SimCity Blog: City Layouts Part 2

Hello again, Mayors – I’m Guillaume Pierre, the Lead Gameplay Scripter on SimCity. Last week, I discussed three different layouts for your cities and today I’m going go over the last three: web, radial, and irregular. 
 
The Web Layout
 
The web is one of the more complicated layouts to build, but it is very rewarding when used to highlight a landmark. In this city, I built the Arche du Cinquantenaire in the middle of a square then built a web of streets from it at 45 degree and 90 degree angles. 
 

 
The roads closest to the landmark can all support high density buildings, while the ones farther away only support medium density buildings, thereby creating a sort of concrete crown around the arch. 
 

 
In this layout, there are eight avenues and streets that all meet at the square around the arch, resulting in many angles for your Sims to look at it from the sidewalk.
 

 
The Radial Layout
 
The radial layout shares some similarities with the web layout, where there’s a central landmark with avenues shooting out from it, but this time it is surrounded by a circle, and the secondary roads form a grid.
  

 
With this layout, the city tends to have a little more open space, and it’s best to let the landmark be the star, without overloading the skyline with skyscrapers. 
 

 
>Cars, delivery trucks, and buses have lots of ways to get around the city, with high capacity avenues linking all the major areas of the city, like this one between my city hall and St Basil Cathedral.
 

 
The Irregular Layout
 
This is the one layout that’s built bottom-up rather than top-down. Instead of zooming the camera way out so all the roads can built in one big swoop, you need to zoom as close to the terrain as possible instead, and have the streets smoothly follow the hills and valleys, without ever creating too much of a grade. 
 

 
You can find the highest point in the city and place your civic center there, much like castles and fortresses used to be built on top of hills.
 

 
You also need to think about how Sims below will be able to see your seat of power, so you have to manage the density of your city to allow clear views to the top. 
 

 
That’s it for city layouts! I can’t wait to see what you build using this knowledge.
 
Source: Planning and Urban Design Standards (Ramsey/Sleeper Architectural Graphic Standards Series) http://www.amazon.com/Planning-Standards-Sleeper-Architectural-Graphic/dp/0471760900

Game Update 1.57

A new game update, 1.57, is now available which can be downloaded via the launcher or manually here. Patch notes can be read below.
 

To install this update, please start your game and use the “Updates” tab in your Launcher.
 
This game update includes the following changes:
 

Base Game Updates

  • The Brambles shrub can now be placed.
  • Fixed an issue that could occur where Sims would get “stuck” moving to a new world.
  • Child Sims will no longer “Play in Sand” indoors where there is no sand.
  • Textures on the undersides of roofs have been fixed.
  • Fixed an issue that prevented multiple rabbit holes across various worlds from being routable.

World Adventures Updates

  • World Adventures tents can now be placed back into inventory.

Ambitions Updates

  • The Gnubb Set now works properly.
  • Ghost Hunting and Fire Fighting jobs will no longer occur on resort lots if the player has The Sims 3 Island Paradise installed.

Late Night Updates

  • Drinks ordered from the pool bar will no longer be only bad or foul quality if the player has The Sims 3 Island Paradise installed.


Generations Updates

  • Elder canes now work properly.
  • Sims will no longer route through walls to climb to the top bunk of a bunk bed.

Seasons  Updates

  • Snow angels now work properly.
  • Alien abductions have been disabled on houseboats if the player has The Sims 3 Island Paradise installed.

University Life Updates

  • Sims can take photos with friends again.

Island Paradise Updates

  • Mermaid Children can now take showers.
  • Sims will now take boats, if they are the best option, when directed to snorkel elsewhere while swimming in the ocean.
  • Sometimes the ocean would reset when Sims woohooed in the underwater cave, because it was just THAT good! This has been fixed.
  • Fixed an issue with the underwater cave where the tentacles waved forever, preventing Sims from entering the cave.
  • Sims will no longer pop out of the underwater cave when canceling woohoo.
  • Sims no longer route fail when directed to fish while in the basement of a houseboat.
  • Shells found while snorkeling now count towards wish fulfillment.
  • The text description of the “Narrow Barge Style Houseboat” now reflects its proper size: 20×6
  • Fixed two occurrences where a houseboat could be created on top of another houseboat thus causing both houseboats to be stuck for eternity…which is a very long time.
  • Sims can now route properly up consecutively stacked staircases on houseboats.
  • Self-employed Sims can now check into resorts without the game freezing.
  • Sims can now relax on floor tiles.
  • Outdoor grills and easels now work on Private Lots.

Create-A-World tool Updates

  • Fixed a bug where deleting a houseboat lot via Edit in Game could cause an infinite load.

