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Ocean Quigley: city size limits in SimCity are a performance trade-off

22 Jan 2013 by Peter Parrish
Ocean Quigley: city size limits in SimCity are a performance trade-off


A sticking point about the new among long-term fans of the series has been the smaller areas present in the game for constructing your works of metropolitan wonder.

I asked Creative Director Ocean Quigley about the reasons for the more restrictive size limits, and whether they were a result of the challenges presented by working with the new GlassBox Engine.

“The most important thing about SimCity is the depth and fidelity of the simulation underneath it,” Quigley says. “So it’s a matter of trade-offs. The game has to run smoothly on ordinary computers, and I decided that it’s better to make cities with dense activity and visual detail over cities that are sprawling, but low resolution and inert.”

GlassBox, he told me, is simulating each building, car and Sim independently. A city in the new game is built out of “layered systems” all of which are simulating together.

“Of course, I’d like to have it all! More space to build would be better!” he adds.

“Computers will get more powerful in the future, allowing us to create bigger cities, but getting the simulation right is fundamental.”


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