Submitted by cyberfyter on Apr 17, 2012

Hello SimCity Community! Following in Dan Moskowitz’s footsteps, I’d like to thank you for all the positive responses to our videos so far. I hope you found them interesting and instructive.

As lead gameplay scripter on SimCity, I’ve had the honor and pleasure to write large parts of the game’s simulation and am now leading our very talented team of scripters to make this the best SimCity ever. I also was a tester on SimCity 4 Rush Hour and have played more SimCity over the past 20 years than should be considered reasonable.

In this video, we talk about how the water system works, from the pumping of the precious liquid to its distribution to your thirsty Sims. This system uses almost all the tools that our simulation engine, GlassBox, has to offer: units, maps, agents, paths and resources.

When the team starts on a new feature, we usually spend some time researching real-world examples in books, movies, the Internet and also look for examples in our local environment. From here, we give the information to Stone Librande, our Lead Designer, who then boils down the whole system, abstracting internal processes and writing a one-page design containing only what really matters.

In the case of water, a unit (the pump) pulls a resource (water) out of a map (the aquifer) and sends it on a path (a water pipe) via an agent (a flow of water) at a regular rate to consumers. In order to do that, we created a simple set of game rules that take care of each step, adding various properties so that our tuning designer can easily change how much water is pumped, how often it is sent, as well as how much of it is consumed in buildings. This way, while a house may use one hundred gallons per day, a big factory could use a whole lot more.

From SimCity 2000 on, the player had to lay all of the pipes independently from other networks, repeating the same pattern over and over again in every city. In this SimCity, much like in real life, the water pipes are placed underneath your streets and roads, so you can focus on the management of the system at a higher level.

This time around, we also changed the effect of ground pollution on your water system. Instead of lowering the amount of water your pumps and towers get out of the ground, pollution is now sent along with the fresh water as “germs” to your Sims, making them sick if they consume too much of it. Sick Sims can’t do much of anything and become a drain on your economy until you have a hospital to cure them. A healthy Sim is a productive Sim.

Figuring out what’s going on under the ground surface will also be much easier in this SimCity, both through the terrain coloring and the gorgeous visualization layers. The water table is drawn as green in the terrain, deep blue in the visualization layer where water is plentiful and brown where pollution is creeping up. Similarly, the amount of water and its color varies in the water towers based on the exact same parameters.

That’s it for this time! Check back soon for the next video, where we’ll talk about fire. It will be hot.

United States
Guillaume Pierre
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 09:00
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This Engine looks more and more impressive as we see your videos!
Well done Maxis, this will hopefully rock the transport system to become very attractive to play with!
Hopefully you would give us tools to personalize our own transportations such as logos and unique layout for airports, ports, trains stations and so on to get a unique town from each others.

Would you add also specific building tools to create a unique skyline too?
please Maxis, make this happen!

I don't know..
How can you link heavy manufacturing-style cities while at the same time having to keep your sims healthy? Will the industrial buildings not require water? Will High-tech Industries affect your water pollution? Will neighbouring cities be affected by your water pollution? Can Sims get sick from drinking polluted water from their industrial workplace (If the pumps for industrial and residental are not connected)?

Why not just put your water towers/pumps in areas with little or no ground pollution, then pipe the clean water to factories?

If the water pipes can be placed only underneath streets and roads, does that mean that in fully walkable cities people won't get water and will die?

i guess in walkable cities you still need "walkable" paths, which means path = road for peeps = water pipe underneath them too.

Day after day, day after day - we stuck nor breath nor motion...

I see what you did there.

I am so far very impressed with all of this. But I must ask, does this mean the water pipes used in SimCity 4 will not be used in SimCity?

If im well, these water pipes are going to be under streets and roads...

How does the water table get replinished in the game. does it rain, because weather would be an awsome addition. But seriously if you use all the water resources on your map what happens. In the real world snow pack runoff and rain fall supply groundwater and then we pull that out. so in the game what supplies this ground water. or is there a set amount at the start and you must mange it forever because that's impossible. there has to be some sort of cycle.

I hope there will be water treatment plants and desalination plants.
I would like to see the ability to lay pipes if one desires. What if I want to put a water pump up the mountains I need to route a road up there?

Keep up the good work.

I like water levels and delivery system but will you plan to create polluted water drainage system too? and why polluted water produced only by industyal sector? residents make it too may be not so intensive but... :)

You think they will shit in water until it became undrinkable, but they will still drink it, because there's no alternative?:DDD

I liked laying down my pipes. I got to decided what areas were trashy, and what ones developed. Some Sims just don't deserve water...

Can't wait! This is my most anticipated game... 2013 couldn't come fast enough.

Will there be rivers and lakes above sea level? That always bugged me about sc4.

The water towers should also take elevation into account. the way a tower works in real life is the water gets pumped up and the water pressure from the height pushes it to all the homes. So in SimCIty, it would be cool if whoever got water from the tower was elevation dependent.

I gotta say this looks a lot like simsville also are you just forgetting sim city societies. Btw this looks much better than simcity societies

What as wrong with the placement of pipes? I hope they at least keep it as possibility. I guess it's easier to program if the agents distribute all resources.. But I think laying out the pipes was a nice method of preventing a part of the city from developing too fast.

Someone else also said something about a drainage system, that would be awesome aswell.

I also hope they dont take away all player control like that. I mean they should add things. For example buslanes (busroute planner maybe even), trucklanes, no-bus lanes, no-truck lanes etc. Especially for the buses it was shame they would just create buses that go somewhere needed. City planning should all be in the details if you ask me.

please add this technology into the game, its awesome:


I like the new water system.

As much as also liked starving people of running water and having them watch their neighbors enjoy such a basic city function I can see why they decided to make it road-based. For one, the old method is not as realistic as this new method and it seems like they're mirroring this game on as many real-life aspects as possible.

Also I personally did not enjoy the way the old system handled the water system. It always seemed so cumbersome to constantly add pipes for every area I decided to develop. And I was too cheap to do it all at once :)

This new water system looks good. But I hope they still keep the possibility to lay down pipes the old way. What if I want to put a water pipe between two islands? Maybe the pipe will go under a bridge, but if I don't want any bridge?
But you have thougt of that Maxis, right?

What if there is a river how do you get the water out of that ?

hat if there is a river how do you get the water out of that pull ralph lauren pas cher



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