Designing User Interfaces to Simulation Games.
Experience the newest version of SimCity - the greatest city-simulator of all time. This collection is packed with an expanded core game, the SimCity: Cities of Tomorrow expansion pack, and the Amusement Park, Airship, French, British and German City sets. Create the city you desire and make choices that will shape your city and the Sims in it. WHAT A SIMCITY? A SimCity is a "simulated" city. Almost eveything that happens in a real city happens in SimCity, too: buildings are built, traffic gets jammed and people complain about taxes. As years pass, stores come skyscrapem and workshops become facto- It looks as if the city has a life Of itsown, but as.
Update 2. All servers will be down during the update. SimCity Wiki Guide. SimCity Update 2. Last Edited: 22 Apr pm. Mayors Mansion : Mayors will now drive their fancy cars to work. Mayors will take their helicopter, limo, or sports car if the modules are present. HUD: Now color-corrects when in a colorblind mode. Data map: Data maps show the filtered color when a color filter is enabled unless in a colorblind mode Fixes and Updates Cities not Processing: Mitigates some of the issues that were causing cities not to process.
We are continuing to work on and improve this issue. Region Filters: Now sorts regions with available cities to the top Invitations: Invitations to join a region should be sent and received more quickly.
Tourism : Fixes for unexplained fluctuation of tourists. Tourists more smartly counted on transit. Cruise Ships are now more effective at bringing medium and high wealth tourists in coastal cities. New tourists will now decide to come into a city once leaving tourists reach train stations, bus depots, or cruise ship docs instead of waiting for those what is an object of a verb to go out to the region first.
This change will reduce the downtime of tourist buildings. Casinos : Casinos tuned so that Gambling will be a more profitable specialty. Players can bulldoze and replace existing casinos to see effects of how to setup internet on dish network. The larger casinos now invite more tourists into the city which helps keep them full. Note that existing casinos will need to be replaced to take advantage of this change.
Region Play: Cash gifts can now be received in a bankrupt city. Education : Fixed school buses getting stuck at the high school. Existing Schools will fix themselves. Education: Fix to more accurately track regional student population. Education: Fix where kids leaving the school bus stop would teleport to the nearest pedestrian path instead of walking directly into the school. Education: University wings now give the proper bonus.
Recycling : Fix for the Recycling Center where it would sometimes stop working, recycling services will visit other cities. Air Pollution : Fixed issue where air pollution would appear to come from nowhere. Fix issues where your regional air pollution would be reflected back into your box for a double penalty.
Water: Water pumps are now capable of pumping water from rivers at a larger radius so they can take better advantage of the water table in a city. Disasters : Cooldown for random disasters: Some players were getting hit too frequently with random disasters, this introduces a cooldown where no random disasters will occur.
Trade : Fix for trade ports that suddenly stop shipping. Transit : Street Cars and Buses go to high volume stops first. Transit: A city with residents and public transit will now provide the accurate amount of workers and shoppers to its neighbors.
Transit: A transit vehicle stuck in a pick-up or drop off loop will now go back to a garage instead of trying to pick up more people. Transit vehicles should recover automatically after the update. If players want to force the recovery, turn off the stops that are having looping issues, wait a few game hours, then turn them back on. Transit: Neighbors buses will now come in lower numbers into the city and do a better job at picking up local passengers first.
Residential Tuning: Residential-only cities have failure state. The amount of happiness gained from low taxes, police, fire, and health outreach has been lowered. Fixed some cases where buildings would not go abandoned when they should have. Higher density residential buildings are no longer blocked from going abandoned due to not having enough money. Happiness from low taxes does not double up every time it is given. Losing happiness due to not having a job is more impactful.
Budgets: Fixed bug that prevented systems like fire, abandonment, what is simcity supposed to simulate, and sewage from turning on when they were supposed to. Audio: Fixes issue where audio will stop working after creating a large city or where phantom audio sounds play in a city.
Demolish: Fixes issue that occurred when players demolished buildings that had service vehicles, delivery vehicles, or agents out in the city or region. Previously, the agents would be in a state of limbo and would not recover when new buildings of that type were placed. This will no longer happen. Was this guide helpful? YES NO. In This Wiki Guide. Summary: Revitalizing the original simulation management game, this version of SimCity features a fully 3D view of the town to allow players complete access over their creations.
