Flash of Steel header image 2


October 13th, 2009 by Troy Goodfellow · 4 Comments · Industry, Maxis

I love lost games. I’ve written before about a few of them – Pantheon, Dinosaurs, Zulu Wars

So the recent “discovery” of a SimMars being developed by Maxis around the time that The Sims became job one is very cool. The domination of The Sims as a franchise and cash cow has a real risk of obscuring how experimental Maxis was at its best. There are, of course, no guarantees that SimMars would have been anything interesting. But it’s nice to know that it once existed.


4 Comments so far ↓

  • Gremlin

    I remember seeing the SimMars trailer, back in the day. And being mildly disappointed when I heard it was canceled. Has anyone managed to do a serious planetary colonization sim?

  • Jason Lefkowitz

    Has anyone managed to do a serious planetary colonization sim?

    Well, there was Outpost… if by “serious planetary colonization sim” you mean “epic disaster.”

    (For the young ‘uns in the audience, Outpost was the recipient of a ton of pre-release hype, including a glowing PC Gamer review that awarded it a then-unprecedented 93% score. When it hit shelves, though, it was discovered to be a buggy mess that literally could not be played to completion… and PC Gamer had to admit that they saw that in their review copy, but awarded the high score based on promises from the developers that the bugs would be fixed and missing features added… promises that were never actually kept, as gamers discovered to their chagrin after buying based on PC Gamer’s recommendation.)

  • Kalle

    PC Gamer’s track record was quite frankly awful when it came to pre-release reviews. I haven’t read the magazine in a decade and a large part of that was because they were flat out lying to me about unfinished games, and I’m the person buying their magazine looking for guidance.

  • Krupo

    Subsequent editors angrily denounced old regimes and implemented strict policies against that sort of thing, mind you.

    The 6-month premise immediately made me think of ETW two turns per year system… hmm, time to invade India.