Submitted by cyberfyter on Jul 24, 2012

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.

United States
Michael Donahoe, Community Manager
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 05:00
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There goes my excitement about building a sprawling metropolis from my own created terrain. Disappointment, thy name is Simcity.

And you whiners call yourselves "SimCity fans"?? How disgusting... The game is sounding great! Stop behaving like over-conservative republicans who only want SC4 with 3D graphics.

(not only for creamycameron)

Totally agree (indexea) ! Im pretty sure this game will be amazing...

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They are all playing that game. And they join the community to sharing with everyone in there.
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Well of course the fans are going to whine when their concerns are ignored, what you expect from them? They aren't going to just bend over and take it like what you and the rest of EA wants them to do.

Thank you for this informative post that you have in here. Actually, it is very helpful information to those investors.

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I agree entirely. They are improving Simcity! Of course things will be left out but that is no reason to get mad. The graphics and charts and all that stuff in the older ones werent that great anyhow, they are finally making something great and people are downgrading it because of a few things that will be left out. Adults, acting like children!

@ runawaygnome"

Graphics and charts and stuff? That's what I'm acting like a child over? I'm appalled! It was the FREEDOM to create any city I choose, WHEN and WHERE I choose via no FORCED internet connection with servers that are destined to shut down, via terraforming an ENTIRE REGION with no gaps inbetween MY cities, and via modding supported by a 300,000 plus strong community! They have completely ignored the sound reasoning of the fans. If they continue in this direction, this sad excuse for Simcity will fail.

You know, you cant be forced to use online connections if you dont have a connection to the internet, now can you?

Plus, why the heck would you put 2 cities RIGHT beside each other? That would be dumb! Realisticly, cities have space between them anyhow. And remember in the videos when the producers stated 'You can be part of a region, build a city in a region with a friend, OR control an entire region and its cities by yourself'? Thats where the online part loses its place if you only want to go single player. Im sure that the game wont require that you use an online connection on release. It is nothing grotesque, you are just trying to see the bad in this.

Holy bananas runawaygnome!
How often have you been following the development of this game? (P.S.I really am not attempting to attack you personally, I'm simply passionate about this game being the best it can be so that the Simcity franchise stays alive.) I would put two cities right next to each other becasue if you haven't noticed, the city maps are going to be the size of a medium map in sc4, which is grotesquely small compared to medium sized cities in real life, giving us the need to build cities next to each other for a realistically sized city. Wanting a realistic city is not dumb. Didn't you build a hige city in sc4 that was composed of multiple maps, surrounded by suburbs and farms, creating that REAL city look? AND YES, the game requires you to be online AT ALL TIMES, even in single player mode as the dev team has formally stated. On the last blog Ocean informed us they built the game from the ground up to have online a necessary part of gameplay, even in single player mode.


Well, whatever your point of view on this is, I dont agree. And I think, excluding a few things here and there, the game will be great.

And I guess you are right about the maps, they should let us chose what size we want. And I actually enjoy making a large city on simcity 4.... so I guess I dont entirely disagree.

Ya know, I respect your opinion. I understand that's all we're really talking about on this forum: How we think the game should be from our biased points of view. Heres to hoping we both get a game we enjoy playing for years to come!

I thought this game would be an open world where you could build to watever place you want like an MMO with Stronghold Kingdoms map style to better and sim city building, also be able to see nearby buildings&cities and fight 4 territory or to put buildings on, would need many worlds though. Soo i dont think this will be a multiplayer game, only upload your stats to the imaginary world kind of multiplayer, i figured that out right after he said it would have boundaries, i dont see how this will be better than cities xl 2012 or online at all.

simcity has never had fighting and I don't think it ever would and should, but I do agree about the see other cities part, and they showed multiplayer in the game, and another thing, cities 2011 or 2012 don't have online without mods and hacks, so what are you talking about?

the only cities xl that had online was the first one

I have to agree with WhyHelloThere427. Diablo 3 showed how permanent online can ruin a single player experience and Cities XL showed how quickly multiplayer fails in this game genre.

Medium sized city maps ARE too small! The game is sim CITY not sim suburb. If anyone can't understand the need to link together multiple city maps, go to the Simtropolis website and take a look at some of the SC4 Journals. Not having control of my neighbouring cities is a fail.

I think the purpose of the game is to make it realistic - make you feel like you are in control. But, in real life as a mayor - you don't get control of neighboring cities. This makes it fun, realistic, and adds another layer of challenges!

i'm sorry but I know some other countries don't have cities right beside each other, but some of the biggest u.s. metro areas have cities right beside each other, no gaps at all, usually a street defines the city border, and suburbs are right next to them to, there are some, like about 40% that aren't like this, but I know at least 20 metro areas above 1 million that have cities right next to each other, it really doesn't make sense to have a city and a suburb apart from each other with bare land in the middle (no trees etc.) as you can see in the pic behind the add new comment page. And I think they should bring mod support fast because for the people that don't like it or just don't like some things in it will need mods to keep them playing if they buy it and hate it....

Hmm, you've never seen two cities right beside each other, that would be dumb?
SF Bay Area, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Dallas-Fort Worth, Tampa Bay Area, Miami - Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and surrounding counties, not to mention Tokio-Yokohama or several conglomerations of smaller cities throughout the world.

st. paul/minneapolis, brooklyn/new york, and a hundred others would like to have a word with you. and they do require use of a connection to origins at all times.

