Indsendt: 23. oktober 2014
If you've ever been annoyed at public transport, here's one for you. See if you can do better.
Cities in motion is a simulator game where you can be the one to work out the public transport of a city. Sounds easy enough, just some bus lines here and there. A tram line on this road here, and everything is connected.
And then you give it a while, and there's 8 busses waiting for that one bus stop with a waiting line of 250 people. Clearly you didn't think that one through. But that's okay, where a normal job as public transport planner would have you fired for that, here you can try again or fix it somehow. So then you can add subway stations, boats, and helicopters, and before you know it you're covering the city and hours passed.
The interface and controls are easy to learn(If a little odd at times), and the game mechanics are easy enough as well. However, mastering the game mechanics and planning out the city public transport is much harder. You'll have to go through several attempts to figure out what goes wrong and how to fix it, and you may want to take a look at the actual public transport system in your city for ideas.
Edit: Also, it has some inaccuracies. Amsterdam does not look anything like that. And you can just build a subway tunnel under the Berlin wall. Replacing old vehicles is a pain too.
As for the technical details, it's surprisingly good. Every citizen appears to be modeled*(*I didn't count them. at least a large enough amount of them to make the cities feel alive), and you can follow them through their morning commute, shopping trips, and visits to others. And this is all supported by the game mechanics, you can set a citizen as interesting person, and the game will show you a portrait of him where he goes. (Warning: Long) In my latest case, I looked at a factory in Vienna, and found a red car driving from the top of a parking garage(Mentally following it through the roof as it drove down) next to it down to the ground floor and onto the streets. So I asked, why is this person not using the public transport system to work and back? Wilhelm Klein, factory supervisor - Drives by car from his home, connected to the public transport, to work, also connected to the public transport system. He then went shopping at a big department store, which too was connected by public transport.
After that, he went to a church far outside of Vienna, in a smaller village where I did not yet expand to. He then returned home.
I didn't have the money, but I figured I'd have to connect that place somehow when I did get money. So I went on to look around town, just watching people board the bus and go around. After a while, Wilhelm was moving again. Another day at work. This time, he wandered to the tram stop down the street and was quickly picked up by one of the passing trams. He then got out at a connection to the subway, but instead took the bus at that same subway station, and rode it all the way down to work.
A while after, he boarded the bus again and I watched him go back to the tram station for what I assumed to be the way home. But not this time. This time he went into the subway, so I look at his info screen and see his destination is a ministry building near the town center and then back home with a direct tram line. I connect the extra village with a busline, and I speed up time a bit.
When I check back on Wilhelm, he has a new job. He is hired as secretary in the ministry building he went to way back then. Perhaps he couldn't handle his supervisor job at the factory, or perhaps he never really wanted it in the first place.
But either way, Wilhelm is happy now, and he can go with a direct tram line from his home to his work, and from there, anywhere in Vienna he wants.
Mission succesfull, the citizens of Vienna can stay in motion