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SimCity Offline Is Coming (simcity.com)
71 points by simias on Jan 13, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 96 comments



I'm still playing and enjoying SC4k. There's tons of people who love SC3k, and even 2k. I pretty much exhausted all I care to do with this new SC inside of 2 weeks and uninstalled it. It's easily the worst city sim game I've ever played. And not just because of the issues with the AI and city size and all that. It just has no joy in it.

This is what happens when the marketing department takes over a company.

(I would have been perfectly happy with SC4k with curved roads, mixed-use zoning and a few fixes for highways and such).


It'd be so wonderful to have a SC4.5k. Or, hell, could you imagine what the modding community could do with the source? No chance in hell of that ever happening, but one can dream...


Existential quandary here, but I loathe how we are now hitting the 20 year mark on the modern PC gaming era. 1993 opened the floodgates with Doom, and we are already seeing the loss of many games from that era that just don't run on a modern computer but have never seen a source release to let anyone update the engines.

And it only is poised to get worse over time, especially now that ARM is superseding x86 for a lot of computing. Is it reasonable to expect everyone to know how to run VMs of old operating systems (where you are already in questionable legal water if you download isos of, say, Windows 98, which is no longer available for money but still is copyrighted forever).

And titles like "Baldurs Gate Enhanced Edition" I feel hurt the industry hugely by presenting the legal departments an excuse to deny source release, because later on they could touch the game up for a few weeks and sell it all over again. Same way companies like Square will re-release 20 year old games like Final Fantasy rather than do source releases on the original engine code. Except for most games they won't see a re-release, and they will just drift into the binary purgatory of unrunnable titles.


I agree.

We expect English Students to study classic texts. It is hard to impossible (especially with legal considerations) for programmers to play the classics, let alone investigate the source code.

It is a very great shame that so much is effectively locked away and going to be lost.


The original SimCity Classic source code is open source, and instructors like Chaim Gingold and Mark Sample are actually having their students study (and deconstruct) the source code:

Chaim Gingold, Simulation for Games: http://classes.soe.ucsc.edu/cmps179/Spring13/

Mark Sample, Criminal Code: The Procedural Logic of Crime in Videogames: http://www.samplereality.com/2011/01/14/criminal-code-the-pr...


Prince of Persia's source is also available... https://github.com/jmechner/Prince-of-Persia-Apple-II


When the culmination of the post-labour economy arrives, we'll realize we have no need for the notion of intellectual property either. Star Trek has set the example for us to follow!


We need a heckuva lot of robotics and AI for that to happen. There's no post-labour as long as human labour is still mandatory for survival. It needs to become entirely optional first.


It doesn't have to happen completely. As it is right now, we are facing a growing crisis of unemployment and underemployment. This has been termed "the Great Decoupling":

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/12/opinion/global/jobs-produc...


> And titles like "Baldurs Gate Enhanced Edition" I feel hurt the industry hugely by presenting the legal departments an excuse to deny source release

You won't get much with just the engine source when what matter in those games is the art and general content. Plus this did not stop people to hack the BG saga into BGTuTu.

Also, http://www.gemrb.org/


This is exactly why I mention Baldurs Gate, because dozens of smart people took thousands of hours to reverse engineer what would have taken the legal team hours and one coder 15 minutes to relicense and release publicly.

Also, the Infinity Engine was used in half a dozen titles, and while it is detrimental that pretty much nobody releases game assets under permissive terms, my point is that games are lost to obscurity because their engines don't work. For better or worse, the game data is just as compatible with its engine as it ever was.


The source code for the original SimCity Classic is open source, called "Micropolis": https://code.google.com/p/micropolis

While it's nowhere near as fancy as the latest version, there are other directions to take it than adding lots of bells and whistles and complexity.

It's simplicity makes it idea for general education, as well as specifically learning about programming, game development and modding, and it's much easier for younger children (and even adults) to grasp and understand.

