Chat About SimCity

Thursday, November 20, 2003 - 22:00

SimCity Producer's Kevin Hogan, Mike Cox, and Dr. Vu joined us to discuss SimCity. Go to to get the transcripts.

SimCity Producers Kevin Hogan, Mike Cox, and Dr. Vu joined us for a chat to discuss all things SimCity. What follows is the transcript:
mr_helm03 (Nov 19, 2003 5:55:22 PM)
hi, thankyou for taking your time out of your sheduel to chat with us! what are your future plans for Sim City?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 5:55:22 PM)
Of course, there are tons of things in the plans

MaxisShorty (Nov 19, 2003 5:55:28 PM)
Please feel free to begin submitting questions, but please also remember to keep to topic.

MaxisShorty (Nov 19, 2003 5:56:26 PM)
Remember - there's no need to say hello. Please keep your comments to questions only.

raevenangel13 (Nov 19, 2003 5:56:53 PM)
what is the topic?

MaxisShorty (Nov 19, 2003 5:56:53 PM)
Today's topic is all about SimCity.

UKSimmer (Nov 19, 2003 5:57:23 PM)
Will the My Sims feature be updated to work with 'The Sims 2'?

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 5:57:23 PM)
This chat is about SimCity. We'll be having a Sims 2 chat in the future but won't be answering questions about that today.

MaxisKitty (Nov 19, 2003 5:59:21 PM)
Hello and welcome to today's chat all about Sim City! With us today are Sim City Producer Kevin Hogan, Dr. Vu and Associate Producer Mike Cox

csnowmon (Nov 19, 2003 6:00:08 PM)
what sim city are we chatting about?

MaxisShorty (Nov 19, 2003 6:00:08 PM)
Today's chat will be limited to SimCity 4 and Rush Hour, but questions about earlier versions of the game will be considered.

Stash (Nov 19, 2003 6:00:51 PM)
Will SimCity ever get another console version ever made again (like Gamecube, Xbox, or PS2)?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:00:51 PM)
hey everyone,We currently have no announced plans for a console version of SimCity.

thesiddog (Nov 19, 2003 6:01:09 PM)
Can you explain to me what a 64x64 city is. Is that the smallest?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:01:09 PM)
Yes. A 64x64 city is the smallest in SimCity. The dimensions refer to the grids on the city.

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:01:13 PM)
Hi everyone, good to see you all coming in to chat with us.

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:01:17 PM)
Hello all!

chickmagnet (Nov 19, 2003 6:02:20 PM)
what is so great about sims city 4 and rush hour?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:02:20 PM)
Many things. If you have always wanted to drive around your city now you can. There are also lots of cool new buildings. There are some really cool tools that help you improve your traffic.

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 6:02:23 PM)

simsfan14 (Nov 19, 2003 6:02:51 PM)
Dr. Vu, what is your favorite vehicle in Rush Hour?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:02:51 PM)
My favorite has got to be the school bus with the kids; another favorite of mine is the UFO. Hopefully, everyone would have a favorite vehicle that they love driving.

PooheadMAX (Nov 19, 2003 6:03:34 PM)
We understand that some of the Maxis programmer's have been working with the Mod-Squad on some transportation bug's and fixes. Can we expect that the pathfinding will be improved on the next Rush Hour update?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:03:34 PM)
The community has been providing a lot of support in resolving some issues in Rush Hour/Deluxe. Their help has been invaluable. In particular, The7Trumpets has been a HUGE help.

shareallicu (Nov 19, 2003 6:03:42 PM)
will simcity ever be a 3D city?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:03:42 PM)
SimCity is 3d. If you have ever played with the lot editor you will see all the models and can arrange them how ever you wish. Some people think it is not 3d because you can not move the camera in an umlimited way. For simcity we have only the fixed views in the 3d environment.

Stash (Nov 19, 2003 6:04:48 PM)
How many lines of code were in the orignal SimCity?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:04:48 PM)
From what I last heard, upwards of 500k. Kudos to our programmers. This is a complex game.

scooby_dooby_doo03 (Nov 19, 2003 6:05:02 PM)
What kind of new downloads will MakisLucky be adding Wink

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 6:05:02 PM)
tune in on SimCity day and see - I'm only going to get crazier!!!

sc4dude (Nov 19, 2003 6:05:03 PM)
is a residential only large city withe the population of over 500K good

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:05:03 PM)
I think that is pretty good. How large is your map? I would imagine that you have a lot of hi-rises in a city like that.

MaxisShorty (Nov 19, 2003 6:05:09 PM)
Please refrain from re-submitting questions you already asked.

AshBash (Nov 19, 2003 6:05:23 PM)
Who thought of Sim City?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:05:23 PM)
That would be the wonderful Will Wright.

ButrSCth19 (Nov 19, 2003 6:06:46 PM)
Hi! I want to get Simciy 4 very badly, but do I need simcity 1 to have simcity 4???

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:06:46 PM)
Simcity 4 is a stand alone product from Simcity 1. If you get the deluxe version now, it will include the Rush Hour expansion pack. So no, you won't need Simcity 1 to play Simcity 4.

