Ocean Quigley says SimCity was built to to run on “your Dad’s PC.”
“Cities are too small” was one of the biggest complaints players had during SimCity‘s open beta, and while we won’t see larger cities for the game’s March 5 release, an interview with lead designer Ocean Quigley reveals we will see them “eventually.” Quigley states that the city sizes were made deliberately small as a performance decision, but assures Incgamers that “We’ll eventually get around to expanding the city size but I can’t make any promises as to when.”
“We need to keep in mind that SimCity is a mainstream game, it’s not a game that is only going to run on high-end gaming PCs, it has to run in your Dad’s PC as well,” said Quigley, when asked about the performance trade-off that led to city sizes being limited. He says that given the performance restraint that he had to work under, he opted to go for larger region sizes instead, so players could have more, smaller cities in a region, rather than fewer, larger ones.
Quigley also addressed another major concern beta testers had: the inability to demolish a failed city and start over from scratch. “Well if it really bothers you, you could destroy the whole region and start over but if you don’t want to do that you could send the city that is affecting the area a big gift of cash from the adjacent cities and use that to clean up,” says Quigley. He claims that leaderboards and challenges were the main factor behind limiting city destruction.
Multiplayer is a large part of the new SimCity, with players being able to invite friends into their region to build cities. A concern players had was that an invitee could start building a city, then forget about it, leaving it as a “dead zone” for the owner of the region. Quigley says that Maxis would be fairly hands-off with this. He urges players to only invite trusted friends into their region, as there will be no-way for players to “kick out” inactive players from the region. “There is no mechanism where I can take over your city without your permission and there’s no mechanism where EA or Maxis are going to kick you out of the game.”
As for the future of SimCity, Quigley said “This SimCity architecture is much more like the Sims. In the previous SimCities it was difficult to add any additional content. We built this SimCity to be ‘composable’, which is the best way to describe it. It puts us in a position to make more stuff for the game and to build more content. So we’ll see what people want and ask for in particular and we’ll make more content.”
Quigley ended the interview by encouraging those new to SimCity to try it out, telling us “It’s the deepest, richest most beautiful SimCity ever, the most sophisticated SimCity ever, and it’s trivially easy to get started.”