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Found 16 results

  1. Site Upgrade Announcement I'm pleased to announce @Dirktator has confirmed that today, Simtropolis is scheduled to receive a significant site upgrade. In the process we'll be incrementing the site's version to ST9.0. The latest major update to the IPS Suite will be applied to bring a whole host of new and exciting features. Most notably: Reactions This will give more flexibility to describe why you like a content item. It'll allow Reactions to be tailored to best suit our community, such as with custom sets & icons. Recommended Replies A way for helpful, informative or useful replies to be highlighted inside a thread. Will be a way of drawing attention to popular posts, including those providing answers to the OP's question. Content Messages Allow announcements or important info to be seen within a content item. Uses may include thread guidelines, reminders to follow, or even useful info for reference (e.g. links or images). Promoting Content A range of possibilities to improve the accessibility of content. STEX files, CJs, forum posts, the whole lot. Social media options can be explored, such as to connect with the site's Twitter as a content stream. Fluid Forum View Optionally view the forum via a topic list or grid mode instead of traditional categories. This is configurable for all users via a toggle, so it's possible to easily switch between the views. Editor Uploading Improvements Simplified ability to attach images and files to a post. Now possible to drag & drop into specific locations, without needing to insert manually. Gallery Improvements A range of enhancements for uploading Gallery images. Usability improvements also introduced for albums, and also the navigation with the image lightbox display. City Journals Sidebar CJ authors can optionally add a sidebar with information about their entries. This uses the post editor, so text or other media can be added. HTML access available on request. Letter Profile Photos The default avatar replaced with a random coloured background, featuring the 1st character of a username. This will only affect users who haven't changed their avatar from the anonymous grey silhouette. There's also the Clubs feature, which will restore a similar functionality to the old Groups. The advantage here is it's integrated and built into the core software, whereas previously it was a 3rd party plugin that was made incompatible. We won't be rolling out the Clubs immediately, but we have some ideas on how they can be used more effectively this time around, since they'll allow more options. Plus a visual overhaul and an assortment of other minor changes. Along with a few other surprises in store coming soon, so watch out for those too... Expected Downtime Since this is a larger update than usual, the site may be unavailable for a slightly longer period. It's scheduled anytime from 12pm noon EDT / 4pm UTC onwards (view clock), and we anticipate this will be no more than 1 hour. Should the downtime be prolonged, please check our Twitter feed for progress updates. Bugs & Stability The new version has been released in a client beta for several weeks, meaning stability has been tried & tested. However as is common with any new software product, there's a chance for undetected bugs to crop up when applied in unique environments. Please bear with us if there are any instabilities to start with, and report them below or in the bugs thread. Feedback We'd love to hear ways the site and the above features can be improved or best implemented. If you've any ideas feel free to share them below. We'll also be opening threads specifically to gain feedback on specific aspects within the next several weeks. Thanks everyone, and we hope you enjoy the new site!
  2. Tribute to A Nonny Moose

    I do not know a good way to say it then I will be very direct. After all this time we need to get used to not see our dear @A Nonny Moose here again. He passed away on September 28. http://www.haskettfh.com/winterton-john-hensall/ That last time he came here I think we all feel relieved, but I found it strange he appeared to say nothing and didn't return again. It could be himself making a last visit or a family member arranging something. Today I decided to look for something again and came across the bad news. What remains from now to us is to have good memories of John and his incredible help on Simtropolis. No doubt he is an icon. I'll never forget your help several times both in the forum and private messages, just like your daily posts entertaining and informing us. Rest in Peace, buddy.
