Let’s face it: the launch of SimCity was anything but ideal, and by now most gamers have already made up their mind about the game’s viability. With an always-online requirement and a push towards interconnected cities, developer Maxis was already headed in a direction gamers weren’t necessarily interested in.
Now, however, Maxis seems to be pulling back a bit — trying to engender some good will with those PC players who still play SimCity on a regular basis. Not only has Maxis tweaked some of the game’s features, they’ve even taken to polling SimCity players to see what they might be interested in seeing in a future update.
One feature that a recent Electronic Arts forum post suggests is in the cards is mod support. Previous iterations of SimCity have included opportunities for player mods, but this most recent one did not.
The entire discussion (which can be found here) centers on User Generated Content, and how SimCity players would like to see it deployed. Maxis has even included a first draft of their “User Generated Content Guidelines,” which would determine what type of content the developer allows in their game.
The guidelines specifically promise that any mods that affect multiplayer or single player experiences will not be allowed. Moreover, anything that leads to cheating will not be an approved piece of UGC.
Check out the full guidelines and suggestions below:
User Generated Content Guidelines — first draft:
- Acceptable UGC and mods do not jeopardize the integrity of the gameplay or harm the experience of others.
- UGC that effects the simulation for multiplay games and features are not allowed.
- Examples of acceptable UGC include swapping art assets, like buildings and vehicles.
- Maxis reserves the right to take disciplinary action against players who break the rules.
Here are some questions we have to get the conversation going:
- What kinds of UGC/mods are people interested in?
- What are your thoughts on the guidelines?
- How should we deal with cheating and players who break the rules?
- Are there game modes that would be acceptable to allow UGC in? Is Sandbox mode an acceptable UGC mode? Would tagging regions with UGC be an acceptable solution?
- Of the UGC/mods available today, what are you most excited about? Which ones do you consider negative?
Based on the forum post it sounds like Maxis is looking to tread lightly as far as User Generated Content is concerned. We don’t have any official numbers as to who still plays post-launch, but we’d venture to guess those gamers who still regularly play SimCity are precious to Maxis, and the last thing they would want to do is push those people away.
At the same time, we’re not willing to take this forum post as an announcement that mod support or the potential for User Generated Content is headed to SimCity any time soon. After all, a previous survey for SimCity had some believing the game might include some sort of offline mode, yet such a feature has not been delivered.
If, however, Maxis does announce User Generated Content/mods for SimCity, we’ll make sure to deliver all the details. Until that time, though, SimCity players do have the ‘Cities of Tomorrow’ expansion, which gives the world of SimCity a nice futuristic sheen, to look forward to. The expansion is slated to release on November 12, 2013, so maybe Maxis is planning some additional improvements to vanilla SimCity as well.
Do you think Maxis should support User Generated Content and mods for SimCity? How would you like to mod your city?