SimCity multiplayer – Preview

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

We take a closer look at the asynchronous multiplayer of Maxis' SimCity.

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
Developer: Maxis
Publisher: EA
When? February 2013

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Guru Careers: 3D Creative Designer

    Up to £26k DOE: Guru Careers: A Junior / Mid-Level 3D Creative Designer is nee...

    Recruitment Genius: Pre-Sales Consultant / Presales Engineer / Sales Engineer

    £55000 - £75000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Software House that produces ...

    Recruitment Genius: Receptionist / Administrator

    £10000 - £13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Developer

    £15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital agency is looking ...

    Day In a Page

    Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

    US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

    Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

    'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

    VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

    Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
    The male menopause and intimations of mortality

    Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

    So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
    Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

    'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

    Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
    Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

    Bettany Hughes interview

    The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
    Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

    Art of the state

    Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
    Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

    Vegetarian food gets a makeover

    Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
    The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

    The haunting of Shirley Jackson

    Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
    Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

    Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

    These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
    Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

    A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen