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So I guess SimCity is pretty broken? I wouldn't know by the 300 blogs about it today!

I was actually going to talk about it for my Wrenchism today, but yeah, I think the topic has been pretty well covered by now so I'll keep it brief. SimCity is a huge fiasco and it's hard to tell exactly where everything went wrong. I don't think it is completely fair to scream "DRM" about it like that was the only issue. The off-user-CPU sim computing done on Maxis servers was supposed to let the game be one of the deepest and most technically demanding sim experiences ever without taxing the users computer, leaving it free for pretty graphics and such. So there were supposed to be some user advantages to their system. Too bad it all went wrong.

I actually wonder if the problems run deeper than most realize. From everything I've heard there is some sneaking suspicion that the game might be broken on a more fundamental level. These posts looking at the problems with traffic congestion and mindless NPCs seem to suggest that the game isn't working as intended even when you're able to get connected. The fact that sims will just brainlessly wander into any job or home and call it their own or tourists will allow themselves to be ferried from one tram stop to another all day instead of doing any shopping flies directly in the face of everything Maxis had been saying about following the detailed lives of individual sims and the fine amount of detail they were processing.

It's a shame. I thought this new SimCity could have followed in the fine footsteps of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Civ 5 and to a lesser extent Mechwarrior Online of taking a beloved, but complicated, classic PC franchise and re-building it to be something that appeals to the broader market without losing the core of its essence. It looked like they were on the right track, but as soon as launch day hit, everything turned to crap.

This will make a hell of a story in a year or two. When the dust settles and we finally get a good post-modem on what exactly happened, who dropped what ball, where the blame lies. Is this EA's fault? Did they demand crazy DRM which crippled the game? Did they penny-pinch on the servers and respond to slow to the catastrophic launch? Did Maxis lay an egg? Did they massively underestimate just how much users would tax their ability to process data? Did the game ever work right at all? Hopefully we'll find out one day and hopefully other devs can learn from this lesson.



BTW, birthday shouts-outs to Corduroy Turtle, Teh_Tommy, and AlphaDeus. Your parents all fucked at the same time!

* - LowerTierPodcast is back, and they've brought necrified Nazis! Check out their contest and see how you do can shoot off undead Nazi balls.

* - This T-Shirt design is so cool it ripped out my spine and crushed it for electrolytes.

* - I don't think episodic games are the future. It works for some titles, but it's not something I would want to see for every major game. Still, interesting look at the pros and cons of the possibility.

* - A great look at sexuality in video games by Azudarko. Also, hot Batman action.

A - Esteban Sky Cuevas is mad as hell about SimCity and he's not going to take it anymore.

A - BargainBrogan, also mad as hell about SimCity.

A - All these DRM games will one day be gone, likes tears in the rain. I STILL LOVE YOU RUTGER HAUER.

A - Every blog today is about SimCity! Returner Mike talks about how we gamers have brought the SimCity boondoggle on ourselves by being so lax against corporate bullshit.

A - The SimCity meltdown continues. CodeFire thinks all that "cloud CPU sim" stuff is a bunch of bull and the game is barely any good even when it is working.

A - FunWithExplosives shares his frustration with all the half-started and could-have-been games he's abandoned over the years. I think a lot of people with creative impulses and low follow through can relate.

A - Jamesliv963's indifference to the new consoles seems to be a common thing. Are we all just too jaded to enjoy things these days, or are the next consoles genuinely unimpressive? Personally, I'm pretty amped for them.

A - The Xi3 is a disaster. Don't know what they are thinking.

E - Is this a contest entry, or the work of a mad genius?

$ - Sony is letting Vitas go cheap in Japan and most American Sony Store locations. Something about them not selling well? Who knew!? Thanks to Lingoes for the tip-off.

R - Fndango takes a square look at The Witcher: Enhanced Edition. Still a damn fine game.

P - Army of Two:The Devils Cartel bums me out. It's all grim and serious. The series should have gone deeper into the buddy cop, frathouse love affair vibe that permeated the first title.

R - I couldn't help but giggle at this necro-review for SMBIII. Oh no, I can't save anywhere! The difficulty is too high! These kids today.

A - Stubbleman takes a crack at the Persona art style and does not disappoint! Well done!

R - Vito just popping by to let us know he should write more blogs? OK!

F - Indie Kickstarter spam is more sympathetic than other spam, but still spam.

F - Some people might think it's petty to fail Karutomaru out of hand. I'm not one of those people.


I would totally play SimCity:Mechwarrior. You make a fine urban paradise, I drop on it from orbit in a giant stompy robot. Fun for everyone right?

-Wrenchfarm

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