Sims Creator Loves New SimCity's "Guilt-Driven Experience"

Sims Creator Loves New SimCity's "Guilt-Driven Experience"

Will Wright says he is "incredibly happy and proud" with what SimCity has become since his departure from the franchise.

"So you've made SimCity a guilt-driven experience?" asks Will Wright, creator of the original SimCity, as well as the phenomenally popular The Sims. "Exactly," replies Ocean Quigley, the Creative Director behind the new SimCity, due out in March this year, "I think guilt is an underexploited emotion in videogames." The two went on to talk about how feeling guilty for the little guys in your game is something that is unique to videogames. You can't really feel guilty for characters in a book or a movie, but when you make bad decisions in a game and someone dies, it can affect you. This is something both game designers agree makes for a much more engaging experience.

"There was a point where I had played SimCity so much and was so sick of the whole thing, and didn't want to touch it for like ten years, but now having played the new version, I really have had a surprising amount of fun," Wright said, praising Quigley for his take on the city-building franchise. Wright says that Quigley managed to capture all the core elements that make a SimCity game, while also putting never before seen focus on the "neighborhood" level. "As I immersed myself down into the street level ... I really got the sense of what it would be like to live in the neighborhoods."

Quigley explains that while the previous SimCity's maps were just abstract representations of places, he really wanted the new game's maps to have a feeling of actually being a place that the player could experience. The main way he achieved this was by designing an incredibly detailed street level, where the player could follow individual lives of their city's citizens, and then increasing the player's responsibility and attachment to their city's well-being.

Wright said that he at first felt constrained by the small size of SimCity's maps, but later realized that the game can work better this way. "We wanted a depth of simulation over having something that was inert and large" explains Quigley, "Quality over quantity," Wright agrees.

SimCity is due out for PC on March 5.

Source: YouTube

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I had a play of SC5 at Eurogamer last year. I must say I enjoyed it, and will be getting it at some point. I'm not sold on this "always online" thing, it's always been a solitary experience for me. But I'm willing to try something new.

One step closer to merging Sims and Sim City! Build up your city then create family's to live in it and move them around. Or even take a leaf out of Eve's plans and have some players controlling the cities while others live in them with their Sims (hate to have my home bulldozed by some gibbon though!).

Fasckira:
One step closer to merging Sims and Sim City! Build up your city then create family's to live in it and move them around. Or even take a leaf out of Eve's plans and have some players controlling the cities while others live in them with their Sims (hate to have my home bulldozed by some gibbon though!).

Just... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31g0YE61PLQ

thats what every person in existence wants to be in their spare time, Guilt-Driven.

so how many kittens and orphans are going to starve to death when i am a week not playing it?
and how many unicorns are going to commit suicide in a neighbouring city because of it?
and how many days will it take when another player seeks vengence upon me for its unicorns?

and how many days will i grief about gunter patrick, citizen number 3890374236420 that died because of it.

What a freakin sell out. I hope he got good money out of it. I'm disgusted by this...

This game is shallow...

The longer you play, the more you're going to realize it. And when you realize it, EA already got your money....

Fasckira:
One step closer to merging Sims and Sim City! Build up your city then create family's to live in it and move them around. Or even take a leaf out of Eve's plans and have some players controlling the cities while others live in them with their Sims (hate to have my home bulldozed by some gibbon though!).

You could load Sim City maps in Streets of Sim. I think you could save them in Streets of Sim, and re-open them in Sim City...not sure though.

So, if the citizens are complaining that you are going to demolish their beloved X, you can avoid doing that. Not your fault if some hover racecar drives by and shoots it full of rockets.

Because this worked so well for SimCity Societies. Yahtzee said it best, and I paraphrase, "...the actual people are little more than scrabbling insects, a tiresome and unnecessary addition to my beautiful homes..." And so I go from "going to buy this when it comes out" to "waiting for reviews". Good job EA.

i can think of better "a guilt-driven experiences" than video gaming...

what ever happened to the good ole fun of just building stuff....oh right, Minecraft.

nodlimax:
What a freakin sell out. I hope he got good money out of it. I'm disgusted by this...

This game is shallow...

The longer you play, the more you're going to realize it. And when you realize it, EA already got your money....

What? Don't tell me youre so blinded by EA hate that you don't realize that all gaming is inherently shallow... I can't wait for this game myself. It's been way too long since we've had a good sim city game.

