's Foundry, a farm, a small commercial, or a fire station. Many times I like having the station so my sole Sim house doesn't burn down while I'm not looking. *;)

    Cool. Thanks for the correction. I've made an amendment to my previous post above to prevent any confusion over this. *:)

    (And it is another excellent CoriTip of yours after all, so we wouldn't want misinformation to spread over how the method can be applied.)

     

    1 hour ago, Synergy67 said:

    I just don't want to deal with it in this game most of the time, since it requires so much micromanagement, if you want to ship it off somewhere else.

    Speaking of shipping it off, this reminds me of a rather ingenious method involving tipping the trash right off the tile. *:lol:

    I like the Black Hole Management lot though, and will give that a go myself sometime if garbage starts to become an issue. From some quick searching around I notice how there are two versions available on the STEX here and here. I see the v2 has a higher capacity, so that might be more useful for larger overloaded cities. Though I guess it's really a personal preference in terms of the lot design, and the properties could always be adjusted to one's liking if desired.

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    On 7/10/2018 at 1:45 PM, Cyclone Boom said:

    I like the Black Hole Management lot though, and will give that a go myself sometime if garbage starts to become an issue. From some quick searching around I notice how there are two versions available on the STEX here and here.

    IIRC, v2 also corrects some shortcoming of the original. Read the readme.

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  • Original Poster
  • Yeah, this suggests what the update was about primarily, but it also looks a bit different. 

    "Dependencies: NONE (fixed texture dependency problem)"

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  • Original Poster
  • As a followup to my original thoughts on isolating swaths of residential neighborhoods and/or commercial downtown districts to force commuters onto subways or other mass transit, I realized that you don't want to eliminate -too much- road traffic or your commercial zones, which love having lots of cars and buses drive by, will suffer. So, I can see using this isolating technique to help keep roads out of the red, but not to create a utopian "no cars" society entirely.

    Though, now that I think about it further....I wonder how commercial zones would develop with no car traffic, but plenty of customers? Does the game count pedestrian traffic as traffic that promotes business? It seems like it should, actually. I might have to test this out.

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    On 7/9/2018 at 9:13 PM, Synergy67 said:

    Hmm, yes, I wonder if that can be successfully accomplished: having, say, your entire downtown accessible -only- by subway.

    I can assure this is possible. I've done it many times with pedmalls, tram, passenger train, monorail and subway. Below is a pic from a section of my current city. I use passenger train and monorail to move sims between sections of the city and pedmalls and trams within sections. This is actually the first time I've used streets in a very long time, but only within  each individual suburb. Suburbs are separated by pedmall sections for the most part and I only allow scooters and electric cars (motorcycles and CNC3 Future Car mod).

    Hubbington-PT.thumb.jpg.144b7647f4592fc79170e2617d5a8d4d.jpg

     

    On 7/9/2018 at 10:12 PM, Synergy67 said:

    Whole new strategies for city design developing now. I've got some neighborhoods to rework...

    If your looking for different ways to build a city you are playing the right game, and getting tips from @CorinaMarie never hurts.

    On 7/10/2018 at 3:27 PM, Synergy67 said:

    Yeah, I don't consider it a cheat for me, because it's just the symbolic representation of all that work I'd do on an isolated neighbor tile

    Black Hole Waste Management gets my vote, found it awhile back and love it. Waste management is a prominent part of real life these days so I chose not to bring it into my game. In case you don't know, it is possible to run it for free. You must crank the slider down to zero in the query panel AND in the City Beautification / Landmarks panel.

    1 hour ago, Synergy67 said:

    I realized that you don't want to eliminate -too much- road traffic or your commercial zones, which love having lots of cars and buses drive by, will suffer.

    For the most part my commercial properties seem to do fine, supplying jobs and not dilapidating.

