Maxis/EA announces the return of SimCity in 2013

The last non-app version of the famous SimCity franchise was way back in 2008 when the Nintendo DS got SimCity DS 2. For those that loved creating, destroying or just watching their...

The last non-app version of the famous SimCity franchise was way back in 2008 when the Nintendo DS got SimCity DS 2. For those that loved creating, destroying or just watching their little city grow, hold your breath. SimCity is back in 2013!

Maxis is bringing back the classic, with the new game simply called SimCity. And it goes back to the roots of what made the game famous. No more SimCity Societies nonsense, no more Sims garbage, this is purely and simply building your living, working city. Only with a hell of a lot more detail than what was afforded before.

SimCity will use the new GlassBox engine. For people who are not gamers but love SimCity, that means the graphics and game play will be awesome. One of the most impressive features, as stupid as it sounds, is the curvy roads. You will no longer have to build in blocks and zones don’t work as they used to. Instead, it’s a free for all. Wonderful, twisting, turning roads, beautiful free-form structures and amazing architecture no longer have to work on 90-degree angles.

Of course, there is far more to it than just this. SimCity will make game play heavily reliant on government. All the wheeling and dealings that go on in real life will go on in a simplified level in the game. For a business to move in, the government needs to be a bit more hands on. What this means exactly is yet to be seen, but it adds another layer of complexity to the game.

Traffic and population will also play a much bigger role. Gridlock actually means something now and your public transport systems better be laid out properly if you want your Simoleons to be able to move around, do business and live their lives properly.

This is where the GlassBox engine really comes into play. No longer is the game simply animations representing data. It’s a lot more complex than that. So much so that we barely understand it ourselves. So here is a slab of quote from 1up.com that kind of explains the level of complexity:

“Almost every object in the simulation represented [by] in some in-game visualisation. Rather than animations or objects representing a traffic-jam, they’re produced dynamically by masses of Sims who actually travel to and from work. When a factory produces something in game, you can see it chugging away producing objects that will then be transported to stores and homes. Other simulation games fake these effects, but SimCity actually does them.”

According to the SimCity website, the engine is “[a] revolutionary simulation technology that gives you the power to impact individual Sims lives, manage city level simulation, and balance multiple city simulations at once. Now every Sim has a purpose in the SimCity world, a home to go to, a job to work at, even stores to shop in. Experience city level simulations including power, water, traffic, unemployment, taxes and much more. Within a region of cities, attract new Sims into your city, compete for precious resources, and protect your Sims against disasters. It’s city planning at an epic scale!”

It all sounds bloody good, but at the end of the day all we really want to see if a living, breathing mini-city that we created. You’ll have to wait until 2013 for that, but in the meantime, you can check out these videos that will give you a sniff of the real stuff!

Web: SimCity

 

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Tech

Damian Francis has previously edited Australian T3 and F1 Racing magazine and wrote for GQ Australia and Men's Health. Unlike Nick and Trev, he has no kids, no mortgage and no wife, but lives happily on Sydney's North Shore with his girlfriend.
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