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Community => Community Discussion => Randomness Lounge => Topic started by: jamespetts on January 29, 2013, 02:05:15 AM

Title: Sim City (2013)
Post by: jamespetts 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 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMvheFCtx2w) 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.).
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: sdog 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: jamespetts on January 29, 2013, 11:38:46 AM
For some information on the Glass Box engine, see here (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/03/08/back-from-simulation-city-inside-maxis-glass-box/) and here (http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/03/08/simcity-inside-the-glassbox-engine/); and see here (http://www.simcity.com/en_US/blog/article/The-Benefits-of-Live-Service) 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).
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Carl 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: jamespetts 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: wlindley on January 29, 2013, 01:11:50 PM
What we need is a Beowulf cluster of sim...... oh wait, this isn't Slashdot.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: An_dz 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Sarlock 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: jamespetts 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: An_dz 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Markohs 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: sdog 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?
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Junna 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).
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Markohs 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: sdog on January 29, 2013, 08:43:54 PM
@Junna  sporefication of sim-city?

@Markohs, i've learned about that simcity through NAM project.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: An_dz 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 (http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/27455-nam-euro-cosmetic-re-texture-mod/).
Another very nice pack is the Road Top Mass Transit (RTMT) (http://sc4devotion.com/forums/index.php?board=261.0)
There are quite other very nice mod packages by the NAM Team (http://community.simtropolis.com/user/131403-nam-team/)
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: colonyan 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Junna 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: An_dz 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. ::'(
Title: Re: Sim City (2013) Little Eye Candy
Post by: colonyan on February 08, 2013, 04:34:59 PM
I assume most people here like train.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrDHqN9AXiU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrDHqN9AXiU)
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: jamespetts on February 09, 2013, 01:59:20 AM
Interesting, but seems a little aimless...
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: jamespetts 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 (http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/forums/show/4122.page;jsessionid=A9135790CE7C20361C6DFFF3830F6F37) 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!
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: sdog 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Isaac.Eiland-Hall 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. :-|
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Sarlock 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Markohs 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. :)
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Carl 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: An_dz 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. :)
I can handle bugs, but not regressions. :)
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: colonyan 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: An_dz 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
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: sdog 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: ӔO 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.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: jamespetts 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:

(http://i.imgur.com/7H6q90O.jpg)
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: colonyan 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?
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Sarlock 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.

I'll work on pak128 graphics instead :)
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: IgorEliezer on March 08, 2013, 06:49:21 AM
Off-topic:
Playing minecraft online makes me wonder why simutrans is so save file intensive.
Late reply: because MC doesn't need to save a colossal table of data of what is being transported, position of every vehicle of the whole map, not mentioning what the players edit on the map (buildings, ways etc) . MC only updates the data of the loaded chunks, such as terrain, mobs and inventory, it's really a very small amount of data to be sent over the Internet if compared with Simutrans.

Definitely I'd love to play MC with fellow members of this community. :)
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: sdog on March 08, 2013, 07:45:22 AM
I think with 'disputing' is the credit card transaction meant, and not the denial of a refund. Disputing a credit card statement would be a valid reason to block the account. Such disputes are for frauds etc and cause complications on all sides. The appropriate way would be to insist on the refund, i do not think the EA call centre guy meant this with disputing.

The attitude of EA is remarkable however: Yes you can request a refund, as we advertised, but our policy is not to give any refunds.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Sarlock on March 08, 2013, 08:02:38 AM
Finally was able to log in tonight.  Played through the tutorial and started a new city... and to be honest, it's pretty boring.  Graphics are nice but not overly impressive (SC4 has nicer looking graphics) and a lot of the new simulation features are just superfluous and not really necessary/important.  Tiny city size is really annoying.  I'd happily exchange a lot of the new simulation aspects/overhead for a much larger map.
Usually when I get a new game I stay up half the night playing it and can't wait to play it the next day.  I'm not feeling that after my first two hours playing Simcity 2013.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Carl on March 08, 2013, 08:49:51 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:

(http://i.imgur.com/7H6q90O.jpg)

I wish I could say that this surprises me, but this seems completely in line with EA/Origin's typical behaviour. it's horrendous.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: jamespetts on March 08, 2013, 11:55:56 AM
Quote from:
sdog
I think with 'disputing' is the credit card transaction meant, and not the denial of a refund. Disputing a credit card statement would be a valid reason to block the account. Such disputes are for frauds etc and cause complications on all sides. The appropriate way would be to insist on the refund, i do not think the EA call centre guy meant this with disputing.

I am not sure that that is correct - certainly in the UK, under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, a consumer can claim against a credit card provider in respect of anything that the user could claim against the original vendor. Goods must be of satisfactory quality and services must be provided with reasonable care and skill, and these duties cannot be excluded by contract. If a user who was denied a refund by EA or a shop through which he/she had purchased it instead sought a refund from her/his credit card provider, that would be entirely legitimate. This is common practice when defective goods or services are provided and the consumer cannot get a refund from the vendor/provider.

The attitude of EA is remarkable however: Yes you can request a refund, as we advertised, but our policy is not to give any refunds.

That is positively dishonest. I urge people to share this on as many channels as they are able to do so to maximise the number of people who know about this dishonesty and criminality.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: ӔO on March 08, 2013, 01:16:27 PM
Off-topic:Late reply: because MC doesn't need to save a colossal table of data of what is being transported, position of every vehicle of the whole map, not mentioning what the players edit on the map (buildings, ways etc) . MC only updates the data of the loaded chunks, such as terrain, mobs and inventory, it's really a very small amount of data to be sent over the Internet if compared with Simutrans.

Definitely I'd love to play MC with fellow members of this community. :)

that's very interesting and informing, thanks.

definitely :D
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: colonyan on March 08, 2013, 02:55:21 PM
Finally was able to log in tonight.  Played through the tutorial and started a new city... and to be honest, it's pretty boring.  Graphics are nice but not overly impressive (SC4 has nicer looking graphics) and a lot of the new simulation features are just superfluous and not really necessary/important.  Tiny city size is really annoying.  I'd happily exchange a lot of the new simulation aspects/overhead for a much larger map.
Usually when I get a new game I stay up half the night playing it and can't wait to play it the next day.  I'm not feeling that after my first two hours playing Simcity 2013.
How long have you played Simcity 4? I've played like 8 years since its release. At certain point, loophole in commuting routing killed integrity of the game for me.
SC4 felt like city painting tool once you know how to deal with budget and installation placements.

As of map size, I also thought its too small at beginning, I think size of all ploppable infrastructures and buildings are balanced so that player have to coordinate between cities. Although it could use bigger map (Up to X2 in area) by rebalancing everything. Like smaller pop count per building. Give more room to express shape. Not just number.

Graphic have alot of different mood depending on filter and screen resolution. Higher ones seems to have crisper image.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: ӔO on March 08, 2013, 03:04:09 PM
learning to use NAM was hellish in SC4
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: An_dz on March 08, 2013, 03:41:47 PM
How long have you played Simcity 4? I've played like 8 years since its release. At certain point, loophole in commuting routing killed integrity of the game for me.
SC4 felt like city painting tool once you know how to deal with budget and installation placements.
And it took 8 years of play to get bored. He played for 2 hours and got bored.

It was 10 years without a new SimCity. They could have put little more effort on it, polish it little more. I wouldn't care if it was released on december or even on 2014.

learning to use NAM was hellish in SC4
NAM, SAM, RAM, NWM, RHW, RTMT... ;D
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Sarlock on March 08, 2013, 03:46:21 PM
How long have you played Simcity 4? I've played like 8 years since its release. At certain point, loophole in commuting routing killed integrity of the game for me.
SC4 felt like city painting tool once you know how to deal with budget and installation placements.

As of map size, I also thought its too small at beginning, I think size of all ploppable infrastructures and buildings are balanced so that player have to coordinate between cities. Although it could use bigger map (Up to X2 in area) by rebalancing everything. Like smaller pop count per building. Give more room to express shape. Not just number.

Graphic have alot of different mood depending on filter and screen resolution. Higher ones seems to have crisper image.

I'm running it at 1920x1080 at high/ultra high for all graphics settings.  It's nice but I still like the SC4 graphics more.

I've played Simcity since the original (I played the original on a monocrome amber monitor), got SC4 when it was released 2003 and have played it intermittently since then.  NAM was a great upgrade as well as many other things that the community added but the original game still gave me many sleepness nights of playing.  I'm not going to give up on SC2013, I'll keep playing and see what becomes of it but initial impressions are that it's not captivating me like a new Simcity should.  It plays more like a Facebook Farmville or some other sort of game than a city simulation should.

Maybe I'm just getting too old  ;D
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: sdog on March 08, 2013, 05:31:07 PM
EA has done to gaming what the big record labels did to music in the 80s. Indie games today are perhaps what underground bands were back then.