  3. I made a new community website for users to download, uploads mods and media related cities xl, cities xxl, SimCity, SimCity 4 and cities skyline, Feel Free To Check Out My Community Website URL Link: https://www.citiesxlmods.com
  4. General Feedback Thread - To help pass the time until the Awards Ceremony, here's a place to share your experiences of the new Trixies format. What went well, and how can they be improved for next year? As you're likely aware, this Trixies introduced various changes. Not only being the first time multiple years (2015 & 2016) were combined, but notably nominations were accepted in a special forum, allowing you to post and edit them in private. Based on your ideas, the Default Awards List was also created, and intended to provide a suitable baseline to cover the wide range of site contributions. In summary, here's a few possible possible topics of discussion: Award Categories Total available default awards: 101 Custom Content: 34 City Journals: 40 Community: 27 Too little? Just right? Too many? Spread between categories. Coverage of types/themes? Any confusion or conflicting awards? Did the descriptions help or hinder? Nomination Process How did you find it compared to years gone by? Were the instructions clear and easy to follow? Was it helpful to edit and view your nominations? Any issues along the way? Duration of nomination period: 23 days (including the 2 day extension). Too short? Just right? Too long? Trixies Build-up Interviews To what extent were they helpful / enlightening? Types of questions asked? Format / presentation. More for next year? Content lists (2015 / 2016) Did they help with your decision making? Were they a useful reference? Should all content have been included in the lists? Grouping per author or per category? Community discussion How could this work better in future? Anything else which could be done in build-up? Trixies Promotion Too sparse? Just right? Too excessive? When did you first become aware of the Trixies this time? How useful was the info banner at the top? Should anything else have been included? Were the countdown timers helpful? Visibility of the Trixies forum. Should any other banners have been added? Homepage features -- were they useful or too repetitive? Anything else? Post away! We're always looking to improve the Trixies, and this was really a learning experience for everyone. Hopefully it worked well as a comeback after being absent for such a long time. But like anything, there's always room for improvement going forward. So if you've any comments or suggestions (even not on the above list), big or small, please post below and we'll take them into consideration. Feel free to post multiple times in this thread to your heart's content. And of course, you don't have to answer all the above questions -- they're just pointers. Thanks!
  5. Award Category Ideas - Much like the Oscars, the Trixies just wouldn't be complete without The Awards themselves! Here is a thread where you can suggest what default categories you'd like to see... The Trixie Awards traditionally feature a selection of categories which can be used to submit nominations for. These have ranged from content on the STEX, creativity in the CJs, to wide-ranging contributions in the forums. With the previous 12 editions of the Trixies, the categories have been pre-defined by the admins, and the only method of suggesting different awards was by submitting a custom nomination. So starting for the 2015-2016 Trixies, prior to the start of nominations, we're opening up the suggestions to the community! Last time the Trixies were held, the categories were simplified in an attempt to make the process less overwhelming. When in actual fact, all this did was the precise opposite. There were fewer nominations per category, and less variations of each type of award. For instance with custom content and CJs, there were only more general themes, which encompassed the more niche categories. This time, by allowing you all to choose what you'd be interested in submitting nominations for, hopefully it can provide a much broader selection to choose from. This should also help with searching for possible candidates, as it will give a clearer perspective. In other words, we're asking you to nominate awards, to be used as the awards! Post Your Ideas Below You may add multiple posts with multiple ideas, or single posts with single ideas -- it's completely your choice... Just remember we're looking for the title here, for example: Best Llama Impression OR Most Likely to outrun a Llama OR Llama Dedication Award And feel free to discuss and hit the button for ideas you, hmm, well... Like. They will then be populated into the below index lists for final consideration by the Llama Crew. Similar with how it worked in 2014, there will be at least 3 types of general awards: (There could be more yet, we'll see...) Custom Content Buildings, lots, mods, maps, and their many variations. City Journals Types, styles, genres, themes, countries, presentation, etc. Community Forum awards, site contributions, members, staff, special mentions & moments, etc. At this stage, ideas don't need to be specific for a particular game or year (2015 or 2016), as most awards can be doubled up for that purpose. Also don't worry about duplicating someone's idea. That just proves it's a good one! Whether big or small, we look forward to hearing your ideas!
