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SimCity 4
Sc4box.jpg
North American boxart, PC version
Developer(s) Maxis
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts (Windows)
Aspyr Media (Mac)
Designer(s) Joseph Knight
Michael McCormick
Series SimCity
Engine Custom
Version 1.1.638.0
Platform(s) Windows
Mac OS X
Release date(s) PC January 14, 2003[1]
Mac June 20, 2003[2]
Genre(s) Construction and management simulation, city-building
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s) ESRB: E
OFLC: G
PEGI: 3+
Media 2x CD
System requirements
Input methods Keyboard and mouse

SimCity 4 (SC4) is a city-building simulation computer game developed by Maxis, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts. It was released on January 14, 2003. It is the fourth installment in the SimCity series. SimCity 4 has a single expansion pack known as Rush Hour which adds additional features to the game. SimCity 4: Deluxe Edition contained the original game and Rush Hour combined as a single product.

The game allows players to create a region of land by terraforming, and then to design and build a settlement which can grow into a city. Players can zone different areas of land as commercial, industrial, or residential development, as well as build and maintain public services, transport and utilities. For the success of a city players must manage its finances, environment, and quality of life for its residents. SimCity 4 introduces night and day cycles and other special effects for the first time in the SimCity series. External tools such as the Building Architect Tool (BAT) allow custom third party buildings and content to be added to the gameplay.

SimCity 4 was praised for being the second game in the SimCity series to primarily use a 3D engine to render its graphics, the first being SimCity 64 for the ill-fated Nintendo 64DD. It received widespread acclaim, won several awards, and was one of the top ten selling PC games of 2003.[3] It was however criticised for the difficulty of gameplay and computer performance.

Contents

Gameplay

Regional gameplay

A collection of cities, as seen in the game's regional view.

As with previous SimCity titles, SimCity 4 places players in the role of a mayor (or several mayors), tasked with populating and developing tracts of lands into cities, while fulfilling the needs of fellow Sims that live in the cities. Cities are now located in regions that are divided into segments, each of which can be developed. The player has the option of starting the city in a segment of any of three area sizes, in real measurement the smallest has a length of 1 kilometers on a side, and the largest has a length of 4 kilometers on a side.[4] The size of a region and its layout of segments can be changed in a bitmap file provided for each region.

Neighbor cities play a larger role than in the previous versions of the game. For example, neighbor deals can be established, where a city can exchange resources such as water, electricity, garbage disposal with other cities for money. Players may develop several inter-dependent cities at the same time, eventually populating the entire region.

Game modes

Upon selecting a specific segment in a region, gameplay is divided into three "modes". Mayor and MySim modes become available after choosing a name for the city. The god mode is available before establishing a city.

God mode

A volcanic eruption destroying a city block.

The first is the God Mode, which allows players to design or terraform a selected tract of land where the city will be built. God Mode also allows players to trigger disasters, including tornadoes and earthquakes among several others. Players can select an area where a disaster will occur and even control the direction of certain disasters. Most terraforming tools are disabled after the city is named and founded. The player still has some terraforming tools made available in Mayor Mode (although they become very limited and expensive) and can still trigger disasters at will. However, a cheat can be used to enable the terraforming tools lost after founding the city. In addition to these abilities, God Mode also gives one tools to reconcile the borders of the cities, so as to fix any discrepancies created during the terraforming process, and a day/night cycle adjustment, so that one can make it always day, always night, or alternate between day or night in accordance with the in-universe game clock. Both the ability to reconcile the city edges and the ability to modify the day/night cycle are available even once the city has been established.

Mayor mode

The second of the modes is the Mayor Mode, where the actual city building is conducted, several advisers may give advice to the player on how to best manage a city. Players can build transportation networks, which include roads, streets, avenues, highways, railways, subway lines, and bus stations.

A screen-shot of an entire view of a densely populated city, includes third party modifications and plug-ins.

