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Design the Virtual City

Plan a city of the future using SimCity™ 4 software or the New SimCity software.  Not sure which version to use, click here to see a comparison.
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Overview Image: 
Scoring Subtext: 
21% of total score
18-20 hours
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Students use SimCity™ 4 or New SimCity software to design a city inthe future with at least 50,000 residents.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Discuss what goes into planning and maintaining a city.

  • Describe the consequences of decisions regarding various city functions (taxes, budget, services, etc).

  • Identify basic city services and features (such as emergency services, transportation, and education).

  • Identify areas of zoning and the services that comprise city infrastructure (commercial, residential, and industrial).

  • Explain the importance of city location, placement of city features, and proportions in zoning.

View national standards 

How do I get SimCity?

For the 2013–2014 competition, you can choose to use SimCity 4 or the new SimCity. Both versions will be judged with the rubric on page 16 of the Handbook. Mac users—please note that SimCity 4 is no longer available for the Mac. If you do not already have a Mac version of SimCity 4, you will need to use the new SimCity software. After registering and selecting which version you’d like, you will receive an email with a code you will use to download a free version of the software.

To determine which version is right for you, check with your IT specialist and discuss:

Software Specs: Will your computer(s) run the new software? Click here to download the specs for SimCity 4 and the new SimCity.

Firewall Issues: Both SimCity 4 and the new SimCity require you to install the free EA gaming system, Origin, on your computer(s). With SimCity 4 you then download the game and play it directly from your computer. To play the new SimCity, a computer must be connected to the Internet and access the cloud-based version of SimCity via an Origin account. Some organizations’ firewalls need to be altered to allow access to Origin and SimCity. For more on Origin, go towww.origin.com/faq.


SimCity Competition Requirements

SimCity 4—All teams using SimCity 4 must design their city in the pre-designed medium region. You can download this at www.futurecity.org/resources. Please note: Cities must be started from scratch each year.


New SimCity—All teams using the new SimCity must design their city using the Whitewater Valley region. Teams can choose to build their city from any of the five sites within the region. You will select this region from the menu options when you create a new city. When you create your new city, make sure to write down the name of the server you select when you create your city. This is where your city is stored. If you log out and return using a different server you will not be able to access your city.

 SimCity Help

Technical support is available from your Regional Coordinator and from Electronic Arts at www.simcity.ea.com or by phone at the Electronic Arts support line 1-650-572-2810.

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