SimCity Societies made all of us SimCity fans insecure wether EA can produce simulation games without Will Wright, or not. After Societies huge disappointment, we are all carefully going through the new SimCity features to find out what kind of game is it. However, it seems that Maxis is back, and that's a good thing.
This is our exclusive list of features of the new SimCity, to save you tons of time going through every post and video to collect what's in the game. Behold, the ultimate list of the SimCity features!
Please note this listing gets updated with every new official release. Come back to check what has gotten confirmed or rejected!
Some short videos have demonstrated the ability to Zone Residential, Commercial and Industrial zones. It's great to know the CitiesXL or Societies approach have not been taken instead. Zones are the way to go.
There is no data regarding wether we will have control on Density zones though. Also, zones they are no longer tiled (square units), but are instead drawn to go along with the roads curves.
There are hints that an area's wealth might be reflected in transit, terrain, houses, Sims... However, it might not be segmented with the §, §§, §§§ indicators we are all used to. This is unclear.
A whole new concept is brought to SimCity. It looks like Mayors will have to make use of the natural resources in the land. Either to provide their population (some areas underground are better to extract water from than others!), trade resources with other cities, or have factories turn those resources into goods they can export, for economic growth.
Also, resources seem to have an impact on the terrain, trees, and so on, and they are consumable. For Coal and Oil, in example, once it's all gone, it's gone. Water however can be replenished by environmental factors like rain.
The renewed Maxis team went for more. From the looks of it and what they say, every house, car and Sim work like an independent object, having a separate simulation done just for it. Every Sim in the city has their own needs, jobs and activities. Even different trucks must deliver the right resources to buildings under constructions. And thanks to the Glassbox Engine, they seem to be able to simulate every little thing on the game without killing the CPUs. They went detailed enough to even make music go along with what's happening with the game. Procedural music if you may.
Unlike previous SimCity games you would just drop government or service buildings and "that's it", you will be able to add modules to buildings. In example, a gym or an additional class room to a school - which we have to admit is more realistic than just using a slider to expand students capacity.
We don't know how education will impact on a city on the new SimCity yet. Will this enable high-tech cities to grow? Or High-tech is just a choice it simply works, regardless education? What are the differences between an uneducated and highly educated population? It looks like education has been taken care of in the new SimCity, just not quite clear what it implies and how important it is.
Day and Night
Day/night and time is confirmed in the new SimCity. Just like in the good old SimCity 4.
Weather can change anything in a city, yet on the last SimCity - 4th version - there is neither temperature nor weather, unlike previous editions. There is no information about weather and temperature, though there were hints that rain replenish your water resource - so maybe there will be some weather. My guess? No thorough implementation for this release, no. There is always room for expansion though, if you know what I mean.
It is quite clear pollution is well simulated. Not only dirty industries can pollute water, but also polluted water makes Sims sick, disabling them of going to work (remember, each Sim is simulated separately!), which means lots of factories missing employes, and on a larger scale, an important economic disaster.
Yes! Disasters are confirmed as well. While we don't have the details of which disasters will be there yet except for Fire, one thing we do know. There will be a giant lizard.
Water and power supply
Thankfully, this has not been automated. We do have control on water and power supply. Pipes are here, and probably power lines as well just like it worked on SC4. However, there is no actual statement on how does the power distribution and supply works.
Enhanced design tools
After 10 years of waiting, curvy roads and more control on our city planning design was pretty much mandatory. Well, it is here on the new SimCity, so no more grid-looking cities. You can further customize it with your own style.
That is right. We will be able to enjoy for the first time ever, playing in a co-operative region with other players online, in real time. And, we can get severely affected by our neighbor choices (pollution on their side can come to ours and vice-versa). This makes room for a whole new set of gameplay we don't know exactly-what-that-is yet.
You may play on a private region with just your friends, or play on a region with random people (which sounds more risky but fun as well!)
Besides multiplayer gameplay, we will still be able to play all by ourselves, in a region with just our cities (SC4 style). It's great if we just want to test stuff using several cities at the same time, or not bother actual neighbors with our experiments.
