Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

Welcome to the world of world building simulation games! If you’re a fan of creativity, imagination, and exploration, then you’re in for a treat. These games allow players to create and design their own virtual worlds, from sprawling cities to vast landscapes, and everything in between. Whether you want to build a utopia or a dystopia, the possibilities are endless. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most popular world building simulation games, and see what makes them so addictive and engaging. So, let’s get started and dive into the world of world building simulation games!

What are World Building Simulation Games?

A Definition and Brief History

World building simulation games, also known as WBSGs, are video games that allow players to create and shape their own virtual worlds. These games often incorporate elements of strategy, city-building, and resource management, as well as a strong emphasis on creativity and imagination.

The concept of world building simulation games can be traced back to the early 1990s, with the release of games such as SimCity and Civilization. These games allowed players to build and manage their own cities, and paved the way for future WBSGs.

Over the years, WBSGs have evolved and expanded in scope, with new games and updates introducing new features and gameplay mechanics. Some popular examples of WBSGs include Minecraft, Terraria, and The Sims.

One of the key features of WBSGs is the ability for players to shape and mold their own virtual worlds. This often involves building structures, managing resources, and dealing with various challenges and obstacles. Many WBSGs also incorporate elements of storytelling and character development, allowing players to create their own unique narratives within their virtual worlds.

In addition to their entertainment value, WBSGs also offer a number of educational benefits. They can help players develop skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity, as well as provide insight into topics such as urban planning and resource management.

Overall, world building simulation games offer a unique and engaging gaming experience, combining elements of strategy, creativity, and imagination to transport players to new and exciting virtual worlds.

The Appeal of Building Your Own World

  • The desire to create and shape one’s own world
  • The freedom to imagine and bring to life unique environments, characters, and stories
  • The satisfaction of seeing one’s creations come to life and interact with others
  • The ability to explore and experiment with different gameplay mechanics and design choices
  • The social aspect of sharing and collaborating with others in the creation and enjoyment of the world.

Types of World Building Simulation Games

Key takeaway: World building simulation games, such as Minecraft, Terraria, and Don’t Starve, offer a unique and engaging gaming experience that combines elements of strategy, creativity, and imagination to transport players to new and exciting virtual worlds. These games can help players develop skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity, as well as provide insight into topics such as urban planning and resource management. Popular types of world building simulation games include sandbox games, city-building games, and survival games.

Sandbox Games

Sandbox games are a subgenre of world building simulation games that provide players with a vast, open-ended environment to explore and manipulate. These games often lack a specific goal or objective, allowing players to create their own experiences and objectives within the game world.

Some of the key features of sandbox games include:

  • Open-ended gameplay: Sandbox games typically offer a vast, open world for players to explore, with few constraints or objectives.
  • Emergent gameplay: Because sandbox games lack a specific goal or objective, players are free to create their own experiences and challenges within the game world.
  • Customization: Many sandbox games allow players to customize their characters, vehicles, and environments, adding a personal touch to their gameplay experience.
  • Creativity: Sandbox games often encourage creativity and experimentation, as players are free to explore and manipulate the game world in whatever way they choose.

Examples of popular sandbox games include Minecraft, Terraria, and Stardew Valley. These games have gained massive followings due to their open-ended gameplay and emphasis on player creativity and exploration.

Sandbox games can be a great way to unleash your creativity and explore new worlds, whether you’re building your own structures, crafting new items, or simply exploring the game world. Whether you’re a fan of survival games, exploration games, or just want to build your own world, sandbox games have something for everyone.

City-Building Games

City-building games are a subgenre of world-building simulation games that focus on the development and management of urban environments. These games allow players to design and build their own cities from scratch, taking into account factors such as transportation, infrastructure, housing, and public services.

