More details have appeared regarding the new direction being taken by the next installment in the SimCity franchise. Last week, Jim reported on the announcement that SimCity Societies is to take a greater interest in the lives of its virtual citizens than previous installments have, and today EA went further into exactly how that’s going to work.
While building your potential hub of the next global superpower, you’ll have the new factor of “social energies” to consider, and how you set up your city to manipulate these will dictate the sort of place it is to live in. Depending on how you juggle social factors such as industry, wealth, obediance, knowledge, devotion and creativity within your building schemes, you will have the ability to generate or consume social energy as you see fit, ensuring that your citizens either skip merrily along with the sparkly-eyed, optimistic gait of 1950s sitcom characters, or trudge meaninglessly through a miserable Orwellian nightmare, existing only to serve the state.
Hopefully the game will carry the concept off well, with a whole new set of social scenarios to deal with arising from the player’s actions. There’s definitely something in the idea of a SimCity game forcing the player to find new ways of making money, once the legion of stoner hippies they’ve created decides to sit around eating cookies intead of going to work; or which lets the user find out just how easy it is to ignore the impassioned pleas of a starving, overworked underclass when it’s less profitable to help. Pulled off properly, this could become a mandatory training aid for aspiring polititians.
We’ll find out the results of the experiment in November. In the meantime, check out the wealth of screens in the gallery.