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Started by threestooges, March 10, 2019, 12:33:35 PM

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This article from the recent LA Times caught my attention when a friend sent it my way. I found it amusing that it noted "No iteration of "SimCity" has ever accurately depicted the staggering amount of a city's square footage that's spent on parking lots." which is something folks on this site opened my eyes to in my early days of the game (and it reshaped the way I built my industrial areas; something that annoyed me in the newer Cities Skylines), and corrected with the addition of custom lots. I'd be curious to hear the thoughts from you all here how much your city building style in your individual game reflects your city/town around you, or what inspires the way you build.


I like trying to build futuristic cities.

So not American-style parking lot farms.


Author must have not played SimCity 4 with custom lot mods which then those would contradict the article.

I myself have taken advantage of the diagonal painted 1x1 parking lots. When using the regular scale Maxis cars or Cycledog cars in those spaces, they are more realistic that the car doors actually have enough room to open up, whereas the chunkier pack of cars that came with the textures are just fatter cars. I was using SAM street parking before, but they complained pavement doesn't grow on trees, and those rely on 5 spaces jammed on a single tile instead of the wider 4 spaces. I only agree with the article by default creation. The default don't work, because they assumed access to the parking lots on all sides of the properties, but the game simply just don't work this way, so parking is blocked or non existent. Whereas modders have made it possible for serious amounts of space in SimCity 4 to be wasted by only parking lots for miles of city blocks. I don't mean the custom lots of real world stores and restaurants that do have parking, but other players were well aware of the parking situation, and released all sorts of custom parking lots. I just setup that sort of thing myself though, but I mean the MAPP amusement park pack has 4 separated parking lots, and all together, they take a serious amount of space. The only other option for players is the parking decks, which near by a Maxis default development, they seem to make perfect sense.

Cities Skylines to compare seems to even incorporate more on-road parking filled with several more cars, much more than SC4 don't even have by default or even with mods, as no matter what modified street mod I've had, only seems to have parallel parking every 2 spaces instead of every one, unless you use SAM. That however, along with parking decks, is something Cities Skylines just can not deliver at.

However, when it comes to SimCity 4, I have a lot of suburbs opposed to limited skyscraper cities, and of course I go for realism, so of course I reflect the space taken.


Interesting, Mrs. Roy tells only half of the story - how EA purchased Maxis.But she doesn't tell what EA did to Maxis in 2015.

The only thing I don't like and highly doubt - that people can learn social behavior and empathy and dealing with personalities from algorithms. And KI isn't really learning but shaping prejudices. A KI can't recognize own prejudices.

But there are educational software. And of course games are excellent tools to learn about the principle of causality, systems and how parameters may influence each other. You can't regard games only as closed world like Mrs. Roy does.

The forums are a good example. The game is disucssed and compared to real world. And this way the game is only a stimulus to reflect on certain real life problems. Means: learning from the game isn't limited to the closed scenario of the game but can extend to a meta-level = community.

Why not - why shouldn't games help this way to discovery your professional interests. I learned modding from this community I gained real life skills by dealing with the game.

Wild life predators learn fighting and hunting by playing to.

Playing is a very important foundation of brain development.

But keep an eye on what you play. Scientists discovered the brain of teenager is formed PHYSICALLY by computer games - the formation of synapse. So from playing to much you can become a computer yourself.

As social interaction you can only learn from other humans. It has a different logic, non-algorithmic.

I play only my home region. I always try to make it better than it is actually. I always fail. Interesting. It's also funny to recreate my hometown and have all those famous NY bats growing there. Basically these are only pixels. Still most part of the fun is done by our imagination. Regarding education of imagination a good game is always better than a bad book. Some people learn nothing from books. But the wisest men don't need media at all. They learn by watching the world.

It's not about realism. It's more about discussing possibilities. Playing with possibilites - to see how many different aporaches of settlement and growth there is, different key models, options, decisions - that's the point. And custom content plays an important role, of course, it adds possibilites.

Things they used to be right 20 years ago today create big problems. The clever mind is a flexible mind, able to find better ways each day. THAT's what you really can learn by playing SC4. 


A rather old article and discussion but still interesting. It´s a nice anecdote that SC4 has influenced professional careers. But it remains a game that can only inadequately represent reality and certainly does not shape that reality. I am impressed by Fantzozzi's chain of thoughts, which I can only agree with. Regarding the initial question - I love to travel as much as I love to walk around in the surroundings, to observe, to let impressions affect me and to express them in different genres together with my own thoughts - one of them palying SC4 developing Windwatt. In summary, my game is based on the one hand on real scenes, on the other hand on a lot of fantasy, which in the end, however, is also based on or at least inspired by reality.


I guess I'll be the third person in this topic that will confess his preference of building futuristic cities. But it's true, I prefer building cities that haven't been build yet, that disobeys the rules of modern realistic style, and set up their own set of rules (which can still be break when necessary). My cities are inspired by science fiction urban landscapes, actual concept plans (some of them been proposed back at the early of the 20th century), and sometimes by real cities and neighborhoods that right now are utilizing new and experimental technologies and strategies. The result is that my cities will tend to look more like this:

In my cities I don't have large parking lots because I don't like them. They consume plenty of valuable space, create "urban heat island" effects because they absorb way more radiation from the Sun than soil (which increase in-daily temperatures in many urban areas), collect large amounts of rainwater that washes pollutants into storm drains and then to nearby lakes or streams, and overall symbolizes our modern car-obsessed society with all the nasty things that comes with it. For those reason I invest the most on public transportation, personal transportation systems such as bicycles, teleworking and easy-for-walking access to amenities, civic services, jobs etc, thus reducing the need of parking spaces and mostly using them to encourage park-and-ride. And when large parking lots are necessary, I build them underground and have parks and green spaces above them, eliminating the urban heat island effect while giving my Sims a safe place to park their electric or hydrogen cars.

By the way, on-road parking is very common in Greece, way more common than dedicating kilometers of land for parking lots. So common in fact that gets to the point of producing the wonderful effect of double parking and even triple parking, thus blocking the other parked cars and creating traffic jams. All because somebody put his/her car right next to the middle of the road!

As about how playing games can help you develop important skills, I think I'll agree with fantozzi.
"The wisest men follow their own direction" Euripides
The Choice is Ours
Simtropolis Moderator here. Can I help? Oh, and you can call me Elias (my real name) if you wish.


We have to keep in mind the difference between the base game, as offered by the developers (up to Rush Hour / Deluxe), versus the immense complexity the community has built upon through mods and custom content.

And we also have to keep in mind that cities around the world can be quite different--the car-centric parking seas the article author alludes to is more strictly a phenomenon of North America (USA, Canada, northern Mexico, and some parts of the Caribbean). There's lots of parts of the world where cities are more pedestrian, or more transit-centric, or balanced between the major categories of transportation modes.

I think we as a community also need to be proactive about how to update the game's custom content and mods to reflect the latest trends in urbanism, I know I'm doing this as part of the Network Addon Mod team as the lead developer of pedestrian content.