Simcity: Build Arcologies, International Airports, and Shuttle Launches

Kip Katsarelis, Simcity’s lead producer, shared some information about Simcity along with exclusive new footage on Spike Tv’s E3 All Access Live.

The game was visually inspired by tilt shift videos to create this toy model like world. This effect is achieved through a depth of field blur.

The game’s simulation is powered by an engine called “Glass Box” bringing life to the every day activities of your city. Every single sim in your city has a place they live, and a place to shop and work. Traffic is generated in real time. There will be several “data layers” to help you understand the underlying activities behind your city.

All of your Sims have wants and need. To see how well you are doing, there will be a happiness rating and your Sims will constantly give you feedback.

In multiplayer, everything you do has a rippling affect across the region. Other players’ cities will affect yours in some way. Players can work together to build “Great Works!” These include features like a international airport, a shuttle launch, or even an arcology. Players can compete in their own way through leaderboards and challenges.

Another route you can take is to create specialized cities, there will be around 5 to 7 different types of cities you can create. You can customize these cities even down to the street level with each individual building. For example, you can create a sports city.  Every few days, a major sporting event will occur, and your goal as mayor will be to attract as many Sims as possible to your stadium. You’ll also need to provide infrastructure to help your Sims reach the stadium in the first place, so build up your roads, highways, and public transportation.

Simcity Details at E3: Gather Resources, Play Offline Briefly…

As today’s E3 comes to a close, videogame news sites have started releasing their impressions and interviews. Here at Simcitizens we’d rather cut out all the fluff and jump straight into the juicy details:

  • You can have multiple regions with multiple cities within them.
  • Cities can not be reloaded to a previous save to do-over mistakes you’ve made. 
  • There will be a cheat mode that allows you to quickly build up cities. Achievements will be disabled though.
  • Simcity features “cause and effect” gameplay. For example, industry pollutes the water supply leading to sick Sims.
  • The simulator causes every activity in the city, from opening and closing doors, to smoke stacks triggering pollution in the city.
  • The simulator decides whether an action can take place. A Sim who’s very poor will not suddenly decide to go shopping on a whim. However, if they are broke, they could decide on finding a job.
  • The game keeps track of what you do and how you are playing then reflects this upon the city. You may even see challenges pop up because of it.
  • If you are disconnected from the internet, you won’t be kicked out of the game right away, it will allow you to play “offline” for a few minutes until you reconnect.
  • You can now build curved roads. The lots themselves can even point towards the direction of the sidewalk.
  • There’s a rendering technique known as “interior mapping,” this creates the illusion as if you can see inside a building.
  • There’s even a rendering technique that allows them to create thousands of Sims, it’s somewhat related to this “interior mapping” but details are unknown.
  • Like in Simcity4, a fire truck must actually drive to a burning building to extinguish a fire.
  • An arsonist will also set fires just for the hell of it.
  • You can gather resources like wood, oil, trees, and fish and export manufactured products from them. You can sell them to the global market or trade them with neighboring cities.
  • Each city starts with a few pre-existing resources. You can manufacture these resources to something else to increase their value. For example, you can combine resources to create engines, or combine them with other resources to create cars.
  • Combining these resources adds to the complexity of the supply chain, There’s even a risk of failure that could be detrimental to the city if you are manufacturing expensive products.



The online-only component is again causing a flurry of negative reactions. The news of not being able to reload a previous version of your city is troubling many potential buyers. Now, some players think the game is too restrictive compared to the sandbox style of previous Simcity titles.

[via gamespy, pcgamer, kotaku]

Simcity Social Details and New Screenshots

Simcity Social was announced hours ago at E3, however the launch trailer was brief and vague about the game features. In an interview with VentureBeat, Lucy Bradshaw shed some light about some of the details in the game. Simcity and Simcity Social are two seperate games meant to provide two different flavors. Simcity Social is a lighter more social experience.

In summary:

  • Simcity Social is a collaboration between Maxis and the Playfish studio in Beijing.
  • Cities are player driven, they react to your decisions.
  • There is no set path to make a city, you can make them in any style you’d like.
  • Crimes, fires, and pollution are some of the negative things that can occur in your city.
  • The graphics are meant to reflect the original Simcity but visually looks closer to Simcity 3000.
  • You can do mean and nice actions to other players cities.
  • Events can affect the city over time.


Simcity Boxart Revealed and 7 New Screenshots

New Simcity Deluxe Edition Boxart

EA has finally revealed Simcity’s  boxart. Simcity will release February 2013 for the PC. The Deluxe Edition will be priced $79.99 while the limited edition is priced $59.99.

EA has also provided 7 new screenshots with excessive amounts of tiltshifting. Though what is cool is that this blur effect happens in real time based on the buildings closest to the screens. Some of the screenshots depict tall vs dead grass, a stadium at night, and a vista that would connect your city to other towns as shown in the E3 Trailer.

Simcity Social E3 Trailer Takes Jab at CityVille

Simcity Social is now officially announced for Facebook. Simcity Social allows players to build cities that form based on player-driven decisions. Similar to The Sims Social, on the left hand side are quests players can choose to fulfill as they play the game. The top of the screen has your currency such as coins and a box with a gear icon (which we’ll unofficially call widgets). The bottom of your screen has your friends with either halo or devil horn symbols.


