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Author Topic: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4  (Read 24163 times)

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Offline tomkeus

Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« on: September 24, 2009, 07:53:42 PM »
Since we have set to build successor to SimCity 4, it would be very good to know, what you think it did good, needed improvement and what it didn't do, and you wanted it to do.

So, please give structured, short and concise answers. Here's how you should give your answers:

What was good and why
-Aspect 1
-Feature 1

What could be better and how

What I wanted and it didn't have

Try to go by categories: Zoning, Traffic, Economic Model, Graphics, Modding Tools, City Management, Public Services and so on.

Your input will be highly appreciated.

Thanks. :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: September 24, 2009, 07:56:24 PM by tomkeus »
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Offline catty

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2009, 02:51:48 AM »
Need to have a good think about this and come back, but I'll make a brief start

What was good and why

The simulation of the city and its growth and the way it changed either turning into a slum or becoming very upmarket depending on the decisions you make

What could be better and how

More choices with the zoning, something I miss from SC3000 is the ability to zone a seaport area

What I wanted and it didn't have

Having mixed buildings ie commercial and residential sharing the same building or farms actually having people living at them


Came back to add some more to my post, but ponnie and townscape seem to have covered most of what I was going to say, I will add that for me the four most important aspects of city building are;

1. The land the city is going to be build on and the ability to alter it ie a river here, a mountain there
2. The transport network, anything that can be build in real life you should be able to build in the game
3. The city simulation and the sims interacting with it ie when you have major fire you have fire trucks, ambulances, police are controlling the crowds, sims are gathering to watch, there are traffic jams, etc.
4. Custom Content and the tools to add my own CC to the game (WISH: a tool that would allow us to convert and add existing CC to a new game).

« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 02:48:56 PM by catty »
I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?" DEATH thought about it. "CATS," he said eventually, "CATS ARE NICE.

Offline ponnie

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2009, 03:34:26 AM »
I agree with Catty and would like to add a couple suggestions:

What could be better and how

Tilesets that don't define the style of the buildings, but the style of town you're creating (rural, heavy industries, metropole, etc).

What I wanted and it didn't have

Possibility to zone for diagonal growables.

Offline townscape

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Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2009, 06:13:32 AM »
What was good and why

-Realism in demand and growth logic
-Buildings of lvl 3 wealth would downgrade to hold lower income citizens (in certain bad circumstances)
-Protests ( gives a sense to keep your services funded)
-Level of education (not just educated or not)
-Ability to upgrade to wider road (a serious topic for gridless games)
-When upgrading overlapping a zone doesn't mean no more housing there
-Varieties of highways (ground or high)
-Different styles, not one.
-Trees grow from small to big.
-Planting trees on a zone
-Street naming
-Funding control
-Tax control
What could be  better and how

-Poor number of the original building library( thank you community) :updates of big sizes with building packs every once in a while
-No house destroying when overlapping  zones : make the building separate from the zone.
-Buildings blocking view: more camera view angles, at least rotation.
-mixed development (simple for farm living ) but when zoning for w2w make models that can use boutique, shop props in them.
-More natural environments : Deserts, mountains, arctic land, tropical.
-More weather options.
-Park design options, not filler tools : pathways, plants playgrounds, ponds, flower batches (lots of micromanagement there, and FUN)
-No grid : the most important gameplay change IMO because it changes how everything else is implemented.
-More organic region update and synchronization.

I'll update as I come up with more

What I wanted and it didn't have

It was my first meeting with simcity so I didn't know what to expect

« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 09:12:13 AM by townscape »

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Offline Seafroggys

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2009, 09:27:31 PM »
What was good and why

Realistic traffic is great seeing the commutes of all your sims, really added to the intimacy of the game while still being large in scope
Variety of road types
Great user-created content
Great detail in art
Whole slew of Sim City yet!

What could be better and how

At the time, SC4 was a resource hog
Better view....we were promised actual 3D camera angles in SC3k, we need it this time around!
No grid, although should have a grid option for those that desire it
Water should change elevation

What I wanted and it didn't have

Freaking waterfalls and hydroplants.  SC2k had this, and that was cool!

Offline Atomius

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2009, 06:02:53 PM »
So, please give structured, short and concise answers. Here's how you should give your answers:

What was good and why

The graphics were the main improvement imo on former games of the genre. They were realistic and had character and were cutting edge.