Areas of land in this mode can be zoned as residential, commercial or industrial areas where the city will begin to grow. Agriculture is now a separate industrial zone-type, unlike previous version of SimCity enabling for farms to grow regardless of high land value, so long as there exists demand for agriculture and agricultural zones have been provided. Zones are now automatically aligned towards roads and most buildings must be adjacent to a road in order to function properly; streets are automatically created when zoning on large tracts of land. Buildings are now classified into several wealth levels, zone types, and building size stages, which are affected by the region's population and the city's condition. The game simulates urban decay and gentrification with buildings deteriorating accordingly. Buildings originally constructed for occupation by higher wealth tenants can now support lower wealth tenants in the event surrounding factors forces the current tenants to vacate the building; this allows certain buildings to remain in use despite lacking its initial occupants.[5] Buildings and lots can now be constructed on slopes.

Other activities that players can do in Mayor Mode include building civic buildings that need constant funding to work properly, such as schools, hospitals, parks, police stations, jails, fire stations. These buildings now come in two or more sizes compared to the single, universal types that were used in previous games. Settlements also need public utilities such as electricity with more or less polluting and more or less expensive types of power stations, water pumps, water purification plants, and waste management services. Facilities that had previously provided citywide coverage, such as educational facilities and medical facilities, have now been modified to provide a more limited coverage, as it has been with police stations and fire stations in previous SimCity titles. Funding can now be adjusted for individual buildings rather than having to change the funding to all buildings, allowing users to specify how much money should be spent to supply a service in accordance to the local population. Maintenance expenses for public utility facilities will increase as they age. The maximum output of facilities also decreases as they get older. The rate at which facilities age is dependent on the percentage of its capacity being used and the level of funding being given to it.[6]

MySim mode

The final mode is the MySim mode which enables players to create user-defined Sims, which will live and work in the city the player has created. When moving a Sim into a city, the player can choose from a selection of characters or import others from The Sims. Sims can be killed by certain disasters, leave the city if conditions are unfavorable, or die of old age.

Building designs

Buildings in SimCity 4 borrow heavily from early 20th century architectural styles, particularly Art Deco and Romanesque Revival, while houses can appear in a traditional American Craftsman style. However, there is an additional, more modern, architectural style similar to Houston's architectural style, and a European style that is based on the skyline of Frankfurt, Germany. The construction of new buildings on zoned areas is now animated. There are a number of buildings based on those found in San Francisco, including the Shell Building (appearing as "Wren Insurance"),[7] 450 Sutter (appearing as "Vu Financial"),[8] and the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Building also known as 150 New Montgomery Street (as "The Galvin Corp").[9]

Development

SimCity 4 introduces day-night cycles as well as other special effects for the first time in the series. European building designs were also introduced into the game—note imitations of the Commerzbank Tower and Messeturm.

Graphics

Unlike its predecessors, which used an engine based on 2D isometric graphics and sprites, SimCity 4 primarily uses a 3D engine to render its graphics. The landscape and moving props such as vehicles are modeled as fully polygonal 3D objects. Small buildings and props are drawn as flat images, which are pasted onto billboards; polygons with their surface normal facing into the camera. Larger buildings are modeled using a hybrid approach; a simple polygonal model defines the shape of the building, then textures are added to create detail such as doors, windows and rooftop clutter.

Although a 3D engine is used, the camera in SimCity 4 is restricted to a fixed trimetric orthographic projection for performance reasons.[10] Additionally, a simulated city can now be seen at nighttime as well as during daytime. The time of the day does not affect the gameplay, other than the traffic in the city.

However, that is dependent on the in-game time, and not on whether or not the player is viewing the city in day or night mode.

Audio

The game includes over 1 hour of background music in MP3 format, ranging from four to seven minutes in length. The music is divided between that used in Region Mode and God Mode, and that used in the city view in Mayor Mode and My Sim Mode. In addition, the game has a facility for players to use their own music in the game, also divided between the two views. The music, composed by Jerry Martin, is available as a "soundtrack" on iTunes.

Add-ons and modifications

Following SimCity 4's release, several add-ons and development kits were made available on its official site.