The bane of casual Facebook games is the inclusion of an energy bar at the top of the screen. It will likely limit you from doing any kind of action once you run out. These energy bars will fill up after some time has passed.


Simcity Social takes a jab at CitVille

The game allows your friends to move in and out of houses in your city. 

On some buildings there appears to be actions you can take to receive rewards. For example, on a stadium there were three options; “Crash Party,” “Attend a Soiree,” or “Tip hat”. After clicking “Crash Party” you receive coins, medals, and gift boxes.

Players will also have the option to upgrade buildings. For example, you can upgrade your theme park to a more luxurious three star version by selling cotton candy.

Simcity Social also includes disasters like fire and UFOs. There also appears to be “negative” events happening around the city that needs your attention. In a pop-up with a police badge, it required the player to respond to “ruffians” who are loitering near a Spanish Villa.

Simcity First E3 Screenshots

The first Simcity gameplay footage was shown just briefly at E3. We took screenshots of the first trailer in case you missed it. Of note, the way you plop buildings and transmission towers is sort of interesting. It basically floats and spins around as if someone was holding it in mid-air. EDIT: It appears some buildings will grow naturally and other service buildings like power plants are ploppable.

The trailer also showed a disaster where a dinosaur trampled down city buildings.

Additionally, they showed multiplayer footage of an airport that needed to be built in between two cities. You can actually see the other cities off to a distance too. We’ll have more details when it becomes available.

Simcity Releases February 2013 Plus First Screenshots

According to the press release from EA, Simcity will be releasing February 2013 on the PC.

Powered by the GlassBox simulation engine, SimCity is taking back its crown as the king of city-building games. Players will have the power to build the city of their dreams, connect with their friends and face real-world challenges together as SimCity comes to retail and Origin in February 2013.

  • Platform: PC
  •  Ship Date: February 2013
  • ESRB Rating: “RP” for Rating Pending

There are three different screenshots featuring an Industrial city, a University city, and firefighters trying to save a burning a building. Each of the three screenshots utilizes a photo manipulation technique known as tilt shifting. The buildings are a bit cartoony, but the art style looks like a cross between Sims 3 and the cancelled game Simsville.

[via gameranx]


From these three screenhots, users have described the art style as “cartoony” and “FisherPrice” inspired. A few are still skeptical and waiting for more screenshots until judgement.


Simcity 2013: Data Layers More Visual and Animated

Taking a look back at data layers in the past Simcity series, they were generally colored tiles that indicated whether a tile was powered, watered, polluted, etc. These data layers were pretty boring to look at, but, the new Simcity plans to change all this by rethinking how the data layer is represented.

Taking some inspiration from infographics, Simcity aims to mix data visualization with modern design. The intent is to create animated data visualization so the player can see it flow in real time.

In this screenshot above, the water table is visible underneath all buildings. The more bluer areas contain more water. When the water tower is placed and pipes are laid down to different buildings, the player will see the water (agents) flow to different buildings.

Christian Stratton, User Experience Director for Simcity, gave an example of how you’ll see power travel down power lines. When you place a power plant down, the player will see power flow away from the plant to nearby buildings. If there’s any breaks among those lines, the player would immediately see and recognize it. If the power plant isn’t capable of providing power to a far location, you will see the power get “eaten-up” before it reaches there.

The data layers are also integrated into the game itself. As you place down a fire station, you’ll see a basic data layer that will give you a general idea of where you should place the fire station. There’s also the option to see a more in-depth data layer if the player requests it.

New Simcity Footage on Spike TV June 4th, 2012

SpikeTV and EA has announced they will be broadcasting a one hour special live on Monday June 4th, 2012. The special titled, “The Download: EA 2012 Preview” will be hosted by Geoff Keighley, will be a part of Spike’s “E3 All Access Live” program.

During the special event, EA will offer never-before-seen footage and world premieres of highly-anticipated games like SimCityTM, Crysis® 3, Battlefield 3TM, Medal of HonorTM Warfighter, Madden NFL 13, FIFA 13 and other unannounced projects currently under development at EA.

We’re hoping to see that one of the unannounced projects is the rumoured Simcity Facebook game.

EA 2012 Preview

  • Date: June 4th, 2012
  • Time: 4PM Eastern / 1PM Pacific.

Simcity: Concern over Specialized Cities

One of the worries with this current generation Simcity is its focus on specialized cities. Specialized cities were a concept used in previous games like Simcity Societies where players could make an authoritarian city. This changed the environment to make the city feel as if it is being controlled by a dictator.

In Simcity (2013), players can specialize their cities to create a “casino” city or focus on “coal,” etc.

In an interview with IncGamers, game producer Jason Haber shed some light on the issue to make it more clear. IncGamers asked if you can freely choose your own specialization, or if your are limited to what the game decides to place in your city:

You’re never going to be pushed down a certain path, but there are those that will require you have certain resources available to you. For example, for coal specialisation you need coal in your box. However, having coal in your box doesn’t mean you have to use it, you can ignore it and do something completely different.

There’s no reason for you to follow a rigid route, this is still a sandbox game…

Well you can rest well knowing that you don’t have to make your city one particular type and stick with it to the end.