What could be better and how

Transportation imo was seriously underdeveloped. Having since played Simutrans and Mobility i have learnt that it wouldn't be an unrealistic proposition to have a realistic transportation system in a city sim game, with controls on such elements as speed limits and rolling stock etc

Also a less grid based network system, allowing for smooth curving roads and railways and layered bridges (a bridge going over a bridge). More options, basically.

Another major aspect requiring improvement imo is terrain modification, which whilst in 03 was fine, has become archaic and should be in full 3D with a higher level of detail and feature options/realism.

An integration with The Sims, i.e having every individual with their own variables and life, rather than random animated people appearing and query tool info stating 300 inhabitants live in a building.

A fully 3D U Drive It feature where you could control a 3D character to go about your city, and perhaps a Streets of Simcity type 'game within a game' system where you could play games IN your city.

Weather. If you have day and night, let's not stop there. Weather is realistic and without it a fully 3d city sim would be incomplete imo. Simutrans has snow in winter, it's not impossible.

Besides this there are many other areas where improvement could be had. An example would be greater control over subdivisions of zones, and multizoning.

What I wanted and it didn't have

Multizones, Realistic Subdivision, More transport control/options/realism,integration with Sims/Streets of Simcity for one cohesive game, regional terraforming, more realistic flora/fauna (i.e not limited to five or six types of trees and four or five animals), weather, curved roads, more control over ordinances and more control over all aspects of the game, though with a default setting if you don't wish to control every aspect, more realistic coverage areas/commutes, flood disaster, hydro power plants.

Offline catty

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2009, 01:59:24 AM »
There is a blog on Simtropolis called "2099 and 2010 Simcity Ideas" and they are collecting

I would need comments,entries,ideas,and creative thoughts for a more retro version of Simcity.

I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?" DEATH thought about it. "CATS," he said eventually, "CATS ARE NICE.

Offline wyqtor

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2009, 08:38:49 AM »
OK, let's see...

What was good and why
- day/night cycles, allowing us to see different types of views of a city.
- The simulation was great because it gave us dynamic cities that changed as a consequence of our decisions
- The many mass transit options that came with Rush Hour, because no game before allowed such level of detail (except maybe Transport Tycoon, but its graphics are very outdated and even it doesn't have motorways)
- The graphics aged gracefully, and I suspect this is because the game was in 2.5D to start with back in 2003, instead of full 3D.

What could be better and how
- first and foremost: plugins with dependencies. Even with some tools, it can take a whole day to install the Mediterranean-style building available here, just so that you can enjoy some more diversity in  your city. Gaming should be fun, not putting everyone off with endless dependencies to install. CityMania should automatically install any dependencies for plugins.
- The modding system doesn't allow as much flexibility as desired; For example, the RHW network is a bit of a hack with these starter tiles; there should be a way to simply normally drag modded traffic networks. I also don't like the way puzzle pieces work: there should be a way to control the radius of curves - say, by keeping a key pressed.
- There should be a way to micromanage traffic networks: setting the number of lanes on a specific road/number of rail tracks, whether those lanes are HOV/Bus lanes, how long acceleration and deceleration ramps are on motorways (and perhaps relate this to the simulation aspect via the accidents caused by bad road design).
- There should be more than two levels (+ one underground) on which traffic networks are built. For example, I would like to build subways at different levels, as in real life (as well as maybe designing the stations/underground malls), make entrances/exits of highways inside tunnels, design stack interchanges via a RHW/MIS-like system. The system chosen in CityMania should be as flexible as to allow aerial cable-cars/gondolas to travel above the streets, like in New York and Barcelona.
- Tunnels and viaducts/bridges should behave like normal roads, i.e. they should be able to have curves and junctions (of course, suspension bridges shouldn't have junctions in the middle or short radius curves)
- Different cities should be able to better synchronize inside regions, preventing the distruction of buildings at the edges of a city when the adjacent city has modified the terrain along the edge and I have chosen synchronize.
- The ability to select the terrain type for individual regions: tropical island, temperate, mediterranean, desert, etc - each with specific colors, flora and fauna. The temperate terrain type (at least) should cycle between the seasons.

