Eyes On: Divining Data In SimCity

By Craig Pearson on October 25th, 2012 at 1:00 pm.


I lived with John for four years, which makes me an expert on sexy. So when I say that there’s something damn sexy about SimCity‘s data layers, then you have to believe me. Maxis’s reworking of their city simulation is getting a lot of attention for the way they’re attempting to display the graphs and percentages of the working of a city as part of the living, breathing world. You want to see if there’s a traffic problem? Follow a car and see where it gets stuck, then build bypass routes to clear the clog. It’s an idea that creates a startling looking game, but it can’t do everything. At a recent EA event I was demonstrated that to really peek at the population or divine the water, you’ll need to switch on the data.

The data layers are the easiest way of spotting the problems you’ve proliferated. They’re not a new concept, but the presentation is: live infographics, reacting immediately to the state of the simulation and presenting all that scary environmental data in readily readable graphics. Sadly, despite showing off a few of these in action, EA’s screenshots are annoyingly generic. You’ll have to get your infographic imagining hats on.

SimCity is a drive towards population happiness. You need to consider the impact of what you’re doing to your Sims, as well as the city. Build a street, and you need to balance the surrounding areas, and while civic responsibility means you’ll need industrialised waste processing and water gathering, it doesn’t make the place very civil. I’m guessing you knew that, but that those sorts of small issues are where previous games took time to tell you about their woes. Here’s it’s different. If you want to see exactly where the effects of buildings extend to, you click the desirability layer. It displays a simple, graduated colour map of where your Sims would like to reside: green is where neighbours are fist-bumping, red is where they’re fist-fighting, with the info throbbing according to what’s happening on the surface. All live.

Imagine a street, carved into the landscape with the slickness of a paint program, over a clump of red radiating out from a nearby industrial zone. People, or at least affluent, middle-upper class happy-types, won’t want to live there. There’s a number of options available, but the most immediately beneficial is to drop in a park nearby. A clump of green is settled into a square of buildings, and the effect is instantly simulated: the map starts pulsing out green from where the red was as the park was dropped, and additional upgrades clicked into the base ‘toy’ radiates green bands desirability out even further. Shacks become houses and the area is much more welcoming.

Another example. You’re able to create multiple cities in a region and you can , if you choose, have their infrastructure dominated by a single theme. So if the above parky area was placed in a residential city, you might want to consider placing the less salubrious elements in another city. A gambling themed city is likely to attract a lot of attention from tourists, who can visit your city from nearby regions (from your game, or if you choose is can be friends and online strangers). The tourists can be easily highlighted: the backdrop fades to white outlines and the visitors are all emphasised as floating icons drifting along the streets. You can learn from their numbers how well your casinos are doing, which will tell you how much you rely on them economically. You can see by how they move and where they are just how well public transport supports an influx of visitors.

None of this is graphs, none of it reports with percentages or statistics, it’s just the world data mixed with clear art telling you everything you need to know. It take a lot of the guess work out of the city planning, and as long as you have the resources to counter-act a troubled patch the data will guide you. As odd as this will sound, they feel a little bit like a wall-hack, or dev tools. But then if you’re in charge of building a city, this is the sort of data you’d expect to be able to read. The art presentation here just does the job of all those years of training.

If you build a gambling focused city, you’ll soon realise that casinos are a magnet from crime, and will need the police’s POV. The police layer serves two functions: showing you in green where’s safe for the people to settle and visit, and showing you where specific crime hotspots lie. The police presence has an interesting effect. It’s a lot like plopping down a park to improve the desirability, but where the park is a local perk, dropping a police HQ into city has a global effect. Like the park you can mod the station, sending officers to other cities, radiating out into the world. Those other servants of public order, garbage men, can also wander through the region’s cities, happily collecting life’s detritus to keep your vision as clear as possible.

You’ll see pulses of water and electricity darting around in their own layers, delivering the life-blood to the people. Those are big concepts, but there’s plenty of geeky subtleties to have to deal with as well. My favourite is a toggle that will show you how far the public are willing to walk to get to the nearest bus stop. Turn it on and you’ll see pulsing nodes radiating along your footpaths, showing you the coverage you need to achieve before people decide they’d rather not bother. For normal people it’s about 400m, which I’m told is a real-world statistic. Cheekily students will only walk 200m. That seems about right.