Doreen Nelson wrote the original SimCity teacher's guide, and her life's work has been "Design Based Learning", like Seymour Papert and Alan Kay's "Constructionist Education" philosophy. I believe SimCity Classic could be developed into a fun and wonderful educational tool, inspired by that work.

About Design Based Learning: http://www.csupomona.edu/~dnelson/intro.html http://www.csupomona.edu/~dnelson/library.html

These are delightfully retro but timeless videos that are inspirational and still totally relevant to SimCity:

City Building Education: A Way to Learn. Written and produced by Doreen Nelson and David Olney through the Office of Charles Eames, l976. 11 mins. (This is well worth watching for the music by Morton Subotnick!) http://video.csupomona.edu/DNelson/CityBuilding-245.asx

Classroom City. Written, directed and produced by Doreen Nelson, l981. Looks at City Building's methods in various classroom settings: traditional, migrant teacher training and educationally handicapped. Students from the first City Building class of l969 are revisited. 16 mins. http://video.csupomona.edu/DNelson/ClassroomCity-245.asx


This is it. There is not much challenging to the new SimCity. It is just not the same experience as SC4. Even with all things fixed, offline mode etc. it makes fun for just a couple of hours.


I think even the unwanted abomination they called Societies is more challenging and rewarding than newSimCity.


Exactly I have been playing simcity for as long as I can remember playing computer games. Possibly even before I played Doom.

The new Simcity is nothing I wanted and really broke the game for me. I dont think I will be playing this franchise ever again, sadly.


I keep trying to play SC4k again, but it feels so out-dated. I haven't tried the new SC, but I've tried Cities XL. I want a new Sim City with the gameplay of SC4k in the engine of Cities XL. SC4k's zones are too small and the road structure is too limiting as you mention, but Cities XL has the horrible resources and trading structure and after your city reaches a certain level the gameplay lags and become unstable.

I even tried Cities in Motion, and dear god is that micro-management hell for me.


EA, desperately trying to force life in to a product they did not understand and now attempting to recover the large part of their fan base they alienated.

Not going in to the rant, there were many around the time this PoS hit the market. All I can say is, as an avid sim city player, Sim city 4 had it. This new thing called Sim City, was more a city based sims level. I was just waiting for the "sim City delux edition where you could get +5 more houses, and some new cars"

Honestly I used to love sim City, but after spending £50 on sim city, it really is (and i said this before sim city) the last EA game i buy.

Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me


fool me consistently for a decade or two... why aren't more people boycotting EA yet?


Because many of the games they publish are quite good? Just in games that are current, AC4: Black Flag and BF4.


AC is a Ubisoft product and BF4 has been so screwed up that investors are exhibiting enough concerns that the team for BF has moved from working on ANY dlc, to fixing the immediate issues that BF4 shipped with. Not to mention they trashed the most recent C&C because it was terrible.


I know that I pre-ordered BF4 and have yet to play more than a couple of hours since launch. How much have things improved since then? Has the CPU parking issue been fixed? It's silly that I have to run some third-party CPU utility to make the game playable.


I haven't heard of any CPU-related issues, but the current patches are sort of in a "two steps forward, one step back" tango. Some major thing would get fixed that breaks a myriad of smaller things, which would get fixed in the next patch that would then break some other minor things...

It's also taken a frustratingly long time to patch major game-breaking issues - the main one I kept running into was getting the "accept revive yes/no?" prompt when you die, which you can then not get out of short of quitting the game entirely.

They also managed to break SLI support completely during a recent patch. Like, completely. SLI users would have their screens turn into a flashing disco-tron.

Client crashes are still an issue, but a lot less common than before. Server crashes are likewise still an issue, but a lot less common than before. The general stability of Battlelog seems improved also - right now the general crashi-ness situation resembles what the game should have looked like at launch.


As a Texan, I can tell you that "two steps forward, one step back" is a two-step, not a tango :)


Been quite active in BF4 since liking BF3 enough to update. Only a handful of crashes, most of which during apeshit insane scenarios. Resource usage by the engine feels far more efficient than say, GTA4. My moderate laptop with dedicated graphics card can handle the game swimmingly at medium-low settings.

No third party "helper" apps or non-standard or beta drivers, and a few background applications running clogging up some potential memory resources wanted by the game.


Oh, right, my bad on AC. Well, replace that with Deadspace then. That franchise has captured a lot of minds, but I don't know about the quality of 3 (1 and 2 were good).


I think that despite its well publicized problems, there are some really great things about the latest version of SimCity.

The user interface and graphics and music are just fantastic.

The concept and execution of using roads instead of tiles is a huge improvement.

But the limit on the city size is very frustrating.

I would trade a lot of the new bells and whistles (well the fancy graphics, but not the nice UI) just to be able to build a gargantuan megalopolis, even if it didn't run very fast.


And FIFA.


So much for all the excuses about needing the cloud to run the simulation engine, etc


Chances are those excuses were true considering it took them nearly 8 months to release an offline patch that pretty much every SimCity fan immediately wanted upon (and prior to) release of the game.


doubt it; their solutions from earlier bugs included such gems as disabling the fastest play speed in order to improve stability.

I wouldn't give EA the benefit of the doubt about an 8 month patch. They probably began work on it late last week. The company has shown time and time again that they don't give a fuck about you -- the offline patch is just the minimum amount of work they have to do in order to unplug the servers on a new game without total outrage.

"Look, we pushed an offline patch before terminating the servers, WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT FROM A GAME LESS THAN A YEAR OLD!?"


Actually no. People were able to hack the game to run offline within 2 weeks of its release.


No the excuses were not true. It was Origin's fault, and Maxis had to take the blame. The people working at Maxis opposed it, and it didn't actually need to be online to play, but the people at Origin insisted it only run online.


Chances are those excuses were purely FUD considering it took people who had no access to the source code less than a week or two to make it work offline with a crack.


Seems like EA should be hiring the crackers who patched the game then considering they got the job done within a week or so.


I was a lock to give them my money - and that's extremely rare for me to be committed to buy a game. But their delayed Mac version, the botched launch of their PC version, and the outright lies from their executives changed all of that. I've moved on.


I think Origin deserves the blame for making bad decisions and forcing them on Maxis, and I feel sorry that it was Maxis's job to repeat the lies they were told to say, because they didn't agree with the bad decisions (i.e. offline play, and needing more servers for launch), but it was their job to take the credibility hit, while Origin got to have their way.


I'd be interested to see the data of how Simcity sales did averaging out past the launch date compared to other sim city games. Or, since it's all online, a view of active players past the first few weeks of play.

I know I bought it because the articles about the game failed to mention the size issues or any of the faulty AI issues (like traffic). I was amazed the reviewers didn't find any of those faults because they happened pretty fast and ruined the game for me.

Offline or not, Simcity was a huge step back for me and not worth all the hype it got.


They sold 1.1 million copies in its first two weeks, and around 2 million copies in total.

Compared to Sim city 3k/4k, that is less than half the sale numbers in a growing industry. I would also guess that Sim city 2013 had a much higher production cost, server costs, administration cost and support costs.

And most wonderful thing, they can't blame pirates.


Worse for them - though they'll continue to have some new sales, the initial spike is over, and the costs of maintaining their online infrastructure will continue to eat into any sales revenue for as long as they keep it active.

Makes you wonder how big a margin there is between sales revenue and ongoing costs.


I believe that they used online mode as an excuse to limit reviewers to only be able to play for 8 hours, so many of the limits were not apparent.

The game really only starts showing it's shallowness once you filled up one city space and started on your next one, only to come out with a homogeneous clone of the first city.


The damage is done, and if they actively enforce their modding rules, specifically:

"Mods may not modify any .com, .exe, .dll, .so or other executable files."