Stash (Nov 19, 2003 6:07:09 PM)
Why was the original full 3D version of SC3K cancled and instead the 2D version with locked camera was made instead? Why did SC4 have locked camera? The old unreleased SC3K with unlocked cameras and full 3D lookeded so cool. Will SimCity ever get unlocked (free) cameras in a full 3d city? That's why SimCopter is so cool, you can see your cities (from SC classic and SC2K) in full 3D and walk/fly around them.

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:07:09 PM)
The performance of 3K when it was full 3D was unacceptable. PC's at the time simply couldn't handle viewing an entire cityscape with the level of detail we felt we needed for the buildings, terrain , props, etc. In SimCity 4 we felt similarly. So we decided to go with a full 3D engine, which allowed for better terrain and visual effects, but we modeled the buildings without all the sides, which limited the camera directions. This helped keep performance to acceptable levels while we could still make very detailed buildings.

Aeslabelle (Nov 19, 2003 6:07:20 PM)
What are some key features that set SimCity4 apart from Simcity3k?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:07:20 PM)
The biggest differnece is the amount of detail in SC4 over 3000. There are tons of little props that the simulator uses to communicate the city conditions in SC4 that were not in 3000. Also, the simulator is much more detailed. In 3000 all effects like schools and fire were for the entire city. In SC4 there are local effects that the simulator tracts. That way you get more details in different parts of the city. There are other huge differences in the look.

MayorRybolton (Nov 19, 2003 6:07:49 PM)
If you had to describe Will Wright based on his genes, how would you do it. IE, I know he has both the crazy gene and the genius gene. Happy

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:07:49 PM)
His denim tends to be pretty well washed from what I can tell.

PooheadMAX (Nov 19, 2003 6:08:25 PM)
Can you give us a list of bug-fixes that will be included with the next Rush Hour "update" ?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:08:25 PM)
We definitely will publish the full list when we release the update.

MaxisShorty (Nov 19, 2003 6:08:27 PM)
Sorry, the correct URL for the SimCity retrospective article should be:

xoimaginexo (Nov 19, 2003 6:08:33 PM)
can u play with ur sims u've made in the sims game in sim city

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:08:33 PM)
Yes you can. IN SimCity 4 we put in an import Sim feature. That way you can move into your city your favorite sims.

AshBash (Nov 19, 2003 6:08:57 PM)
Any more plans for Sim City?

MayorRybolton (Nov 19, 2003 6:09:30 PM)
Did I get MaxisShorty a job? ;-

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 6:09:30 PM)
MaxisShorty did get a job. He has to listen to my rants and raves now all day long!

Stash (Nov 19, 2003 6:10:02 PM)
Why was it called SimCity 4 and not SimCity 4000 like the other sequals to SimCity?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:10:02 PM)
We actually spent a lot of time on this topic. In the end it comes down to aesthetics and marketing. Sorry I don't have a better answer than that.

Stash (Nov 19, 2003 6:10:55 PM)
Why was the original full 3D version of SC3K cancled and instead the 2D version with locked camera was made instead?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:10:55 PM)
That was a long time ago but let me see if I can answer. Basically, the look of the full 3d version was just not very satisfying to us. With the technology at the time we didn't feel like the look and feel was going to be as compelling as we would have wanted. SC4 comes close and is a full 3d environment. The camera positions are locked but there is so much detail in the game that locking the view is required if you want game speed to be appropriate.

MaxisShorty (Nov 19, 2003 6:11:01 PM)
Please ask your question only once! We have a complete queue of all your questions, so there is no need to re-submit questions.

Pepsiman_CR (Nov 19, 2003 6:11:05 PM)
Make Some NFL foodball Rawards!

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:11:05 PM)
Good idea. I would love to see that too!!

standbyme59 (Nov 19, 2003 6:11:20 PM)
I've played SimCity 3000, what new things do SimCity4 and RushHour bring into the game?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:11:20 PM)
Oh my, there are so many things that you can find in Simcity 4 that you won't find in Simcity 3000. I would recommend visiting the Simcity 4 website and check out the developers inside scoop at Here you will find quite a bit about Simcity 4. Some of the things right off the top of my head include: God mode terra-forming, U-Drive it, awesome graphics, Lot editor, new Simulations, new disasters, and way more!

standbyme59 (Nov 19, 2003 6:11:41 PM)
How did you all get to working on such a great game?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:11:41 PM)
We all work very hard and love what we do. Skill and some luck all got us to this great job.

megggie (Nov 19, 2003 6:13:10 PM)
are you answering questions about the sims 2 as well?

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 6:13:10 PM)
This chat is about SimCity. We'll be having a Sims 2 chat in the future but won't be answering questions about that today.

hackinosa (Nov 19, 2003 6:13:10 PM)
Dr. Vu, what can you do with the tank, other than buldoze buildings?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:13:10 PM)
There are missions that you can do with the tank to earn rewards such as money, mayor rating and desirability. Other than that, its way too much fun driving around blowing things up.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:13:38 PM)
can u build 5 lane highways?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:13:39 PM)
Not in Simcity 4, but you can build 6 lane highways.

Jqoc (Nov 19, 2003 6:13:59 PM)
What will the Building Architect tool be like?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:13:59 PM)
The building architect tool will be a 3d modeling tool that will enable you to export your creations and use them in SimCity. The tool is based on gMax from discreet. You can download a free copy from here.