Unlike original Will Wright games such as The Sims 1 & 2, and previous SimCity titles, the new SimCity will have missions to complete. Some are in the form of pledges from your own citizens (which sounds actually cool), and co-operative challenges among cities like launching shuttles into space (no idea how is that beneficial for cities, but it does sound interesting teaming up), and other missions simply named "missions" that unlock buildings (this could be frustrating if you can't have them through normal city management).
If done well, missions can be really engaging. If not, they could get as annoying as bio-disasters on Spore. We will have to wait and see.
Probably a good idea. For sure SimCity will not let you do micromanagement of the city (tweaking tiny details, like on Ocean's example: setting the price of burgers of city diners). Instead, you make infrastructural and economic decisions that do affect the city in a rather indirect way.
Maxis has confirmed SimCity for the Mac! However they have not defined a date for it yet. "As all of our long-time fans know, the Maxis studio has always been a huge supporter of Mac, so now you have power to change both the world and your operating system."
You drive it
The team has remarked they are aware of people's willingness to drive cars, bikes, airplanes or even hot-air balloons around their cities. All they replied is that they rather focus right now on making it possible to have a city in the first place! So, if we don't see this on the base game release, probably there will be a "It's rush time!" or something-like-that-expansion-pack.
Now, while we all kind of got sentimental hearing there won't be those charts and graphics we read on SimCity 4 to understand how the city is going, there is a new approach that could be interesting. Instead of presenting us information in form of spreadsheets, the new SimCity will show you energy flow through lines, if power reach is the stat you want to know. They seem to have focused on representing the data on the city rather on charts. Read more in the Article: Data Maps.
The size of cities will resemble the size of the Medium size city on SimCity 4, which represents 2 kilometers square. While some may say "hey, that is not big enough!", interconnecting cities makes everything possible. They can all flow like one big unified city with residences on one side, power supply on another. Cities are not required to be independent in any aspect. They can completely rely on neighbors. Yes, huge cities could be more challenging, but maybe it's a newbie-limit they are placing. Let's hope some flexibility is given here, unless there are technical impossibilities due to the new agents model (Glassbox Engine).
The game will automatically save itself to the cloud, constantly. This is done so you can play with other players at the same time, but also so you don't loose any data ever, and can play from other computer that's not yours as well. Handy, huh?
If all this realism wasn't enough, the new SimCity uses real physics for everything in the city, including Sims and cars. It means you can see in detail what happens to everything that goes into your evil tornado crossing the main avenue. But also provide a very realistic simulation of vehicles movement, and other elements in general.
Internet connection is required to start playing every time on new SimCity. Maxis has rejected the offline mode completely. They claim that, even if you build a region for just you, you will still affect and be affected by the global economy.
It makes sense, and while "solo" playing would take the fun out of the new SimCity, you can bet there will be a crack that makes you play all alone, no connection required (this is how all cracks are going to work anyway!).
Interesting question from visitor Matthew. Maxis has not talked about different land types: forests, beaches or deserts. Neither weather, which would affect the land in terms of having snow and ice.
From the looks of it, it does not seem likely land types will be available. We can all expect to have landscaping, but this neither has been confirmed.
Terraforming (God mode)
And no. Ocean has confirmed Terraforming is no longer among us in new SimCity. Probably due to the nature of the resources handling. But whatever reason it is... It is a leg cut off.
Mods at Launch
Modding has been rejected for the launch of new SimCity. However they will look into it after shipping. Let's not forget, new SimCity is an online game, so modding needs to be fair and work with neighbours without mods. It's not easy. But it's not 100% off the table either, as they made it clear they know how modding kept the community going for so long.
Another interesting question from visitor Matthew. Maxis did not clarify this topic, and as an online game, cheats are doubtful... God mode isn't in the mix, for instance. Maybe a yet-not-even-mentioned single player mode could allow cheats and unlimited resources. It would make simulation dull though.
Ah! It took a while for these little guys to come up. But finally, through some debugging UI we can tell there are going to be speed controls. And that's just great. You may sleep calmly now.
From SimCity 2000, through 3000 and 4 we have had great advisors to respect or ignore. According to Maxis Emeryville, the new SimCity will have a mix of both Advisors and SC3K news ticker. Apparently they want to modernize Advisors by turning them into bloggers! These are just hints by the team, they haven't been clear on this yet.
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