I'm rather sorry for those who had high expectations in simcity 5 and are very dissapointed now.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: jamespetts on March 08, 2013, 06:37:32 PM
No matter - more people to play Simutrans!
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: isidoro on March 08, 2013, 11:21:39 PM
None of the SimCity editions have caught my attention for more than an hour or so...

Besides, I won't buy any game that forces me to be connected to play.  I don't even like those that force you to be online to activate them.  If everyone acted like this, companies wouldn't impose such arbitrary and draconian conditions...

Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Lmallet on March 10, 2013, 02:58:14 AM
I'm rather sorry for those who had high expectations in simcity 5 and are very dissapointed now.
I don't regret owning CitiesXL anymore.  :)
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Carl on March 10, 2013, 11:02:24 PM
I've avoided CitiesXL after hearing that it's very poorly optimised and runs pretty badly even on powerful machines. Is this true, in your experience?
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Lmallet on March 11, 2013, 03:42:19 AM
I've avoided CitiesXL after hearing that it's very poorly optimised and runs pretty badly even on powerful machines. Is this true, in your experience?

One tweak made a significant difference on CitiesXL 2012:
http://xlnation.net/content/cxl-20112012-memory-leaklag-problem-workaround#comment-4180

Before the tweak I was on the "performance sucks" bandwagon, but after the tweak I was able to play CitiesXL quite a bit, more than SimCity 4 I might add.  I usually get bored of the city I am building once I hit the 100,000 resident mark, but the game is still quite responsive at that point (Win 7 64-bit, quad-core AMD, 4GB RAM).   It needs a lot of work in some departments (ie. limited number of buildings), but otherwise it actually looks really good graphically, and you can get it for cheap during some Steam sales.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Markohs on March 12, 2013, 11:07:55 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-d0b41H-Lnk#!
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: jamespetts on March 12, 2013, 11:17:21 AM
SimFlashMob?
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Markohs on March 12, 2013, 11:23:54 AM
hehe infiny loop, once you go in never can go anywere else! :)
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: IgorEliezer on March 12, 2013, 11:25:29 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-d0b41H-Lnk#!

SimTrollingTruckDriver: Level 9000... Go Go Go! :>
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: colonyan on March 15, 2013, 05:35:58 PM
All up until now I was fine with all these issues. They were adding server and renewing. They are working on path finding. Even faking population count
is acceptable. Current level of faking is not. Numbers are grossed out.
But I can not defend them anymore. After finding out that RCI, the very core element, is broken.
2012, they showed youtube video of economic cycle. Now its obsolete.
Residential zone is independent of commercial and industrial. Only I is dependent on C. C does not require I's freight imput.
Each morning, magically, cargo spawns in commercial.

Highly depressed and sad.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Sarlock on March 15, 2013, 06:16:09 PM
With such a small map it should be easy to have a complex economy running.  I wonder how much computing they removed from the servers in order to make enough available for all of the players that want to play.

As people have been saying all along, leave it to the users' computers to do the processing and allow the game to be standalone.  Users can determine the maximum city size they can play with depending on their available computing power just like every other game like that.

I'd like to hope they have learned a lesson but somehow I doubt it.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Junna on March 15, 2013, 07:59:46 PM
All up until now I was fine with all these issues. They were adding server and renewing. They are working on path finding. Even faking population count
is acceptable. Current level of faking is not. Numbers are grossed out.
But I can not defend them anymore. After finding out that RCI, the very core element, is broken.
2012, they showed youtube video of economic cycle. Now its obsolete.
Residential zone is independent of commercial and industrial. Only I is dependent on C. C does not require I's freight imput.
Each morning, magically, cargo spawns in commercial.

Highly depressed and sad.

Know what game had better path-finding and city dynamics?

SimCity Societies.

It's that ridiculous.

With such a small map it should be easy to have a complex economy running.  I wonder how much computing they removed from the servers in order to make enough available for all of the players that want to play.

As people have been saying all along, leave it to the users' computers to do the processing and allow the game to be standalone.  Users can determine the maximum city size they can play with depending on their available computing power just like every other game like that.

No actual computing is done on the server side. The client game sends updates to the server which the server process and store; no actual computing is done on the server. The problems with Cheetah-speed was that the number of updates required to be sent to the server became too great, and they could not process them all. By removing cheetah-speed, the number of updates transmitted to the server decrease greatly and relieve them of stress.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: sdog on March 15, 2013, 08:20:16 PM
Perhaps thats where misery comes from. In their load estimates they might have thought players would use cheetah speed much less. That and of course the typical fact blindness of it management.