Elenea (Nov 19, 2003 6:14:29 PM)
How much has the game changed since SimCity2000?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:14:29 PM)
Wow, where to start? There are a huge number of differences. The game is still fundamentally about building cities, and you still have RCI, but the visuals are much richer, the simulation is much deeper (e.g. it matters where you put your schools, not just that you have them), and the detail is way beyond what you'd see in 2K.

kristoo (Nov 19, 2003 6:15:47 PM)
Does SimCity 4 have the architectural and terrain-editing tools like SimCity 3000 (Unlimited) had?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:15:47 PM)
We are working on an architectural tool for SC4 now. You will be able to build 3d models, edit the properties of the models in a plugin editor and then put it all together with the lot editor. This tool should be even more powerful than the original BAT. It is built on gMax from discreet. A free copy of gMax can be found here

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:16:02 PM)
gMax can be downloaded from free from here.

Sim1013 (Nov 19, 2003 6:16:37 PM)
Why is it that when you query a residential house it says that it's education is high even though the data view is in the red for that area?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:16:37 PM)
The educational needs of a resident depends on their wealth-level. For example, low wealth residents don't require as high of education as high wealth sims.

Elenea (Nov 19, 2003 6:16:45 PM)
What do you suggest someone should do if they accidentally put their SimCity on Gazelle speed and it always goes to a newspaper before they can change it back to normal speed?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:16:45 PM)
Sounds like you are still playing SC2000. I would suggest playing at a slower speed or upgrading to the latest and greatest SC4

Zip (Nov 19, 2003 6:17:39 PM)
when will this chat end ?

MaxisShorty (Nov 19, 2003 6:17:39 PM)
today's chat end at 4pm PST

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:17:40 PM)
what do you do in sim city that is fun?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:17:41 PM)
You can build the city of your dreams, and then lay waste to it with a well place meteor shower. You can raise mountains, lower valleys, and play god. You can draw networks, while watching your sims go to work or school. You can check out the amazing architecture from around the world, without ever stepping one foot out the door. There is this and more in SimCity 4.

da_fitz (Nov 19, 2003 6:17:54 PM)
When can we expect the BAT?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:17:54 PM)
We are working hard on it now. Keep an eye out for it by the end of next month.

shareallicu (Nov 19, 2003 6:18:23 PM)
I want to thankyou soo much for the Rush Hour addition it Made the game 100 times more fun! thankyou:0)

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:18:23 PM)
I'm so glad you liked it. We kept you (the fans) in mind the whole time while developing it.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:18:35 PM)
Will you make a Building Creator like the one in Sim City 3000 Unlimited?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:18:35 PM)
We are currently working feverishly on a building architect tool of SimCity 4 based on GMAX (a freeware version of 3DStudio Max). We haven't announced a launch date for this yet, however.

hackinosa (Nov 19, 2003 6:18:37 PM)
Can you take vehicles out for leisure, or only for missions?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:18:37 PM)
You can choose to do free drive with all of the u-drive it vehicles. I like doing that to see how well my roads are put together in my city.

buggi (Nov 19, 2003 6:19:18 PM)
Why does MaxisKitty go crazy for the holidays? Happy

MaxisKitty (Nov 19, 2003 6:19:18 PM)
That is Maxis Lucky going crazy.. I am completely sane I assure you =)

sc4dude (Nov 19, 2003 6:20:08 PM)
can you get a large city with only residential zone over 1 million by it's self

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:20:08 PM)
Definitely, but you'll need to have cities in your region that have jobs. So one single city can be nothing but residential, but they have to be able to commute to a neighboring city to work.

LizzyD16 (Nov 19, 2003 6:20:12 PM)
What is BAT?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:20:12 PM)
BAT=Buildings Architect Tool. For SimCity 3k there was a modeling tool that enabled you to build with blocks and textures. For SimCity 4 we are putting together a full blown 3d modeling tool that will let you build stuff for SimCity 4

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:21:00 PM)
why does Elenea get to have so many questions answered? one per person should be the limit I'd say with so many people asking questions

MaxisKitty (Nov 19, 2003 6:21:00 PM)
We look at the questions being asked, not the person asking the questions. Think of a great question and it will probably get answered!

Jqoc (Nov 19, 2003 6:21:33 PM)
what are the requirements to getting stage 3 industrial buildings? most of the industry in my cities seem to be stage 1 and 2

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:21:33 PM)
Stage actually refers to a lot, not a building. Buildings can be used in multiple stages of lots. So the same industry building can be used in stage 1, 2 and 3 lots. Having said that, however, we are addressing the variety of industry buildings as part of the Rush Hour/Deluxe update.

shareallicu (Nov 19, 2003 6:21:57 PM)
I have a 1.8ghz celeron proc with 256mb of ram and plenty of space on my 60gig hard drive but its extremley hard to get a city over 10,000 because of the jumpiness and skipping it does..the music and the game. I have windows XP could i just need more ram?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:21:57 PM)
It's hard to say. This does not sound like a RAM problem. If you have not already done so I would make sure you have the latest video and audio drivers for you machine. Has tech support been able to help?

thesiddog (Nov 19, 2003 6:22:52 PM)
Who does the music for SC4? I really like the stuff that came with Rush Hour!

