Posts Tagged ‘Maxis’

Maybe SimCity’s Balance-Breaking Ad DLC Isn’t All Bad

By Nathan Grayson on April 3rd, 2013.

I did not, however, say it isn't mostly bad.

Good news! SimCity‘s gotten a potentially substantial piece of DLC, and it’s totally free. Bad news! It’s a gigantic ad for car company Nissan. Worse news! Its in-game functionality seems to make your city planning decisions even less consequential than before, which is quite a feat. Worst news! SimCity isn’t a very good game at all, even with its online issues mostly cleared up. Contrary opinion! This is one seemingly asinine move I think we should only partially leap down EA’s throat for. So maybe, like, just put in one leg. And do it kind of gently. Avoid the teeth, if you can.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

150 Comments »

Wot I Think: SimCity

By Adam Smith on March 21st, 2013.

None of these days, all of this will be yours

We’ve had quite a lot to say about SimCity but I haven’t told you wot I think yet. I posted my initial impressions two weeks ago, feeling like I’d only just scratched the surface. I’ve been scratching away since then, off and on, and now I’m ready to tell you what lies beneath.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

134 Comments »

A Sorry Tale: EA Offering SimCity 4 To SimCity 5 Buyers!

By John Walker on March 18th, 2013.

EA wants to say “sooorweeeee”. For pretending the game had to be online for server computations, and then ignoring us when we pointed out this wasn’t the case? No, not because of that! But for launching SimCity in the most extraordinarily inept fashion, with barely functioning servers, massive queues, frequent crashes, and the rest of the mess everyone in the whole world except EA and that one reviews editor predicted would happen. To make this up to everyone who’s activated a copy of the game, and rather madly to people who buy one any time up to the 25th March, there is a free game available. And they’re proper good ones, too. One of them is a rather fine city building game, called SimCity 4.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

257 Comments »

SimCity Modder Tells Us Offline Regional Play Easily Done

By John Walker on March 16th, 2013.

A key moment in the week’s SimCity shenanigans was unquestionably the appearance of a video from a modder, Azzer, announcing he’d found a way to remove the game’s offline timer. The final nail in the ridiculous-claims coffin, this mod demonstrated that everything but the asynchronous multiplayer was running on your home machine. We got in touch with the man behind the mod, one Azzer, and he had a lot more to say. In his opinion, the information coming from the servers is so rudimentary that despite Maxis’s claims, there shouldn’t be any problem at all in simulating the regional play offline.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

274 Comments »

SimCity Boss’s “Straight Answers” Seem Pretty Wiggly

By John Walker on March 16th, 2013.

GET IT?

What Maxis are doing is frankly peculiar. Earlier this week we posted a story revealing that claims that SimCity required online servers to run non-regional computations were not the case. That night we were promised a statement from the studio, but heard nothing. Repeated emails to EA have resulted in no response since, and the whole situation has become more muddy with each day. It’s since been revealed that population numbers are nonsense, even down to leaked Javascript code featuring “simcity.GetFudgedPopulation” as a function. We’ve learned that city size limits are arbitrary, pathfinding is rudimentary at best, and Eurogamer’s absolutely superb review lists many more bugs, broken features, disappearing pretend-money and never-arriving resources.

So it’s all the more odd to see Maxis head Lucy Bradshaw acting as if none of this is happening, and instead just carefully rewording her mantra of how SimCity is only supposed to be played online, but this time leaving out the bit about server-side computations for local play.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

282 Comments »

Schrödinger’s SimCity: EA On Hacks vs Mods, Fixing Traffic

By Cara Ellison on March 15th, 2013.

Global meltdown
In this, our ELEVENTH DAY of the equivalent of PC gaming’s Leveson Inquiry, Senior Director of worldwide communications at EA Maxis Erik Reynolds has written a series of ‘transparent tweets’. These tweets indicate that a post on the Simcity forum about a hack for offline mode violated their Terms of Service, and the discussion would have to be moved elsewhere.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

240 Comments »

Modder Runs SimCity Offline, Maxis Remains Silent

By John Walker on March 14th, 2013.

