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NAM Traffic Simulator Help

Started by jplumbley, January 29, 2008, 03:04:04 PM

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jplumbley

The NEW Traffic Plugins

Simulator "A" written by JPlumbley
Simulator "B" written by Mott

Please remember only ONE of the NAM_Traffic_Plugin files must be installed at one time.  These are intended to replace the old NAM_Traffic_Plugins, the ones that are:

2x, 5x and 10x Capacity, 2x, 5x, 10x Commute Time and 2x, 5x 10x Speed.  The installer will automatically remove the original files.

What are NAM_Traffic_Plugins intended to do?

Well, there are two Central "cores" named A and B for lack of a better identifier.  These two Central Cores have both been mathematically designed to re-balance the structure of the Simulators.  With new information discovered by Mott from investigations he preformed the previous Simulators have been found to be harmful to the game in some cases.  Not only were the old NAM Simulators found to be flawed, but also the Vanilla Simulator from MAXIS was found to have flaws in it as well.  These two Cores have been designed to limit and/or remove these flaws, as well as expand on ideas MAXIS had that simply were not implemented or not implemented properly.

What is the Difference between Simulator "A" and Simulator "B"?

These Simulators have been designed to do two different things. 

Simulator "A" has been designed by JPlumbley to extend the original travel distances set by the MAXIS Simulators.  For example in the original game the MAXIS Simulator allows the Sims to walk up to 7 tiles, but with Simulator "A" the Sims will walk upto 43 tiles to get to work.  This change in travel distance is due to the calculations used to allow Car Traffic to travel one full distance of a large city tile (512 tiles) on Avenues. 

Simulator "B" has been designed by Mott to work with the original travel distances set by the MAXIS Simulator.  For example in the original game the MAXIS Simulator allows the Sims to walk up to 7 tiles, therefore in Simulator "B" the Sims will walk upto 7 tiles.  Simulator "B" has also been re-calculated to be more balanced and provide better pathfinding overall.

Other modifications to both Simulators include changes to the follow properties with minor variation:

Congestion to Accident Probability - Revamped the probability curve.
Congestion vs. Speed - Made use of this, not used to full potential by MAXIS.  Sims will now look for better routes if the network is over congested.
Trip Length to Minutes Display Multiplier - Used in calculations for time displays on Commute Time Graph.

What is the Park and Ride Mod?

The “Park and Ride Mod” is a mod that will make it so that cars cannot reach their destination.  So, what this forces you to do is place parking lots near transit systems, or in you CBD so that Sims can park and then walk or ride the rest of the way to work.  These are the Simulators named with a P after the Simulator Type like so:

NAM_Traffic_Plugin_AP_Easy

What do the different difficulties mean?

The only difference between the different difficulties is the Capacity of the networks.  All have been altered from the original MAXIS Simulator.  Road, OneWay Road and Avenue have all been equalized in speed and capacity in preparation for the Network Widening Mod.  The following is a list of the Network Capacities for each difficulty:

Easy Difficulty
Street:2250
Road / OWR / Avenue:5600
Highway / El-Highway:10800
Rural Highway:10800
Subway / El-Rail / GLR:13500
Monorail:13500
Rail:13500

*Note: The Easy Simulator was used during testing and was able to perform with astonishing results in a Medium City Tile with 1.8 Million Sims and counting.

Medium Difficulty
Street:1500
Road / OWR / Avenue:3750
Highway / El-Highway:7200
Rural Highway:7200
Subway / El-Rail / GLR:9000
Monorail:9000
Rail:9000

Hard Difficulty
Street:1000
Road / OWR / Avenue:2500
Highway / El-Highway:4800
Rural Highway:4800
Subway / El-Rail / GLR:6000
Monorail:6000
Rail:6000

What effect will the different difficulties have on my play style?

