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The more I think about this, having my background as a computer programmer, I just think that this type of game is impossible to develop. Games of this nature will always be simplification of reality. If there is something city councilors should not be taught - is to simplify the complex and unpredictable future of city planning.

I did like though Vancouver's interactive public outreach ( http://www.humantransit.org/2013/12/vancouver-interactive-public-outreach-on-network-design.html ). This should be the direction, a very local-focused explanation of possibilities.

Fedor Manin

The game in question is extremely fun and addictive (for me, at least) and part of this is the simplicity which makes it have little to do with transit planning, or anything else for that matter. I would much rather play it than an actual transit planning game.

Sean Gillis

Jarrett - you forgot the most important point: what was your best score ;)

Aaron Priven

You didn't mention the game's most significant unreality, which is that it's free to tear down a line and rebuild it somewhere else.

It's a fun game, but its relationship to transit is just skin-deep. That's not a criticism. If you're going to oversimplify transit enough to make it a game, better to introduce some things that are obviously not true in real life so as to avoid people basing their thinking on it. Better this than the "well, we thought the real amount of parking necessary was ugly" of SimCity.


I'd make a Simutrans mod if you want to make a well-designed transpo model game. Simutrans has a few advantages:
(1) it's completely open source (free software)
(2) it's got a very open-ended modular design
(3) it already has separate bus and rail traffic models
(4) people are already trying to make it more realistic (in the "experimental" mod). I've actually been working on this.

- The biggest lack is any coherent model of growth, but that really shouldn't be too hard to put in. I was working on it last year but I got distracted.
- The second biggest is scheduling, which actually seems to matter less than you'd think, since you *can* implement headway-based operation.
- The revenue model is dopey but easy to alter in code. If you're a programmer.

Most of the existing paks are designed to model intercity transport, but there's no particular *reason* for that, just people's tastes.

Patrick Sunter

Hi Jarrett, nice review of Mini Metro.

Well, not exactly a game, but there is more and more good software, some of it Free/Open Source, being developed to help understand transit networks, and that are becoming closer to being able to support decision-making and analysis.

I know you've already featured OpenTripPlanner and Mapnificent, a nice new one for animating transit networks by Vasile Cotovanu is https://github.com/vasile/transit-map, see "Swiss Trains" demo:- http://simcity.vasile.ch/sbb/

I am keeping a bit of a list of the open source tools in this space here as part of my PhD work :- http://www.appropedia.org/Open_Source_GIS-T_Public_Transport_Tools_Review

S M Sabri Ismail (sabre23t)

Minimetro [1] is already at Beta 33 version released 9 Sep 2015. Now with Gif animation playback/export, and audio.

I am wondering about that "every city councilor playing a well-designed game" Jarrett mentioned. Any progress?

[1] http://dinopoloclub.com/minimetro/

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