Author Topic: Sim City (2013)  (Read 7701 times)

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Offline jamespetts

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Sim City (2013)
« on: January 29, 2013, 02:05:15 AM »
Over the week-end, there was a public closed beta of the new version of Sim City, as a result of which there is some interesting new information about the game available. One feature that I noticed in particular in the new Sim City, whose "Glass Box" simulation engine is designed to take a computationally intensive (and server/cluster offloaded) bottom up approach to simulation, is the simulation of 'buses: see this video for more information. The 'buses are shown as having waiting times based on the number of 'buses and the number of riders; 'buses have separate depots and on-street 'bus stops (which can be placed by the player), and the number of 'buses serviced by the depot can be set by the player buying more individual 'buses. The routes are not customisable quite as they are in Simutrans (which makes sense given the more generalist focus of the Sim City series), but it is intriguing to see that some of the features that we have had for a while making it into Sim City: from a Simutrans-Experimental point of view, the use of waiting times in minutes was particularly satisfying (although I suspect that they do not have loading times, comfort, etc.).
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Offline sdog

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 02:29:25 AM »
Quote
One feature that I noticed in particular in the new Sim City, whose "Glass Box" simulation engine is designed to take a computationally intensive (and server/cluster offloaded) bottom up approach to simulation
James, could you provide further information on the section i have emphasized in the quote of your text? This sounds rather interesting.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 11:38:46 AM »
For some information on the Glass Box engine, see here and here; and see here in particular for Maxis' official statement about segregating tasks between the local client and the server. (There is no official word on clustering, but many people have made the reasonable inference that that is what EA's servers will do).
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Offline Carl

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 12:37:23 PM »
It's a shame that the detailed simulation included in this game means that they've had to limit the maximum size of cities to a fairly pitifully small size.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 12:45:25 PM »
It is rather. It's apparent from developing Experimental why they did, though: trying to run a bottom-up simulation on anything larger would have got very slow very quickly - the computational effort required increases exponentially with the number of buildings, and linearly with the number of different sorts of things being simulated, and, in Sim City (2013) there are a very large number of agent based bottom up simulation layers. Trying to route traffic, electricity, water, sewage, health, fire coverage, crime, police coverage, air pollution, water pollution, jobs, goods and a whole lot more things through a very large number of buildings would have overwhelmed even the fastest of computers.
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Offline wlindley

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 01:11:50 PM »
What we need is a Beowulf cluster of sim...... oh wait, this isn't Slashdot.

Offline An_dz

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2013, 02:23:07 PM »
Discussions started on Simtropolis about the Beta that was due days 25-28.
Most said that the game isn't bad. But it's not that much of a great game as we though. From that discussion I've read that the game is too easy compared with its old brothers and "If this is taking the game back to it's roots, they dug way too deep". And "this is not the successor to SimCity 4 but a new game designed for the trends of today".

At the end this was the conclusion:
SimCity 4 is still better on playability and enjoyment status.
It's an EA game, $2 trillions for merchandise $0.10 for development.
It's not bad, but needs to be improved, it lacks deep gamelay, it's too casual.
It'll probably be a DLC exclusive game, costs a lot but comes with nothing, pay more and you get a more playable game.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2013, 05:41:34 PM »
I was following SC2013 fairly closely a while back, hopeful that it would become a great sequel to SC4, but once I knew that it wouldn't become the game that I wished it to become, I stopped watching its development closely.
It's a good concept but not implemented in a way that I would like.
I prefer the 2 1/2-D graphics of SimCity 4.  They look crisper.  They could have evolved this visual style with 3D aspects (non-linear roads, etc) and had incredible results.
The small city size is a complete turn-off for me.  I know that it's a performance requirement due to the much heavier processor load that the game engine requires, but I would much prefer a more statistically modelled approach and larger maps instead.
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Offline jamespetts

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2013, 06:16:46 PM »
Getting the balance right between a bottom up and a statistical model and knowing what works the best is not easy to do. It will be very interesting to see how the final version of Sim City works in practice  and how a bottom up simulation actually turns out.
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Offline An_dz

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2013, 07:42:08 PM »
Sure, the simulation of GlassBox is very promising and is a very nice feature. Only that because of it, the whole game suffered.

Offline Markohs

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2013, 07:48:32 PM »
Sim City 4 was good, but Rush Hour expansion was the one that turned it an epic game, like brood wars did to starcraft. Maybe it will be the same with sim city.

Offline sdog

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 08:04:43 PM »
Need to have a look in simcity 4 + rush hour. I didn't even notice it was released. Any experience with it under linux?

