The Return of the Original Sim (a.k.a. What Stephen’s Been Doing Outside Hideo)

In early December, I landed a QA (Quality Assurance) position with EA Maxis out in Emeryville, CA. The project? Sworn to secrecy at the time, I was informed that it was going to be a huge title for the studio. Three months later, we’re finally ready to announce that… SimCity is back.

Now, I’ll admit I haven’t played many SimCity titles. I remember trying to figure out SimCity 2000 on my father’s computer way back in the day and being amused by natural disasters (basically, this was me). Looking at this new SimCity with mature eyes (and an engineer’s mindset), I’m still amused by the randomness of natural disasters, but thoroughly enjoy the planning and development of a city. Given the nature of QA, I don’t always get to fully flesh out my visions, but I started to make mental notes of how to design cities and layouts; I keep things in mind and return to ideas to expand on them when I can. It makes me wonder why I never actually got into SimCity, or Civilization, or any simulation title, really… but I’m glad I can at least hop on with the latest and greatest here and watch it develop every day at work.

I’m really happy about this announcement (and finally being able to talk about it!) and looking forward to working on the rest of the game. As with any major media title, I can’t speak about specifics… but I can point you to PC Gamer and their exclusive coverage of SimCity in next month’s issue, as well as the official website of the game (fun fact: I was asked to revisit my childhood with SimCity 2000 and take screenshots of the game for the History timeline). We’re still quite a way off from 2013, but I’m sure there will be plenty of info in the coming months for those interested to hold you over until then!

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