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
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£15 per hour: Ashdown Group: IT Analyst / Helpdesk - 2 Month Contract - £15ph ...
£35000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This group is the world's secon...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Service Desk Analyst (App...
£35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: 3rd Line Support Engine...