SimCity 5 Catch-All - Offline mode coming in next update

garion333 wrote:

Maxis did a live stream today, half about the Sims 3 and the other half about Sim City. It's here. Go to 35 minutes in for the Sim City stuff (about 45 minutes in if you've already seen the 9 minute video from the other day).

I'm in the midst of watching it so I can't speak to the quality as of yet.

Thanks, Garion.

"This Sim is going to the hospital." It goes nowhere near the hospital they created.

Will write down some stuff as I view it.

Nerd asking questions has the biggest top-part-of-the-head I've ever seen.
All "ploppables"(?) that you can place are modular and upgradeable.
Factories generate sick and injured sims.
They place a medical center near a factory with sickness and the sim is supposed to head to the med center. Instead it heads out into traffic.
City size is max 2000x2000, the size of a medium city in SimCity 4.
Game was designed as multiplayer from the ground up.
You can invite friends into region.
Power and water and services, fire, education, garbage can be traded.
Can give gifts of money to friends.
Can work on "Great Works" together like an international airport.
Can play entire region solo if you want.
No terraforming.
If you create a polluting city that will affect neighboring cities. If you ignore crime those criminals can spill out to the next city. So make sure to play with people you trust.
If someone in your region abandons his city, you can eventually take it over or someone else can.
No subways.
There are disasters which they're going to announce more about this week. They showed a meteor strike.

I has a sad.

City size is max 2000x2000, the size of a medium city in SimCity 4.

They are claiming that while the maps are smaller they're more dense in part because of the modular nature of the buildings. Instead of putting down a 2nd hospital you add to an existing one. Sounds cool, but we'll see if it turns out to truly have as much of an effect as they're claiming.

garion333 wrote:
City size is max 2000x2000, the size of a medium city in SimCity 4.

They are claiming that while the maps are smaller they're more dense in part because of the modular nature of the buildings. Instead of putting down a 2nd hospital you add to an existing one. Sounds cool, but we'll see if it turns out to truly have as much of an effect as they're claiming.

If not then don't be surprised to find an expansion pack/DLC that includes larger cities.

My main issue was no Subways, it kinda hurts knowing that the one transportation network that I've used over and over again in Sim City for years is now gone. On the flip side I'm excited for the new Bus and Tram networks.

While there are some omissions that make me a bit disappointed, there's enough new stuff that makes me happy that on the whole, I'm still cautiously excited for this game. I still have SimCity 4 if 5 is a flop.

I think the max city size is rendered somewhat moot by the fact that you can start a new and interconnected city right next to it.

Well you could do that in SimCity 4 too. But it's not the same.

clever id wrote:
Everyone wrote:

OMG regions, Blargh!

Everyone breath.

I dislike the idea of simcity griefers as much as the next guy, but if the quoted paragraph is true, we can just have a GWJ region or you can do your own.

I was on the fence about this before you posted that, so thanks. Hearing that, and seeing the video got me pretty excited about it again.

This might make me weird, but the thing in the video I found most exciting was curvy roads and the smart zoning around them. I like grids in neighborhoods, but it bugged me that connecting roads in SC4 were either completely straight, or emulated curves by sticking a few 45° bends in them.

I'm with ya, I'm done with straight roads. CitiesXL broke me of that. Also made me dislike power lines, so when I went and played some SC4 last night I got disgusted after 20 minutes. A lot of the things SC5 are doing have been done in CitiesXL, but I'm hoping for more polish.

garion333 wrote:

I'm with ya, I'm done with straight roads. CitiesXL broke me of that. Also made me dislike power lines, so when I went and played some SC4 last night I got disgusted after 20 minutes. A lot of the things SC5 are doing have been done in CitiesXL, but I'm hoping for more polish.

Power lines actually never bothered me, but I also made heavy use of the Buildings +3 squares AoE for power, and only used power lines to connect zoned areas to the power plants.

I haven't played Cities XL. I may have to give it a shot, at least to tide me over until SC5 releases. Does it matter much which version I get?

Garden Ninja wrote:

I haven't played Cities XL. I may have to give it a shot, at least to tide me over until SC5 releases. Does it matter much which version I get?

The latest version (2012) is certainly the best, but I don't recommend anyone buying the game, frankly. It's a Frankenstein monster from development and still runs like crap as it's designed for single threads on your CPU. All the cities tend to look the same too, but they do look pretty. Oh, and it's super easy. Like, super easy.

If you don't want to pony up for 2012 (and I'm suggesting you don't), but you still want to give it a try, then 2011 would be the best choice as the original was a bit busted.

Why don't the cities look like cities?

They look more like the little towns my grandmother would make on top of her dresser with Hallmark "Nostalgic House" ornaments every Christmas.

Faceless Clock wrote:

Why don't the cities look like cities?