Besides the obvious game breaking faults, is the game by itself good? (Say fully offline with 16 times the map area?)
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: ӔO on March 15, 2013, 08:35:59 PM
apparently, someone has managed to get it working offline by enabling dev mode.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: jamespetts on March 15, 2013, 08:49:55 PM
What is very interesting about this is that it (probably) shows that the pure agent based ground up approach is completely impractical. I was very interested when the project was first announced as to how they would manage to do this, as complexity increases exponentially with size with an agent based system (which is probably part of the reason that the cities are so small). What this appears to show is that the very basic premise of the Glass Box engine is a fundamental design mistake, and that the conventional way of programming simulation games (as used by Simutrans, amongst others, of having a mix of high level statistical modelling and partly detailed ground-up simulation in key areas, such as, in Simutrans, goods and passengers) is superior, at least for present day hardware.

Incidentally, can anyone link to the video from 2012 to which Colonyan is referring?
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: sdog on March 15, 2013, 09:21:56 PM
What is very interesting about this is that it (probably) shows that the pure agent based ground up approach is completely impractical. I was very interested when the project was first announced as to how they would manage to do this, as complexity increases exponentially with size with an agent based system (which is probably part of the reason that the cities are so small). What this appears to show is that the very basic premise of the Glass Box engine is a fundamental design mistake, and that the conventional way of programming simulation games (as used by Simutrans, amongst others, of having a mix of high level statistical modelling and partly detailed ground-up simulation in key areas, such as, in Simutrans, goods and passengers) is superior, at least for present day hardware.

That's why we have the statistical models in the first place: They describe our agent based world very well. Even while we often don't know what the agents are actually doing.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Sarlock on March 15, 2013, 09:39:57 PM
That's why we have the statistical models in the first place: They describe our agent based world very well. Even while we often don't know what the agents are actually doing.

If it's modelled correctly, it's a very effective way of simplifying complex interactions.  In a simulation/game, it's all that is necessary.  If the end result mirrors what would be done from an agent approach then why consume all of the processor resources than it can be devoted to other things like map size, efficient pathfinding, etc.

I haven't played Simcity again in over a week... I just didn't find it very interesting (other issues aside).  I'll try it again in a few weeks or months and see how I feel about it.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: sdog on March 15, 2013, 10:23:15 PM
I meant it on a more fundamental level. We always have random or random seeming dynamics on a finer scale. For the description of the large scale the rules found are typically consistent with statistical models. You don't even have to go to quantum mechanics. You find it in mundane phenomena like diffusion, or thermodynamics. Principle of emergence. (Would be interesting to read what philosophy of science has to say about it's seeming universality. Anyone got a good source?)
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: colonyan on March 15, 2013, 10:34:08 PM
What is very interesting about this is that it (probably) shows that the pure agent based ground up approach is completely impractical. I was very interested when the project was first announced as to how they would manage to do this, as complexity increases exponentially with size with an agent based system (which is probably part of the reason that the cities are so small). What this appears to show is that the very basic premise of the Glass Box engine is a fundamental design mistake, and that the conventional way of programming simulation games (as used by Simutrans, amongst others, of having a mix of high level statistical modelling and partly detailed ground-up simulation in key areas, such as, in Simutrans, goods and passengers) is superior, at least for present day hardware.

Incidentally, can anyone link to the video from 2012 to which Colonyan is referring?

Its one of their early official video. All it was showing was factory getting worker>producing goods> goods delivered by truck to commercial > shopper buying.
They made park ultimate happiness generator and happiness (sales, and profit for Comm, and Ind). It takes happiness for sim built strucutres to develop in density.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: sdog on March 15, 2013, 11:05:01 PM
The more I read the more it sounds like they wanted to make Spore out of it.



edit, fixed typo
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: jamespetts on March 16, 2013, 12:03:55 AM
Spire?
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: sdog on March 16, 2013, 04:34:07 AM
Should have read Spore (corrected) i haven't noticed android's spelling correction changed it.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: ӔO on March 16, 2013, 05:06:53 AM
now that you mention it, yes, it does seem like spore. Massively single player and annoying DRM.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: IgorEliezer on March 16, 2013, 06:00:35 AM
"Why pay for beta testers when day one buyers will do the same job for free?" (link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d0b41H-Lnk&lc=Grdcu2Hx5MDxbh34K1BnohP3Ia14mIDzkvxR98afSlI))

Best YouTube comment of the year. :3
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: jamespetts on October 05, 2013, 01:29:36 PM
An interesting update on this game here (http://www.simcity.com/en_US/blog/article/state-of-simcity). They are "exploring" the possibility of an offline mode, but, of more interest to those with an eye to comparison of basic simulation dynamics, they have decided that it is not possible to support larger cities because the Glass Box engine is such that making them any larger will result in most users being unable to load, let alone play, the games.

