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SimCity gets blessing of series creator Will Wright

Friday, 8 March 2013 13:06 GMT By Dave Cook

SimCity may have got off to a rocky start this week, but series creator Will Wright has been playing it, and he’s very pleased with the results.

Wright co-founded SimCity developer Maxis in 1987, but left the studio in April 2009 to pursue other projects. Speaking with NowGamer, Wright gave his impressions of the new game.

“I like it a lot,” he revealed. “It’s interesting, in some sense it reminds me of the post-economic crash. It’s not about making your city big, it’s about making them not poor”, an said of the new Glassbox engine, “I think they did a good job of balancing all the interrelated factors. At first it felt a little claustrophobic, you know with the size of the land, but after playing for a while I think it really makes a lot of sense.

“Visually it’s great. It was my old art director actually that was lead designer, and he had a very definite vision about the way that it would feel. But yeah, I’m enjoying it quite a bit.”

Despite some gamers pouring scorn on the size of SimCity’s new land-masses, Wright said he wasn’t that phased by them, saying that it lent the game increased focus.

“It makes you focus more on interrelations of those factors,” he continued. “So you could make a city four times bigger but you’d be dealing with the exact same variables. So by kind of focusing it in it feels more personal, and so I really do want to zoom down and get a sense of what it feels like on the street. I think the visuals are just amazing, I love the tilt-shift focal lens.”

This morning I re-capped all of SimCity’s server and Origin issues here, and offered some talking points about EA’s handling of the situation.

What do you think? Have you managed to get playing SimCity today, despite the server woes? Let us know below.

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21 Comments

  1. IncognitoMode

    I managed to play the tutorial for the second time since the game apparently forgot that I had played it yesterday and when I tried to create my own city it told me the servers were offline. That about sums up my SimCity experience.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. deathm00n

    Let me see if I get this right: the game is very good right? The problem it have is ver bad bugs with connection? If this is the case then I will buy it anyway. It’s no like we still live in the 90′s when there was a patch after almost a year. I don’t see anything that could no be fixed.

    I beta test a lot of Free-To-Play MMORPGs and ALL of them have some kind of connection issue that get resolved after 1 week or 1 month, seeing how much money EA have it’s only a matter of time till they fix the game. I hope reviewers take another look at it after all is normal

    #2 2 years ago
  3. mistermogul

    @2 – Are you one of those Chinese spammers that’s been paid to post by EA?

    Not only does this have server issues stopping you playing the game it crashes and uses server-side saves which make sure you lose all your progress.

    Worse still is the always on requirement for a single player game that will ensure this game only has a limited life of probably a few years or whenever EA feel like pulling the plug on the servers.

    Also when in the 90′s did you ever get a patch after a year? There were no internet patches in the 90′s!

    Your point about there being no issues that can’t be fixed is irrelevant. People have paid for a product and it should work upon its release. Could you imagine me going to buy a new car and the manufacturer saying don’t worry it’ll have a gearbox in a few months and the brakes will work one day!

    Funny thing is EA have added DRM to prevent piracy yet I’d like to know if the money they save by doing that is equal or less to the money they will lose from lost sales as I’m sure as hell not buying this game and may not buy other EA games in the future if they work in a similar fashion. They are hurting their already damaged reputation further

    #3 2 years ago
  4. deathm00n

    @3 I wish, get paid to post on the internet seems good :) but I’m not. And I agree, always online in a singeplayer is stupid, but isn’t the point of this reboot to make it more online?

    But do you really think a game should be bashed because of connection issues that surelly will get resolved? Servers are a complicated part of gaming. Like I said, go play a online game that just released and come back.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. mistermogul

    @ 4 – “But do you really think a game should be bashed because of connection issues that surelly will get resolved?”