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    Having homes and jobs on different sides of a border is also handy, not only as a clear bottleneck (eg: there's one monolink connection, and that's all so you HAVE to use it) but also because it seems to let you "stretch" your sims' commute on either side so they have a long walk from their house to the nearest station, but also from the station on the other side to their job. Which is hard to do if it's all on the same time.

     

    I wonder if it also eases the whole pathfinding issue,  if there's only the usual civic jobs, and the majority of employment is just that one spot where it connects to the job area.

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    59 minutes ago, Alavaria said:

    I wonder if it also eases the whole pathfinding issue ...

    It seems quite logical to me that it could reduce the calculations overhead. Like in a grid there could be several hundred possible ways to get from point A to point B. By funneling Sims thru a bottleneck as their only choice it would imply significantly fewer optional paths. Ofc, it's not my area of expertise, but on the surface (or, underground as the case may be) less paths to consider ought to speed up that part.

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    2 hours ago, Handyman said:

    Is there a way to quantify the pathfinding activity level?

    Technically, yes. But, it's been thoroughly researched and prolly not a good idea to alter it. Here's where you'd start tho:

    imghp0238.jpg


    And suggested reading: Tutorial:Understanding the Traffic Simulator

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    4 hours ago, Handyman said:

    Is there a way to quantify the pathfinding activity level?

    Usually the most obvious sign is when the traffic simulator in-game is running, that's when it's refreshing all the commuters, this process is the most CPU-demanding part of the game. Generally speaking the game runs this a few times a year, maybe every six months, it's noticeable as the game will appear to slow during this activity. As the number of commuters grows, this slow-down or lag becomes more and more noticeable. Obviously there is no tangible display or figure you can see, but it is something you can tell is happening.

    11 hours ago, Alavaria said:

    I wonder if it also eases the whole pathfinding issue

    I'd say probably it would, because the simulator has to look between all the possible routes for the quickest for each sim. If there are less options, there will be less calculations, but it still needs to find a way to the connection, so there may still be a lot of calculations to make. In effect, the simulator will expand exponentially as your population does, it can't be totally avoided, especially if your play style tends to end with millions of sims.

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    So essentially in my set up, the vast majority of people all commute out, so there's only one "job" to get to, and only one "way" to get there, ie: walk to nearest monorail station, and ride it out (alternatively, walk to subway*, which feeds into the monorail). So it should save on the job finding parts (very few jobs in the city itself, being a school teacher etc) as well as the pathfinding. Though I assume the game still wants to check all the streets for every single possible route. Perhaps deliberately disconnecting housing blocks so even those are isolated...

     

    *To clarify, as subways are slower, my subway use is only as small subs. A single block (determined by the coverage of a Large Elementary School) basically is serviced by one monorail station right in "the middle", and a subway station, which only links to it (NAM station, it takes subway as well). This covers the whole block. It might not work (forcing sims to walk quite a ways to the stations) if the monorail slows down due to congestion, which means making smaller blocks so there's no buildings at a really long distance from one of the stations.

     

    27 minutes ago, rsc204 said:

    In effect, the simulator will expand exponentially as your population does, it can't be totally avoided, especially if your play style tends to end with millions of sims.

    Yeah, this is in CAM + NAM. And already the last section of monorail (just about to leave the city) is past 100% congestion... even if I only use medium density, the residents of a large tile will probably overrun the monorail (rail, not station) capacity, slowing it down from a speed of 220 to only 60...

     

    That said, as the game checks all the in-city jobs first, there's 25000 sims for whom there's exactly 1 available job, and that's the monorail out. Can't make it much more efficient, unless I move out my last sub of manufacturing industry across the border (another 2000 jobs max, it's small due to education lowering demand for manufacturing). It also helps that you can superstack commuters across the border, while you can't get more than 1 sim into a job within the same city.

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    If you don't have really high populations, but do have a modern PC (even if not brand new or hugely powerful), honestly I'd not worry about this all that much. More than likely your hardware will be fine at keeping up with everything the game needs to do.

