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E3: SimCity 4 Preview Goodness 289

Posted by chrisd
from the coit-tower-never-looked-so-good dept.
Anonymous Coward writes "Wowie! The folks at Electronic Arts look to be working hard on the next installment of SimCity! Although there's no official, dedicated release date, they plan on demoing it at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Gamers.com has an article, as does GameSpot, and both seem to have a number of screenshots. Interesting: there now seems to be a nighttime mode, and perhaps there's some weather effects? The note from MaxisJoseph claims there will be a personal angle to every high-level action taken; will there be a chance for dynamic screenshots of our cities during, say, lightning storms, blizzards or sandstorms? And will they ask Koch or Guiliani for endorsements?" I know I'm not the only one who wants to play the Sims in the SimTower in the SimCity on SimEarth with the pesky SimAnts in the balcony garden.
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E3: SimCity 4 Preview Goodness

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  • Quite interesting (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I heard that they're using SDL/Mesa to do the port. It should work natively with most joysticks and mice, sound via OSS and /dev/sound. They're probably using SDL in conjunction with Transgaming's new product as well, so this will show many flagship technologies for Linux. I don't know if they're using the dynamic bytecode recompilation technique or if they're going with a straight transcription matrix for portability, but I'm looking forward to it all the same because I'd like to see SimCity with a full colour depth.
    • You are too bound by your drive to help a struggling company. Give into the GNU and feel its strength.

      BTW, has anyone tried descent 3 for linux on a voodoo 3 card? :)
  • They made SimCity 2000.

    Then they made SimCity 3000 and The Sims and now they're not cool anymore.

    Hopefully Simcity 4000 will return to it's roots....

    "Citycopter 1 reporting Heavy Traffic!"

    Tim
    • "Then they made SimCity 3000 and The Sims and now they're not cool anymore."

      Yeah.. the Sims is the best selling PC game of all time because it totally sucks. How uncool.

      • Myst was the previous best-selling PC game of all time, and it sucked big time, at least IMHO.
        • I thought Deer Hunter was the best selling PC game of all time. It's popular, not cool. Sim Earth was cool. SC2k was cool. even SimLife was kinda cool.
          • Deer hunter may have been the best selling PC game of all time in America, but it really didn't sell too well over here in Europe (in fact it seems it was released over here merely to give us more ammunition to make jokes about yankee rednecks).

            The Sims sells incredibly well all over the world.

        • Re:Maxis was cool. (Score:2, Interesting)

          by wheany (460585)
          For me, The Sims has the same problem that every other "Sim" game has had: It's fun to first build up what ever you are building as normal, then fuxx0r it up. Or in the case of The Sims, just trying to figure out how lousy living conditions are good enough.

          Anyway, the point is that at least I get bored with the games before long, because there is no real objective. It's a fun "toy program" that you can play with for a while, but maintaining "growth" always becomes too much of a hassle at some point.
      • Re:Maxis was cool. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Loligo (12021) on Friday May 24, 2002 @01:04AM (#3577250) Homepage
        >Yeah.. the Sims is the best selling PC game of all time because it totally sucks

        Another person already mentioned Myst. How about other top-sellers like Deer Hunter?

        Windows (of various flavors) is the best selling operating system of all time. Does this mean it doesn't suck?

        Should we mention the music examples of NSync and Britney Spears? They sell an assload of records. Do they suck?

        I'll even push a few folks' buttons: The Phantom Menace made a TON of money. It's #20 on the top 100 grossing American films list, adjusted for inflation. (Full list here: http://www.filmsite.org/boxoffice.html ). Was it a great movie?

        Being popular doesn't mean it doesn't suck.

        -l
        • Being popular doesn't mean it does suck, either, though people who seem to pride themselves on their cool-outsider status often loudly proclaim otherwise.
        • Being popular doesn't mean it doesn't suck.

          I don't think you understand. Whether or not something "sucks" is entirely subjective. All the things you listed that you think suck are obviously very "unsucky" to a large number of people.

          Actually, popularity is the ONLY halfway decent measurement of whether or not something sucks on a non-personal level. If you disagree, then how would you define it (non-egocentrically)?

