Enter SimCity and take control. Be the undisputed ruler of a sophisticated real-time City Simulation. Become the master of existing cities such as San Francisco, Tokyo, and Rio de Janeiro, or create your own dream city (or nightmare slum) from the ground up.

Whether you take over an existing city or build your own, you are the Mayor and City Planner with complete authority.

Your city is populated by Sims -- Simulated Citizens. Like their human counterparts, they build houses, condos, churches, stores and factories. And, also like humans, they complain about things like taxes, mayors, taxes, city planners, and taxes. If they get unhappy, they move out; you collect fewer taxes, the city deteriorates.

The next few sections will explain the overall concept of SimCity and give information that will help you win Scenarios and design and build better cities.

About System Simulations

SimCity is the first of a new type of entertainment/educational software, called System Simulations. We provide you with a set of Rules and Tools that describe, create and control a system. In the case of SimCity the system is a city.

The challenge of playing a System Simulation game is to figure out how the system works and take control of it. As master of the system, you are free to use the Tools to create and control an unlimited number of systems (in this case, cities) within the framework and limits provided by the Rules.


In SimCity, the Rules to learn are based on city planning and management, including:


The Tools provide you with the ability to plan, lay out, zone, build, bulldoze, re-zone, and manage a city.

But the most important Tool of all is the Simulator itself. Test your plans and ideas as you watch the city grow or shrink through the immigration and emigration of industrious Simulated Citizens. Sims will move in and build homes, hospitals, churches, stores and factories in the zones you provide, or move out in search of jobs or a better life elsewhere. The success of the city is based on the quality of the city you design and manage.

Simulator Reaction Time

The simulator is a very complex multi-tasking piece of software. It is constantly performing many checks, calculations, and updates, as well as keeping watch on the mouse and keyboard to respond to your demands. When you load in a city, give the simulator some time to compile its data and update the maps, graphs, population levels, etc. Some of the other times when the simulator lags behind you are when powering zones and updating the city services map after installing police and fire stations.

The Goals of SimCity

There are many goals to be pursued and reached in SimCity.


Each of the eight included scenarios is actually a game in itself, with an unlimited number of ways to win -- or lose.

Each Scenario is a city which is either the victim of horrible planning or about to be the victim of a natural disaster. After you load in a Scenario, you will have a limited amount of time to correct or repair the problems. If you are successful, you will be given the key to the city. If not, you may be ridden out of town on a rail.

If one strategy doesn't work, try another. There are a million stories in each city, and you write them.

Your Dream City

Perhaps the main goal of SimCity is for you to design, manage and maintain the city of your dreams.

Your ideal place to live may be a bustling megalopolis, lots of people, lots of cars, tall buildings: high-energy, high density living. Or it may be a small rural community, or a linked group of small communities providing slow-paced country living.

As long as your city can provide places for people to live, work, shop and play, it will attract residents. And as long as traffic, pollution, overcrowding, crime or taxes don't drive them away, your city will live.

Getting Started

SimCity Requirements

SimCity requires a SPARC workstation running the SunOS 4.1 operating system, with the OpenWindows 3.0 window system installed, an 8 bit deep color graphics display, a kernel with the shared memory option enabled, and at least 16 megabytes of memory. It doesn't support 1 bit deep monochrome displays, nor does it work with earlier or different window systems.

This version of SimCity was built using the HyperLook user interface design system, and is shipped with a HyperLook run time system. It includes an demonstration of HyperLook, featuring a fully functional PostScript graphics editor, that was used to draw parts of the SimCity user interface.

SimCity is copy protected, using the Elan License Manager. If you don't have a license, SimCity will run in demo mode: saving the city is disabled, and you can play for five minutes before something dreadful happens.

SimCity Features

On-Line Help

You can get help on the SimCity user interface, by pointing the mouse at anything mysterious and pressing the "Help" key. The HyperLook Help window will pop up, giving instructions and useful hints on how to use the controls.

HyperLook Help Window

Multiple Views

It's possible to display several animated views of the city on the screen at once. You can even zoom in and out, to magnify or shrink the graphics! The animation is slower when a view is scaled, but you can still scroll around and edit your city as usual, at any size.

