SimCity - Building with Chris Schmidt

I had totally missed three blog posts, by Chris Schmidt, which tells us more about roads and density (source), the beginnings of a new city (source) and ways to prosper (source). In his job as a Tuning Designer, he takes care of improving the game, to make it more enjoyable, more playable, more balanced ... so many small details that improve the final rendering.

Understanding the basics: roads

In the past, we had a logic based on zones, connected by roads, closely linked to the grid model. From now on, everything revolves primarily around the roads. These are the arteries of the city, ensuring the good communication of the agents (electricity, water, sims ..). There are two types of roads:

  • small roads (paths) evolving into 4 lanes.
  • wide roads (boulevard) evolving into avenue

Improving your roads has a direct impact on density (small roads will offer low density while wide roads will offer medium density entry) and intersections (STOP signs or traffic lights).

A guide system makes it possible to guide the players on the best way to connect 2 roads, in order to optimize the space, taking into account the possible evolutions, buildings or roads.

Start your new city

Building a city must be thought out and adapted to the terrain, both in terms of size and available resources. Every detail has to be taken into account: the natural resources, the value of the land, the direction of the wind, the budget ... At the beginning, what is most expensive is undoubtedly the construction of the roads: it is a necessary evil. however. Prefer small roads, less expensive. It will also be necessary to think of a highway in order to connect your city to its region.

As soon as Sims move in, electricity, water, and waste treatment kick in. It is therefore important to anticipate the storage of waste and the treatment of wastewater. It is mainly low-income Sims who move to a new city: avoid too heavy taxes and offer them basic services, otherwise they will not hesitate to leave.

Each building can expand with modules, so allow enough space so that you don't find yourself limited. You also have to be careful with placements, putting an industrial area right next to a residential area can make Sims sick! Little by little, increase the size of the roads to increase the density of certain areas while taking care to maintain good fluidity on the communication axes.

Make your city prosper

The wealthy Sims, as well as the big companies, are complicated to satisfy, you have to know how to manage them to take advantage of their high incomes and to keep them. Their priorities are: education, reduction of pollution and crime as well as numerous services.

Each zone has its needs:

  • industrial buildings create pollution and are prone to fires -> firefighters and garbage collection
  • commercial buildings attract criminals -> police and transport services
  • residential areas need health services

It is important to expand its services, to better manage concerns, on a larger scale. This is all the more necessary with increasing density. The value of the land will change depending on the management of the city, the buildings will directly reflect these changes. The presence of a university center makes it possible to have high-tech buildings, which pollute less and generate better margins.

To improve the value of land, a few levers exist: beautifying commercial and residential areas, adding (wealthy) parks, relocating noisy, dangerous or polluting buildings.


There you have it, you now know everything to create a city, the bases for its prosperity!

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