From SimCity to Real Girlfriend: 20 years of sim games | Ars Technica
Build, craft, and control! SimCity BuildIt is an all-new SimCity game designed just for mobile. Available now on iOS and Android for free. Sim City: The Card Game is an out-of-print collectible card game based on the video game SimCity. It was released in. We got our hands on the new "SimCity" game, and discovered many of its I had to get a bond to fund all my utilities, because your Sims get.
True to the open-ended spirit fostered by Wright's design, a common approach was to abuse or run experiments on Sims. There was a certain sadistic thrill in locking a Sim in a room with no exit or toilet but perhaps with a TV or refrigerator or watching a Sim drown in an inescapable swimming pool.
Enough players had a more productive bent, however, that EA managed to release seven expansions—each more frivolous than the last—and a huge community of creators formed around the build and design tools.
It turns out that some people actually played The Sims as though it were real life. The inevitable sequel, The Sims 2, arrived inbut not before one of the few clones, Space Colonyhit store shelves. Space Colony took two major departures from The Sims: Space Colony matched The Sims in humor and general zaniness, but it barely put a dent in the sales of EA's behemoth franchise. Space Colony—one of only a few games to try competing with The Sims. The Sims 2 built on the foundations of its predecessor to add weekly cycles, additional life stages, genetic traits including dominant and recessive genes, which affected the appearance and personality of Sim offspring3D graphics, vastly improved AI behavior, and an even more fleshed-out modding system.
Eight expansions and nine "stuff packs" followed the initial release, as The Sims franchise filtered further into mainstream culture. The Sims 2 was a big step up in both visuals and simulation. The Sims 3 gave players much greater access to the world of their Sims, opening the entire neighborhood and Sims' places of work to meddling and shenanigans. Each Sim had a distinct personality, with certain traits, skills, and goals that affected behavior and growth.
And at last the Sims were smart enough that you could play the game entirely as an observer, giving them "life" then watching to see what would happen as they tried to make their own way in the world. This was done particularly effectively—and poignantly—by Robin Burkinshaw, whose experiment in Sim homelessness followed the eccentric Kev and his daughter Alice as they tried to survive life sleeping on a bench in an abandoned park with no money or possessions. The Sims 3 made yet more impressive bounds forward in AI and graphics, with the highlight being decent Sim autonomy.
How about a date? Apart from a few hybrids such as Persona and Star Ocean, dating sims have never been popular outside Japan.Pico's EPIC Climax! - Pico Sim Date
Within Japan, though, the genre thrives, reaching its tentacles into all kinds of games. The "sim" part of the name is something of a misnomer, though, as there is very little simulation in most dating sims—they typically play out like strategy-RPGs, text adventures, or visual novels. Some have explicit sexual content, but many don't. For the first time, the player could interact with his or her neighbor cities, negotiating rudimentary business deals with other mayors, such as the sale or purchase of waterelectricityor waste management services.
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These generate a monthly charge which is either added to or subtracted from the player's treasury, in accordance with the deal. Canceling a neighbor deal will incur a substantial cash penalty.
From time to time, the simulated mayors of neighboring cities will call meetings to renegotiate the terms or price of these deals. Although not strictly a city management aspect, SimCity simulated the effect of land value on construction much more realistically than in SimCity In the latter, most buildings fell into a wide stratum that did not reflect land value very effectively; every building was more or less suited to neighborhoods of every economic disposition.
In SC3K, land value created distinct neighborhoods which tended to contain narrow income bands, creating well-defined slumsmiddle class areas, and wealthy areas. Land value is also determined by the city center effect where buildings that are at the city center have higher land values and those buildings on the borders have lower land values. The city center effect is determined by the location of buildings within the city. However, over time, land value " inflation " would cause almost every area of a city to become expensive, so that wealthy neighborhoods covered most if not all of the map.
Business deals were another new concept to SC3K. By allowing certain structures to be built within the city, the player could receive a substantial amount of funds from them. The four business deal structures are the maximum security prisoncasinotoxic waste conversion plantand the Gigamall a large shopping center.
Business deal structures however have serious negative effects on a city. The toxic waste dump lowers both the land value and residential desirability in the area surrounding it and produces massive pollution. The prison dramatically decreases land value. The casino increases citywide crime and the Gigamall weakens demand for local commerce. There were several changes to the graphical interface in SC3K.
Although the game retained the pseudo- isometric dimetric perspective of its predecessor, the actual landscape became more complex and colorful. In SC3K, the playable landscape was a more realistic green color, simulating grassland, along with other colors that progressively change by height, from beige beach sand to green to brown bare ground to white snow.
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In SC2K, land could either be flat or sloped, and all slopes were of the same steepness. In SC3K, there were five distinct steepness of slope, creating more varied landscapes. Also, for the first time, there were different types of trees which could appear on the playable map. In SC2K, there were only pine trees, while in SC3K, oak trees prevail, but other types of trees exist, depending on the elevation of the terrain.
SimCity 4 SimCity 4 was released on January 14, As with previous SimCity titles, SimCity 4 Sim4 places the player in the role of a mayor or several mayorstasked with populating and developing tracts of lands into citieswhile fulfilling the needs of fellow Sims who live there.
Cities are now located in regionswhich are divided into segments, each of which can be developed. Each region represents the metropolitan area of a city, while individual cities represent districts. The player has the option of starting the city in a segment of any of three area sizes; in actual measurement the smallest has a length of 1 kilometer on a side, and the largest has a length of 4 kilometers on a side.
The size of a region and its layout of segments can be changed in a bitmap file provided for each region.
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Zoning and building size have been improved for SimCity 4. Agriculture is now a separate industrial zone-type, allowing farms to grow regardless of high land valueso long as there exists demand for agriculture and agricultural zones have been provided.
Zones are now automatically aligned towards roads; streets are automatically created in a grid formation when zoning on tracts of land. Buildings are now classified into several wealth levels, zone types, and building size stages, which are affected by the region's population and the city's condition. The game simulates urban decay and gentrification with buildings deteriorating or improving accordingly.
Buildings originally constructed for occupation by higher wealth tenants can now support lower wealth tenants in the event surrounding factors forces the current tenants to vacate the building; this allows certain buildings to remain in use despite lacking its initial occupants.
Buildings and lots can now be constructed on slopes. SimCity 4 can be used in conjunction with The Sims. Sims can be imported into a city for use in the My sim mode.
City layouts created in SimCity 4 can be used as neighborhood templates in The Sims 2 ; the location of roads, trees, bridges, and map features such as rivers and hills are preserved in the importation. SimCity Societies Released inthe gameplay of SimCity Societies is significantly different from previous SimCity titles, with a greater focus on "social engineering". Instead, players get daily income from workplaces in the city. Transportation networks have been reduced to dirt roads, paved roads, subways and bus stops.
Players do not build zones, a key element of past SimCity games; instead, they have the ability to directly place individual buildings, something not seen in previous editions, and similar to Monte Cristo 's game City Life.