    No I don’t, but I also don’t like the other restrictions EA are putting on this game. DRM, server-side saves, Origin only etc…

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Samoan Spider

    @3 To be fair, there were internet patches, it’s just that we did things like get them when they came out on magazine demo discs but I just had to chime in and correct you there. Although the complexity of games wasn’t there then, neither were the game breaking bugs we see more and more of lately. But taking the car anology and adding some relevance it is very common for software updates to be required for CAN network devices on vehicles to fix issues, even on a brand new car (ECM, CEM/BSM, TCM etc…). Just for clarity btw, not to justify anything.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. deathm00n

    @5 Okay, but do these things justify the score for example of Polygon? They gave the game 9.5 with the pre-release and after playing it post-release droped it to 4, I don’t think this is fair.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. ps3fanboy

    #2 deathm00n

    the paid chinese ea spammer strikes again!

    dont be fooled people…

    #8 2 years ago
  9. DSB

    @4 Shouldn’t they at least mention that it’s not working as intended?

    Trading is hit and miss right now (you may trade x resources and get nothing) and there seems to be a big difference between the reviewers who actually bother to mention something like that, and the ones who don’t.

    I’m guessing the ones who don’t didn’t even notice, and that just draws their entire conclusion into question.

    If you’re not paying attention, then what are you doing reviewing a game in the first place?

    #9 2 years ago
  10. deathm00n

    @9 Sure, they should. I’ve read Gamespot review, they sum up that there’s a lot wrong, but behind it there’s a good game still worth you time.

    I will buy it in the hopes that it will get fixed.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. ifrit82

    #deathmoon

    This isnt a MMO, and if EA want pass this idea, all this problem with server are more severe from before.
    After all problem with diablo 3, this situation is ridiculous .

    People need wait hours to play, connections with server are instable, progress cant save, cheetah speed there isnt more (i hope only for now).

    Then if you want make a only online game, you need be preparate. I can understand problem of unstable connection with server, not others.

    We talk about EA, not a indie software house.

    They had to do a big beta test with a lot of people month ago and EA know how much copy they shipped and can imagine number of players that there would be at first week.

    If they want fight pirates games, need that who pay have a good play, not a lot of problems and few like a idiot because give them money. The first rule is “be nice with your customer” .

    Better i dont say what i think about DLC first day.

    For now EA make a bad work.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. OwnedWhenStoned

    I finally got to play it earlier, and the game isn’t that bad. It ISNT SimCity though.

    In its own right it’s a nice town management game.

    To anyone who’s ever played SimCity 2000 or SimCity 4, the latest iteration simply isn’t anything like it. It’s like a cross between TheSims and farmville. You can tell there is complexity in there, but the game mechanic feels incredibly dumbed down. I thought this was the case in the Demo but hoped I was wrong.

    Maybe it will get better with time (I’ve only played a couple of hours) but I doný think it will ever hit the heights of earlier SimCitys.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. DSB

    @12 That’s exactly what it feels like.

    Personally it’s just not what I want from a Simcity game. It has to tap into that manic Transport Tycoon’ish need to always be expanding, as well as improving, otherwise I just kinda lose interest.

    I think the idea is that you should be marvelling at all the things that go on, while focusing on that upgrade metagame that used to be common in games like Caesar or Pharaoh.

    It’s just too simple for me, and I personally don’t get a lot out of watching all those little people going about their business. If I want The Sims, I’ll play The Sims.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. OwnedWhenStoned

    @13 – missed that comment but you nailed it.

    The game wouldn’t be that bad if you had no memory or experience of what the series USED to be like. If you do it’s pretty disappointing.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Soft-Is

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAembATHKyM

    #15 2 years ago
  16. xxJPRACERxx

    deathm00n, that’s exactly what I think. The actual review score should be about the game design, gameplay, gfx, UI, sound, etc…

    What’s happening with the server problems is regrettable but this got nothing to do with the actual game, which is fun. And this will be fix soon.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. deathm00n

    @16 At last, someone who agree with me on this :) Have you got the game? If so, when I get mine let’s play together!

    #17 2 years ago
  18. IncognitoMode

    Managed to finally play the game for a couple of hours, it’s pretty fun so far my only complaint is the city size which I hope they will increase.

    They have made it a lot easier to manage stuff compared to say Sim City 4 where you had a billion popups on stuff that needed doing all the time. I’m also loving the specializations and the building editor.

