It’s been nearly a decade since a numbered entry in Will Wright’s SimCity was released. Well, I guess it’s going to be a bit longer than that, because the fifth edition of the infamous civilization-building/destroying simulator doesn’t have a number attached to it. Maxis is just calling it SimCity. And why not, right?
The word came from EA today after the announcement was made during a Game Developers’ Conference symposium. You can watch the reveal trailer embedded after the jump. I’ve gone ahead and embedded the version that contains a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at what exactly makes the game different, just in case you wanted to know.
Creative director Ocean Quigley claims that SimCity allows Maxis to do things that weren’t possible during the development of SimCity 4, such as making it so every vehicle and Sim is its own “simulation object,” as he calls them. Interestingly, the game’s aesthetic was inspired by the tilt-shift technique, a photography effect that makes real-life objects appear as though they’re toys.
One of the bigger gameplay features present in the new SimCity is that you’ll be able to customize just what kind of city you build, whether you want to make it a hub for intellectuals full of museums and technological wonderlands or attract the blue-collar crowd with your very own Truckasaurus.
Lead producer Kit Katsarelis also confirms that multiplayer will be a big feature in this new SimCity game. While he doesn’t mention whether or not you can collaborate on a city with a friend, you can definitely interact with one another should you choose to build cities in the same region, which brings to mind the neighborhood concept present in The Sims. He also says your growth and decisions affect those around you.
“The choices you’re making at the city level have a rippling effect across the region and the greater SimCity world,” he said.
Katsarelis goes on to explain what you see in the latter half of the trailer, when one city’s water supply gets so polluted it shuts down a shared power utility and creates chaos for both players. After all, what would SimCity be without wanton destruction, right?
SimCity is scheduled for a 2013 release. And don’t get too excited about the visuals in the trailer. Near the end you’ll see that this isn’t in-game footage. I’m sure we’ll get more info as GDC goes on and as the year progresses. We’ll keep you posted here.