  6. Community Build-up Discussion - 465 days and counting... It's been a long time since the previous Trixies So this is the perfect time to share and discuss notable contributions... Make no mistake, so much has happened between the ceremony of the previous Trixies. On the STEX, in CJs and throughout the forums, there have been many memorable moments. Although unless anyone regularly visits all areas of the site, keeping detailed running notes over the last 2 years, we realise it would be very tricky to remember more than a handful of items or events. With so many outstanding widespread contributions, it's so easy to lose track. Maybe even forget items which we thought were truly remarkable at the time. That's why we're starting this Community Discussion, so we can together help each other recall the various noteworthy and significant contributions. Just to clarify, the goal here is not to develop a ballot paper or set list of candidates, but instead, spread greater awareness before people go to the polls. The Trixies are never intended to be a popularity contest or a campaign of who made the 'better' content. That's not in line with the sense of community spirit in which they're run. Nominations will always be conducted anonymously and made at the discretion of each individual. In no way should the items/authors discussed here be the sole options to nominate. The thing is, by us all pitching in with notable memories from 2015-2016, it then aims to help with making your own measured judgements. Encouraging you to investigate the items discussed, and perhaps discover things you may have not otherwise known about, or have possibly overlooked. Also for newcomers who may not have been around since the start of 2015, this aims to inform and give everyone a greater understanding. Remember, all community members are eligible to receive a Trixie, so the power is still in your hands to make the pivotal choice. In short, this discussion simply intends to put ideas out there for everyone to decide on their own, with a broader perspective. Discussion Guidelines To help ensure this is conducted fairly and follows the above principles, here are a set of guidelines to follow when posting: 1. All Examples mentioned... E.g. STEX files, CJs or other site contribution: a) Must be submitted or occurred in the eligible period (2015 or 2016). b) Was created by or relates to someone in the Simtropolis community. c) Does not concern yourself. d) Are linked in your post, so others can check it out for themselves. (Feel free to use the auto-embed previews which resolve for links.) 2. Provide a few details about the Example, aiming to use a non-persuasive informational tone: For instance, where applicable: What is it? Who created it? What does it do or show? How was this a highlight for you? In what ways did you find it useful or interesting? 3. For each Category, please provide at least 2 applicable Examples, from 2 different Authors. E.g. Custom Content Author A Created this rustic commercial BAT that functions as a growable CS$ and a ploppable Landmark. Author B Created a set of filler Lots, which can be used to construct a custom park. 4. (Optional) Along with each Example, ONE image may be included, to help with the objective of informing. E.g. Custom Content This may show a way you've used the item in the applicable game. City Journals This could be an image embedded or linked from the author's CJ. (Please don't re-upload!) Community Might not be applicable, but if you can depict a notable other community contribution using a picture, go for it! Special Mention Thanks to @T Wrecks for thinking of the concept for a Trixies discussion thread in the first place! So without further ado... Post away with what you found memorable...
  7. Dear Friends; It is with great sadness that we inform you of the permanent loss of the simpeg website. Pegasus has confirmed that the site has been critically damaged beyond the point of recovery. This is a huge blow for the simcity4 community as the vast majority of the simpeg knowledge-base and documentation has been lost as well. Many of you have expressed concerns over what happens to the content that was hosted on the PLEX. The good news is that Pegasus was never a believer in exclusivity and simultaneously released his content to both the PLEX and STEX as a failsafe, and the simpeg staff has followed this model over the years. This means the vast majority of simpeg content is already here on simtropolis and has been preserved. With Pegasus' blessing and Dirktator's kind help we will be creating a PLEX Legacy section here on the STEX, re-uploading and updating content as needed, as well as organizing it all into an more structured and easy to navigate whole to mirror the PLEX of old. This will be a long and tedious process, but we anticipate that 99% of the content that was on the PLEX will be maintained. We will also be attempting to update the omnibus here with what articles we've managed to save from the simposium. However, that is currently only a bare handful of what was lost. The greatest loss of all, though, is one that can not simply be re-uploaded. For many of us the Simpeg community was our electronic home. It was a tight-knit group whose interests and discussions transcended a simple game to encompass many aspects of our lives. Simpeg was a special place, not because of mere content and knowledge, but because of the people who made it greater than the sum of it's parts. So while we thank Pegasus for giving us a house all these years, it is with deep appreciation that we thank each and every one of you members of simpeg for making that house a home. What we had will well and truly be missed. It is our sincere wish that you will all find a new home, either here in the rest of the simcity community or elsewhere, and that it brings you happiness. Once again, thank YOU for making simpeg the place it was. Best Wishes, The Simpeg Staff
  8. Hey there, everyone! I rarely post topics here, so I am more or less just a dweller in this website. Been a member for about five years over two accounts. I'm posting this topic just to mainly inform everyone here that I decided to base my final paper in my Advanced Skills & Composition class on this fantastic website. As the title suggests, I have to observe a community, take detailed notes, and explain how that particular community utilizes language. Essentially, I will be browsing around the community, observing and taking notes on how everyone uses language. If anyone is inclined in helping, feel free to do so. Just keep these following guidelines in mind: How is the language used to form hierarchies? How is friendship revealed? What purposes, both obvious and subtle, does the use of language specific to this community serve? Feel free to also mention any notable events that have occurred in the community over the years. I did learn about John Winterton's passing shortly after it was announced, so no doubt that was a huge blow for the community. One thing I would like to ask is, what are all the reputation "levels"? My current reputation in the community is respected, so I was wondering what the other levels could be, as that may aid me in my paper. Thanks for reading this and if you are inclined to include anything about the usage of language in this community, that would be much appreciated and thanks in advance! *add* After posting, I noticed a "rank" if you will, under my username, so if anyone would be willing to tell me what the other ranks are, that again would be much appreciated.