Some popular examples of city-building games include:

  • SimCity: One of the most well-known city-building games, SimCity was first released in 1989 and has since been updated and re-released several times. In the game, players are tasked with designing and managing a virtual city, including features such as roads, buildings, and utilities.
  • Cities: Skylines: Released in 2015, Cities: Skylines is a modern city-building game that allows players to design and manage their own cities from the ground up. The game includes a wide range of features, such as traffic management, public transportation, and taxation systems.
  • Tropico: Tropico is a city-building game that focuses on managing a virtual island nation. Players must balance the needs of their citizens, such as housing, education, and healthcare, while also managing the island’s economy and dealing with political challenges.

City-building games can be highly engaging and addictive, as players must balance competing priorities and deal with unexpected challenges such as natural disasters and population growth. These games often require strategic planning and resource management skills, making them a popular choice among gamers who enjoy complex simulation games.

Survival Games

Survival games are a subgenre of world building simulation games that place the player in a harsh, unforgiving environment where the primary objective is to survive. These games often require players to gather resources, build shelter, and fend off hostile creatures or other players. The gameplay typically involves exploration, crafting, and strategic decision-making to ensure the player’s survival.

Features of Survival Games

  • Harsh Environments: Survival games often take place in harsh environments such as deserts, forests, or snowy mountains, where the player must contend with extreme weather conditions, limited resources, and dangerous creatures.
  • Resource Gathering: The player must gather resources such as wood, rocks, and food to build shelter, craft tools, and maintain their health.
  • Crafting: The player must use resources to craft tools, weapons, and other items necessary for survival.
  • Building Shelter: The player must build shelter to protect themselves from the elements and hostile creatures.
  • Strategic Decision-Making: Survival games often require players to make strategic decisions, such as deciding whether to conserve resources or take risks to gather more.

Examples of Survival Games

  • The Forest: The Forest is a first-person survival horror game set in a dense forest where the player must gather resources, build shelter, and fend off hostile creatures to survive.
  • Don’t Starve: Don’t Starve is a survival game where the player must gather resources, craft tools, and build shelter to survive in a harsh wilderness.
  • Rust: Rust is a multiplayer survival game where players must gather resources, build shelter, and defend themselves from other players to survive.

Overall, survival games provide a unique and challenging gameplay experience that requires players to use their wits and resourcefulness to survive in a harsh environment.

Popular World Building Simulation Games


Minecraft is a popular world building simulation game that has gained immense popularity since its release in 2011. The game is developed by Mojang Studios and is available on multiple platforms, including PC, mobile devices, and gaming consoles.

One of the main objectives of Minecraft is to build and create a world using different blocks, such as dirt, stone, wood, and others. Players can build structures, cities, and even entire worlds from scratch. The game offers a sandbox-style gameplay experience, allowing players to explore and interact with the world they have created.

Minecraft offers two main game modes: Survival and Creative. In Survival mode, players must gather resources, build shelter, and fend off hostile mobs to survive the night. In Creative mode, players have access to unlimited resources and can focus on building and creating without worrying about survival.

The game also offers a multiplayer mode, allowing players to connect with friends and build together. Minecraft has a vibrant community of players who share their creations and offer tips and tricks to others.

One of the unique features of Minecraft is its procedural generation system. This means that each new world generated is different from the previous one, providing players with endless possibilities for exploration and creation.

Minecraft has received critical acclaim and has won numerous awards, including several Game of the Year awards. The game’s popularity has also led to the development of numerous mods and resource packs, which add new features and content to the game.

Overall, Minecraft is a must-play game for anyone interested in world building simulation games. Its vast possibilities for creativity, exploration, and collaboration make it a unique and exciting experience for players of all ages.


Terraria is a popular world building simulation game that has gained a significant following since its release in 2011. Developed by Re-Logic, the game is available on multiple platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo consoles.

The game’s sandbox-style gameplay allows players to explore and build their own unique worlds. The game features a 2D art style and is set in a procedurally generated world, which means that each time a player starts a new game, the world’s layout is different. This adds a layer of excitement and replayability to the game.