They look more like the little towns my grandmother would make on top of her dresser with Hallmark "Nostalgic House" ornaments every Christmas.

I guess it depends on where you live. In New England, a lot of cities do have old buildings like that. Along with stupid roads from a time before "urban planning" was a thing.

In SimCity games, it's traditionally taken a long time for a city to develop tall buildings. But I don't know, I didn't watch the live feed.

Faceless Clock wrote:

Why don't the cities look like cities?

They look more like the little towns my grandmother would make on top of her dresser with Hallmark "Nostalgic House" ornaments every Christmas.

It's the tilt-shift effect they are using that gives everything a miniature-style look. I'm sure the aesthetic won't appeal to everyone but I think it's fantastic. Really fits well with the "god" style gameplay of SimCity.

garion333 wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:

I haven't played Cities XL. I may have to give it a shot, at least to tide me over until SC5 releases. Does it matter much which version I get?

The latest version (2012) is certainly the best, but I don't recommend anyone buying the game, frankly. It's a Frankenstein monster from development and still runs like crap as it's designed for single threads on your CPU. All the cities tend to look the same too, but they do look pretty. Oh, and it's super easy. Like, super easy.

If you don't want to pony up for 2012 (and I'm suggesting you don't), but you still want to give it a try, then 2011 would be the best choice as the original was a bit busted.

CitiesXL 2012 is on sale at Steam for $10. At that price if you're looking for something to hold you over I will then give you my full endorsement with the above caveats.

I'll also point you to the NEXL team, which puts out some badass mods.

garion333 wrote:
garion333 wrote:
Garden Ninja wrote:

I haven't played Cities XL. I may have to give it a shot, at least to tide me over until SC5 releases. Does it matter much which version I get?

The latest version (2012) is certainly the best, but I don't recommend anyone buying the game, frankly. It's a Frankenstein monster from development and still runs like crap as it's designed for single threads on your CPU. All the cities tend to look the same too, but they do look pretty. Oh, and it's super easy. Like, super easy.

If you don't want to pony up for 2012 (and I'm suggesting you don't), but you still want to give it a try, then 2011 would be the best choice as the original was a bit busted.

CitiesXL 2012 is on sale at Steam for $10. At that price if you're looking for something to hold you over I will then give you my full endorsement with the above caveats.

I'll also point you to the NEXL team, which puts out some badass mods.

I played the Cities XL closed beta back in the day. I enjoyed it then but my large issue was " People aren't going to pay for this multiplayer" and " Public transportation needs to be in the initial release." Other than that I also kept finding bug after bug after bug so it's no surprise it was released buggy since that is all the beta seemed to be. So if Sim City can pull off the multiplayer without trying to make it into an MMO and keep being Sim City than they one up Cities XL in my book.

Also I think I'll finally pick up Cities XL after all these years, 10 dollars is a steal.

garion333 wrote:

CitiesXL 2012 is on sale at Steam for $10. At that price if you're looking for something to hold you over I will then give you my full endorsement with the above caveats.

I'll also point you to the NEXL team, which puts out some badass mods.

Sweet. I was actually going to post that $40 is a bit much, considering I have Majesty 2 and Tropico 3 on my pile as well, even though neither are the same kind of sim. For $10 though, I'll bite on it.

I'm so excited to play this game. The city just seems so alive and smart. Watching this video make me want it even more. Can't wait till this game drops. Really excited to see how well the multiplayer works as well.

Just saw this disaster trailer show up on my YouTube feed.

And in case you missed the LIVE broadcast.

I see this hasn't been posted yet, so...

The game has been slightly delayed from the originally announced "February 2013" to March 5, 2013 (8th of March for Europe).

MeatMan wrote:

I see this hasn't been posted yet, so...

The game has been slightly delayed from the originally announced "February 2013" to March 5, 2013 (8th of March for Europe).

Well, at least it's only a month or so. But then again, there's still plenty of time to delay it more. lol

cheeba wrote:

There are disasters which they're going to announce more about this week. They showed a meteor strike.

Have they said if they are random like Classic/2000/3000 or just glorified bulldozers like they were in 4?

There's a disaster trailer three posts up from ya, shop.

Faceless Clock wrote:

I don't understand the engine. Okay, so it supposedly simulates each citizen, right? Just one question - who cares? Making a model more complex does not necessarily make it more accurate, realistic or (since this is a game) fun.

I'm not even sure what it's doing that SimCity 4 doesn't. I.e. they make a big deal about how you can see each car go to work, and see garbage trucks drive around, etc. Uh, you can see those things in SimCity 4, a game that's 10 years old. I think they're more representations of the model rather than elements, but so what?

In exchange for this dubious increase in complexity the game is removing power lines, removing sewage/water, reducing city size and most likely getting rid of zoning density. That doesn't seem like a very good trade.

