Simcity update 10 in Final Testing, will include Offline Play

simcity

By on March 14, 2014 at 8:08 am

Well, hasn’t this one been coming for a while. In one of the slowest and longest backflips in gaming, that started with the developer first claiming that offline play simply “wasn’t possible” in March last year before the internet comprehensively proved them wrong, Simcity developers Maxis have announced on Twitter that update 10 is in “final testing”. “Almost there Mayors,” the Twitter post said yesterday.

Maxis have been talking about update 10 from the start of this year. In January they argued on their blog that their original assertion regarding offline play was correct, since it required six and a half months of recoding the engine to make it possible. “Even things that seem trivial, like the way that cities are saved and loaded, had to be completely reworked in order to make this feature function correctly,” the Simcity blog said at the time.

Just how long it will take for Update 10 to clear final testing is unknown, but Patrick Buechner, general manager of the Maxis studio at Emeryville, indicated that it would be “very soon”. So not an extra month, one imagines.

Either way, it’ll be great for Maxis and EA to finally put this one to bed. March is the month for rewriting several wrongs, it seems.

Source: Thanks, Twitter!

 

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18 comments (Leave your own)

“the developer first claiming that offline play simply “wasn’t possible” in March last year before the internet comprehensively proved them wrong”

“their original assertion regarding offline play was correct, since it required six and a half months of recoding the engine to make it possible”

How can these two sentances be in the same piece.
Dont know how anyone can believe these guys anymore…

 

Sphinx2000,

Well you did cut out the part in the second sentence where I said “Maxis argued” – or tried to, at any rate.

But you’re right, I think there’s only so many times you can bleed the well dry before people give up on you completely. I don’t think everyone HAS given up on Simcity, but by God many a bridge has been burned.

 

The game is still buggy as hell. One year later there’s still major issues…

I made a city last month, what happened was I destroyed a Community College to build a University, and it created “phantom” students / seats. This means the game thought those phantom Sims were uneducated, despite the fact that I had full coverage for education. Thus my industry couldn’t tech up properly. To verify this I razed the entire city to the ground, literally nothing left. Population = 0. But I still had hundreds of students who “needed” education. Only solution: start a new city. This “phantom” Sims or services problem has been in the game since launch, most notably with the Garbage / Recycling trucks (if you destroyed the depots while the trucks were in the city, they would no longer spawn more even if you built a new one, since it would already think those phantom trucks were patrolling your city).

And of course, how sometimes it takes 24 real time hours to send money from one city to another, and sometimes how it takes only 5 minutes, for no conceivable reason. (I sent money from my razed to the ground city to a new one that had like 2 streets, in an attempt to “restart” from the bug, and the money didn’t arrive until the next evening when I got back from work)

Even the inter-region stuff is broken as hell. My “new” city that I restarted then had maybe 300 students for the local high school… but 2000 students commuting in every day! They were crowding out my local students. Maybe those were the “phantom” students from the last city next door? I dread to think… I was going bankrupt building more and more school rooms for them… suddenly they stopped coming. Completely.

I had good fun with SImcity (playing with friends was a blast) when it did work, but goodness they must have hired the most incompetent developers on the planet for this job. I would love for a Simcity dev to do a Q&A and explain why their game was so terribly written… I’m sure there must be some kind of reason for this.

 

I like that they claim that offline play is impossible and stand behind that claim like it’s not their fault. Who the hell wrote the worthless engine in the first place if not them? They made an engine without offline play and one so poorly optimized they claim it can’t support a city larger than a suburb. I wouldn’t feel so cheated if they had just named it Sim Suburb because then I wouldn’t of bought it and would still have the $40 in my bank.
I think I got 10 hrs of pain into this game and never looked back. I will never buy another one ever again.

 

I didn’t even care about an offline mode, simply because after filling up my city space in 4 hours of playtime I stopped giving a damn.

 

I never bothered picking up the game because of the city sizes.

 

aetherfox:
The game is still buggy as hell. One year later there’s still major issues…

I made a city last month, what happened was I destroyed a Community College to build a University, and it created “phantom” students / seats

Even the inter-region stuff is broken as hell. My “new” city that I restarted then had maybe 300 students for the local high school… but 2000 students commuting in every day! They were crowding out my local students. Maybe those were the “phantom” students from the last city next door? I dread to think… I was going bankrupt building more and more school rooms for them… suddenly they stopped coming. Completely.