          Your statement should have been: "Being popular doesn't mean it doesn't suck to me."

          Note: This has to be the stupidest exchange I've ever partaken in on Slashdot. I wish I could say that I am drunk, but it's way too early for that.
    • Isn't that Simcopter 1?
    • What about the original SimCity? That was a very fun game. Also, what ever happened to SimEarth? I havent seen it in a long time. It was one of their better games. Also, I only got to play a demo of SimTower, and never have seen a full version ANYWHERE.
  • Ahhh Crap. (Score:3, Funny)

    by ender81b (520454) <billd AT inebraska DOT com> on Friday May 24, 2002 @12:23AM (#3577113) Homepage Journal
    Look's like I'd better tell the g/f that I'll be incommunicado for a few weeks after this game comes out. And I had just got over my Civ III addiction too.

    Hi, my name's Bill, and I'm a gameaholic.
  • Maxis should merge the technology of The Sims together with SimCity 4. From max zoom in, on one particular house or building, you can play a game of the sims in there. Whatever actions they take in there has some effect in the outside sim world.

    Damn, wouldn't that be cool?
    -Cyc

    • I believe that was what Maxis tried to do with SimsVille. It's dead now. But from these screenshots and if I remember correctly from the preview video on the Sims cd, I would venture to guess this is SimsVille, only with the "The Sims" half stripped out.

    • That'd only need a beowulf cluster of Y-MPs to run ;-)
      • You mean I could run it on the same system I got to run Morrowind? cool! But seriously, folks. they should have it set up so that it's a modular system; zoom ALLLLL the way in on a residential neighborhood, it starts the sims, and passes the data along; zoom all the way in on a farm, it start sim farm, all the way in on a commercial HD building and it starts simTower.... Zoom ALL the way in on the spaceport, and it forces Maxis engineers to actually finish sim Mars. That would be cool.
    • Re:SimSim (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lothsahn (221388)
      No, actually, you run into the problem of micro-macro management.

      It's something that the creators of MOO3 (is that still coming out?) have been wrestling with.

      A mayor can't realistically change individual lives (except for maybe his personal one). Instead, he has to implement policies that get carried out. He doesn't direct traffic, or catch criminals.

      It's quite the same in a game. If you are going at normal speed, then too much happens while you are manipulating their house. If you cause the speed to slowdown to manipulate individual lives, what is to say they won't just move out next month... and what effect does one individual's life really have on a city anyways (unless they implement policies).

      It's the fallacy that total control=better game. It actually just creates a micromanagement nightmare.

      I really hope Master of Orion 3 comes out. It fixes many problems, mostly involved with (micro/macro)management. You, the emperor only get so many command points a turn, regardless of the size of your empire. Therefore, you can take a fixed number of actions, so a smaller empire is run more efficiently than a larger empire. Not only does this fix the per turn time difference in multiplayer turn based strategy games that make them boring in multiplayer, but it also more realistically models real life.

      If you are going to make a macromanagement game, then macromanage. Let me do lots of cool stuff, like bike paths, and water, and subways, and roads, and airports, and stuff... but please don't add micromanagement. Don't fool yourself. Whether or not I break up with my girlfriend or not isn't going to change my city. Why should it matter in Simcity?

    • yes, so one of your sims could become osama or the unabomber and blow the crap out of the city!
  • by dalassa (204012) on Friday May 24, 2002 @12:23AM (#3577117) Journal
    I hope they will bring back the SimCity 2000 ability to have riots burn down your entire metropolis. I used to have endless fun watching the rampaging proletariot storm the abodes of the fat capitalist running dog lackey bourgeoisie while screaming 'Viva la Revolution!' Until my parents yelled at me to go to sleep.

    "Burn! All of you burn!"
    • by detritus. (46421) on Friday May 24, 2002 @12:55AM (#3577231)
      Better yet, Rockstar Games should get together with Maxis and combine Grand Theft Auto with Sim City. That would be interesting!
      • And make it online, with one person playing the mayor, one the police chief and the rest playing hoodlums out to start trouble.

