Saturday, August 18, 2007


Maxis games were always fun. You might consider them the God of simulation games 10 years ago, but there have been allegations of them copying ideas from Japan. I played most of their games though, SimCity, SimPark, SimTunes, SimTower, SimFarm etc. I wasn't a huge fan of Simcity per se, I preferred SimPark and SimTower; they were less intense and more creative.

I just downloaded SimTower and I'm just starting to realize all the diff mechanics I never found out as a kid. Very interesting indeed.

The guy who came up with the original concept and game for SimTower, Yoot Saito, had an interview with SEGA and this is what he said:

"I am a simulation game guy. I don't do RPGs. I don't do shooting games. So, in simulation [games], you have to tell stories without giving users one linear story, but by giving users a simulation model, so that users can select which way they want to go. In a role-playing game, at certain points, the game designer is going to provide two choices—go to the right or to the left. But in a simulation game, you have to provide an unlimited number of selections, because it's a simulation model. So this kind of framework… may I mention my last game, Sim Tower? It's a free-format game. You can build a skyscraper as you like, and it doesn't have a goal or an ending. It's like a sandbox, where you can create anything you like. Only, this game simulates elevators and [human] traffic, so it doesn't have any concept of air conditioning or earthquake protection. It didn't have any of those kinds of elements - only traffic. You have to decrease the stress of the people waiting for the [elevator] cars. So the mission of simulation game designers is to not add new things, but to remove things from reality, like a sculpture, so that only the required elements remain. So, first of all, to start designing a game, you have to get rid of things out of the chaos."


empathogen said...

used to love simtower :] it took a fair bit of strategy research before i could get anywhere in it though, there's quite a lot of planning involved if you want to keep everyone happy

Leon said...

Yeh the sims (tenants) are pissing me off thoroughly. the restrictions on the number of elevator shafts is a severe limitation. I'm stuck at floor 75 atm because of the lack of elevator shafts. By that I mean i'm (1) not forcing my tower to level 100, (2) making sure everything has blue evaluation before progressing. Gonna need to remake another tower again -_-'''

empathogen said...

if you are running out of elevator shafts then you should have a look at where you're putting them, there's exactly enough elevators to service the entire structure if your express elevator placement is correct...cant for the life of me remember how many units you can put between each shaft before they start to dip into yellow happiness though, i had a great strategy book lying around for simtower somewhere, lol

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Charles said...

Frankly, the only thing you need to do is to make sure that you limit how often different classes of tenants (hotels, condos, offices, etc.) are on the same floor. Given the limits on stairwells, escalators, and elevators, it would be wise, in my opinion, to build symmetrically to take advantage of the entire game space.

In addition, in terms of getting a best evaluation, all you really need to do is lower the rent/cost to the lowest levels - for everything for which this is possible. It also helps to have several floors full of offices only (my current best building currently houses only offices on the first 30 floors, lobby spaces notwithstanding).

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