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SimCity - Telephone City Part One

What happens when one city has multiple Mayors? That’s the question we answered by having six members of the Maxis team play the same city over a course of a day. The rules were simple: one developer picked a city and played for exactly 30 minutes. Once the time was up, another team member picked up where the last Mayor left off. And this continued until all six Maxis Mayors had a chance to play. Thus, the SimCity Telephone City is born.

Below you’ll find the first part of our telephone city broken up by the different Maxis developers.

Mayor 1: Software Engineer Scott Clarke:
I was lucky enough start off our Telephone City. I thought of the many ways I could troll everyone else by creating traps and/or obviously bad situations for them to deal with. First things first, though – I need to find a good spot to start up a city. Since this will be single city, I want to be sure it has enough resources to sustain itself. I find a nice spot which has a good amount of just about every resource I could possibly need. As an added plus, there are also rail and water connections!

Next, once I am in the city, I want to look at all the resource maps and figure out where I want to place things. I notice that there is a strip of high value land which is perfect for residential and commercial development. It just happens to be situated between an oil deposit and an ore deposit. I have found my trap!

First, I build up a nice little town right on top of that high value area, and then build up a mine and some industry upwind of it. I also decided that traffic needed to be an issue, so I made sure there were a few choke points where all traffic had to pass each day. As a cherry on top, I place the elementary school right over the oil field. If someone wants oil, there will be bigger consequences.

Before I wrap up and hand off the city, I make sure all the basic services are supplied, trades are flowing, and everything looks happy and seems to be running smoothly. I can’t wait to see how everyone else deals with the traps I laid out.

Mayor 2: Senior Designer Brian Bartram:

Construction of my Smelting Plant was completed just before sunrise. I think it was serendipitous that I took this shot, not realizing that the color of the molten metal at the Smelting Plant resembled the golden haze of the sun as it seeps around the edges of my Trade HQ. Looking at it now it feels inspiring, like the dawn of a new enterprise.

What a difference at night for this city! The burnt reds of the dirty industry are subdued at night and the blues of street lights and office buildings takes control. I love how the arc and curvy road tools allow you to wrap the terrain in roads and zones. I’ve become totally addicted to the Arc Road Tool and the Circle Road Tool.

I wanted to leave a unique mark on this town before I handed it off to the next Mayor. I decided that a landmark seemed to have the most unique identity, and noted that St. Basil’s Cathedral is a pale red that very closely resembles the metals and industrial buildings in this city. I put it down right near the city center, close to the Smelting Plant, and liked the effect. Who knows if it will still be there after this city passes hands a few times. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here!

Mayor 3: Gameplay Engineer Richard Shemaka:

I sit down and immediately see a strangely zoned district near the water front. Industrial is parked right next to residential in a prime spot on the map. I’ve demolished the whole space and dezoned to make way for my new tourist trap.

Getting taxis and tourists to come through this huge mess of a road network is going to be an issue. I’ll set up a ferry to bring in the herds more efficiently

Even with a ferry, I’m still not seeing the number of tourists that I’d like. I’m going to expand the bus system to help even out traffic and hopefully entice even more Sims.

Mayor 4: Lead Gameplay Scripter Guillaume Pierre:

So I’m not sure what happened to the ore mine, but it’s not on top of the deposit anymore. It’s a good thing, since it was totally unsightly just across from the cathedral. So the first thing I did was planting trees in that empty space, making it pretty and bringing life back to it.

I like how there’s an avenue going through the business district, but traffic there might become a problem over time. Let’s upgrade to an avenue with streetcars!

The casino area was totally run down, despite an interesting road layout. With a few parks the area looks much better! Let’s get some high-wealth tourists in here already!

The garbage dump filled up, and there’s no room to expand it, so now I’m burning things instead of burying them.

The first residential tower sprouted up across the street from St. Basil’s Cathedral!

My Sims education was lagging; this expanded school should take care of their needs: more classrooms! More buses! Bus stops everywhere!

The shuttle bus system was quaint, so I upgraded it to the big city buses. Traffic jams should now be a thing of the past.

And finally, right as my time is up, I upgraded the trading facilities to a shipping port, so whoever is next will be able to ship even more alloy than before!

That’s it for today! Will Telephone City’s elementary school make it through another day or will the next mayor tear it down for industrial gain? Will tourists flock to the cathedral or will they flee the smog-ridden air? Find out next week when Telephone City sees another sun rise and fall in its quest for city growth and posterity.

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