Warlock 2: The Exiled review

This way lies madness: Gaslamp Games and Clockwork Empires

The Elder Scrolls Online review

Maxis want to talk SimCity mods; "It's difficult to determine what mods cross the line"

Usually an always-online requirement makes the question of modding laughable - the shortest backroads route to a ban. But Maxis have drafted up a set of guidelines designed to permit mods that don’t interfere with their leaderboards or other players - and they’d like to know what you think.

The developers say that “encouraging the creativity of our players is an important part of what we do”. As a consequence, they want to run their guidelines past the SimCity community before they’re written into law.

The first draft permits the use of modes that “do not jeapordise the integrity of the gameplay or harm the experience of others”. What Maxis have in mind is art assets, especially for buildings and vehicles. What they don’t want is anything that might alter the simulation for regional multiplay games, or indeed the game’s key features. And naturally, they reserve the right to take “disciplinary action” against those who break the rules.

“Our goal is to ensure that we provide a place for all of our players to have fun while assuring them that the gameplay experience is safe and has integrity,” write the developers. “It’s difficult to determine what makes a ‘good’ or safe mod and what mods cross the line. 

“Clarifying guidelines for [User Generated Content] will help players understand where that line is and protect both our UGC and -non-UGC community. Ultimately we want everyone to have fun with the game, no matter how you play it.”

The discussion is happening in an officially-sanctioned thread on the SimCity forums, which has already attracted 10 pages of fevered debate. Maxis staff will be active there for the next few weeks, after which they’ll put together a final version of the guidelines.

Maxis seem very keen to implement a modding rule to suits everybody - they’re considering a ‘UGC’ region tag to let players opt-in, for instance - but I do wonder whether their suggested laws could stand to be loosened further to allow for changes to their iffy simulation, the source of so many players’ ire.

If you’re looking for cause to hope, remember Maxis lead architect Andrew Willmott’s words to RPS in March last year.

“We’re huge fans of our modding community,” he said at the time. “If you look at how Sim City 4 is still relevant today, it’s mostly because of the mods. We’ve designed things to be moddable, and we’re using the same patching system from Sim City 3000 and 4. Glass Box is built to be moddable.”

How would you like to see modding implemented in SimCity? What needs turning upside down in short order by the community?

Thanks, Eurogamer.

Login or Register
Moose Hugger's picture

I think I'd get back into simcity again. I've been off an on, but mod would be fun!

Moose Hugger's picture

This comment has been deleted by a moderator.


SimCity: Cities Of Tomorrow PC review

All aboard the local-motive: SimCity offline mode coming today via update 10

Night-mayor nearly over: SimCity offline mode is just a spot of "final testing" away

When Bradshaw said offline SimCity required "significant engineering", she was right - Maxis

Hell procedurally freezes over: SimCity is getting an offline mode

Maxis wants you to mod SimCity, but only if you play by their draconian rules


SimCity players in revolt after 2.0 patch leaves cities overflowing with bugs and faeces

SimCity: Cities of Tomorrow comes with more maps for everyone

SimCity Central Train Station is a "proof-of-concept" mod designed to herald a wave of custom buildings

Maxis "exploring the possibility" of a SimCity offline mode, but "will not be providing bigger city sizes"

SimCity: Cities of Tomorrow expansion summons commercialist dystopia

How EA are teaching SimCity players about the work of the Red Cross


Lucy Bradshaw gives some "straight answers" about SimCity: "In many ways, we built an MMO”

SimCity Mac installation problems are resolved

SimCity is out on Mac today, shares Region play with Windows

SimCity update 7's road bridges and tunnels should put paid to traffic problems

SimCity update 7 brings further improvements to traffic. No more rubbish truck clumping

SimCity for Mac due for August 29 release, free for PC version owners


How EA could repair SimCity's disastrous launch

SimCity Update 7 introduces bridges, overpasses and tunnels for road builders

SimCity sells two million copies, "is a success" despite "really rough" first week

SimCity creative director leads upper-tier exodus at Maxis to start new simulation studio

Hints suggest offline mode may be coming to a SimCity near you

SimCity survey suggests EA want to double city size