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First Serious Run at SC4

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Anonymous
May 12, 2004 2:12:56 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.simcity (More info?)

I had time tonight to really play the game. Maybe others have already
mentioned this, but here are my main irritations:

In my line of work, I spend a lot of time on the streets of a city and I
know how they're laid out, and I know how traffic moves through them.
The bigger, wider and smoother the street, and the higher the speed
limit, the more people travel on them. You see more traffic on
four-lane avenues, and less traffic on side residential streets. That's
not how it works in SimCity 4.

In SimCity 4, the sims seem to take the shortest path between to points,
not the fastest path between two points. Streets are utterly useless in
this game. You might as well completely ignore the streets and just use
roads right from the start because you're going to end up converting all
your streets to roads, anyway.

Get this: From west to east is an avenue. At Block A, there's a nice,
wide avenue with smooth-flowing traffic. Block B is a street. Block C
is a road. Block D is a street. Block E is a street. Block F is an
avenue. Now you'd think that someone coming from three blocks south of
West2East Avenue, and one block east of Block A would go directly to
Block A Avenue, then go north three blocks and make either a left or
right turn. Not so. SimRetard will actually drive north on a Street,
going through all the stupid stop signs, and then turn left or right on
West2East Avenue. How dumb is that? He could have saved several
minutes by doing what normal people do -- take the fastest route to the
better road and go with it.

Also... what's up with the amount of traffic going on in this game? My
gosh, it's like rush hour all day long on residential streets. I know
time is compressed, but real residential streets just don't have traffic
like this. You just don't see cars lined up in rows of ten waiting to
be the next to go. But you see that all the time in SimCity. Why are
people cruising the streets like that in the middle of a workday?

Well, we certainly can't play the game in realtime or we'd be bored to
death. Can you imagine actually having to play the game for a whole
month to get an extra couple hundred dollars to get a few more squares
of crucial road construction done? If time compression is the reason
for Hellacious traffic on residential streets, then when we're in super
turbo mode, maybe a single workday could pass in the time of ten years,
but we get the funding of ten years, and we see time pass as if only a
day has gone by in that ten years. We see traffic come out in the
mornings, spike at lunch as everybody rushes to Chick-Fil-A, die down a
little, then peak at the 5-o-clock rush hour. A bunch of people go
home, then they come back out and we see traffic increase in light and
medium commercial areas where people go to have a little nightlife. It
would be nice if we could zone for different types of commercial space
-- like offices, shopping, restaurants, etc..., but maybe that'll be out
in SC7.

Now... another irritating thing is the way the streets are laid out
automagically for me. OKay, that wouldn't be so bad if the generated
streets actually made sense.

Again, I work in the streets. Houses are usually numbered even on one
side, odd on the other. 1101, 1103, 1105, 1107, 1109, 1111, 1113. In
SimCity4, you'll probably never see a house with a number higher than
1113. In real life, you'll see many houses numbered 1135. I think the
traffic on SC4 is WAY too dense to be realistic, and far too many
streets and roads are needed. This game should function with 1/3 the
number of streets that are currently "required" lest you want to be
plagued with unrealistic traffic problems.

The ONLY places I've ever seen streets that close together is in the
oldest part of town. Newer parts of town have more space between
intersections running, say, north and south, while still being spaced
somewhat close together running east and west. Still newer subdivisions
have streets that curve all around with little cul-de-sacs. Come to
think of it, that might be a cool thing to have in a future version of
SimCity... the ability to lay out streets using node editing tools. You
pick out that you want a residential street with single family homes.
You use node editing tools to adjust the curves the way you want them.
Your lots will be laid out on the sides of the street so you can tell
when the lots are going to overlap with the lots of another street
(they'll turn red when there's a problem) and once you have it the way
you like it, just click the "set" button and watch the people start
building the homes and moving in.

Something like that might be a few versions away, but I think it'll come
eventually. I'm actually surprised that we still see "blocky edges"
when we build diagonal streets.

Oh, and personally I'd like to see a version that gives me a little more
control over what gets built where. Just zoning commercial isn't
detailed enough. I'd like to zone for shopping, restaurants,
entertainment. Industry I'd like to zone for factories, petroleum,
textiles, transportation, etc.... ANd for residential, I'd like to zone
apartments, trailer parks, small homes, medium homes, large homes.
Maybe create neighborhoods with specific rules like we have today in the
HOA. Such rules usually keep property values high.

IMHO,
Damaeus

More about : run sc4

May 12, 2004 7:22:55 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.simcity (More info?)

