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Thursday, February 28, 2013

How the new SimCity game could sell so many more copies without a lot of effort. #simcity


This is a major deviation from the normal content on this site, but I hope you find it interesting nonetheless.

It's been a long time coming. The new SimCity is coming out in just a few days. I'm really excited. The graphics look awesome. The game play is getting me hyped.

However, the new game is getting some grief from long time SimCity fans. I won't get into all the details here. I'll just summarize.

Long time fans don't like the small city size, non-adjacent city borders, and the lack of modding tools. Probably a few other things as well.

Many long term fans will not buy the game due to these "flaws." Some of these are deal breakers, others can wait. Non-adjacent city borders is a deal breaker for some. Not me per se. I'll eventually buy the game regardless, but I think a minor fix could mean more people buying the game.

And I think there are only two things that need to be added, either as a patch or downloadable content, to make a major dint in the number of complaints.
  • Adjacent City Borders
  • Highway Tool
I've read that the designers couldn't get adjacent cities to look right, but here's the deal. If long time fans will be able to build the mega metropolis that they want to, more people will buy the game.

Give them what they want, and they will buy it.

Adjacent city borders doesn't have to be a CPU issue. Blurring the adjacent city so that the game engine doesn't have to simulate more is an acceptable compromise. I don't know how much work would be involved, but I think it would be a minor update compared to all the other things that people are unhappy with.

Many are unhappy about the city size, for example, but I say that can wait until computers get faster. If the adjacent city can be seamlessly combined with the current city, the smaller city size is not as much of a deal breaker.

I added the highway tool to this small wish list because if you are going to give players access to the spaces between cities, they will need to be able to decide where the highway goes. The ability to mod would be nice but not a deal breaker at this time.

Anyway, I still recommend supporting this game. Hopefully it will be popular, giving the designers the ability to make it even better for several years to come.

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