SimCity’s GlassBox Engine Promises Serious Upgrades for the Franchise

Maxis has released part one of their behind-the-scenes look at the GlassBox Engine that will power next year's SimCity reboot.

The technology represents a bold step forward for the franchise in just about every regard. While some of the things on display here — full 3D graphics, curved roads — were already public knowledge, other aspects of the game, like customizable buildings and the resource system, are brand new and rather impressive, if you're the type to nerd out over simulation games.

The new resource system, for example, works by actually tapping into stores of finite resources in the game map. Build an economy that runs on coal, and you'll be in serious trouble once all that coal is tapped out. As a cool addition, you'll actually be able to see the resources in motion on a one to one basis, filling up the coal plant, being offloaded into trucks, and, eventually, being burned off into pollution at the power plant.

And if all that impressive tech isn't enough to get your blood pumping, SimCity will also feature unique multiplayer components, where user-created cities and regions participate in a global economy, allowing players to trade with one another and collaborate on more audacious projects, like a space program.

SimCity will be out exclusively for the PC sometime in 2013.