How SimCity BuildIt Created Future Cities

Stanislav Stankovic, Senior Game Designer, talks about the new Future Cities update

EA PLAY 2016

The Future Cities update is available now for SimCity BuildIt, featuring OMEGA Labs & Research, the MagLev train and more!

We sat down with Stanislav Stankovic, Senior Game Designer at Tracktwenty Games, to learn about all the cool new stuff.


Q: What were the main impressions for the art style in SimCity BuildIt Future Cities?

A: I would say that the word that best describes it is "optimistic". We deliberately didn't want to go for some gritty version of the future. This is supposed to be future in which (responsible use of) technology makes our lives better.

What influenced the direction for this update – why did the team take the approach it did?

We have been issuing regular updates to SimCity BuildIt for some time now and we didn't want our cities to be stuck in perpetual now. We wanted to give to our players a little window into a near future.

Tell us a bit more about the narrative for SimCity BuildIt Future Cities – what is the story behind this update?

We live in a time when technology changes our lives better. It happens practically each day. We see companies that are really drivers of a change in the way we lead our everyday lives. Along comes a new service or a device. At first you might not even know that you need it but then later you wonder how did you ever managed to live without it.

We wanted to bring a bit of that feeling into the SimCity. OMEGA Co. is one such company. They have all this weird wonderful new technology that affects every aspect of Sims lives, from their homes to their power supply.

The update is different than a typical “future” update – can you explain why?

With "future" as a main theme, it is very easy to slip into usual sci-fi tropes. However, we wanted to have something that can seamlessly blend with the stuff we already have in the game, stuff that that players could integrate into their cities. We do have jetpacks and antigravity boots but for us it's more a tongue-in-cheek kind of thing.

What are the biggest changes for players coming in the Future Cities update?

In this update we introduce whole new gameplay loop, a whole new way in which players produce items. It requires a bit less planning and time management and a bit more unpredictable.


What is the dev team most excited about bringing to SimCity BuildIt with this update?

Stuff that you can buy in NeoMall is awesome! Also Robopets are really really cute.


What were some of the challenges in working through the update for the dev team?

With Future Cities we basically revisited all the mayor aspects of the game. I would say that this was the hardest part, how to strike a balance, to offer a new twist to already familiar game loops and yet keep it familiar to players.


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