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SimCity 3000 simulator: declassified

Declassified SC3000.COM was beckoned into a dark alley by an undisclosed source, the likes of whom nobody will ever know. The information that follows is not guaranteed to be 100% accurate, but should help quench some of that thirst you've been suffering over the details of the SimCity 3000 Simulator.

SC3000.COM: Will users be able to change game variables with plug-ins? In other words, can user-made or Maxis-made add-on structures have their own attributes that affect the simulator?

Shadowy figure: Not sure on this issue.�Users will definitely be able to import buildings from the BAT tool, however.� If the user doesn't get to add their own attributes in the initial release version, it's likely to be included in the Gold version, or perhaps in a later updated BAT tool.

SC3000.COM: Approximately how many variables are there total (simulator-specific variables)?

Shadowy figure: There are approximately 500 variable total.� They range from budget costs, to pollution effects, to valve settings (RCI balance).

SC3000.COM: How well are the variables tuned to mimic real-world models?

Shadowy figure: The variables are not tuned to exactly mimic real-world models.� Maxis is in the business of making games, so first and foremost we had to make the game fun, and it had to make sense.� Fans needn't worry though, at some point after the game is released, [mumbles something about releasing something cool after the game is shipped.]

SC3000.COM: How long did it take to fine-tune the variables?

Shadowy figure: Fine tuning of the variables was an ongoing process that lasted for 3-4 months.� Some parts of the game weren't finished, and some areas weren't functioning properly, so there was a lot of tuning and retuning as simulators were completed or fixed.

SC3000.COM: How much does the simulator rely upon randomness?

Shadowy figure: Some sim layers rely on randomness, while others don't.� The 'randomness' is usually pseudo-random, as it relies on percentage chances of events occurring.

SC3000.COM: Does SC3K have a distinct simulator for every model in SC3K, or are most things coupled into fewer but larger simulators? How do each of these simulators interact with and affect one another?

Shadowy figure: Some simulators are similar, but they are all distinct individual simulators.� You've got Flammability & Fire coverage, Crime & Police Coverage, Land Value, Pollution (Air, Water), Garbage, Traffic, Health, Education, water.� You'll have to play the game to see how they interact with each other, or I'll save the rest of this question for another day... the answer is long...

SC3000.COM: How was the simulator conceived? Was SC2K's simulator used to build upon, or was SC3K's simulator built from scratch?

Shadowy figure: 2K simulator was used as a reference, but the 3K simulator was built from scratch.� Will Wright was consulted on some of the more hairy points of the simulator, but basically 3K is built on some principles utilized in 2K.

SC3000.COM: How much research went into designing the simulator? What type of outside companies/organizations were enlisted to help?

Shadowy figure: The simulator was done completely in house.� I wasn't privy to much of the simulator design early on, so I don't know how much research went into it.

SC3000.COM: About how many man-hours were spent building the simulator altogether (or days or months if that is easier)?

Shadowy figure: Many months, I'd reckon between 8-10, before all kinks had been worked out. The simulator may have all been there after a few months, but getting it all to work together took between 8-10 months.

And with that, the shadowy figure walked off into the darkness.

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Last updated: 1/1/99

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