I was always a bit sceptical about SimCity, because I never knew just how much data is there for the players to play around with. It looked like the SimCity equivalent of the recent Microsoft Flight. But while it looks cute, there’s a rather serious underlying set of data to understand and tame. A lot of that would be useless if the information wasn’t there, obfuscated by the notion that it’s all readable in the way the city moves. But it’s there, and the clarity and responsiveness of it is lovely.

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95 Comments »

  1. acheron says:

    Sounds pretty good….. oh right, EA + always online. Never mind.

    • SocraticIrony says:

      Pretty much. No terraforming, no subways, ways for others to mess with my pristine metropolis, and no option to play offline, alone, by myself.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Despite all the disappointments, I really want this game to be fun. I can’t help feeling that if it’s the remote bit successful though, EA will try to turn it into a cash cow.

        • innociv says:

          Yeah. I don’t know.
          There are some bads, but lots of good looking things too.

          I don’t mind the always online as much as the no subways.

          • mrmalodor says:

            DRM messes with how and when you can play your game. Subways don’t.

          • Bhazor says:

            It’s Diablo 3 all over again. Can’t wait to hear the fanboy justifications this time.

          • Hahaha says:

            Diablo 3 was more fun than the supposedly good Xcom:EU so if you guys are thinking this will suck I’m going to guess it will actually be pretty good.

          • tyren says:

            It’s not “Diablo 3 all over again,” and I’ve objected to RPS labeling it “always-online” for this reason. They’ve said before that it requires a connection AT STARTUP. After that you can disconnect.

            I’m not saying that’s not problematic, but let’s not paint it as worse than it is.

          • Cam says:

            ^Good job. /sarcasm
            Your observations make the whole thing seem so much better. Clearly, because it’s only “on startup” instead of the dreaded “always on”, people will be happy to deal with the utter BS associated with a product they PAID for.

          • wu wei says:

            So as long as I start it up on my laptop at home before wanting to play it anywhere remote I’ll be fine?

            You, sir, are the very definition of “apologist”.

          • tyren says:

            Read my post again. I’m not saying that’s not problematic.

            I’m NOT saying that’s not problematic.

            I’M. NOT. SAYING. THAT’S. NOT. PROBLEMATIC.

            Oh, but don’t let me cut in on your whinefest. No, sir. Never mind that literal “always-on” carries certain other issues, like, oh, GETTING KICKED OUT OF SINGLE-PLAYER IF YOUR INTERNET GOES OUT, which this game wouldn’t have (but certain people in these comments are ACTING LIKE IT WOULD). No, let’s just keep pretending these two things are equally bad.

            If you’re going to label me an “apologist” for saying that things are bad but not as bad as people keep saying they are, then I really don’t know what to tell you. If you don’t like the connection at startup, THAT’S FINE, I’m not saying anyone has to like it. All I’m saying is let’s call it what it is.

        • ulix says:

          And then, after 5 to 10 expansions, it will be the game it should have come out as.
          Man… I was really looking forward to this.

          • dontnormally says:

            I cannot conceive of a single reason why they would not painfully extract every dollar out of this the same way they treated The Sims.

          • Amun says:

            Subway DLC – $4.99
            Years past 2050 DLC – $9.99
            Terraforming DLC – $14.99
            Being able to do things you could back in the 90′s* DLC – lol, not for sale

            *(Like building a city and then loading it in SimCopter and blowing it up with the Apache, then loading it back into SimCity 2000.)

          • JaminBob says:

            This is exactly what citiesXL tried to do. A competent semi decent city sim, log in on start, offline baulked, and dozens paid for add-ons. It was an ‘epic fail’. Unfortunately EA might pull it off.

      • Lanfranc says:

        As I understand the system, the multiplayer isn’t mandatory. You can have the whole region to yourself just by not inviting anyone else in.

        • MordeaniisChaos says:

          It is absolutely an option to play 100% isolated, though you most certainly will have to be online. It’s stupid, but if you ignore the game for that, as “noble” as that may be, it’s ultimately your loss. Some things have been taken out, but I’d bet my swinging cod that almost if not absolutely all of it will be added later through DLC/expansions. Plus, they’ve added plenty of things to fill that hole.

          • SocraticIrony says:

            Being able to be isolated certainly makes it more attractive. Although I’m dismissive again when it comes to putting features “back in” as DLC.

          • Bhazor says:

            Always on DRM in a single player.
            Your argument is invalid.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            It’s not an argument, it’s an opinion and it’s very much valid. Stop looking for a fight.

          • Baardago says:

            Opinion, argument… doesn’t matter. Single player + always online DRM still makes it invalid.

