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Why 'SimCity' has no parking lots, and other insights from the lead designer

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SimCity Big Buildings
SimCity Big Buildings

"Our game was going to be really boring if it was proportional in terms of parking lots," SimCity lead designer Stone Librande says of his decision to simply pretend the game's parking is underground. It's one of many decisions Librande and his team had to make when building their world simulation — adding some details created fascinating emergent phenomena like in-game traffic jams, but other things, like food supply chains, just wouldn't fit. At The Atlantic, Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley interview Librande about how he prepared for the game and what people ended up taking out of it, whether they chose to build a fantasy city or engage in a Starcraft-esque resource management war.