The Maxis team have been talking a lot about Data Maps recently. Those were long blog posts, so at SimNation we decided to slice it down and go straight to the data you want to read.
As we mentioned before, graphs are going to be left behind in new SimCity, and be replaced completely with Data Maps. These are, of course, a much more intuitive way of reading information on the screen, and while some of us may miss the good old charts, it is not a bad approach either. It does suit the new SimCity.
It is actually pretty cool, while still is work in progress, it results in a very streamlined, crisp view of what is going on.
All again, thanks to the Agent-based simulation that drives new SimCity. Here is an interesting part of the post:
Ocean and I made several mockups – little animated vignettes that showed how we could build a game around buildings we called toys. These would be buildings the player would interact directly with to operate the city. We also felt it was time to take the buildings off of the rigid grid. These ideas pointed to an "agent-based" simulation engine. And yet none of us had a clear vision of what that would entail or how we’d get there. So we documented those ideas and then put them aside.
It was much later when Andrew and Ocean were designing a new engine called GlassBox when they had the epiphany that SimCity would be the perfect game to build on top of it. More importantly, GlassBox would enable us to build the kind of SimCity we had imagined so many years prior.
Of course, this couldn't have happened before. All cars we saw in previous SimCity titles were just props. Not actual cars with actual Sims in there.
Now that everything in the simulation is actually happening, we are going to see one of the coolest forms of data layers ever. Actually, whenever you are placing a Fire or Police station, in example, a lightweight version of the actual data layer shows up, easing the process of placing it in the right spot. Data Maps show not only on demand, but also when we need them.
That is all for now! This article may be updated in the future if more information is released on Data Maps. If you are a SimCity mayor, take a moment to share your thoughts on this.
The original posts
In case you do want to read the whole blog posts, follow these links: