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More on Offline SimCity

A few details have come to light in the question of how difficult it would be to make the new SimCity playable offline, a conundrum that confuses even EA, as they have indicated this would be both possible and impossible. Kotaku writes of pulling the plug on the game and having it play on for about 19 minutes before crapping out, seeming to contradict the notion that a significant portion of the game's calculations are taking place on the server side. Likewise, Notch tweets: "I like how you can keep playing Sim City even when it notifies you that the servers are down. (But I thought it REALLY needed them?)." This plays into a report on Rock, Paper, Shotgun talking with an anonymous engineer the site says they've confirmed worked on the game. He discusses the most difficult part of playing SimCity offline would be how gameplay is based on interactions between regions, but the source says: "It wouldn’t take very much engineering to give you a limited single-player game without all the nifty region stuff." As for the server being required to play the game, he tells them SimCity does no significant game simulation on the server side:

The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing. They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they’re doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they’re not doing anything. I have no idea why they’re claiming otherwise. It’s possible that Bradshaw misunderstood or was misinformed, but otherwise I’m clueless.

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86 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 4.
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26. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 13, 2013, 05:44 ViRGE
 
mag wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 21:41:
As for the server being required to play the game, he tells them SimCity does no significant game simulation on the server side:

I was pretty skeptical of that claim. It would be absolutely ridiculous for them to take on that amount of processing power themselves. Extremely expensive.
You have to differentiate between the city sim and the region sim. It's clear the city sim (the most CPU intensive part of this) is taking place on the client. However the region sim is currently taking place on the server, which is consistent with what EA has said before. This is what allows them to do the kind of drop-in/drop-out multiplayer that the game uses.

Ultimately with enough time and enough effort all of that could be moved offline, but the mere idea of a regional sim has been made a core component of the game (the endgame is effectively managing several cities). So merely running the city sim on its own is not especially useful.
 
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25. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 13, 2013, 04:54 jacobvandy
 
LOL. That tears it... It doesn't matter if they make this playable offline, it's an abomination. Class-action lawsuit imminent.  
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24. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 13, 2013, 04:20 InBlack
 
WyldKat wrote on Mar 13, 2013, 03:06:
OpticNerve wrote on Mar 13, 2013, 00:58:
Gonna post this here but apparently the game itself is pretty broken in terms of some gameplay mechanics:

AI - This is why services and traffic are broken

The gist of it is that the actual Sims (people) don't have their own specific jobs to go do and homes to stay at. What happens is that they pick the nearest house and the nearest job which screws up the AI and causes really big traffic jams which clogs up the roads and causes a big cascading effect. Given how tiny the map-size is, IMO this is just a pretty lazy way of handling things.

I read something to the same effect earlier on Reddit.

This is why, even if city sizes were increased 10 fold and online was removed I still wouldn't purchase it.

The game is fundamentally flawed at a design level. In fact because of these issues (especially sims not caring what house they sleep in or job they work at) makes the actual simulation a huge step back from Sim City 4.

I wonder how in todays day and age of 0 privacy ond 0 secrets they thought they could get away with this shit? Im thinking they just dont give a fuck....that and disinformation I guess.
 
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I have a nifty blue line!
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23. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 13, 2013, 03:29 Kajetan
 
Creston wrote on Mar 13, 2013, 01:22:
EA. We say it's in the game, but it really isn't.
Thank you! I just had to wipe my monitor
 
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22. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 13, 2013, 03:19 Dev
 
Creston wrote on Mar 13, 2013, 01:22:
EA. We say it's in the game, but it really isn't.

Creston
LOL nice
 
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21. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 13, 2013, 03:06 WyldKat
 
OpticNerve wrote on Mar 13, 2013, 00:58:
Gonna post this here but apparently the game itself is pretty broken in terms of some gameplay mechanics:

AI - This is why services and traffic are broken

The gist of it is that the actual Sims (people) don't have their own specific jobs to go do and homes to stay at. What happens is that they pick the nearest house and the nearest job which screws up the AI and causes really big traffic jams which clogs up the roads and causes a big cascading effect. Given how tiny the map-size is, IMO this is just a pretty lazy way of handling things.

I read something to the same effect earlier on Reddit.

This is why, even if city sizes were increased 10 fold and online was removed I still wouldn't purchase it.

The game is fundamentally flawed at a design level. In fact because of these issues (especially sims not caring what house they sleep in or job they work at) makes the actual simulation a huge step back from Sim City 4.
 
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20. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 13, 2013, 02:32 OpticNerve
 
A youtube video example of the broken and lazily programmed traffic AI system. It also shows the glaring issue with how the simple Sims AI is causing big traffic jams:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDeSRdHvefw&feature=youtu.be
 
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http://theopticnerve.deviantart.com
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19. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 13, 2013, 02:15 Cutter
 
Hah! I you said 'shitty tity city' for a second and not tiny. I'd like to go to Titty City.

