Submitted by mdonahoe on Nov 07, 2013
United States

Hello. This is Lead Designer Stone Librande here to talk about one of my favorite subjects: giant robots!

In SimCity Cities of Tomorrow we wanted to create a new disaster that fit well with the expansion pack’s futuristic theme. We talked about including realistic disasters that our planet may be experiencing in the near future, (droughts or floods caused by global warming, giant hurricanes, solar flares, etc.) but decided to go with something more fanciful. The idea that the team quickly agreed on was a giant robot attack, similar to the one from SimCity 4.

Our first task was to replay SimCity 4 and relive the robot disaster. Unfortunately, my memory of the SimCity 4 robot was a lot more exciting than the reality. The robot was huge—and its mighty “pulse cannon” could take down several blocks of skyscrapers in a few seconds—but when we looked closely, we noticed that it was shooting out a few white dots from its chest that randomly trashed a large section of your city. After leveling a few city blocks it flies back into space leaving blocks of destruction in its wake.

Instead of a mindless killing machine, we wanted the Cities of Tomorrow robot to have more personality. Outworlder 6, our robot, doesn’t visit your city because he wants to destroy it; he is just looking for energy to recharge his battery pack in order to continue his interstellar journey back home. We also wanted the player to become an active participant in the encounter and either help or hinder his mission.

Outworlder 6 arrives from the sky like a fiery meteorite, landing in a random location and destroying whatever happened to be underneath him. He immediately begins scanning the city for a nearby source of power. Although he is not malicious, his alien programmers haven’t given him the ability to understand the value of things like Sims, cars or buildings. Expect him to cause some collateral damage as he stomps through the streets looking for a place to plug-in to
your city’s electrical grid.

Once he arrives at his target he extends his “electro-coupler” and begins leeching power and other utilities from your city. This may cause temporary blackouts which could shut down some of your critical city systems. Observant players (and those of you reading this blog) will notice the energy meter on his back. As he drains the power from your city he will be filling up his own internal batteries. When the energy meter reaches the top he will fly back into space and the encounter will end. But if his meter hasn’t completely filled then he will repeat the process all over again by scanning for his next target.

To minimize his damage you’ll want him to charge up as quickly as possible. This can be accomplished by shutting down your biggest energy consumers, such as your garbage atomizers and pollution scrubbers. To maximize his damage (you know who you are) then shut down your power plants and starve him. After several failed attempts to gain enough electricity he will eventually give up in frustration and fly back into space. In this case he’ll be forced to use his backup nuclear reactor which tends to leak a bit of radiation (you’ve been warned!).

There is also a third option. We understand that many players don’t want any disasters in their cities at all. If you are a part of this group, you will be happy to know that with Update 8 released last week, we are now giving you the option to turn off random disasters in the normal game mode.

We had a lot of fun creating the giant robot encounter, from initial concept to the final 3D, we’re excited to bring giant robots back to SimCity. Best of luck to you and your Sims when Outworlder 6 visits your city!

Author: 
Lead Designer Stone Librande
Date: 
Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 08:15
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Comments

This is hilarious, "his alien programmers haven’t given him the ability to understand the value of things like Sims, cars or buildings" and he "doesn’t visit your city because he wants to destroy it." I was imagining that a high-tech or futuristic omega/franchise factory had a research disaster and create a robot that destroys their Sims' creators.

SC4 robot mega evolved :O

Funny, I was going to build a Pokemon-inspired city after I got the expansion... :V

Oh realy worth the 40€. NOT
Where are bigger maps? Where are smashed bugs? Where are one way streets? Where is the ballanced gameplay?

I know there may not be larger maps, but a bug cant be fixed by a mod/expansion... that needs an update :l And who would want one way streets on a game with already enough traffic?