          • Olddan says:

            Meh, the internet’s always on anyway. I couldn’t care less about the online requirement, I wouldn’t notice the difference.

          • Lev Astov says:

            When I’m on a ship in the middle of the ocean, the internet is most certainly not on. I also get very bored and want to play games like SimCity. Now they’re telling me I can’t? NO MONEY FOR YOU.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @Lev Astov

            After the Diablo 3 debacle, one of the things I learnt is that a vocal proportion of people who have no intention of leading a life away from their broadband connection have absolutely no empathy for those who wish to both pursue their gaming hobby and lead slightly more interesting lives.

          • Hahaha says:

            by playing Xcom:EU lmfao

          • Hebrind says:

            Agreed with MordeaniisChaos – You have a choice, really don’t you?

            Either you can play SimCity with the DRM always on (And if you’re in the civilised world with more than a 56K Modem, I reckon you won’t notice it)… Or you can not play a game you’ll most likely enjoy, and miss out on the fun, making do with watching other people play it on YouTube.

            It’s a bit of a no-brainer really. I mean I get that yeah, it’s a bit of a pain in the backside to need the DRM, but Piracy’s A Bad Thing™. It’s just one of those things you have to do if you want a legit copy of the game. It’s not *that* bad unless it actually stops you playing the game a lá Diablo III.

            It’s only like being online on Steam while playing a game, for pete’s sake.

          • Bhazor says:

            “”When” it works and “If” Origin behaves then what does it add for the single player?

            And no. I don’t have a choice.

            I want to play this on my commute. My train doesn’t have Wi-fi.

            So what’s my choice then?

          • derbefrier says:

            well you could sit there and pout, or you could just play another game but then all this crying would look silly if you acted a little reasonable so you should probably just sit there and cry about how always online killed your children.

          • Amun says:

            Person A: “I’m not going to support this product because reason X.”
            Person B: “I hate you for having reason X affect your life.”

          • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

            But derbefrier, the fact of the matter is that if it turns out that companies add always-on DRM into their games and there is no blowback from gamers, they have no reason not to add it into all of their games. Which is a bad thing. So sure, partly this fight is about wanting to be able to play the games you buy wherever you want to play them for a few games- but it’s also about fighting every game from being always-on, and making it so that if your internet hiccups for a moment you won’t be starting at a connection lost screen in your singleplayer games.

            Don’t think anyone is talking about always-on killing their children, though. I just see people trying to prevent a hobby they enjoy from becoming less enjoyable, and more of a hassle.

          • Xepter says:

            Goddammit guys, you just need to be online on start-up, nothing more. It’s the same with steam, what’s the problem? If you play on a laptop, just log in, then close your laptop, and open it, when you want to play it. And everyone who plays at home, just needs Internet for a minute or so, I don’t get all the hate here…
            If a game would not have any DRM, then it would be pirated to hell and back. The only exception are indi games, because the people who play those games, generally want to pay for the game, unlike AAA games >_>

        • Cooper says:

          Still cloud saves and no svae & reload though.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            Ouch! I can over look DRM but this could be killer for me. No local save files? Recipe for disaster.

          • Lev Astov says:

            What?! That’s the first I’m hearing of this. I guess it’s completely up to pirates to fix this game. How pathetic is that?

        • mrmalodor says:

          And you can play Diablo 3 alone too. Doesn’t make it any less DRM-infested.

          • Xepter says:

            well, in diablo it’s always on drm, meaning, if you lost connection for a sec, like I do most of the time, then you get resetted. In sim city you only need internet on startup, and then you can just joyfully play alone in your basement all you want :P

          • Emeraude says:

            So when it does trouble you, it’s an issue, but when it troubles others, it’s needless crying over nothing ?

            Dully noted.

      • takfar says:

        That, and a very small map (2km x 2km), and, apparently, no density control. HOW THE HELL does one plan a city without density control? Oh, and no food/farming, either.

        I’ve preordered it, anyway. It’s not my dream simcity yet, but I believe they’ve got something good brewing. Maybe in another 4 or 5 years, we’ll have a fully 3D, fully customizable, deeper and slicker version of Simcity 4. THAT would be awesome.

        • Amun says:

          Why are you giving them money if they’re not giving you what you want?

          • The Random One says:

            Yeah, if you think the game might be good five years from now, why not wait five years? Then, if the game is good, you’ll save like 60% of the launch price and probably get all DLC for it. If it isn’t good… you save 100% of the price.

