Will Wright: SimCity initially “felt a little claustrophobic”


One of the major concerns that’s come out of the hands-on previews and beta tests with the new SimCity has been the limit on city size. It’s felt a tad restrictive, forcing you to demolish and rebuild sections of your city repeatedly in the search for living space. Turns out Will Wright, the creator of the original Sim City and overseer of the series since, felt the same thing, saying in a recent Q&A “My initial thought was that it felt a little claustrophobic” but this didn’t put him off.

His reason for this reaction, well, I can’t give it away before the break. There’d be no fun in that.

The discussion of size crops up at the 1.08 mark but it’s a short video so you should try and watch the full thing, even just for the shiver of excitement that comes withhearing Will Wright talk about cities and how he used neighbourhoods as “test tubes”.

So, Will’s defence of the small city is “it allowed [him] to get into the simulation sooner”. Had he been dealing with a larger city then the same problems of traffic, resource management, and fostering prosperity would have arisen, so he doesn’t see the limitations as a game-breaking problem.

“It was more about the quality of what I was building and less about the quantity,” he went on to say. And I can see his point, I’ve not yet had a chance to play the game but the problems of creating a micro city that is able to cater to the needs of all your citizens seems like it would require a defter touch than that of the city planner who can just womp down a massive slab of industrial sector whenever his or her low income housing community kick up a fuss.

It’s just a few short days till SimCity’s 5 March release date.