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SimCity History: SimCity 2000

As soon as players started building their cities with SimCity Classic, they admired the power and flexibility of the simulation, but of course, there was always room for improvement. What if players could also place schools and hospitals wherever they wanted? What about more complex, precise zoning? Why not have mountains and valleys instead of just flat terrain? The suggestions started pouring into Maxis.

Screen shotThe software company realized that players wanted more. Given the success of SimCity, a sequel would no doubt follow suit. With more powerful computer hardware becoming the mainstream, it was time to build a new simulation to take advantage of the emerging technologies. Using the suggestions sent in from loyal fans, Maxis set to work on building a new simulation. It was only a matter of time before online chat rooms buzzed with news, rumors, speculation, and wishlists for the new SimCity.

SimCity 2000 resulted, introduced in the winter of 1993. It featured a newer, more detailed isometric perspective, now in SVGA, which was a vast improvement over SimCity Classic's 16 color 2D overhead view--it was now possible to place buildings behind or in front of others, zoom in or out, and rotate the city to see every detail. In addition to the basic transportation model, players now had a complex water model incorporating pipes and allowing users to create waterfalls. Instead of just roads and rails, players could now add subways and highways to their cities. New buildings such as zoos, marinas, schools, city halls, statues, and colleges were added. Users could choose from nine power plants rather than two. SimCity 2000 also gave players more control of their cities with new management features such as infrastructure controls, funding levels, and city ordinances. Feedback was now possible through amusing newspapers. Finally, SimCity 2000 introduced the microsimulator: smaller, localized simulation models that provide statistics for their immediate environments.

Like its predecessor, SimCity 2000 had its fair share of add-ons. In addition to the standard scenario packages, Maxis released the SimCity Urban Renewal Kit, a utility that allowed users to draw their own buildings for inclusion in the game. This gave SimCity 2000 a much more personal touch--one that allowed mayors to create their home town more accurately than before.

SimCity 2000 is still going strong today and has hundreds of Web sites devoted to it. It filled the need for more power, more controls, and greater graphic quality. But for how long could it tame the hungry audience?

SimCity 2000 quick facts
Objects: ~184
Transit options: 4
Zone types: 8 (high/low densities; airport and seaport)

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