A friend of mine introduced me to the social game SimCity Buildit, currently available for mobile devices and tablets. Since I currently lack a strong mainstream entry in the SimCity franchise, I thought I'd see if this social game does anything to fill my long-neglected need for spline-reticulation or if it presented any new features that could be worth pursuing in a full PC version of the game. I don't generally play social games. I dabbled a bit with CivWorld and Sims Social, but that's about it. So I lack a lot of reference for judging SimCity Buildit in terms of other social games.

SimCity Buildit

Most of the fundamental SimCity elements are here: you set housing, commercial, and industrial zones, link them with roads, and build service buildings in order to satisfy various citizen needs within a certain radius. None of the deeper simulation elements of newer city-builder games are there. Individual citizens don't exist; there's just an abstract population, and happiness levels are set for each residential building. It's understandable for the limitations of the platform, and it provides a retro quality that reminds me of the good ol' days of SimCity 4.

But since this is a social game, the design has to put up numerous barriers to restrict the player's freedom to construct the city that they want. You have to "level up" your city by building new buildings. The number of residences that you can build, as well as the availability of industry and shops are also limited by your level or by the city population.

You also don't really have an economy to manage - at least not in the traditional sense. Citizens don't work at factories and shops. Instead, these buildings create certain building materials that are used to "upgrade" your residences into higher-density buildings that generate more tax revenue. This provides the core challenge of the game: you have to build the necessary materials in order to upgrade your buildings. Each of these materials take different amounts of real time to construct in your factories and shops (or you can buy the materials you need through real-money micro-transactions). As you level up, you'll unlock new materials, which residences will suddenly demand in order to upgrade their buildings.

SimCity Buildit - city
You don't have to manage employment, tax rates, or city ordinances; only resources and service coverage.

The ability to upgrade a building seems to be limited by its happiness level. Only happy residences can be upgraded, so you also need to provide city services such as power, water, waste disposal, emergency services, entertainment, and so on. But these services are very frustrating because they are tied to your city level. New services or entertainments become unlocked when you level up. That's fine. But once those services are unlocked, your entire city starts demanding them, and happiness plummets (as well as tax income, which is tied to happiness) because you don't already have the infrastructure ...

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I made quite a splash with the fine folks who made "The Real Silent Hill Experience" videos on Youtube the other day with a comment that I placed in their "part 13b - Questions Unanswered" supplementary video.

About three and a half minutes into the video, Rosseter and DerFuzhwar begin discussing their views on the fate of Cybil Bennett from the first game. They assert that the Good+ ending (in which Cybil survives) is likely to be the canonical ending, even though conventional Silent Hill wisdom suggest that the Good ending (in which Cybil dies) is supposed to be orthadox, and they present the following quote from the first game's event programmer, Hiroyuki Owaku:

The Real Silent Hill experience - Hiroyuki Owaku on Cybil's fate
Hiroyuki Owaku (one of Silent Hill's event programmers) on Cybil Bennett's fate.

After reading this quote, I left a comment on the video saying:

Actually, if "what happens to [Cybil] afterwords is up to the player's imaginations", then that would REQUIRE that the Good+ ending be canon. Because in the Good ending, she dies. There's no ambiguity to be left "up to the player's imaginations".
   - MegaBearsFan

This quote apparently impressed the folks at Twin Perfect so much that they highlighted this post and replied:

HUGE BUMP. EVERYONE PLEASE READ.
   - TwinPerfectChannel
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This April has been a busy week for video games, and a very weird one, too. And the news has varied from good, to bad, to ugly, and everything in between. Here's some of the stuff that caught my attention:

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Welcome to Mega Bears Fan's blog, and thanks for visiting! This blog is mostly dedicated to game reviews, strategies, and analysis of my favorite games. I also talk about my other interests, like football, science and technology, movies, and so on. Feel free to read more about the blog.

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