Submitted by cyberfyter on Apr 03, 2012

Hello simulation fans!  First off, thanks for all your positive responses to our first video.  The team here at Maxis is thrilled to be able to share these videos with you.  We hope they demonstrate the depth of simulation we’re delivering.

GlassBox is an incredibly powerful simulation engine built by Andrew Willmott, our chief architect at Maxis. He designed it to be elegant, data driven, and to power Maxis-style simulation games - providing a simulation toolkit like none other.  As gameplay lead, my job is to take this toolkit and work with the team to create the most alive, tactile, and fun city game ever created - the mother of all city simulation games - SimCity!

In the next few weeks we’re going to be releasing three more videos, each focusing on a few core areas of SimCity and the simulation driving the gameplay.  Today’s video is all about the economic loop of the game.  What is the relationship between residential, commercial, and industrial buildings in this SimCity?   Looking back, each previous version of SimCity had a magic formula for determining the balance of these buildings. Like a lot of the features in this game, we wanted to modernize and refresh the original concept while keeping true to the spirit of the older games, and that was especially true of the economic loop.

Looking at the industrial buildings in the video, they are set to open for business at 6 AM.  When the buildings open and realize they don’t have workers, they send out “help wanted” agents that travel down the paths, requesting workers.  One thing we skipped over in the video is that there’s actually two different kinds of ‘help wanted’ agents, one that requests people to walk to work and one that requests people to drive to work.  The walking requester goes first, and has a shorter distance (a few blocks) than the driving requester.  This means that with some foresight and planning you can build fully walkable cities.  By playing around with the positioning of industrial/commercial versus residential zoning, you’ll notice commuting patterns unique to your city layout.  We’ve found that the organic flow of commuter agents through a city is pretty mesmerizing and a lot fun to play around with. Since you will be drawing the roads and laying out zones, one of the measures of your success is how efficiently the city operates as population increases. For example: Are there enough jobs for residents?  Do factories have enough workers?  Are stores kept supplied with goods?  Of course, you could also just torch the place, that’s fun too.

The other important aspect we’re demonstrating in this video is that simulation rules are tied directly to effects and animation.  You can see examples of that when the industrial buildings spew pollution into the air.  The rule writing to the air pollution map is literally the same rule triggering the smoke VFX and audio.  Same with the factory producing goods, and the conveyor belt animation.  We’ve found that by tightly coupling the feedback to the rules, we’re able to convey more information to the player by watching their city run, instead of having to rely as much on 2D user interface.

Check back soon, next time we’ll address how the simulation deals with water, pollution, and sickness. And if you haven't seen it yet, check out our first installment of the SimCity Insider's Look GlassBox Game Engine

United States
Author: 
Dan Moskowitz
Date: 
Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - 05:00
Category: 
Friendly id: 
The-Economic-Loop
thumbnail: 
Weight: 
0

Comments

Thank you Dan for updating the blog and sharing your progression with your fans. We wish you all the best.

Cheers

Sounds like someone might finally make a game that will actually use all four of my processor cores. Are the help wanted agents going to be visible when they're looking for employees? Or will we have to trace them using a route tool like in SimCity 4?

In the video he states that the "help wanted agents" will be invisible to the player

I'm craving to know more about Simcity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG this game is gonna be sooo great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Next video is definitive for me. If I dont see mountain lakes and rivers at higher elevations than sea level, I'll just stick to SC4, where it doesnt hold a gun to my head to be online.

Considering this is the second of five videos and the game is well over 8 months away. I'd venture to say that the next video is by far from definitive. It's likely that the fifth video will be destruction, and the fourth environmental.

Really appreciate the amount of time and effort the team is spending to share early-look, behind-the-scenes videos like this. As a fellow game dev, it's really fun to watch how you're tackling the simulation model this time around. I remember the earlier Sim City games (esp 4, but also 3) really were CPU limited (whereas most games are GPU limited), so a lot of cheap (but intelligent) solutions were implemented to skip hard calculations and do true simulations.

Playing the first Sim City is what inspired me to get into this industry. Can't wait to see this next iteration in action - kudos to Andrew Willmott for putting Glass Box together and to the entire team building what is shaping up to be the best Sim City yet!

Playing the first SimCity is what helped develop my interest in infrastructural development.

And more disasters please!)))

ah ah !
this video (and others) is great for show us methods to build . Only few people take suffisant experience to make this at the first time : I know this, cause I use the goodsgarden plate-form to play to MMo's games. SIM City can be so complex...So thanks for these tutorials

This looks great, but it's not realistic if they go to the first industrial building they get to and start working. After all, in reality people hold one job and they go to one building to fulfill it. This is one reason why roads aren't as efficient as the could be. Thus, we get traffic, and although it might be disliked, it's very real.

Its not the best rule, in fact i hope they change it. What it would mean is that once your city is big enough that sims that live the furthest away from a place of work will have their commute times exponentially increased. They will have to travel past places of work which are filled by others who live closer and possibly have to travel across the whole city tile to get to work (in extreme cases where you keep industry as far away from residential areas as possible).
On the other hand what it does mean is that you'll have to be cleaver than in simcity 4 about where you place zones, where you place highways and public transport.
Hopefully we can change the rule to what journey is quicker and not shorter. It should help it vary a bit. I can see a nam mod being made.

Clever!

Here’s the video: Insider’s Loop GlassBox Game Engine Part 2

http://bit.ly/Hb3kRF

As a veteran sim city builder i have to say this is one of the most realistic Sim city i have seen in a while. (behind Sim city 4)

I agree with Prof_intel,

Jordan , your point is arguably true but even that would be unrealistic,
I mean just as in SC4, only some people work in certain type of buildings like CS$ for R$,CO$$ for R$$,CO$$$ for R$$$ etc. so the game would get a lot lot more complex than what you guys think.

