SimCity is out Tuesday, and we'll be spending all week testing its live servers and multiplayer, where up to 16 cities can interact. We could just play amongst ourselves, but we had a better idea: assemble a mayoral superteam to cooperate and compete in the most absurd region SimCity will ever see.
Next week we'll be building cities alongside Veronica Belmont, Brian Brushwood, Robert Bowling, Ashly Burch, Chris Kluwe, Markus "Notch" Persson, Gary Whitta, Lead Designer Stone Librande, and urban planning expert Jordan Yin, Ph.D. There will be corruption. There will be greed. There will be sewage. We'll be documenting how everyone interacts in daily posts starting Tuesday.
As for our review, we'll post early SimCity impressions when the embargo lifts on Monday, then a final review on Friday. For now, read on for more about our exceptional multiplayer mayors, including what kind of city they plan to build, and how they'll torment the hapless citizens of their esteemed neighbors' cities.
Veronica Belmont co-hosts Tekzilla on Revision3 as well as science fiction and fantasy-themed podcast Sword and Laser . She's written for Slate, DoubleX, MaximumPC, and PC Gamer, and was the original host of Qore on the PlayStation Network.
Veronica says: "I prefer to rule with love rather than fear (I'm looking at you, Brushwood). My citizens will be filled with vim and vigor, excited to watch their city grow and change with them. Soylent green is SIMS!"
Brian Brushwood is an award-winning magician, host of Revision3's Scam School , and co-host of TWiT.tv's NSFWShow with Justin Robert Young. He's written several books , including The Professional's Guide to Fire Eating and the Scam School series.
Brian says: "I want my city to be a postmodern eyesore that will annoy all of you with it's very existence. Pro-Tip: Don't build downstream from me."
Robert Bowling is President of Robotoki , an independent developer currently producing Human Element . He was formerly Creative Strategist at Infinity Ward, where he became a prominent industry figure.
Robert says: "SimCity? More like SinCity. We will build the Atlantic City of the region. High in good times and crime and low on personal responsibility and education. Robotokians will single handedly leave a blight on our collective region that will be the anchor to our regional prosperity. See you all at the bottom!"
Ashly says: "I want my city to serve as a temporally condensed version of the events leading up to Biff gaining control over and destroying Hill Valley in Back to the Future Part II. That probably means lots of casinos and zero police stations. Also, sewage in the city center? We'll see where the mood takes us."
Chris Kluwe is an NFL punter for the Minnesota Vikings and bassist in Minneapolis band Tripping Icarus . He's also an avid gamer, outspoken equality activist, and supporter of Kick for a Cure and other charities.
Chris says: "SimCity has long been one of my favorite games, and I'm really looking forward to completely ignoring all the cool environmental upgrades and sustainable buildings so I can dump as much pollution on my neighbors as possible. I'm sure my citizens will love living in Poopytown."
Stone Librande is Lead Designer on SimCity, and teaches game design classes at Cogswell Polytechnical College in Sunnyvale, CA.
Stone says: "I enjoy making quaint low and medium density cities, with an emphasis on aesthetics over a large population and a huge revenue stream. Usually I avoid any industrial zoning in order to keep the pollution level low and the quality of life high. But this time I want to see if I can add some low density, high-tech factories into the mix. I'll focus on a strong education first, then once that is in place I'll start to zone for industry in an attempt to skip over the dirty industrial phase."
Notch says: "The more highly educated nerds I can squeeze into my city, the better. I imagine a city where people invent teleportation in their spare time while reciting sci fi classics and plugging in USB cables the right way around on their first try."
Gary Whitta is an author and screenwriter ( The Book of Eli , After Earth ), as well as a game writer (Episode 4 of Telltale's The Walking Dead) and consultant. He was also Editor-in-Chief of some magazine called PC Gamer.
Gary says: "As I prepare to get my Mayor on I find myself thinking a lot about specializations. I'm sorely tempted by the option to load up my city with glitzy casinos and create a sin-fueled Utopia, but the high-tech Silicon Valley route also appeals. Ultimately I'll probably go with whatever approach makes me the most filthy rich."
Jordan Yin is the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Levin College of Urban Affairs, and the author of Urban Planning for Dummies . He may or may not make us all look like dummies as he puts the simulation to the test with actual urban planning expertise.
Jordan says: "As a trained urban planner, I'll be trying out some real-world techniques—like clustering high-density development around transportation hubs and trying to keep the pace of development under enough control to satisfy my NIMBYs. But, I might also have some fun doing stuff that planners never get to do in the real-world, like building car-free neighborhoods [ Ed. note: We're not sure this is possible in SimCity, but now we want it to be. ] or wind-powered casinos. I'm also looking forward to trying out SimCity's new ways to interact with other cities and their mayors (but I still haven't decided whether I'm going to be a burden-sharing hero or trash-dumping villain)."