New landmarks, including Rockefeller Center, the Brandenburg Gate, and Stonehenge were made available online.[11] Later, landmarks were primarily used to demonstrate the capability of Gmax and the Building Architect Tool (BAT) around the time of the BAT's release.[12]

A tool called the Terrain Generator allowed users to create maps based on any of the 48 contiguous United States. The maps are based on data collected by the United States Geological Survey.[13]

The Building Architect Tool (BAT) is a suite of tools developed for producing custom buildings. The suite consists of three applications: The Building Architect game pack for Gmax, which enabled users to render Gmax models into SimCity 4 sprites or props to be imported into the LE; an updated version of the LE; and the standalone Plug-in Manager, which enables users to modify simulation properties for new lots. Several modified versions have been released that have, in effect, served as bug fixes for various problems that had not been discovered before the initial release. First released on February 2004, it enabled the modding community to produce custom buildings and props for SC4.[citation needed] SimCity 4's Building Architect Tool is similar in function to SimCity 3000's Building Architect Tool and SimCity 2000's Urban Renewal Kit; however, previous programs of this kind were created from scratch by Maxis and used completely different interfaces. The SC4 BAT required a third party application (Gmax) to function, and was never bundled with SC4's or the Rush Hour expansion pack, as SimCity 3000 Unlimited had with its own BAT.

The Lot Editor (LE) is a tool which allows users to edit or design lots for SimCity 4 using available props. Because it was released several months before the BAT as a stand-alone version, users at the time were only capable of producing lots that consisted of built-in props from SC4. The BAT provided users with an updated version of the LE, which rendered the original LE utility obsolete. However, the old version is still made available in the official site.[14]

In addition to official tools, third party programs were released for further accessibility in editing SimCity 4 contents, potentially allowing users to change the nature of the game itself. Since the release of the Lot Editor and the BAT, the majority of add-ons in circulation consists of user-created content; most are buildings and lots, while others include cosmetic changes for terrains, custom vehicles and modifications in the game's behaviors. Both the skills of lot building and modding are also integrated at times, producing lots that are capable of affecting a city in a variety of ways.[citation needed]

Bugs

Maxis and Electronic Arts have released a total of three patches that improve or fix issues discovered in the original versions of SC4 and Rush Hour (two for the original SC4 and one for Rush Hour). Among other things, the patches contain performance improvements for larger cities and a variety of minor bug fixes. The two pre-Rush Hour patches each fixed errors in the game code that, while not impeding actual gameplay, were previously preventing nearly a third of the Maxis-designed buildings from ever appearing in the game. The first patch fixed the so-called "Houston Tileset Bug" which was leaving one of the game's three tilesets, a collection of contemporary Houston-inspired buildings, completely out of the rotation, meaning that the only buildings from that tileset ever to appear were several smaller variations shared by all three of the game's original tilesets. With the introduction of that patch, it rapidly became apparent that there was another underlying bug that was preventing approximately two dozen of the game's largest buildings from appearing. This issue was fixed in the second patch.[15]

Although not necessarily a "bug", players often complained about the unrealistic pathfinding mechanism; it would often find the shortest route but not the fastest,[16] which often left mass transit and highways relatively unused. Many players made mods to attempt to rectify the issue.

An integer overflow bug is also present in the game. Under certain conditions, the Junior Sports Program and Parks and Recreation expense items will be a negative value - thus adding to the end of month balance instead of reducing it. Electronic Arts is currently investigating this.[15]

The game runs with major flaws under Apple Computer's new Intel processors,[17] including frequent crashes if a city exceeds 95,000 population. Other bugs that occur during this include flawed display of the water surface and frequent blurring or replacement of objects with random other objects.