Offline Junna

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2013, 08:05:14 PM »
I played the beta (or demo, rather, to call it by its right name). It must be said that the game's approach to public transport is awful. The buses pick people up and go where they want to go, like taxis (talk about bunching during rush hours!). They do not operate on routes, but in the same way that buses in SC4 did. The game preforms very well and the reason for the small sizes was chosen to make the game run very well even on what are by todays standards low-end computers (supposedly it runs at 15fps with a large city even on a single-core P4 2.5ghz or something); the decision to make the city tiles tiny was a very unwise and unsatisfying decision. The awful always on-line requirement was certainly a further blunder, and then there are other concerns: a region is limited to 16 of these tiny cities, and you can apparently only have 10 regions... The game has potential, but I foresee that, given its on-line nature and the controlling desires of the monstrous abomination that is EA, there will be severe limits on modding (EA will probably try their damnedest to funnel any custom content through their own channels) and general stifling of potential for versatile play (some of which are already obvious).

Offline Markohs

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2013, 08:28:46 PM »
I played it in Windows, sdog, the new traffic tools, congestion... is great. Once you get bored of it (I'd say 3 months or prolly more), you can download NAM http://www.moddb.com/mods/network-addon-mod and personally I enjoy tams, LWR.

Offline sdog

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2013, 08:43:54 PM »
@Junna  sporefication of sim-city?

@Markohs, i've learned about that simcity through NAM project.

Offline An_dz

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2013, 08:57:37 PM »
I played the beta (or demo, rather, to call it by its right name). (...) The game preforms very well and the reason for the small sizes was chosen to make the game run very well even on what are by todays standards low-end computers (supposedly it runs at 15fps with a large city even on a single-core P4 2.5ghz or something); (...) given its on-line nature and the controlling desires of the monstrous abomination that is EA, there will be severe limits on modding (EA will probably try their damnedest to funnel any custom content through their own channels) and general stifling of potential for versatile play (some of which are already obvious).
Very lucky of you. Unfortunately I wasn't invited, i wanted to so I could give my comments about it.
You're probably one of the few that say the game runs well. Mostly I heard people complaining about the bad performance with bad graphics.
Even if it will be able to mod it, I don't think people will do so. Games with lot of mods, and awesome mods, are games that start amazing without them.

I played it in Windows, sdog, the new traffic tools, congestion... is great. Once you get bored of it (I'd say 3 months or prolly more), you can download NAM http://www.moddb.com/mods/network-addon-mod and personally I enjoy tams, LWR.
And since sdog is european he might like NAM Euro texture.
Another very nice pack is the Road Top Mass Transit (RTMT)
There are quite other very nice mod packages by the NAM Team

Offline colonyan

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2013, 09:36:45 PM »
Lets not compare beta of SimCity 2013 to SC4 with expansion and all the fine mods. Its not fair. SC4 have matured past 10 years.
It clearly is new type of simcity. I remember I hardly played more than 20 hours SC4 until rushhour came out.

For the beta, I've played like 20 times the session of 1 hour. Everything was stream lined. Minimum of redundant task.
Very little stress as of playing. Graphics at new level of quality. Seems like a promising title.
Although, it requires player to have more of idea and intention to what one wants to create.
SC4 allowed player to mindlessly build sprawling urban area thanks to their region is composed of cities placed one after another.

On the other hand, SC2013, to enjoy this one, I think one needs to study carefully the whole region and plan the whole development plan across 16 maps.
Mindlessly filling in provided maps will not last the enjoyment of play due to small size of city map.

As of transportation sim and agent movement, I don't see any reason whey they wouldn't improve as time progress.

Offline Junna

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2013, 10:55:46 PM »
Very lucky of you. Unfortunately I wasn't invited, i wanted to so I could give my comments about it.
You're probably one of the few that say the game runs well. Mostly I heard people complaining about the bad performance with bad graphics.

Almost everyone who signed up got invited, from what I heard. I signed up many months ago, though. Not like it was much of a beta - even less so than the Cities XL one, which I also participated in - most features were blocked out, and you were only allowed one hour to play; a demo, thus.

The game does sport quite a few graphical glitches (road junctions looking odd, and some other things, and some issues with certain graphics cards it seems), and some people are a bit elitist about fancy graphics (I couldn't care less), but overall, the game runs well, in terms of processing and such. The simulation engine itself seems robust and well-optimised.

Offline An_dz

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2013, 02:36:12 AM »
Almost everyone who signed up got invited, from what I heard. I signed up many months ago, though.
I signed before they announced on any social media, but... I was unlucky. ::'(

Offline colonyan

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Re: Sim City (2013) Little Eye Candy
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2013, 04:34:59 PM »
I assume most people here like train.
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Offline jamespetts

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2013, 01:59:20 AM »
Interesting, but seems a little aimless...
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Offline jamespetts

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2013, 01:05:11 AM »
This was released in the United States to-day, and will be released in Europe on the 8th. The forums are filled with people who are very angry about what appear to be quite serious issues with the online servers (which are essential for this game to work).

