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Maxis Pledges To Fix SimCity's Traffic Congestion & Pathfinding

Jonathan Lester
EA, Maxis, PC games, SimCity

Maxis Pledges To Fix SimCity's Traffic Congestion & Pathfinding

SimCity's Lead Gameplay Scripter has revealed some of the inner workings of the Glassbox engine in a recent blog post, specifically the pathfinding behind traffic and public transport. Many players are wondering how deep the rabbit hole goes, having noted numerous issues with cars and buses missing their destinations, and fixes are apparently on the way.

Maxis' Guillaume Pierre goes into some seriously beardy detail about public transit and traffic, which will make for a fascinating read if you're wondering exactly how Glassbox simulates vehicles. However, he also acknowledges that there are a some flaws in the current model, and suggests that they're working on a couple of solutions.

“High priority pick-up destinations that transit vehicles will go to first" will soon be added to the game, while more advanced pathfinding should allow vehicles to avoid traffic jams rather than clog up specific highways.

"Another problem is that, well, all the vehicles that are in the same area and want to go to the same destination type will all follow the same path, resulting in clumping and general traffic problems," Pierre explained. "We’re looking into various ways to improve the situation so traffic will spread out better."

Now that SimCity's online infrastructure is broadly working properly, we're getting stuck into our full review, but some of our readers are already taking issue with several problems including restrictive city sizes and counter-intuitive revenue generation. With luck, Maxis will continue to explain how these systems work in future blog posts.

Add a comment 1 comment
DrTrouserPlank  Mar. 14, 2013 at 07:56

Traffic pathfinding is the number one priority because it brings cities to a complete standstill. Larger plots would be nice, but without fixes to the traffic they would be impractical.

My conclusion on glassbox at the moment (assuming that it is largely running as intended) is that it is far more simplistic than it was portrayed as being.

This is to all intents and purposes a large scale beta. One that should have taken place from January onwards because a lot of the problems this game has are simply the result of testing rather than actual bugs.

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