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SimCity 5 Passed Off From Maxis 170

CVG is reporting that Maxis, makers of the venerable Sim City series, has passed development of Sim City 5 to another company. The new developer, Tilted Mill Entertainment, will be finishing the game. In a departure from the series, it is not going to be a realistic urban simulator. President & Director of Development Chris Beatrice responds to criticism of that choice: "...I do not want to mislead anyone: This SC is not a realistic urban simulation, which I understand, to many, represents the heart of what SC is. No one is blind to that. And if you're just completely turned off, even angered by the mere notion of any game called 'SimCity' that is not a detailed, realistic urban simulator, I absolutely understand that viewpoint, and absolutely respect it. I do want to say, though (with no insult intended to die hard SC fans) that we are absolutely thrilled to be a part of this venerable series, are extremely proud of what we have put together, and make no apologies about what we have managed to create. And while our past experiences (including contributions from many of you) certainly inform all our ongoing efforts, this SC is its own unique creation."
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SimCity 5 Passed Off From Maxis

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  • Strange? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zironic ( 1112127 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @11:32AM (#19424151)
    Isn't it somehow deceiving to take an established franchise, just increase the number counter and then completely change the very core of the franchise?

    I thought normal decency at least demanded you use a naming convention like Sim City: XXX.

    I love the Sim City series and hope that it won't get dragged in the mud now in the newest installment. Caesar IV wasn't a very good game but there's always hope that a developer can improve isn't there?

    • RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

      by Shihar ( 153932 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @11:39AM (#19424275)
      They are not going to call it SimCity 5. They are currently searching for a new name BECAUSE it will be so unlike the other SimCity games. The name they are working for SimCity Societies. What the hell the game is going to be about if it isn't a quasi-realistic city simulator is beyond me, but it looks like they are not going to just notch the counter up one. Think Fallout Tactics instead of Fallout 3. Though, comparing anything to Fallout Tactics is probably not a good way to reassure a fan of the original game.
      • i other words, a better headline would have been "New Game in Development, Somewhat Related to SimCity"
      • Re:RTFA (Score:4, Informative)

        by SQLGuru ( 980662 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @12:18PM (#19424933) Journal
        It sounds like it could be a multi-city management simulator with leanings towards things like Sim Theme Park (or even, for that matter, Civilization) where you have to keep the townspeople happy. Instead of doing the "micro"-management, you do it on a more macro scale. You provide the town the proper resources and the right zonings to build the town.......

        If it's not, I bet a game like that would appeal to the same crowd.

      • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Speare ( 84249 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @03:09PM (#19427621) Homepage Journal

        My vote is for Sim City: Crystalline Power World, with lots of anime-spiky-haired disaffected youths in all of the council seats, and a galaxy police starship floating overhead whenever the yakuza get too organized.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          Perhaps it's just me, but SimCity: The Naruto Chronicles could be a lot of fun. You could choose one of several different locations for your hidden village. You then would be tasked with all the standard SimCity problems. Except once in a while you're attacked by hoards of enemy ninja and their giant monster pets, so you have to also create your own ninja training schools and teams of ninja. To earn more money you would send your teams on missions comissioned by other towns, or you could just be nasty a
      • by Cyno ( 85911 )
        Why not just call it "Sims in the City" then? If its not really SimCity why call it that? I liked SC4, even though I couldn't really play it on Linux. But I doubt I will be interested in anything that has to do with the Sims family of games. They were fun for a bit, but I'm on to other things now. B&W2 will hopefully be working on Cedega soon. And any new games that support Linux natively will be on the top of my list to try and recommend.
      • But you forget about awesome games like X-Com: Interceptor and X-Com: Enforcer, which serve the very important role of making X-Com: Apocalypse games look much, much better in comparison.
        • by Shihar ( 153932 )
          Oh god, I had wiped my memory of this nightmares until you reminded me. X-com and X-com 2 were awesome games. All the shit that poured forth after those two was a crime against humanity. Personally, I don't know how Micropros managed to fuck up so thoroughly such an awesome and interesting universe.
    • Re:Strange? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2007 @11:48AM (#19424411)
      If you RTFA, you'll notice it is NOT being called SimCity 5, but "SimCity Societies" because since it is such a radical departure they did not want to increment the number by 1, but rather give it a completely different name.
    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
      XXX ? O_o I think I've been missing out on the simulators lately.

