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SimCity designer outlines new fixes, traffic tweaks and restored features in developer update

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

SimCity lead designer Stone Librande says in an update on the game's blog that developer Maxis is "slowly re-enabling some of the non-essential features" turned off during the game's rocky launch week and is turning its attention to "improving the simulation based on the community's feedback."

Librande writes about the structure of SimCity's simulation design explaining how "Agents" (players' Sims, vehicles) interact with "Sinks" (buildings). Now that the game is in players hands, Librande writes, "we are seeing the emergence of many cities that test our systems in unique ways."

Maxis is tweaking those systems, notably how traffic logic works, Librande writes, a gameplay issue recently addressed by SimCity's lead gameplay scripter Guillaume Pierre. "We are currently testing a patch internally and hope to have it out to you soon," Librande says.

The blog post goes on to detail certain decisions related to the simulation (or lack thereof) of the game's inhabitants, but does not address player concerns about computations performed on the server side or the game's always-online dependence. Polygon requested comment from Maxis and EA on those matters earlier this week and their response was to direct us to Librande's recent post. An update from Maxis GM Lucy Bradshaw is promised "soon."

Librande writes that some of the game's "non-essential features" that were turned off during launch week — regional achievements, leaderboards — are being re-enabled. Maxis is asking SimCity players to play on the game's test servers to help assess those changes.