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SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting "Hack" Posts

A new update to developer blog for the new SimCity has word on Maxis' efforts at addressing user complaints about the urban planning sequel. This includes complaints that the residents of the city are not as simulated as promised, and lead designer Stone Librande explains that while the Sims in the game do not have fixed residences or jobs, they do have persistent happiness states, admitting that adding more detailed persistence is a performance trade-off. He also says they are fixing the artificial stupidity that the AI drivers demonstrate, as realistic as idiotic drivers may be. This video offers a look at SimCity "congestion avoidance tuning." Also, Computer and Video Games notes some tweets by EA's Erik Reynolds explaining he's being 1000% transparent in admitting they are deleting forum posts about hacking SimCity to play offline. He does not forbid the discussion, but says as a violation of their Terms of Service, it can't take place on their forums (he says they support mods, but parses this with "hacks are not mods"), so users should: "Please move it to other places and continue the dialogue."

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42. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 18, 2013, 14:18 Verno
 
There's a whole new generation of game designer these days too, something to keep in mind. Many folks at Blizzard honestly didn't get the problems with Diablo 3, they were new-gen folks who had played and worked on games like WoW.  
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41. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 16, 2013, 16:31 Ant
 
Optional nickname wrote on Mar 15, 2013, 17:45:
I have a single question, perhaps no one stopped to think and ask:

this is Maxis, right? They made the first Simcity, right?

then..... (what went wrong?)
/can I open my eyes now?

Having fun playing SC2 Hots. Cutscenes are worth the $39 as a mini movie.
It's not the same people. Both companies aren't the same like the old days. EA used to be cool.
 
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40. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 16, 2013, 04:32 xXBatmanXx
 
Ridiculous. How did they not test for traffic? Seriously? Did anyone play the game before release day? Morons.  
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In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. / Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder.
Playing: New dad
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39. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 19:45 Dev
 
jacobvandy wrote on Mar 15, 2013, 16:30:
I've thought about that programmer guy who talked on Reddit before about how the city size limitation must be due to all the data they have to store in memory... But it seems they don't store shit in memory for agents, if all they're doing is playing musical chairs.

He was assuming that the ppl on this game were competent, and that everything they've told the public wasn't just made up.
 
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38. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 19:36 SeanD
 
public SimianAI() as AgentState {

for (int n=0; (n>10000 / Luser.NumberOfDLCPurchased); n++)

{ TravelInCircles();
CPULoader(2000, "null"); /* do we need more zeros here? -mgmt

return self.AgentState(returnState(), 1);
}
----

Our new technology dynamically improves the quality of game algorithms as more content is added! This is in contrast to your typical non-cloud games that get slower and slower as the local computer tries to keep up with HD content in your contemporary game engine algorithms.
 
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37. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 18:25 jacobvandy
 
Optional nickname wrote on Mar 15, 2013, 17:45:
Cutscenes are worth the $39 as a mini movie.

Why would you say that? If they make a full-length movie that costs $150 to download, I'll blame you!
 
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36. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 17:45 Optional nickname
 
I have a single question, perhaps no one stopped to think and ask:

this is Maxis, right? They made the first Simcity, right?

then..... (what went wrong?)
/can I open my eyes now?

Having fun playing SC2 Hots. Cutscenes are worth the $39 as a mini movie.
 
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35. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 17:15 jacobvandy
 
You're right, the term "hack" is a pejorative, and it is used deliberately here. In the same way celebrities (or anyone else, really) use it to try and shift the blame for their technological stupidity, and any number of news outlets use it incorrectly because it's more sensational than "had their email password guessed."  
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34. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 17:00 Prez
 
Hacks are not mods.
I've only ever dabbled in modding, but it seems to me that mods (in the sense we use the word in PC gaming) are in fact hacks. The only difference is that mods are often welcome and even encouraged by the dev/pub (just not by EA lately, because they are douches), while what publishers blithely call "hacks" are simply unwelcome mods that make the game better for the players (Not to be confused with "cheats" to be sure).

