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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I think you've been reading too much into marketing words. There was no such system in place during the beta. I lost 6 (SIX) cities to random unannounced disconnects.

Either I'm lucky or you're not then, because I had quite a few disconnects during beta and it never had an impact on my game.

I didn't.. The entire last hour i was playing basically was disconnected from the servers. Im not even running a good spec computer and I had maybe two 5 second pauses the whole time. Never lost the city, kept on simming.

i never had a problem playing on either of my computers, the desktop at home (shaw100+ internet 100 down, 30 up), or the laptop at work (WIND hspa+ mobile internet stick 10 down, 3 up).
my advice is get better internet

I just want to know if you can build the cities closer together in sandbox mode then i will be really happy.

How is the distance between cities relevant to your happiness?

It just makes me wonder how many coders are out there right now working on an exploit to enable this is the regular game.... Those guys only need to be told "You cannot use this for regular online play." and they will sit back and say... "I bet I can..."

This is an epic move and will please many of the City Journal developers. I myself am very happy to jump outside the box and build a city that will stand the longevity of time and do what I want it to do, look how I want it to look and be the city I want it to be and the map looks very SC4 by the way.

Is it wrong for me to be a 32 year old husband with 3 children and still want to play Sim City?..........probably :)

That depends... How does your wife feel about it? :D

Is it wrong for me to be a 32 year old husband with 3 children and still want to play Sim City?..........probably :)

im down with the sickness...single dad with two kids and im counting the days lol ; )

This will probably be something I'll use more as a tool as opposed to really playing with.

You guys have truly created a great work now.

I played the Closed beta version; the other day and the graphics look awesome. In a way it reminds me of Sc4, but even better but when you add this to the pot it makes it even better as it will help some gamer's out that like this mode. But all and all the game thus far as a whole is awesome and much easier to play and enjoy. Now adding this; is really awesome!! great job guys. Look forward to the releases date... :)

oh yeah Maxis we need more trees to fill in our suburbs not whining just putting forward the one thing that makes the city look a little barren. No towns on the east coast are treeless. but im sure youve got things well under tow. awesome game cant wait!

Trees are in the game as an addition, and then little forests grow. It was in the beta.

I like this, thanks

I like this, thanks

I think you've just made another sale. Providing that this does indeed work offline

Please add a load/save feature to this sandbox mode. When playing online and the city is "always on" that could be a real discouragement to gamers that can't allocate the time they'd like to gaming.

In online mode what would happen if I couldn't play for 3 months and then came back. My city would be at best different than I'd left it, and at worst abandoned.

With most games I can save my game, get busy with life for a while, then go back and load up the game 6 months later and be where I left off. I realize load/save might not work in an online context but should be doable for sandbox mode.

Actually, your city will be exactly as you left it. The multiplayer/multicity stuff is asynchronous. No matter how much time you go between sessions, your city will be just as you left it. No worries there. :)

Wow, People actually have the nerve to compare SimCity to a game that is completely foreign by not just it's concept and genre, but by it's development and production teams, not to mention Parent Companies, you people would have better luck trying to prove that a telephone and a telescope are the same thing, so good luck with that

Are those yellow lines the city boundaries? That would be awesome! Natural cities aren't just squares. That would make it more realistic. They would also be a bit bigger by the looks of it, hmmmm......

Awesome! Looking forward to it! Quick question, I can have my friends in the same region and we all can be in Sandbox mode?


Awesome! :D Totally sold on this game now with the sandbox mode.

Most people will probably play sandbox mode to begin with lol

Could you, perhaps, provide us with region pictures, like the one we see in this blog, for all the regions? Let us drool over the variations, and trace the roads and rails!

I'm so excited! I thought the beta was great, but this will be even better! Keep the information coming, Maxis!

Yeah it's great, the beta was great fun, I'm buying, everything looks pretty, just it's the wrong name, call it SimTown.

i dont like sand mode i like the new won

Very cool! Can't wait to try it.

;( at least i got the beta....

Farms do exist?

I'd prefer playing in the normal mode, as then I CAN participate in challanges and leaderboards, earn achievements, and properly trade, all of which I really want to do. But, I think I will begin my first city in Sandbox mode to start of with and then go up onto the Normal mode. I've never played any of the older SimCity Games before (which is understandable, as I wasn't more than 3 years when SimCity 4 was released), but I still cannot wait for the release in March.

Well that's pretty lame. Sandbox mode is just an ez kiddie mode. I just want a large city plot and the ability to customize stuff.

"More like..."
*Puts on sunglasses*
"GLASSbox Mode"

Um, will sandbox be on Mac

I need SimCity so bad!

I signed up for the beta but i never got an email about it D,:

Any chance of giving us an option to play on a larger city size? Even if it's a cheat mode and even if it doesn't count towards blah blah MANY of us would love to have a massive canvas on which to build. I'm optimistic about multi-city play and think you guys have some good innovations in mind, but I don't understand why we can't have both.

sand box mode cool

so, are we not going to be able to build our own highways? or is the default regional highway all their is??

Please have larger parcel sizes to build our cities on then in the Beta. Sim City 4 scale!! Please!!!!

I think it's a game that has great potential for the future.
There is the possibility, in some expanción, you can start a city, for example, in 1900, with the technology of the time, buildings, services. Then move forward in time and live the changes involved. Decide if you want to preserve the buildings, or let them be replaced by modernity. Giving each city its personality.

This new version of SimCity points to play regionally. It may designate a city as capital of this region? With government buildings? Enact laws and taxes? ... you consider this for an update?

Awesome idea..This way, you can plan out a city and go through the trial & error of it all a few times. Get it down pat. Then take what you've learned to the leader boards and what not.. Can't wait!

Well, at least they included something that works like a cheat. A cheat mode more like. Honestly speaking, the sandbox mode will only be useful for theorists testing out stuff. Otherwise, the actual game is a little bit too easy and one might as well play with the online interaction. Or if someone is really terrible at SimCity, they can go for the Sandbox mode. Neither are offline so if one is proficient at SimCity, the online interaction with leaderboards and commodities is a better decision. I do hope that they come out with bigger maps with bigger town size. They're ridiculously small compared to SimCity 4's large map. I managed to expand my city to span the whole map of Clearwater in less than an hour. With an income of +$50000 per hour. That's just bordering absurd. I liked it overall but the space for expansion is just pathetic. I found myself erasing a quarter of the map just for the kicks and rebuilding them like nothing had happened.

What I was wondering is if we will be able to play the game for an unlimited amount of time or until we get tired. I love the sandbox idea, that's what convinced me to pre order SimCity Deluxe. Great game, loved playing the beta. Come on March 5th.

I absolutely love this game. I am so glad to hear about sandbox mode, which convinced me to pre-order the deluxe version. Thanks for a great game.




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