Two days ago, RPS published an article in which a Maxis insider revealed to us that SimCity does not, in fact, require the servers to run its non-regional game. Maxis reps had repeatedly insisted to the press that the game had to be online as it ran local computations on their own servers – a feature our source told us doesn’t exist at all. Extraordinarily, we’ve still yet to receive a statement from Maxis on the matter. Nor indeed have any of the rest of the games media who contacted EA for comments at the time of our story.

And now, if any further proof were needed, a modder has hacked the game to run entirely offline, and even play outside of the game’s ridiculously small borders.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

278 Comments »

SimCity’s Sims Don’t Seem That Smart After All

By John Walker on March 13th, 2013.

Alongside the peculiarities of the server matters with SimCity, many are reporting that the game itself doesn’t perform as had previously been claimed. This is especially the case when it comes to the AI and pathfinding.

Disappointingly, the Glassbox Engine doesn’t appear to offer quite the independent nature of individual Sims as many had believed, and it really seems to be struggling with seemingly simple pathfinding and congestion issues.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

296 Comments »

Maxis Insider Tells RPS: SimCity Servers Not Necessary

By John Walker on March 12th, 2013.

In all the fuss and mess of the disastrous SimCity launch, one refrain has been repeated again and again. While legions may be begging for an offline mode, EA representatives have been abundantly clear that this simply isn’t possible. Maxis’ studio head, Lucy Bradshaw, has told both Polygon and Kotaku that they “offload a significant amount of the calculations to our servers”, and that it would take “a significant amount of engineering work from our team to rewrite the game” for single player.

A SimCity developer has got in touch with RPS to tell us that at least the first of these statements is not true. He claimed that the server is not handling calculations for non-social aspects of running the game, and that engineering a single-player mode would require minimal effort.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

321 Comments »

SimCity Is Inherently Broken, Let’s Not Let This Go

By John Walker on March 11th, 2013.

EA reports that SimCity is slowly getting into a state where it’s playable. Many of the launch issues are getting sorted, and soon it may well be in such a place that it becomes functional. So we should forgive and forget, right? Wrong.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

606 Comments »

Initial Impressions: SimCity

By Adam Smith on March 8th, 2013.

I hadn’t played SimCity until the UK version unlocked at midnight and I’ve barely slept since then. Intravenous coffee, fresh from the bean, and a sumo wrestler’s weight of dry roasted peanuts have seen me through the night and now I shall convert the experiences of the last twelve hours into words. This is not ‘Wot I Think’, it’s just a step toward a closer study of the slickness of the systems as well as their shortcomings, and it’s also a minor chronicle of the European launch.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

163 Comments »

SimCity Vs The People: Why Apologies Aren’t Enough

By Nathan Grayson on March 7th, 2013.

Here’s an unpopular opinion: I think EA’s done a decent job with SimCity’s launch.

Aha! It’s also a misleading opinion, because I’m definitely not referring to the part where servers gasped and puked and died under the immense strain of North America’s unquenchable entertainment lust, recently leading to halting of sales on Amazon, among other things. It’s what happened afterward that sort of impressed me. EA responded fairly quickly (especially by its usual standards), communicated clearly what was happening, apologized profusely, went through the five stages of grief, and offered refunds to some people (not all, perplexingly) who felt like the early meteor bombardment of issues wasn’t worth waiting out. As far as disaster control goes, I’m more than willing to concede that EA’s mostly Doing It Right. But that does not – even in the slightest – change the fact that there shouldn’t have ever been a disaster in the first place.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

293 Comments »

EA ‘Confident’ Origin Issues Won’t Plague Euro SimCity

By Nathan Grayson on March 6th, 2013.

I like it when publishers provide screenshots that metaphorically illustrate their current situations damn near flawlessly.

In the words of RPS’ totally unneeded, never sighted on a semi-regular basis error screen, SimCity’s having a bit of a wobbly. Some people, however, haven’t even been lucky enough to get into its now-infamous queues – let alone experience the majesty of realizing they might eventually get to play the videogame they purchased. So then, is this a preview of the hoops Europe gets to squeeze its oh-so-sensual landmasses through on Thursday? EA’s claiming it’s mobilized its force of spline reticulating drones to make sure everything’s shipshape, but obviously, there’s still plenty of reason for skepticism.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

152 Comments »