SimCity's GlassBox engine shown off

By Steve Watts, Mar 20, 2012 8:15am PDT

We've heard some impressive details about next year's SimCity, but none of it would actually work without a solid engine under the hood. At Game Developers Conference, EA and Maxis showed off the game's new "GlassBox" simulation engine. Now, you can see a quick recap of EA's presentation in a new video.

In the video, gameplay lead Dan Moskowitz walks us through some of the features of GlassBox--although he notes that the graphics are simply placeholder. Every simulation rule will trigger visible effects, like a coal refinery that creates both power and air pollution. This way, players will be able to see every aspect of the simulation in action. "What you see is always a 1:1 representation of what the simulation is doing," said Moskowitz.

"Agents" carry the game's resources, and the most common of them are members of the population. To give you an idea of the game's scale, Moskowitz says the system is built to support "tens of thousands" of agents at a time.

SimCity is due for PC in 2013.

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