What I wanted and it didn't have
- Cable cars/gondolas, since I would like to recreate mountain resorts and metropolises in rugged terrains, like Rio de Janeiro or Hong Kong.
- No grid. Building roads at different angles, curves with different radiuses is a must-have for realism, as well as buildings/plots that aren't square, but irregular polygons that can be placed at any angle of the adjacent road/pedestrian mall/sidewalk - the missing pieces of this jigsaw puzzle could be procedurally generated: trees, mini-parks in residential areas, pedestrian passages in shopping areas, parking lots, etc
- The possibility to try out/ continue building other people's cities, which obviously would depend on the game automatically identifying and downloading the plugins/dependencies used in that city. I may want to play a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern region that someone else created so far.
- The ability to choose not only between building only the Chicago, New York, Houston, and European building styles, but instead multiple categories that can be manually added and selected: e.g. the Mediterranean building style, Ancient Chinese, 18th century Art Nouveau, etc. Also it should be possible for these categories to be limited to certain areas in a certain city: for example, I want to be able to build a medieval old town surrounded by walls, and outside of it modern buildings - but with the constraint that no meditteranean villas from the 15th century should grow in the middle of my high-rise project apartments.
- The ability to separate Commercial types of building into different zones and categories, e.g. the ability to zone only for hotels near the beach, without hypermarkets like Carrefour/Walmart growing next to them.
- Mixed R/C zoning - some residential buildings (including the historical buildings) could have shops at the groud floor and apartments above.
- A proper implementation of tourism. Houses/Churches/Castles in historical areas or Landmarks, Ski resorts in modern ones, as well as beaches and mountains, should attract visitors from other cities if there are good traffic networks linking the two. Those visitors could determine demand for Hotel zones.

That's all for now. I strongly recommend that you make a design that would allow all this, but without getting bogged down in details - you want to avoid feature creep in the initial design stage:

« Last Edit: October 15, 2009, 10:37:01 AM by wyqtor »

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2009, 10:56:39 AM »
It seems most of the "next Sim City" projects/ideas in multiplayer versions have always assumed that all the players have their own city, and are all mayors, but really I think a better Multiplayer would be to have No Mayor  but a city founder, then when the city progresses from a village, the founder can then assign "jobs" to other Real people, so like one person manages the cities transport, while another manages parks/environment, and other people do other departments and then they  can communicate when the jobs merge, so every plans the city together. It would be good because, in SC4, I like to manage the transport network but am useless at making the city look nice. And then each person plans their department puts it to the group of people playing the city and they vote and give criticism.

Things I like in SC4:
Day and Night
Evening/Morning Commutes (though this could be more obvious I think)
Modding, you don't have to learn a whole new code, RULs for example in SC4 are relatively simple than what it would be to code the same thing.
It looks great!, the texture detail is quite high(especially for 2003)
The Grid, it can be useful.

Thing I don't like:
The Grid, I want to build at any angle but not end up with gaps (like in CXL)(Lots must fit to the surroundings)
Traffic, cars shouldn't just vanish. (Ideally I'd like to see them drive in the driveway and the sims get out and walk into the house)
Bridges over lots, and other networks.
Extremely High micromanagement if something just doesn't fit, being able to edit the model/texture in that instance only,

Things I'd like in a future SC5:
I actually like the idea of GEMs in CXL, but think they are implemented totally wrong, I want things like some bus networks and airports, shopping malls etc to be independent of the Mayor's Money etc.

Offline poshbakerloo

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2009, 12:36:09 PM »
What was good and why

Day/night change, detailed building models, rewards to unlock, easy to mod and add things...

What could be better and how

More flexibility with road/rail layout. Heavy rail and light rail should be under, on and above ground. The same with roads. Also I miss the zoning from sea and air ports. I would like different climates...

What I wanted and it didn't have

Setting routes and lines for trains, subways and buses...
Also subway lines running under each other rather than crossing at level.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2009, 12:38:52 PM by poshbakerloo »

Offline gabrielbyrnei

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2010, 10:27:32 AM »
IMO whats worst of SC4 is how slow it runs on modern hardware.

Offline viola

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2010, 06:51:11 AM »
What I wanted and it didn't have...

I would see in new sim the same possibilities to organise bus and train transport of simutrans...
To decide where,when and how bus(or train,or tram,or aircraft or boat...) part or arrive is for me very important for a realistic management of transport.
This my idea!