Then what's the point? The game is still awful, and the means to fix that aren't available.


The servers/DRM ended up being one of the least of this game's problems. Tiny plot size and oversimplification of the engine made this beautiful game basically no fun.


File under: "breaking news from 1989" :)


It's cool if they're responding to the user base and meeting the demand. It's not cool if they're unveiling this like a feature sans apology for prior behavior.

They're restoring original, sane functionality. The GM should be expecting relief/forgiveness, not excitement.


It's amazing how close this iteration has followed in the path of the original Cities XL.

Take for example the Sim City world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3oFKhftK88

If you didn't play the Cities XL beta nor were around for the first bit of Cities XL there was something called the "Planet Offer". The world map Maxis shows 12 seconds into the trailer looks just like the Planet Offer's globe. Maxis even shows a commodities market at 22 seconds which looks like the Planet Offer's trading.

Just like the Planet Offer things did not work out as planned. Core components of the city builder were left undone such as the terrain manipulation or map creation. In part I suspect both were business decisions made to allow a DLC market.

From the beginning EA promised DLC. In the case of Cities XL the DLC was less obvious. The way things worked out the developers of Cities XL went bankrupt and the game was bought out by its current publisher. Every Cities XL game since has just been the original edition plus some extra maps and buildings.

The real shame is that both Cities XL and Sim City 2013 were beautiful and did not lack anything art wise. Instead they just failed at game play. Part of said problem was crippling the game to open DLC avenues. The other part was horrible balancing.

In the case of Cities XL there was no balancing. Every city service cost the exact same with no room to adjust service level like in Sim City 4. Cities XL also made the mistake of tying medium and large density zones plus most services to your city's population. In effect every new city felt the same since you had to bootstrap everything every-time. Of course finances were also dead easy to balance.

During Cities XL beta my biggest problem was opening enough inter-city transport capacity to export my over supply of office services. For a while I could just open international airports one after the other but I soon ran out of space. My city got so big I triggered a rare bug where the game replaced my entire city with a hilly field. Since said hilly field had no export routes I couldn't rebuild. This was a shame since the glitch managed to delete everything which was costing me money but leave all the export revenue. Thus despite being a hilly field I must have amassed more money than any other city during beta.

Sorry back on topic: just like Cities XL's planet offer Maxis is now stepping back from the online. In theory online would be fantastic but first you need to make a fun city builder. Maybe in the future we'll get one.


What surprises me is that they didn't realize that SimCity doesn't have the right game mechanics for classic DLC.

Instead of going the DLC route, they should have gone the user-gernerated content route. Allowing users to not only share and rank their cities but also to create additional content (3D models, conversions) and to interact with the game mechanics using an in-game scripting language.

By that last part I mean things like programming the logic of the in-game traffic lights, train schedules, and so on.

Pure, raw, script-based micro-management.

Had they managed to implement a game incorporating content-sharing, they might have seen the sales of their core game skyrocket, fueled by the positive marketing feedback of a content-generating community.


Someone needs to write a short essay about the power of user generated content to sell product.

Doom was released as shareware. You got the first few levels for free. You paid and got the rest. Doom had a huge amount of user generated content, but the community was careful to make sure it would only work if you had the full paid version of the game. Obviously some people didn't, but you'll always get pirates. That's an early example of the community protecting the ip while helping to boost sales.

Minecraft is a more modern example of user generated content driving huge sales of a game.

We just need a short easy to read essay to point the accountants and suits at.


Absolutely. I believe that's the reason behind the success of The Sims (and the lack of user generated content was the reason behind the failure of The Sims Online).

A browser based version of SimCity Classic could use WebGL to render the buildings with digital bricks (i.e. Legos). Then it would be very fun and easy for players to create their own buildings with existing tools (or new browser based tools build into the game), and even construct those buildings in the real world out of Legos.

