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[Project Journal] The United Cities of Talaran

(April 30th, 2020 at 11:18 AM)Darth-Apple Wrote: Are these generally all large city tiles or so you have some medium tiles as well?

All my city tiles are large tiles. Some of them have a lot of water, which limits the size of the cities.
Poor weather and the confinement kept me at home for long periods and I could play my cities, with some daunting issues with traffic, more about those at a later time.

I have always been bothered by industrial areas, first because the game always asks for more of those (but I found out that it is possble to resist and zone industry quite parsimoniously), second because what gets built is, at least at the beginning, very ugly, dirty, smoky and polluting. Gradually, as a city grows and ages, dirty industry gets replaced (partially) by high-tech, which looks a lot better and pollutes less.

Here is a small corner of the industrial area of Polsay, where high-tech has become prevalent:

[Image: AeL7pR.jpg]

On the upper right of the picture is a section of the commercial area where new buildings are being erected. On the left of the picture is the 2 X 4-lane highway linking to Salveille (which is congested, but that is another story).

I have tried, with some degree of success - but I don't really know whether it makes a significant difference - to adjust tax rates to encourage high-tech. Here are the tax rates for industry in Polsay:

[Image: ZaoRqb.jpg]

As can be seen, dirty industry ('polluante') is heavily taxed, whereas ('de pointe') is very lightly taxed. Has anyone else played with tax rates, and has seen some effects?
I always hate industry because it looks so dirty.
This industrial zone looks very nice though!
This will be a question to Brian, who has been beta testing NAM 37 and is currently using the Release Candidate of that version of NAM - others are also welcome to comment of course.

Everytime a new version of NAM gets released, I have qualms about damaging my admittedly very bastardized set of NAM plugins. Also, I sometimes deplore that interesting (to me) pieces and features get removed from NAM.

In my cities I have been using 'tight ramps' for highways. This is mainly because I hate squandering space for roads, more than necessary, within the cities. Here is an example of tight ramps:

[Image: m0j4UL.jpg]

This uses a deprecated puzzle piece, available in my current NAM 36 in the highway menu, with the button 'Specialized and deprecated ramps'; the piece looks like this:

[Image: xMs4j3.jpg]

My question is: is this still available in NAM 37?

By the way, such tight ramps are in use at least in Europe. Here is an example, not far from Geneva on the French A40 highway:

[Image: CuAsYe.jpg]

The ramp enters into, and exits from, a traffic circle, also a road feature found very frequently in many european countries.

Great job here Pierre, with 2 postings !

I have comments and questions related to both postings..

But let us start with your first posting about HT Industry ..

Quote:As can be seen, dirty industry ('polluante') is heavily taxed, whereas ('de pointe') is very lightly taxed. Has anyone else played with tax rates, and has seen some effects?

I recall having similar success  in the past using this same tax reduction strategy for low HT Ind tax rates..
I would say it helped "some"...

But it still takes some effort to convert older dirty ind to HT or even to grow HT lots in the first place..

Okay so on your second posting-

Quote:My question is: is this still available in NAM 37?

[Image: gfnou.jpg]

Yes i think all the same older ramps have been made available for NAM 37 -
Sports fanatic
There are cities in America that use them too, but they are not terribly common in most areas. Personally, I love them. I don't see any purpose in having ramps that are almost a mile long in and of themselves. In rural or less urbanized areas, that's perfectly fine, but huge ramps aren't suitable everywhere.

There is a road in my city that very badly needs to be upgraded to a highway and is extremely severely congested. It's also the only north-south corrider in my town, so there is pretty much no alternative way to get around without taking a very odd route with a lot of unecessary turns. If the city wasn't so determined to build mile-long ramps, they could upgrade it easily. Larger cities do this sort of thing all the time.

Love your use of them. They look good and they allow the highway to be compact enough to build sufficiently around it. Huge highways are great as long as they can be used and are needed, but if they are too large, they can take away from a lot of the space around them that could be used to develop areas that generate the traffic to take advantage of the highways.

Thanks a lot for your comments, Brian and Darth. I am relieved to see that the deprecated piece is still in NAM 37, it gives me some confidence relatively to the upgrade, that I'll undertake sooner or later. Darth, I share fully your view that too large interchanges eat up a lot of space to the detriment of buildings in cities.

For a change I return to one of my pet subjects, railways.