      Seriously, though, as others have point out, they are changing the name. I've seen a lot of the slightly-renamed spinoffs lately and I don't view them with dis-favor. They are rarely as good as the originals, but they definitely entertain. Mario is a good example, with all the spinoffs from that... Including the major one, Super Mario Bros. (Mario Bros was before that, for those who have forgotten.)
    • by syrinx ( 106469 )
      Caesar IV wasn't a very good game

      Why did you think that? I really enjoyed Caesar IV. There were definitely some weak points (anything relating to the military, mainly) but the core city-building parts I thought were excellent.
    • Re:Strange? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Blob Pet ( 86206 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @02:40PM (#19427157) Homepage
      Sim City: XXX = Sin City? ;-)
    • While it's a considerable shift from the original series, SimCity XXX (in the fashion of BMX XXX) sounds like it would be a popular title.
  • Fine by me (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBCook ( 132727 ) <> on Thursday June 07, 2007 @11:32AM (#19424165) Homepage

    Let's see... SimCity was amazing. SimCity 2000 was basically perfect. SimCity 3000 added more complication (especially garbage) and just didn't seem as well balance and put together as 2000. SimCity 4 was OK but dog slow on even the fastest of computers. Frankly, I'd be worried what Maxis would produce for SimCity 5.

    We'll see what they do with it. I doubt I'll buy it. I still the think the game reached perfection with 2k. Heck, if I could buy a copy of SC2K for OS X I'd do it right now.

    At least they are trying something new instead of just adding more things to manage (like the last two releases).

    • Re:Fine by me (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 07, 2007 @12:02PM (#19424657)
      SimCity 2k and 2kSE are currently available for OS9 as abandonware at the macintosh garden. []

      Great if you have classic emulation installed or don't mind installing it.
      • by MBCook ( 132727 )
        My mac supports it, but I'm moving to an Intel mac this weekend. Since I'm going to end up installing Windows (for 3D games and such) I'll probably just put my old Windows 95 copy on there.
    • Re:Fine by me (Score:5, Informative)

      by Oopsz ( 127422 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @12:07PM (#19424739) Homepage
      SC2k runs great in dosbox []. and I've run the mac classic version under sheepshaver [] without any major trouble (enabling sound makes it dog slow).
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mikael_j ( 106439 )
      We'll see what they do with it. I doubt I'll buy it. I still the think the game reached perfection with 2k. Heck, if I could buy a copy of SC2K for OS X I'd do it right now.

      I've actually been thinking along the lines of what you wrote here. If there were OS X versions of SC2k and TTDLX (perhaps with some of the OpenTTD [] improvements) I would buy them in a heartbeat. And if there were also modernized sets of artwork and other little things like that...


    • Re:Fine by me (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mattintosh ( 758112 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @02:48PM (#19427275)
      I've had no problem with SC4 performance on my PC. It's an Athlon XP 3000+ (Barton) on an A7N8X Deluxe, 1GB DDR333, with Radeon 9600XT (8xAGP), running Win2k. It's not top of the line, but it was when SC4 came out.

