Tuesday, April 30, 2013

All About Everything - Week of April 30, 2013

This Week's Topic: SimCity (1989 Video Game)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

SimCity is a city-building simulation video game, first released on October 3, 1989, and designed by Will WrightSimCity was Maxis' first product, which has since been ported into various personal computers and game consoles, and spawned several sequels including SimCity 2000 in 1993, SimCity 3000 in 1999, SimCity 4 in 2003, SimCity DSSimCity Societies in 2007, and SimCity in 2013. 

The objective of SimCity, as the name of the game suggests, is to build and design a city, without specific goals to achieve (except in the scenarios). The player can mark land as being zoned as commercial, industrial, or residential, add buildings, change the tax rate, build a power grid, build transportation systems and take many other actions, in order to enhance the city. Once able to construct buildings in a particular area, the too-small-to-see residents, known as Sims, may choose to construct and upgrade houses, apartment blocks, light or heavy industrial buildings, commercial buildings, hospitals, churches, and other structures. The Sims make these choices based on such factors as traffic levels, adequate electrical power, crime levels, and proximity to other types of buildings—for example, residential areas next to a power plant will seldom appreciate to the highest grade of housing.[8]

Also, the player may face disasters including flooding, tornadoes, fires (often from air disasters or even shipwrecks), earthquakes and attacks by monsters. In addition, monsters and tornadoes can trigger train crashes by running into passing trains. There was also a reported case of a nuclear meltdown. Later disasters in the game's sequels included lightning strikes, volcanoes, meteors and attack by extraterrestrial craft. In the Super Nintendo version and later, one can also build rewards when they are given to them, such as a mayor's mansion or a casino.

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Oh, how I loved SimCity. We had it in our middle school's computer lab, and during our 25-minute recesses we might be lucky enough to nab the computer that had SimCity installed on it. (If you weren't lucky, you got SimAnt, SimEarth, SimLife, etc., or Where In Something-Or-Other Is Carmen Sandiego, or Lemmings, or you had to play around on Hypercard, or, if you were really pathetic, you got to look up stuff on Grolier's Electronic Encyclopedia.) None of which was never as fun as BUILDING TINY CITIES and then DESTROYING THEM.

Why did I destroy them? Well, when you only had 25 minutes to build a city, and couldn't save your work (because those computers were terrible)... what else could you really do? Besides, all my cities were miserable and citizens would always leave in droves, unless I lowered taxes, and then I'd just go quickly broke. So 25 minutes was actually perfect -- enough time to establish a city with trains, buildings, lakes, and highways, but not enough time to watch it go to natural, inevitable, ruin.

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