Players can mine and gather resources, which they can then use to build structures, craft weapons and tools, and defeat enemies. The game features a day and night cycle, which affects the behavior of enemies and the availability of resources. As players progress through the game, they can unlock new items, abilities, and features, which allow them to build even more complex structures and take on more challenging enemies.

One of the standout features of Terraria is its multiplayer mode, which allows up to eight players to play together online. This adds a social aspect to the game, as players can work together to build and explore the world. The game also features a cooperative mode, where players can team up to take on challenging bosses and enemies.

Overall, Terraria is a well-crafted world building simulation game that offers a vast and immersive world for players to explore and build in. Its unique blend of sandbox gameplay, survival elements, and multiplayer features make it a standout title in the genre.

Don’t Starve

Don’t Starve is a popular world building simulation game that has gained a cult following since its release in 2013. Developed by Canadian indie game studio Klei Entertainment, the game has been praised for its unique art style, challenging gameplay, and deep survival mechanics.


Don’t Starve is a survival simulation game that tasks players with building and maintaining a shelter in a harsh wilderness environment. The game is set in a procedurally generated world, which means that each playthrough is unique and unpredictable. Players must gather resources, craft tools and items, and build structures to survive in the wilderness.

The game’s mechanics are based on a day-night cycle, where players must gather resources during the day and use them to build structures and craft items at night. The game also features a hunger system, where players must hunt for food to keep their character alive.

Art Style

One of the standout features of Don’t Starve is its unique art style. The game’s hand-drawn graphics are reminiscent of a children’s book, with a distinctive cartoonish quality. The characters are also unique and memorable, with each character having their own distinct personality and appearance.

The game’s art style has been praised for its charm and uniqueness, and has helped to set the game apart from other survival simulation games.


Don’t Starve has been praised for its challenging gameplay, deep survival mechanics, and unique art style. The game has received critical acclaim and has been nominated for several awards, including the Independent Game Festival’s Excellence in Design award.

The game has also gained a dedicated fanbase, with many players creating fan art and mods for the game. Don’t Starve has also spawned two additional games in the series, Don’t Starve Together and Don’t Starve: Shipwrecked, which expand on the original game’s mechanics and world-building.

Tips and Tricks for Successful World Building

Planning and Design

Creating a successful world for a simulation game requires careful planning and design. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Define the Theme and Genre
    The first step in world building is to define the theme and genre of your game. This will help you establish the setting, tone, and mood of your game. Consider the time period, geography, and culture of your world.
  2. Develop a Map
    A map is an essential tool for world building. It helps you visualize the layout of your world and plan the placement of locations, landmarks, and terrain features. You can use digital tools like Google Maps or Inkarnate to create your map.
  3. Create a Detailed Lore
    Your world’s lore is the backstory that shapes its history, culture, and society. It includes details about the different races, religions, and factions that inhabit your world. Creating a detailed lore will help you create a cohesive and immersive world for your players to explore.
  4. Establish the Rules of Physics and Magic
    The rules of physics and magic are essential to the functioning of your world. If your world has magic, establish the rules that govern it. Consider how magic interacts with the physical world and how it affects the society and technology of your world.
  5. Design the Environment
    The environment is an essential aspect of world building. Consider the climate, geography, and natural resources of your world. Think about how these factors impact the culture and society of your world.
  6. Create Unique Locations
    Your world should have unique and memorable locations that players will want to explore. Consider the history, culture, and significance of each location. Make sure they fit seamlessly into the world you’ve created.
  7. Balance Power and Resources
    Balancing power and resources is crucial to creating a fair and engaging world. Consider the distribution of wealth, power, and resources in your world. Ensure that there are challenges and opportunities for players to explore and interact with the world.

By following these tips, you can create a rich and immersive world for your simulation game. Remember to take your time and consider every aspect of your world, from the smallest detail to the grandest design.

Resource Management

When it comes to world building simulation games, resource management is a crucial aspect that players need to master in order to succeed. In these games, resources can take many forms, such as money, materials, energy, and manpower. Effective resource management can make the difference between a thriving civilization and one that struggles to survive.