There,
about 20 or 30 (whatever the worker capacity) factory agent just wont find the nearest residential home But the nearest LOW INCOME (WORKER CLASS) house.

PLUS there may be like 3 or 4 manager level jobs in that case a few agents might just look for high level residential... which may be located at well over half a mile away from the polluting factory.

you know kinda that way... the city is not that easy to manage.. but hey!! which City is??

Good video demo of the RCI relationship. What about goods export beyond your city zone to the greater region? How do different types of industry (high tech, heavy industry, light industry, agriculture) affect output and job demand? Is there a mechanic that some industries generate more revenue for your economy then others, so as mayor can you affect industry types?

There was one thing I was wondering about. Will the walking agents take the city bus and travel to different parts of the city?

This just came to me...

would it be possible to zone along a curved road??

I'm very excited with those videos. I'm from Brazil, graduated in computer science, and i remember alot of my artificial inteligence lessons. I love simulation games, like simcity, the sims, citiesxl (competition) and others.. I hope that simcity 5 will be finished soon, with the same cartoon graphics like the promoted images.

I have concerns about the way the buildings send out agents for jobs. It sounded like the closest people to a job are the ones that are going to work at them... and it sounds like this will be done every morning, so sims won't have the same job the next day. That seems very unrealistic and kinda takes away from the possibility of suburbanites commuting to a downtown miles and miles away (like in reality). Just like in Simcity 4, my highways are going to be under-utilized and impractical. This thinking seems to go against the whole "every Sim has a story" mindset that has been pitched. Once a sim gets a job, they should keep it at least until they can either get a better job. For example, maybe the sim is going to school after work to get more education (at a local college) and increase skills enough to hit the next education level and get a new job.

Like other people here, I don't think the job seeking agents necessarily follow the most realistic algorithm.
IMO, every sim should randomly be assigned a job amongst his best alternatives for his skill/income level, within a given road/walking distance from home. The assignment should also stay the same until the workplace has been terminated or better-paid alternatives arise.

So do the agents starting at 6am go out to get 100% of its workforce as implied in the video? If so, that thereby implies that each Sim is never employed for more than a day.

Or does it work like this which is more real: the agents go out only if there are employment vacancies and that sim then gets a job for as long as they want it? And the 'I have a job' Sim gets up and goes to work?

It has to be what you said

Will this game have public transport?

So its a week since part 2 of the glass-box demo,

And this very blog says that we will be releasing more 2 to 3 more videos in coming weeks so when exactly will they be released really getting eager to see 'em!!

I agree with the people writing before me... it would be weird if people get a new Job every morning and don't keep it. If they would keep it, the system would make kind of sence that they want the closest job to their home, of course related to their class and expected amount of income. And if they get an upgrade through education they of course want a new job, move to another area thats closer to that kind of job or have to deal with the longer way to the job. And if they move, someone else can move in the old house, closer to the job.

This also suggests that each business would have to fight for workers every morning otherwise they may not get enough if other businesses get them first... ...

Shut up and take my money!

I just hope you can build SC4 level cities, but I'm glad there will be multiple types of simulations running simultaneously within your city simulation.

I have read a lot of comments that say that every person should be signed a unique job. While this would really help the game I think we should all try to realize that 1. this is the first version of glass box engine and 2. Having every person connected to a corresponding job would drastically alter the engine (as no longer is it anonymous; in programming it is popular saying "Don't call us we will call you") as it does not follow the current design template that has been created. Everything runs using agents (fire, water, etc). Doings so means that the glass box model has a simple template for everything that all work the same and yet are very disconnected allowing for a lot of complexity. Sadly templates have a tendency not to be 100% accurate to what its like in the real world but I would pick this if it means more complexity with still good performance. At least resources are real now =)

I have read a lot of comments that say that every person should be signed a unique job. While this would really help the game I think we should all try to realize that 1. this is the first version of glass box engine and 2. Having every person connected to a corresponding job would drastically alter the engine (as no longer is it anonymous; in programming it is popular saying "Don't call us we will call you") as it does not follow the current design template that has been created. Everything runs using agents (fire, water, etc). Doings so means that the glass box model has a simple template for everything that all work the same and yet are very disconnected allowing for a lot of complexity. Sadly templates have a tendency not to be 100% accurate to what its like in the real world but I would pick this if it means more complexity with still good performance. At least resources are real now =)

hehe!! the spel checker doesn't even recognise simcity as a word!!

it corrected simcity to salacity!!!!

Wow! I can't wait to buy this game, it is looking very good. I have been waiting for this for a long time. Maxis always make the best games!

If that will be improved, i will get an installment loan to buy a new copy.

It's been two weeks now Maxis, come on we want more videos!

but it's not realistic if they go to the first industrial building they get to and start working. After all, in reality people hold one job and they go to one building to fulfill it. This is one occasion limo

This looks great, but it's not realistic if they go to the first industrial building they get to and start working. After all, in reality people hold one job and they go to one building to fulfill it. This is one reason why roads aren't as efficient as the could be. Thus, we get traffic, and although it might be disliked, it's very real.
birthday limousine

Very good information thanks for sharing your topic.
SEO Services Organic SEO Services Local SEO Services

Thanks for such a knowledgeable post. All the points are very clearly defined. Whole work is appreciable.
Natural Body Wash Organic Skin Care Organic Body Wash best organic skin care products Pure Essential Oils Fragrance Oils Pure Oils Fragrance Sticks

Lisää

LISÄÄ UUSI KOMMENTTI

Sinun on oltava kirjautuneena, jotta voit jättää kommentin.

Rekisteröidy