"I had a lot of fun working with this team," says Lucy Bradshaw, sitting in her office six floors above street level. She's just about the only person in this wing of the office, as most of the artists, programmers, and designers behind SimCity 3000 have taken off for vacations after a laborious year of development on the game.
Perhaps the most important decision Bradshaw made with SimCity 3000 was not to reinvent the wheel. "Frankly, Will did it right the first time around. What we've done is augmented the experience." After Bradshaw decided to retain the core engine,
With Bradshaw in control, Maxis realized it was on the right track when the product was shown at E3 in 1998.
Although Maxis wanted to release SimCity 3000 in time for Christmas, it didn't quite make it. That would have been a disaster for a small public company, but EA could afford to wait until the product was truly finished.
And perhaps as importantly, inside Maxis, everyone is behind the game. A few weeks ago, Barthelet even put up his own fan site for SimCity 3000, only to be warned by his ISP that he had too many graphics and was exceeding his bandwidth limitation. "I had to spend an afternoon stripping out all the graphics, so people could still access the site," he admits with a grin, using his hands to mimic keyboard typing on his desk. Besides Barthelet's effort, Maxis is seeing two new fan sites a day pop up online.
SimCity is back, and so is Maxis. But what lies ahead? First up is a new game from Will Wright that's been in development for six years. And there's more too...
A New Dollhouse