    Yes you can funnel all the sims into one route, certainly it will reduce the overheads, but it will have the side-effect of putting a lot of strain on those parts of your transport systems. So for example, if 50,000 sims all needed to use that monorail, likely you'd have capacity issues (heavy traffic) there to deal with. Bringing with it other problems such as heavy pollution next to the line. Then again, if you only have 3,000 sims that will ever use it, frankly I can't see how the Traffic Simulator would ever be a concern you need worry about.

    But all of this really depends on your play style, are you making huge cities full of skyscrappers? Or do you prefer to make smaller rural towns/villages? Are you trying to get your sims out of their cars and use public transport?

    6 minutes ago, Alavaria said:

    Though I assume the game still wants to check all the streets for every single possible route. Perhaps deliberately disconnecting housing blocks so even those are isolated...

    One way I like to build my cities is to have main roads/avenues, where the residential neighbourhoods rarely allow for cutting through. So one street leading from such a main route, will end in one or more cull-de-sacs and only be useful for sims who live there to use. I don't really do this with any simulator control in mind, it's just quite a common way of making residential neighbourhoods that I like to emulate. Often I'll even try to make the main roads so there is some sort of ring-road system, ideally capturing most traffic. That's a very European style of road/city design I think, so that may not suit everyone.

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    11 hours ago, rsc204 said:

    Yes you can funnel all the sims into one route, certainly it will reduce the overheads, but it will have the side-effect of putting a lot of strain on those parts of your transport systems. So for example, if 50,000 sims all needed to use that monorail, likely you'd have capacity issues (heavy traffic) there to deal with. Bringing with it other problems such as heavy pollution next to the line.

    But all of this really depends on your play style, are you making huge cities full of skyscrappers? Or do you prefer to make smaller rural towns/villages? Are you trying to get your sims out of their cars and use public transport?

     

    The goal is basically skyscraper hell, but with abandoned roads and conversely overloaded monorails. Since NAM has set the congestion to speed such that at 2.5x capacity, you get down to only 30% speed (so 66 from 220 for monorail) this will be an interesting "issue" to consider. Sims will presumably walk less if their monorail ride takes longer. It seems that if you're moving as far to 100% commuting, then your main sections out will very easily get overloaded. This is NAM medium, so the rails have a capacity of 16000

    The pollution is basically confined to the rail and one tile next to it depending on how the game splits up 2x2 groups. So careful selection can help, for example this road is polluted.

    SC4_CH_0008.jpg.b332e196a98f6fd78a037e94a926702c.jpg

     

    The plan is basically to force people to walk a lot, both sides of the border, though some interesting things can happen with borders (that's nearly 11000 in the block). Notice the little stub of subway, it mostly functions to allow the "far" side of the block to reach the monorail station easily. So one station per block. I mean you could try one in the middle of 4 blocks, with subways feeding in, but I like the look of this system.

    SC4_CH_0004.jpg.56fd1679d82b371a1a204c7f54abd18d.jpg

     

    Currently it's somewhere near the limit of what the other city should be able to take in, though the game might let you put even more than expected. Soon I'll have to put more employer space in Silicon Abyss. However, if my understanding is correct, an employer will always generate demand for residential exactly equal to the jobs they have for them, so I should be safe to endlessly zone until close to the demand (there's still continuing demand for residential)

    SC4_CH_0003.jpg.7b417179147737e6b2a647da30b95a35.jpgSC4_CH_0002.jpg.f6d0af446d464da4e82196992d751990.jpg

     

    Block size is based on education, the Roads are largely decorative, and my idea was to link those up so you have super long Roads stretching across multiple blocks, being crossed by monorail "highways" etc. I might do so anyway though, if there's only a few civic jobs in the city the pathfinder can quickly "fill" them and then everyone else has to head to the border anyways.