I had good fun with SImcity (playing with friends was a blast) when it did work, but goodness they must have hired the most incompetent developers on the planet for this job. I would love for a Simcity dev to do a Q&A and explain why their game was so terribly written… I’m sure there must be some kind of reason for this.

The reason for all of those problems is the region code is terrible in addition to agent code being terrible.

Students and workers will travel to the region for study or work, and not come home.

The Arcology fixes this problem, in reverse, by supplying all the low to medium density workers to a city hub if present, so you only need to have high wealth, high density workers in an area. So yes, the arcology is a massive hack.

The big key to getting simcity 5 to work, is to remove all traffic lights from the road system, and to create a fast highway transition system to prevent the region access being blocked. sounds simple, but it requires 5 to 20 hours of work just on the roads, and testing them over time so you don’t get bottlenecks, which can cripple the infrastructure.

There’s some highly creative ideas on how to get traffic to work, but it all boils down to the road system in the end, and always. i.e. the average sim drives at 10km/h in a residential area, at jogging speed, so the cars can be visible. it takes them ~45 minutes of game time to traverse an entire city at times. in peak hour, it’s slower.

Students all leave at 6am to drive to school or take a bus, a university will take all ages of students (yep), and take in new students who missed 7am start at 9am. workers leave at 8am, to get to work at 9am, closed by 10am. the times are rough, but applicable.

if a sim gets stuck in traffic,they lose their job or place in school and become uneducated.

sims, go out of the region if they have jobs to do there. which is insane. and the agent’s don’t get orders to come back, ever. so they’re effectively dead.

Hence the 7-9 month wait for offline mode,

Maxis essentially had to find a way for a single city to be self-sufficient with the resources it has, and to “buffer” the region access code so that any agents that go walkabout, come back at some point.

At this point, given how monumental that disclosure was revealed by players, not developers, the offline capability has to fix one of the more cogent problems in the AI itself, getting the agents back after they go missing.

 

now if they increase the city sizes by a significant amount I just might buy the game.

 

mezza:
now if they increase the city sizes by a significant amount I just might buy the game.

Yeah that has also stopped me from bothering.

These guys seem to be completely disconnected from what their users actually like about the game.

 

Assuming that a Metropolis is actually a desirable construct.

 

“is it fixed yet”
“no”
“is it fixed yet”
“no”
“is it fixed yet”
“no”
“is it fixed yet”
“no”
“is it fixed yet”
“no”

 

These guys seem to be completely disconnected from what their users actually like about the game.

+1. This is the fundamental issue that most original fans have with the game: apart from curved roads, Maxis either changed, removed, or broke everything we liked about Sim City 4 and failed to add anything that we had asked for. Fail.

 

Maxis seemed to have become very lazy with the sims games. Spore a game developer for almost 8 years and was delayed 18 months is perfect example.

Maxis has these “visions” no one else shares. Personally I liked the idea of online play and I didn’t mind the fact it was online only but would have preferred an offline mode. The entire game was built around online play and yes it would of taken a lot of work. But really the game should of had both options from the start.

The game also should of been 64 bit and multithreaded. What the hell were they thinking releases it in 32 bit only and making the game only use one CPU core. For what they wanted to achieve that was just plain stupid.

 

lemonater47,

I’ll disagree there… Spore, in its first inception was something to behold and held a world of promise.
But that was when Will Wright had reigns of the project… Then EA stepping in…

 

sovaka,

It looked more to me they had an idea and they didn’t have the skill to pull it off. And that theory becomes more and more likely with every new thing they release. Their employees are will wright enthusiasts not game developers.

 

Do they realise what their doing is like trying to spit-polish an abortion?

 

sovaka:
lemonater47,

I’ll disagree there… Spore, in its first inception was something to behold and held a world of promise.
But that was when Will Wright had reigns of the project… Then EA stepping in…

Correction it was Lucy Bradshaw who took the reigns from Will Wright. She was also the reason he left EA/Maxis.

She was also lead for Sim City…

I don’t need to say any more ;)

 

awesome. its about time lol

 
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