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Thread: The SimCity Thread
13-03-2013, 07:39 PM #901
13-03-2013, 07:48 PM #902
If there's a reaction at all. Devs have clearly been reading the reddit threads and chiming in every so often, but they've suspiciously steered clear of the these (quite popular) topics.
13-03-2013, 07:59 PM #903
I'm readnig around, trying to get an idea of how the agent-based stuff for people works. So far this is what seems to happen.
When a workplace (service e,g: Fire, police, park etc. or commercial shop or industry) opens for the day it sends out a request for workers. The nearest house that fulfills the requirement (low, med or high income) creates "worker" agents (basically commuters) who travel to that place of work. Once that nearest residence has created the maximum number of worker agents for its cap (6, 60 or 600 for low income), the next residential house produces the rest. The names are randomly generated.
When that place of work closes it creates "worker" agents (commuters) who return to the nearest house that suits their income requirements (see the front-page RPS post for the absurdity of the lack-of pathfinding that sends all these communters to the same home until it is filled...). Again, names are randomly generated. These are in no way the same "sims".
Upon returning home the residential building will provide tax and count-up the number of people who have earned money. It will then spit out "shopper" agents up to the total number it can provide (2, 20 or 200 for low income). These agents go to the nearest commercial shop.
When those shoppers return home they provide "happiness" to the residential building. Shoppers can also go to places like parks to collect this happiness. (Note: Kids generate no happiness when they go to parks.).
Because shoppers are only created after people return from work cities apparently get full of shoppers at night time. It has been suggested in a few places that any commercial shop that is not something like a gas station which stays open all night is best demolished and replaced in hope of one that is open all night replacing it to stop shoppers driving about till morning.
(On this note, a single shop can provide "shopping" for 200 agents. It gets "happy" the more agents it provides. Which means that you need one shop per high-density residential building but only one for 200 low-density residential buildings. The delivery of freight has no impact on the shop, and only proviudes "happiness" for the industry that created it. Freight is not staffed by sims. It is simply another moving agent like sewage, power etc.)
To that end, and I'm surmising here, the most effective city is one built on one (and only one) long road that starts from the regional connection. Along the road build the following:
1) Casinos and anything else that tourists vists.
So they come straight off the regonal highway, visit and leave again.
Do not break up the residences with anything else.
3) City services.
Here in order to make sure they are staffed with worker agents before anything else. Utilities, fire, police etc. etc.
Note: You only need one (smallest version) fire station and police station. In the event of a fire or crime all fire / police vehicles are sent there. Excess vehicles do nothing until that first event is dealt with. To that end: 2 fire trucks are as effective as 20
4) Commercial buildings
As few as you need to satisfy shoppers. Excess commercial properties will just be unhappy. remember, one commercial building serves 100 low-density residences.
At the end. Getting workers here is not a big a priority as staffing your power plants.
Remember: One road only.
From everything I have seen / read multiple roads: grids or otherwise, is a recipie for headache because of the agent-system the game uses.
The game is increasingly tempting to me in order to play about with its bat-shit crazy simulation system. It is so utterly, absurdly, hilariously broken and nothing at all like a simulation of an actual city that it is starting to provide its own draw.
Edit: Utilities may be best put at the fron of the queuq. It depends whether power supply problems or commuter-movement problems beomce the deciding factor. Power "blips" move to the nearest place that needs power. When they get there and find it's already been powered by a previous blip, they will travel to the next place. Which may mean a very long travel from the end of the road to residences, casinos etc. at the front. The problem with this is that having any worker location not in the same direction as residences will lead to commuters travelling up the road just to go back down it.
Last edited by Cooper; 13-03-2013 at 08:07 PM.Originally Posted by CROCONOUGHTKEY
13-03-2013, 08:04 PM #904
"No rules run during transit"
Which explains the traffic behaviour in that RPS front page post. "Worker" Agents are created by industry. They travel to the nearest home with space at the time they were created. When they get there and it is full they move to the next empty space. At no point between a commuter agent being created and it getting to its first destination (likely filled if low-density residential) is there any decision-making being made.
This is not shit AI. This is a total lack of any AI.Originally Posted by CROCONOUGHTKEY
13-03-2013, 08:10 PM #905
Good lord. I haven't played the game, nor am I likely to, but just reading Cooper's posts here suggests that this is the scariest game of all time.
13-03-2013, 08:13 PM #906
This is fascinating. It looks very much like what happens when you try something ambitious, fail repeatedly, then frantically paper over the cracks and shove it out the door. On the surface it looks great, but dig a little deeper and it's an absolute mess.
I seriously doubt we'll see anything from EA apart from basic bugfixing. I'm not sure they could properly fix it even if they wanted to.
13-03-2013, 08:14 PM #907
- Join Date
- May 2012
Why put water and sewage on "agents"? I think at this point Brownian motion would have been more efficient. (less CPU intensive too) :P
Oh and "It has been suggested in a few places that any commercial shop that is not something like a gas station which stays open all night is best demolished and replaced in hope of one that is open all night replacing it to stop shoppers driving about till morning." seems like that is a broken feature off the bat. :(
Someone somewhere rushed this massively quick to the door. Why did they not go "Um, this needs another year development"? Why promise a release date so early? Now I know why Valve time exists at least with reason, with Portal 2 is may have been lighter on the puzzles, but it did not feel rushed and had more polish than SimCity 5.
