Submitted by mdonahoe on Jan 29, 2013
United States

Hello, Mayors! I’m Lead Gameplay Scripter Guillaume Pierre, also known as MaxisGuillaume on the forums, and I’m here today to talk about an often requested feature by fans: sandbox mode.

Choosing to set a new region in sandbox mode is like entering a gentler version of SimCity. Each city starts with a truck-load of Simoleons, with the possibility to add more via a key press, and although the simulation functions just like in the regular game, certain “pushback” systems can be toggled on and off at any time. Say you don’t want fires to burn down your beautifully-planned suburb? It’s as easy as hitting “Alt F” on your keyboard to eliminate all fires. Don’t want earthquakes or meteors to strike in the middle of your downtown? Just press “Alt D” and you’ll be safe from all disasters!

Of course, when you’re being granted such great powers, you’re also opting out of the competitive aspects of SimCity: You can’t earn achievements, participate in challenges or the leaderboards, and all your trades to the global market don’t count towards setting the prices of goods.

On the other hand, all the cooperative and creative aspects of the game still shine: Region play and chat with friends for the social players, screenshot and video capture for the story-tellers, and a remarkable learning opportunity for beginning players. With all the buildings in the game unlocked from the get-go, sandbox mode is going to be a terrific way to explore the content the game has to offer, study the best way to lay out your city in a care-free environment, and test out strategies before applying them for a challenge or to climb up the leaderboards in the regular game.

Don’t hesitate to ask me or Designer Dan Kline (otherwise known as MaxisSparks) if you have any question on sandbox mode in the forums!

Lead Gameplay Scripter Guillaume Pierre
Tuesday, January 29, 2013 - 08:30
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cool finally a sandbox mode I can't wait until March 5.

Yes me too i can hardly wait, i am counting days since last June!

Hopefully this will appease all this lame ass whiners and complainers that won't stop bitching about DRM. Stupid fairy's.

Wow. This isn't an offline mode. This is just an easier mode for beginners and theory-crafters. You literally are getting angry over nothing.

ya its sad how some ppl think lol

Wow. This isn't an offline mode. This is just an easier mode for beginners and theory-crafters. You literally are getting angry over outlet

Are you kidding me with the hate language? Isn't there a moderator on this site?

Nope.avi. (Search in YouTube if you don't know what it is)

Obviously you didn't try to play Diablo III on launch day

I played D3 on launch day--worked out great. I played for 14+ hours that day.

I find that difficult to believe. I played for a laggy hour. You must not be in the US.

I played D3 on launch day and I'm in the US, might have gotten kicked once or twice but It played great for me

im right there with you

Wait, what? First, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Second, fairies? And third, seriously, there are young people on this forum.

We want bigger screenshots!

Hear, hear!

It would be interesting to see(though unlikely) how many people play the SandBox mode vs the Online interaction modes in the first week.

WinCeasar: the same screenshots on facebook are bigger

this is sweet this will help the game out alot for i always have trouble with cash an this will help me learn in a safe place thanks cant wait for the game so excited

ps not that i dont love the reg mode i just think its nice to get a way to do strategics for comp mode

Well cash isn't that much of a problem in the beginning anyway (beginning = the parts we saw in the beta/demo =)

Awesome, I can't wait!

Why couldn't I have that on BETA? :P

Do you need to be online to play Sandbox mode?

Yes. Cities are saved online on Maxis Servers. Furthermore the mutli-city regional simulation is all run on Maxis servers. Therefore you need to be online, even in Sandbox Mode. Also, if you notice in the screenshot, Sandbox Regions can be set up as "Public", meaning anyone can join.

You don't need to be online to play any mode, you just need to be online to play with another player in a region. (Remind, a region can be played online or offline, making all options available)

Sorry to crush your dreams but you need to ALWAYS be online to play, because your cities are saved by Maxis online. The good part is that if you lose all your files during a freak accident, once you get a new PC/Mac you will be able to continue after you login to your Origin account. Or if you want to play on your friend's computer you just need to download Origin (took me less than 10 minutes) and log in to your account. Always on DRM does have its advantages.

