Hi everyone – I’m Lucy Bradshaw and I lead the Maxis Label here at EA. Last week, we held a Reddit Ask Me Almost Anything (AMAA) where we gave fans a chance to speak directly to the development team creating SimCity. First off, I want to personally thank everyone who asked us questions and participated in the event –the team really appreciates your feedback. We received some great questions on a range of topics, including the city size, the GlassBox engine powering SimCity, and even how many splines we’ve reticulated over the years (short answer: a lot).
One particular topic that was brought up during the chat was our decision to require an online connection to play the game. I’ve also been talking to fans directly on this subject and I wanted to put some of my thoughts on this here on our blog. I understand why this may be a concern for fans who have been playing SimCity for decades now. Like all of you, I’m a long-time SimCity fan. But it’s not just me – we have several veterans from previous versions of the game here at the Maxis studio, and we are all proud and excited about the game we’re making and we think you’ll really love it.
Creating a connected experience has always been a goal for SimCity, and this design decision has driven our development process for the game. This is easily the most ambitious game in the franchise and we’ve taken great care to make sure that every line of code embodies the spirit of the series. To do this, we knew we had to make sure we put our heart and souls into the simulation and the team created the most powerful simulation engine in its history, the GlassBox Engine. GlassBox is the engine that drives the entire game — the buildings, the economics, trading, and also the overall simulation that can track data for up to 100,000 individual Sims inside each city. There is a massive amount of computing that goes into all of this, and GlassBox works by attributing portions of the computing to EA servers (the cloud) and some on the player’s local computer.