Bethesda: "Feel free to mod our game!"

EA/Ubisoft/Blizzard: "Our games need to be online because that was how they were built, sorry... wait... what do you mean some dude removed our intrusive and prohibitive DRM?! HEY!! Don't hack our game cretins!!!"
 
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33. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 16:31 Cutter
 
Homer: I pity those poor suckers on the freeway. Gas, brake, honk. Gas, brake, honk. Honk, honk, punch. Gas, gas gas!
 
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32. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 16:30 jacobvandy
 
I've thought about that programmer guy who talked on Reddit before about how the city size limitation must be due to all the data they have to store in memory... But it seems they don't store shit in memory for agents, if all they're doing is playing musical chairs.  
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31. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 16:28 SpectralMeat
 
That is a whole lot of optimism you have towards EA/Maxis there.
 
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Steam: SpectralMeat
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30. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 16:15 Quboid
 
Technically all mods are hacks, he means cracks. No surprise to see this chat banned on the official forum.

The simulation really is piss poor. No set homes or jobs, shopping at the first shop they come to. The agent engine works pretty well for utilities but it's pathetic for sims. The Sim agents need concepts of ownership and individuality in where terms of where they are.

With the population un-fudged, you max out at about 15K. With all these corners cut. The present city size should manage 100K (absolute minimum!) and if they were a reasonable size (2x the length for 4x the area), about 500K. Ideally more like 2,500K for people who pack in high density like we did in SC3K.

So with a pathetically weak attempt at simulation, it can only manage about a tenth of the number of sims it should and about a hundredth of the number of sims for a busy city in a good city boundary size.

I can't imagine this is anything other than incompetency, either by the coders or more likely, the project managers. They can't sell DLC to make cities 4x the size, not when the simulation is too shit for the present size.

The simulation vision they had when selling us the game was maybe in the design document but they have failed and failed hard in implementing it and I don't think what they've ended up with is much good as a DLC selling platform and for that, I suspect heads will roll.

Hopefully there's a much better simulation engine there which they couldn't get going in time for launch, so they cut it apart for the release and they're polishing off now. Hopefully there'll be a big gameplay patch which improves the simulation detail while running faster to enable decent populations even on the current size. Hopefully pigs will fly.
 
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- Quboid
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29. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 15:32 Draugr
 
Creston wrote on Mar 15, 2013, 15:21:
Mikus_Aurelius wrote on Mar 15, 2013, 13:54:
Tropico cities top out in the mid hundreds. Even in Tropico 4, there's a population cap well south of 1000, IIRC. Simcity is working on a bigger scale.

Well, it pretends it is. As that modder showed yesterday, if you turn the fudge function off, the SimCity hamlets only have like 10K people in them.

That's still more than Tropico 4, of course, but then again, every citizen in Tropico has individual needs and wants and belongs to factions and keep his/her same job and his/her same house, etc. I had a 1000+ person city in Tropico 4 yesterday, and it ran just fine.

So why the heck Maxis felt they needed to just go this stupid route with their awesome crappy Glass Box engine, who knows.

creston


This is just random speculation, but its possible that the real reason they want there to be sims in there is some sort of integration with future sim releases - I'm not saying its a worthy trade-off, but to me this all seems like EA trying to get into selling data, and making the sims follow suit like this game, and saying it HAS to be online to work (etc etc.) is just going to be part of that push.
 
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28. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 15:21 Creston
 
Mikus_Aurelius wrote on Mar 15, 2013, 13:54:
Tropico cities top out in the mid hundreds. Even in Tropico 4, there's a population cap well south of 1000, IIRC. Simcity is working on a bigger scale.

Well, it pretends it is. As that modder showed yesterday, if you turn the fudge function off, the SimCity hamlets only have like 10K people in them.

