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Video: How SimCity's sandbox was built

In this 2013 GDC talk, Maxis' Dan Moskowitz explains how SimCity's sandbox was built.

Game Developer, Staff

March 16, 2018

1 Min Read

Sandbox games are a unique genre, where developers have the opportunity to create a system from which players can carve out their own goals and objectives to complete.

The fun is in discovering how the game environment works. So how can programmers make sure that they're building a good sandbox game? 

In this 2013 GDC talk, Maxis' Dan Moskowitz explains the methodology for building sandbox games through providing specific examples from the 2013 edition of SimCity's simulation, player tools, and feedback mechanisms.

Moskowitz also goes into the advantages and drawbacks of this "discovery-based" methodology that he discusses, with some lessons including determining granularity, finding and re-using patterns that work, and exploring mechanics.

Programmers interested in learning how SimCity's sandbox was built can now watch the talk completely free via the official GDC YouTube channel!

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its accompanying YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC or VRDC already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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