Build Your Utopia

SimCity (2013) is an upcoming city-building video game, developed by Maxis. The game serves as the sixth major release of the SimCity series, and is the first game since SimCity 4, which was released in 2004. The game will utilize the new simulation engine, called Glassbox, which alters the graphic animations to represent data. For example, rather than simply displaying a traffic jam animation to represent transportation flow, traffic jams are instead produced dynamically by masses of Sim agents that simulate travel to and from work.


SimCity 2013 includes several cosmetic changes, including up-to-date 3D graphics. The new GlassBox engine allows visual effects such as traffic, economic troubles, and pollution to be clearly represented to the player. New options include a multiplayer component, as well as finite resources that can help provide an additional challenge to expading your cities. Unlike previous games, the game will have non-orthogonal roads and zones. Terraforming the surrounding area now comes at a civil engineering scale, meaning that there can be natural consequences to laying out roads, developing zones, and placing buildings.

Learn more about the SimCity series

A new addition to SimCity 2013 is the ability for players to specialize their cities in certain industries. Some of these specializations include manufacturing, tourism, education, and more. After the player selects which specialization to focus on, the city can take on its own distinct appearance, simulation behavior, and economic strategies. Players have the ability to heavily specialize on one, or mold their city into multiple specializations to for a larger diversity. Chaining together specific specializations could lead to more benefits in the short and long term.

Data Visualization

SimCity 2013 has a brand new data visualization system, heavily influenced by Google Maps and infographics. Data in the game is shown to the player in an easily represented fashion. Animations and color-coded visuals cues can easily point out how efficiently a city is functioning. For example, when opening up a brand new water tower, a visualization will instantly change the landscape to clear view of the world. This allows the player to easily see where the density of the water is most recognizable. Clicking the sewage tab could immediately show the waste of the citizens and exactly where it's flowing, and whether the system is at or above capacity.


SimCity 2013 will be the first version of the game to feature a full online experience, allowing for regions to house multiple cities, each being controlled by a different player. These regions can be tuned to either private play, solo play, or open play. The multiplayer service will require players to stay constantly logged into EA's Origin service. An active internet connection will be required every time the game is launched and must be retained throughout gameplay. One of the features added to the multiplayer regions is the use of collaboration, in which cities in a region can share or sell resources, and work together to create "Great Works'.

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