      The main problem with SC4 is that it's horribly unbalanced. You can't keep anyone happy without spending money that you can't recoup. Occasionally, your town will just stop growing. Period. The only way to get it growing again is to tear the holy living crap out of something, get everyone pissed off at you, then put it all back. This somehow elevates you to "awesome mayor" status, since Sims apparently have no long-term memory. The problem is, it also costs money that would've otherwise bought the hospital or police station that you actually need. So then your city starts growing again, but they're mildly pissed, and you're short on cash. Worst case (and unfortunately, also the most likely case), you'll have a population boom you can't afford. That spells imminent doom and decay for your city, and probably another growth stall. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

      Swinging the balance the other way is the "region" thing. You build a corner of a town with nothing but residential areas. Go to the town next to it and build nothing but industrial areas and power plants. Connect them with roads, and you get a happy, employed residential population with 0 pollution, and a polluted industrial area with 0 population to complain about it. Pump water in the residential area and pipe it to the industrial area and you can almost get a balanced cash flow in both areas (as well as clean water in a polluted area). Almost. The residential area will soon grow to unstable proportions, and the industrial area will soon be swimming in cash you can't transfer to the residential area that needs it. The water payments won't make it possible, either, so you're pretty much screwed at this point. I'd love SC4 if money didn't become such a limiting issue so soon.

      And that's only made worse by the way city services shut down (teachers/doctors strike) when they're underfunded or overloaded. If you could just tell the citizens to make do with poor services, that'd be one thing. But if you try, the services shut down completely and everybody gets pissed. Yet another stupid balance issue.

      Argh! I wish they'd just fix the old one. I'd even pay for a SimCity 4 v2.0 if they'd just fix it! Don't wow me with graphics or new gimmicks! Just make the already good game better! ARGH!!!
      • by neurojab ( 15737 )
        The main problem with SC4 is that it's horribly unbalanced. You can't keep anyone happy without spending money that you can't recoup. Occasionally, your town will just stop growing. Period. The only way to get it growing again is to tear the holy living crap out of something, get everyone pissed off at you, then put it all back. This somehow elevates you to "awesome mayor" status, since Sims apparently have no long-term memory. The problem is, it also costs money that would've otherwise bought the hospital
      • I've had no problem with SC4 performance on my PC. ... It's not top of the line, but it was when SC4 came out.

        Which is what was so infuriating about SC4. For a pretty "casual" game it had absurdly high system requirements. Developers don't target anything but the high-end these days, which alienates a large but less-profitable segment of the gaming population.

        The main problem with SC4 is that it's horribly unbalanced.

        I found that paying close attention to the balance of wealth levels mitigated a lot of t
      • to be honest, what you're talking about as "balance issues" basically sounds like an exact, detailed, and highly accurate description of towns and cities all across america. Some of that sounds like things even happening in my own state (connecticut)....

        maybe maxis did 'too' good a job!
  • I wonder what that meeting was like...

    PHB: "Let's take a successful game franchise and change the latest title to not include what the game is best known for, but retain the same name. That way, anyone that doesn't know will still go buy it, and we can market it to a new segment, provided that the old fans dont read the new marketing before they buy."

    What are people thinking? This would be like Quake 5 being in 2-d.
    • That would be like releasing an FPS Final Fantasy...
      Or a turn based RPG for Quake.

      Actually, with the gradual changes they are making for each FF release, I can see the former happening and no one noticing.
    • by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @11:41AM (#19424307)
      I have a hard time imagining WHAT the game will be, if not a 'realistic urban simulation'... FPS? RPG? 'unrealistic urban simulation'?

      I tend to think the last one has to be it... It's going to be a tycoon game, rather than a simulator.

      I personally had more fun with the first SC than any of the others. SC2K was a close second, and the others were just too complex to be -fun- for me. I don't enjoy micro-managing every single water line. Taking the game back to the core, and simulating the fun stuff instead of -everything- is what I'd like to see.

      I am -very- disappointed that Maxis thought they couldn't handle it, though... and that someone else could do it better. That or 'sell out' is the only way to look at it.
      • by Alsee ( 515537 )
        It's going to be a realistic bass-fishing simulation.

    • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @12:57PM (#19425575) Journal
      Just using a franchise for free mindshare doesn't guarantee a dud or "like Quake 5 being in 2-d", though.

      Take for example World Of Warcraft: it has nothing to do with the gameplay of Warcraft 1 to 3, and pretty much just uses the same setting and franchise name. Ended up the best MMO by a damn huge margin nevertheless.

      Or, you know, take any Mechwarrior game as an example. They took a turn-based tactics game played on a hex-board, and made a real-time FPS out of it. Even the weapons, if you look at the numbers in MW games, have really nothing to do with implementing the Battletech weapons with the same name. Didn't really end up bad games, though, and MW1 is still on my list of the best games of all time.

      So it _could_ still be a good game. 'Course, it could also be crap, but let's wait and see.

      As to why would they want to do that... maybe because they've done SC to death already. The changes between SC1 and SC4 have been really incremental, and more often in the graphics department than really being a new game. And some were fairly controversial if they made it a better game, or if they change the gameplay that much.

      So, basically, you've already bought the same game already. Several times.

      If it goes by the same formula again, there's not much obvious stuff which can be added this time, or not without doing more harm than good. (E.g., turning it into a micromanagement nightmare.) I mean, seriously, other than bumping the graphics resolution up some more, what would _you_ add in SC5?

      It's not like RPGs, where you can just change the story for the next one, but leave the mechanics the same if they worked well. Here the mechanics _are_ the whole game. It's just a game of placing buildings and applying some formulas to them. And they already had several games to get the buildings and formulas right already. Just tweaking some reltionship to be juuust right in the 5'th decimal... doesn't really a new game make.

      So what I'm getting to is: they have a choice between (A) selling a clone of one of their previous games, or (B) trying something new. They went with option B. And, honestly, I'd rather give them some brownie points for even trying, rather than damn them in advance. Sure, it may still end up a bad game, who knows? But, seriously, buying a SC4 clone in higher res doesn't sound too tempting to me.
      • by crossmr ( 957846 )
        popular doesn't equal best. Its a common mistake to think that as a group people can really pick the "best".
        • by Moraelin ( 679338 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @06:54PM (#19430951) Journal
          Actually I'll go ahead and say just that: that people are damn good at picking what's good for _them_. It may not satisfy _your_ tastes, or _your_ criteria, but it doesn't make their choice wrong either.

          In a sense, "best" doesn't even exist in a matter of taste. Some people like sweet wine, some people like dry wine, and some hate both. Is either of the choices "wrong"? Not really, each one just picks the wine he/she likes. Ditto for games, really. Some like The Sims, some like CounterStrike. Some like WoW, some like Everquest. Some like fantasy, some like SF. Neither is deluded into taking the "wrong" choice, each just picked the game that suits his/her individual tastes.

          And I'll say that humans are damn good at that. Pretty much invariably when something appeals to only a minority, it failed to appeal to the rest, they didn't fail to pick the "best." They did pick the best... for themselves.

          So strictly speaking "best" doesn't even exist in a matter of personally taste.

          In another sense, though, I can look at which of them appealed to more people, and use that as a (somewhat warped) measure of "best". Unless one of them was deliberately aiming for a narrow niche (which isn't usually the case, unless they know in advance they can't compete with the big boys), one of them managed to know its potential market better, and to actually make a product that appeals to them more. I can respect that kind of achievement.

          In yet another sense, not everything is just subjective taste. There are a few things that are fairly common to most of the population, and are objectively measurable.

          E.g., (almost) noone actually wants bugs, so all else being equal it's fairly safe to say, basically, "less bugs == better". (Caveat: almost never is all else equal.) And having played more than half a dozen other MMOs before and after, I can honestly say that WoW was a refreshing change. It wasn't strictly speaking perfect, but it came damn close to that, compared to the previous norm of shoving MMOs out the door when they barely can run... for a while. And it was orders of magnitude better than some of the crappier ones, like AO.
          • by crossmr ( 957846 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @07:01PM (#19431047) Journal
            No they're not. Some people are good at picking whats good for them. A lot of people are good with going along with the crowd and just taking what is popular. That doesn't make the product superior or great, it makes it popular. You implied with your statement that WoW was the "best" as in a better product than any other MMO out there. History is rife with examples of inferior products becoming popular due to marketing, backroom deals, etc. While the superior products fade in to obscurity. If people were really good at picking the "best" product as a group, this type of thing wouldn't happen. They're easily swayed by marketing and popular opinion, neither of which make something the "best".
            • Well, ok, let's aggree then that the original use of the word "best" there was a rather poor choice of words. It ended up the most popular MMO. Does it sound better now? :)
      • by Kelson ( 129150 ) *

        Take for example World Of Warcraft: it has nothing to do with the gameplay of Warcraft 1 to 3, and pretty much just uses the same setting and franchise name.