    Note that i’m a super casual SimCity player that just wants to build a cool city and fuck around for a bit so in regards to the depth of the game my opinion is probably invalid.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. rusty_shackleford

    I wonder how much will wright was paid to say he ‘liked’ this abomination and I wonder how he sleeps knowing what EA has done to his franchises, EA ruined the Sims and Spore as well.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. xxJPRACERxx

    @19 Yeah, and I wonder if you’ve played the game at all. Probably not, people like to have opinion on thing they don’t know anything about…

    #20 2 years ago
  21. dkpunk

    @16 It’s a BROKEN game. Doesn’t matter if they patch it. They released a game that isn’t even playable 4 days after launch. They could have bypassed all of this if they weren’t so greedy. You reap what you sow.

    #21 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture is just a “couple of weeks out from beta,” according to development studio The Chinese Room, and a release date will be announced “shortly.” To give you an idea of how development has been coming along since it was announced at gamescom 2013, the team has released a new trailer […]

  • GTA 5 on PC looks incredible, but I can’t recommend it to console players

    As much as Matt Martin loves GTA 5, he can’t recommend upgrading from console to PC just for a slick editing suite and even prettier graphics. “This is the third time in as many years that I’ve bought GTA 5.” I have a Grand Theft Auto 5 obsession, as I’m sure you know if you’ve […]

  • The Forest engine updated to Unity 5, major graphical and gameplay improvements made

    The Forest’s latest patch added substantial improvements to the game. The Forest version 0.16 is now live on Steam with plenty of new additions. The game has been ported over to Unity engine version 5. The plant and skin shaders have been replaced or rewritten. Many other visual tweaks have been made, such as model […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront banner leaks from Star Wars Convention

    EA has been setting up the Battlefront booth at Star Wars Celebration, and one leaked picture shows what could be the game’s main art. Someone on Reddit posted a picture of the game banner at EA’s booth. Here it is: Lots of things happening here. There’s a Star Destroyer in the distance, TIE Fighters and […]

  • Get GTA 5 working with Oculus Rift using this tool

    There’s a way you can play GTA 5 in VR if you own an Oculus Rift Dev Kit and have a bit of cash to spare. VorpX, the go-to program for adding VR support to games has received an update recently to support GTA 5. This is far from perfect, as it only translates the […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 15 team revealed

    This week’s Team of the Week is now available for anyone to challenge in FIFA Ultimate Team. The team members get selected each week based on their performance during the weekend matches. You can fire up FIFA Ultimate Team on any platform and challenge this squad. You’ll also find some Team of the Week items […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will let you stealth all encounters, including bosses

    Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will bring back one of the original game’s major features. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is considered by many to be a great game and worthy of bearing the franchise name. One of its grating issues though was its boss fights. You only had one way to fight them: be confrontational. The […]

  • Project Cars PC specs and supported wheels announced

    The release date of Project Cars is inching ever closer and more details have been revealed to answer all your burning questions. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad Studios has revealed the full list of supported steering wheels on all platforms, as well as the minimum and recommended PC specs. Minimum specs CPU – 2.66 GHz […]

  • GTA 5 gets custom FOV mod on PC

    Those not satisfied with GTA 5′s built-in field of view slider can use a new mod to push the number even further. The PC versions of GTA 5 – just like its PS4 and Xbox One counterparts – lets you switch between third and first-person view in shooting and driving. The game has an FOV […]

  • Win! GTA 5 on PC!

    Want to win a Steam key for Grand Theft Auto 5 on PC? Just enter here. GTA 5 released on PC this week and is going down a storm. We like it a lot, which is why we’re giving away a Steam code for Rockstar’s latest. All you need to do is enter your email […]

  • GTA 5 topples Skyrim’s record for highest concurrent players on Steam

    Not factoring in Valve games, GTA 5 is the new king of concurrent player numbers on Steam. GTA 5 is very popular on PC, even more popular than games like Skyrim in its heyday. The number of concurrent players for GTA 5 has peaked today at 301,246. This makes it the only non-Valve game to […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: what does a modern fighting game look like?