There is an active community of Lego fans and a rich ecosystem of open source digital brick editing tools, and Lego Digital Designer even imports and exports some of the file formats that were developed by the open source community, as well as Lego's own xml file format. http://ldd.lego.com/

In fact there's already an open source JavaScript/WebGL/three.js library for rendering digital bricks: https://bitbucket.org/msx80/brigl demos: http://www.lugato.net/brigl/index.html

Check out the Lego Micropolis Micro City Standard: http://twinlug.com/micropolis-micro-city-standard/ and the beautiful stuff people have made: http://flickrhivemind.net/Tags/micropolis/Interesting

Bad day for Micropolis contest: http://www.reasonablyclever.com/lego/contest/badday/ winners: http://www.reasonablyclever.com/lego/contest/badday/badday.h... http://www.reasonablyclever.com/lego/contest/badday/basic.ht... http://www.reasonablyclever.com/lego/contest/badday/double.h... http://www.reasonablyclever.com/lego/contest/badday/doublepl...

Imagine importing that great stuff into SimCity, or rather, the open source version of SimCity, whose name also just happens to be Micropolis: https://code.google.com/p/micropolis/

I'd write a short essay, but I'm afraid it would end up being a long essay! ;)


> The real shame is that both Cities XL and Sim City 2013 were beautiful and did not lack anything art wise. Instead they just failed at game play.

Then it's not really a game; it's a graphics demo.

You can't fail at gameplay and still have a game; conversely, you can have great gameplay but terrible graphics (e.g. roguelikes).


Will we get an apology for being so obstinate and narrow-minded, too?

How about a promise to never again shove always-on down the throats of their customers, and admit that it's a fruitless effort to exert absolute control over the ways users play their games?

How about Blizzard and Diablo 3, where you feel lag in a game that's predominantly single player?


My understanding is that SCO was designed and balanced around player-player interaction between cities, to the point that a single free-standing city couldn't really be "complete." Cities functioned better when they were specialized and interacting with neighbors, than when they tried to be self-sufficient. I didn't play the thing myself, but that's how the devs seemed to portray things.

Given that (and other ways in which the online-ness was pervasive in game design), this seems like the epitome of a band-aid fix on a bullet wound. Just inserting an offline mode won't make the game better, because the game design was based around online play from a very fundamental level, and it's not a feature that can be removed simply. I.e., 'you can take SCO offline, but you can't take the online out of SCO.'


That's partially true. But the online plays was screwed from the start since you simply couldn't delete cities. So that city you built when you were screwing around with the build tools and made a giant happy face out of the roads and didn't really have any intention of making it self-sustaining or part of a larger region play? It's there forever.

SC4k also had region play, cities weren't really as effective until they were part of a region. The mechanic should have been to let you and some friends start a region, each pick a zone or two and start cooperatively developing them over time. Enhance things like cross-city usage fees (so I can recoup cost for putting up a huge airport in my city that my friends use) and it would have completely satisfied the multi-player requirement.

What you ended up with was a bunch of half-asses cities that nobody wanted to play with in regions that nobody wanted to be multi-players in, that the only benefit was regional construction projects that never really worked right and had cryptic requirements in order to construct.

Coupled with impossibly small city sizes and broken AI and the game is fundamentally broken in ways that no amount of patching or fixing is ever going to solve. Time to deep six this failed experiment and move on to Sim City 2.


Hey, that actually sounds a lot like regional planning in real life :)


I think SimCity is essentially a game that you can approach and play many different ways. Some of those ways work just fine offline, and some of them don't.


Given that you can play solo regions, I assume you could simply create several specialized cities (I haven't played the game).


You can, although when I do this I end up switching between cities constantly to keep resources flowing and each switch takes about a minute so it's kind of un-fun.


Well, the harm is already done, but it's good to see Offline mode coming.

But, to me, the most interesting news is the mod support. If you want to at least double your game's lifetime, make it easy to modify.


See Skyrim as an example for a successful modding culture. The community is just awesome.