  9. I have to get something off my chest: I think the collaboration between @catty-cb and @paeng is examplary and (as the olympics running now) even a demonstration of great sportsmanship. There is paeng - leaving the community with responsibility, with care, straighten how his content should be treated in the future, leaving the house not cluttered but tidy. There is catty-cb - taking care of someone elses content, becoming some kind of warden or trustee, making public interests his duty. Together they can be a paragon for all of us - how a community can be me more than the sum of it's parts. The future, the persistence of a community depends on how the dynamics of coming and going is handled. If the members (the sum) don't care who newly arrives, who goes away and if the single user(the part) don't care - well, don't know if this is really a community or rather some kind of plaza in the city, or a 'forum' (if you think of the ancient origin of this word). What makes a community interesting are those interplays between the single subject and the group, the giving and taking - f. e. you invest your knowledge in the group and you get the knowledge of hundreds of people back. Then - community is a big deal. To think about community is to think about this deals (not to think about me and other members). It's not easy to understand, that a community has three parts, me, the others, and the social system on it's own. Often someone, who hates the others, goes against the system. He leaves the community in hate or anger and he thinks - no, those others did me bad, they don't get my kindness anymore - and so they try to hurt those others, but they hurt only the system. They might delete their content or something else. That's shortsighted - as the community (as a system) remains and shure gets hurted, but those "others" don't remain. With time passing, members leave, new members show up. And all those once hated people may vanish. So after one or two years you still put your anger on totally strangers you became like a gunman shooting blindly into the crowd, And so the one, who deleted his content in anger, or who ignores, that the care for the social system and the care for those other members are different tasks, will mostly do no serious harm to the people he knows, the actual members, but to those unknown, the future ones, the intended. And therefore I like to thank both, catty-cb and paeng, openly, to fend for exactly those. For demonstrating that the philosophical thought (that the whole is more than the sum of its parts) can have a meaning in practice, in action.
  10. Simpeg Productions - Farewell

    Dear Friends It is with great sadness that we inform you of the permanent loss of the simpeg website. Pegasus has confirmed that the site has been critically damaged beyond the point of recovery. This is a huge blow for the simcity4 community as the vast majority of the simpeg knowledge-base and documentation has been lost as well... [Read more at the source]
  11. So SimCity 2013 community, does anyone know what would make their day in SimCity? Tell me what you want most right now, whether it is a mod or something you want to see in a city. I'm only asking this because I would love to see the SimCity 2013 forums to be as vibrant as the 10 year old SimCity 4 community. Remember, some want new instructions for modding, others want something like a wiki where all of the information for the game is. Personally, I would like a place where all of the technical parts of the game are located, like a SimCity Lexicon of sorts. There, information for RCI and traffic mechanics could be! Maybe this could be a place where mod information, in depth, could be found! What about modding tutorials? We need those! Would the SimCity Lexicon make sense? Most importantly, what do you feel like the community is lacking? Please tell me!
