InfiniteSims found another interesting update from ex-EA employee Ocean Quigley sharing some insight on the visualization of SimCity 4 (such a beautiful game by the way!).

Here’s a visualization from back in SimCity 4’s preproduction.We were trying to figure out what the game should look like, and while we didn’t hit this look precisely (we punted on the cliffs, for example), it’s still pretty close.

It was mostly done by David Patch and Shannon Galvin, in 3DStudio Max R4 (a great program for it’s day!) And used assets that were sitting around from SimCity 3000 which we’d finished a year or two before.

I didn’t work on this mockup, because I was off designing the asset pipeline (how buildings would get from 3DStudio Max into the game), and thought I had a pretty good idea of what it was going to look like anyway. I didn’t think that it would be that valuable.

Boy was I wrong! It turned out to be crucial, once it was done the project really picked up speed.

It made the project seem much more real at that early stage of production. Everybody on the team looked at it and said “Oh, so that’s what we’re making” or “So that’s what it’s going to look like”.

And not least, it was useful for demonstrating to the various executives who had an interest in the project that we knew what we were doing!