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 85.1%[18]
Metacritic 84 of 100[19]
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com B+[20]
GameSpot 8.1 of 10[21]
GameSpy 75 of 100[22]
IGN 9.2 of 10[23]
InsideMacGames 7.25 of 10[24]
Awards
IGN: Editors' Choice[25]
Parents' Choice Foundation: Parents' Choice Award[26]

Shortly after its release, the PC version of SimCity 4 garnered mainly positive reviews, gaining 84/100 from Metacritic,[19] and an 85.1% overall score from Game Rankings.[18]

The game got a 9.2/10 rating at IGN, calling it a "major evolutionary step in the series".[23] The review commented that the addition of the region view mode adds more depth to SimCity 4 and that the gameplay has a "more accurate representation of city planning and maintenance" than of previous titles in the SimCity series. The game scored an 8.1/10 rating at GameSpot, stating that the game had a "sleek, attractive interface" and "great audio"; it added however that SimCity 4 was "rather rushed" and that the MySim mode "seems like an afterthought". The review concluded that it was a "complex and detailed strategy game", "though not as polished as it could have been".[21] GameSpy gave the game a score of 75/100, commenting that SimCity 4 is "graphically stunning"; the review also criticized the game for having issues "that will likely kill the game for casual players" including performance and difficulty.[22] 1UP.com rated the game at B+ and praised the region view feature as well as the detail of the graphics which create a "deeper sense of simulation". The review however criticizes SimCity 4 for suffering crashes and performance issues.[20] Game Freaks 365 reviewed SimCity 4 Deluxe giving it a 9.3 out of 10. The review stated that SimCity 4 Deluxe "is a magnificent simulator of how to build, run and manage a city." It went on to say that, "If you want the best of the best then Sim City 4 Deluxe is the only way to go."[27]

SimCity 4 received further reviews after the release of the Macintosh version. The game received a rating of 7.25/10 from InsideMacGames. The review commented that the regional gameplay was a "new and welcome addition" and that it had detailed and realistic graphics; it was also said however that the game was not "revolutionary", had "horrendous bugs", and that the tutorial and manual lacked information.[24]

Awards

SimCity 4 was chosen as one of IGN's "Editors' Choice" games for January 2003.[25] It was also given the Parents' Choice Award by the Parents' Choice Foundation.[26]

Expansions

On September 22, 2003, Maxis released an expansion pack for SimCity 4 dubbed Rush Hour. SimCity 4: Deluxe Edition, a bundle of the original SimCity 4 game and the Rush Hour expansion pack, was released on the same day. On August 25, 2004, Aspyr Media released SimCity 4: Deluxe Edition for Mac OS X. This was followed by a September 4, 2004 release of a Mac OS X version of SimCity 4: Rush Hour.

The expansion pack, among others, enhances the range of transportation facilities such as four lane avenues, as well as allowing the player to trace traffic flow, control vehicles and construct larger civic facilities, and introduces a new range of contemporary European-inspired architecture.

Future updates

Will Wright has previously stated in an interview on May 16, 2003, that there would probably be more expansion packs after Rush Hour,[28] but none have been confirmed to date. In another interview on May 22, 2004, Wright stated that Maxis is currently attempting to work out a "new direction" for SimCity after new versions had become "steadily more complex".[29] He ended his comments on SimCity with the following:

SimCity kind of worked itself into a corner, (because) we were still appealing to this core SimCity group. It had gotten a little complicated for people who had never played SimCity. We want to take it back to its roots where somebody who had never heard of SimCity can pick it up and enjoy playing it without thinking it was really, really hard.

Electronic Arts has since published a new SimCity game,[30] SimCity Societies, which was developed by Tilted Mill Entertainment. It was released on November 13, 2007.[31]

