SimCity multiplayer – Preview
We take a closer look at the asynchronous multiplayer of Maxis' SimCity.
Michael Plant is chief editor and writer of gaming ezine and blog GamesCatalyst.com, as well as editor of 'The Independent'’s games review printed in the Saturday supplement 'Information'. Established in February 2011, Games Catalyst endeavours to bring its unique brand of fact and satire to the videogaming community and, in tandem with 'The Independent', hopefully turn a few non-believers on to gaming while we’re at it.
Monday 02 July 2012
I’ve already covered SimCity in broad strokes, but have since been able to take a much more in-depth look at the games multiplayer which is shaping up very interestingly indeed.
Another game to apply so-called "asynchronous multiplayer" as its foundation, SimCity invites players to work together on a particular task within their region – say the building of an airport, or, for the more audacious, a space program – as players donate resources and, eventually, reap the rewards.
Dubbed “Regional Works” these undertakings aren’t to be taken lightly, usually involving many hours of gameplay. Cleverly however what different mayors pay towards their construction can be tailored, so that if you have a surplus of any given resource – raw materials, power, sims, etc – you can pour more of that specifically into the project, thereby ensuring construction bottlenecks are kept to a minimum.
Once the work is completed, if for example you’ve built an international airport, then the potential for selling your surplus resources increases with increased trade through freight. Or, if you’ve gone down the route of creating an Orlando-type tourism city you’ll be the beneficiary of an increase of visitors.
The opportunity for supply-and-demand-based trade between neighbouring cities doesn’t end there either, with close-by cities being able to create agreements for the sale of electricity between them for example. While sims who live in your neighbour’s city can still come to work in your own, as the virtual residents make up their own mind’s when it comes to work, rest and play.
Pollution and crime can also impact across given regions, if your neighbour has a crime problem reminiscent of 80s Miami say, don’t be surprised to see the criminals riding their luck in your own town as they look to take advantage of their wider catchment area. The same is true of industrial towns which burn fossil fuels in the race for advancement, their pollution liable to blow over your own town – virtual Kyoto agreement anyone?
The complexity of what Maxis could achieve with such a socio-economic relationship between players and their cities is clearly impressive, just how far they’re willing to push it is the only unknown – the developer as yet unwilling to reveal too much of game not due for release until early next year.
Worth the wait? SimCity is shaping up very nicely indeed from the behind closed doors demonstrations we’ve been privy too thus far. Just how the game will shape-up in the end is the only question – how will players decide who lives near them? Will the construction of an airport lead the player from a local region to a world region (with all the extra political questions that would bring)? How far can users go to call another city into account (can they use a veto for example)?
Get this one right and EA and Maxis could be looking at a sure thing come release day; just one thing though: can we have a console version too please?
For: PC, Mac
When? February 2013
Life & Style blogs
Melanoma rates in the UK are up five times on the 1970s
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
GTA 5 Online spring DLC updates bring heists, new super car, multiple apartments and 'non-contact' option for races
How dementia is changing me: My battle with an ever-shifting identity
It’s a pizza! And a cake!! What’s not to like? (The calories)
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
An open letter to Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
Abdullah Deghayes: My son was the martyr of a just cause, says father of British teenager killed in Syria conflict
- 1 Jose Mourinho: Graceless reaction of Chelsea manager a sad effort to hide his own flaws
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Unbeliebable: The White House offer 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Develo...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: C# CTRM ...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Developm...
Competitive DOE: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green R...