 
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"Bye weeks? Bronko Nagurski didn't get no bye weeks, and now he's dead… Well, maybe they're a good thing." - Moe
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18. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 13, 2013, 01:22 Creston
 
OpticNerve wrote on Mar 13, 2013, 00:58:
Gonna post this here but apparently the game itself is pretty broken in terms of some gameplay mechanics:

AI - This is why services and traffic are broken

The gist of it is that the actual Sims (people) don't have their own specific jobs to go do and homes to stay at. What happens is that they pick the nearest house and the nearest job which screws up the AI and causes really big traffic jams which clogs up the roads and causes a big cascading effect. Given how tiny the map-size is, IMO this is just a pretty lazy way of handling things.

Fantastic. And since the whole "simulation" aspect of the game is supposed to be the reason that you get shitty, tiny cities, this just means that it was more bullshit.

Now, here is where it gets really good... In the evening, when work and school lets out, they all leave and proceed to the absolute closest "open" house. They don't "own" their houses. The "people" you see are actually just mindless agents (much like the utilities agents, as I said earlier) making the whole idea of "being able to follow a 'Sim' through their entire day" utterly POINTLESS!!"

"It's a tradeoff. We simulate so many things that we have to keep the cities small."

- Ocean Quigley EA Corporate Parrot.

EA. We say it's in the game, but it really isn't.

Creston
 
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17. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 13, 2013, 01:14 netnerd85
 
Cutter wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 22:33:
Stop giving these dicks your money because you're fucking it up for the rest of us!
Agreed.
 
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16. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 13, 2013, 00:58 OpticNerve
 
Gonna post this here but apparently the game itself is pretty broken in terms of some gameplay mechanics:

AI - This is why services and traffic are broken

The gist of it is that the actual Sims (people) don't have their own specific jobs to go do and homes to stay at. What happens is that they pick the nearest house and the nearest job which screws up the AI and causes really big traffic jams which clogs up the roads and causes a big cascading effect. Given how tiny the map-size is, IMO this is just a pretty lazy way of handling things.
 
Avatar 23638
 
http://theopticnerve.deviantart.com
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15. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 13, 2013, 00:55 Gas Bandit
 
Creston wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 22:37:
Bye Maxis. You can join the corpses of Origin, Westwood, Bullfrog and all the other once great developers who were fucking murdered by EA. Once upon it time, it was nice playing your games. Not anymore.

Creston

... and Mythic Entertainment, and Bioware, and Pandemic, and ....
 
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14. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 13, 2013, 00:00 Silicon Avatar
 
I skipped this. I just pretty much skip EA titles automatically now.

I always wanted follow-ups to SimLife. I even emailed Maxis (the real one - before EA bought them) about a sequel but the guy who emailed me back said that it didn't sell enough copies of the original to do a sequel.

 
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13. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 12, 2013, 23:35 deqer
 
Does the game cover say "SimCity Online" ? No? Well well, I wonder why...

it's because they wanted to fool all you into thinking it wasn't an Online game.
 
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12. Re: More Big Picture Details Mar 12, 2013, 23:34 HorrorScope
 
They all but assured back to back March Madness wins. Can someone say Die-nasty?  
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11. Re: More Big Picture Details Mar 12, 2013, 23:31 ColoradoHoudini
 
I wish everyone adopted this mentality:
"Stop giving these dicks your money because you're fucking it up for the rest of us!"

 
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10. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 12, 2013, 23:30 jdreyer
 
RaZ0r! wrote on Mar 12, 2013, 22:01:
Of course we know they will never make it work offline, but wouldn't it be funny if they did? Everyone could go straight to Activision and demand they do the same for Diablo III.

Unlike EA who claim that online is required for the game, but it will run offline for 20m, D3 won't. It dies as soon as you lose internet. As I understand it (although I've never unplugged D3 while playing it) the Blizzard servers actually feed AI and loot info to the game in real time. This makes sense to protect the RMAH.
 
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"Microsoft is the absent minded parent of PC gaming" - Verno
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9. Re: More Big Picture Details Mar 12, 2013, 22:57 HorrorScope
 
I'm totally surprised this isn't the lead story on Today. This is code red shit right here, our Sim Cities is the busted!  
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8. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 12, 2013, 22:49 Rattlehead
 
It's like they don't want my money!  
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7. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 12, 2013, 22:37 Creston
 
In other words: EA is full of shit, as usual. This is about DRM and about preventing mods so they can DLC it out the ass. This comes in addition to reports from EA's forum that the engine is just plain broken and just goes into full "what the fuck ever" mode once you reach a certain number of people. I hope the whole fucking thing burns around them and their shit-ass company.

Bye Maxis. You can join the corpses of Origin, Westwood, Bullfrog and all the other once great developers who were fucking murdered by EA. Once upon it time, it was nice playing your games. Not anymore.

Creston
 
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86 Replies. 5 pages. Viewing page 4.
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