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:22:52 PM)
Jerry Martin, Andy Brick, The Humble Brothers, Walt Szalva, and Edwin Dolinski and a 70-man orchestra from the Czech Republic. My favorite song is the Wheels of Progress.

gwendigo (Nov 19, 2003 6:23:01 PM)
What do you mean by 'going crazy"?

MaxisKitty (Nov 19, 2003 6:23:01 PM)
she is giving away something special on the SimCity site every Tues.. she is crazy with the giveaways!

red3wing (Nov 19, 2003 6:23:33 PM)
What kind of updates can the players expect in the coming weeks?

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 6:23:33 PM)
Only the shadow knows.....

hackinosa (Nov 19, 2003 6:23:48 PM)
In Rush Hour, can you take cars out for leisure, or only for missions? And if you can, which ones?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:23:48 PM)
Yes you can. MySim cars can be taken out at any time, so if you have a MySim in your city you can choose their car and take it out for a spin. Other cars are available through the Earned Vehicles Catalog. And even if a mission is available for a vehicle, you can always select Free Ride.

standbyme59 (Nov 19, 2003 6:23:52 PM)
Will the BAT for SC4 be easy to use?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:23:52 PM) Check out the free downloads at discreet to see how easy, or hard, gMax is to use. The have lots of tutorials that will help you get started. The tool is a 3d modeling tool so I think it will be hard for people who have never used such things. But, their is so much power with this tool that I think people will be making really cool stuff.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:24:13 PM)
How come Maxis is always adding to its games and continues to support them for long periods after release, yet other developers do not?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:24:13 PM)
Maxis Developers strive to make quality products that tend to have staying power. Plus we like keeping our fans happy.

ga (Nov 19, 2003 6:24:22 PM)
Similar to sc4dude's question, can you get a large city with commercial only, if you have an all-residential town nearby?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:24:22 PM)
You sure can. You just need to make sure you have good city connections to a residential area.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:24:55 PM)
What are the side effects of having a toxic waste site?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:24:55 PM)
Toxic Waste sites reduce your mayor rating (which can lead to riots) and are a tad radioactive. So development won't happen near them.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:25:08 PM)
Was it fun creating the game and/or testing them?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:25:08 PM)
Everyday on the Simcity 4 project has been a dream come true for many of us.

Scrambled1 (Nov 19, 2003 6:26:08 PM)
I thaught the BAT From SC3 was a tad complicated... with the new BAT for SC4 ... will you be making it easier to use?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:26:09 PM)
We decided to give more power to the users with the SC4 BAT. With that said some people may find it to be complicated. That is the trade off for enabling you to build more detailed buildings for SC4

ButrSCth19 (Nov 19, 2003 6:27:23 PM)
In simcity 4 what sports are there(i saw football but is there baseball,etc.)as you can tell i dont have the game:(

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:27:23 PM)
Oh my, you should go out and experience it. We have baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis, and others. It's a blast watching all the activities occurring in your cities.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:27:54 PM)
I've only played The SIms, am I mising out on a lot of fun?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:27:54 PM)
I think so. If you love tinkering with something you have created I think you will really like simcity. The sims you are managing individuals. In simcity you are managing a whole city of sims and being mayor of a city.

Rogue18 (Nov 19, 2003 6:28:06 PM)
Thank you for having this chat, I don't know many people that can say they have been part of a chat with people who make their favorite game a reality.

MaxisKitty (Nov 19, 2003 6:28:06 PM)
We love holding them for you guys, they are a lot of fun for us as well

zenbungle (Nov 19, 2003 6:28:27 PM)
Rain and surface water were recently discovered in the SC4 coding. Is this something that will be "unlocked" in a download or will we have to wait for an expantion pack?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:28:27 PM)
Often times in development we start on features only to have to cut them later because of time contraints. Surface water is one of those. So there's still some infrastucture in place for that in our code, but no where near a full feature that we could simply "activate".

thesiddog (Nov 19, 2003 6:28:54 PM)
I have NEVER used a 3D editor except Poser 4, will BAT be too hard to pick up?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:28:54 PM)
Try playing with the tutorials in gMax to better understand. You can get a free copy here

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:28:58 PM)
who came up with simcity?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:28:58 PM)
Will Wright did.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:30:06 PM)
How long did it take to make Sim City?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:30:06 PM)
SimCity 4 was in development for roughly 3 years.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:30:27 PM)
how much of a comminent does the dev staff have to patches and fixing glitches users may find??

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:30:27 PM)
We treat it seriously and have done our best to work with our fans to find any glitches that may have been found. Since PCs tend to be so different from one user to the next, it is always a great deal of work to find and fix those problems.

Aeslabelle (Nov 19, 2003 6:30:34 PM)
Do you see people walking through the streets a little better in SimCity4?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:30:34 PM)
Yes you do. And in Rush Hour we added a zoom 6 that zooms you in a little further.

LostSoul (Nov 19, 2003 6:31:31 PM)
Is there a way to import the sims into the game or something like that?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:31:31 PM)
Absolutely. There is a feature in SimCity 4 that allows you to import Sims 1.x Sims called MySim.

