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A glimpse inside the GlassBox engine

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A demonstration of the GlassBox engine used to power the next SimCity game. Though not final graphics, we can see some nice level of detail when up close to a building.

Part 1 of 4
Part 2 of 4
Part 3 of 4
Part 4 of 4


33 Comments

I hope the construction sequence of individual buildings is better then 4, would be nice to see workers bring in equipment and cranes and assemble the structure rather then have it rise out of the ground. But Initial concepts and trailers are not always proved to be true, look at simcity 4's first trailer showing a totally different construction sequence than the final product...sometimes I feel Maxis is a little over zealous with the theatrical trailers of its games.
This looks pretty interesting! I like how you can add modules to existing buildings.
Looks too childish to me.
Wow the game mechanics are super fascinating. I think this very conceivable and simplistic engine is the trick to allowing a complex game but easily understood for the beginner. I love the logic and full circle planning it makes it seem much more alive.
Jakehh: I agree buttttt keep in mind modding and a year to go and the fact that they do say that the graphics are not final. So far tho they definitely haven't put in the time I would like them to into realism, roads and realistic buildings rather then what I can only describe as candy land. We will see where this aspect leads, either way I think it's a strong base with massive potential
I know, but if i get my hopes down, then when the release is up and the graphics are 100000x better than this, i'll be happy.
Nice video, I'm sure the graphics are not final, and I hope there not. I think one thing I will miss and that's working hard to place water pipes, I ready to see if you can put down subways lines, I hope it's the same a Sim City 4.
Oh thank god they brought back zoning! Although the houses look weird.. But I know this is just the beguining, so for now its fine. :D
I have to be honest. While this engine is all very fascinating, I'm not liking what I see as far as the city goes. It looks typical 3D city, what I mean is taking a 2D game and upgrading it to 3D and everything gets all huge and then we don't really have metropolis's anymore with millions of citizens, we have small cities or towns.

While I am one of the people that like cartoony graphics, what they are showing are even too cartoony for me in a SimCity game, I hope this is not indicative of what the final graphics are going to look like.
Game looks decent so far. A bit cartoony for my taste, but it looks like a SimCity.
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ilikehotdogsalot
Mar 08, 2012 - 01:20 AM
Considering all the thought they put into the agents and the game mechanics, I'm hoping this will translate to great graphics. It looks like the city tile is still there and you can modify the terrain. All good news in my opinion. Cautiously optimistic here.
Maxis has definitely raised the notch on simulation mechanics, the detail is mind blowing! Maxis never fails to surpass my SC expectations...

Graphics. GFX is obviously in it's prototype. But by the looks of it, it seems that they are taking the look that will appeal to a wider range of people, that is to be slightly cartoony (let's face it, CXL realism looked bland to the eyes of the usual consumer). I know most of you feel off for this, but let's not forget that Maxis is going to give the fan base some modding tools, as some had already mentioned. Being long time SC fans, we should know better how this community can deliver when given the right equipment. ST has been there, and we know that almost nothing is impossible when it comes to modding. And as Maxis (the guys that gave us the ability to mod since SC2K, mind you) had told us, they know how important modding is to us.
I'm really impressed with the little snippets from the GlassBox presentation. These guys have really come up with a sleek simulation system. Also, while the graphics are definitely still on the unfinished side, I see some very NWM-ish looking roads in there.
I really do enjoy the clarity and the intelligent design of the inner workings of Simcity (5)! It seems they have learned ALOT in their ... vacation since 4 and are putting it to good use.

Though, like I said, I really enjoyed the vids, one thing when it comes to zoning and inhabitation that seems to be absent concerns me: Lack of mixed-zoning. I understand that simplicity is clear and working (both developmentally and economically speaking) but, come on! I think it will take the entire series to a whole nother level to be able to implement the basic real world functioning of Resi-comm, comm-comm, even indi-comm, and Resi-comm-com buildings!

And on a funnier note, was anyone else slightly creeped out whenever that guy laughed?
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ilikehotdogsalot
Mar 08, 2012 - 03:32 AM
^ Yes! The guy's laugh seriously bugged me lol.
I was actually surprised at the mechanics of demand for work power. It's more intuitive and certainly more graphic for the player AND Moders.
What worries me though is the absence of water piping straight out however, with the 'signaling system' it would technically be viable to create an independent network to carry the water supply/demand signals (analogous to SimCity 4).
Looks promising so far to say the least. Good to see the level of detail the simulation system is getting. I can definitely imagine it adding to the complexity of managing a city, in particular as the population level increases.

I do wonder though as to how big cities can become in this state without lagging, since if all those sims are going to be tracked, along with goods, signals, etc I can imagine a 10 million resident city becoming quite the resource hog.
Looks promising so far to say the least. Good to see the level of detail the simulation system is getting. I can definitely imagine it adding to the complexity of managing a city, in particular as the population level increases.

I do wonder though as to how big cities can become in this state without lagging, since if all those sims are going to be tracked, along with goods, signals, etc I can imagine a 10 million resident city becoming quite the resource hog.
Guys chillax!

This is a demonstration of game engine NOT the graphics!
huinea oameni buni
i like this concept of industry. i never quite understood why freight had to go to the nearest road that connects to a neighboring city in SC4. Sometimes, you just connect a road to a neighboring city even if there is no city existing adjacent yours.

i never thought the graphics to be cartoonish, perhaps the word is... familiar.
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The_City_Builder
Mar 08, 2012 - 12:03 PM
This game will have zones right?
This is very intuitive engine. I wonder how large of a city one can make? I suppose more detail will be released. But simulation wise, wow, I am impressed.

I am so excited. Obviously the graphic are in their early stages. What is important right now is seeing how efficient the simulating algorithms are, and not bog down on game play experience.
For those wondering, the graphics are not final (read the video description below the video, might have to translate). As well, for those concerned with "childish" graphics, modders will be able to create more realistic buildings if the graphics become an issue, as game modification has been confirmed by Maxis.