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SimCity E3 trailer and screens show off tilt-shifted simulation, a purple monster

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Maxis' new GlassBox engine (opens in new tab) is looking exceptionally elegant. It simulates resources, cars, buildings, and people as individual agents with their own agendas, and displays it in realtime. Back in April I visited Maxis for a hands-off demo of the software, and watching city mechanics emerge from all those little interactions was fascinating. See what I mean in the new E3 trailer and screenshot gallery inside.

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Night traffic

I've embedded the new trailer (opens in new tab) below -- continue through the gallery for the latest screens with details and quotes from the developers.

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This shot is a good example of the tilt-shift effect which appears when viewing cities at shallow angles. The loss of focus in the foreground and background helps give it that miniature model look, and Maxis is playing that up. Creative Director Ocean Quigley discussed the decision when I visited the studio in April:

"A huge inspiration for us has been the aesthetic of tilt-shift," said Quigley. "It's like a little miniature world you can reach in and manipulate. You sort of have a sense that you can bat those cars around with your hand for example, or flick the buildings over with your finger."

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.