The Simulators are designed to help your game calculate proper pathfinding situations for your Sims to find their way to work.  Now, the Network Capacities have an almost equally important role in the way the Simulator works as the Maximum Commute Time and the Speed.  Some people will say that Capacity isn’t important and can be set to anything.  Well this is only a half truth, while Capacity "can" be set to any setting it is not wise to set the Capacities too high.  If the Capacities are too high the Sims will never look for another route beyond the shortest path because your networks will never become congested.  If the networks are never congested no speed will be lost and Sims will only take the shortest physical route.  Now, if the Capacity settings are set appropriately the pathfinding will act more realistic.  In Real Life roads become over crowded and then people look for other routes or new roads are built.  Having lower capacities will force you to design your networks more dynamically, plan ahead and provide more of a challenge.  But, if the Capacities are set too low, it will make the game too hard from a transit standpoint and prevent large cities.  If you have CAM, and a network capacity is set too low, one building may cause over congestion on any network if you are at some of the higher stage levels.

It is advisable that you choose your difficulty based on the size of the city you are planning to build or what stage you are in building your city.  Some general findings during testing find that for existing cities the Difficulties best perform at:

Hard Difficulty for cities up to 250,000 population.
Medium Difficulty for cities 200,000 population to 1,000,000 population
Easy Difficulty for cities 750,000 population and greater.

*Note: These are not set population values just estimates on where they should best perform at.

Of course there are differences for existing city sizes.  If you are starting a city from scratch, it is advisable to start on Hard Difficulty because it will allow you to build a city with a very well optimized traffic system.  If the city becomes too large your Simulator may benefit you moving down to Medium Difficulty.  But if you design your network from the beginning to be optimized for Hard Difficulty, you may never need to get to Easy Difficulty.

What is the NAM_Traffic_Data_View Mod?

This file has been uploaded in a separate file but has been included with the NAM Simulators because it would be a good idea to use this while using the new NAM Simulators.

This is a modification to the Congestion Data View.  The original Congestion Data View is very skewed, what most people may not realize is that the Congestion Data View doesn’t report Congestion in the way one would expect.  In fact, you will not notice the on the Congestion map that your networks do not start becoming yellow with congestion until they reach about 175% to 200% and don’t actually reach red until they are over 300% capacity.  This is not very accurate portrayal of when your networks start suffering consequences from over congestion.  Your networks will still end up having a speed reduction when the network becomes over 100% capacity, but you will never notice it until the network is more congested and beginning to become yellow.

Due to this inconsistency, the Congestion Data View has been edited to show signs of over congestion sooner rather than later.  This will not only help you avoid the consequences of Congestion and give you a more accurate reading of when the network starts to suffer the consequences.


Color Ramp



Released:

Windows:
http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=1493

MAC:
http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=1492

Want to understand more about the Traffic Simulator?
Understanding the Traffic Simulator
"You learn something new everyday."

http://img517.imageshack.us/img517/169/nhpjplumbleykv3.gif
Bringing the new horizons closer to reality.

Berethor ♦ beskhu3epnm ♦ blade2k5 ♦ dmscopio jplumbley ♦ moganite ♦ M4346 ♦ Dedgren ♦ Ennedi Shadow Assassin ♦  Tarkus ♦ wouanagaine
Street Addon Mod - SAM

Crissa

Which file is it in the lex?

-Crissa

Tarkus

They're not up yet, Crissa, but they will be quite soon. jplumbley is just getting things in place.  ;) 

-Alex (Tarkus)

Diggis

Great work Jason...   &apls

With the park and ride, there was talk of being able to add parking to existing lots.  I assume that the simulator hasn't had any modified lots included.

Starmanw402007

Hey JP, do u know how far sims are willing to drive to work before they move out all together?
Your Friend;
Mayor Of Steven's Point & Maxiston
(Proud To Be Cities Of Sim Nation!)

debutterfly

Can't wait for there to be more realism in the game.  ;D

jplumbley

Quote from: Starmanw402007 on January 30, 2008, 06:50:24 AM
Hey JP, do u know how far sims are willing to drive to work before they move out all together?


That depends on a number of things, which Simulator you have installed is the most important one.  But based on the Simulator there are a number of variables including the amount of congestion, type of route selection (street, road, ave, highway, MT?), etc.  I cannot say exactly how far a sim will drive before it chooses abandonment, but I can tell you with Simulator "A" the sim in optimal circumstances will drive upto 512 tiles (1 large city tile) on an Avenue.  Obviously, if there is any % of that on Streets it will shorten the distance, etc.
"You learn something new everyday."

http://img517.imageshack.us/img517/169/nhpjplumbleykv3.gif
Bringing the new horizons closer to reality.

