Lots of NEW info! 2013 is gonna be EPIC!

SN: Will SimCity things such as bike paths?

KK: I can’t talk about that today. We’re set up to do that, but we’re still figuring that one out.

SN: Of all the changes, what’s the biggest change to city design these last 10 years that’s influenced the game?

KK: That’s a tough one. It’s really the way they’re doing some of the stuff in China, overall layout of cities, how everything is getting more compact, trying to stop commuting. You’ve got your businesses and stores right underneath your residential, and you have everything within walking distance. I think those are some of the biggest changes we’re looking at modeling.

SN: How has the growth of China and what’s happening there influenced this SimCity?

KK: Where do you want to start? [Laughs] China is filled with great examples. Another area is that they have such heavy industry there, the coal-mining city, these heavy, dirty, heavy-industry…but they’re successful. They’re making money, and people are living there. Some are happy, and some aren’t. In this SimCity, it’s a “win” state, and that’s just another area we’re looking at.

Obviously, with this SimCity being so resource-driven, businesses and cities and really evolving and becoming economic centers around these resources, we looked at China as just reference for a lot of the stuff we’re doing.

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More info? Yes, please!

As you build your city, you’re no longer locked to the traditional SimCity grid; your city can now assume many shapes, allowing for you to build suburban areas off your main city or other industries, such as mines or electrical stations. This includes, in a move that mirrors Civilization’s decision to ditch squares for hexes, curvy roads. If you want to build villages and small towns, full of sweeping roads, you’ve now got the tools to do so.

One thing sure to provoke ire in some gamers is SimCity’s always-online requirement. Even if you want to run a private, single-player game, you must be online in order to play SimCity–you’re still part of the game’s global economy and leader boards even if you’re not playing with other people in your region.

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