Bah I've got enough guilt already.

R.Nevermore:

What? Don't tell me youre so blinded by EA hate that you don't realize that all gaming is inherently shallow... I can't wait for this game myself. It's been way too long since we've had a good sim city game.

Er, what? All gaming is shallow? Maybe, sure. All gaming is inherently shallow, however, that would still produce a scale of shallowness. Some games are more shallow than others. The guy obviously feels that this game is more shallow than other Sim City games, and presumably other city-building games.

That is like going, "Sim City? CityVille? Both inherently shallow, so obviously hating on CityVille is just being blinded by Zyngia hate." Making an assumption because you perceive someone as hating a company is just as bad as making an assumption because you hate a company.

R.Nevermore:

nodlimax:
What a freakin sell out. I hope he got good money out of it. I'm disgusted by this...

This game is shallow...

The longer you play, the more you're going to realize it. And when you realize it, EA already got your money....

What? Don't tell me youre so blinded by EA hate that you don't realize that all gaming is inherently shallow... I can't wait for this game myself. It's been way too long since we've had a good sim city game.

This.

SimCity was never and never will be on par with things like EVE or Europa Universalis, or heck, even the Total War series. Those are what I like to call "spreadsheet games", in that they offer so much depth and so many levers to pull and factors to influence that your head starts to spin. SimCity was and has always been focused on one core goal:

Build a Working City. Well, either that or build it and then run it into the ground or, I dunno, call in a UFO invasion. It's inherently shallow. All you're doing is watching streets and roads creep forwards thanks to your good management, tweaking taxes and ordinances as needed so your creation doesn't become a ghost town. It tickles the neat freak in me, the guy who likes ordered and tidy systems, and who likes to exploit their nooks and crannies.

You don't *have* to build omnipotent megalopolises in SC4, but you can. You don't *have* to turn each and every one of your cities into Mayoral Paradise, just as you don't have to populate your Region with fabulously successful dormhouse-city models.

The fun isn't in losing yourself in tons of depth, the fun is exploiting those systems that are there to achieve goals you pick. For depth, I'll pick a European RPG along the lines of The Witcher. For lore, I'll play one of the Elder Scrolls titles. For a Micromanagement enema, I'll play Shogun 2.

If all I want is to nerd out about how the new SimCity actually puts some emphasis on managing waste and eliminates a lot of the previous games' hassles, I know where to go. That's regardless of all the caterwauling I keep hearing about Origin or EA being Lawful Evil.

Omeene:

R.Nevermore:

What? Don't tell me youre so blinded by EA hate that you don't realize that all gaming is inherently shallow... I can't wait for this game myself. It's been way too long since we've had a good sim city game.

Er, what? All gaming is shallow? Maybe, sure. All gaming is inherently shallow, however, that would still produce a scale of shallowness. Some games are more shallow than others. The guy obviously feels that this game is more shallow than other Sim City games, and presumably other city-building games.

That is like going, "Sim City? CityVille? Both inherently shallow, so obviously hating on CityVille is just being blinded by Zyngia hate." Making an assumption because you perceive someone as hating a company is just as bad as making an assumption because you hate a company.

Sim city is about growth and progression with no end. It can go on and on producing new and greater challenges and vast arrays of options. In that sense it has more depth than many other games. It's like Minecraft, which I think we can all agree is limited only by the imagination. I don't quite see how one could see Sim City as more shallow than say, CoD for extreme example, or Dishonored as another very different example.

As for this specific inatallment, I admit I have not played it yet (as it's not yet been released) but with everything I've seen, the game appears to have even greater depth and options than the last inatallment, which wasn't the greatest sim city but was worthy. Perhaps an explanation on why it looks bad without the cliche gripes about origin and 'always online'

What was the last installment? Sim City 2000 is one of my all-time favorite games. Sim City 3000 added whinging bureaucrats to the formula, and swiftly became one of my all-time LEAST favorite games. Honestly, any improvement over that would be a huge boon for me.

Some of the reactions here are ridiculous though. How about we see if the game actually works before we start nuking it from orbit? Personally speaking, I could hardly care less about "just another Sim City" with minor graphical upgrades and different aliens for "disaster mode". The idea of making your city feel "lived in" seems to me a great idea for taking the franchise in a new direction - which, if SC3000 is anything to go on, is sorely needed.

rhizhim:
thats what every person in existence wants to be in their spare time, Guilt-Driven.

so how many kittens and orphans are going to starve to death when i am a week not playing it?
and how many unicorns are going to commit suicide in a neighbouring city because of it?
and how many days will it take when another player seeks vengence upon me for its unicorns?

and how many days will i grief about gunter patrick, citizen number 3890374236420 that died because of it.