"Damaeus"
> In my line of work, I spend a lot of time on the streets of a city and I
> know how they're laid out, and I know how traffic moves through them.
> The bigger, wider and smoother the street, and the higher the speed
> limit, the more people travel on them. You see more traffic on
> four-lane avenues, and less traffic on side residential streets. That's
> not how it works in SimCity 4.
> IMHO,
> Damaeus

Hey,
Can't agree with you more. The traffic end can fix fixed by a great program
called traffic cop. It on, you guessed it, www.simtropolis.com It allows you
to set speedlimits and volume limits. For example I upped the street
capacity to 300 (from 60) and the speed to 30 (I think it was 20) I also
increased road, ave, and mass transit speeds and capacities. The program
also has a pathfinding mod built in that helps. Most sims now choose quicker
speed over distance. I guess I love this game tooooo much to complain, but
it defiantly has its flaws. I don't use it but I believe a mod exists to
make the traffic patterns and peds follow a more day/night routine.

--
Best Regards,
Ian
Anonymous
May 13, 2004 3:41:00 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.simcity (More info?)

On Wed, 12 May 2004 15:22:55 GMT, Ian wrote in alt.games.simcity:

> Hey,
> Can't agree with you more. The traffic end can fix fixed by a great program
> called traffic cop. It on, you guessed it, www.simtropolis.com It allows you
> to set speedlimits and volume limits. For example I upped the street
> capacity to 300 (from 60) and the speed to 30 (I think it was 20) I also
> increased road, ave, and mass transit speeds and capacities. The program
> also has a pathfinding mod built in that helps. Most sims now choose quicker
> speed over distance. I guess I love this game tooooo much to complain, but
> it defiantly has its flaws. I don't use it but I believe a mod exists to
> make the traffic patterns and peds follow a more day/night routine.

Hey, thanks for the name of the program! I had been trying to find this
exact mod program but hadn't found the name yet. :-)

Dave
--
We are the US Army. Your asses will be kicked. Resistance is futile.

US Army Signal Corps!!
http://www.geocities.com/davidcasey98

Remove "IH8SPAM" to reply!
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May 14, 2004 12:23:13 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.simcity (More info?)

David Casey <sgtcasey@cableoneIH8SPAM.net> wrote in message news:<hn4zfr6hm2yk$.dlg@sgtcaseycableone.net>...
> On Wed, 12 May 2004 15:22:55 GMT, Ian wrote in alt.games.simcity:
>
> > Hey,
> > Can't agree with you more. The traffic end can fix fixed by a great program
> > called traffic cop. >
> Hey, thanks for the name of the program! I had been trying to find this
> exact mod program but hadn't found the name yet. :-)
>
> Dave


No Problem. I can't live with out it.

Ian
Anonymous
May 15, 2004 11:47:46 AM

Archived from groups: alt.games.simcity (More info?)

In news:alt.games.simcity, "Ian" <ian@NoSpamusSmarthomeusa.com> posted on
Wed, 12 May 2004 15:22:55 GMT:

> Hey,
> Can't agree with you more. The traffic end can fix fixed by a great program
> called traffic cop. It on, you guessed it, www.simtropolis.com It allows you
> to set speedlimits and volume limits. For example I upped the street
> capacity to 300 (from 60) and the speed to 30 (I think it was 20) I also
> increased road, ave, and mass transit speeds and capacities. The program
> also has a pathfinding mod built in that helps. Most sims now choose quicker
> speed over distance. I guess I love this game tooooo much to complain, but
> it defiantly has its flaws. I don't use it but I believe a mod exists to
> make the traffic patterns and peds follow a more day/night routine.

I've discovered a possible solution without using a mod. I've found that
if I section off residential areas without connecting the streets to roads
at every intersection, then traffic on streets is fairly normal. It makes
things a little more limiting when laying out streets, but then, limits are
part of the game since we can't start the game by building five nuclear
power plants to get us through the following 10,000 years of game play.

I haven't tried this method on a large scale, but it seems to work pretty
well so far. Basically each neighborhood has one way in and one way out.
It might mean you have to zone smaller neighborhoods, but each neighborhood
might be small enough that you can have a bus stop for each one right at
the entrance. :-)

Oh, and about parks, gazebos and community gardens.. is it necessary to
have them right up against a road? Sometimes I like to build a 2x2 block
of small park land and if nestled between two houses, then two small parks
would be against the street and there would be two behind with no street
directly touching it. How does the game interpret this?

Thanks,
Damaeus
Anonymous
May 16, 2004 12:33:28 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.simcity (More info?)

In news:alt.games.simcity, Damaeus <no-mail@hotmail.invalid.net> posted on
Sat, 15 May 2004 07:47:46 GMT:

> I've discovered a possible solution without using a mod. I've found that
> if I section off residential areas without connecting the streets to roads
> at every intersection, then traffic on streets is fairly normal. It makes
> things a little more limiting when laying out streets, but then, limits are
> part of the game since we can't start the game by building five nuclear
> power plants to get us through the following 10,000 years of game play.