Here are some tips to help you manage resources effectively in your world building simulation game:

  1. Prioritize Resources: It’s important to identify which resources are most critical to your gameplay and focus on managing those first. For example, if you’re building a city, you may need to prioritize resources like food, water, and housing before investing in luxury items like museums or sports stadiums.
  2. Plan Ahead: In order to effectively manage resources, you need to plan ahead. This means identifying potential resource shortages and finding ways to mitigate them before they become a problem. You should also consider the long-term impact of your resource use and make sure you’re not depleting resources that will be needed in the future.
  3. Recycle and Reuse: One of the best ways to conserve resources is to recycle and reuse items whenever possible. This can include everything from building materials to furniture and appliances. By repurposing existing items, you can reduce the amount of new resources you need to acquire.
  4. Invest in Efficiency: Investing in efficiency can help you make the most of your resources. This can include things like installing solar panels to generate energy, building efficient buildings to reduce energy consumption, and investing in public transportation to reduce the need for individual vehicles.
  5. Exploit Natural Resources: In many world building simulation games, natural resources like timber, minerals, and oil are available for harvesting. It’s important to carefully manage these resources to ensure they’re used sustainably and don’t run out.

By following these tips, you can effectively manage resources in your world building simulation game and create a thriving civilization that can survive and grow over time.

Survival Skills

Mastering the Basics

Before delving into the intricacies of world building, it is crucial to have a solid understanding of the fundamental principles. To create a captivating and immersive world, it is essential to:

  • Establish a consistent set of rules and laws that govern the world, including physics, geography, and societal norms.
  • Develop unique and engaging cultures, religions, and languages that add depth and richness to the world.
  • Craft intricate histories for the world, including major events, key figures, and pivotal moments that have shaped the current state of the world.

Balancing the Elements

To create a well-rounded and believable world, it is essential to strike a balance between various elements. Consider the following when world building:

  • Political systems: Determine the type of government and the balance of power between different factions or nations.
  • Economic systems: Decide how resources are distributed, and how different factions or nations interact economically.
  • Environmental factors: Consider the climate, geography, and natural resources, and how they impact the world and its inhabitants.

Storytelling and Narrative

World building is not just about creating a detailed and intricate world; it is also about telling a compelling story. Consider the following when incorporating storytelling into your world building:

  • Character development: Create unique and well-rounded characters that fit within the world you have created.
  • Plot development: Craft a story that takes advantage of the rich and diverse world you have built, with twists, turns, and unexpected developments.
  • Theme and symbolism: Incorporate recurring themes and symbols that add depth and meaning to the world and its story.

By mastering the basics, balancing the elements, and incorporating storytelling and narrative, you can create a world that is both immersive and engaging for your players.

The Future of World Building Simulation Games

Advancements in Technology

As technology continues to advance, the world of world building simulation games is set to evolve in exciting new ways. Some of the key advancements in technology that are likely to shape the future of these games include:

  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR): The integration of VR and AR technologies into world building simulation games is set to revolutionize the way players interact with and experience these games. By allowing players to fully immerse themselves in the game world, VR and AR have the potential to create a more engaging and realistic gaming experience.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI technologies are already being used in world building simulation games to create more realistic non-player characters (NPCs) and to generate procedurally generated content. As AI technologies continue to advance, it is likely that they will be used in even more sophisticated ways, such as creating dynamic and adaptive game worlds that respond to player actions in real-time.
  • Cloud Gaming: Cloud gaming is a technology that allows players to stream games over the internet rather than downloading and installing them on their devices. This technology has the potential to make world building simulation games more accessible to players with limited hardware resources, as well as enabling more social and collaborative gameplay experiences.
  • 5G Networks: The rollout of 5G networks is set to enable faster and more reliable internet connections, which will be crucial for the smooth operation of world building simulation games. 5G networks will also enable more robust and complex multiplayer experiences, as well as allowing for more sophisticated use of VR and AR technologies.
  • New Input Technologies: As well as VR and AR technologies, new input technologies such as haptic feedback and gesture recognition are set to play a role in the future of world building simulation games. These technologies have the potential to create more immersive and intuitive gaming experiences, allowing players to interact with the game world in new and exciting ways.