Franchises: SimCity. Genres: Simulation. Mild Violence. Platforms: PC, Macintosh. Developers: Maxis. Publishers: Electronic Arts. Release Date: March 5, Table of Contents.
May 25, †Ј In the s, SimCity studio Maxis tried to find out. which was supposed to simulate being a presidential campaign manager but be played like . As an educational game, SimCity stimulates students to learn more about the real world, without revealing the internals of its artificial simulation. The implementation details of SimCity are quite interesting for a programmer or game designer to study, but . May 19, †Ј SimCity wasnТt meant to be taken seriously.. The game was inspired by research on real-world urban planning concepts, 2,3 and although it was created as a way for players to experiment with running a city, the goal was to be fun rather than accurate. УI realized early on, because of chaos theory and a lot of other things,Ф said designer Will Wright, Уthat itТs kind of hopeless to.
Thumbnail of the SimRefinery title screen. The game was inspired by research on real-world urban planning concepts, 2,3 and although it was created as a way for players to experiment with running a city, the goal was to be fun rather than accurate. SimCity was always meant to be a caricature of the way a city works, not a realistic model of the way a city works. But for two brief, strange years, they did. From to , a division called Maxis Business Simulations was responsible for making serious professional simulations that looked and played like Maxis games.
After Maxis cut the division loose, the company continued to operate independently, taking the simulation game genre in their own direction. Their games found their way into corporate training rooms and even went as far as the White House. Almost nothing they developed was ever released to the public. But their software raises questions about the role we want games to play in society. For the first time, this is their story. Delta Logic 2. SimRefinery 3. Growth 4. SimHealth 5.
Thinking Tools 6. Collapse 7. Finale Special thanks References. Hiles had just left the Peace Corps in the s when he decided to teach himself programming.
He was interested in astronomy, 6 and so he started off his programming career with the aerospace industry, working on the Skylab space station that launched in He quickly made his way into the nascent Silicon Valley tech industry. By the mids, he had become the senior vice president of product development at Digital Research in Monterey, California. But it was here, and in other jobs in the early tech industry, that Hiles started to think about computers differently.
John Hiles got to run his own unit at Digital Research but soon left to start his own company. Hiles wanted to learn more about artificial intelligence. He wanted to start lower, at the level of unconscious thinking. He had been reading about cognitive theory, and he was fascinated by how the brain makes it possible for us to do things like speak and interpret language, all without a conscious action on our part, just an instinctive behavior.
Could you make a computer think like this instead? Could you give a computer program an unconscious mind? Digital Research had given Hiles the leeway to explore his big ideas in a new division called Interconnexions, but even then, he found it constraining. They went with the name Delta Logic instead. John Hiles demonstrates Entryway , a software platform by Delta Logic. Video courtesy of Susan Hiles.
Skidmore vaguely remembers that their first product was squashed when Digital Research objected that it was too similar to their own software, perhaps fearing a misappropriation of trade secrets. At this point, Delta Logic was small and scrappy. Hiles and his team Ч now including programmer Greg Rossi, another escapee from Digital Research 9,10 Ч still wanted to explore this concept of computer programs that could think.
The way he explained it in a lecture at George Washington University in , he used the example of writing a computer program that simulates a flock of birds. We could come up with a complicated formula to control an entire flock of birds flying around.
But what if we could build that idea into something about society? What if we could use this bottom-up approach to simulate the behavior of a business? Or a marketplace? Or a country? It was a big idea, but they needed to find a way to make a simulation like this into an actual product. It was a new computer game called SimCity. SimCity changed the way people think about simulation games. Suddenly, this quirky boutique software developer was stretched so thin that CEO and co-founder Jeff Braun was the only manager for a staff of 20 people Ч even managing the financial staff, a problem that was swiftly corrected after Maxis got audited by the IRS.
But more importantly than being a financial success for the company, SimCity started to influence the way that the public thought about computer simulations and urban planning.