    • golem09 says:

      Pirates will probably get an offline version. Because, you know, as non-paying gamers they deserve to get the better experience.
      Naturally.

    • Baardago says:

      This. Pretty much this.

    • lcy says:

      Same here. I’d love a bit of SimCity, but what about when I’m on the train, or during my upcoming move when the broadband isn’t yet on? Not everyone’s machine is a desktop with a rock solid connection. Always-on is anti-player, and I’m not interested in it.

      • sqrrl101 says:

        Not trying to defend EA (there are plenty of aspects of this game about which I’m sceptical), but it’s not always-on, it only requires a connection at start-up. Still a pain, but at least it means one can use phone tethering when the game starts up, then switch it off during play (assuming one has a smartphone).

  2. Milky1985 says:

    So i can make multiple cities in adjectent regions eh, see a deseriability map and a map of where crimes happen.

    I know the simulation engine is better now and more focused on the agents and individual items but i could do all of that in sim city 4k

    And i wouldn’t have to be online for the “priviledge”.

    • Bhazor says:

      About to say that.

      The desirability/land value/crime overlays have been there since Simcity 2000. I think the SNES version even had it.

      Have to wonder if Craig has actually played the others or whether he just believes the PR people when they tell him its a revolutionary new feature.

    • Smashbox says:

      Misspelling privilege and then putting it in quotes makes it seem like you’re quoting someone’s misspelling.

      • Milky1985 says:

        Thank you for your input, it really added a lot to a comment about the game and its systems. I’m sorry the post I quickly made at the end of my lunch break doesn’t live up to your standards in regards to our written language.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          As this thread has gone way off topic already – anyone know the linky to get custom pictures on our profiles! Feeling left out these days!

        • Smashbox says:

          To your comment:

          It seems that part of the point is to experience the same types of data using different visualizations, with the info available in the main play-space and not as a part of supplementary graphs and charts. Which, in itself, does seem better.

          It’s a bit silly to criticize a game on the basis that it will include the things its predecessor also included. I have mixed feelings about this game, but I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt until it’s in some hands (at least the beta).

  3. Loque says:

    I wish it was not an EA product, because I would immediately buy it.

    • Bhazor says:

      …huh?
      Every Simcity game is an EA game.

      What the heck does EA have to do with it?

      • S Jay says:

        Let me:

        - Origin
        - Always-on DRM

        I know I should be less of a sucker for Steam’s DRM, but I prefer Valve than EA. I really don’t want to have Origin on my PC.

        Yes, this is ridiculous and not so rational, but it is the truth.

        • SanguineAngel says:

          Not that irrational. I’ve had a half dozen issues with Origin, including it uninstalling my games without me asking it to (repeatedly) and falling over, kicking me out of the game I have been playing (BF3) on many occasions. Steam on the other hand, has given me no problems. Okay, they’re both forms of DRM but steam, as far as my experience runs, is slick, efficient and genuinely useful. Origin is none of the above.

      • Dark Nexus says:

        Actually, SimCity and SimCity 2000 were self-published originally.

        They were re-published by EA several years later, though, after they bought Maxis.

  4. RedViv says:

    Still looking forward to it, despite the potential for curmudgeonly nitpicking.

  5. kibble-n-bullets says:

    Most everything is looking nice except for the whole online bit.

    I’m hoping the rule sets can be tweaked by the community. Here’s an example: As it’s most always been in simcity if you put something nice next to something ugly it sort of evens out. BUT if you made parks next to industrial areas they’d become gang hangouts without doubling down on policing in the area. But maybe then if you had a high enough overall education level, low enough overall unemployment, and an expensive safety net this sort of dynamic wouldn’t be as pronounced. Sayin’?

  6. Cooper says:

    For reference:
    Cooper42:
    @oceanquigley I’m playing XCOM on Ironman mode. Makes me hapy that SimCity will have cloud only saves and no reload and be Ironman too…

    Ocean Quigley
    @Cooper42 Right. I know that you need to be able to reload your city after a disaster. Still trying to figure out the best way to do that.

    Cooper42
    @oceanquigley Best way to reload? Local saves? Mutliple saves of the city? Then if I change PC, I could store them on a floppy disk.

    Ocean Quigley
    @Cooper42 This SimCity is an online, multiplayer game, which adds some complexity to reloading after a disaster.

    • aepervius says:

      Cloud save only ? This is insane. I liked to make a special save and then try different scenario from that save. Do you have a link or something showing that ?