        Even better, have State of Emergency's riot potentials built in so that you can play the riots in real time,

        Sweet!
      • Or combine it with Doom 3 so that someone mentions the Doom 3 screenshots that are up.

        Bastards :)

    • I hope they will bring back the SimCity 2000 ability to have riots burn down your entire metropolis.

      Grr.

      I once managed to install the game on a 16mhz 386. (Somebody had given me the game as a gift, and at the time, I wasn't too motivated to upgrade my machine)

      Took some kind of bizarre TSR driver to get the video card to pump out 8-bit VGA graphics, but I finally got it working. An hour into the game, an out-of-control Sim fire dragged the poor processor to a screeching halt. Computer froze up and never came back. Damned O(n^2) algorithms.
  • Eh? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Sheetrock (152993)
    I know I'm not the only one who wants to play the Sims in the SimTower in the SimCity on SimEarth with the pesky SimArts in the balcony garden.

    Are they in talks to merge the SimFranchise with Clue?

    • Are they in talks to merge the SimFranchise with Clue?

      Already been done. I know lots of people who have a SimClue.

  • thank god (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AnimeFreak (223792) on Friday May 24, 2002 @12:25AM (#3577127) Homepage
    Not to troll or anything, but SimCity 3000 was a bit of a disappointment and a waste of my money as it was really just a graphics-enhanced version of SimCity 2000. From what I can see from the prelininary screenshots, SimCity 4 will not be like it's older brothers and will breathe fresh air into a game that has always rocked.

    One feature I really want is the ability to work with other Sim players. Net support in the game would rock because you could work with other players on water, garbage, and electricity deals and also work on transportation plans together. Hell, even have sports teams competing against eachother. :)

    Another is to have what SimCity 2000 with Streets of SimCity and have the ability to drive through town. Have it simulate actual traffic at certain sections and make it so you can determine, for real, what areas have problems.
    • It's a SimCity, not a SimEco...
      If you've seen Star Wars Episode 2, what about simulation of a city in which people can have
      personal flyers?
    • I got SimCity 3000 for Mac when it first came out, and it was slow even on a (at that time) state of the art iMac. Unfortunately, there weren't all that many gameplay improvements, and in some places the game was actually degraded, or so I thought. SC4 looks to be much better. I just can't wait to guide a rampaging fleet of UFOs through my city while they perform a little free-of-charge demolition.
  • Will it also become less interesting like MOO:BAA?

    Micromanagement can kill a game.
  • by Jeffrey Baker (6191) on Friday May 24, 2002 @12:26AM (#3577132)
    Weather effects are cute, and I love details in games, but Simcity's gameplay is quite primitive, and I hope they really improve it. The game is unfortunately wedged in a very twentieth-century-american mode. You cannot build a city without building roads everywhere. Even if your reliable and convenient subway spans the city, nobody will move in until you build roads. This isn't exactly allowing you much flexibility. Now it seems that the designers have changed the game engine to automatically build roads, bridge and tunnels. In Simcity, cars are a given.

    I'd like to play a Simcity game where I could build a car-free city. I want a button for bicycle paths. I want to mix residential, commercial, and industrial without zoning. I think the fire department should operate without trucks. I want a city with 95% green open space, and a community-supported agricultural belt. Where's the button for farm? In Simcity, it is assumed that farms are "over there", far from the glorious car temple you are constructing.

    In short, I want the Simcity people to exercise some imagination.

    • by Pfhor (40220)
      Damn straight.

      I mean, to have more alternatives would be great. It would a nice change of pace to see the games of the future not reinforcing ideas of the past.

      How about they throw in the medical conditions and possible side affects associated with corporate farm based foods, etc.

      SimCommune instead of SimCity Maybe?
      • How about SimCult... Get the FBI to get blamed for building a cult and killing yourselfs. The more you can get blame shifted from you the better points you get. Model the Cult after an evil violent computer game, and get major bonus point.
    • by guttentag (313541) on Friday May 24, 2002 @12:43AM (#3577199) Journal
      I'd like to play a Simcity game where I could build a car-free city. I want a button for bicycle paths.
      That's in the indefinitely-delayed "SimCity Beijing." Do you have any idea how many megs of RAM your video card would need to render millions of people bicycling all over the place? Motorized transportation is environmentally friendly to your system because it's cheaper to render 5 people in a carpool or 50 people on an underground (unseen) subway car.
      Where's the button for farm?
      SimCity 3000 had farms. If you zoned residential near a rural road with little/no pollution, the land would develop into farms instead of apartments.
      • Farms in sc3k: create a large low-density *industrial* zone in a low pollution area. I believe there's actually a tutorial about it on maxis' web site. It's very hard to keep it from turning into factories tho, and once the pollution comes in from them it's all lost.