MayorRybolton (Nov 19, 2003 6:33:03 PM)
What do each of you think draws people to SimCity? Why?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:33:03 PM)
It is a game that is never done. You can build, destroy build again and keep on tinkering and still come up with new stuff. I think that is the biggest draw. Also, is is something people are familiar with. People live in cities and towns and can identify with those surroundings. THis is a game that lets you play with something familar.

shareallicu (Nov 19, 2003 6:33:38 PM)
Do I have to do the U drive it missions for my city to Grow...My buildings are all small buildings and i have 10k people.

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:33:38 PM)
Nope. U-Drive-It can help you make money, boost your mayor rating in the short term, and earn you reward buildings. But you can do all those things without playing U-Drive-It. If your city is 10K and won't grow, you likely have problems in that city completely unrelated to U-Drive-It.

Captain_Heath (Nov 19, 2003 6:33:39 PM)
I heard in a different chat session there was the possibilty of fansite hosting from Maxis, any news about that?

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 6:33:39 PM)
No new news about that. But hopefully we'll be able to talk about that sometime soon.

simgirl (Nov 19, 2003 6:33:51 PM)
DoctorVu How is the technolgy changing since making the first simcity game from now where the technolgy is alittle bit diferent isit harder or easier???

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:33:51 PM)
Every version from Simcity 1 to Simcity 4 has gotten more than more complicated and more different since each time the engine was rebuilt from the ground up. My experience on Simcity 4 has shown me that this is one of the most complicated and ambitious games on the market.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:34:04 PM)
will BAT have tutorials?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:34:04 PM)
There are tutorials for getting started in buildings bat buildings. Also, there are tutorials that will teach the basics of creating 3d models in gMax.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:35:28 PM)
How do you get to the stage where you can get tall buildings, it doesnt seem to work for me?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:35:28 PM)
It is strictly based on population. So you need to grow your city out before you try to grow it up. At roughly 26,000 population, you should start to see the tallest residential buildings assuming you zoned high density, provided water, and have high desirability.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:35:31 PM)
When I use the maximum zoom-in while playing Simcity 4 the buildings look all blurry. Is that a problem with my video card?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:35:32 PM)
Check out your video options. Chances are your texture quality is turned down to medium or low.

Stellanor (Nov 19, 2003 6:36:36 PM)
hi, i'm a new player to the game and i'm so tired of the lack of money. I'm not able to figure out how to run a city. I feel sorry about it because i would really like to create and develope a city. Any tips?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:36:36 PM)
The biggest things is to start of slow. Try not to buy and build too much until you have plenty of sims living in your town. Your revenues is going to come from you tax base and that means the more sims you have living in your town the more taxes you are going to get. So, try starting off slowly and resist the urge to build water plants, schools and other stuff. Wait until you have a lot of people living in town and collect all their tax money. Then you should be able to start building schools and other infrastructure items.

snowandcandy (Nov 19, 2003 6:37:09 PM)
Is this new game really fun?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:37:09 PM)
I think so but ask the people on the BBS to get a better idea.

Dippit (Nov 19, 2003 6:37:13 PM)
how did you get your jobs at Maxis?

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 6:37:13 PM)
Just got Lucky, I guess....

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:38:01 PM)
How come Individual Tax setting for Industry was taken out. It help control Poluttion a lot

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:38:01 PM)
In Deluxe and Rush Hour you can adjust the taxes for Dirty, Manufacturing, Agriculture and High tech individually. This is definitely a powerful way to manage pollution (tax dirty industry high).

Rogue18 (Nov 19, 2003 6:38:08 PM)
I saw that you can have custom tunes, but I have no idea how to do it, help?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:38:08 PM)
There's a folder in Simcity 4 program files called radio station. Drop your mp3 in there and then go into the game music options and custom tunes to select it.

thesiddog (Nov 19, 2003 6:38:23 PM)
It's my dream to work in the gaming industry (Maxis) any advice?

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 6:38:23 PM)
Check and look for Walnut Creek/Maxis - then apply...

Italianboy (Nov 19, 2003 6:39:06 PM)
I don't have any sim city games, which one do you reccomend?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:39:06 PM)
I would start with SimCity 4 Deluxe. That is the latest and greatest version.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:39:16 PM)
What's different from Rush Hour and Sim City 4?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:39:17 PM)
Rush Hour is the expansion pack to Simcity 4. If you buy Simcity 4 deluxe, Rush Hour is included in the package.

shareallicu (Nov 19, 2003 6:39:32 PM)
Once i place a volcano, will it erupt again on its own? none of mine have so far:(

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:39:32 PM)
They only erupt the first time you place them.

Stash (Nov 19, 2003 6:40:49 PM)
Why no scenarios in SC4?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:40:49 PM)
We've discussed scenarios quite a bit. The feedback from most users seems to be a bit apathetic towards them (though there are definitely some avid fans out there). As a result we had to prioritze the feature lower than some other features and it simply just didn't make the cut. Sorry.

snowandcandy (Nov 19, 2003 6:41:33 PM)
Lucky, do you make the games? And/or design them? How many years of college did u have to have to get your job? Do you like your job?