      • Wild_Marker says:

        Well even if it IS a cloud save, who says there can’t be multiple Cloud Saves?

        Of course, it looks to be single-save but with the disasters… I think Maxis would probably realize at some point that people aren’t going to use the disasters much if there’s no easy way of going back. Either thay start a branching save when you put a disaster in, or make multi-saves.

  7. Deadly Habit says:

    Is it going to support mods like Simcity 4 did? Or is EA going to milk every nickel and dime from people via DLC.
    Always online is enough of a deterrent, along with day one DLC, but I’d love a new Simcity so badly.

    • mrmalodor says:

      No, they already confirmed no mod support ever. EA can’t have all those sweet free mods compete with the DLCs.

    • DarkLiberator says:

      This is what they said in the reddit AMA to a question on mods “As we said in the talk yesterday, we’re very much aware of and appreciative of our mod community. We don’t have specific plans yet beyond general good intentions, and the fact that we’re using similar tech to our previous games. Basically, stay tuned.”

      I’m guessing the engine will be open but no mod tools period.

      • RedViv says:

        That was really enough for the most important things in Sims 3. Let’s see what comes up.

        • Gnoupi says:

          To be honest, they did try to kill the modding community in the Sims 3 to direct people to their store.
          The sims 1 and 2 were moddable, even if unofficially, and a lot of people made mods, some even made a living from it.

          And in the Sims 3 (at least on launch), it became: nope, you can’t install any custom content, and if you do, you can’t patch your game anymore.

          Really unfortunate decision, this was.

          • RedViv says:

            Must have forgotten about that, then. Can only remember the usual, rather impotent, warnings about how support can not be guaranteed if you mod the game.

      • Lev Astov says:

        I want the developers to tell us who we need to write to in order to express our need for mods.

        There is so much data supporting the value of mods and no way to quantify any of the publisher’s fears about mods losing them money.

  8. HexagonalBolts says:

    I REALLY hope this is good but I don’t have much faith in EA. I suspect it might be Spore City.

  9. Tomhai says:

    Desirerability datalayer with green to red squares and building parks to increase desirebilty was already in Caesar…at least in Caesar III… which is like 15 years ago.. or 20? So either it was a bad example to illustrate what’s new in this SimCity or there really is not much there to speaks of.

  10. HexagonalBolts says:

    Here’s a kickstarter idea: someone should make a new indie 2D city builder like ye olde sim city

  11. dignifieddevil says:

    Origins sucks update: Tonight Origin gave me an error every time I tried to redownload a game then when I went to customer service I was sent to French customer service for medal of honor for an issue with battlefield 3, the medal of honor guy spoke English though and was surprisingly rather helpful. Anyways, most of the layers features and region + other towns just sounds like cities xl 2012… in fact I’ve yet to see anything in the sim city reboot that its competitor hasn’t already done. The only exception is the great art style, the glass box engine and the design of the game looks amazing, hopefully it’ll be better optimizied than cities xl 2012, but I don’t think that this will really be able to compete with prison architect and taken the fact that getting the game from Origin seems to be a tremendous hassle I don’t think I will bother with it. Que pro-EA trolls…

  12. killmachine says:

    i’m really starting to get interested in this one. but, i won’t install origin to play this game.

  13. Pathetic Phallacy says:

    Dear Paradox:

    Please make a city simulator.

    Love,

    Me

  14. DJJoeJoe says:

    I wish rock, paper, shotgun featured higher resolution images in the articles. Hard to even see a game in the small images featured on the site.

  15. lexoneir says:

    Won’t install Origin.
    Also, the online portion doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the smaller city size. I was really hoping for a larger than SC4K city size with a new game. Its just sad how much they take away, while calling it new and improved.

  16. Tayh says:

    Does anyone know if it would be possible to emulate the real life Europe, or more specifically: Scandinavia, in regards to healthcare, taxes, welfare and the education system?

  17. bulletbill88 says:

    From the sounds of it, if it was up to the RPS hordes we wouldn’t have email either – ‘What!?! I have to be online to send and receive messages?! Outrageous! What about all those times that I’m stuck in a submarine in the middle of the North Sea and the captain has revoked my internet privileges? No, I’ll stick to messenger pigeon thanks!’

