Wednesday, December 29, 2010

This Goes Out to All you Amateur Planners

First, hope everyone had a merry Christmas and may 2011 be prosperous and healthy.

Second, ran across this piece from one of the blogs I follow. Anyone who has every considered planning has likely played some version of Sim City at one time or another. Me personally, I have played all four (I ignore Societies and pretend Maxis didn't offer that one), with my personal triumph coming from from the Rush Hour expansion of Sim City 4.

While I won't get into most of the critiques the post made, such as the lack of mixed use and the one entrance per property, I do wish to touch on the transit points.

Sim City is lacking in transit options. Capital expenditures and physical infrastructure are represented and done ok. However, virtually everything else is not. I have always wished for a video/computer game that would be strictly transit. They make/made an Airport Tycoon, Railroad Tycoon and Roller Coaster Tycoon but nothing that would allow to choose modes, routes, frequency times, etc for a city or regional transit system. In Sim City, you plop bus stops and the routes are just there, or basically, one bus stop equals one route, so that each connecting bus stop is a route. I suppose if you use your imagination you can assume there are transfers there, but that is really the whole point. I don't want to use my imagination, I want to actually do it.

This I think leads to expert amateur planners as can be witnessed on forums like this. You have the internet wizard, who can cut, copy and paste with the best of them, but has no real comprehension of what that means. You have the guys who say "I don't understand why they just don't do x", when as usual, there is always a good reason why, or the guys who just don't have a good understanding of how transit works, such as the one where "DART should run past two A.M. so people who leave the bars don't have to drive." Perhaps, somewhere down the way, they built a city that carries 100,000 people on its transit system and therefore they know how it works.

Or perhaps Sim City isn't the reason and it is like near every other aspect of our society where the average person knows it all anyway. Either way, I still want my transit simulator.

No comments: