Ever since we’ve learnt that Maxis were making a new SimCity game, we’ve been desperate to get our hands on some gameplay details. In a recent interview with Game Informer, the development team has revealed how the reboot will compare to past installments of the franchise.
First, Maxis discussed graphics:
…[SimCity has] to deliver on the graphics and a deep simulation. GlassBox is the simulation engine that is powering this SimCity and will allow us to create a city simulation that is deep and responsive. It scales to simulate entire cities, regions of cities, and allows us to connect cities through global data that we push to all of our players. It allows us to track every Sim in your city, follow them to work, to school, to play. We want to make sure our graphics tell the story of the simulation, so that art serves the simulation. If a Sim is sick, you’ll see it. If your water is dirty, you’ll see it. What You See Is What You Sim.
On pleasing veterans of the franchise:
We wanted to move away from some of the complexities of SimCity 4 and bring back the charm and magic of SimCity 2000. We looked at reinventing every feature from a tactile interface to presenting data in a more visual manner. It’s very much a reboot of the franchise.
[...]We wanted to preserve what was great about the gameplay of previous SimCitys and still improve and innovate as much as possible.
The dev team continued to highlight a couple of the changes that the new SimCity will bring:
In this version, players will have only one zone type for Residential, Commercial, and Industrial. Density will be driven by the types of roads and general traffic around these zones.
[...]We’ve introduced depletable resources to the simulation, which will fuel big business and help drive and influence the economic centers of player’s cities. We felt that resources are an important component of the economic loop for real cities, that it was an obvious and important addition to SimCity. These resources include water, coal, oil, and ore. Sims are directly impacted by these resources by the jobs these industries produce, the products they make, and the impacts to the environment. Players will have the ability to decide which resources to use to help shape their cities and how to manage their city when those resources are no longer available.
Game Informer’s interview also told us more about the multiplayer mode:
Cities are now part of something bigger; they are part of a region, which consists of other cities and Great Works. Cities influence one another and work together to build Great Works, compete on leaderboards, and connect with one another to trade. One example of a Great Work could be a solar farm. Players will want a Solar Farm in their region because it’s an excellent source of clean power and jobs. In order to build the Solar Farm, you’ll need several cities contributing to the project to provide materials, workers, and funds. The Solar Farm is just one example of how the region that your city is part of adds additional pressures and decisions to your city planning.
SimCity will be released on PC and Mac in 2013.
What do you make of the addition of depletable resources? What other changes from SimCity 4 would you like to see? Comment below!