It was a close race, and the results of the SimCity contest seem to have actually affected the outcome, with one candidate judged so harshly for their mistakes playing the game that they believed it cost them the election. To an extent, this is what Will Wright wanted to happen. The team at Maxis would research a topic like urban dynamics Ч or something like ant colony behavior, in the case of another game they made called SimAnt Ч and create a game where players could experiment with those ideas.
For many people though, that nuance was lost, and instead they treated it like Maxis could build accurate simulations of the real world. John Hiles knew about SimCity. He believed in the power of building mental models too, and he saw something in SimCity that was missing from the simulation modeling work happening at Delta Logic: it was fun.
It had an intuitive interface and friendly graphics. That was the missing ingredient. Maxis had been looking for new partners for software development, so Hiles used that as an opportunity to get in their orbit.
He approached Jeff Braun, and in , his company became a contractor for Maxis. That might have seemed like an unusual move for Maxis.
It turns out that the companies had a lot in common. And John Hiles was even smarter. A big part of the reason Maxis was eager to join with a partner was because it meant Maxis would have less work to do. But it also might have been the result of a mandate from a new investor. According to Braun, Warburg Pincus wanted Maxis to start doing business simulation games more seriously. With their new directive, Maxis decided to jump in all the way. Satellite view of the Chevron Richmond Refinery.
Via Microsoft Maps, copyright Vexcel Imaging. Oil refineries are really, really complicated. What they wanted instead was something that showed you how the dynamics of the refinery worked, how all the different pieces invisibly fit together, like SimCity did for cities.
The operators at the refinery sometimes had trouble getting a big picture for what was happening at the plant beyond their particular area of focus. So they wanted a training tool that allowed operators to manipulate inputs and outputs of the various pieces of the refinery process to see how they impact. The non-technical staff at the Richmond refinery needed to know how it worked too.
One of the few surviving screenshots of SimRefinery. The colors in the screenshot appear to be glitched or incorrect. How do you get started on a project like this? They did it the same way Maxis developed their own games: they did research. John Hiles and the Bruces took a visit to the Chevron Richmond Refinery, where they met with a specialist who took them on a tour of the plant and explained how it worked. It was a collaborative relationship with Chevron throughout the development process; Chevron sent them the raw formulas they used at the refinery, and as Maxis Business Simulations turned that into a game, Chevron would double-check their work.
Help me understand what to do about that. And all I was doing was field work. I was asking questions and listening carefully. Or at least, he was the one who sent Business Simulations all the math behind the refinery. These were standard component mass and energy balances which were intentionally kept as simple as possible. John did all the real magic.
According to Bruce Skidmore, Maxis supplied Business Simulations with the code for SimFarm , which they heavily modified into a new patchwork system that could support what they were trying to do. Unfortunately, I was unable to reach Rossi or Bruce Montague, who may have also helped design the Whiteboard engine, but Skidmore had nothing but praise for them both.
In an editorial in Forbes , Esther Dyson Ч who would later serve on the board of Maxis Business Simulations once it was spun off into its own company Ч described how SimRefinery was played:. The refinery model includes inputs, various grades of oil at various prices; outputs, petroleum products at various prices; and a whole set of refinery tradeoffs. Produce more heating oil, for example, and you have less left over for high-priced gasoline and jet fuel.
SimRefinery also let players record and play back their actions. It could be used as an evaluation method, but it also allowed instructors to quickly make their own scenarios for their trainees to play, without needing programming experience. It sounds a lot like other Maxis games, an open-ended game where you were meant to experiment and set your own objectives. And like other Maxis games, there were some dramatic ways to screw things up. Bruce Skidmore said that if you really messed up the chemical balance, you could actually cause part of the refinery to explode.
Maxis even gave you a Disaster menu to make giant monsters attack. You were meant to destroy everything once in a while. This was even the main takeaway for some people. Destroying a simulation can be an educational experience too, and this is how SimRefinery was meant to be played.
One of the other few surviving screenshots of SimRefinery. That was a legitimate way to learn how a refinery worked: if you start breaking the refinery, you can see how ruining one part of the plant will affect the other parts of the plant. The trademark registration for SimRefinery suggests that the game was officially handed over to Chevron on Monday, October 26,
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