Offline croxis

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2010, 09:57:56 PM »
Remember this is a city simulator. There are definitely awesome transportation games out there, but I worry about implementing it becoming a distraction from everything else. Also, please try to keep the topic on reviewing SimCity 4 and not a general wishlist thread ;)

Offline tomkeus

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2010, 05:47:13 AM »
It's OK if people tell what features they missed from SC4. Of course, they should keep in mind that we are working on a city sim game but there is a lot of good ideas out there and we should hear them.
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Offline AtAvAtA

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2010, 03:11:00 AM »
What was good and why
-Region play. Ability to create not just one city, but multiple "pieces" of it (or individual cities) over a larger piece of land called region. Since even the largest city area in Sc4 is only 4km x 4km in size, it is not possible to generate realistically scaled city in that space. The region play allows a way to circumvent that to a degree and generate a bigger region wide city area.

-Different kinds of options to develop transportation network (a variety of roads & highways for car traffic, and also trains, subways, monorails, buses, ferries etc). Transportation is very important in this kind of game and it is good to have many options to make different kinds of networks to suit different situations and personal preferences.

-Different densities for zoning, and agricultural zones. Adds to variety. And now you can have farms if you want to, and I personally think farmland looks cool in region view.

-Rewards system adds for fun. It is fun to get the rewards while you build.

-Landmarks are cool.

-Graphics are nice. (I don't care much for graphics, I think even Sc2k graphics are decent).

-Ability to mod your game environment and simulation characteristics. Allows for player generated content and the ability to tweak your game experience to your liking.

-Shows sims driving and walking around in your city. Little details like this are nice and add to a living atmosphere (but I could do completely without, like in Sc2k there is none of that, and still I think the game is great).

-It is nice you can sell power, water, garbage from city to another city. Opens up more possibilities to develop city spaces and now you for example don't have to build a power plant in a downtown area if you don't want to. Also it is nice you can sell your garbage and transport it elsewhere. No more landfills or waste to energy plants needed in downtown either.

-Ability to import custom gray scale images and generate region terrain based on those.

-Ability to upgrade zones/roads by dragging over them and does retain the old zoning structures intact untill they start to build up. This is nice, saves work and now it is easier to upgrade.

-Detailed budget report. I like details and charts and it is good to have a detailed budget report where you can find everything you need.

-Funny news details. Some of the news messages are hilarious and I like the lighthearted way the game looks at things. Fun is good also in Simcity.

-I like how the game reacts to your planning decisions, and is quite life like. I like the challenge of managing a big and complex city area. I also like the interactiveness of the region (though pretty simple in Sc4, every bit helps).

 What could be better and how
-More realistic scale. I think even the largest city area in Sc4 is too small. I would like more realistically scaled area to develop a city. Even the region in Sc4 is too small, and should be much bigger.

-More interaction between neighboring city spaces. It should have more interactive nature. Now there is an imaginary border that blocks pollution, for example, from entering from one city space into the other.

-Better tools for region terrain generation and terraforming. A region terrain map generator would be good that would generate a whole region. The current terraforming tools are limited and they only work inside a single city space. The game needs a better way to generate and terraform region wide terrain.

-More realistic air and sea traffic, region wide air/sea travel for sims, ability to zone for airports and seaports and build them as you like, which would affect their capacity and efficiency.

-More realistic commute times and transportation vehicle speeds. I think someone noted he calculated (based on commute times) that sims are driving at 1kph (and that was on a road with no traffic problems).

-Sims should have some patience and allow for realistic commute times.
-More realistic transportation network development. A lot of good ideas is already in the RHW and NAM mods. In a new game roads should be easy to drag around like the Maxis roads in Sc4.

-Better region city space management. Now the game assumes every city space is a single city with a Mayor name and starting funds etc. You should at least be able to group these spaces together as needed to form a bigger city area with 1 mayor (maybe you would need to buy the land from some entity who owns it, be it farmers or other city), and ability to transfer power, water, garbage etc freely within that area instead of having to initiate neighborhood deals between all city spaces that you want to have work together. Also the group should share common funds for its development, and act like a single unit for simulation purposes, like the group would share airport, seaport, university etc facility benefits citywide.

-Ability to rotate roads and zones. Now you can make diagonal roads, but you cannot make diagonal zones to fit to those diagonal roads. Also there has to be a way to make smoothly turning roads that turn in user specified turning radius.

