History: Whenever I think of Maxis, I think of awards. Awards for educational content for a game, not an edutainment program, not an educational program but a game program. There are even college courses based around Maxis products. SimCity is used to teach city planning and there is a book used with the program written specifically for a college course in city planning. Amazing!
It seems strange and appropriate that while playing with the toppings on their pizza, that Jeff Braun and Will Write discussed the game that will had thought up that involved placing little buildings down on a flat map. It seems strange that SimPizza never became a Maxis game. Houses on a flat map seem to be something like 12 different toppings on a pizza. (Maybe it takes an Italian to think these things up - Ed.)
SimCity 2000 Network Edition (SC2000NE) is part of a huge push on the part of Maxis to bring fifteen titles to the market by the end of 1996. New titles are reported to include SimCopter, a flight simulator to fly in the cities you create, Sim Park, to simulate the management of a national or regional park for children, and even the unconfirmed SimCircus reported by one of the reviewers.
John Koller, the SC2000NE product manager, worked on the first CD platform for SimCity Classic, aptly named the SimCity Classic Deluxe Edition. He just completed SimCity 2000 for the Sony PlayStation and a line of titles called the Collector’s Series. This line pairs five veteran Maxis titles with three affiliate titles to be placed on CD and valued at a "collectible" price.
Plot: There really is no plot save that you are a manager of a city in control of things like zoning, utilities, transportation, police and fire stations, parks, set the taxes, and other municipal functions. You build the utilities, roads, train tracks, police and fire stations and the people move in and build residences and businesses. As your municipality grows so does the tax revenue allowing you to invest in more advanced technology and develop larger areas.
Gameplay: The conflict sets in when you are required to design the city to control crime, pollution, traffic jams, and power outages. You need to keep people happy and give them residential areas near the ocean, near parks, and away from industry, and nuclear plants. Other dangers include tornadoes, sea monsters, nuclear meltdown, and other disasters, which require rebuilding and reconstruction. You now also control the utilities underground like sewers and water supply.
Interface: The new interface allows you to rotate the landscape and the display is overhead oblique isometric view. There are mountains and rivers in this three dimensional new world allowing the construction of hydroelectric plants across rivers. As mayor you can now fill in swamps and level mountains with a new terrain editor.
Graphics, Voice Actors, Sound Effects, Musical Score: No enhancements in this area are planned that we know of. Maxis tell us all, please?
Multiplayer: The main thrust of SC2000NE is network play. SC2000NE will allow up to 4 players over internet, network, null modem, or phone modem. The network version allows players to team up and design the best city together over vast distances.
Under the network game, players purchase land and control it. The more people you satisfy, the more land you control. So the game involves a blend of cooperative and competitive play that should take online deception and politics to new heights. Some of the aspects of structures can now be used to cooperate or compete with others to drive their property values and tax revenues down and yours up.
Chat facility allows the city planners to get together and hold town meetings. Players barter for city resources like goods and services via a new contract feature. Voting ordinances provide for city wide improvements in utilities, parks, and other facilities.
Internet: Maxis has secured agreements with Mpath Interactive’s Mplayer service, Total Entertainment Network (ten) and ENGAGE Games Online to provided internet gaming to the purchasers of the network edition.
Chris Hudak, www.gamespot.com/strategy/simc2000, (72%)
Scott Udell, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 70, September, 1996, pg. 54.