Posts Tagged ‘Maxis’

EA Defends BF 4, SimCity Launch Efforts, Discusses Future

I recently attended the D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas (which is not related to game developer DICE, actually), and there I interviewed the entire gaming industry. OK, that’s not entirely true, largely because many D.I.C.E. attendees spontaneously break out into hives if anybody so much as mentions the word “indie.” But still, I talked to a whole mess of people. I encountered EA chief creative officer Rich Hilleman on an award show red carpet, so time for chit-chat was brief. Given recent events, however, I had to ask: what’s the deal with EA and hideously botched launches on games like Battlefield 4 and SimCity? And while Hilleman (very vaguely) promised change, I found his response more than a little upsetting. Read on and see what you think.

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Maxis: SimCity Offline Took ‘Significant’ Work To Create

And they had to walk 15 miles in the rain up a (very long) hill every day

After months upon months of sidestepping the issue, EA and Maxis have finally seen fit to give SimCity an offline option. Victory! At least, for folks still soldiering on with the beleaguered and – to be perfectly honest – not terribly interesting city builder. But while we wait for modders to laugh off Maxis’ suffocatingly stringent guidelines and finally make the game great, some questions still need answering. Foremost among them, why the not-so-sudden about-face when the company once claimed that separating SimCity from its precious servers would be nearly impossible? According to the developer, it’s because rewriting the simulation to function offline took nearly six-and-a-half months of hard work.

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At Last! Maxis Are Adding An Offline Mode To SimCity

This fire has been burning for a long time.

Good news! In a post on the official SimCity blog, Maxis have confirmed that an offline mode is on its way. The new mode is currently in closed beta testing, with promises that it’ll roll out to everyone in Update 10. Maxis first mentioned they were working on the mode last October, although RPS threw sand on the initial claims that offline mode was prohibitively difficult just days after the game was out.
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Network Now Working: SimCity 4’s Network Addon Mod

It's still pretty, too.

You: SimCity… Network… Not this again! What are EA up to n– Wait. SimCity 4? Network Addon Mod?

Me: The latest SimCity might have been hamstrung by infrastructural problems, but there’s no reason your love affair with Maxis’ fair city-builder need end there. SimCity 4 has enormous cities. SimCity 4 had no internet requirement. SimCity 4 had… all the same traffic problems as the more recent release. But! It also had a vibrant modding community that’s still working on fixing problems and making the game better today. This pre-release (i.e. alpha release) of version 32 of the Network Addon Mod is testament to that. NAM improves the game’s pathfinding, fixes bugs in the base game, and adds “a myriad of new transport network items, ranging from ground light rail, to fractional-angle roads, to roundabouts, and much more”

Roundabouts!
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Let’s Fight: SimCity’s Cities Of Tomorrow Expansion Is Out

This might be the wrong crowd for this, but I thought the recent SimCity was a good game. I’m looking forward to playing the Cities of Tomorrow expansion. I’m glad it’s out today, and I like this intro trailer.

Come on Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Want to fight me? Let’s take this below.
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SimCity: Cities Of Tomorrow Pollutes For Fun And Profit

Meanwhile, at EA HQ... er, I mean, OmegaCo.

In case you hadn’t heard/forgot/suffered from such a severe case of apathy that you did the human brain equivalent of a driver rollback, SimCity is going to the future. Yeah, it’s still gonna be tethered to the Internet’s infinite, un-flinching tangle of roots, but at least now you’ll have hover tech, environmentally friendly mega-towers, and curvy utopia buildings to compliment all your curved roads. Also, choking sink holes of pollution and corporate control, if a new video walkthrough of a potential city setup is any indication. Omega is a new resource that everyone and their ant-sized, Simlish-barking dog wants, and OmegaCo’s job is to build factories and franchises while also making sure we know its iron-fisted execs really, really liked Blade Runner.

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If You Build It: Maxis Testing Waters On SimCity Modding

Testing waters, but still not putting out fires.

Believe it or not – despite EA and Maxis’ insistence on constant connection – SimCity has mods. Due to a lack of official tools, they’re not particularly elaborate, but people have managed to tinker around under the simplified simulation’s hunkered down hood. Before now, however, Maxis didn’t really acknowledge, well, any of it. But now, it appears that the developer has had a change of heart. It’s hoping to open up a dialogue with modders on its official forums, which is good news! Er, kinda. Problem is, there are still no plans for mod tools, and Maxis has no intention of letting modders change whatever they want.

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