I’ve written about SimCity in the past, in my opinion one of the most intriguing games ever to grace a personal computer. The following videos showcase some of the fundamental changes that have taken place for the upcoming game, SimCity, a reboot of the franchise that features a brand new engine called GlassBox. The engine introduces agent-like behaviour in the objects that inhabit the SimCity universe, thus creating an extremely consistent visual representation of the internal state of the game (something that, in turn, maximises realism). One of the previous concerns of Will Wright (and perhaps the rest of the team at Maxis), especially for SimCity 4, was that it was becoming too complex to be commercially successful. In my opinion, this is completely wrong. SimCity draws its appeal from the fact that it endeavours to be a realistic yet fun city-building simulator. Complexity is not the problem, it’s a benefit and I’m sure that the new agent-based engine will allow for much more complex, yet easily-graspable and consistent game concepts with higher complexity to be playable and fun. To my mind this has always been more than just a game and the concepts behind SimCity (as well as, to my knowledge, the engine) have been used for real city management needs.
Part 2: The Economic Loop
Part 3: Water and pollution
Part 4: Fire creation and spreading.