Actually on topic of the game, the thing that made me think this was a rushed game was the look of the Sims in the UI. While I guess it's to force everything to emulate Sims 3, it does not look to have the charm that the other Sim games had. It looks like they just pulled up pictures from a clip art selection. :/
Last edited by TechnicalBen; 13-03-2013 at 08:18 PM.
13-03-2013, 08:20 PM #908Steam: Gundato
If you want me on either service, I suggest PMing me here first to let me know who you are.
13-03-2013, 08:23 PM #909
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
- Seattle, WA
It is really annoying to be constantly short of workers due to the dramatically increasing disparity between the working and nonworking populations as density rises. Other than that, I don't really mind the "shadow" Sim stuff - it's not like I care where particular citizens live or work. I'd much rather see them correct the lazy pathing of emergency services first, because as it stands, buying multiple fire trucks is pointless unless you're covering other cities.
Regardless of whether those leaked bits code are geniune or not, they do highlight the strange balancing act Maxis undertook in designing this version. There's one impulse that wants to go super microscale, detailing the lives and habits of individuals; and there's the other drive to simulate regional cooperation and economics. I would wager that if they had focused on one or the other, the end product would have been much more coherent.
* "The Sims - Suburb Edition," where you manage a small population and their environs. Meet the citizens and watch them live their lives in the community you build. All city and regional stuff is abstractly calculated so that the focus remains on the Sims and the buildings you place. (The Sims 3 could be reengineered to do this, really)
* "SimCity - Regional Manager," where citizens are numbers tallied in a spreadsheet. You construct your city as large as you like, although there are limits to your resources. Regional neighbors must negotiate trade, supply service providers, and collaborate on projects. Small- and large-scale disasters create obstacles that can be overcome through teamwork.
13-03-2013, 08:37 PM #910
- Join Date
- Mar 2013
13-03-2013, 08:54 PM #911
- Join Date
- Feb 2012
All that could explain the big fluctuations in income, less works going to profitable factories, can't get to shops at night etc. Also the nuclear power plant, in the description takes about staffing it with high wealth people as it will give out radiation if staffed by low wealth folk and I was wondering if sims have a set job how could you get low wealth in there, wouldn't the high wealth go there first, but first in the door rule means who knows what could happen!
I would very much like to stress, as someone who is playing the game, that it is quite enjoyable to play. It is much more of a fun game with frustrating elements than a frustrating game with fun moments BUT if people who are smart with their planning, I could understand how it would be really bad. I just make towns look pretty, and then react to all the bad stuff as it happens.
13-03-2013, 08:54 PM #912
Sigh, I knew it would be bad but I had no idea it would be this bad. I was sort of hoping that when the DRM issues were over there still would be a good game under it that I could buy and play.
So instead I went ahead and bought Tropico4 on the steam sale right now instead. It is about the same scale and actually simulates the people and their lives without lying to me about how many people live on my small island.
13-03-2013, 09:05 PM #913
The craziest part is: They're using abstractions and Fudging after all. The main reasons they used to justify the tiny size of the city are bullshit.
It's fundamentally broken.
13-03-2013, 09:11 PM #914
13-03-2013, 09:13 PM #915
I'll agree with Nalano, because he is wise and also is a herd of ponies. I'd even go a step further and just settle for a Simcity 4 HD that works on modern systems without crashing when I try to save.
13-03-2013, 09:50 PM #916
- Join Date
- May 2012
Again, I mentioned before. What is the save bug? It works fine with me (old CD version). What windows? UAC on? Where is it installed? :)
13-03-2013, 09:59 PM #917
For me, it's a crash bug not a save bug. It happens when zooming, dragging, zoning, road-ing, and saving.
On Win7 64bit in every conceivable combination of compatibility setting, rendering mode, windowed/fullscreen, CPU affinity etc.
It's my favorite game, and I've spent quite a while trying to get it to run correctly.
13-03-2013, 10:03 PM #918
13-03-2013, 10:08 PM #919
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
If I interpret your post correctly, that would imply that SC5 is, essentially, "solved". As in, there is one best strategy exploiting the batshit insane simulation that does not lead to something that looks like a city.
That alone is a failure in design I can't even adequately put in words. It's a spectacular ruination of the entire series' premise. Every single Sim City before this latest incarnation has a way to optimize for density or revenue, but the end result was still something that could be identified as a city. The fact that Sim City 4, with much bigger maps, has a better simulation astounds me.
I called Sim City 5 by the name "Sim City Societies 2.0" before, but it was still partly in jest. Now? It seems to be an accurate title..
13-03-2013, 10:19 PM #920
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
- Seattle, WA
Tom Chick has been posting a series of articles at Quarter to Three in support of SC: Societies, and he's convinced me that I may have given the game short shrift when I first played it. I didn't engage with it on its terms, instead insisting that it conform to a set of expectations created by previous entries. Once I've had my fill of SC5, Societies is at the top of my "to replay" list.