Simcity Developer Q.A. Session: No Subways; Asynchronous Gameplay, Weather System

We’ve compiled all of the current question and answers with Simcity development team into one post. Information was acquired from the Simcity Forums and Twitter.

RCI Demand and Zoning

  • You can build any combination of RCI lots throughout the city.  Pure residential cities have a unique set of problems different from the pure commercial cities. You can split up zoning amongst cities and have residents commute to different cities. Residents usually want expensive services which you can place in different cities and share between them. (Subject to change in final game.)
  • When commercial buildings upgrade, you may see some shops on the street floor. The number of customers for a commercial zone is based on the entire building and not per business.
  • Zone sizes are based on the road type. Their widths are in 8 meter increments. Two lane streets have short lots and can only accommodate low density buildings. Four lane streets and roads support higher densities.
  • Building upgrades are based on how successful it is. For example, if a low density shop gets a lot of customers because it was placed near public transportation, it will then tell the simulation which will enable a medium density building to to be built over it. However, building density is based on the type of road it’s attached to. Two lane streets only support low density buildings, but avenues can support all density types.
  • For a residential building to upgrade, they factor in their ability to earn and spend, while industrial buildings check to see if they’re able to deliver freight. The traffic around these areas will factor into the successfulness of the lot.
  • You can control taxes for RCI  based on three levels, “low, medium, and high.”

Infrastructure and Terrain

  • Buildings flatten and roads cut through the terrain.
  • Highest land elevation is dependent on region.
  • Roads auto-snap when you get to 45 and 90 degree angles.
  • They are still experimenting with the distance between cities.
  • If you bulldoze a road, the building that is attached to that piece of road gets demolished too. There’s also a confirmation screen if you bulldoze a road next to a civic building.
  • Rail lines will curve on a 90 degree angle.
  • They don’t have plans to do toll roads yet.
  • Taxis are available to transport tourists.
  • Multiple cities can share the same public transportation network as long as each city utilizes the same transportation type. For example, you can set up a bus terminal in one city, and bus stops in another city.

City Specialization

  • You can create cities with multiple specializations.
  • Universities can research advanced technology to upgrade the effectiveness of your power plants.


  • Landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben are fully functional. Tourists come to your city to check them out and stay at hotels around your city.
  • Sims can work at Landmarks.
  • Big Ben will tell the current game time.


  • Weather is simulated throughout the year. In Winter, there’s more rain, which makes the grass greener. In the summer months, the water table evaporates.
  • The game follows Simcity4’s model of having sea level elevation to form rivers and oceans.
  • There’s Wind, Solar, Oil, and Nuclear Power Plants. There’s also a garbage incinerator, but it doesn’t produce power.
  • There’s Coal, Ore, and Oil which can be refined into resources like steel and plastic.

Disasters and Emergency Response

  • Emergency response runs automatically, its effectiveness is based on the modules you add onto the service building.
  • When a Sim is sick, they can walk to the hospital. But when they are injured, an ambulance needs to pick them up before they die.
  • There will be protests at City Hall if Sims are unhappy.

Region, SimWorld and Multiplayer

  • City size 2k x 2k.
  • The marketplace is driven by SimWorld, you can gift resources and cash between cities.
  • You can trade resources to other cities as long as there are road access.
  • The region has prebuilt methods of transportation which you can connect your city to.
  • You can kick people out of your region. [The Development Team decided to remove this feature.]
  • The number of cities available varies by region.
  • You can watch your friends’ cities grow in spectator mode.
  • You can complete Great Works by yourself by controlling multiple cities.
  • You can take control of a city if it was abandoned.
  • Chat is stored on the region.

Interesting Questions

Q.  Why are city sizes so small?

A. The cities are that size because we’d rather build a rich, intense, simulation than a statistical one. We also want the terrain to provide a push-back on the players, so we’re making interesting regions that will challenging.

Q. Is there a pause feature?

A. Yes the gameplay is asynchronous, every city runs at its own pace.

Q. Why no subways?

A. They’d like to work on subways at some point but they aren’t planned for now.

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5 thoughts on “Simcity Developer Q.A. Session: No Subways; Asynchronous Gameplay, Weather System”

  1. good job, thank you. and i have a question.

    >>Infrastructure and Terrain
    >>They don’t have plans to do toll roads yet.

    where is this source? please teach me.

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