References

  1. ^ "SimCity 4". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Electronic-Arts-SimCity-4/dp/B00006F7S8/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2/002-2196667-1352869?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1192279677&sr=1-2. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  2. ^ "SimCity 4 (Mac)". Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Aspyr-618870103501-SimCity-4-Mac/dp/B00008YGMU. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  3. ^ "The NPD group reports annual 2003 U.S. video game industry driven by console software sales". NPD Group. http://forum.pcvsconsole.com/viewthread.php?tid=8649. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  4. ^ Quigley, Ocean; Robinson, D.B. (2003-06-17). "Creating regions in SimCity 4". Knowledge Base. SC4EVER.com. http://sc4ever.com/knowledge/showarticle.cfm?id=1103. Retrieved 2008-06-18. "A small city is a kilometer on a side" 
  5. ^ Kramer, Greg (2003-08-31). "Chapter 7: Developer Types and Occupancy". SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition: Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima Games. pp. 55. ISBN 978-0761543282. 
  6. ^ Kramer, Greg (2003-08-31). "Chapter 17: Utilities". SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition: Prima's Official Strategy Guide. Prima Games. pp. 200–203. ISBN 978-0761543282. 
  7. ^ "Shell Building". Emporis. http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=118743. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  8. ^ "450 Sutter". Emporis. http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=118820. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  9. ^ "140 New Montgomery". Emporis. http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=118764. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  10. ^ "SimCity Retrospective Pt III -SimCity 4, Rush Hour, and the Web". Maxis, Electronic Arts. http://simcity.ea.com/about/inside_scoop/sc4_retrospective.php. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  11. ^ "Building & Prop Downloads". Maxis. http://simcity.ea.com/coolstuff/landmarks/index.php. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  12. ^ "Will Wright Chat Transcript". Maxis. 2004-02-05. http://simcity.ea.com/community/events/bat_chat_2_05_04.php. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  13. ^ "Cool Stuff: Terrain Generator". Maxis, Electronic Arts. http://simcity.ea.com/coolstuff/terrain/terrain_01.php. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  14. ^ "Lot Editor FAQ". Maxis. http://simcity.ea.com/coolstuff/loteditor/loteditortool_02.php. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  15. ^ a b "SimCity 4 Original Update". Maxis, Electronic Arts. http://simcity.ea.com/update/index_update.php?product=R1&x=43&y=8. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  16. ^ ""Commute time and pathfinding report"". Simtropolis. http://www.simtropolis.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=147&threadid=76157&enterthread=y. Retrieved 2008-07-28. 
  17. ^ MACupdate.com
  18. ^ a b "SimCity 4 review compilation". Game Rankings. http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/561176.asp?q=SimCity%204. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  19. ^ a b "SimCity 4 (pc:2003): Reviews". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/pc/simcity4?q=SimCity%204. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  20. ^ a b "SimCity 4 (PC)". 1UP.com. 2000-01-01. http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId=3103192&p=1&sec=REVIEWS. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  21. ^ a b "SimCity 4 review". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/simcity4/review.html. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  22. ^ a b Kosak, Dave (2003-01-25). "SimCity 4 (PC)". GameSpy. http://archive.gamespy.com/reviews/january03/simcity4pc/. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  23. ^ a b Blevins, Tal. "SimCity 4 review". IGN. http://pc.ign.com/articles/382/382583p1.html. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  24. ^ a b Halloran, Karen (2003-07-29). "SimCity 4". InsideMacGames. http://www.insidemacgames.com/reviews/view.php?ID=392&Page=1. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  25. ^ a b "IGN Announces January ``Editors' Choice Awards; Editors Honor Best New Game Releases". Business Wire. 2003-02-18. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2003_Feb_18/ai_97779694. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  26. ^ a b "SimCity Team Receives Prestigious Parents' Choice Gold Award". Electronic Arts. http://simcity.ea.com/about/awards/awards.php. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  27. ^ "SimCity 4 Deluxe Review". Game Freaks 365. http://gamefreaks365.com/review.php?artid=1582. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  28. ^ "GameSpy LiveWire - Will Wright Interview". GameSpy. http://www.fileplanet.com/123915/120000/fileinfo/GameSpy-LiveWire---Will-Wright-Interview. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  29. ^ "'Sims' creator is Livin' Large". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/videogames/174491_simsguy22.html. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  30. ^ "Sims 3, Wii/PS3 Sims, next-gen Black, new SimCity & LOTR coming". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/news/6160951.html. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 
  31. ^ "SimCity released". Business Wire. http://www.thesims2.co.za/content/view/727/1/. Retrieved 2008-06-18. 