        I was amused that low-density residential plots with high land value would turn into walled, mostly grass, estates.
    • I don't know which Sim City you played, but in the original, I never built roads in any of the cities I built and they came out fine. Actually, I never really liked the other Sim City games, there were too many options.

      As far as zoning and what not, sure, that sounds good...wait, they did that in the last one. True there are no farms, and you don't HAVE to have 95% open space, but you START with 100% open space, how is getting to 95% a problem?

      Sim City isn't a game that made it on it's nifty graphics or some gimmic, the gameplay and flexibility are what made the game popular.

      However, I will agree that if they automatically build roads, they have crossed the line. The whole point for me was to build a city without roads.
    • by ryanvm (247662) on Friday May 24, 2002 @01:10AM (#3577262)
      I don't want to be a jackass, but the game is called SimCity for a reason - it's a simulation of a city. The idea is to realistically recreate the experience of managing a town or city.

      You want 95% green space, no cars, communal agriculture, etc.? I'm not sure what you're looking for, but it sounds more like FantasyCity than SimCity.
      • >You want 95% green space, no cars, communal agriculture, etc.? I'm not sure what you're looking for, but it sounds more like FantasyCity than SimCity.

        That is the joy of the SimCity games though. You can create cities that you think would be wonderful, watch how they fail and see what compromises you have to make.
      • by d^2b (34992)
        Well, I think the original poster, and anyone who has lived in a city with a decent public transport system (i.e. outside of the USA, and for the most part outside of Canada), could argue that requiring roads and parking lots for people to move in is _not_ realistic. Look at the old city in any major European city. Basically twisty roman cart tracks are not too swell for SUVs, but strangely enough people pay through the nose to live there.

        But hey, its only a game. The standard slashdot reply should be for people to get off their butts and write a better one. :-)

        • Actually, it seems like lately the standard slashdot reply is to get off your butt and go live REAL life instead of a simulation... :)

          (This of course is followed by several not-so-witty jokes about how real life beats out sim life in almost every area like interface, playability, etc, but you don't have the ability to start over, blah blah blah blah blah blah...)

      • by Big Sean O (317186) on Friday May 24, 2002 @09:06AM (#3578336)
        We've had successful cities for well over 2000 years and we've only had cars for about 100. The tendency to think cities = cars is what's wrong with a lot of modern city planning today.

        For instance, a thriving business district in a city neighborhood is a precarious thing. There area ton of things you can do to screw it up:

        Let's say you tear down a low-end commercial building and build a city parking lot. Your goal is to increase the number of people who can visit the area:
        • You reduce the number of possible destinations in that neighborhood.
        • Low-end buildings provide much of the unique character of a neighborhood (they never tear down the GAP store).
        • Low-end, smaller businesses usually represent local owners and economic strength. Removing them might cause others to move.
        • You create a traffic nexus that can screw up driving on all the streets near the parking lot.


        Let's say you decide to ban parking along the business distruct people complain that it takes too long to drive through it.

        • You decrease the number of people who can visit the area (by reducing parking).
        • You channel people into the parking nexuses described above.
        • You make an implicit assumption about the mobility of your visitors (people with children and the elderly might not want to 'Park and Walk'.
        • You remove a perceived safety buffer (parked cars) which make pedestrians feel safer from street traffic.
        • You are decreasing actual safety by improving 'flow' (read increase speed) of the traffic. Pedestrains are more at risk from vehicle accidents.


        The Fire service claims that they need to widen the street to get the new longer fire trucks through. It's only a couple feet per side so you take it off the sidewalk.