You have to also download Origin after you get a new PC/Mac BTW.

The only reason I won't be getting this game is because of the online requirement. I know TONS of ppl that are saying the same. Some of us can't afford to have the internet right now. I mean, have you(EA) looked at the state of the economy? Fail EA Maxis, Fail!

Very true, especially if I'm away on a family vacation and I wanted to enjoy building a city while I'm free without having a connection around.

3G USB Stick is the answer. Though if you don't have the money for that, yes it kinda sucks. No problems for me though.

How many people in a ton?

A long ton is 2240 lbs, so about 12 ;-) but they do make a valid point, an off line mode combined with sandbox mode shouldn't be too hard to implement, it would have no affect on the global economy and they already have given you every "cheat" you could want. They would just have to program the servers to update your city whenever you log back in. On the other hand an offline mode should never be combined with the regular mode of the game

It's not as simple as you might think. The current game saves your cities to the internet. Additionally, all of the regional level simulation is run on Maxis' servers because of the amount of processing power needed. It would take a lot of work to make that code work "locally", and even then a large percentage of users wouldn't be able to actually run it.

Sorry wasn't clear enough. Didn't mean you had access to the region, that would update with whatever you did offline whenever you logged back in. Just have access to your city offline, much as you did in previous simcity games. Seeing your actions do not affect the global economy they could lock the price of goods at whatever it was when you logged off, because you can purchase as much as you like, it has no affect on world supply or demand whether you were online or offline. Compared to the game the coding would be relatively simple, a code to allow you to save each individual city on your computer. The cities update every three minutes already so when you login your saved sandbox city uploads and it updates to the region

Even if people can't run the game fully at least hey have the option to get a new computer, with internet you can't really control whether the internet connection will be fast enough or even online for that matter. I vote make this game run offline as well and while playing offline it saves it onto your computer then next time you log in it will automatically sync with your cloud on the server at Maxis. I also want to take the game with me wherever I go and with that I can't take my internet along. So this is a cry for everyone, PLEASE make this game run offline as well!!! PLEASE!

I highly agree. I have a really good internet connection here at home, but I certainly would like to be able to run and play the game wherever I want, or when (for any reason) my computer can't connect to the internet.

Very good feature, Guillaume!

Just looking at this "Sandbox" mode. I can only wonder why I can't build the region like in SimCity 4. All I can take out of this is pre-planned Maxis / EA regions that turns off Leader boards and the, dumbest idea ever, global pricing. The last company that did global pricing in there game was Valve and the price was so high for certain items it literally unaffordable to buy things. Please Maxis, give me and us the option to opt in or out of each thing Global Pricing, Leader boards, etc. not an all or nothing switch. Always on DRM is still a bad idea but that's the way EA wants it. Come on March 5.

Can we customize the terrain/map in Sandbox mode?

Finally - a sandbox mode for SimCity! This is going to make the game much more approachable for players, especially those that get stuck in normal mode. The upcoming release keeps looking better, and better!

The way this is worded implies that natural disasters WILL RANDOMLY hit towns that are not in sandbox mode. Is this true/false? Please confirm.

Yes and no. Disasters (when not in sandbox mode) are going to be random, but there are certain things you can do in your town that will increase/decrease the odds of a given disaster. For example, building a certain number (4 I think) windmills, will increase the odds of a tornado.

WIll the city size be as small as it was in the demo?

It probably only was smaller in the BETA so you could fill out the whole area during your hour. They will probably make them bigger in the final installment. If you watch the Gameplay Strategy Videos (#1 and #2) you can see that the cities are much larger and covers a large area.

WIll the city size be as small as it was in the demo?

I love how this game has a "Cheaty" sandbox mode. wish Spore did too..I can't play spore Anymore, too many pirate attacks... make spore 2 have a sandbox mode if you make it...

Very nice, glad you put in a sandbox mode!

Great, another mode I can get booted out of when my internet connection drops for a second!

If only the devs thought to incorporate some sort of system to gloss over disruptions in the connection to the server... Oh hang on, you mean they've mentioned such a system repeatedly? What foresight!




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