In Their Own Words: Johannes Peltola, Director of Product Management, SimCity BuildIt

There are so many opportunities to work in gaming all over the world. Meet Johannes Peltola from Helsinki, Finland.

How did the team come up with Mayor’s Clubs?

This is one of our most requested features. Our players have been asking for ways to form groups with other players to visit, trade for items, and chat. For quite some time, we have been looking for ways to have it seamlessly within the game experience.

How do Mayor’s Clubs change the way you can play SCBI?

Mayor’s Clubs brings completely new ways to play SimCity  BuildIt with other Mayors and even make new friends within the game. Clubs enable completely new strategies for winning in Contest of Mayors. Our creative players will be able to gather in likeminded company and compare their cities through visiting. Players who are more focused on trading will be able to make trading deals within their Clubs for items they need or want to sell. By enabling players to form communities and communicate inside the game, we are expecting to see many new and innovative ways to play SimCity BuildIt.

How long did Mayor’s Clubs take to implement, from beginning to end?

Mayor’s Clubs were the result of a process that started a full year ago, including design of the experience, creating back end support for Clubs, and wrapping it within the interface. We consider Mayor’s Clubs to be the first major step in building a deeply engaging social experience around SimCity BuildIt, so our work continues still.

What were the inspirations for this update?

We like to imagine Mayor’s Clubs to be like the exclusive gatherings for the rich and powerful of the world. For example, the Mayor’s Club Island is inspired by old spy movies and the hangouts that super villains would gather in to discuss plans for world domination.

What were some of the challenges the team discovered as they worked through the update?

One big challenge was the amount of work it takes to build all the underlying technology needed to run Clubs and Club Chat. We expect that many challenges are still ahead of us once we learn more about how players interact with Clubs.

Tell us more about Mayor’s Clubs–what does this update unlock for players?                                          

This update unlocks access to a new exclusive Mayor’s Club Island, revealed next to the Contest of Mayors Tower. There, Mayors will be able to join a Club or even create their own and become Club President. Mayors can then invite other players to join to chat about the joys of running a city, to plan strategies, and to trade items.

What was the reaction when the team first came up with Mayor’s Clubs?

Pure excitement! Many of us already had a masterplan on what our own unique Club would look like, but the most interesting part is to see in what new ways players will be transforming SimCity BuildIt with the Clubs.                                                                         

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