SimCity 4 - Chicago

Timeframe: 2009 - 2011

This was just a fun project I did along side playing SimCity 4: Rush Hour. Using the SimCity Terrain Generator, which in turn uses data collected from the U.S. Geological Survey, I started a new game using a region based on the Chicagoland area. Many of the "cites" in that region based on actual locations and street locations in the city of Chicago. One of the challenges of this project was modeling the street layout within SimCity 4 while creating a functional city in the game. Portions of the Chicago 'L' is also present in the city.

This work has been used in:
Media Futures (2014-15) - Yuan Zheng, Film Video and New Media, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

While some Chicago landmarks like the Adler Planetarium and the John Hancock Center are included in SimCity 4, the remainder are user created content, much of which was downloaded from

Click to maximize any image

 The beginning 
 Year 5: Across the river 
 Year 10: Harrison Street 
 Year 25 
 Year 39: Municipal Pier #2
 University of Illinois at Chicago (sort of)
  • UIC-Halsted stop
  • Advanced Research Center as Science and Engineering South (SES) or Science and Engineering Laboratory (SEL) depending on how you compress the streets
 Trying to fit it all in
 Creating 'The Loop' using Elevated Rail Tracks
 Time to add the landmarks: Adler Planetarium and Meigs Field
 Crain Communications Building (also known as Smurfit-Stone Building, Associates Center, or the Diamond Building).

Aon Center (also known as the Amoco Building or the Standard Oil Building)

These are custom buildings
John Hancock Center

Water Tower Place*

Chicago Water Tower*

900 North Michigan*

* More custom buildings
Marina City and the Trump International Hotel and Tower

* More custom buildings
 The crowning landmark of Chicago: The Sears Tower

Again more custom content although it finally becomes a stock landmark in SimCity (2013)
 Year 66: The City of Chicago in SimCity 4
 Just for some comparison here's the city of Sears Point in SimCity (2013)
  • The name 'Sears Point' comes from the fact the Sears Tower is included as a stock landmark under its other name "Willis Tower'
 O'Hare International Airport

Also Elizabeth Tower / Big Ben just 'cause.