I’m Stone Librande, the Lead Designer of SimCity. I’ve been at Maxis for six years and started playing the original SimCity on a monochrome Macintosh, so I’m really excited and honored to be working on this latest update to a classic game. One of the many new features in SimCity is the online Global Market. The Global Market can be thought of as a shared stock market that tracks the prices of the several resources we have in the game. The prices of resources are not fixed, but are based on player-driven market activity. If more cities are selling than buying, then the prices of goods will drop. Conversely, the price will rise if the buyers outnumber the sellers. In order to buy or sell resources on the Global Market the Mayor first needs to build a Trade Depot. This allows freight trucks to enter your city and either drop off or pick up resources, depending on your needs. Moving large quantities of freight through your road network is bound to cause traffic congestion, so serious traders will want to invest in a Trade Port which can connect directly to their neighbors. Many cities will fall into either one of two categories: producers or consumers. Producers extract raw resources from the ground or manufacture goods in factories. This type of city can make large amounts of money by selling directly to the Global Market. Consumers—typically cities with large coal or oil power plants—will need to pay for the fuel they burn to power their industry. It is possible to be both a consumer and producer. For instance, a city might buy ore, smelt it into metal, then sell the metal for a profit. The Global Market also opens up the possibility of a “Trade City” that neither produces nor consumes resources. It makes money by buying low, holding onto it until prices rise, and then selling high. The Global Market is optional. If you want to isolate your city from the rest of the world then you don’t need to place a Trade Depot. However, keep in mind that resources are limited. If your electricity is being generated by coal or oil then you will need to shift to renewable energy sources when you exhaust your regional supply. The Global Market is tricky to test with only a small number of players, so I’m anxiously looking forward to the upcoming beta tests where we’ll be able to observe how the market reacts to large volumes of transactions. If you are interested in helping us out, please sign up for the beta.