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 6:41:33 PM)
I don't make games. I make the websites for the games. For all you aspiring game creators out there we will be having a chat in the future about how to get into the game industry.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:42:06 PM)
When is BAT coming out and if you are not sure just simply say so Happy

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:42:06 PM)
Keep an eye out for it by the end of next month.

reynaldo20 (Nov 19, 2003 6:42:34 PM)
Will the BBS on the Sim City website eventually evovle into something like the SimTropolis website?

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 6:42:35 PM)
We are working on improvements to the BBS and will be rolling them out over the next few months. But Simtropolis is a great community and we hope you enjoy your time there, too.

Karybdis (Nov 19, 2003 6:42:35 PM)
Do any of you guys ever partake in modifying the game just for yourselves like we modd squad sometimes do? Or do you just prefer playing the game as is, and watching what the community can do in their free time.

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:42:35 PM)
Time is always something we always against, so we tend not to be making modds of the game. Watching the modd squad work is great though. The community aspect of it all is something we will always appreciate.

fway (Nov 19, 2003 6:42:38 PM)
Why in rush hour were there no specialized brides like suspension and cable-stayed for monorails and elevated trains?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:42:38 PM)
We simply ran out of time. We added over 30 bridges to Rush Hour/Deluxe, which exceeded our expectations, but we definitely would've liked to have added more, including the ones you mention.

artgal987 (Nov 19, 2003 6:42:52 PM)
When will there be a Sims 2 chat?

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 6:42:52 PM)
This chat is about SimCity. We'll be having a Sims 2 chat in the future but won't be answering questions about that today.

buggi (Nov 19, 2003 6:43:19 PM)
Get into the game industry? Is cracking and modding a game a negative or positive in that area? :D

MaxisKitty (Nov 19, 2003 6:43:19 PM)
good question to save for that chat Wink

red3wing (Nov 19, 2003 6:44:59 PM)
What will the anticipated patch to Rush Hour deal with?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:44:59 PM)
There are a ton of things we have added to the update. Many of the items have been brought up on this bbs and others and we have tried to address them all. To be honest, there is more than I can really list here. We will be posting the details in the coming weeks

chuckybear (Nov 19, 2003 6:45:04 PM)
What about development of a tool like the original SimCity magnifying glass to show you the current stage of a lot. (perhaps an updated one to show needed requirements for the next stage)

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:45:04 PM)
The query tells you everything you need to know to get better development (what the building needs). Staged growth is related to the cities population so doesn't really apply to individual buildings.

xoimaginexo (Nov 19, 2003 6:45:20 PM)
when is this chat over

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:45:20 PM)

zzzchristian (Nov 19, 2003 6:45:48 PM)
oh yah what does "SIM" mean (ignore the last qustion)

MaxisShorty (Nov 19, 2003 6:45:49 PM)
Sim is short hand for "simulation"

simgirl101 (Nov 19, 2003 6:45:50 PM)
Hey, all I have so many questions to ask but you have alot to answer so heres one I can think of, have you got any tips for us beginners on how to create a great big city with lots of happy people Happy

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:45:50 PM)
There are great chats and tutorials that can be found on, Simtropolis,, and that will help you create great cities. It will be difficult to give all the techniques right now. My only suggestion is to keep at it, and don't get frustrated. Don't give up. Play on easy mode.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:46:06 PM)
Guys Build NFL SuperBowel Land Mark ?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:46:06 PM)
I guess we could, but that would be kinda messy

Rogue18 (Nov 19, 2003 6:46:15 PM)
When is this chat over in Western Australian Time? (I't 7:46am now)

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 6:46:15 PM)
This chat will last 15 more minutes.

mayorralphaelninja (Nov 19, 2003 6:47:02 PM)
Has anyone at maxis looked at a modd (from the modd squad) and said, "wow" I didn't know it could do that?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:47:02 PM)
We love to be surprised by what is happening in the modd community and there have certainly been some cool things. I remember how much excitement the appearance of the dat reader created around here. Keep up the great work.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:47:39 PM)
i dont have simcity 4 :( do u recommend it?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:47:40 PM)
Yes yes yes yes! It's such a fun and addictive game.

Usagi_Chan (Nov 19, 2003 6:47:49 PM)
Gobble gobble? Is MaxisLucky looking forward to Thanksgiving or not? As a turkey though, she may have some reservations...

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 6:47:49 PM)
I have a love/hate relationship with Thanksgiving. Yes, there is the download of the week and all..... but MaxisShorty keeps looking at me funny and he has this basting brush in his cube.

xoimaginexo (Nov 19, 2003 6:48:31 PM)
what state do the people who work for ea games work in or were is ea games company located?

MaxisKitty (Nov 19, 2003 6:48:31 PM)
Maxis is located in Walnut Creek California but EA has studios all over the world

kristoo (Nov 19, 2003 6:49:06 PM)
I always problems making and keeping money. I don't like to over-tax my citizens and I'm never sure about which ordinances to pass or veto. Any advice?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:49:06 PM)
The gambling ordinance can help you make money, but in general ordinances aren't necessary and cost moeny. My advice would be to demolish buildings you don't absolutely need until you have a balanced budget. This could be police stations, fire stations, landmarks, etc. Also, avoid zoning high density early in the game because you probably can't afford it and you won't get tall buildings early int he game anyway. Rush Hour/Deluxe comes with a difficulty setting, and when set on Easy gives you 500,000 simoleons plus a boost to tax revenue.