The Growing Popularity of Virtual Worlds

As technology continues to advance, virtual worlds have become increasingly popular among gamers and non-gamers alike. One of the main reasons for this popularity is the ability for users to create and customize their own virtual environments. This level of personalization and creativity allows users to explore their imagination and express themselves in ways that were previously not possible.

Another factor contributing to the growing popularity of virtual worlds is the rise of social media and online communities. Virtual worlds provide a platform for people to connect and interact with others from all over the world, forming online communities and friendships. This sense of community and social interaction is a key aspect of virtual worlds, as it allows users to engage with others in a meaningful way.

In addition to the social aspect, virtual worlds also offer a wide range of activities and experiences for users to enjoy. From virtual shopping and gaming to educational and professional experiences, virtual worlds provide a platform for users to explore and engage in a variety of activities.

As virtual worlds continue to grow in popularity, it is likely that we will see an increase in the number of games and platforms dedicated to this type of experience. This will likely lead to further advancements in technology and an even greater emphasis on personalization and creativity within virtual worlds.

What’s Next for the Genre?

The world of world building simulation games is constantly evolving, with new technologies and innovative ideas pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Here are some of the trends and developments that are shaping the future of this exciting genre:

  • Immersive storytelling: As technology improves, developers are focusing on creating more immersive and interactive stories. This means that players will be able to make choices that affect the outcome of the game, making each playthrough unique.
  • Virtual reality: With the rise of virtual reality technology, players will be able to experience these worlds in a more realistic way than ever before. This will allow for even greater immersion and interaction with the game world.
  • Social simulation: As more people turn to online communities for social interaction, world building simulation games are starting to incorporate more social simulation elements. This means that players will be able to interact with other players in more meaningful ways, creating a more dynamic and engaging experience.
  • Personalization: With the rise of personalization in gaming, players are demanding more control over their gameplay experience. This means that world building simulation games will need to offer more customization options, allowing players to tailor their experience to their own preferences.
  • Sustainability: As the world becomes more aware of the importance of sustainability, developers are starting to incorporate more environmentally-friendly elements into their games. This means that players will be able to see the impact of their actions on the game world, and make choices that promote sustainability.

Overall, the future of world building simulation games looks bright, with exciting new developments on the horizon. As technology continues to advance, these games will only become more immersive, interactive, and engaging for players.


1. What are world building games?

World building games are video games that allow players to create and design their own virtual worlds. These games typically offer a variety of tools and features that enable players to shape the landscape, create buildings and structures, and populate their worlds with various characters and creatures.

2. What are some popular world building games?

There are many popular world building games available, including Minecraft, Terraria, and Starbound. These games have gained a significant following due to their sandbox-style gameplay, which allows players to explore, build, and create in a vast, open world. Other popular world building games include Cities: Skylines, Oxygen Not Included, and Planet Zoo.

3. What are the benefits of playing world building games?

World building games offer a number of benefits, including improved problem-solving skills, creativity, and spatial reasoning. These games also encourage players to think critically about resource management, architecture, and urban planning. Additionally, world building games can be a fun and engaging way to spend time, providing hours of entertainment as players create and explore their own virtual worlds.

4. Are world building games suitable for all ages?

Most world building games are suitable for players of all ages, although some games may have age restrictions due to mature content or violence. It’s important to research a game before allowing children to play it, and to set appropriate boundaries and restrictions as needed.

5. Where can I find world building games?

World building games are available on a variety of platforms, including PC, console, and mobile devices. Many games are available for purchase on online marketplaces like Steam, GOG, and the App Store, while others may be free to play or available through subscription services like Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Now.

Using Soft World Building to Create Immersive Worlds For Your Games

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