-Sc4 is not true 3D, and it has its drawbacks. A new game should be fully 3D and allow for full 3D development area for roads, tunnels, subways. Traffic on different roads and different levels shouldn't affect each other even if they do cross each other on one plane.

-More options to build tunnels and bridges for traffic. Also crossing tunnels on different levels and same goes for bridges.

-Needs more shapes for zones than just squares.

-Zoning system could be more real life like and have more options and more deeply represent that of real world approaches. Personally I would get rid of the zoning system and implement a more realistic approach to city planning and management. I don't like the square shaped zones. Instead of square zones I would just go by imaginary reference points, and have buildings etc align to those points if necessary, like a resolution on a monitor. Zoning cost could be calculated based on area size zoned.

-The road upgrading system should be better. Now it doesn't allow to upgrade if the road piece you want to upgrade has crossing roads. You need to cut those roads first and then you can upgrade the road piece. Would be easier if it would allow to upgrade the road without need to cut crossing roads.

-Single piece "big area structures" don't look realistic, like universities, airports, seaports, country club, zoo etc. They should be able to be zoned for so you could designate enough space for them to make them realistic looking and maybe also build them.

-The micromanagement to get most efficiency at lowest cost out of schools, hospitals should be possible to automatize. I as a mayor want to have subordinates (say customizable or programmable scripts) to assign to this kind of simple duties.

What I wanted and it didn't have
-Bigger build area for cities. I would get rid of the region approach (with smaller city spaces inside it) altogether and instead have a single big city area. I would like to be able to utilize very large city spaces, without any borders at all, or at most imaginary borders, where the game would save and load pieces of it when necessary, but with full interactive benefit from facilities and buildings (like say universities and airports). The game should treat the whole local area as a single area for demand/pollution etc purposes and you should at least be able to have the area generally interactive regarding to most important aspects. The pieces of area need to have intercommunication and work together to make for a possible big city area atmosphere and gaming experience.
It would be nice if instead of a region space, you would just have a big city space (say 50km x 50km), and could zoom wherever you wanted to focus your attention to and build there like normal. Or maybe you could also have a region view, but much larger, say 200km x 200km or more.

-If there are going to be multiple city spaces in region view, I want to group them together as I wish to form single uniformly governed city areas governed by 1 mayor, and common funds/power/water/garbage management etc. I want these cities consisting of multiple city spaces to be able to work as a single entity. Also this bigger city area (consisting of smaller single city areas, which I call "focus points for development") should be able to initiate neighborhood deals with other parts of the region as a single entity. I think the whole idea that a single city space represents a single city needs to be reworked to allow for more realistic sized city area management and planning. A city space could represent your current point of focus for development, but I think it should be more flexible to switch from one city space to another, and should allow for city space group (that represents together a single city) wide transfer of power/water/garbage etc and utilization of beneficial buildings. The game should regocnise that the spaces belong to the same overall city and then you could just hook power etc lines together and power would flow without the need to initiate any neighborhood deals.

-I want more interactive regions and cities. If a nearby city has an airport, seaport, university etc, it should benefit also a city close to it.

-I want to be able to give out loans or money to other city whenever I want to.

-I want realistic area development, with selling/renting/buying of land/structures, and necessity to buy or rent existing land/structures before I can demolish or utilize them if they aren't in my governments possession already.

-Would be nice to have private ownership of power plants etc I could then buy power from them to my city. Maybe private owned roads, schools, hospitals etc. Maybe this could be an option to utilize to user preferred degree.

-I want it to be possible to utilize subsidies made by my government when necessary, and also a welfare system for the poor. That should be possible to help avoid the negative effects of poverty (like a need to commit crimes to earn a living).

-Diagonal zoning and diagonally facing zones.

-Freely rotatable camera view. I want at least a view from right above at right angle towards ground. Freely rotatable camera view would be better.

-Shopping complexes/supermarkets etc. I would like to have these for suburbs etc trading centres.

-Should allow for underground complexes and underground level development like in real life (underground shopping complexes, parking lots, industry space, storage, garbage collection, civil defense & bomb shelters etc).

-Have more features for traffic, like canals, trams etc. There should also be taxi companys.

-Needs better tools for city area traffic management, like possibility to set speed limits, driving lanes. Maybe option for more in depth design for mass transit networks. But stuff like this would be nice to be possible to automatize. I don’t want to get too deep in micromanagement. I want to stay on top of things, and concentrate on macro scale city building and future development planning.