And there was me thinking the robot in SimCity 4 shot out massive plates/dishes. :P

Liking the concept behind the new one though.

lolz :D

Makes me think of the Iron Giant... Hmmm...

the design reminds me of the Jaegers from pacific rim

please someone respond to my question, I bought more Ram for my late 2009 desktop mac, i now have 16 gb RAM total and i still have to keep all setting onto minimum to even play the game. helppp :(

You need better graphics card... the RAM doesn't help much... IN that case, most Macs are hard to upgrade in terms of graphics... You may need to consult with your local Apple store for some advice.

Thank you :)

On the subject of larger maps, I understand the limitations and even the decision Maxis has made, I'm curious whether it might be possible to move the city tiles closer together and allow user laid connections in the style of SimCity 4. This would allow for smaller individual city tiles but more compact regions, in the style of burrough development. It would also allow greater user freedom in intercity connections.
Keep up the good work

"shoots white dots"
Does nobody know its the robot from the sims living large?

We need more maxis fans for this SimCity sit!

EA, can you please fix the graphics problems that came out with update 8 and add one-way streets

cant wait until the release of simcity cities of tomorrow though i would like expansions on the map sizes. i just went on simcity 4 and completed a city and the map sizes are bigger. maybe you contact some huge online multiplayer shooter game and borrow a engine from there. but either way keep up the good work and i hope cities of tomorrow doesn't have as much as a shakey release as the game did...anyway i have found a glitch on one of the tropical maps. i was building my city when all the roads disappeared luckily they regenerated after a couple of minutes.also all the radiation disappeared in Fallout epicenter and why do some people hate this game i have a page full of reasons people hate this game...WHYYY

Can't wait to see what new damage I can inflict on my city with this. But perhaps what has me more interested is in that first paragraph....I really hope you all continue looking into other natural disasters. Hurricanes, floods, droughts would be absolutely incredible. Last night while I was playing my coal mining city I thought about how incredibly challenging and interesting it would be if it was possible to have a coal seam/vein fire. Like the nuke plant, requiring skilled workers for advanced mining operations. If the mine is staffed by the unskilled, an accident could occur leading to a slow moving (10+ sim year) all encompassing underground fire that drains the resource, deforming the land and damaging above ground infrastructure. Here in the current age, if actions aren't taken very early on these fires continue to burn for decades even centuries. In the game you could put it out for a very hefty price tag (full extinguishing not 100% guaranteed) and sacrificing some of your developed land. Tying into the CoT expansion, options could be discovered/researched to extinguish them for good. I just thought it'd be neat, but seriously, we need some more natural disasters!

The robot also deposits oil in your city after the attack

I was a very big simcity fan, played them all and bought them all even this one right when it came out, i spend around 85 euros to buy both the game and "european citys" and omg am i pissed, first the problems with the servers, then the fking bugs, but most of all the map sizes, dont get me started on that, even with the stupid "european citys" expantion wich costed me like 20 euros extra for only beeing able to play in a "european city" only after u build one of the fking land marks witch you can only do when u have a lot of simoleons and it only has mediom density buildings (what a waste of money that was) even with all that crap hapening i was willing to give it a chance but not if the fking map sizes keep being the way they are, it sucks to have such high expectations for a game and being let down so much, thats why i wont buy any more expantions nor any more simcity games and as a matter of fact nor will i buy any fking ea games in the future, i will be moving on to other developers like focus interactive with cities xl etc, cause there is no cure for this ea crap anymore.

Can you please set it up so if the Monster and Robot disasters are released into the same area of the same city we get to see a Kaiju vs Jaeger brawl. Also wanting to see monster climbing the megatowers and swating helicopters. We demand you bring on geek awesomeness.

One thing that always enticed me since 2000, though never saw fully fleshed out was Military. It would be fun to call in military to fight of monsters or watch them move out from your military base if you gave the order.

I think this disaster is really cool (and funny). I think it matches the theme perfectly.

I don't Know WHY sims and CARS use 1 Lane on the Streets! There is a LOT of traffic due to the use the 1 Lane on that Street! Urgh, EA needs to fix that and please PLEASE REPLY to my coment about HOW to get this Disaster PLEASE!

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