  12. As promised, Westerhuizen has received a whole host of improvements under the terms of the Strategic Development Funds. Historically, Westerhuizen was a small suburb on the 'wrong' side of the river from the historic town centre. There were (and still are) a handful of traditional Dutch cottages along the river banks, but most of the housing stock is late Nineteenth Century, dark brick terrace housing. These small, ugly homes have mostly fallen into a state of disrepair, and Westerhuizen is easily Nieuwezee's poorest, least-loved neighbourhood. Here's an aerial photo from last year: Now things are changing! Firstly, the town council has repaved the centre of Westerhuizen in attractive red brick. This complements the darker brick housing which dominates the area. The repaving has been enhanced with new tree planting, and pedestrian precincts have been added to close off some of the back-streets and prevent 'through traffic'. The result is a neighbourhood which is quieter and more pleasant for pedestrians. Here's a close-up: And that's not all. The main street has been developed with a new suite of civic buildings; a community college, primary school and a stunning new library: The new development is in the top right of the picture... Here's a closer view of the library, which (as you'll see!) is cleverly shaped like a set of open books. The design has been short-listed for several architectural prizes... Behind the library you can see the new Community College. It's a rather more modest building, yet still a boon for the people of Westerhuizen... and indeed for the whole of Nieuwezee. As well as hosting community space, the college provides adult education and evening courses for families and citizens on low incomes... In these two views you can see the whole 'civic suite' set amongst new plazas and walkways. At the back you see the Primary School. It's a compact modern building, with spaces only for the few dozen local kids of primary age... No longer do parents have to drive their kids half way across town to get to school! The other building of note is the old Leatherworks, which long since sat half-empty (except for a funeral parlour on its East side). The building has been redeveloped into a health centre, as part of the local improvement works. Again, folk in Westerhuizen can now access local services without having to cross the bridge to the Old Town. Here's a close view: The funeral parlour is closest to us here; entrance to the Health Centre is along the main road, beside the car park. That gives us a sense of the civic improvements which have been made to Westerhuizen. As a result, local housing demand has sky-rocketed. The council has laid out four new streets, all of which have been developed by private contractors to provide small, affordable housing units: These developments have added nearly 500 homes, more than 1,000 residents to Westerhuizen's population. Here's a ground-level photo taken from the small park, which you can see near the top of the last image: As you can see, the modern housing units are small but inviting and the developers are creating pleasant 'human scale' places to live. That's all there is to see in Westerhuizen for now; over the next few years we can expect to see low-rise apartment buildings finished close to the 'civic suite' (where construction has already begun). A group of local residents is also petitioning the council to give them use of a patch of riverside land, for a new Community Garden. You've probably noticed, Nieuwezee's council is quite liberal and I can't expect them to refuse this request... ;-) In closing, here's a long-shot of Westerhuizen in all its new-found glory.
  13. Utilities and Distribution

    this just occurred to me and will be worked on a while in the future, but you could do something special for utilities... Simcity has unlimited power range so long as it is all connected via wire or road depending on the game. Not very realistic over long distances. Older games like City life had a power plant radius, which meant you had to place power plants everywhere. A pain. Tropico has this power plant radius like City Life, however has substations which extend that range. If you found a balance between the three distribution methods (radius from power plant, wire extension and substation extension) then the utilities part of the game becomes very in depth and more strategic, rather than an annoyance you have to deal with. Perhaps power is based on a strength and the further away from the plant or substation, the weaker it is... So you need substations next to heavy industry, and power lines reduce the loss of power between substations and power plants. You could upgrade substations and lines for efficiency as well as upgrading power plants. You could add more wires to a cluster like roads. Depending on map size this would allow a realistic power system with in depth game play and strategy, adding life to a 'place and forget' part of city building. Obviously this relies on a large scale region or map that power plants are located a long way away from the city. Given you said you want mines, it makes sense to put power plants next to the mines that provide them (That's how it works in real life). If you're making a campaign, then you could split it up into areas, and jump around all the time. That way it isn't a drag to go and upgrade power plants while looking at a city centre.
  14. Version 1.1

    4,114 Downloads

    Hello all I've got a new mod "pack" for you! This mod "pack" contains seven new mods. They add the University wings, dormitories, and the pedestrian path to the community college, where you will be able to plop and draw them. How to install: 1. Unzip the files after downloading. 2. Copy and paste the .package files into C:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games/SimCity/SimCityData. Special thanks to: JohnathanTycoon for giving me the ideas. Enjoy! More are coming!
