SimCity Creators Say They're Fixing The Game's Road Traffic Weirdness

SimCity lead designer Stone Librande acknowledged some of the problems his team's game has with roads and traffic today and promised that some tuning fixes are on the way.

From a new blog post on the game's website:

We understand that when cars always take the shortest route between point A and point B there will be unavoidable (and illogical) traffic jams, so we are retuning these values it to make the traffic flow more realistically. Guillaume Pierre (our lead scripter) talked a bit about the improvements that we are making to the traffic system in the game here. To dig a little deeper our roads will have a weighting system based on 25%, 50% and 75% capacity. As a road hits those marks it will become less and less appealing for other cars, increasing the likelihood of them taking an alternate path if one exists.

We are working on additional fixes with the pathing of our Agents and these changes will streamline the way that the simulation unfolds in your city. For instance, emergency vehicles will not get blocked in their garages and will move into empty lanes to get around traffic jams. We're also working on preventing service vehicles from clumping up (for instance, only one fire truck will respond to a fire instead of two) and improving the way that Public Transportation operates in the city. We are currently testing a patch internally and hope to have it out to you soon.

He also confirms that, yes, Sims in the game don't have persistent homes and jobs. They're simulated to an extent, but he says that that simplifying them — freeing them from keeping the same jobs and living in the same homes — enabled better performance with bigger city populations.

Expect more updates like these, and cross your fingers crossed that Librande and the rest of the team at Maxis can get this game in shape. A shaky launch is unfortunate, but if Maxis can recover and make a game that runs to players' satisfaction, that will be a memorable and fascinating story too.

SimCity Update 8 [SimCity blog]


    So, how was the flawed traffic system not picked up and fixed before launch in the first place?

    Also, if their servers are doing the heavy lifting of the simulation calculations, why aren't they able to determine that Sim A owns house B and goes to work C...

    Last edited 15/03/13 2:42 pm

      Great question mdn! I am absolutely blown away that something as essential as alternate pathing was not included with the initial release. Even one hour of testing would have revealed the issue as game-breaking. It's as if they didn't bother to look at all...

      Honestly even ignoring the DRM/always online fiasco how they hell did all these bugs get through. Are they even trying any more?

        Coming from someone who's never developed a game like this in their life or ever will. Trying alot harder than you keyboard warrior.

      We have now confirmed that outside of cross region info, the local game is simulated by your own computer. The "servers doing heavy lifting" is actually an outright lie as they don't do ANY heavy lifting. The only thing that kicks you off the game when you unplug your internet is a javascript 20minute timer that can be disabled.

    How about removing always online first hmmm?

      This is never actually going to happen. It's time to just move on, accept that fact and let us bitch about other parts of this game instead.

        Pirate copy my body is ready

          Bought the game... probably gonna download a cracked copy too, just to hold onto incase nets out or the servers are down for extended periods

    I'll just wait until they release the next one in a year, maybe it will work.

    Does every sim still converge on house at a time though? Traffic's going to be broken as long as that stupidity exists.

    THank god, so many issues with traffic atm :/ driving me spare

    Needs to be some sort of video game court. Get these people up on the stand.

    "So it's clear you've lied about the always-on requirement being primarily driven by a desire to perform intensive calculations, with no explanation as to why the multiplayer requirements couldn't have been multiplayer features, or options. The court wishes to know just how full of shit you are, and why you are so full of shit."

    "Your honour! Objection!"

    "The defendant will answer the question and stop being such a n00b."

      LOL LOL LOL can we vote on a judge? Sir, you have my vote! Thanks for the laugh i'm really struggling through this last hour or so of work on this long friday :(

      This needs to be made into a Phoenix Wright game

    curious, how large would a spreadsheet with say, 10k entries, each with five different status entries (each status no more than 6 characters long), because that is about the complexity level that would be needed to give ten thousand characters a house, job, driving style (such as what choices they make about priorities when it comes to road choice, and only choose from a few preset behavior patterns) and personal interests. Doing so could also do more to hide how bad pathing is, as the slightly more random traffic would hide the shortcuts that seem to have been taken with the way pathing is done.

    It really does seem that this game was released with many of the promised features incomplete. This would mean that either EA didn't listen to Maxis when they said they hadn't finished everything that marketing had promised, or they deliberately decided that an incomplete game would be worthy of release.

      It's a fair bit of data to keep in synch with the server, plus the extra cpu load of even just testing these values for each person. I can't give you any real numbers, but I don't think it would be feasible to simulate a city full of people.

      Maybe upgrading people to a full simulation for the duration of the time that a player is watching them would be possible, though. That could be interesting. Or even finding a way to promote certain citizens to hero units.

    "Oh we under-estimated the server load" - on every single launch for the past 15 years!!


    What did they learn from 25 years experience with SimCity AI... ?!


    Lucy Bradshaw has seen this all before -

    So if the traffic and citizen stuff is handles server side then why does there need to be a patch for us to download? Cause its not handled server side, they are completely ignoring the truth that has come out about it all lol

    On the EA simcity forum, they have declared all threads discussing mods are to be deleted. They are not even pretending anymore; modding of the game was never suppose to be allowed, and they need to delete any mention of offline play.

    Thank f---. This game looks like it was scripted by a toddler. Traffic doing stupid loops isn't even the funniest. I had a couple fires break out and witnessed about 12 fire trucks all go to the 1st fire, leaving the 2nd to burn freely.

    Great testers there

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