Terraforming is beyond dumb and the most unrealistic thing in the game. "Sure, I'll just move these tectonic plates here and make a my own river...create a valley..." NO! If you want to play God go find a fantasy game where there are mystical creatures and extraordinary beings. This is a game of strategic city management and design. Not landscaping academy 5.

I think why people are getting upset is that it was one of the main features of SC4 where you were able to create a "CITY" from a terraforming tool and a God Mode you created yourself. Adding mountains and lakes; trees and animals; wildlife and oceans; it was all part of a magnificent game and all this from a game that is more than 11 years old. I would have to conceed that the game does look better than Cities XL but I have the nasty feeling it would be similar to this game.

Now were are living in times where you can access the Internet from your Phone via Wi-Fi and being told you won't get a feature that was available when Bill Clinton was President is very much unacceptable!

This game is not sounding great, and I will whine like a 3 year old monster who didn't get a pony for her birthday untill they push back the release date and fix this mess. I WANT MY PONY!

Right. Because clearly legitimated concerns about the direction of a game franchise that is dearly beloved by the community is completely and utterly unimportant. Of course having any kind of concern means we "want sc4 with 3D graphics" and then a wildly strange connection to a particular political leaning or perhaps over leaning. Get real dude. Online always play is a recipe for disaster. That alone is enough reason to take issue with the game. I agree the game as a whole sounds great but, so did cities XL before it was released. That turned out really well as we all know. Albeit, I really don't think the lack of a terraforming would really kill the game given that there are actual resources now.


I agree on the terraforming thing - I've been playing since I was a kid with SC 3000.... I think the resource scarcity, specialization OPTION (!) and marketplace are super cool. Not to mention all the complexity behind everything. So you can't create a mountain? Big deal.

Whining?!? Sorry to disappoint you, but a lot of us 'whiners' have been playing Sim City since the beginning - likely before you were even born! Sim City's credo is "YOUR city, YOUR way!" Well, in addition to this so-called 'Sim City' no longer allowing us to play OUR way, they won't even be OUR cities - they're stuck on EA's server cloud.

Or, they will be until the accountants at EA realize what a pathetic flop this game is and pulls their servers. But, then again, the FarceBook/FarmVille drones who support Quigley's 'vision' will lose interest and move onto something else long before that happens, so why should they care?

And why should EA? They're too busy worshiping the almighty god Dollar to care about the loyal Sim City fans who have been standing in the sun and rain and sleet and snow for ten long years.

Worshiping the almighty dollar? They're a company, companies exist to make money. The game is going to be huge and the more people who buy it and play it and ask for more game content the better chance of it happening. Companies listen to subscribers.

And therein lies the rub:

EA is chasing after nickels and dimes by trying to appeal to the 'social gamer' sect - despite the fact that most companies in that area are foundering. Zynga (of FarmVille notoriety) stock has fallen from nearly $15/share to less than $2/share over the past few months, and the company is expected to enter bankruptcy before Thanksgiving. Much like the Dot-Com Bubble, the Social Gaming Bubble was generated almost exclusively on hype (as opposed to substance) and has burst. This FaceBook City crap EA is trying to foist on us is akin to betting on a dead horse that's already in the rendering chute.

Worse still is the simple undeniable fact that successful games create legacies, and legacies define what the public expects from any further releases in a series. Hulk doesn't use a shield, Iron Man doesn't turn green and yell 'TONY SMASH!', Thor doesn't wear power armor, and Captain America doesn't wield a legendary hammer. If Marvel tried any of these, they'd get crucified.

The people who have the money to sink $60, $80, or even $100 into a single-title game want Sim City - not FaceBook City. Sim City fans have waited through ten long years of abandonment for Maxis to release a new Sim City (one which is a worthy successor to Sim City 4), enduring disappointment after disappointment like Sim City Societies, Cities XL, and similar flops.

Civilization (which actually owes its very existence to Sim City) is a good example EA should study: While the game CAN be played online/multiplayer (as well as serving as a direct promotion for DLC) it remains at its core the same offline, single-player game which made the series so popular.

Rather than heed the cries of the fans they're counting on selling to, EA has clearly decided to take a massive dump on them and the game by trying to reinvent the wheel (which never works). They insist on adding features that few (if any) Sim City fans want while stripping away features that most (if not all) Sim City fans have loved for decades.

I'd buy TWO copies of Sim City 5 right now, even at $100 each, if EA/Maxis made one - but I refuse to even spend the time it would take to download on this online-only, cloud-only, stripped-down, dumbed-down, 'must pester everyone you know in order to accomplish anything' piece of dung they're polluting the Sim City name with.

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That sounds like a cancer.
Companies exist to provide quality services to people who are willing to pay for it.
No more are niche game developers. Gone are the days when people not belonging to moronic mass-market majorities could get quality games.
It is happening in RPG's. The elements that make an RPG are being thrown away in most new RPG's. People who want story and character development and decision making are being thrown away in favour of idiots who only care about killing things for no reason other than to watch some cool animation or all the blood and guts.

Gee, I'm sorry that I don't share your excitement about the game, indexea. Bashing other players because they don't like what you do - way to go! I'm not from US, so I don't know what this "republicans" mean in this context, but I sure did understand the "disgusting" part.

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