Usagi_Chan (Nov 19, 2003 6:49:25 PM)
What exactly is a modd (the modd squad)?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:49:25 PM)
You should go see the Simtropolis web site to learn more about this community. They are a group of fans that have created some cool tools that enable them to modify various aspects of the Simcity 4 game. They have done some amazing things and we are proud to have them as fans. They can be found here.

Scrambled1 (Nov 19, 2003 6:49:40 PM)
Where can the Modd Squad be found at? is it at the bbs.. or is there a website for them... or are they maxis folk? (im not familiar with them.. and havent been on the bbs in a while)

MaxisKitty (Nov 19, 2003 6:49:40 PM)

Stash (Nov 19, 2003 6:50:14 PM)
I downloaded a region from and it was a much smaller size then the normal ones (like only 9 cities) can I make a smaller region?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:50:14 PM)
There are tutorials for this on Simtropolis, and that will help you step by step in editing region size.

PooheadMAX (Nov 19, 2003 6:51:08 PM)
I find that with the addition of the Rush Hour transportation upgrades (ie: Avenue's, 1-way Streets... etc) it is particularly difficult to get the "High" Commercial traffic in an area without having the roads over-capacity. Is there anything I might beable to do to increase Commercial traffic ?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:51:08 PM)
There was a rather complex issue with the way we were calculating commercial traffic that we have fixed for the next update.

Karybdis (Nov 19, 2003 6:51:08 PM)
We've heard before that some of you Maxoids have been working crazy hours on Rush Hour at least before the release (including the insidious doctor). Are these actual work hours, due to time constraints, because of your love for the game, or because you lost bets to some of your co-workers? Wink

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:51:08 PM)
There is always so much work that goes into making games. We are passionate about making great games here. When you add passion and dedication to a task that requires a great deal of work to begin with you end up with lots of crazy hours. It is a good thing we all love our jobs.

ga (Nov 19, 2003 6:52:04 PM)
I tend to zone commercial and industrial in 6x6 blocks, surrounded on all sides by road. Am I missing out on some buildings by not zoning larger areas (e.g., 6x8)?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:52:04 PM)
The largest lots for residential, commerical, and industrial are 6x6, so you are not missing out on anything. In fact, I do the same thing when I'm playing.

zzzchristian (Nov 19, 2003 6:52:31 PM)
can we take pictures fomr your website and support it for our website (i don't have 1 sooo just asking)

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 6:52:31 PM)
There are some pictures in the fansite kit posted on the site. You can use those if you want.

mr_helm03 (Nov 19, 2003 6:52:36 PM)
this is a tip for all the fans, there is a download that i have found at that allows me to get 4 billion dollars a month, if you want to find out where please contact me, alos any maxis person i made a post in the BBS i would like to talk with one of you, and aslo, when i got my first 4 billion i put my city Tax free, my city liked it!

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:52:36 PM)
That cheat lot appears to be a big hit on the lot exchange.

sc4dude (Nov 19, 2003 6:53:01 PM)
is there a difference between b.a.t . and the lot editor for sc4

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:53:01 PM)
Bat will allow you to create buildings and props (models) and the Lot editor will allow you to arrange then on lots and put them in your city.

red3wing (Nov 19, 2003 6:53:38 PM)
Do the Maxis programmers stay in contact with modders from fan sites, ie Simtropolis, SimCity Central, etc, on future upgrades / updates to the game?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:53:38 PM)

Stash (Nov 19, 2003 6:53:44 PM)
Will there ever be a chat with Will Wright?

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 6:53:44 PM)

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:53:49 PM)
In Rush Hour, do you control where the cars are going? I haven't bought it yet; I have to save up my money! Happy

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:53:49 PM)
You can drive the cars around where ever you want. You can also choose to accept driving missions. People seem to really like the u-drive it stuff in RushHour

mayorralphaelninja (Nov 19, 2003 6:55:11 PM)
With the first L.E. release, did your fans influence your decision to release a Lot Editor or was this always in your plans for marketing?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:55:12 PM)
We always want to release tools that let people customize their game. The lot editor is something we used to build the game and the fans desires for customization made the release of the lot editor an easy choice. I hope you like it.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:55:18 PM)
On the You Can Throw Money At It mission I have held down the space bar by the highlighted building for a long time but I still cant win the mission am I doing something wrong?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:55:18 PM)
How far are you from the strikers and the building? Try getting closer and holding down the throw money space bar key for three to five seconds.

red3wing (Nov 19, 2003 6:55:41 PM)
How do players get their input into what to add into a game. Hundreds of "wish" lists were made, yet we have seen features that no one asked for. Why?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:55:41 PM)
We read the wish list threads all the time and they are hugely helpful. But we can't rely on those exclusively. There are often features that people who aren't active on BBS's want. Plus there's stuff that we want (we all play the heck out of SimCity too ).

smaster999 (Nov 19, 2003 6:56:04 PM)
Was there anything that you wanted in the game but didn't get in?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:56:04 PM)
Everybody has a list of things they would love include in the game but there is never enough time to do it all. That is always one of the toughest parts of game development.