So far, the latest version of Sim City is making Simutrans-Experimental seem positively polished!
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Offline sdog

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2013, 03:31:33 AM »
Always the same thing at launch. The crowd this game appeals to ought to be mature enough to endure a few months of wait. Until the game received the first few patches and is stable.

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2013, 04:40:04 AM »
I disagree about the crowd this game appeals to. I played SimCity in 1988, SC2k in 1992, SC3k in 1999, and SC4 whichever year it came out. I've liked each version basically more and more.

I will not purchase SC5. :-|
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Offline Sarlock

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2013, 07:52:51 AM »
Disaster.  Well, just like every other MMO release.

The online-only/server-based requirement is enough reason right there to not want to play it.
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Offline Markohs

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2013, 08:33:39 AM »
wrath of the lich king, cataclysm, SC2 wol, D2.... All had problems at launch, SC5 coudn't be better. :)

Offline Carl

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2013, 09:02:59 AM »
But most of those weren't mainly single player games. Like with D3, that's the gripe here.

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2013, 03:55:16 PM »
The online-only/server-based requirement is enough reason right there to not want to play it.
This bugs me too. Haven't bought lot of games because they needed to keep connected with a server, or uses a software like Steam to work.
Or need DLC to work properly. Seriously, if they lauch a DLC to 'enhance' (fix) something it's definitely a not buy.

And what's that city size? My district is twice this size and my city have few more than 500.000 people.

Another thing I don't like, but this is since SimCity 3000, is that Sims are too 'Americans'. They seem to don't like much public transportation that much, commerce can only properly prosper on high traffic roads, and the choice of trees and other props are too limited to northern biome. I'm not criticizing the americans, but their simulations is too much based only in USA.

To me they released it too fast, they can do a better game but didn't want to, lets wait and hope they fix everything. I'll wait if any demo shows up to test and give my cents, if no demo maybe I'll have to go to the :evil: torrent side of the force. :evil:

wrath of the lich king, cataclysm, SC2 wol, D2.... All had problems at launch, SC5 coudn't be better. :)
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Offline colonyan

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2013, 08:24:49 PM »
Let's not forget this is made in California, US.

I was playing non stop for nearly 15h already so can't say too much but release resemble to very original simcity 4.
Game was good but did not grabbed attention too long.
Hoping EA/Maxis work on this title so its potential is fully exploited.

As for the game play...
Game can give good amount of challenges and quality play time. But without plan or goal, game could be boring quite fast due to small map size.
In other words if you see regions and its cities parameters and can think of several plan for cities, the person must be perfect type for this game.
Easy to say than develop a big title like such but makes me think what is fun.

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2013, 08:53:10 PM »
Hoping EA/Maxis work on this title so its potential is fully exploited.
True. Lets wait for SimCity 5 Rush Hour :D

Offline sdog

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #30 on: March 06, 2013, 10:11:37 PM »
i tend to wait a few years before i get such AAA games. Then i have the hardware to run it, the bugs are fixed, additions are out and most importantly the mods are well developed and matured.

Offline ӔO

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #31 on: March 06, 2013, 10:26:16 PM »
I can't bring myself to getting origin for this one title...

That and I don't think surface pro will play the game too well with only HD4000 graphics.

I think I will stick to simutrans and minecraft.

Playing minecraft online makes me wonder why simutrans is so save file intensive.
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Offline jamespetts

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #32 on: March 08, 2013, 03:34:31 AM »
The customer support people now seem to have turned to blackmail (literally) by threatening to ban the account of people who "dispute" their refusal to grant a refund:

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Offline colonyan

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2013, 04:21:38 AM »
Well, I have people running business around me. A kind of business which has high time and low time.
Its sad but I understand how is it to run a business at some point.
At high time like this, on top of this is first kind of venture for EA/MAXIS, this is easily expected to have.
I also assume in their EURA? or agreement that there won't be doing refund as far as I know.
This is sad but this is how it goes.

Me personally I can wait. This is type of game you play intensively for a period of time and forget and come back later.
First time is always hectic right?

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Sim City (2013)
« Reply #34 on: March 08, 2013, 05:58:46 AM »
I get where they are coming from, I'd probably take the same stance if it were my company.

I downloaded the game but still haven't been able to play it yet.  Many failed attempts to connect to servers and when I do I can't get past the city start screen.  I'll just wait a few days, I think.  Certainly don't want to try over the weekend, it's likely to be all blocked up.

I'm not overly frustrated about that, I get the reasons and I'm patient enough to wait.  What is irritating to me, however, is the complete lack of communication on this issue on the splash screen for the game.  For users that aren't savvy enough to go to the forums to find more information, they will just think their game is defective.  You'd think they would let people know right up front that there are server issues they are trying to resolve and to be patient.

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