        • Well, Fire deaths are down (thanks to Smoke Alarms) and by widening the street you may increase the number of traffic fatalities. Is the benefit worth the risk?
        • Is the new giant truck really an improvement over a smaller vehicle or just the 'bragging rights' of your Fire Chief?
        • Narrowing sidewalks reduces the neighborhood's appeal. If you can't walk arm in arm with a child or a spouse, you're not going to hang out there.


        The original poster made a good point, there's a lot of cities in the world and throughout history that do not follow the 'American Suburban Model' of Bubble Zoning that has brought sprawl.

        SimCity was the original popular "simulator game". If they want to continue to surprise and delight us, they should better explore the relationship a neighborhoods success and transportation. In cities especially, people LIKE not using a car for every little thing. The continued suburbanification of cities won't make them more successful and SimCity should explore that.

    • Something that would be cool - and Gonzalo Frasca's thesis on ludology.org [ludology.org] makes reference to it - would be including the favela/barrio model of development in SimCities. The idea of zone development occuring on a grid is pretty much an American one. In Brazil and Mexico and Peru, the urban planning challenge is to bring services into unplanned communities - to bring water, electricity, roads, police, schools and the like to communities that began as shantytowns but grew into rebar and concrete neighborhoods. These types of cities are the future of the urban experience for people in many countries - Lagos, Nigeria may become one of the largest cities of the world, and mostly with this sort of improvised, informal development.
      • I don't know about that. I think playing "God" as a city planner is much more fun than simply managing 3rd world urban sprawl. (Of course I respect the natural beauty of bottom-up design more than top-down, but that's not relevant here - fun is.)

        Although... it would be fun to watch the poor SOBs getting electrocuted when they try to steal juice by patching into the powergrid. j/k :)

        --

    • One of the objectives of the original Sim City was to prove that a town / city COULD exist without a road network if enough rail links were available.
      They claimed it did, but I recall even on old Sim City on an Atari ST it never panned out that way.

      As to farms, if you establish low value commercial land ion large tracts with minimal road links you'll get farms. But they tend not to happen near the city because the land is too valuable. One of the things that makes sim city different, and fun, is the lack of immediacy. Things you did 20 minutes ago will be starting to pay off now, things you do now may never pay off - and you wont know for 20 minutes. brilliant.

      Totally different from the 'I cut off you M***** F***ING FEET' style gameplay.

      Traffic is always my bug-bear. If you create a large city at the side of a river, build one bridge, and place the cities only stadium alone on the other side of the bridge you get a busy bridge - but you don't get terminal gridlock when a game is played causing riots and a total drop in your ratings as mayor. You should.

      Perhaps 'nightmode' hints at a move from focusing on macro-time to micro-time. Its Saturday at 3pm, the big game is about to start, but everyone is stuck on the bridge! People are SWIMMING to see the game! Its 20 below out there! Mayor DeFacto must DIE!!!!
    • I think the fire department should operate without trucks.

      WTF?!

      I think you should think real fscking hard about that...
    • > I'd like to play a Simcity game where I could build a car-free city. I want a button for bicycle paths. I want to mix residential, commercial, and industrial without zoning. I think the fire department should operate without trucks. I want a city with 95% green open space, and a community-supported agricultural belt. Where's the button for farm? In Simcity, it is assumed that farms are "over there", far from the glorious car temple you are constructing.

      You can do all those things. But as you pointed out, if you do, nobody will want to live there.

      As for farming, considering the number of acres of arable land required to serve the food needs of a million people, that's why it's called SimCity, not SimCountry :)

  • Can't wait until they port the game to the palm!! :-P
  • Airplane Disaster (Score:4, Insightful)

    by daidojiuji (183833) on Friday May 24, 2002 @12:28AM (#3577141) Homepage
    I wonder if they'll include the Airplane Crash disaster from previous versions. Just think of all of the people who would demand to see the game banned from stores!
    • previous version? you mean sc2000? I have 3000 (not unlimited, or whatever that other version was called), and there is no plane crash disaster.. there are WTC buildings though. I was building a city with them and had an earthquake and one caught fire and it was eerie [elitemrp.net].
  • by wstrong (21678) on Friday May 24, 2002 @12:32AM (#3577157) Homepage
    Combining all the various Sim* into one game would be tricky, but we came up with a better idea.

