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
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
- Human Factors: Residential space and amenities, availability of
jobs, and quality of life.
- Economic Factors: Land value, industrial and commercial space,
unemployment, internal and external markets, electric power, taxation,
and funding for city services.
- Survival Factors: Strategies for dealing with disasters, crime,
- Political Factors: Public opinion, zoning, and keeping residents
and businesses satisfied with your city and your performance.
The Tools provide you with the ability to plan, lay out, zone, build,
bulldoze, re-zone, and manage a city.
- Plan: Mapping systems give physical and demographic overviews of
the entire city.
- Layout: Design living and working areas, road and transit systems,
and recreational areas.
- Zone: Set zoning boundaries for parks, residential, commercial and
- Build: Place roads, rails, airports, seaports, fire and police
stations, sports stadiums, and power plants.
- Bulldoze: Clear forests for city growth, build landfill along
waterways, clear and re-zone developed areas.
- Manage: Using the mapping and graphing systems, gather up-to-date
information on traffic density, population trends, power grid status,
pollution, crime, land value, police and fire department efficiency,
and cash flow. Set the tax rate and funding levels for city services.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
HyperLook Help Window
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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:
- GetKey: Display your server code and prompt for a key. You must
contact DUX Software to get a key. (Don't run this from the file
manager, since it prompts for input.)
- SimCity: Start up SimCity normally, giving a choice of playing a
scenario, generating a new city, or loading a city.
- SimCity.GenerateCity: Start up SimCity by letting you generate
terrain for a new city.
- SimCity.NewCity: Like SimCity.GenerateCity, but automatically
generates the terrain and starts the game.
- Scenario.Bern: Bern, Switzerland 1965 -- Traffic.
- Scenario.Boston: Boston, MA 2010 -- Nuclear Meltdown.
- Scenario.Detroit: Detroit, MI 1972 -- Crime.
- Scenario.Dullsville: Dullsville, USA 1920 -- Boredom.
- Scenario.Hamburg: Hamburg, Germany 1944 -- Fire.
- Scenario.Rio_de_Janeiro: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2047 -- Flood.
- Scenario.San_Francisco: San Francisco, CA 1906 -- 8.0 Earthquake.
- Scenario.Tokyo: Tokyo, Japan 1957 -- Monster Attack.