Lately I have become obsessed with a traffic game. I have explored it through iteration I & II. The houses and factories are populated on a grid map seemingly at random. It evolves over time starting with just one house (though 4 are always displayed) and one factory. There are many things I like about it but of course there are things I would like to do differently. It motivates me to create my own simulator. Or rather expand on the one I already built.
As to what is wrong about City Traffic Simulator II is that it sets a limit on the population, but when things go wrong it magically begins spewing cars as if the population had increased tenfold. But I am getting a bit ahead of myself. The only things you can do are cut down forests, lay a dirt road (slow), lay (or overlay) pavement, or destroy roads. A field of green is the only place a road can be placed. Or you can plant a forest.
All cars from red homes will drive to red factory in the morning and return from same in the evening. This also applies respective to color with other home/factory pairs. There is even an ambulance that will mingle with your traffic and should it make it to its destination you are rewarded with a hundred or more dollars. You need money to build or destroy. You need money to buy the tools. Only the ability to cut down forests or lay dirt roads is provided. There are two types of traffic lights you can buy. A nearly useless manual one and the more desirable timed one (that even allows you to adjust its timing). But the second is only available as an upgrade.
The city is tiny; a block is but 2 cars long. With the game that resulted in the final screen above, the dark blue cars were the only ones that would wander off the most direct route between factory and home. Which is why that path is not connected to any other road. Making the dark blue homes unreachable to the ambulance unless it comes from the dark blue factory. When I connected the dirt road to the pavement they would always go up that dirt road and deliberately explore and thus mess with the path of the other cars. They cause gridlock and suddenly even more cars spew from homes in the morning and factories in the evening until nothing is moving. Just like that scene of all the brooms in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice chapter of Fantasia. Best to just start over because there is no saving of the game or ability to restart same map. Every game you start is from a random map. You can elect to generate a different map until you find one that you think you can work with.
But if you are a stickler for reality, this game strays from it. In gridlock there should be beeping from frustrated drivers. Additionally there are some minor graphic issues when demolishing roads (funny half moons of roads sometimes are left in mid field) or joining them (straight edges instead of curves) and despite the day and night cycle being too short, it is quite a fun game. Even though this traffic simulator cheats!