    Let’s face it, the existence of RPS itself demonstrates that most people in the first world are able to connect to the internet on a semi-regular basis. If you live in the first world and can’t get an internet connection on a start up, then you are in the minority my friend. I don’t excuse the connection, but this isn’t diablo with the content being hosted server side and people with slow connections (like me at peak time) getting hosed. As for the social aspect – I might be alone, but I like the sound of that, cities are connected in the real world. Yes if you don’t want it, then it sucks but the answer is to just NOT BUY THE GAME THAT ISN’T WHAT YOU WANT!

    I mean seriously – just don’t buy it! And then leave the thread to those that want to talk about the game they might actually like. It is the equivalent of going in to a thread for a puzzle game and going ‘No shooting men in the face = no buy from me!’ Just accept the fact that they aren’t making a game for people without internet or people who want to build isolated kingdoms and move on.

    I will buy this game. Looks great. I hope the standalone game has heaps of content. I know there will be DLC but it better be good if they want extra $ from me. And yes – the more graphs the better!

    • TCM says:

      The scenario isn’t nearly as extreme as all that.

      Public transit usually isn’t a place where most people can be online, for example. Neither is an Airplane. Both are potentially long, boring rides where folks might want to play a game, and there are indeed many games you can play — just not these games, because we don’t want you believing for a second that you actually have any real control over your software.

      Always online is a worrying trend in development that needs to be called out as much as possible, because the day every game is ‘always online’ will likely be long before the day when everyone has free, usable regardless of the circumstances, steady internet access.

      • bulletbill88 says:

        ‘Needs to be called on’ – no it doesn’t. If ‘always online’ (which Sim city isn’t BTW) has an impact on you then don’t buy the game. Publishers don’t take any notice of internet feeds – or do you really think someone at EA is monitoring this thinking ‘oh noes, someone has threatened not to buy our game because it needs the internet!’. Publishers care about sales. If a game doesn’t sell then they are worried. If you think that Sim City needing an internet connection is going to kill sales and EA thinks otherwise the market will sort it out. Complaining to the internet about the audacity of requiring an internet connection to do somethinng won’t do squat.

    • benkc says:

      Your strawman doesn’t even work. Email does not, traditionally, require an always-online internet connection. In areas and eras without always-on internet connection, it is/was quite common to write emails while offline, then connect to the internet just long enough to send and receive all your messages in a batch.

      The analogous behavior here would be for the game to work regardless of whether you have an internet connection, and the status of neighboring cities updates whenever you go online.

      Your second strawman is even more ridiculous. The first can at least be excused in part by your possibly being too young to remember the 90′s. Equating “I would like to play this game, even in times and places where internet access cannot be guaranteed” to “Games in this genre are dumb, they should make games from a different genre” is so disingenious that I have to ask: sir, are you trolling?

  18. sabasNL says:

    I DISAGREE.

    Give Electronic Arts, and Origin, ánd SimCity, a chance. While they may not have the best history, they did and still do deliver some quality games. This can turn out to be a great game. Stop having such a strong, unbased opinion on a game, 5 months before it will actually be released. Also, get your facts straight. I see alot of wrong statements.

    To me, this does look like a good game. I was afraid of a SimCity that would be milked out, outdated and rushed, just EA wanting to fill the gap in the market. I honestly believe that they didn’t forget their mistakes from the past with their other games, and I trust them that this will be a good product.

    • smg77 says:

      EA doesn’t deserve any more chances.

      • SketchyGalore says:

        Maxis does, though. I can still see some shining brilliant development somewhere other than the torch and pitchfork wielding mob outside of EA’s doors.

        This is all infuriating to read, much like the knee-jerk sacred ground treading hatred leading up to Diablo 3 and XCOM. If I was smart, I’d cover my ears and close my eyes until a week after this had released, then ask if it’s safe to come out now.

  19. alsoran says:

    Upfront, I’ve never really seen the attraction of SIM CITY but lots of people like the game. Generically I would not try the game on the basis that:-
    It does not appear to be a full game to begin with and missing content will be added later? I’d be happy with new added content, but why would I want to pay to have missing content later on. Prefer a full finished product.
    It needs an Internet connection to function. I like to play solo with all the flexibility that includes. I don’t feel comfortable with a game I don’t appear to own any rights to, it would not be mine to keep. The calling home thing makes me feel that I’m being monitored and that they control my experience, they could turn me off when interest in the game dies and I could do nothing about it. I have games going back to 1997 which I still play.

    So I’m out, same goes for Diablo 3. Am I missing anything? naw, let it sink without trace.

  20. agitatedclimax says:

    “… a magnet from crime …”? My brain. It hurts.

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