    SC4_CH_0006.jpg.f4d64c83941fd0373a8de013f3b7477b.jpg

    And yes, this means the monorails will basically be cutting into and through the residential, but each in-block station should not be inline, and not on sidings or anything/ Probably a ring around the edge of the tile, and sections cutting through the middle or something. As the population keeps growing, it'll be impossible to prevent large sections from becoming supercongested, part of the fun is seeing how to manage that. As all stations should be end-of line, at least that capacity should have no problems, unless superdense blocks somehow surpass 240,000 people (the monorail station has 60,000 capacity)

    SC4_CH_0009.jpg.483c0ab3c6816affddd70e23a2cf65e1.jpg

    ============

    I've since managed to get 40,000 people commuting to that same Silicon Abyss city, which shouldn't have much more than 27,000 jobs.

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        Since the NAM Simulator evolved from Simulator Z, many of the features listed here for the NAM Simulator were also present in various versions of Simulator Z. However, many of these versions were never released together with the NAM, and so most people will be seeing the features they contained for the first time here.
        One of the main areas of the work on the NAM Simulator involved increasing the efficiency of the pathfinder to close to its theoretical maximum (it uses the "perfect pathfinding" settings), while also increasing the Sims' maximum commute time to be closer to real-world conditions. This allows a smoother distribution of traffic throughout the city, with typically less congestion. At the same time, the congestion that does exist is less likely to lead to abandonment due to commute time; Sims know that they occasionally have to sit through traffic jams, and are a bit more patient. Better pathfinding also means that Sims act much smarter about finding jobs and routes to them; this also results in less abandonment due to commute time. As in the real world, zones can be farther apart without causing problems; this is especially helpful when building existing cities to scale. Finally, running the pathfinder with near-optimum settings allows the simulator to run up to several times as fast as previous simulators.
        The second major area of work on the NAM Simulator involved a more flexible distribution of traffic among the various travel types. In combination with the pathfinder upgrading, this allows buses to be counted toward traffic and congestion, just like all other vehicles. This is a significant change from all previous simulators, and it's an important point to remember when planning your transportation infrastructure. More flexible distribution of traffic also means that the NAM Simulator is much more dynamic about allowing Sims to choose their transportation. In cities with excellent highways and road capacity, car usage has been measured at over six times that of previous simulators. Yet for cities with less extensive road networks and reasonable mass transit, car usage is actually less than in previous simulators.

        Other changes in the NAM Simulator include the following:
        More realistic subway costs. Subways in SC4 are tremendously underpriced compared to the real world. The improvements to the pathfinder have made huge networks of subways less necessary, so the monthly cost for subway tiles has been multiplied by six to add more realism. More realistic air pollution due to traffic. Until now, the amount of air pollution emitted by traffic has been unchanged from the original game, where it was based on cities that had far less traffic capacity than that used by any of the current simulators. To keep the amount of air pollution emitted by traffic to a more realistic amount, the proportion of traffic air pollution to actual traffic has been lowered in the NAM Simulator. This lower proportion is linked to the Clean Air Act, so it is in effect only when the Clean Air Act is enabled. More accurate numbers for the Commute Time Graph. Due to a bug in the game, it is impossible to get accurate Commute Time Graph numbers for all situations. However, the NAM Simulator has adjusted the scaling of this graph to provide reasonably accurate numbers for most situations. Improved intersection effects. Despite the appearance of stoplights at intersections, Sims don't actually stop; they don't even slow down unless congestion is present around the intersection. the NAM Simulator provides much more congestion around heavily-travelled intersections, thereby doing a better job of simulating stop lights and stop signs. Greater monorail and high speed rail usage. Due to a bug in the game, monorail and HSR usage is generally less than it should be, sometimes by quite a bit. the NAM Simulator compensates for this bug by raising monorail usage to appropriate levels Monorails and HSR have been fixed to contribute to and be affected by traffic congestion, just like all other vehicles.
        The following features are new as of the May 2010 NAM:
        Greater highway usage. The traffic simulator has been tuned so that Sims use highways much more than ever before. This usage still tends to fall short of real world usage, though, due to the structure of the game. The amount of rapid transit available in a city will also have a big effect on highway usage. All mass transit speeds have been recalibrated to provide a more realistic simulation. Improved customer levels for businesses. Capacities and speeds of one-way roads have been raised to duplicate the real-world advantage of these roads. Street capacities have been raised so that they reflect the capacities implied by their speed limits.  
        There are Park and Ride versions of the NAM Simulator; these can be enabled with the Traffic Simulator Customization Tool, mentioned above. Park and Ride changes the game slightly so that cars cannot reach their destination directly. Instead, those Sims who prefer to drive must park near some sort of mass transit station, and then take mass transit to the stop closest to their workplace. From here, they must walk the rest of the way. For this to work well, you need to have an extensive mass transit system. You also need to build parking lots and/or parking garages near key mass transit stops; generally the best places are at the edges of your residential areas that are closest to your jobs. Or you could just build parking facilities near the Sims' jobs (the ones that come with buildings generally don't count), but this really defeats the main purpose of Park and Ride. If you choose the Park and Ride version of a simulator, but don't build extra parking facilities, your game will not work very well at all.
        I have found RalphaelNinja's Ninja Boulevard Station and Ninja Boulevard Kiosk to be very useful in general, and particularly useful for Park and Ride, as they both contain large underground garages. I have enclosed modified lot files for both of these stations at the end of this post; the modifications bring the monthly cost down to be more in line with similar stations, and they also double the capacity, bringing them more in line with RTMT (and making them especially useful for Park and Ride). Since the exquisite design of these stations must have cost a lot of money, I left the plop cost alone. Also, since I have enclosed only the lot files, if you don't have these stations already, you'll need to download them from the above links.
         