        That was my first thought, too. Another successful example, going back a bit further, would be the Heroes of Might and Magic series. The Might and Magic games were single-player RPGs. The Heroes... games were turn-based battle strategy games. (I wish I could remember what game inspired the mechanics of Heroes of MM. Castle something?) Totally di

  • by InfinityWpi ( 175421 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @11:36AM (#19424233)
    Apparently, Doom 4 will be a turn-based strategy game, and Fallout 3 will be a dating simulator. ..... SERIOUSLY, WTF?????
    • Apparently, Doom 4 will be a turn-based strategy game, and Fallout 3 will be a dating simulator. ..... SERIOUSLY, WTF?????

      Certain aspects of Fallout 2 could be construed as a "dating simulator".

      • I can see it now..but it would be kind of hard to get a highscore, given the temptation of either selling your SO into slavery or "accidentally" unloading your machine gun into his/her back. Whoopsie! Sorry, dear.
  • by LighterShadeOfBlack ( 1011407 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @11:43AM (#19424341) Homepage
    Gaming is constantly being dogged by how unoriginal it is and how most major games are just slightly prettier rehashes of older ones, and how evrything these days is a formulaic sequel. So Maxis have changed that. They've actually decided to try something new with an established series, even using new developers to do so, and what do they get? "Waaah! It's not a REAL SimCity", "Maxis have ruined my childhood memories". Boo-fucking-hoo. They've tried something new. So what. Everything from Simcity 2000 has been basically the same game anyway, so if you're really that intent on playing the same old thing you've already got three games to choose from. For everyone with an open mind, well maybe they'll find something fresh and slightly original thanks to a developer going out and doing something different with an established franchise for a change. If it sucks and the new concept tanks then you be damn sure Simcity 6 will be back to the old formula again, so it's worth the risk isn't it?
    • Making "the Sims meets SimCity" is trying something new? What crack are you smoking? Trying something new would involve not tacking on the name of an established franchise to a hybrid spin-off.
  • by majortom1981 ( 949402 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @11:44AM (#19424349)
    This could actually be a cool game. Combine the best aspects of The Sims and Sim City and you could have a huge game. Things like building your city also effects your sim. Say you build a garbage dump next to your sims house. Then the house value goes down and your sim itself starts changing. You decide to nock down a school, your sims kids grades start going down because of class overcrowding. This can be a huge game, Basic city building with basic sim management but heavy interaction between the two. Open yourself up to a new idea and you will see the potential in this.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Zironic ( 1112127 )
      Actually all that was in Sim City 4. It basically simulated the lives of every single little Sim in your city. You could even place up to five Sims for you to keep track of personally.
  • hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld@gmai l . c om> on Thursday June 07, 2007 @11:45AM (#19424361) Homepage
    Judging by the state of the game industry, the new one will somehow be a WW2 FPS.
    • Re:hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

      by lexarius ( 560925 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @01:03PM (#19425649)
      I can see it now. Imagine a lifelike city full of sims that have their own constantly changing and evolving lives. Imagine that you are one of them, exploring the city, interacting with its people, making friends and enemies, having a job, maybe making a little romance. What is this city? Paris. Occupied by the Germans. And you are a brave member of the resistance. Can you take down the occupiers by night while keeping your business and home life in shape? Keep your bank books in the black while keeping your radio equipment and firearms well stocked and hidden? Explore this and other simulated occupied historical cities in Sim City 5, coming soon!
      • by monopole ( 44023 )
        I'm no good at being noble, but it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little sims don't amount to a hill of bits in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that.
    • ... as a sequel to RoboSport [].