And the complete Skyrim game (all expansions/DLC) still sells for $60 on PC, two years after release. People still buy it at this price, and it's still a pretty good value.


Too bad I returned my purchase to Amazon after I was unable to play during the first week.

Corporate Execs from companies like EA and even Microsoft/Xbone are ruining gaming.


Don't feel bad about returning your game, the game is still horribly broken in many ways that an offline mode won't fix.


Mostly I feel bad for Amazon more than Maxis/EA. They probably ate the cost of the game just to satisfy me and a bunch of other people.


RE: offline play & non-mod modding:

   Too little, too late.


Serious question:

Would anyone be interested in a version of SimCity Classic that ran in the browser? (Playable offline, of course!)

In what ways do you think it could be brought up to date with modern technology, without spoiling the fun of the original game?

What do you like about the original SimCity Classic? And what do you think should be changed or added?

What I'd really appreciate is advice on how to fund the development. Kickstarter is out because I'm not in the United States, but I'm considering Indiegogo, but open to alternatives, especially ones focused on open source and educational software.


I used to play simcity classic on a hercules monitor.

I would like to play it in the browser.

Things I'd like to see:

Nice graphics. Doesn't have to be high res or anything, just nice. Perhaps allow tilesets to be used so the community could easily create and share tiles.

Easy laying of road and track. I remember the odd rubber banding of classic being a bit frustrating.

Some nice easy to use terrain editor.

Some social features? Allow more than one person to work on a terrain map at a time? (I understand this raises complexity significantly). Or Allow people to passively view the terrain and sent chat suggestions?

Have a free play version, and a well tested challenges version with a wide variety of challenges. Eg "last X years", "grow to Y size", "survive these disasters", "earn Z money" etc.

Have a way for me to pay you. I much prefer a single payment for full access rather than a freemium model. (Wait x hours to collect enough coins to build this road, or unlock coins for $x now!!" Would not be pleasant.

Hope these are some use!


I think the easiest way to lay road and track is to drive a road laying vehicle around: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkVBg_-OviI

Definitely a terrain editor, plus more tweakable procedural terrain generation.

There are many interesting ways to support multiple players, beyond the "cooperative committee with god mode limited by unanimous voting on expensive things" approach I implemented with the X11/TCL/Tk version: http://www.donhopkins.com/home/movies/SimCityNetDemo.mov

Your friends could fly helicopters around your city, reporting on problems, or just chatting with you as you drive your brick laying machine around to make roads.

Your enemies could fly drones around and turn your citizens into terrorists by bombing their wedding parties.

Your governor could conspire to cause terrible traffic jams by closing lanes on your bridges.

Deconstruct the god mode tool pallet into something more like Magic the Gathering cards, that have particular tailored zones, purposes and budgets that multiple players can win, trade and play.

The code must be open source, and the basic game free down download and play (online or off), but I'd like to think of a revenue model that will support the development of the game, as well as educational courseware (for free educational use).

I don't think many people would pay to download other people's cities, but maybe artists/architects could sell their buildings in an online real-estate (virtual-estate?) market like eBay.

I'm seeking advice and suggestions about how to fund the development and support running it! It's futile to pitch an educational game to a big publisher like EA, but Indiegogo may be a good route. Are there other alternatives focused on open source or educational software? I would really appreciate some mentoring and guidance from people experienced with that.


Definitely it needs user editable tile sets, for 2D mode. And nice info visualizations of the simulator state and data layers.

And I think it would be great to create buildings with digital bricks (Legos), and render them in 3D -- that would make it fun and easy to create your own buildings with existing tools. And integrating browser based building editing tools into the game would be even better! See my other post with details and links: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7052399


Why would it run in a browser?


Because I rewrote it in JavaScript! ;)


Fair enough, I suppose. Why JavaScript?


So it will run in the the browser? Or node.js, if you like.


It runs in the browser, because you wrote it in JavaScript, so that it will run in the browser...?

