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Author Topic: Commute Time Mod  (Read 19446 times)

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Offline RadicalOne

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Commute Time Mod
« on: September 22, 2009, 08:54:12 PM »
I have found what I sense might be one of the holy grails of SimCity 4. I have found a solution to solve the commute time issue, without taking up CPU power! I found an exemplar that specifies the maximum commute time - and it was set to six minutes. SIX measly minutes? It takes half that time to walk a block or two! I am planning on making a set of mods to change this value to more realistic ones - to 10, 15, 30, 60, and 90 minutes, with a separate mod for each. Does this sound like a good idea?

I am aware that SC4 cities are rather small geographically, but this mod should finally allow inter-city commutes like what happens in real life.

Offline SC4BOY

Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2009, 10:55:27 PM »
I don't think anyone has given that any thought before.. ;)

Offline shaylan221

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Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2009, 11:07:49 PM »
Thats an excellent idea! I move in my sims on opposite sides of town so they'll look like they are having a realistic commute.
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Offline sumwonyuno

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Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2009, 12:13:59 AM »
I don't mean to shoot down all three of your enthusiasms, nor do I intend to bash RadicalOne, but from what I know, changing the max commute time exemplar by itself isn't going to be a "holy grail" for abandonment due to commute time.  Now, I'm not as well versed with the traffic simulator as some on this site, but much of what I've learned is from the user z.  He is the creator of the NAM's Simulator Z.  With Simulator Z, commute time has been raised to be like the "real world", but the commute time graph has a bug.  z and other users have done extensive testing on the traffic simulator.

The Maxis value of 6 is actually for both morning and evening.  Evening is assumed to be the same as morning commute time.  Intuitively, if you increase the commute time value, Sims will go further.  The traffic simulator is structured for only a single city tile (1km^2, 4km^2, 16km^2), and Sims are assigned the closest available job (neighbor connections are considered a job).  For 75% of the map, neighbor connections are the closest job.  So one issue is that raising the commute time value will just encourage intercity commuting, which may or may not be intended.  But one cummulative side effect is encouraging eternal commute circles.

The NAM team is working on a customization tool.  Changes to the traffic simulator must be considered as a whole.  Plus, I don't believe raising commute times would mean no additional CPU power.  Further distances = more area = more for the CPU to calculate.

[Edited to reflect jplumbley's post]
« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 02:12:57 AM by sumwonyuno »


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Offline jplumbley

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Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2009, 01:23:41 AM »
I have found what I sense might be one of the holy grails of SimCity 4. I have found a solution to solve the commute time issue, without taking up CPU power! I found an exemplar that specifies the maximum commute time - and it was set to six minutes. SIX measly minutes? It takes half that time to walk a block or two! I am planning on making a set of mods to change this value to more realistic ones - to 10, 15, 30, 60, and 90 minutes, with a separate mod for each. Does this sound like a good idea?

I am aware that SC4 cities are rather small geographically, but this mod should finally allow inter-city commutes like what happens in real life.

One of the things everyone must understand before they start thinking about changing the Traffic Simulator is that it is not real.  It is a math equation.

The game has no use for "minutes", because all it is, is a value in a math equation to figure out what the shortest distance between two points is.  And the "minutes" is only the limiting factor saying, tile B is to far from tile A for the sim to reach his/her job.  Units are not important, what is important is how the game uses the values in the equation.

Speed is in tiles per unit of time, not km/h...  There are no units.  So for example, you have a speed of 40 tiles per unit of time and a max commute time of 6, then you have a maximum trip of 240 tiles from point A to B for both morning and evening commutes.

I would suggest that anyone seriously looking into the Traffic Simulator that you read the thread I started in February 2008 explaining many of the properties and how they will effect the Simulator.

http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=3907.0
« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 01:37:14 AM by jplumbley »
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Offline RadicalOne

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Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2009, 03:09:28 PM »
It was in minutes. I opened the exemplar in a different editor - not iLive - and it said: "Commute Maximum Duration (In Minutes)".
Anyways, should I go ahead with this or not? I can't imagine that editing this one exemplar - no others are changed - will have any effect on anything else.

And yes, more area will equal more CPU, but it will pale in comparison to the NAM's usage.

Offline Diggis

Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2009, 03:23:37 PM »
Mate, I would seriously suggest looking at the thread linked to by Jason.  He and Memo looked very very deeply into this area, including the commute time.  While it may say minutes on the exemplar, that doesn't actually mean it's what it is.

Offline RadicalOne

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Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2009, 04:05:29 PM »
Mate, I would seriously suggest looking at the thread linked to by Jason.
I have. It appears the focus was on other exemplars - the only mention of this one was a calculation correction. What exactly am I missing here?

Offline Diggis

Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2009, 04:26:35 PM »
OK, that thread wasn't the simulator discussions I thought it was... try this one:

http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=3693.0

and this one:

http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=5382.0

You're welcome to try changing this, but you need to be aware of what the changes will do to other areas of the simulator and these guys have done a lot of research.  I thought there was another topic where the development was discussed but I couldn't find it.