    A Sim* MMORPG. Some people could play Sims, others could be mayors, others would build life-forms, others could control ants, and the building managers, and so on.

    It could be a really cool MMORPG...
  • I hope I don't have to wait for 2 years to see this on Mac OS X! I agree with the earlier poster that Sim City 3000 was really a graphically enhanced (slower) version of Sim City 2K. Sim City 4 sounds like it will be all new and shiny again! Yay!
  • by Nathdot (465087) on Friday May 24, 2002 @12:38AM (#3577177)
    I think we all know what made the original SimCity so great:

    *The ability to get more money by holding down SHIFT and typing F-U-N-D-S.

    If Maxis simply returns to its roots by including this in SimCity 4 they'll have a sure-fire hit on their hands!

    :)

    PS. You have to remember not to do it to many times in a row though... otherwise you cause a 'Natural Disaster'... Ooooh WATCH OUT!!! It's a GIANT LIZARD!!!
    • SimCity 2K it was...
      PORNTIPSGUZZARDO

      IIRC

      Geez, thats taking me back.

      I was bored, maxed out my money using the above cheat, and then built the entire thing on pause. It was fun, and almost worked.
    • Damn, and to think I hex edited the saved games in PCTools to get extra funds. If only slashdot was around 15 years ago I could've saved a lot of time! Well, maybe not.
      • Were you on Prodigy or Compuserve back then? If so, remember what fun we had when I broke the two-byte encoding scheme for buildings? And found that the actual upper limit for funds was much larger than a million (it was something like 7F FF FF FF FF FF or something - but for safeties sake I always recommended you use something like 70 00 00 00 00 etc, as it accumulated funds and buffer overflowed to a negative otherwise).

        I always liked hex editing the map after a nuke explosion to repair buildings - among other things.

        Those were the days ...

        -
  • by Kasreyn (233624)
    Will the game prevent you from having two large towers built right next to each other? If there's a NYC scenario, will it have the WTC "edited" out?

    Just curious.

    -Kasreyn
  • was always that I would run out of land. Great, I can spend more time making the buildings evolve, but a lot of that involves waiting . . . I loved the expansion, planning, seeing what works, etc, but after a while there's just no more land left . . .
    i can only hope there's some way to buy more land in this game! :)
    (even if it's buying a new city to have next to your original one, if it's influenced by your other city, it's close enough for me)
  • I think most people would be rather SimGolfing than locked up managing some city, no matter how posh their office was.
  • SimMaxis (Score:5, Funny)

    by guttentag (313541) on Friday May 24, 2002 @12:54AM (#3577227) Journal
    Try our new game, SimMaxis!

    Start with a computer, a cool idea for a game that simulates a city and a meager budget to develop and market your game to the masses.

    If you're successful, your little software company will be bought by a gaming conglomerate headquartered on a Silicon Valley landfill. Can you keep the corporate types happily rolling in dough while still producing games that please your fans? Can you balance the budget in a recession, survive earthquakes and avert costly developer food riots?

  • This time around I hope they forgo the $30 patch....I mean Expansion Pack, and actually finish the game before shipping it.

    It's sad that you had to buy two Sim City 3000 titles to get the functionality of Sim City 2000.

    Now, all we need is a Constructor sequel (or a version of Constructor that will function on XP) and a expanded version of Capitalism 2 (brilliant game, BTW)
  • They did so much work getting the landscape to flow more realistly but the buildings seem to be based on the lowest level on the grid and then other sides don't look right. I wonder if that has an effect of property values :-)
  • by abolith (204863) on Friday May 24, 2002 @01:20AM (#3577288) Homepage
    BUT is there a point to it? all the sim cities havebeen build watch, repeat. BORING. I should hope that there would be a point to the new one.

  • zzz (Score:3, Funny)

    by mabu (178417) on Friday May 24, 2002 @02:01AM (#3577378)
    The game was really fun when it first came out but they've stretched the premise way too thin without introducing much innovation. The Sims was a bit overrated too if you ask me. When I watched a guy spend 3 hours playing the Sims in a local Internet cafe, doing nothing but forcing some woman to drink coffee over and over and piss on herself, I knew this software had hit the wall.