  15. Hello city builders I thought I'd inform potentially interested viewers of the Sim City Let's Play that is currently running over at The Obzzarvatory. http://www.youtube.com/user/Obzzarver Always happy to share and receive tips, tricks and general input, and I also wanted to start a channel community max size region to be featured in the LP in not to long. If you wanna give it a try, here's a sample episode: http://youtu.be/UgKgjmwbaP0 Thanks for your time, hope you enjoy and to see you around - Zzar
  16. Hey everyone! First, I would like to thank everyone for their interest in our post-event impressions, and for their patience while we worked to get everything together. Second, I want to thank the people at Maxis for their awesome hospitality and for putting this event together. It was a blast to get to talk with the developers, especially since everyone was so excited to have us there for the day. Finally, this is my first time doing a write up like this, so I'm just going to go for it and see where it takes us. However, before we jump head first into the write up, let's take a moment to discuss the format of the event. Our day was split between play testing the latest version of the game, interviews, and opportunities for general chit-chat. That said, I'm going to jump between talking about play testing, interviews, and the like. The first impression upon starting up the game is that Maxis has been busy since the time that the beta was launched. Stuff has been tweaked as a result of feedback from the beta, and the game actually plays differently as a result (I think the end result is better balanced). Just to throw out a single example, road costs have been tweaked, which means that strategies that worked in the beta will now drive you bankrupt in a hurry. For those who think that the new SimCity has no difficulty levels, the taxes act as your primary difficulty levels. (This may not seem like much, but at the same time, the difficulty levels in SC4 really just altered the amount of cash you started with.) As we all know, one of the big new features of the game is city specializations. Some die hard SimCity fans are likely to regard this move as heresy, but I don't see it that way. If you want to play the new SimCity using the classic RCI model, you are totally free to do so, and you will find that the game responds in much the same way that you would expect it to. However, for those of us who might be bored of the classic RCI model, or want to try something new and different, city specialization is a great way to mix up the franchise. Some people will say that the "formula for success" with the city specializations is somewhat flat, but that is a superficial analysis as it takes some degree of skill and planning to capture the benefits of city specializaton while mitigating the negatives that go along with that specialization. There has been concern that the specializations are tilted to favor the resource-based specialization, which would logically mean that the city spaces rich in coal, oil, and ore would be the first to be claimed. However, this concern misses the unique challenge the resource-based specializations face: resource scarcity. These resources are finite, and it's only a matter of time before you have to address your sustainability problems. (During the beta, I built a city based on oil and drove it for everything it was worth. However, the oil fields couldn't sustain that forever, and they started to fail to meet the demands of my refineries. I had to start importing oil to sustain the refinery output, which took a big chunk out of my profits.) If you decide that you want to re-specialize the city, you face potentially even bigger challenges. For the Community Day event, I landed with a city laden with ore, so I specialized in ore production. However, I got tired of the ground pollution hurting my residential development, so I decided to "turn the city around." Except that it didn't turn around. It was like watching the decline of the American Rust Belt as my city slid into a financial death spiral. I had built a city with millions that was the third most economically powerful city in the region, and it all fell apart because I failed to plan far enough forward to ensure a successful transition away from an ore-based city economy. So if you're thinking that pumping oil is a cheap way to amassing millions, just remember that you're going to burn through millions trying to carry your city through the post oil boom days. So at this point, let's take an intermission from the play testing and talk about one of the group interviews that we did. We had the opportunity to do a small group interview with the design team concerning Glassbox and the depth of the simulation. We got to see under the hood and see the game through the eyes of one of the developer debug tools that is used to tune the simulation. With the drag of a slider, the dev shut down a coal plant and with another drag of the coal supply slider, the plant started up again. (Meanwhile, the coal supply animation responded to reflect the state of the coal supply.) Then with a few more clicks, we got to see the pollution simulation while Ocean Quigley explained how the simulation rules wrote air pollution to the map. A couple of clicks later, and we could watch one of the sims driving around the city and what his most pressing interests were. At 6AM, the little sims started getting up for work and we could see traffic picking up while watching how the sims were altering their most pressing needs in response to the events they were encountering. While I admit that I'm not a modder, I feel like if we can get even a fraction of this kind of capability in modding the game, we will eclipse anything SC4 was