Animated City Views

Open Look

HyperLook is integrated with The NeWS Toolkit (TNT), to implement the Open Look user interface. SimCity uses Open Look buttons, menus, sliders, settings, text and numeric fields. They help to make the interface familiar and easy to use.

Open Look User Interface

Pie Menus

SimCity features pop up "pie menus" for selecting between city editing tools. Pie menus are circular menus with their choices in different directions, and they're very fast and efficient to use. Since you change editing tools quite often while building a city, you can save much time and effort by using pie menus instead of the tool pallet.

Pie Menus for Selecting Tools

Sound Mixer

SimCity plays its sound effects using the HyperLook sound server, which makes real time sound effects by mixing them together and playing them immediately when needed. So you can hear the bulldozer rumbling, buildings crashing, and the monster roaring at the same time, all synchronized with the animation.

PostScript Printing

You can print your city on a color or monochrome PostScript printer. It's possible to print the whole city on one page, or a twelve page poster.

Installing SimCity

SimCity comes on two floppy disks. It includes the HyperLook user interface runtime system, and the Elan License Manager. There is an installation script called "InstallSimCity" that asks you a few questions and then configures the SimCity startup scripts.


If you don't already have HyperLook, you need to install the runtime system included with SimCity. Otherwise, you can use your own installed version of HyperLook 1.5.

Elan License Manager

You must run the Elan License Manager daemon and have a valid key in order to unlock SimCity. You can run the license server on the local host or another system. If you don't have a key, SimCity will run in demo mode: you can't save your city, and something dreadful will happen after five minutes.

Using "extract_unbundled"

You can automatically extract SimCity from the floppy disks and install it using the standard "extract_unbundled" script, usually located in "/usr/etc/extract_unbundled". To extract SimCity from floppy disk, first change to a directory that you can write to, then type:

% /usr/etc/extract_unbundled

It will ask:

Enter media drive location [local | remote]: 

Just type "local". Next it will ask:

Enter Device Name (e.g. rst0, rmt0, rfd0c): /dev/r

Note that the "/dev/r" is already entered for you. Just type "fd0" for the floppy disk, so it says "/dev/rdf0", and don't worry about the strange example in the prompt. Then it says:

**Please insert the first diskette if you haven't done so already.**

Press return when ready:

Now insert the first SimCity disk, and press return. Then it will read in the installation script, tell you what you're getting into, and ask if you want to go on. Of course you do, so type "y" and press return.

Next, it will ask for the name of a directory where it should install the "SimCity" directory. Then it asks if you already have HyperLook installed. If you do, type the full name of your "$HLHOME" directory, otherwise press return, and it will ask where you want to install HyperLook. Then it makes sure there's enough disk space, and extracts the software from the floppy disks. It will prompt you to insert volume two and press return, when it's finished reading the first floppy.

Once it's all loaded in, it will automagically run the SimCity installation script, called "InstallSimCity", which lives in the "SimCity" directory. That will ask for the names of the SimCity and HyperLook directories, hopefully providing reasonable defaults, that you can select by pressing return.

Next, it asks for the key directory, and you can go with the default name unless you care to store the keys somewhere else. Then, it asks for the name of a large local temporary directory, defaulting to "/tmp", which you should only change if your "/tmp" is too small (SimCity will complain if it is). Lastly, it asks for the host name of the license server, defaulting to the local host. If you want to run the license server on another host, give its name here.

Now the "InstallSimCity" script will put the appropriate environment variable settings into several shell scripts and install them in the top level "SimCity" directory. You can run SimCity by typing "SimCity", or double clicking on the "SimCity" icon in the file manager.

You can always run the "InstallSimCity" script again to reconfigure the shell scripts, if you make a mistake or change your mind about the setup. Note that your environment variables will override the values configured into the shell scripts, so look at the scripts and check your environment if there are any problems.

Shell Scripts Created by InstallSimCity

Once you have run "InstallSimCity", the following shell scripts are created in the top level "SimCity" directory. You can install them wherever you want, and run them from the shell or the file manager: