Submitted by jtabencki on Sep 18, 2012

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.

United States
Author: 
Guillaume Pierre, Lead Gameplay Scripter
Date: 
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 13:30
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Comments

Awesome!

I agree, the simulation detailing is definitely ace.

Thankfully, I'm not one of those "realism" modders who can never be content with anything about the game...

Stop mocking the core fans, they criticize because they care

Thank you very much for a very useful article. Best of luck always to the author.
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seems like its back to RDG drive set, as per SC3, sims use multiple transport options, like in real life as per DF and DFHH drive paths. Looks like this new sim city will just keep the same setup as per before.

I like the bus options, will JRDB be fitted on sale?

seems like its back to RDG drive set, as per SC3, sims use multiple transport options, like in real life as per DF and DFHH drive paths. Looks like this new sim city will just keep the same setup as per before.

I like the bus options, will JRDB be fitted on sale?

ok, talking about public transit and no word about subway (Metro). Although it was already assumed, now it's official that there will not be subways. This is getting ridiculous, a city builder and mass transportation system without subways. And the bus system - you plop some bus stops and then ? The busses looking on there own for the right connection ?
And the trams ? The only option you have is to place them in the middle of the road ? No way to place the lanes somewhere else ? How about to lay the lanes through the terrain without the need of a road, like it would be in a real city ? I really can't believe what I am reading about your concept of mass transit.....

The article mentioned that you can place tram rails without roads:

"You can also connect two separate parts of town with light rail tracks placed by themselves, without car lanes or sidewalks."

what does it mean "...light rail tracks placed by themselves" ? Who does place the tracks, me the player, or some sort of automatic placing ?

You the player. "By themselves" meant without pavement around them.

Where does it "officially" state that there won't be subways? Just because a guy didn't mention them, does he have to go into every little detail for you? There has been subways since 2000, it would be moronic and completely idiotic to suddenly "opt out" of putting a crucial part of the game transportation wise. Stop thinking you know what you're talking about

I look at the silver lining. Perhaps there will be a "Rush Hour" type expansion pack later in 2013? Maybe there is more to the game than we imagined or know about now.

People just have to freak about every little thing, apparently.

The only real mass-transit systems I see getting axed are monorails and el-trains, since most hardcore players never used those as opposed to subways and buses in Rush Hour.

Although I will admit, my biggest concern is that industrial zones won't utilize rail systems like they did in SC4, but again, that too is moronic to think...

Thanks for the clear-up, I actually thought that there wouldn't be subways. :)

Just today, they said there are no subways! It was on this Maxis Live thing today for the Sims 3 and Simcity
They've been trying to hide that fact that there will be no subways. And when the question was asked of the subways, they quietly said no, they looked very sheepish.

You are absolutely correct in saying it's moronic and completely idiotic to "opt out" of putting yes an EXTREMELY crucial element of any large cities infrastructure, it's metro system. It's flabbergasting, how there won't me subways/metros.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5VL-8UWWNs

11:30 in. They flat out state there will be no subways. No explanation why.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5VL-8UWWNs

11:30 in. They flat out state there will be no subways. No explanation why.

Where does it "officially" state that there won't be subways? Just because a guy didn't mention them, does he have to go into every little detail for you? There has been subways since 2000, it would be moronic and completely idiotic to suddenly "opt out" of putting a crucial part of the game transportation wise. Stop thinking you know what you're talking about

Will there be subways? I haven't heard any mention of them yet...

I have a feeling there won't be...

It is very sad (

What ever you do ~ please be SURE you add Subways to the Game!
There should be no excuse for absent!
Thanx

The detailed information we will be able to access in order to evaluate and run the transportation system sounds very good. I especially like the 'distance bar' on the sidewalks for placing stops. That would be a must-have in my book. I look forward to the release of this game!

I had an idea for a challenge in multiplayer, where the Olympics come to your city if you build stadiums and have good enough public transportation and infrastructure. Just a thought.

I like that idea.

What a great idea!!! I would so get the olympics every time;)

great idea..to draw big events and gain revenue streams this would be a great challenge for rival cities to win the rights to the games!

I back this idea up, very nice.

If you are wanting to build a metro/subway system just wait for the inevitable expansion packs! This is a Maxis/EA game after all!

This certainly sounds great! However, subways, boats, ferries, airplanes etc. should also be strongly considered. The ability to create and customize transporation options is one of most satisfiying and interesting aspects of the previous SimCity.

Subways will be be in the 20$ expansion i guess

I fear also for 20 Euro - mass transport expansion pack grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

(p.s. i will never forget what did Cities XL <<

Plz. do not this "Fatal Failure" again!

I hope you can drive vehicles like in Sim City 4 Rush Hour expansion pack. That was a really cool feature that you could drive around your city. And that would be cool if you could play the roles like drive a police car to crimes and fire trucks to fires and stuff.

I know right!!! It was so cool! I'd be the worst driver ever:)

Exactly! I hope they make a similar expansion pack for the new SimCity (preferably with awesome graphics like Need for Speed, but that's just a fantasy)! I absolutely adored SC4 and would LOVE to see what Maxis and EA learned in 10 years (if you put it the way I had just said, it sounds like it's gonna be a game that I'll play for 20 years(unless by that time they've made another SimCity)!)!

I hope they don't forget the dedicated roads for buses and or trucks, basically roads where normal traffic is not allowed.

There's a reason that cities use subways... things would be far too cluttered in many areas to have all the tracks above ground. You'd think with all the simulating they're doing in this new version there'd be something as simple as tracks below the ground...

Although Glassbox is a significant improvement, it really appears that in attempting to simplify the gameplay to attract new players, there really is a lot of sacrificing of choice for seasoned players. Why not have these extras available for those who choose to have a richer experience? Some gameplay elements which appear to have been 'dumbed down' include:
- not allowing contiguous city squares to simulate sprawl
- not allowing players to choose their connections to the region
- not allowing players to choose the permitted density when zoning
- not allowing subways, ferries etc.

Don't get me wrong; the graphics look great and the simulation engine seems vastly superior, but what is a city simulation when you can't really simulate a true city? At this point, I'm definitely waiting for independent reviews before forking out moolah.

Oh, and I hope they don't pull the expansion pack thing. I don't like paying for half a game.

I would pay for double the money just for those pretty essential features missing, at the current state this is not a Simcity game, it is just Simcity social on steroids.

ya me to ill wait a while after the release of the game im not ready to shell out 80$ glad i didnt pre order it as soon as i found out they were making a new simcity like i wanted to.

Looks pretty genuine overall. Hoping we can place light-rail stations in places other than the avenues- especially in large suburban areas, being able to place stops at the ends of smaller streets and such would add a lot.

Notice: None of these blogs directly address the full 5 pages of forums discussing city size. Why wont they just address fan concerns? *sigh*

How in the world could you possibly have a 2013 Sim City game and not have subways? Nearly every major large city on Earth uses subways as their most important transit mode. Can you just imagine trying to build a New York City and have trams in the middle of the streets to represent the best available mode of public transportation. If you guys built this game without subways, really, what were you thinking? If this Sim City, as released, doesn't include subways then is will be an EPIC FAIL from the start. I still can't believe anyone would be stupid enough to create a new Sim City and not include underground subways. There's no excuse. No excuse. I won't believe it till I (don't) see it. He didn't mention it in this article and you think that'd be one of the first things you would mention when talking mass transit.

I certainly hope subways are going to be included. You can't really emulate any modern cities without having subway systems.

This look really cool BTW they never said that you can't make metros, you guys are jumping the gun. They wouldn't want to give away everything right away, besides their will be monorails and elevated rails, so why not subways. I trust you maxis. P.S. I love how the buses on the same tile as the road

How do you know there will be monorails and elevated rails? Could you please post a link that confirms their presence - I'd really like to read up on them.

I could be wrong, but look at this concept art
http://www.google.com/search?q=coal+indistries+simcity&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&cl...|3;d|MLCJP3AFFpLeGM:

http://www.google.com/search?q=simcity+5+concept+art&hl=en&client=safari...|40;d|HHnua15zMcGcoM:

Look carefully and you will see it

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