capable of supporting. Let's jump back to the play testing and talk about something that we all care about: region play. However, before we do that, let's talk about me for a second. I am a lone wolf gamer. My big interests are campaigns (like Halo or any other FPS game) and PvE (like Guild Wars 2 or World of Warcraft). I don't generally enjoy PvP or cooperative play with people I don't know well. That said, let's jump back to SimCity. It took me a few minutes to warm up to the vibe of the room and the people in it, but once that happened, it was magic. I decided that my city was going to be one of the trash dumps of the region, where the mayor didn't care about you and your troubles, and thus, Double Shift was born. And the place lived up to it's name. Double Shift dominated the crime leader board, and I was immensely proud with I became aware that my criminals were setting up franchises in neighboring cities. Fire services weren't set up until half the city was engulfed in flames, and with no health services at all, my sims lived hard and died young. Soon enough, my sims began clamoring for assistance from their neighbors, and Tosca Cliffs came to their aid with police and health services. But Tosca Cliffs had troubles too; trash was overflowing with no method for managing it. Except that Double Shift had just completed expanding its waste management services. A deal was struck and soon the residents of Double Shift began breathing the pollution of Tosca Cliffs's trash. While all of the above is important, it misses another important part of SimCity's region play: the social interaction. Admittedly, the bunch of us were in the same room and this enables conversation to flow in ways that isn't normally possible over the internet, but I'm fairly confident that none of us have had a string of random conversations like this in SC4: -"Oil is where it's at, man. Already making $750,000 a month." -"I want to build a green city. Who's going to take my sewage?" -"We don't want your *bleep*. No one's going to take your *bleep*." -"But I want to build a green city!" -"Send it to Double Shift. I hear he's building a trash dump of a city. He doesn't care." -"Sure, send it over. The ground in that part of the city is already dead anyway." -"JOIN MY CAPITALIST EMPIRE AND TOGETHER WE SHALL RULE THIS REGION!!! MWAHAHAHAH!!" Random amusing stuff like this is possible with the new SimCity. If you want to experience it, you can. If this doesn't interest you, you're under no pressure to engage in this stuff. Now do you want to voice chat with some random dude you don't know who is playing in your region? Probably not. Does it have the potential to be a lot of fun among friends, family, and whatnot? I think so. Another area that deserves mention is the visual filter capabilities. For some individuals, the default visual style is awesome, and for others, not so much. Filters offer an easy way to find a visual style more suited to your tastes. However, filters have so much more potential than that. As cheesy as it sounds, filters offer a new way to experience your city. A single filter change can fundamentally alter how a street feels. I didn't think to ask about this question during the event, but I hope that we get the ability to add in new filters to the game. If we do, I suspect we will the experience the growth of some truly wild and unique City Journals. If you're wanting to tell a story about your city, filters just offer too much potential to ignore them. Before we wrap this thing up, let's head back to the group interviews one more time to hopefully shed some light on what the devs were hoping to achieve with the new SimCity. One thing that was made very clear was that, in designing the new SimCity, the developers were hoping to capture the elements from the previous SimCity titles that made them so much fun to play. However, as even Will Wright admitted, the series was getting too complicated, so they felt that it was necessary to find a way to give the player the core essentials of the SimCity series without burdening the player with micromanagement and extraneous details. Additionally, Maxis is well aware of past efforts to reboot the SimCity series, and the dev team has made the effort to learn from those mistakes. You may think of it as "getting back to basics," or "the prodigal son returns home," or any other number of things, but the dev team has tried to keep the core fundamentals of the SimCity series in place while re-imagining how those core essentials can come together in a game. If you had asked me a while back if I would buy the new SimCity game, the answer would have been a definite no. As far as I was concerned, it was basically another Societies or Cities XL clone and I wasn't interested. I got the opportunity to participate in the beta, so I decided to try it out, and it had a very definite "this is a reboot" feel. It didn't feel like it warranted the title "SimCity 5," but as a reboot of the series, it was decent. However, after playing the version we did for the community event, it is evident that this isn't a reboot where the producer throws out all the old material simply because he didn't like it. This is Maxis positioning the SimCity series for a future it could have never achieved under the previous design paradigm. It may look like Maxis is taking steps backwards with the technology, but that is incorrect. Rather, Maxis is basing the series on a new technological underpinning that will be capable of carrying our favorite franchise into the future. We are witnessing a new stage in SimCity's evolution, and while SC4 hands the new game enormous shoes to fill, I feel it is up to the task. Bottom Line: I intend to buy the game.
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