      (of course, a FPS would completely screw up that game)

      Now, if they could figure out how to make a FPS out of Marble Drop [], I'd be scared.
  • Then what is it?? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @11:50AM (#19424443) Journal

    This SC is not a realistic urban simulation, which I understand, to many, represents the heart of what SC is,

    Huh!? Then what is it? I couldn't find anything on that in the story.
    What genius PR is this -- to have the officials tell what it isn't, and not highlight what greatness it is.

    First looks at the game in US Games for Windows mag show a fully 3D world, with a colourful environment and a Theme Park-style fairground bustling in the foreground.

    OK, then I get an idea how it might look, but I still don't know what kind of game it is...
    I checked Wikipedia too and it's supposedly integrating with The Sims, but IIRC, even SC 4 did that, so...?
  • Theft and lies (Score:2, Insightful)

    by guspasho ( 941623 )

    "...I do not want to mislead anyone: This SC is not a realistic urban simulation... this SC is its own unique creation."

    So why the frak call it SimCity? If you want to make a non-urban-simulation game, come up with your own damn franchise, or at the very least steal a franchise that has something to do with your game. Call it "The Sims: Cities" if that's what you're going for, but don't steal an existing franchise that is based on urban simulation for your non-urban-simulation game.

  • A well needed reboot (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dtolman ( 688781 ) <> on Thursday June 07, 2007 @12:08PM (#19424757) Homepage
    The move away from pretend "realism", is only a good thing. Simcity 3 and 4 replaced all the charm of Simcity and Simcity 2000, and just stuffed them with larger sandboxes and more things to micromanage.

    Lets hope this developer just brings back Simcity 2000, and spiffies up the buildings - definitely the best of the series - and the cities in that actually did feel real (spontaneously appearing churches, more rewards, more realistic disasters, and less repetitive buildings), as opposed to Simcity 3 and 4 - which were less than the sum of their parts
  • The road system in simcity 4 rush hour add on was ok but it was missing a lot things.
  • Microsoft Flight Sim's new version will be a departure from a realistic depiction of aviation. It will now involve licensed cartoon characters, power-ups, and an edgy hip-hop soundtrack.

    Well, shit! That might even work as a product but why call it Microsoft Flight Sim? Why not just call it Microsoft Flying Rap Cartoons and everyone will be happy?

    Maxis already has a tradition with the sim games. Each sim game is completely unlike the other. SimCity, SimEarth, SimAnt, and then the Sims. All different. They co
    • Too late []. They can't just hijack such a much loved and praised franchise as SimTown! (Disclaimer: I have never seen or played SimTown.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jollyreaper ( 513215 )
        In that case, maybe it could be a planetary conquest game called Invader Sim. Nobody will think there's a problem with a name like that, right? *beware the nickelodeon deathstar*
  • Gimme fricken Spore already!

    Spore! Spore! Spore! Spore! Spore!
  • All I want in SCX (Score:4, Insightful)

    by El_Smack ( 267329 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @01:18PM (#19425851)
    A really good terrain editor with *fine* control.
    The ability to create roads exactly the way I want. No more auto-rotating onramps.
    A checkbox that gives me unlimited simoleans.
    A way to specify what type of store/office/house gets built. I like to build cities/neigborhoods that look how I want them to. I don't care what the sims want.

    None of this will affect the way anyone else plays the game, BTW. You could still let the game run itself like it always did.
    • ... is a wide variety of suitably destructive disasters to blow up carefully created works of art with. Anyone see that Spore video with the Planet Pacification Beam or whatever they call it? Yeah, one of those, please. That will do for a start.
  • Is there an open source SimCity-alike game around?

    One that is like the original SimCity even, with updated graphics for hi-res screens would be cool. I don't even need the isometric graphics of SC2000, although water and subways would be appreciated.

