Rod Humble Talks SimCity Societies with Simtropolis
There has been a lot of excitement surrounding the announcement of the fifth installment of our favourite game. News first broke at 1up.com and the first screenshot emerged to some mixed reactions, to say the least. Since then, there has been a hub of activity between the SimCity community here at Simtropolis and abroad with the newly named developers of SimCity, Tilted Mill Entertainment.
Today, I got a chance to exchange some words with Rod Humble, VP at EA and head of The Sims Division who was very gracious to lend some time to answer some of my questions.
Dirk: Can you first tell us about EA's relationship with Titled Mill?
Rod: I had met Tilted Mill at a few E3's just to chat bout their game design philosophy and keep in touch. Then one year the opportunity came up to work together. We had been working on the Societies concept and prototypes internally for about half a year but realized there was so much in there that ambitious it probably wasn't going to be able to fit into our line up Then I took a look at what TM had in terms of their technology and expertise and I figured I would see what they thought. Immediately I got back a wave of ideas and documents which took the design in and made it feel fuller and better. From that point on and given the passion here at EA and TM for the game it fell into place very easily.
Dirk: Based on the title, Societies, it implies the game will be going in a particular direction, what will it be?
Rod: We will be revealing more details in the following weeks. But at its highest level when we were thinking about where SimCity could go we started wondering why certain cities feel different from another. So for example what's the difference between Paris and Mecca? Or Oxford and Munich? Or San Francisco and Salt Lake City? Clearly the feel was the kind of culture and society. By focusing on the society and culture drivers within a society we found we could create many varied and wonderful places.
Dirk: Is the intention of SimCity Societies to appeal to a wider audience as well as satisfy the devotees of the franchise?
Rod: Everyone working on the game is a SimCity fanatic so clearly we worked on a game we love to play and foremost. We found a great game design which allows you to make so many different kinds cities we certainly hope that SimCity players old and new will love it as much as we do!
Dirk: And finally, from the devotees, what steps are you taking to ensure the sequel that bears the SimCity moniker will live up to its name?
Rod: Do you remember the first time you booted up SimCity? Do you remember the sense of wonder you had imagining all the different places you could build? I certainly do. With SimCity Societies we want that magic, just imagine what kind of cities you will build with their own cultures and societies. I am really looking forward to everyone seeing the coverage the July issue of Games For Windows magazine for the first deep-dive into SimCity Societies. And, over the next few months we'll be sharing more about the wonderful things that await inside SimCity Societies!
Dirk: Thank you, Rod for taking the time to speak to the community!
Although I had plenty more questions to ask, understandably, Rod was only able to answer only a few of them at this early time. We will keep a look out for more information in the coming weeks, and hopefully, we will be able to speak with Rod again at a later date for some more details. Exclusive screenshots follow.