    These people need to come up with something new and interesting.
  • by AndyChrist (161262) <andy_christ@yah[ ]com ['oo.' in gap]> on Friday May 24, 2002 @02:38AM (#3577458) Homepage
    I don't think you could integrate SimEarth into that...unless we get to see the Sims evolve from tiny eukaryotes. Maybe we could see insect or cetacean Sims?

    A game of Sim City would fit in a few microseconds of Sim Earth. It just woulnd't work.
    • SimEarth is quite possibly the single most complex game I've ever seen, which is probably why it never really did as well in the market as the other Sim* games. I think I was 12 when I first ran into it, and with my limited attention span at the time, it took me longer to figure out how to play the game than I would normally have spent playing most of the games I got my hands on.

      SimEarth is probably the last game I saw that actually came with a manual that deserved the name. It was like 2" thick, and actually full of INFORMATION. Considering the success they had with the Sims, I doubt they'll be undertaking something as ambitiously complex as SimEarth in the near future..
    • I thought Sim Life was better than Sim Earth. In Sim Life, you release plants and animals into an ecosystem, and they try to find food and water and reproduce. Each individual has a detailed genome, and traits can be passed to their descendents. Very, very cool game. I'd love to see that one updated!
      • Something like Sim Life could probably be integrated into a more detailed Sim Earth...instead of having each square be occupied by ONE life form, have each square be displayed with the predominant one, but keep track of the different amounts of each. Then you could zoom in on a square and see the life there in more detail.

        The only problem I can see with this is it might be a little memory-intensive if you want to have this life anything but randomly distributed every time you open the same square up.
  • When are they finally going to stop using the grid-like roads that only allow you to create an american looking city? Why not use vectored roads, with realistic curves, so you could recreate Paris, or Amsterdam, or some mountain town, or whatever.
    That would be a game I'd buy immediatly.
  • Dear Maxis, (Score:2, Funny)

    by Battal Boy (544978)
    Dear Maxis, I'm a grown man with responsabilities, a job and a family! Who the heck is going to take care of my family if you release this? Can you seriously claim that you have considered the consequences of such a release? Please Maxis, calmly reconsider, put down the mouse and take two steps back from that compiler...
  • This things can only get so realistic.


    Bloody screaming coming from your speakers, "The volcano burned off my legs! If you love me, you'll kill me quickly!"

  • I like what I see regarding the new localization features (esp. being able to budget individual schools, etc), but it seems to be mostly eye-candy features that were added. It seems to be missing a few of the more substantial things I'd been wanting:
    • Arbitrary road placement - It looks like it's still always tied to the grid. This makes it really hard to do any development on anything but flat land.
    • Drive-Thrus - It's hard to really get a good feel for your town. Imagine being able to have a car simulator where you get to experience what traveling is like in the city first-hand.
    • Resident Profiling - I'd love to take a random Joe Schmoe from a house and find out what he thinks of the city and his neighborhood, what he does, where he works (drive it?), etc.
    • The Sims Integration - An extension of the resident profiling, why could I take a random family from the city and micromanage them? They'd be able to explore the whole city.
    Oh well, there's always SimCity 5.. :-)
  • I'm disappointed that they didn't take this opportunity to finish the original engine they created for SimCity 3000, which was completely 3D. That system was cancelled and SC3K was delayed a year becuase the computer systems at the time were not up to par to run the game. However, today many of us have our GeForce cards and and GHz processors which I'd be quite sure could handle the job.

    I still have the screenshots of the orginal SC3k saved on my computer at home. I come across them now and than and wonder if that kind of sim will ever become a real product. I can tell from those screenshots that my GF4/4400 would probably handle the job quite well.

  • Otherwise, how can I simulate Japan or Seattle?
  • by Lars T. (470328)
    I know I'm not the only one who wants to play the Sims in the SimTower in the SimCity on SimEarth with the pesky SimAnts in the balcony garden.

    Get a SimLife!

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach

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