That's still more than Tropico 4, of course, but then again, every citizen in Tropico has individual needs and wants and belongs to factions and keeps his/her same job and his/her same house, etc. I had a 1000+ person city in Tropico 4 yesterday, and it ran just fine.

So why the heck Maxis felt they needed to just go this stupid route with their awesome crappy Glass Box engine, who knows.

creston
 
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27. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 14:05 Rhino
 
Mikus_Aurelius wrote on Mar 15, 2013, 13:54:
Rhino wrote on Mar 15, 2013, 10:02:
I remember playing Tropico 1 back in 2001 (as well as every other one since). All residents have specific names, skills, personalities, residences, jobs. I'll admit to not being an expert but I would think that after 12 years adding persistent homes and jobs would still be possible without severely impacting performance on such small cities.

Tropico cities top out in the mid hundreds. Even in Tropico 4, there's a population cap well south of 1000, IIRC. Simcity is working on a bigger scale. Having said that, I'm totally in the camp that doesn't need to see power/water blobs. Abstract that shit and put in bigger cities.

1500 is the max population, and that's with far more specific details on each individual than what seems to be asked for out of SimCity dwellers. Further to that, and this may be specific to my situation, my performance didn't noticeably budge regardless of whether I had 15 or 1500 people both on my old creaky system and my newer one.
 
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26. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 13:54 Mikus_Aurelius
 
Rhino wrote on Mar 15, 2013, 10:02:
I remember playing Tropico 1 back in 2001 (as well as every other one since). All residents have specific names, skills, personalities, residences, jobs. I'll admit to not being an expert but I would think that after 12 years adding persistent homes and jobs would still be possible without severely impacting performance on such small cities.

Tropico cities top out in the mid hundreds. Even in Tropico 4, there's a population cap well south of 1000, IIRC. Simcity is working on a bigger scale. Having said that, I'm totally in the camp that doesn't need to see power/water blobs. Abstract that shit and put in bigger cities.
 
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25. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 12:38 Verno
 
Rhino wrote on Mar 15, 2013, 12:31:
In other words, it's not as though they haven't done something similar before; and so it wouldn't surprise me if the idea that Verno (and others, of course; but in this case Verno) is suggesting does happen

I am absolutely certain that larger city sizes will come as some sort of content addition, the only real question is whether its a full priced expansion, some DLC or they're generous enough to patch it in (I strongly doubt the latter will happen). It's a no brainer addition and the game itself is very limited with the current city sizes. This of course assumes they can get GlassBox to behave, it's really disconcerting how broken many aspects of the game are at current sizes.
 
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24. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 12:31 Rhino
 
Beamer wrote on Mar 15, 2013, 12:10:
Verno wrote on Mar 15, 2013, 12:08:
There's another explanation you're ignoring, that they want to sell larger city sizes later on in an expansion pack.

I doubt this, because it's the dumbest idea possible.

Yes, I'm aware, that, given the circumstances, my logic may be flawed (in the doubt, not the dumb.)

Back when Sims 2 as first being showcased they demonstrated in-game weather and how it would affect the Sims' daily lives, including lightning strikes if the player did something foolish like leaving them in the pool during a storm. Later they revealed that weather wasn't working well and removed it from Sims 2's initial release. They eventually got it working but, in spite of the fact that they had publicly indicated by way of initial video previews that weather was meant to be a feature of the original release, they instead packaged it up as the primary feature of the Sims 2 Seasons expansion pack that customers had to pay for.

In other words, it's not as though they haven't done something similar before; and so it wouldn't surprise me if the idea that Verno (and others, of course; but in this case Verno) is suggesting does happen.

 
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23. Re: SimCity: Maxis Working on Traffic Jams; Deleting Mar 15, 2013, 12:19 Inali
 
NKD wrote on Mar 15, 2013, 12:04:
There are obviously huge performance issues SOMEWHERE or the city sizes would be bigger than 4 city blocks.

Or they simply need something to throw at DLC and the performance issues are completely unrelated.
 
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