    Mortal Kombat continues to evolve as NetherRealm adds RPG systems and daily challenges to a solid fighting game, says Sherif Saed. “Mortal Kombat X takes many cues from games like Destiny, Call of Duty, and GTA Online with hourly, daily and weekly events.” For as many of its familiar facets, Mortal Kombat X has enough […]

  • J-Stars Victory VS+ coming west in June – new trailer

    J-Stars Victory VS+ will make the jump (see what I did there) to the west after all. J-Stars Victory VS+ is the western title for the fighting game which stars characters from a variety of Shonen Jump-published manga. Bandai Namco has announced the fighter will release in Europe on June 26 and in the Americas […]

  • Codemasters F1 license good through 2016

    Codemasters has at least one more F1 game in it. F1 2015 isn’t out yet, so Codemasters is naturally not talking about what it might get up to in the future. We do know what it can get up to, though; Codemasters’ Steven Embling told Videogamer has the option to continue the series. “We have […]

  • Project Cars has pretty deep graphics options on consoles

    Project Cars offers players a wide variety of ways to customise their graphic settings on PS4 and Xbox One. Project Cars is a graphics showcase and all early indications suggest it’s going to be one of the best-looking games out there. Slightly Mad’s commitment to graphics seems to go deeper than making things pretty, though: […]

  • Super Smash Bros. patch nerfs Diddy Kong – report

    Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U is great but Diddy Kong is a beast and must be stopped. The latest Super Smash Bros. 3Ds and Wii U patch seems to have nerfed Diddy Kong, a character so over-powered that serious tournament players generate controversy by choosing to use him. Nintendo doesn’t publish patch notes, […]

  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer shuttered

    Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel developer 2K Australia has been closed down. Kotaku broke the news, and also had word from an anonymous source, who said that all staff have been let go. 2K responded to our request for comment with the following statement: We can confirm we have taken steps to begin the studio closure process […]

  • Samorost 3 trailer shows Amanita still in fine form

    Samorost 3 looks as delicately beautiful as its siblings. Samarost 3 developer Amanita Design has a reputation for gorgeous, slightly surreal world building. This new trailer for its latest adventure looks just as if not more lovely than the previous Samarost games and Botanicula. Samarost 3 is coming to Mac and PC later this year, […]

  • Amnesia dev’s new project SOMA now in beta

    SOMA is nearly here and I am torn between excitement and horrified dread. SOMA is the latest horror project from Frictional, the team behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent. We’re pretty excited to see what Frictional comes up with next, and we won’t have too long to wait, apparently; the developer has announced that SOMA is […]

  • Steam Guard mobile authenticator now in beta testing

    Steam is now testing its latest security measure. Steam helps you protect your account by offering two-factor authentication, a solution so beautifully elegant and effective that it’s astounding every gaming network doesn’t do the same (looking at you, Sony). Valve’s version is called Steam Guard, and it works via email. This isn’t always super convenient, […]

  • Godzilla battles Mothra in new trailer

    Godzilla lets you stomp around cities and battle classic kaiju. I’m in. Godzilla is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 in early July, but we haven’t seen a great deal of it since its December reveal. The new trailer below gives you an idea of just what Natsume has done with one of the biggest […]

  • Tales of Zestiria to launch this year – new trailer

    Tales of Zestiria continues Bandai Namco’s delightful new habit of bringing the popular JRPG series to the west before the shine wears off. Tales of Zestiria is coming west in northern autumn, the publisher has announced. That’s not a bad turnaround, given it first hit Japan in January, and localisation of text-heavy titles is expensive […]

  • Project Cars release date locked down, new trailer released

    Project Cars finally has a release date. Project Cars will release on May 8, Bandai Namco UK has announced. We haven’t yet had an update from Namco Bandai’s other regional offices, but its probably safe to bet the racer will release around the same time in the Americas, Europe and ANZ region. We can now […]

  • Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains trailer shows combat, online multiplayer

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains has plenty to offer fans of the anime. Previously known as Attack on Titan: The Last Wings of Mankind, the Spike Chunsoft action game is coming west thanks to Atlus. Gematsu reports it’s due in both Europe and North America in May, via the 3DS eShop. The trailer below […]