This is interesting because it shows that current computer hardware is a long way away from what is necessary for agent based simulation on anything other than a very small scale to be workable. It was previously not entirely clear why cities were limited to 1x1km - it is now clear that the reason is the performance load of the Glass Box engine.

That is rather reassuring for developers of Simutrans, I think, using a more conventional and somewhat more abstract model, that our system is the right way of doing things for some time to come.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Sarlock on October 05, 2013, 05:22:09 PM
There is a reason they have to use supercomputers to do large agent-based simulations.  If a 1kmx1km system is a serious tax on computing hardware, an exponential increase to even just 2x2 or 4x4 could bring the CPU to a halt.

With many systems, a basic simulation of batches of agents performs equally well with much less load on the CPU.  As long as you have the right models in place, it is extremely lifelike.

A couple more generations of computing power increases and Carl will be able to do a to-scale simulation of GB......
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: asaphxiix on October 05, 2013, 07:34:37 PM
I dream of one day playing simutrans on google maps.

So how does the simutrans engine cope so well with the task? Is it necessarily a trade-off with the graphics and way engineering features which ST excels less at, or would it be possible to implement the engine of simutrans with a more graphics and way engineering oriented type of commercial games?
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: jamespetts on October 05, 2013, 07:38:09 PM
The main difference, I think, is that we do not keep track of each individual person living in each individual house, but generate passengers and freight on the fly as and when necessary. Also, the Glass Box engine uses agents even for things, such as electricity and sewage, that are not even agent agent based in real life, which is silly.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Sarlock on October 05, 2013, 08:59:44 PM
Indeed, you can easily overdo it with using agents for things that are easily simulated on a bulk level.  Take electricity demand for instance: the way Simutrans does it is fine, calculate load based on number of buildings in the city and as long as the city is provided this electricity to any place in the city grid, we consider the entire city supplied with electricity.  Does it need to be more complicated than that?  Absolutely not (unless we were building an electricity grid simulator!).

If we have 10 residential buildings with 50 citizens each (total population = 500) and 10 job sites on a map, we could create 500 agents and let them each figure out how to get to work.  Or, with a lot less computing power, we can just simulate that effect by using a few well written assumptions and calculations and come to basically the same result.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: An_dz on October 06, 2013, 05:03:32 AM
SimCity is already cracked and it runs offline, there's a lot of pirates saying it worked ok. Anyway most said the game is bad.

There's a mod that lets you build outside the city limits too.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: IgorEliezer on February 07, 2014, 06:20:41 PM
For those who like to watch SimCity letsplays: SimCity: Cities of Tomorrow (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwWJw1PQqic&list=PL2XncHqN_7yI15aNY5WmeuxE7OB9vyzEA)
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Isaac.Eiland-Hall on February 09, 2014, 07:41:48 AM
SimCity remains dead to me. :)
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: vorlon on February 09, 2014, 03:56:28 PM
SimCity remains dead to me. :)

I tend to agree, but I can't dismiss the irony in this line of thought: simcity and other such games that appeal to a broad audience were once considered a threat by the "hardcore"-gamers. And now, 10 years after Simcity 4 was released, the people who are worried about the death of serious gaming are the simcity players.  ;)
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: Isaac.Eiland-Hall on February 10, 2014, 09:34:14 PM
I think the advent of Minecraft proves that sandbox open-style games (like Simutrans! Hurrah!) are really a serious genre with serious players like all the other genres.
Title: Re: Sim City (2013)
Post by: jamespetts on February 10, 2014, 10:28:00 PM
I think the advent of Minecraft proves that sandbox open-style games (like Simutrans! Hurrah!) are really a serious genre with serious players like all the other genres.

Indeed! I do love the idea of an ongoing, highly intricate and realistic enormous multi-player simulation of transport of all sorts of the sort that we are beginning to have with the Bridgewater-Brunel server games with Experimental. We just need to improve the economics to incentivise more realistic play, to model more relevant dynamics and to interlink various aspects of what we do simulate and we shall have a thing of beauty and joy forever.