Have you played the newest SimCity? Are you a little sad that the boundaries for each mayoral space are a tad tiny? Don’t expect that to change anytime soon. Maxis has officially ruled increasing city sizes in SimCity out. It’s not happening.
The word comes from Maxis General Manager Patrick Buechner in an official blog post entitled “State of SimCity.” Here’s the whole deal:
City sizes have been a constant point of conversation among our players since we released the game. The game’s original design focused on the density of an intimate urban environment. It was about intercity connectivity and the challenge of managing a region of cities instead of one metropolis in isolation. However, we recognize that many players have expressed the desire to build up one big city rather than manage the interrelationship of multiple smaller cities.
We’ve put months of investigation into making larger city sizes, reworking the terrain maps, changing the routing algorithms of our agent-based system and altering the way that GlassBox processes the data in a larger space.
After months of testing, I confirm that we will not be providing bigger city sizes. The system performance challenges we encountered would mean that the vast majority of our players wouldn’t be able to load, much less play with bigger cities. We’ve tried a number of different approaches to bring performance into an acceptable range, but we just couldn’t achieve it within the confines of the engine. We’ve chosen to cease work on bigger city sizes and put that effort into continuing to evolve the core game and explore an offline mode. Some of the experiments we conducted to improve performance on bigger cities will be rolled into future updates to improve overall game performance.
Well, it’s been a really long time since I even thought about SimCity. If you remember our coverage in the months leading up to the title, I was pumped for this game. Super pumped.
I’m a long time SimCity fan. I’ve dumped a boatload of time into several entries in this city management franchise. I’ve loved it forever.
The new one has problems. It had a terrible launch, and the design of the game is fundamentally flawed. One of my biggest complaints is the tiny city size. Here’s a chunk from our review when the game launched:
You want to build a green city with a good tourism base? Good luck doing both, as the space simply isn’t there to support solar and wind energy, an elementary school, a high school, a college and the right departments to get up to nuclear power. Oh, and you’ll need enough space for the tourist attractions and a good enough mass transit system to get people in and out of your city.
Not to mention juggling the needs of your citizens as they demand silly things like police protection, fire protection, waste management and, well, jobs.
I hate to hit on this too hard, but the size limitations feel like the root of all evil with this game. It’d be much better if I just had a little more space.
My opinion remains unchanged here. Small city sizes hurt SimCity a lot. I recognize that Maxis might not be able to tweak things in order to increase city size; but, they should have listened to fan concern leading up to the title’s release. We’ve been saying small city sizes are a problem well before launch. We were right.
Hearing that city size caps were to be increased would have had me dying to play this game again. Now? I’m not sure. Where do you stand?