-Programmable scripts to make “subordinates” that can work for mayor and help him with routine tasks like watching and adjusting funding for power plants or schools based on demand. They could also watch neighborhood deals and adjust them as needed. Whatever tasks in game are simple, routine, and possible to run by a program, should be possible to automatize, if so preferred.

Offline AtAvAtA

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2010, 07:04:29 AM »
Some more things that come to mind:

-Would be great if you could designate certain areas for certain types of zones; for example, zone industry near residential but designate it for high tech use only (so no polluting industries would build there).

-Would be great if it was possible to automatize funding changing for schools/hospitals/power plants/libraries, museums etc based on their demand. Since it is easy to do, why not automatize it? I hate to do it manually.

-Make RHW style interchanges smaller in size, or increase city map area. Currently RHW interchanges take awful lot of space on city map, either city space must be larger, or these interchanges (and pieces to build them) need to be smaller.

-Maybe you could also build schools, high schools, from pieces and put them together to build the facility. Would be fun, and I don't think the current schools are that good looking.

-Add more types of disasters. We need floods, chemical industrial plant explosions, chemical truck accidents and environmental damage, just to name a few. Also make it possible to turn disasters off.

-Add lots of options for players to change game parameters of simulation mechanics to their liking. Lots of these. This will make the game suit more peoples view of how the game should be.

-I personally would rather have simple graphics and great and deep game play and good game speed than good graphics and sluggish frame rate and long waiting times for game to simulate events. Also it would allow for bigger city maps and more realistically scaled cities since computer performance wouldn't be affected so much by graphic detail.

-Gangs and gang wars causing trouble and lowering of land value in certain "slumm areas".

-Maybe violent riots with possible destruction of property and buildings if citizens are not content with mayors way of managing city. Maybe even have mayor forced out of office if these continue for too long. Maybe even a possibility to get him killed if he angers the citizens too much.

-Still I think the most important things are diagonal building and diagonal zones, and the possibility to restrict certain industries to certain designated areas, like stated above. And make commuters have patience and allow for longer commute times. Also build able airports, seaports and the like, are top priorities.

-Make road top buss stops like in real life, in essence buss stops that don't take building space, but instead are beside road, on the sidewalk (on top of road)

-Make it possible to build subways deeper into ground, so that they don't have so much trouble with deep spots.

-Make water pollution affect water life (kill fish, plants etc, and make fishing as source of food impossible). Maybe bad water could affect peoples health negatively, and lower your workforce by causing more sick people, and put a strain on your hospitals. Maybe there could be also a "food" consumption for a city, and it would have to be supplies somehow, or people would start to leave or die of starvation. Might make room for some interesting ideas on how to manage a city, and would make farms more like a necessity.

-Make pollution effects more severe; make them at high levels cause diseases and lower the life expectancy of citizens, also could kill people outright (especially older or sick people), thus lowering your workforce, causing citizen unrest/riots and lowering your mayor score, maybe even force you out of office if it went on too long.

-Make it possible, when building buildings that must be built both on water and land, to automatically form the land into suitable shape when building, thus eliminating the need to make this manually (sometimes it takes awful long to manage to shape the coastline into a suitable shape for a seaport, for example.

Also if would be nice, if instead of leveling ground with the "circle area" leveling tool, you could just designate an area by drawing borders around it, and order it to be leveled out.

I might add more ideas if I come up with any. Keep up the good work, and hopefully some of my ideas are usable or give you ideas of your own.

Offline Akumeitakai

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2010, 11:10:27 PM »
What was good and why

The whole experience-

I loved how real the experience felt.  The automata and the small animations of people walking around was a fun addition.  I liked that you could get lost in the micromanagement minutia or leave it up to chance that the extra controls weren’t necessary.  There was a whole lot to do in this version so you were constantly thinking before acting to get the best results.

The advisors-

The fact that the advisors were actually giving advice about what to do to actually solve problems was a major plus.  I remember thinking, when playing SC3K, that the advisors really weren’t all that helpful when it came time to actually deal with a problem.

The MOD-ability of the game-

Looking at the simple fact that we are getting playability out of this game 7-8 years after it first came out should at least get an award.  Could they have ever dreamed that we would all still be playing this silly game this long?  Come on; after City Life, CitiesXL and Sim City Societies came out, all graphically and software superior games, we still would rather play this?