Before installing an Update for The Sims 3, an Expansion Pack, or a Stuff Pack, it is a good idea to run through the following checklist to ensure your game continues to work smoothly.
If you have any questions about the below steps, please visit the Technical Support forum on the official Sims 3 community found at this URL: http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/forums/show/10.page
 
Step 1: Disable Custom Content
Custom Content is all Sims content that did not come from an official The Sims 3 Update, The Sims 3 Store, Expansion Pack, or Stuff Pack. Custom Content is created by 3rd Party Developers that are not regulated by Electronic Arts or The Sims 3 Development Team and may not work with new updates. Custom Content may cause the game to behave unexpectedly or not function entirely.
To disable your custom content, undo whatever you did to install this content to get your game back into an unmodified state. If you placed it in a Sims 3 directory folder, move it to a new folder that is outside your Sims 3 file directory. Your Sims 3 file directory can be found using the paths listed below:
Windows File Directory: C:\Documents and Settings\USER\My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3
Mac File Directory: User/Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims/
Once you have installed the official update you may re-enable your custom content. If you experience problems, disable it again until the 3rd party developer updates their content to work with the official Update, Expansion Pack, or Stuff Pack.
 
Step 2: Back Up your Save Files
It’s always a good precaution to back up your save files before installing an Expansion Pack, Update, or Stuff Pack. To do this, copy the “.sims3” folders found in the Saves folder onto your desktop or another file directory.
Your Sims 3 Saves folder can be found using the paths listed below:
Windows File Directory: C:\Documents and Settings\USER\My Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Saves
Mac File Directory: User/Documents/Electronic Arts/The Sims/Saves
After the Update is installed, run the game to verify your saves still function correctly.
 
Step 3: Let the Update Complete Entirely
Updates can sometimes be rather large and may take a while to download and install completely. Cancelling the update before it has completed may cause unexpected problems, so it is always best to let it finish entirely. Do not close the Launcher until you have confirmed the update is completely installed, as this will cancel the update.

SimCity Blog: City Layouts Part 1

Hello, Mayors – I’m Guillaume Pierre, the Lead Gameplay Scripter on SimCity, and today I’d like to talk to you about road layouts and its impact on your Sims’ lives. 
 
There’s an infinite number of ways a mayor can build a city, but I’m going to focus on six typical street network patterns: the grid, the grid and squares, the curvilinear, the web, the radial and the irregular patterns. Today I’ll talk specifically about the first three, while the last three will be the focus of a later blog entry. 
 
The Grid Layout
 
The grid pattern dates back to the Roman Empire era and can be found all over the world, but it’s especially prevalent in American cities. It’s by far the easiest pattern to create; it’s useful to maximize building placement and density in SimCity, and it becomes interesting if tweaked in small ways.
 
In the example below, you can see that I mixed large grids made with avenues and smaller grids made with streets. Some of the streets end in “T” intersections, forcing vehicles into the higher-capacity avenues:
 

 
I also created two long park blocks going from the Arc de Triomphe landmark to the City Hall, which opens a wide view corridor between them. View corridors are very important in real cities, as they guide tourists towards particular landmarks and it generally helps with visual navigation. 
 
Here you can see the view someone entering the city would get:
 

 
While here you can see the view from the City Hall, looking back towards the arch:
 

 
The Grid & Squares Layout
 
You may have spotted a couple squares in the Grid layout above, but in the Grid and Squares layout, they are placed more deliberately and serve a purpose. The squares here delimit a park complex, a casino, and some residential towers:
 

 
They also open up the skyline and let more buildings to receive sunshine, so tall buildings don’t shade each other as much:
 

 
Finally, the right amount of open space helps creating four view corridors that guide tourists to the casino. Here’s one of them, looking from the edge of the park complex: 
 

 
The Curvilinear Layout
 
This layout is particularly useful when creating suburbs where your Sims can enjoy a nice quality of life in a slower-paced environment. Unlike the two layouts above, this one features a low-connectivity network, with few intersections between the low density streets and the avenues. 
 

 
The avenues are mostly free of buildings, except for a few civic structures like the City Hall and the College: 
 

 
Some avenue intersections have a handful of commercial buildings, and tend to be light in through-traffic:
 

 
Meanwhile, the low density streets are zoned with residential areas and feature parks and recreation buildings the Sims can walk to:
 

 
That’s it for this time! In my next entry, I’ll talk about more advanced patterns like the Radial, the Web and the Irregular layouts.
 
Source: Planning and Urban Design Standards (Ramsey/Sleeper Architectural Graphic Standards Series) http://www.amazon.com/Planning-Standards-Sleeper-Architectural-Graphic/dp/0471760900

SimCity Blog: Build the Best: Filter City

Which Community Mayor showed their true colors this week? We let you decide during our Build the Best Filter City contest. The top cities were selected and showcased on our official SimCity Facebook fan page for everyone to vote on their favorites. 
 
And the award for the best Filter City goes to… Mayor Brian. 
 

 
Congrats, Mayor Brian – your city passed with flying colors!
 
Want to be showcased in our next Build the Best blog? All you have to do is enter our next Build the Best contest. Next challenge: Build the Best Bridge/Tunnel City. To submit your cities, either e-mail them to SimCityCommunity@ea.com with the subject line “Build the Best: Bridge/Tunnel City” or tweet your pictures to @SimCity with the hashtag #SimCityBTB.
 
Show us your highs (and lows), Mayors!