I was curious as to why you would target the browser at all, but whatever roasts your toast, man. Enjoy game development!


Haven't you heard? Lots of people use browsers. Google it, you'll be amazed.


So availability of the platform dominated other facets of the technical design? OK, sounds like the typical "JS for everything!" philosophy to me, but again, whatever works for you. Don't get your nuts in a twist, I was really just curious about your decision.


You're aware that the technical design of SimCity is over 25 years old right? Are you over 25 years old, too?

Can you please suggest a platform that makes it easier for as many people to instantly and effortlessly run it? Do you have such an axe to grind against JavaScript that you think it's a bad decision to use it, in spite of its ubiquity and suitability? Or is it web browser themselves that you despise, and you don't think it's wise to develop browser based games no matter what the language? Do you have a viable alternative, that runs as fast and has as rich an ecosystem and is known and used by as many people, and do you have a plan to get your alternative language into as many web browsers as run JavaScript, or replace web browsers entirely?

Exactly how long should I sit on my hands hold my breath and for your plan to replace JavaScript and the web to come to fruition?

Whatever your alternative is, remember that the point is opening up the simulator so the code is not only runnable but also understandable by a large number of people, including kids learning to program, and to motivate people to learn a useful programming language that they will be able to use in the real world. So Haskel is right out.

Seriously, everybody knows you're just trolling, because you're making no sense whatsoever, and pretending to be dense. And it's not a very good troll at all. My nuts aren't in a twist, but you're sure trying hard to twist them. How about giving it a rest and finding somewhere else to huff and puff about JavaScript, because we're trying to have a serious discussion here.


If you'd be so kind as to point out where I've disparaged JavaScript as a language in any way, shape, or form, I'd greatly appreciate that. Ten dollars says you cannot do it, but I'd be fascinated to see how you spin my words in the process.

I asked for some reasoning behind your technical decisions because I personally thought that your language/platform choice was a bit unorthodox (while acknowledging its benefit of a wide adoption) as opposed to something else, and you blow up and tell me all about how it's really just a big war between me and poor JavaScript. I said nothing of the sort, and you're really reading much too far into what I've said. In reality, I'm a relative newbie with very little experience with JavaScript, and any personal feelings I may have for it were largely irrelevant to what I said.

Relax. Maybe step away from your PC for a while and take a breather? I'd hate to hear about you on the evening news. Christ.


I asked you if you had an axe to grind against JavaScript or the browser, an if so, what better alternative can you suggest? And I asked you some other questions, too. Care to answer them?

Stating that my testicles are twisted and implying that I'm going to shoot up an elementary school isn't a effective way to dodge my questions, it's just childish trolling.

Get back to the point: What's wrong with rewriting a game in JavaScript so it runs in the browser, if the goal is to make it accessible to as many people as possible? What's so "curious" about targeting the browser, and what criticism do have of rewriting code in JavaScript so it runs in the browser?

Would you prefer using a cross-compiler to translate the existing C++ code into JavaScript? That would make it much harder for people to read and understand, you know, which is 180 degrees in the opposite direction than I want to take it.

Can you suggest any better alternatives, or can you better explain what you really meant by what you said, please? Because you're not making much sense to me, and you're getting very emotional about it.


You asked me a bunch of questions that I don't for one second believe were not rhetorical and based on some assumptions that you've pretty obviously (and incorrectly) made about me, what I said, and what I meant. So no, I don't really care to answer them, for the same reason that I won't request that you propose an alternative to C++.

And by the way, please learn to separate swearing, sarcasm, or whatever it is that you seem to associate with emotion, from emotion. They're rhetorical devices. Oddly enough, you seem to be the one getting emotional here. Or perhaps you consider your spontaneously-hostile defense of JavaScript to have been the rational course of action?

