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How Do You Put the Sim in SimCity?

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Ocean Quigley has been at Maxis since 1995. In that time, he's been an artist and art director, and now serves as creative director on the company's newest SimCity title -- which is due to be released next year, simply under the title SimCity.

This game marks a new horizon for the series: For the first time, computing power has increased to the point where the simulation can be built from the ground up, with individual simulation elements (Sim citizens, buildings, vehicles) able to react to one another to produce a full city simulation. Previous games in the series faked granular detail.

As an artist, Quigley wants the game to visually portray information to the player as much as possible -- to instantly represent decisions in the world itself, rather than forcing the player to look at charts, graphs, and menus.

Quigley explains the work he and others at Maxis have done to achieve this, and how the team makes creative decisions that impact not only the simulation, but also bring forth satisfying decisions for players and also accurately reflect the ways in which these systems interact in the real world.

Read more: http://www.gamasutra..._in_simcity.php