Maxis made a training simulation for an oil refinery in California in the early 90s
A long-lost Maxis gem has been uncovered and made playable. Sim Refinery was developed for Chevron, and the goal was to teach employees how a refinery fits together.
The prototype was created by Maxis Business Solutions, a subsidiary of the Sim City, Spore The Sims developer. It was never intended as a ‘full game’ but as way to quickly get a feel for how refineries work and how to deal with the kinds of problems they have.
Fire and forget: “Nobody held onto SimRefinery because it didn’t seem important,” wrote Phil Salvador in The Obscurity. “It was a one-off, somewhat unsuccessful training program for an oil refinery in California. In the grand scheme of Maxis, it was one of their least important titles, which has only now become an object of interest in the video game community because of its unavailability.”
History unearthed: An Ars Technica reader got a working copy of the simulator from a “retired chemical engineering friend” who worked at the refinery in the early 90s. SimRefinery is now available online at archive.org for everyone to play.
Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?
Which studio worked on the cancelled Half Life 2 episode Ravenholm?
- Ion Storm
- Ubisoft Montreal
- Irrational Games
- Arkane Studios
Releasing a JRPG worldwide is hard
Namco Tales Studio’s 2008 JRPG Tales of Vesperia was meant to release simultaneously on Xbox 360 worldwide, but the decision ended up causing lots of headaches for Bandai Namco. They ended up releasing it gradually in different territories after all; first in Japan August 2008 and then eventually the US, Europe etc. spread across the following months.
It was clearly a terrible experience for the team, since the PlayStation 3 version was never released internationally. The PlayStation 3 version featured unique costumes inspired by other Namco games. They finally made it to the west in January 2019 when Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition was released for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch.
EA Access On Steam
First wave of EA games out on Steam
EA has launched a big Steam sale to mark the release of the first wave of EA games on Valve’s digital distribution platform.
The Command & Conquer Remastered Collection launches today, and has pride of place on the sale section of the storefront. The rest are older games, each discounted between 50% and 70%, including:
- Crysis 3
- Dragon Age 2
- Dragon Age Inquisition
- Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
- Need for Speed Heat
- Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville
- Sea of Solitude
- Unravel 2
Summer subscription: “We want to make it easy to play the games you love, wherever you want to play. Delivering games to the Steam community is an important step in achieving this goal,” said EA’s Mike Blank. The EA Access subscription service will also launch on Steam this summer.