Stone Librande, lead designer for SimCity (2013), which is due out next week, has had an opportunity to interview Will Wright. Jealous? For those of you youngins', Wright is the original creator of SimCity (1989). I remember playing the original SimCity back in the day and now, looking back at screenshots, I'm experiencing both nostalgia and joy with how far the franchise has come. For this reason, what the architect of the series has to say holds tremendous weight.
First off, Will Wright admits that the new SimCity is the first time he’s enjoyed a SimCity title in many years. Right out of the gate, he digs the road tool and all the options it offers. The possibility to make non-straight roads, have different types of roads for different needs, and the ability to upgrade roads leaves city planners with so much more up their sleeves.
With the street view feature, Will was able to get a real feel of what his city felt like — in both sight and sound. To be able to witness the Sims live their little lives and hear the cars and factories up close is really something awesome. Wright felt like he made an emotional connection to specific neighborhood over specific Sims, like he was actually living there.
According to the Will Wright, the focus on the new SimCity is on quality, not quantity. Since the land plots are smaller than in the past, what you make out of that land has become really important. The option to specialize allows you to play off of your own customized strengths as well as the cities around you. Instead of cramming it all into your city, you get to expand upon your focus. Let the other cities help you out in the areas they specialize in.
Lastly, all of the graphs Maxis has put into the game really keeps your eyes off numbers. Wright commented on the fact that the only raw numbers he actually looks at is population and currency. Everything else you’ll ever need to know is presented in such well-designed graphs and colors. Numbers have become a thing of the past. This makes for easy reading and better advancement. If you see an area is prime real estate because it’s near a police station and school, get those residential zones going.
Check out the interview below and know that in less than a week, SimCity will dominate your life – now with multiplayer.