  • Bloodborne stamina recovery rate affected by equip weight

    Bloodborne players have unearthed an important gameplay detail not mentioned in the game’s menus or manual. In Bloodborne, players need to manage their stamina carefully for best results. A far more aggressively-tuned affair than past Souls games, Bloodborne does away with equip weight limits, and items have no listed weight details. As far as players […]

  • Street Fighter’s Ryu, Fire Emblem’s Roy spotted in Super Smash Bros. patch – rumour

    Street Fighter’s Ryu is rumoured for future Super Smash bros DLC following datamining of the latest patch. Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U were updated recently, and hacker shinyquagsire23 claims to have found some interesting files while poking around in the 3DS patch data. As detailed on Reddit, the audio files included a new […]

  • Suikoden 3 PEGI rating suggests PS2 Classic re-release

    Suikoden. Suikoden 2. And now: Suikoden 3. Suikoden 3 has been rated by PEGI for PlayStation 3, presumably ahead of an upcoming re-release. Gematsu turned up the rating, and although we have no further information at this time, it’s not much a leap to assume the RPG will turn up as a PS2 Classic on […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront gameplay reveal to be streamed live, new Instagram tease

    The Star Wars Battlefront gameplay reveal will be live-streamed during a panel hosted by EA as part of the Star Wars Celebration festivities this Friday. This is according to an announcement from Verizon and Disney courtesy of MP1ST. The main stream for the event kicks off at 10am PDT/1pm EDT on Thursday, April 16. It […]

  • GameStop to launch retro game and console trade-in experiment

    GameStop wants to get into the retro game and console business, providing it’s a worthwhile endeavor. To test the possibility, it will soon allow customers in Birmingham, Alabama and New York City to trade-in classic consoles and games in-store. Speaking with IGN, a spokesperson for the company said the initiative will kick off on April […]

  • Battlefield Hardline’s first patch addresses five priority issues requested by the community

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch is in the works, and today, Visceral Games has added Punkbuster and Nvidia DirectX driver fixes to the list of issues to be addressed. Miscellaneous fixes for “the most frequent crashes” will be included in the patch, as well as the following “top five priority” issues voiced by the community. Punkbuster […]

  • GTA 5 user videos: Franklin’s exploits, a traffic jam tickle our funny bone

    Since GTA 5 was released on PC this week, the amount of videos being created with the new editing tools are releasing at a quick rate. Below, are three in particular I found amusing. The first one is from James McVinnie, originally posted on Reddit, showing what occurs after he happens upon vehicles in a […]

  • Invisible Inc. is coming to PS4 and has left Steam Early Access

    Invisible Inc., from Don’t Starve developers Klei Entertainment, has been announced for PlayStation 4 and the game has also a release date on PC. The game has now left Steam Early Access and will arrive on PC May 12. Per a post from studio founder Jamie Cheng on the PS Blog, the game will contain […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Ascendance DLC dated for PC and PlayStation

    The Ascendance DLC pack for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare now has a release date for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4. It contains four new maps, the OHM 2-in-1 directed energy light machine gun, the OHM Werewolf custom variant, and the new Exo Grapple ability and playlist. The Infection episode of the exo Zombies saga […]

  • Killing Floor 2 PC specs and Digital Deluxe Edition contents announced by Tripwire

    A Digital Deluxe Edition for Killing Floor 2 along with PC specs for the title have been announced, along with the new of a Steam Early Access launch later this month. According to Tripwire Interactive, the Digital Deluxe Edition will run you $39.99/£26.99/€36.99 starting on April 21 on Steam. This edition contains the following additions […]

  • Content in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood tips its hat to Return to Castle Wolfenstein

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, the standalone prequel to last year’s Wolfenstein: The New Order, will contain a few nods to the franchise classic Return to Castle Wolfenstein, according to the developers. According to developer MachineGames, the setting works “well with the pulp B-movie thing we’re going for,” and created a prequel instead of DLC for […]

  • Bloodborne is the latest to receive the Honest Game Trailers treatment

    Smosh Games has released another entry in its Honest Game Trailers series, and this time, it’s poking Bloodborne. According to the trailer, the game is “more disturbing” than the scene in South Park: The Stick of Truth where you are “crushed by your own Dad’s balls.” It also has more “stupid top hats than a […]