As already mentioned, I have implemented railways in all my cities, but with very different results. In some cities the railways develop well, are properly used and contribute properly to the general commuting of Sims (and goods in the case of freight traffic). In other cities their contribution remains marginal, or even totally inexistent, to the point where I have sometimes removed unused sections of railway. Probably a very careful, detailed study of the railway lines in relation with the location of zones would explain the success of some lines and the failure of some other lines. At least intuitively, it appears to me that this is similar to a lottery: sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, search me for the reasons.

When it works, it can work very well. Here is an axample in Arcens, where from a railway station 2 pairs of dual tracks lead to 2 different adjacent cities. First the layout:

[Image: es85X0.jpg]

Now the traffic volume view. There is an imbalance between the dual tracks but none is saturated (at least not yet, I may add...)

[Image: l4hbuX.jpg]

The station where the tracks originate (this is a terminal station, tracks do not continue on the other side) sees intense exchanges between the railway, the subway lines and buses. This is the way I like my railway stations to function, but it is not always the case.

[Image: zefRPG.jpg]

this was another good posting from you about your railway station usage..
You made excellent use of your images to demonstrate the concepts you wanted to

I just wanted to mention something i somewhat recall now . And I was also curious if you ever heard of this ?

But there is supposed to be some hard coded trend concerning Sims preferences for using Mass transit vs driving cars.. that is built into
the traffic Sim also .

i am pretty sure that the tendency if for lower wealth sims , ( so R$), tendency is to prefer (MT) , Mass transit more..
while wealthier sims so like (R $$$), prefer to dive their expensive cars more..

Maybe  we can search for more info and docs about this if you feel its relevant ?

Sports fanatic
One of my current goals has been reached: 15 Mio Sims in the whole region. Here are the stats:


The other goal, getting 1.5 Mio Sims in a city, is not yet reached. As can be seen in the above table, currently the largest city, Prandergal, is about 600 Sims shy of 1.4 Mio. Since most cities in the Talaran cluster are quite mature, reaching 1.5 Mio will not be easy.

For the whole region, the next goal is 16 Mio. This will not be too hard to achieve because the 6 cities in the Sambey cluster have still a lot of potential for growth.


I'll get back to the issue of railway usage, taking into account Brian's interesting comment, in my next post.
Great news from your region! I see that Prandergal is still managing to grow, very nice!

First congrats on a major Population mile stone , that few people have ever reached in a region sc4= 15 million ! Cool

I really like also how you list all the cities in you region and their populations..

We are able to go back in your thread here , and take note of what cities are changing the most...

Yes, I do think you will reach 1.5 million in a city, and I would not be surprised really if this were to occur quite soon ...
Sports fanatic
Very impressive pierreh! Nice work!
Very nice population numbers! Good luck on getting to 1.5m!

In this post I’ll deal with two issues.

First the simplest one : the issue of the airport that has no passengers at all (posts # 92 and following ones). For some reason, when plopping the airport, the arrow is on one of the smaller sides, and not, as one would expect, on the large side where the terminal is. In the city where the airport had no passengers I had neglected to put a road along the small side with the arrow. After I did so, very soon the airport had passengers. Checking my cities I saw that I had a few other similar cases, I dealt with them in the same way and now all airports have passengers. Issue closed.


The other issue has already been described earlier in this CJ : the intense inter-city traffic and its effects on the various means of transportation. This is the bane of regional playing. At present, what bothers me the most is not so much the difficulty of dealing with the traffic volumes, but rather, that the way the inter-city flows develop and evolve over time is, for all intents and purposes, unpredictable – at least this is how I experience it.

Between some cities the flows are relatively minor, while between other cities those flows are very large. Moreover, the ‘mix’ of means of transportation varies a lot : between some cities there is an enormous flow on highways and a minimal use of railway, with subway somewhere in between ; between other cities there is little traffic on the highways and an excessive usage of subways. And so on.

Since the game is exclusively driven by algorithms there cannot be any randomness in its behavior. Everything happens according to a large number of specific and precise rules set by the game’s creators. The point is that the quite complex interplay of these many rules yields very varied results. It would take an incredible amount of time and patience to start understanding why a certain set of actions (zoning, plopping, placing of highways, ramps, streets, parks. etc) produces this effect rather than that one, and so on.

Here is an example. The 2 cities involved are Salveille and Polsay. Salveille, being in a corner of the cluster, is only connected to Polsay. The links are highway, railway and subway. The pics show the situation on the Salveille side.

The highway link is an 8-lanes highway (RHW-8S), that is quite saturated in the direction from Salveille to Polsay. I tallied the 2 traffic queries (one per tile).