External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

SimCity 4
Box artwork for SimCity 4.
Developer(s) Maxis
Publisher(s)
Designer(s) Will Wright
Latest version 1.0.2
Release date(s)
Windows
Mac OS
Genre(s) Simulation
System(s) Windows, Mac OS
Players 1
Mode(s) Single player
Rating(s)
PEGI: Ages 3+
ESRB: Everyone
OFLC: General
Media CD
System requirements (help)
Windows
CPU clock speed

500MHz

System RAM

128MiB

Disk space

1GiB

Video RAM

32MiB

Optical drive speed

8x

DirectX version
Version 7
Mac OS

See above

Expansion pack(s) SimCity 4: Rush Hour
Preceded by SimCity 3000
Followed by SimCity Societies
Series SimCity

There are many differences between SimCity 4 and previous versions, the largest difference being that cities are now located in regions that are divided into segments, each of which can be developed. The regional play concept adds a whole new dimension to this sequel of SimCity.

Neighbor cities played a large role in the previous version of the game, SimCity 3000. For example, neighbor deals could be established, where a city could exchange resources such as water, electricity, or garbage disposal for money. In this version, the player may develop several dependent cities at the same time, eventually populating the entire region. Additionally, the simulated city can now be seen at night time as well as during daytime.

SimCity 4 can be used in conjunction with Maxis' popular game The Sims. Sims can be imported into the city where they will report what they think of the area they are living in. SC4 comes with some default sims for those without a copy of the game. Moreover, SC4 does have a control interface very similar to The Sims.

Graphics in SimCity 4 are rendered using trimetric orthographic projection whereas SimCity 2000 and SimCity 3000 were rendered with diametric projection. According to an article on the history of SimCity, published on its official site, free camera movement was considered but rejected for use in this version and a locked perspective camera was retained from earlier versions. Like The Sims, SimCity 4 incorporates both 2D and 3D graphics in the game; buildings and static props are presented as sprites wrapped around polygons, and a majority of other elements have incorporated full 3D graphics, such as the natural landscape, moving vehicles, roads and railways.

You can also port the .sc4 files from SimCity 4 to The Sims 2 for new neighborhood types.

Table of Contents

My Sim Mode
Appendices

editSimCity seriesSim

Maxis Line · SimCity · SimCity 2000 (SimCopter · Streets of SimCity) · SimCity 3000 · SimCity 4 (Rush Hour)

Other Versions · SimCity 64 · SimCity DS · SimCity Societies (Destinations) · SimCity Creator (DS)


Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

SimCity 4

Developer(s) Maxis
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Designer(s) Will Wright
Release date January 10, 2003
Genre Simulation
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) ESRB: E
Platform(s) PC, Mac, Linux
Media CD-ROM
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

SimCity 4 (SC4) is a 2003 simulation/city building computer game; the fourth installment in the SimCity series of games. It was published by Electronic Arts (EA) and developed by series creator Maxis, a wholly owned subsidiary of EA. Features the ability to import characters from The Sims to live in the city. An expansion, SimCity 4: Rush Hour was later released. The two were later packaged together in SimCity 4: Deluxe Edition.

Contents

Gameplay changes

Regional gameplay

As with previous SimCity titles, SimCity 4 places players in the role of a mayor (or several mayors), tasked with populating and developing tracts of lands into cities, while fulfilling the needs of fellow Sims that live in the cities. There are many differences between this game and previous versions, the largest difference being that cities are now located in regions that are divided into segments, each of which can be developed. The regional play concept adds a whole new dimension to this sequel of SimCity.

Neighbor cities play a larger role than in the previous version of the game, SimCity 3000. For example, neighbor deals can be established, where a city can exchange resources such as water, electricity, or garbage disposal for money. In this version, the player may develop several dependent cities at the same time, eventually populating the entire region.

Game modes

Upon selecting a specific segment in a region, gameplay is divided into three "modes". The first of which is the God Mode, which allows players to design or terraform a selected tract of land where the city will be built. God Mode also allows players to trigger disasters, including tornados, earthquakes and robot attacks, among several others.