Not the unicorns!

image

On topic: I'm assuming that the guy is being honest about his thoughts on the new SimCity. Then again, I don't know if this guy has a reputation for bullshit or anything like that and simply do not play SimCity games, so I wouldn't know at all about any of this.

You know what the flip side of guilt-based gaming is?

The Videogame Cruelty Potential

Space Jawa:
You know what the flip side of guilt-based gaming is?

The Videogame Cruelty Potential

Which for me was always the point of SimCity, in fact it was the main point for most sim games that were along those lines.

Guilt driven experience?
<Drives over a kid>
what guilt?

Its a shame that EA doesn't have the capability of feeling guilt. Then they might actually be able to get somewhere.

A guilt driven experience?
They should use german film-makers as consultants, they know how to absolutley wallow in guilt and bash someone over the head with it.

Griffolion:
I had a play of SC5 at Eurogamer last year. I must say I enjoyed it, and will be getting it at some point. I'm not sold on this "always online" thing, it's always been a solitary experience for me. But I'm willing to try something new.

Idk if you know this, but you don't have to play with others. It's always online because half the simulation is calculated by the servers (I think it's things related to the glassbox engine and regional play, as well as the interconnectivity of the world [the global market which you sell and buy goods from a is a "real" market place which all players sell and buy from]). It can be a completely solo experience, and that is precisely how I plan to play.

I might dabble in the multiplayer eventually, but I'm like you, and would prefer to play alone (which you can and I will).

Always on DRM is a deal killer for me. I don't care that it can be played single player (which, yes, absolutely the way I'd do it) when I have to be tethered to the internets just to fire the damn thing up. Also, single-player which requires some connection to a server to compile regional play stats is not single player. That's some quasi-MMO bullsh*t.

Which is a bit of a pity as this doesn't look like a bad game though the mandated smaller plot o' land kind of baffles me. I mean, if it's an option, well and good, but I'm not at all pleased the option to do a huge, sprawling city was taken away from me. At the end of the day this seems to provide an experience which (but for the graphics which, duh, very nice) is still less than earlier SimCity games leaving me not really swayed by the designer's intents.* I want more than from my sequels, as in everything the earlier games had and then more. I'm curious how it'll be reviewed but have deep reservations. Honestly, what I was craving / expecting (given the earlier SimCities and the passage of time) was something with Dwarf Fortress's depth and Sim's attention to user-interface.

Unrelated note : Mr. Ocean Q. kept reminded me so strongly of Bob Ross that I was faintly disappointed he didn't work a 'happy trees' reference somewhere into his PR plug. Alas.

* I mean, it's fine if he likes following his dolls around at street level and project on them. To each their own. But the anecdote of a ratio of 20 minutes of work to 45 minutes of watching as a selling point was awful. That's trying to sell a non-interactive experience (watching) when the whole reason I play games is to have a completely interactive experience. In SimCity designing the city is not work. It is play. It is the core reason I would buy the product.

Mimsofthedawg:

Griffolion:
I had a play of SC5 at Eurogamer last year. I must say I enjoyed it, and will be getting it at some point. I'm not sold on this "always online" thing, it's always been a solitary experience for me. But I'm willing to try something new.

Idk if you know this, but you don't have to play with others. It's always online because half the simulation is calculated by the servers (I think it's things related to the glassbox engine and regional play, as well as the interconnectivity of the world [the global market which you sell and buy goods from a is a "real" market place which all players sell and buy from]). It can be a completely solo experience, and that is precisely how I plan to play.

I might dabble in the multiplayer eventually, but I'm like you, and would prefer to play alone (which you can and I will).

Ah okay, perhaps news outlets misrepresented it, then, when talking about the "always online" features. I just hope that the developers know that they are going for an audience who, up until now, were experiencing Sim City in a solitary fashion. Throwing them in at the deep end with all these multiplayer features may serve to alienate what would be a core fanbase. So I'm with you, I hope there is the option to just go it alone, at least for a while, until I'm ready to dive into multiplayer.

 

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