[Image: KnlXXl.jpg]

The numbers for cars and buses are rather high. I have already argued earlier that the number for buses means ‘Sims traveling by bus’, and not the total number of buses on the highway ; for cars I am not so sure, possibly there is only one Sim per car, I don’t count much on car sharing…
Also, I could upgrade the highway from RHW-8S to RHW-10S, but imho the differential in highway capacity between 8 and 10 lanes is not sufficient to justify that upgrade.

The only railway link is moderately used :

[Image: KHS0Q9.jpg]

Here too I think that we have to interpret the number as ‘Sims travelling by train’.

There are 4 subway links, shown in the next 2 pictures

[Image: okSYLG.jpg]

[Image: Ui2gBD.jpg]

Two links are properly used with a good balance, the two others are quite moderately, and even very lightly, used. It is possible that the underused link doesn’t go, in Polsay, where Sims want to go. I’ll try to reroute it, to get a better usage.

This situation has been going on for a while. I am not quite sure how I can reduce the usage of the highway and increase that of the 2 other transportation means, but of course I’ll continue to fiddle with the issue.


Finally I should mention that the issue of diverging numbers between the building query and the route query for commercial buildings (discussed in posts # 84 and following) is still open. I had a discussion about it with Brian in Skype a while ago. I’ll return to it soon.
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I love keeping up with this city!
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First off, I am Very happy that yu finally figured out what was going wrong with your airports !

yes, you made an interesting comment about inner city traffic flows..

I still tend to find traffic in sc-4 unpredictable, in most respects also Angel

I agreed mostly on this part here-

Quote:The point is that the quite complex interplay of these many rules yields very varied results. It would take an incredible amount of time and patience to start understanding why a certain set of actions (zoning, plopping, placing of highways, ramps, streets, parks. etc) produces this effect rather than that one, and so on.

But I wanted to add that i feel part of the reason we such varied traffic numbers according to region connection links, might be because the regional play is so buggy !
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Sports fanatic
Thanks for your comments, Thomas and Brian.

Brian, I agree with you, regional playing is buggy. Even though we cannot really pinpoint where the bugs are. We know, because it was mentioned earlier on by people who knew quite a lot about how the development of the game went, that the regional playing aspect of the game was not realised to the extent that the game's creators envisioned. Part of that was, it seems, pressure by marketing to bring the game on the market.

Whatever the causes, the result is that there are flaws in the way the game deals with regional playing. Nonetheless, I will persevere for a while with my two clusters, because I am having fun with them, even when I complain about shortcomings.
About mature cities.

Most of the cities in the Talaran cluster are reaching maturity and don’t grow much any longer. One prime example of this is Polsay, which is very nearly fully built. Here is its zonal view :

[Image: 8DH67d.jpg]

Empty’ spaces are occupied by highways, parks and the airport.

As shown earlier, because of the very large body of water, Polsay is really 2 cities, one on each shore, with the eastern part larger than the western one. The CBD is mainly concentrated on the eastern shore. A small area of that CBD is shown in the next picture.

[Image: juQbcK.jpg]

Aside from the large baseball stadium and the main swimming center, many commercial towers can be seen. Game purists would point out that there are too many occurrences of the same buildings ; this is something that doesn’t bother me a lot, even when I find that the game ‘exagerates’ with those replications.

There is virtually no space left for additional construction, either residential or commercial. Yet I continue to play the city, a few game months at a time. Since it is a ‘pass-thru city’, I concentrate on the intercity traffic, aiming at keeping it within appropriate boundaries.

Currently the highway trafic on the links to Salveille on one side and Arcens on the other side is under scrutiny. The link to Salveille is an 8-lane highway (RHW-8S) (The Salveille side was described in post #122).

[Image: z6K6nE.jpg]

It is saturated, during the morning commute, in the direction incoming from Salveille :

[Image: LfUVl9.jpg]

The link to Arcens was a 4-lane highway, recently upgraded to 6-lane (RHW-6S). It is also saturated during the morning commute, in the direction going to Arcens :

[Image: NX76cP.jpg]

Although I haven’t analysed the situation in detail, it seems at first glance that the bulk of the car traffic coming from Salveille passes thru Polsay and continues on to Arcens, with additional car traffic generated locally in Polsay.

In order to contain that car traffic I will need to look in detail where it originates in Salveille, and see if I can get some of the commuters to switch to public transportation, since an expansion of the highway network is not possible without destroying built up areas, something that I don’t do unless absolutely forced to. It is, of course, an interesting challenge.

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