Archive for November, 2007

Dear EA, from a Fan of SimCity

Dear EA,

I really wish I was writing this to Maxis, but both you and I know that Maxis is nothing more than a rapidly fading brand, with the real talent working in the Sims division now. Not that they’re doing bad work mind you, just that I notice the Maxis label disappearing. Add to that Will Wright being off in his own studio developing Spore, a title that also appears to be missing the word Maxis. My guess is that in five or ten years or so, after everyone’s completely forgotten about Maxis, you’ll probably start slapping “Maxis” all over various things that have some sort of Sim component to them and you’ll be branded as original and edgy, and it’ll be great PR. With that said, without you Maxis would probably not even exist today the way they were heading, and they would’ve been snapped up and used as a mask the same way that Infogrames did with Atari. In some ways, I think that’s a worse fate.

The reason I wish I was talking to Maxis right now though is because if it were truly Maxis, I wouldn’t be needing to write this. What I’m here to ask about is when we’re going to get a new SimCity game, the flagship Maxis product. Yes yes, I know there’s something out there you’re calling SimCity Societies which has absolutely nothing to do with the series, which is why I’m talking about a getting a REAL SimCity game in my hands again. Do you really think Maxis would let their flagship product go nearly 5 years without a new version?

I love SimCity. Much like my relationship with the Civilization series, I started playing SimCity in High School and was completely and totally hooked. I bought SimCity 2000, 3000, and 4 the day they were released. I grew up with this series, I’ve watched it evolve into something truly incredible… for 2003. Since then you’ve let it stagnate. I’ve kept waiting and waiting and waiting… you release a cutsie version for the DS based on 3000, but I’m still waiting for the real thing.

Finally, there comes an annoucement – new SimCity title! And then I learn it’s Societies and, yes, it felt a bit like a betrayal. As I said, that’s not a SimCity game and it’s not what I want. Because it’s not what I want, I’ll exercise my vote as a consumer – I’m not going to buy it. Besides, why reward your bad behavior?

Look, I know I’m a hardcore fan. But you obviously know there are lots of us out there. We’re the people who’ve continued to modify and expand the last version of the game through sites like SimTropolis and it’s STEX. Hell, at this point, I’d take SimCity 4 with a tuneup and the top addons from the STEX integrated in.

But I shouldn’t have to.

Look EA, it’s time you made another REAL SimCity game. I know that Will Wright has said that the game has become too complicated for the beggining user and that’s understandable because SimCity 4 was complicated. But your team is a master of great UI – why not create a tiered system of controls and automata? Those who are starting out will have the background stuff taken care of for them and less options on the screen, but those who already understand the underlying mechanics can tweak it to their heart’s content. Create a great tutorial system to show off the power of the game. And as we all know, directly from both SimCity and the Sims, if you build into the game a way for people to create their own addons to expand the game even further the community will do it.

Give us a new SimCity game EA. Make it good and people will buy it and you will make money. In your heart of hearts, isn’t that what really matters? What are you waiting for?

Thank you,
A SimCity Fan


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Questions We’d Like to See Posed to the GOP Candidates

(Snagged from Balloon Juice via SLOG)

1.) “Would you have sex with a man to stop a terrorist attack?”
2.) “If lowering taxes results in increased revenues then would lowering taxes to zero result in infinite revenues?”
3.) “If you had a time machine, would you travel back in time and abort Bin Laden?”
4.) “Would you torture and kill Jesus to ensure mankind’s salvation? And how does that work?”
5.) “If Russia entered Turkey from the rear would Greece help?”
6.) For Rudy specifically: “How many alimony checks does the sanctity of marriage cost?”

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Ken Hutcherson

Reading the “Notes from the Prayer Warrior” on Slog is a love/hate thing for me because Hutchy is one of those local scumbags (Tim Eyman being another) who makes me go all Mrs. White with rage.

Also – preserving the morals the country was founded on… like slavery?

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There’s nothing quite like going to Canada and feeling poorer. I was in Victoria, BC this past weekend and when I gave a moneychanger $80, she gave me $72 back. Ouch!

Imagine my “amusement” then when I read about Jay-Z flashing 500 Euro notes.

Kinda crazy what you can do the economy in 7 years isn’t it? I can only hope we get a Democrat in the White House – at least they know how to manage money.

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