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'The buck stops at the simulation' with new SimCity


"We're building a simulation that really captures the world we live in today, where your decisions go beyond the boundaries of the city." Speaking at an EA press conference in San Francisco tonight, Maxis Senior Vice President Lucy Bradshaw shared some of the high-level goals for the new SimCity game, coming to PC in 2013.

Bradshaw recalled shipping the first city builder in 1989, and described the return of Maxis to the franchise proper with great enthusiasm. "It's been about ten years since we shipped the last, true SimCity by Maxis," she said. Despite that passage of time, the developer still seeks to impart inspiration in simulation. "The buck stops at the simulation," Bradshaw said.

Gallery: SimCity | 3 Photos

The game's 3D engine is geared toward tactility and physicality, she said, and lets you carve your city's curvy roads right into the landscape itself. A brief trailer showed cities coming alive with bright lights, bustling civilians and new constructions popping and dropping into the world with a burst of dust. "What we wanted to do is make sure that building your city is fun to do."

The simulation aspect of SimCity is built on longterm choices and consequences, Bradshaw said, where your expanding technology and advances will directly influence the world at large, both positively and negatively. "We're talking about a SimCity where the resources are finite."

Resources also overlap between players, it seems, as your cities will co-exist online with those of your friends. If you construct a horrible, downtrodden and pollutive metropolis, your friends will see the impact on their own simulated streets. (Protip: Don't be friends with anyone who wants to recreate Los Angeles.)

"And, by the way, it is a game," Bradshaw joked after all the talk of holistic world views and environmental dilapidation. "You never know when a giant lizard might just trundle around the corner and kick the buildings down."

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