Offline RippleJet

Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2009, 04:33:32 PM »
I have. It appears the focus was on other exemplars - the only mention of this one was a calculation correction. What exactly am I missing here?

The focus in that particular thread is on some of the properties contained in the Traffic Simulator Exemplar.
Commute trip max time is one of them. Another one which isn't mentioned is Max Mass Transit Strategy Trip Length.

However, all those properties within the traffic simulator affect each other.
They are all part of the total pathfinding algorithm, and cannot be isolated and modded one at a time.

If you want to modify one single property within the Traffic Simulator, your mod will have to include that whole simulator exemplar.
By doing that, your mod would however be conflicting with the mod which by far has the widest distribution among SC4 players... the NAM.

Offline jplumbley

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Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2009, 05:10:39 PM »
I have. It appears the focus was on other exemplars - the only mention of this one was a calculation correction. What exactly am I missing here?

The property in the exemplar may have "minutes" in the name, but this is only a name.

The value that is inputted into that property is used as a limitting value.  Here is an example of another way to think of this:

I am not sure if you are aware of how routers talk to each other and determine the shortest path for a network/internet connection between two computers.  Let's say, for your computer to find a website it must go through 4 different routers before it finds that website.  The trip the information must take between each router is called a "hop count" and generally there is a limit to the number of "hop counts" that are allowed to be used.

So if we compared the traffic simulator in SC4 to the way routers find a server/website, the "Maximum Commute Trip Time" would be like the limit of "hop counts" used by a router.  For example, if you set the speed of a network to 1, and the Maximum Commute Trip Time to 10, then the total trip would be allowed to go 10 "hops", or in SC4's case 10 "tiles".  To take it a step further, you can change the number of tiles that go into each "hop", which is what speed does in the traffic simulator.  Speed means the number of tiles you can go in each "hop" if we are still comparing to a router.

There really is no way to put units to each of the values in the traffic simulator because you can arbitrarily change them and if you don't change others accordingly you will unbalance whatever unit base you started with.  If you understand what I am trying to say.  You may want to say that the maximum commute trip time is going to be 45 "minutes", but you are going to have to do some pretty hefty calculations to actually make sure that the speed and other values actually come out to that realistic projection.  You must remember this is a Simulator and nothing more.  It will never be real and you must work within the limitations.


After re-reading your original post....  You suggested that this could help with inter-city commuting.  There is much evidence that shows that there was major lack of developement on a regional simulation model by MAXIS with SC4.  Unfortunately, the game does not track where the Sim is coming or going to on a regional basis.  It only tracks it on an internal City basis where you must open up a tile individually for the Sim to reach thier destination.  To learn more about this, you should read about Eternal Commuter Syndrome which was posted by Tage (Ripplejet).  I will have to go dig that thread up somewhere.  Changing the Maximum Commute Trip Time will not fix this problem, in some cities it could even make it worse.
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Offline RippleJet

Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2009, 05:51:54 PM »
To learn more about this, you should read about Eternal Commuter Syndrome which was posted by Tage (Ripplejet).  I will have to go dig that thread up somewhere.

Here: :)
http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?topic=1444.msg143098#msg143098

Offline RadicalOne

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Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2009, 06:37:40 PM »
The possibility that all of the exemplars are interdependent, added to the fact that it will be NAM-incompatible, has removed any motivation I had to work on this...
Damn it. This really puts a knot in one's tail.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 10:32:44 PM by RadicalOne »

Offline SC4BOY

Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2009, 09:11:41 AM »
I would strongly suggest that you do exactly what you want and spend as much time on it as you have available.. :) The more the better. Stumble forth in ignorance and reveal the light.

Offline JDOG4545

Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2009, 08:33:28 PM »
This would be a great idea but if it is already created With Simulator Z where could i find it, i haven't seen it in NAM

Offline z

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Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2009, 09:31:17 PM »
It's in the NAM along with all the other traffic simulators, on the page after the license agreement.  Scroll down to the bottom of the box, click on the plus sign in front of "Click + to select Traffic Controller Files," and you'll see them all.  You don't want to pick one of the Park & Ride ones, though.

Offline Matt Hazard

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Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2014, 12:45:21 PM »
It's in the NAM along with all the other traffic simulators, on the page after the license agreement.  Scroll down to the bottom of the box, click on the plus sign in front of "Click + to select Traffic Controller Files," and you'll see them all.  You don't want to pick one of the Park & Ride ones, though.

Sorry to revive an old topic, but isn't the current default value of the NAM 10 hours (as far as traffic commute goes)?

Offline z

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Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2014, 06:45:45 PM »
Sorry to revive an old topic, but isn't the current default value of the NAM 10 hours (as far as traffic commute goes)?

Yes.  However, the instructions you quoted apply to a much older version of the installer than the present one, and they are not applicable to the present NAM installer.

Offline KaolinSunda

Re: Commute Time Mod
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2017, 10:14:45 AM »
Did you have success with mod ing the commute time?