I asked you to clarify an apparent circular argument you had made (I wrote it in JavaScript, because I targeted the browser, because I wrote it in JavaScript...), expressed that the browser seemed to me an unnatural platform for a game (but not necessarily a poor one), you shot back a smart-ass remark about how lots of people use browsers (no shit), and here we are, arguing about how much I (apparently) hate JavaScript.

I think I'm done here. Judging by your perception of me, you seem to be arguing with someone else anyway, so I'll go ahead and leave you to it.


What you've failed to explain is what's so "unnatural" about the browser as a platform for a game. I think you're wrong about that, and it should be pretty obvious why I want it to run in the browser and why I rewrote it in JavaScript. It seems like you're just pretending to be dense. So what exactly do you mean by "unnatural"?

It's not a circular argument, because JavaScript is not the only reason to use a browser, and browsers are not the only reason to use JavaScript. There are so many other good arguments for writing a game in JavaScript and for using web browsers as a platform. For example, the ubiquity of the platform, the available of so many libraries for rendering graphics and implementing user interfaces (as I mentioned above, somebody's already written a WebGL library for rendering digital Lego bricks, for example), and so on.

I've already proposed (and implemented) JavaScript as an alternative to C++, just as I earlier proposed (and implemented) C++ as an alternative to C. I've ported SimCity to numerous platforms, rewritten it in C++, and written user interfaces for it in PostScript/NeWS, TCL/Tk/X11, Python/GTK and OpenLaszlo/Flash. So I have a good idea of its requirements, and I think JavaScript in a web browser is an ideal language and platform for it at this point in history. Do you disagree with any of that, and can you suggest anything more "natural"? If not, then keep quiet, and we're done here.


Offline? What a brilliant innovation! I can't believe nobody thought of that before.


It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Oh wait... It was just the worst of times.


Is Coming? Isn't it there for a long time already? SimCity 2000 etc...


Why exactly are people willing to blame EA but not Maxis?


I don't think Maxis even exists as separate entity anymore. Aren't they just a small division within EA now? EA kept the brand name because Maxis used to be good, but it doesn't mean anything today.


Maxis has a separate studio in Emeryville (by Berkeley), where Spore and SimCity were developed. Maxis isn't exactly small, since The Sims franchise has been responsible for a large share of their profits: A few years ago EA reorganized into three parts, and The Sims division was one of them, but I don't know how they're organized now.


Maxis is no longer comprised of the people or direction that made the company once known as "Maxis", it is an EA subsidiary and run as such.

People assume (with good reason) that the design choices that made Sim City a poor game were made with the publisher's interest placed above the player's.


The lead designers and artists who developed the latest version of SimCity were old time Maxis people, but they've left since it launched. They weren't very happy with what Origin forced them to do with their game.


I think it has more to do with the fact that Maxxis made a good Sim City in the past and now it sucks.


Is it just me but simcity was the best game I played in 2013, maybe I am just new to the genre, but it was like playing video game for the first time.


It's just you. SimCity 4 / Rush Hour is widely regarded as better. Give it a try: http://store.steampowered.com/app/24780/

Allow me to lift a review: "While you cannot build crazy windy roads, SimCity 4 is perfect for building a city with grid street plan and you'll get everything you didn't get in SimCity 2013: huge maps, multiple entrances, zoning lots, detailed statistics/graphs/budgets, multiple transportation options from subway, elevated train, freeway, toll gates... the list goes on."

Heck, I think even SimCity 3000 will give you more raw City to play with.


I'd be curious to know how many of the folks making such negative comments actually purchased and have played the game recently.


Purchased played. Uninstalled several time and reinstall after "updates". The game is just not up to SC4 standards. Once it was stable I could only be entertained for a little more than an hour and then there was nothing more to do.


Didn't purchase and never will, but my friend did and he's played it recently, lost his city to the ether after just 10 hours of play before he rage quit again.


Sweet, I might actually start playing this game again!


now? after people have been playing it offline by hacking it since the second week it was release? incredible!


Way too little, way too late.




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