I tried the above method and it works beautifully without the mod.
Basically I just make sure that there's no "shortcut" from one road or
avenue to another through any neighborhoods and the traffic within the
neighborhood is quite normal. That basically means that each subdivision
can only enter or exit to one road. I may have two streets connecting to
the same road, but I would have no other streets from that subdivision
connecting to a different road because that would open up the whole
neighborhood to horrid traffic problems as sims try to take shortcuts
through housing developments.

I know in the real world people typically don't do this, but this is the
sim world where people seem to have no sense at all.

Also, I try not to make the neighborhood very big. I might, for example,
run a street off a road, give three tiles for commercial depth, three more
tiles of depth for some trees, two more tiles for residential zoning. I
then create a cross street seven tiles out on each side. On the main,
central street, I go out four more tiles and create another cross street.
For a total of fifteen tiles of width including the street (seven on each
side). Then I go back and zone residential tiles that are one tile wide
and two tiles deep on each side of each street and all the way across the
back. I also put a few recreational tiles in there which helps immensely
for land value and the quality of buildings that go up.

I think I found that four cross streets created some pretty dense traffic
for one entrance/exit, so I created two. That helped some, but more
traffic simply jumped to the new exit which was closer to the
industrial/commercial zones.

So perhaps there's really no inherent flaw in the traffic logic. You, as a
mayor, perhaps have to decide how to route traffic to the best conduits --
by closing up those many routes and only make a few routes available --
roads, avenues and highways. Using this method, I've only had to convert
one street to a road and it was in a fairly good sized cluster of medium
density residential zones. I didn't even try opening up more exits. I
just plastered a road down through there. :-)

This is becoming more fun now that I'm not just opening up every route I
can to create more places for traffic to flow. I'm now learning to control
traffic instead of having it frustrate me, and it's working quite well.
Oddly, as I create more roads and avenues to expand, I get messages about
streets being endangered. I guess there's a certain ratio the game is
looking for.

Planting trees is a pain in the ass, so once I'm through laying out the
housing developments, I switch to God Mode using the "everything available"
cheat and I reforest all unoccupied tiles. This really makes the sims
happy. I know I'm supposed to be charged $3.00 a tree, but who the heck
wants to sit there and plant one tree for each mouse click, or end up with
some goofy trail of trees if you hold the button down and drag the mouse
all over the place. Not I. I just sprinkle trees in God Mode and live
happily ever after.

Damaeus



Damaeus
Anonymous
May 16, 2004 2:57:10 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.simcity (More info?)

On Sun, 16 May 2004 08:33:28 GMT, Damaeus put finger to keyboard and
typed:
>
>I tried the above method and it works beautifully without the mod.
>Basically I just make sure that there's no "shortcut" from one road or
>avenue to another through any neighborhoods and the traffic within the
>neighborhood is quite normal. That basically means that each subdivision
>can only enter or exit to one road. I may have two streets connecting to
>the same road, but I would have no other streets from that subdivision
>connecting to a different road because that would open up the whole
>neighborhood to horrid traffic problems as sims try to take shortcuts
>through housing developments.
>
>I know in the real world people typically don't do this, but this is the
>sim world where people seem to have no sense at all.

Actually, in the real world, planners do that a lot. At least, they do
in the UK and Europe, I'm not so familiar with the US so I can't
comment there. And they do it for precisely the same reason - to stop
people taking a short cut through a residential district.

Mark
--
--> http://www.FridayFun.net - now with added games! <--
"I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now"
Anonymous
June 1, 2004 3:16:51 PM

Archived from groups: alt.games.simcity (More info?)

Thanks for posting this - I'm going to try it out this afternoon.

It's under 'mods' on the site in case anyone else wants to get it.

Best wishes
Maxon


"Ian" <ian@NoSpamusSmarthomeusa.com> wrote in message
news:jjroc.34927$CC4.13134485@news4.srv.hcvlny.cv.net...
> "Damaeus"
> > In my line of work, I spend a lot of time on the streets of a city and I
> > know how they're laid out, and I know how traffic moves through them.
> > The bigger, wider and smoother the street, and the higher the speed
> > limit, the more people travel on them. You see more traffic on
> > four-lane avenues, and less traffic on side residential streets. That's
> > not how it works in SimCity 4.
> > IMHO,
> > Damaeus
>
> Hey,
> Can't agree with you more. The traffic end can fix fixed by a great
program
> called traffic cop. It on, you guessed it, www.simtropolis.com It allows
you
> to set speedlimits and volume limits. For example I upped the street
> capacity to 300 (from 60) and the speed to 30 (I think it was 20) I also
> increased road, ave, and mass transit speeds and capacities. The program
> also has a pathfinding mod built in that helps. Most sims now choose
quicker
> speed over distance. I guess I love this game tooooo much to complain, but
> it defiantly has its flaws. I don't use it but I believe a mod exists to
> make the traffic patterns and peds follow a more day/night routine.
>
> --
> Best Regards,
> Ian
>
>
!