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!
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