        What are the different versions of the NAM Simulator, and how are they used?
        The NAM Simulator comes in five versions - Classic, Low, Medium, High, and Ultra. The name of the version refers to the network capacities in the simulator. The following is a list of the network capacities for each version of the simulator; all capacities are per tile:


        Which simulator version is appropriate for a particular city depends primarily on two things: the population of the city, and the amount of rapid transit (rails) available. Less capacity is needed for lower population cities, but less capacity is also required for cities with a lot of rapid transit. For example, a city of two million Sims has been run quite successfully using the Low capacity version of the NAM Simulator, but it had an extremely extensive subway system. So pick a simulator version based on these two factors; if it doesn't seem the right capacity, you can always switch it out for a different capacity version. Experience has shown that in large cities, the effects of such a switch may take up to five years to fully manifest. You can tell when things have stabilized by looking at the Traffic Volume Graph in the following way: First, let the game run until there is a sudden shift in traffic patterns. Sometimes, this may take over a year. Then run the game until you go at least a full year without any sudden change in traffic patterns. At that point, the transition to the new capacity simulator is complete.
         
        Installing the NAM Simulator
        The NAM Simulator is installed during the NAM installation. If you've already installed the NAM, you can reinstall the simulator by installing and running the NAM Traffic Subsystem.
         
