And we’re back! Last week we answered a ton of your SimCity questions. In fact, we received so many good ones, we couldn’t get to all of them at once... Until now! That’s why we brought back Creative Director Ocean Quigley, Lead Producer Kip Katsarelis, and Lead Designer Stone Librande to answer the best of the rest.
Of course, we wouldn’t have been able to do this without you, our amazing community! All of us here at Maxis want to thank everyone who took the time to ask us your questions. We love hearing from you, so this won’t be the last time we ask for your feedback. Trust us! So make sure to keep telling us what you think about the game by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.
OK, what are we waiting for? Let’s get to it!
Mkareha: Will there be terraforming in the sense of a "god mode" like there was in SimCity 4?
Creative Director Ocean Quigley: No, all of the terraforming in this SimCity is going to be at the civil engineering scale, and will be the natural consequences of laying out roads, developing zones, and plopping buildings.
neil5280: Are you comfortable calling this game SimCity when it's diverging so far from the key play elements that long-time fans have come to expect?
OQ: Yeah, it’s definitely SimCity – you’re drawing out roads, zoning, providing utilities and city services, then growing and nurturing a city. The classic SimCity mechanics are there. We’re always looking to add new ideas and approaches to the game as well.
Mkareha: Are the game's textures as shown in the trailers the final textures?
OQ: We’re still working on the graphics, but the level-of-detail on the buildings that you see in the E3 trailer is a pretty good indication of where we are going. We’re constructing the buildings in particular with lots of architectural detailing, so that there is detail for you to see when you’re zoomed all of the way to street level.
(Germany Community): What will water and natural disasters look like?
Lead Producer Kip Katsarelis: Disasters are a big part of SimCity and our disasters are going to look awesome. We aren’t going into detail yet about individual disasters, but we think you’ll dig the physics behind them as you watch them destroy your city.
leAlfredo18: Will we be able to 'expand' cities and develop in the space between cities (such as building a suburb around a new airport my neighbors and I build)?
KK: Although there is a lot going on in the region between cities, you will not be able to expand outside of your city boundaries. Player’s will be able to build Great Works that live in the region and are extensions to your city. These Great Works are going to be massive in size and have a huge impact on all the cities in the region. Some of the Great Works you can expect to see are an International Airport, and Arcology. We’ll be revealing more about the other individual great works soon. There’s still activity in the region. You will be able to see highways, railways, and waterways that connect your city with others. You’ll see road traffic, trains, and airplanes travel in the region. You’ll see air pollution flow outside your city to other cities in the region. Over time, the region becomes its own ecosystem as cities connect and become more dependent on one another.
(German Community): System Specs: Can you run SimCity with 64bit windows 7?
KK: Yes! A matter of fact, the majority of us develop on 64bit Windows 7.
RetroBagel: Can we have cities with dirty areas, clean areas, high crime, and low crime areas all within the same city, or will the city specialization be putting an end to such diversity?
Lead Designer Stone Librande: It depends on how heavily you specialize. Of course, if you cover your entire city in factories, garbage dumps, and coal power plants you are going to get pollution everywhere! But you have complete control over how you zone and where you place your key civic buildings. Crime will tend to grow in areas near casinos and be suppressed in areas near police stations. Injured Sims will be more likely to survive if their injury occurs near a hospital. If you have a large budget you could put police stations and hospitals on every corner, but then you are using up real estate and spending tax revenue that could be used for other buildings, such as schools, water purification plants, and airports. The diversity of the city is in the hands of its Mayor.
leAlfredo18: You've shown that lots can fit to the shape of the surrounding roads, but are you going to make buildings that are modular in that they can form to roads? Think Paris buildings.
SL: Interesting thought, but we currently don’t have that functionality.
German Community: How large can maps get and how many people can live in one city? Are there any performance issues?
SL: We are still experimenting with the size of the cities, but our maps are comparable to a medium-sized map in SimCity 4. Also keep in mind that cities are connected together in a region, and the Sims will travel back and forth between cities throughout the day.