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


Education connection

This is more like it -- a quaint college town. And look at all those little people. According to Lead Designer Stone Librande, the GlassBox engine can simulate tens of thousands of agents at a time. They live based on flowchart logic: Do I have money? I'll go shopping. Am I broke? I'll find a job. Are there no jobs? I'll go to the park. And so on.

Like buildings, Quigley says that rendering all these little citizens required some vaguely-stated optimization cleverness: “For the Sims, we've come up with this rendering technique, where they look fully 3D—they're lit, they're animated, they're full-on models—but a technique where we can render them in the thousands.”

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.