Berethor ♦ beskhu3epnm ♦ blade2k5 ♦ dmscopio jplumbley ♦ moganite ♦ M4346 ♦ Dedgren ♦ Ennedi Shadow Assassin ♦  Tarkus ♦ wouanagaine
Street Addon Mod - SAM

Crissa

Question:  Will Sim A have the shortcutting problem of commuting traffic between city tiles that sometimes would happen?  (IE, the shortest distance to a job might be the next tile over instead of a job in this city tile)

Also, thank you for the lex link.

-Crissa

jplumbley

Quote from: Crissa on January 30, 2008, 04:06:53 PM
Question:  Will Sim A have the shortcutting problem of commuting traffic between city tiles that sometimes would happen?  (IE, the shortest distance to a job might be the next tile over instead of a job in this city tile)

Also, thank you for the lex link.

-Crissa

I use Simulator A and do have regional commuters.  Currently, I have not reached a point where I can tell you if they will cause commute circles or not.  IF you have commute circles they can be avoided by creating longer routes to the neighboring borders.  In testing the Simulator A was tested by several commute circle aware members and they did not report any commute circles while testing.
"You learn something new everyday."

http://img517.imageshack.us/img517/169/nhpjplumbleykv3.gif
Bringing the new horizons closer to reality.

Berethor ♦ beskhu3epnm ♦ blade2k5 ♦ dmscopio jplumbley ♦ moganite ♦ M4346 ♦ Dedgren ♦ Ennedi Shadow Assassin ♦  Tarkus ♦ wouanagaine
Street Addon Mod - SAM

Bluebeard

Great work folks.Not sure what it is but I like the principle of it. :thumbsup:

xxdita

The only time I've seen Sims leave the city for work was when there weren't enough jobs available, or if the Res zone was right at the neighbor connection, or a transit station is right at the neighbor connection, creating a quick escape route. I wouldn't recommend linking the subway systems between cities though, unless you want them to work in the next tile. I don't use highways, so I'm not sure the impact on those.
And JPlumbley, make that a medium tile with 2.5million Pop.  :thumbsup:

DFire870

This looks great! I have two questions though... How does this affect the CAM? Also, you mentioned that when you get to a certain population you should change the difficulty level of the city... I thought you couldn't change the difficulty level after you start a city?

-- John
After a long absence, I'm back! And I will be starting a new MD soon.

Tarkus

John, what jplumbley was referring to was not the game's difficulty, but the different "difficulties" of traffic simulators that are available in the new package, in terms of their varying capacities for the networks.

-Alex (Tarkus)

xxdita

John, I never play without CAM. And I don't think I'll be playing without SimulatorA_Easy anymore either.
I have had to alter my playing style a bit, but it has me zoning a lot smarter now, which is really kicking CAM into high gear.

DFire870

#14
Oh okay, that makes more sense now that I think about it. :D Thanks for the clarification, and I'll definitely download this now.

And just so you know, the zip file for the windows version has Mac in the name, that might confuse some people.

EDIT: Oh, one more question. Do I need to remove the traffic plugin that came with the CAM? Just wondering, since the file isn't listed in the cleanitol file and I want to be sure.

-- John
After a long absence, I'm back! And I will be starting a new MD soon.

MAS71

Hello Jplumbley and all  :)
Thank you for good balanced mod files !

Please ask one my simply question. ;)
Quotewhat this forces you to do is place parking lots near transit systems, or in you CBD so that Sims can park and then walk or ride the rest of the way to work.
What is CBD ??  ()what()
Sorry to my worthless question... :-[

Thank you.

xxdita

Mas-san, I believe it's the Central Business District. Basically the downtown commerce section of the city.

Tarkus

Quote from: DFire870 on January 30, 2008, 07:45:41 PM
EDIT: Oh, one more question. Do I need to remove the traffic plugin that came with the CAM? Just wondering, since the file isn't listed in the cleanitol file and I want to be sure.

I'd recommend it. :)

-Alex

xxdita

Definitely remove the CAM traffic plugin.
(What are you guys doing making a Cleanitol without me?   :P)

MAS71

@xxdita san
Quote from: xxdita sanit's the Central Business District.

Oh! I see !! :)
Thank you for reply quickly xxdita san !!
I udnerstand it well !  ;D

-Mas'71