MaxisKitty (Nov 19, 2003 6:56:42 PM)
Five more minutes left

mayorralphaelninja (Nov 19, 2003 6:57:16 PM)
We know about BAT, L.E., can you not tease us about what else that may be forthcoming in the future?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:57:16 PM)
OK. No teasing. AS part of bat we will be releaing a plugin manager. This tool will let you assign game properties to the models you make in bat.

Rogue18 (Nov 19, 2003 6:57:28 PM)
Do you guys love playing the sims as well?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:57:28 PM)
I love playing both games. One of the reason is that these games allow you to do anything you like. You can keep playing and setting your own goals, rather than move too fast or too slow, you have complete control over the pace and any activity you like doing.

Dereks Allsims (Nov 19, 2003 6:57:32 PM)
DId any of you ever work on any other games than Sim City?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:57:32 PM)
Yup, I've worked on the Sims, John Madden Football, NHL Hockey, Bill Walsh College Football, and a few others.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:58:07 PM)
Does Dr. Vu look like the real DoctorVu?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:58:07 PM)
The real DoctorVu does not have a goatee.

jakeweaver (Nov 19, 2003 6:58:16 PM)
What was your favorite part of making Simcity 4?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:58:17 PM)
Chats like this and getting positive feedback from the fans.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:59:15 PM)
Are there still newspapers that pop up, and things that you can do like raise or lower taxes?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:59:15 PM)
There's now a news ticker that provides critical info and goofy fun stuff, and taxes for all the different types of development of the city that you can adjust individually.

dkefman (Nov 19, 2003 6:59:20 PM)
Plugin manager ? So this will enable you to mod lots like the ilive Reader ?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 6:59:20 PM)
Yes. It is a very similar concept.

Dippit (Nov 19, 2003 6:59:32 PM)
when will sim city 4 deluxe be released in australia and New Zealand? My friend wants to buy it so bad...

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 6:59:32 PM)
Simcity 4 deluxe will be release in Australia. Tell your friend to hold tight. I believe it is set for early next year.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 6:59:39 PM)
Whats the biggest city you can have?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 6:59:39 PM)
My personal best is about 2 million.

Stash (Nov 19, 2003 7:00:09 PM)
What does Reticulating Splines mean?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 7:00:09 PM)
It means that if your best friend buys you socks don't where them.

SIMpleton (Nov 19, 2003 7:00:15 PM)
What is it like trying to sift through the hundreds of questions you get in the chat?

MaxisKitty (Nov 19, 2003 7:00:15 PM)
fun! Especially on the ones where we have 500 guests... its the catch the questions game... like wack a mole

red3wing (Nov 19, 2003 7:00:34 PM)
When you are not playing SimCity, what else do you guys like to do?

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 7:00:34 PM)
Hike, ski, ski, ski, hike....

fway (Nov 19, 2003 7:00:56 PM)
Seaports, beaches, ferries and marinas are really tough to place in you city. Any advice on how to place them?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 7:00:56 PM)
I understand that these can be tough to place. If you have too much trouble, use the god mode terrain editing tools to help flatten the terrain where the water touches. Use Shift - Click on god-mode to reach it if your in City mode.

MaxisKitty (Nov 19, 2003 7:01:54 PM)
Thank you guys for coming! We all had a great time but now it is time to get back to work. =) Check both websites soon for the transcripts for todays event

Dippit (Nov 19, 2003 7:01:58 PM)
have you seen screenshots of cities that people have made? If so, what do you think about the creations?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 7:01:58 PM)
Some of the cities are better designed than real cities. I am impressed quite a bit when I look at them.

Guest (Nov 19, 2003 7:02:05 PM)
does jerry martin compose other songs aside from the ones that are for SC4 and The Sims?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 7:02:05 PM)
Jerry pretty much works exclusively on Maxis titles.

Aeslabelle (Nov 19, 2003 7:02:20 PM)
How many "My Sims" can you have in SimCity4?

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 7:02:20 PM)
Up to 5

Jqoc (Nov 19, 2003 7:02:20 PM)
DoctorVu, are you really evil? :P

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 7:02:20 PM)
I'm actually not evil. But I play evil in the game. =-)

MayorRybolton (Nov 19, 2003 7:02:35 PM)
Does DoctorVu normally just blurt out things?

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 7:02:35 PM)
Yes, like MUAHAHA!

MaxisLucky (Nov 19, 2003 7:02:45 PM)
Gobble. Gobble.

MaxisKevin (Nov 19, 2003 7:02:49 PM)
Bye everybody. Thanks for such great questions!

coxfrommaxis (Nov 19, 2003 7:02:59 PM)
Thanks everyone for such a fun time. I'm looking forward to more chats in the future and releasing more cool stuff to you all. Bye!

MaxisShorty (Nov 19, 2003 7:02:59 PM)
Goodbye, everyone! Thanks for taking the time to chat with Kevin, Mike and the eeeevilll Dr. Vu!

MaxisKitty (Nov 19, 2003 7:03:16 PM)
bye! *waves*

DoctorVu (Nov 19, 2003 7:03:22 PM)
Thanks for chatting with us guys. We would love to do it again sometime!


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