    If not, who's with me in creating one? SDL? OpenGL (in 2D, allowing for smooth zoom ins and outs and effects)? Hell, it's probably easier to do 3D buildings and map textures than do the 2D artwork, but we could keep a GTA1 style perspective...
  • by RichPowers ( 998637 ) on Thursday June 07, 2007 @01:42PM (#19426143)
    In 2004, Maxis was fully absorbed into EA. So to say that SimCity is being passed from Maxis isn't completely correct.

    I agree with others that the series has steadily declined since SC2k. Unnecessary complications, and performance issues in the case of SC4, turned the series into a mess. The community (basically the hardcore fans) use SimCity 4 as an art tool more than anything, crafting these beautifully detailed cities using custom content. But as an actual city SIMULATOR, SC4 collapses under its own weight; it's simply not fun to play. SC2k's strong point is that it can be as simple or complex as you want to make it, appealing to casual and hardcore players alike. However I fear that SC5 will be outright dumbed down.

    Also note that there's a correlation between SimCity's quality and Will Wright's involvement with the series. He was hardly involved with SC4. And with Spore consuming most of his time, I doubt he'll have a hand in SC5.

    My biggest concern is with Tilted Mill Entertainment - best known for the mediocre Caesar IV. Will they be good stewards to one of PC gaming's most venerable series? But to TM's credit, they are actively talking to the SimTropolis community and addressing concerns from the playerbase.

    I view SimCity Societies (SC5's current name) like The Sims Life Stories: part of the overall "family" of SC games, but not a true and true sequel. EA and Co. says differently, but as a long-time fan I'm not convinced.
    • by Trillan ( 597339 )
      Am I completely alone in loving the additions in SimCity 3?
      • No. I go so far as to actually like most of what SC4 had.
        • Ditto here. I actually liked SC4 the best. Maybe it was just the same SimCity with little more than extra polish, but that polish drew me into the game more than any of its predecessors did. And I really like a lot of the mods coming out of the Simtropolis community. Some of them may be relatively small things that have little-to-no impact on the game mechanics, like street/road/avenue-top bus stops, or new park tiles (although the former did greatly alter my zoning habits). But in my case it's these small
        • by Trillan ( 597339 )
          I never got a chance to try SC4, but at least I thought it looked good, yeah.
  • I love it, Sid Meier tries to build Simcity (CivCity) and Simcity Does Civilization. I truly hope they call it SimCiv.
  • Oh well... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Cctoide ( 923843 )
    Sigh. I wasn't keeping my hopes up for SC5 since they'd already stated they might "dumb it down" as it had become "too complex". Personally, I'd like even more complexity - I realize some people will disagree, but they could at least have a "simple" and an "advanced" mode. Now with this "Societies" crap I'm afraid the franchise's gone into the trashcan.

    I just wish Maxis would at least release a patch for SC4 to make the hardware renderer work with current-generation cards. I've got a really great gaming b
  • I am absolutely annoyed at the way he absolutely over-uses "absolutely".
  • Wha.....? (Score:2, Interesting)

    If SimCity 5 is NOT an urban simulator, then why in the hell are they calling it SimCity and giving it a sequel number of 5, hence the title, SIMCITY 5?!

    "Oh no sir, it's not a Cadillac. It's actually a Yugo, but were calling it a Cadillac, and the newest version at that. Want to buy it?"

    Anyways, I'm almost certain that there will be a severe backlash once people plunk down the $$ and find out that what they bought is ANYTHING but SimCity. This is a horrible idea, and I can't believe that Maxis would make su
  • This smells a lot like what went down when Activision developed Civilization: Call to Power. It wasn't a bad game and had a lot of novel concepts, something only an outside perspective can bring. As much as I liked a lot of the features of SC4, it definitely had the resource-hogging thing going on in a big way. I never used the U-Drive-It feature or any of the missions in the game; I was always more interested in building the city up. Maybe what SimCity needs is to branch off into different products like t

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.