SimCity E3 Gameplay Trailer

[Video Link] The upcoming SimCity looks cool. It uses something called the GlassBox Simulation Engine to run the simulation. I won't pretend to understand how it works, but here's Maxis' Andrew Willmott's GDG 2012 "Inside Glassbox" presentation that goes into detail about it.

Inside GlassBox



  1. That was amazing, but it stressed me out. I found myself rooting for the monster.

    Can we get a SimCamping?

  2. This does look great.  It’s too bad they’re forcing the multiplayer requirement in, so it won’t be possible to play without a constant internet connection.

    1. I wonder if the current Diablo III issues might convince them to allow more options for offline play…. silly me I forgot game designers have decided it is trendy to ignore the player base and force people to play the way they are supposed to play

      1. Did they learn anything?  They’re citing it as proof nothing will go wrong!

        But what of the debacle of the Diablo III launch and the fury of players who couldn’t play a game they wanted to play solo because Blizzard had trouble keeping its servers up and error-free?

        “We’ve got experience from Spore and Darkspore,” Katserelis said, citing other recent Maxis games. “EA is an on online company.”

        (from )

    2. Yes, this.
      I’ve been a long-time SimCity fan, but this new version, with its enforced multiplayer and required connection, is a “No-Sale” for me. I absolutely do not want some griefer next door filling his world with coal plants and the smog polluting my world. They absolutely must allow stand-alone single-player play, just as it’s always been.

  3. This is the type of game I grew up convinced that computers would never be able to handle.

    1. Well, given how well SimCity4 performed on reasonably-powered computers at the time of release, I’d say your younger self isn’t wrong yet.

      1. haha, yes. It took 8 years after SC4 was released but I managed to find a laptop that could play it reasonably well. I’m looking forward to building a megacity in SC5 (or is this one #6?) by 2020.

  4. It kind of surprises me that no one has every come up with an Open Source version of this game. Seems like it wouldn’t be hard to get people on board for that sort of thing.

    1. There was LinCity, but it was pretty weak, iirc. Some transportation sims are available. 

      It’s still expensive to develop complex games like this, so I don’t think open-source programmers can get close, yet.

    2. Indeed these kind of games require a tremendous amount of work.
      Moreover, whereas they are engines providing pretty much all the features needed for developing a FPS or an RPG, there are few to none providing features for RTS or simulations such as SimCity.
      That’s why you don’t see much games like that out there. LinCity-NG looks pretty good though: if money was invested, it could become the basis for an actual concurrent of SimCity.

      1. Looking at new LinCity-NG screenshots, it’s not nearly as rough as I remembered it looking – I stand corrected. 

        There’s really not too many closed-sourced city-building sims other than SC, come to think of it. Niche audience, I guess.

        1.  Anno 2070, something-or-other XP, and the old Lucasarts title “Afterlife” are pretty much it. Which, yeah, not much considering that they’ve been Sim City-ing for twenty-five years.

    1. Sure the video looks incredible…but what will the gameplay actually look like.  Did you notice the disclaimer in the video? “Images not representative of actual gameplay.”

      1. Hm, a gameplay trailer consisting of footage “not representative of actual gameplay”.  That’s… special.

        1. They’re saying it’s not as fast action and exciting as the video!
          Just in case you try to sue them for wrong representation.
          Visually, they probably added that focus effect even though it would be easy enough to do in game.

  5. Looks interesting. But then when I looked at the GlassBox Engine videos I realized that something is wrong.  And I am being 100% non-snarky about this. But the the SIM seems to be hinged on a residential, industrial & commercial set of economic rules… So how exactly does that represent the global reality of overseas manufacturing? I mean, technically speaking, wouldn’t most industrial zones nowadays be artists lofts that lead to non-artist housing that then trends to “luxury” housing.

    I’m fairly serious about this, but why not SIM the ability for local manufacturing to use cheaper labor overseas and show in game time what impact that has on a region?

    And now that I type that, I wonder if anyone out there has charted the relationship between the economic realities presented in Maxis’ universe over the years versus the economic realities of the real world we live in now.

    1.  Coming in 2017 from Marxis: SimSoyuz — The Game Where You Plan the Economy!

      (On reflection, that might work, as a sort of Red Plenty alternate history game.)

    2. You have forever been able to link cities… All they would have to do is take it one step further.

    3. Just so long as using cheap overseas labour results in lots of unemployed citizens locally, or people upset because all they can get are crap jobs because the union jobs all moved to some third world country :P

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