What could be better and how

Terrain Terraforming-

Rats!  So we had to come up with that one.  I can’t tell you how nice it would have been if the game just came with one.  Sheesh.

Unlockable material-

This is likely something only I felt.  When I want to build a nuclear power plant, I should be able to do so or opt out of this game mechanic when I start the city.  If I can plant the sphinx in my city, I aught to be able to drop a country club too.
What I wanted and it didn't have

The ability to walk around in first person-

Again, likely alone in this.  I wanted so badly to walk in my city, along my sidewalks and through my own parks.  I wanted to sit on park benches, stand on top of my skyscrapers and really feel the city around me.  From there it could have been MODed for interiors and potentially MODed for vehicle use.  Just experiencing the city in addition to having built it would have been fantastic!

Dummy oriented content creation-

This is what it was called when I went to school for 3D animation, so forgive me if the terminology has changed.  Dummys are simple objects in 3D that represent the location, transformation, animation and eventual scripted phenomena of a larger, more intricate model.  I propose that if everything in this game were dummy based, you could take a predefined dummy lot which includes all the grow-able information, scripts, size and designations; then simply tell the dummy to orient a mesh to it’s location in-world.  You could orient all of the animations of that mesh and any scripted phenomena to that dummy in a simple importer that converts the conglomeration of all that data into a lot that develops in-world when the requirements are reached.  I can follow up with a visual demonstration of the concept if you’d like to see what I am talking about.

For your consideration...
I want to mod, I want to build: I want to make the things I dream.  When I slumber, I see fantastic things that could never be built or done but are so perfectly constructed and executed.  Where is the game where the rules apply that allow me to have the experience I dream of?

Offline oldman9942

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2010, 03:59:47 PM »
If I were adding requirements for SC 5 as a evolutionary descendant of SC 4. I would add:

1.  Actual economic simulation from raw materials to exports (and imports).  Materials would be required to make goods, which would then get bought and sold.

The economic simulator would be a rules based system, and would involve the actual map for transport of the goods.  Certain goods, for example telephony, would require its own network to be deployed.  Services would be in effect goods, with no physical raw material necessary (although network transport would still work). 

Transactions would be controlled by a constitutional based system, determining which actions were commercial and which fell under the purview of the state.  True libertarians could play a system where fire service was a commercial good.  Hardcore commies could play the other way.  Every type of transaction could be drilled down to and had its transactional parameters modified (profit allowed, taxes, etc.), and transactions should fall into types or groups to allow for higher level management.  An American system would have public services such as road maintenance, police and hospitals provided for by the state.

2.  Natural resources would be be represented in 3D overlays.  Water, for instance, would exist not only above ground, but below ground in the aquifer.  Some natural resources, water or trees for instance, would replenish according to some rules.  Others would eventually (optionally) deplete.  Production capacity would need to be captured.  Technologies would be required to extract the resources -- e.g. pumps for water or oil, mining equipment for gold, saws for trees.

3.  All technologies are rules based and selectable.  You could be simulating the dark ages and still get enjoyment of the game.  Technology rules should allow extensibility.

4.  Most of the existing simulation's assumptions still hold true.  People still live in dwellings, perform activities in buildings, use networks to transport themselves and other things.

Offline Lowkee33

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2010, 01:38:38 PM »
1.  Actual economic simulation from raw materials to exports (and imports).  Materials would be required to make goods, which would then get bought and sold.

Economy is the first thing I would like to see.  However, I do not see economy as buy/sell.  Say you want to build a city.  I would need to build houses, but first I need lumber.  Trees would provide for the houses, but only at a certain rate (because building is dependent on speed of lumber making).  If I want to build houses faster maybe I need a larger scale lumber mill, or education to learn new types of materials.  This idea has large implications if you expand beyond just building materials (food, water, electricity).

Education should be paramount as well.  An educated person could design ways to get more out of what already exists.  Graphics would have a low priority compared to resources and the dependency they create       

Offline croxis

Re: Your Critical Review of SimCity 4
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2010, 06:08:16 PM »
My issue with that is that most cities are not self sufficient and often in the private sector. We have tones and tones and tones of trees in my region, but all our lumber comes form out of region. We want other people to cut down their trees instead of us ;)