        Traffic Volume View and Other New Data Views
        The Traffic Volume View included with the NAM as of the June, 2009 version offers a number of improvements to the one included with the game. Rather than the seven shades of blue in the original, this version uses the full spectrum of color, including approximately 48 distinct color shades. The maximum volume shown for each travel type has been increased from a flat 1200 for all types in the original Traffic Volume View to a value which is 300% of the capacity of the underlying network for the selected travel type. (Since only one commute period is shown at a time, this is one half of the standard network capacity, which is calculated for a full day.) The legend has been increased from five to nine entries, and each color in the legend is followed by the percentage of the underlying network capacity that that color represents, as well as the actual number of Sims represented by that percentage. When a travel type may have more than one underlying network (e.g., cars may travel on streets, roads, or highways), a subtext below the legend indicates which network is being referenced in the display.
        The colors in the display have been arranged so that they are more concentrated at lower levels, in order to give finer granularity at lower volumes. Between volumes of 0% and 10%, colors change about every 1.5%. Between 10% and 130%, colors change about ever 5%. And between 130% and 300%, colors change about every 10%. Please note that while every attempt has been made to attain the greatest accuracy possible, all numbers are somewhat approximate. The numbers following each color in the legend refer to the approximate beginning of the range of that particular color.
        You may notice that starting at 100%, the colors closely follow those in the Traffic Congestion View. However, it is important to keep in mind the difference between the Traffic Congestion View and the Traffic Volume View. The Congestion View is compiled from an entire day's travel statistics, while the Volume View refers to only a single commute period. Therefore, yellow in a single volume view does not necessarily indicate congestion, and blue or green in a single volume view does not necessarily indicate lack of congestion. An experienced player may be able to look at both commute periods of certain volume views and get a good idea of congestion, but it is necessary to be careful here.
        Finally, most transit station types light up in all volume views. This does not indicate anything about usage; it is simply so you can identify them easily. Certain types of transit stations do not light up because of the way they were designed.

        The Traffic Volume View also includes a new Subway View. The new Subway View acts in most ways like the normal underground Subway View, which is entered by selecting the Subway Tool when you want to build or demolish subways. However, it has included in it the volume display feature of the Traffic Volume View, which allows you to see the usage of your subways as you are building (or demolishing) them. Like the rest of the Traffic Volume View, this view shows the volume of traffic in each subway line visible in the main map, as well as in all subway lines in the minimap.
        The last feature included in the Traffic Volume View is a new Subway Building View, which is entered whenever you select a subway station to build. It differs from the standard Subway Building View in that no buildings other than subway stations are displayed; zones are displayed wherever possible; and like the Subway View, the volume of traffic in each subway line visible in the main map, as well as in all subway lines in the minimap. In addition, zones and transit station locations are shown in the minimap. Finally, most transit station types light up in all volume views. This does not indicate anything about usage; it is simply so you can identify them easily. Certain types of transit stations do not light up because of the way they were designed.
        A new Zones view is also included with the NAM. The new Zones view is identical to the Subway Building View, except that subway volume levels are not displayed. The new Zones view is currently optional (unlike the other data views described above, so you must select it during the NAM installation if you want to have it installed.
        It is strongly recommended that you use the DatPacker if you have a substantial number of plugins. This will not only speed up the loading of your game, but it will also great speed up switching back to the normal view from both the Subway Building View and the Zones View.
         
        Patch for RTMT Users
        If you are using RTMT, it is highly recommended that you install the latest patch, which is especially important for the NAM Simulator users. You can find the patch here.
         
        Stations originally created by @RalphaelNinja with modified reduced costs and doubled capacities:
        Modified Ninja Boulevard Stations.zip
      • By DefconZero
        Greetings,
        Linux user here (quick shout-out to all users of unix-like operating systems) and new to Simtropolis.
        I'd like to customize the installation of NAM beyond what is offered by the "minimal" option as presented. Essentially I'm only interested in the enhanced path-finding functions, pertaining to sims using transportation options and nothing else. Skimming through the manuals, I didn't find a detailed technical report on the data files themselves and which ones contain which functions. I'd like to know which file(s) are necessary for pathfinding so that I can delete all other non-essential plugins and components. I guess you could say I'm just an optimization geek and I follow the Unix philosophy of "Do one thing only and do it well."
        If I overlooked such a report, or technical overview, please direct me to the appropriate page as needed, I love reading technical documents!
         
      • By tariely
        I did some relots of existing passenger railway stations on which there were a subway and/or bus station. Mine are not functional, though. I am not sure for the bus, but I know (by checking for instance Bripizza 15m multipurpose station in the Reader), that you can place a tile of subway in the lot, thus enabling it as a subway stop once the tile is connected to a subway line.
        How do I do that ? Or is it only doable by the NAM team ? (surely not, as @mattb325 has brilliantly proven...)
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