SimCity Lead Designer Stone Librande has posted an official blog entry explaining the causes of some of SimCity's most discussed design decisions and flaws, including the "unavoidable (and illogical) traffic jams" that can form in high-density cities. According to Stone, a pathfinding patch is currently being tested internally, and he hopes to release it soon.
Among all the remakes, sequels, and spiritual reboots behind us in 2012 and ahead of us in 2013, SimCity's seems to stand out. I think it's because in order to rework SimCity—and do so authentically—you can't simply rewrite a lead character to make them more edgy, or add multiplayer, or append a few new features. You have to fundamentally rethink the way city builders should operate in the decade to come, and what people want in them.
I've been encouraged by SimCity's direction so far. With Glassbox, Maxis seems to have a tool that lets the art do much more of the heavy lifting in terms of expressing feedback, while stowing the numbery details beneath the skin of the game for data-minded mayors. It's an always-online game, but the collaborative nature of its multiplayer seems like the primary way I'll want to play. To get a better sense of how the project is going, I spoke with Lead Designer Stone Librande.
SimCity Lead Designer Stone Librande's blossoming casino empire looked fantastic when he first introduced it, including a look at unconventional trash handling methods which is seemingly growing into vogue among the development team. A new followup video checks in on Librande's progress, emphasizes the nifty resource sharing of multiplayer city zones, and starts a fire with meteors. Seriously.