The second of the modes is the Mayor Mode, the fundamental mode of the game where the actual city building is conducted. The mode allows players to insert necessary structures and facilities, such as roads, civic buildings, zoning and power stations, for the city to attract its intended tenants and grow.

The final mode is the My Sim mode which enables players to create user-defined Sims and closely assess citizens' needs. The mode primarily involves the deployment of Sims into the present city, where they will reside and provide feedback on the areas surrounding their home, commute and workplace.

Civic and utility structures

The functions of civic buildings have been overhauled in SC4. Facilities that had previously provided citywide coverage (educational facilities and hospitals) have now been modified to provide a more limited coverage, as it has been with police stations and fire stations in previous SimCity titles. This would require players to plan the best locations to provide sufficient civic services to Sims effectively (e.g. placing schools in or around residential areas).

Zoning and building occupancy

Zoning and building size have also changed. Rather than have a large area zoned and have roads ringing it, zones are automatically aligned towards roads to avoid the aesthetic frustration in earlier SimCity games, such as buildings and garages constructed facing the wrong way from the road. Also, streets are automatically created when zoning on large tracts of land. Buildings are now classified into several wealth levels, zone types and "stages" (building size and density), which are affected by the region's population and the city's condition; commercial buildings, for example, may be divided into services and offices, with the former typically in higher demand and better suited for less educated Sims.

Compatibility with The Sims and The Sims 2

SimCity 4 can be used in conjunction with Maxis' popular game The Sims. Sims from can be imported into the city where they will report what they think of the area they are living in. SC4 comes with 21 default Sims for those without a copy of the game. Moreover, SC4 has a control interface very similar to The Sims.

In addition, city layouts created in SimCity 4 can be used as neighborhood templates in The Sims 2. The location of roads, trees, bridges, and map features such as rivers and hills are preserved in the importation.

Graphics and music

Unlike its predecessors, which used an engine based on 2D dimetric projection and sprite, SimCity 4 primarily uses a 3D engine to render its graphics. The landscape and moving props such as vehicles are modeled as fully polygonal 3D objects.

Although a 3D engine is used, the camera in SimCity 4 is restricted to a fixed trimetric orthographic projection, giving a similar feel to older SimCity games. This is for performance reasons.

The game includes over three hours of background music (mostly library pieces) in MP3 format, ranging from four to seven minutes in length. The music is divided between that used in Region Mode and God Mode, and that used in the city view in Mayor Mode (see below).

Building designs

Repeating the limited design principle practiced during SimCity 3000, commercial and residential buildings in SimCity 4 borrow heavily from early 20th century architectural styles, particularly Art Deco and Romanesque Revival, while most houses appear in a traditional American Craftsman bungalow style, and modern architecture is sprinkled throughout this mix.

There are a number of buildings based on those found in San Francisco, including the Shell Building (appearing as "Wren Insurance"), 450 Sutter (appearing as "Vu Financial"), and the PacBell Building (as "The Galvin Corp"). Three of the game's bridges are also based on real-life versions, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge. The Rush Hour expansion pack also includes a bridge modeled to the likeness of the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and several Europe-designed buildings based on real-life counterparts in Europe, mostly from Frankfurt, Germany, such as the Commerzbank Tower (as "Hurt Enterprises HQ").

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This article uses material from the "SimCity 4" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

SimCity 4 is the fourth sequel to the SimCity computer game. It was created by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts.

New Features

The main new feature in this game is the addition of 'God Mode'. This is one of the three elements of gameplay. Players can add mountains, lakes, rivers and canyons to their landscape.

Another feature is "MySims" mode, a mode that lets players import their Sims from the game The Sims and add them into their city. This lets players see what they are thinking.

RCI

RCI stands for residential, commercial, and industry demand. The higher the demand the faster the city grows. No demand or negative demand causes buildings to be empty and run down.

City Growth

Big buildings show up when you have high density zones. The amount of people living in the city changes the amount of skyscrapers built in the city. Skyscrapers can be built when residential population reaches 30,000, and when commercial population reaches 45,000.








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