Way delayed answer to this, but:

Addressing the question of removing things like power lines, and sewage/water (I'm pretty sure that zoning density is there), I think this part is more about eliminating painful pieces of micromanagement than related to the simulation model. But see below.

As to why to have a more simulationist approach: Note that they're modeling every citizen... in a way. But the way they do it is kind of reduced-detail and not what you would expect. It's a simulation, but it's a top-down simulation rather than a bottom-up simulation. For example, with the way they essentially find a job *every day* when they go to work, rather than having a steady job and maybe tracking performance and promotion at that job, etc. etc. This produces behavior like what you expect to see (sims go to work, have jobs, not enough jobs means sims out of work, sims are likely to sometimes take crappier jobs closer to home), but it's not based on an underlying model that is truly realistic.

The other simulation systems they've described work similarly. Water doesn't actually flow in "packets" or get used up in chunks by buildings it passes. It has pressure and flow rate etc. If you really want to simulate it right, a big water tank at a high altitude is desirable because you can fill it when people aren't using a lot of water, then when everybody is using a lot to shower in the morning it will get drawn down without losing too much pressure, and you can refill again. Of course, you'll also have new management problems of having to have sufficiently large and strong water mains to let enough flow get to where it needs to be, etc.

Now, the big difference between the old-style simulation and the new-style one is two-fold. The system is designed top-down, but there's more "resolution" to it. This allows for potential finer details, while also allowing interesting emergent behavior. In the older sort of system, you start with the big effects and then project that into details. You have more workers than you have jobs, therefore there must be citizens out of work, so now pick some homes and mark them as containing out of work citizens. Perhaps bias the choice of homes based on distance to available workplaces. When assigning workers to workplaces, you also have that distance bias.

In the new system, the home produces a worker event that travels along the road network looking for a workplace in need of workers, and every time it passes one it has a probability of taking that job. If it doesn't find one after a long enough time, it peters out... the sim is unemployed today. The more valid jobs are available close to home, the more likely the sim is to find a job, because it will interact more times, each time with a chance to take a job. The further away a workplace is from workers, the less likely it is to get workers, because workers will be likely to find jobs closer to home.

The overall effect is pretty much the same, but the rules in the finer-grained system are actually [em]simpler[/em]. You don't need to have code for figuring out how to decide who doesn't get a job when there's low employment, it just happens. You don't need to have code for choosing jobs based on balancing distance to work against desirability of job, it just happens. It depends on the event transmission network code, but the same core behavior (packets routing along a transmission network, interacting with nodes that they pass) can be used to simulate a great number of things with similar distance-based and preference-based behavior.

And the thing that excites me is that this simplicity is actually the door to modding like you wouldn't believe. For example, what if you wanted to add power lines, water lines, and sewage lines to the game? This is actually likely to be hard to do, if they haven't supported it, but it ought to be reasonably easy to support: all you're doing is added parallel transmission networks. They should behave just like roads do, only carry only certain kinds of packets.

More interestingly: what if you wanted to add a concept of socioeconomic class to the game, with some sims preferring certain houses, leisure activities, jobs, etc.? All you have to do is add information to the work/leisure/etc. packet about that class, and add a little bit of code to individual buildings to say how they interact with that class. Voila, you now have a City Life style class system. Have things produce "style pollution", too, and create angry people when you put the wrong classes next to each other.

And finally: what if you wanted to add a completely new kind of thing to the game? How about "psychic pressure", created by having too many people in a given area. This is a little more in-depth, maybe: you'd want to have every building in the game add to the local psychic pressure when it is "occupied", based on the amount of occupation it has. And you'd want at least the core population-movement related events to have their probabilities change based on the local psychic pressure. (i.e. if worker/job interaction is deciding whether to happen in a high psychic pressure area, it has lower probability. Effectiely, high pressure areas are less desirable.)

It's hard to say what the modding support that's actually provided will be like for SC5, but all of the above scenarios are pretty easy to imagine supporting. And the hope of having a reasonably easy ability to modify the core engines of the game is exciting.

I'm not really feeling the anger toward neighboring cities having an impact on yours. I mean, it's called Simcity not Happyville. This is what's really going on all the time. My friends in Collingswood are getting nervous because the Camden police force is in a death spiral and they don't know what's going to happen to suburbs when the crime in the city can't be controlled.

Besides, how long can you grief your own city before there are no citizens paying taxes and no money for anything? Is there an end state, or does a failing city just stay forever, spewing out toxins? In that case, it's the guy who doesn't log in to manage his city that is the big danger. Grief by neglect.

gains wrote:

I'm not really feeling the anger toward neighboring cities having an impact on yours. I mean, it's called Simcity not Happyville. This is what's really going on all the time. My friends in Collingswood are getting nervous because the Camden police force is in a death spiral and they don't know what's going to happen to suburbs when the crime in the city can't be controlled.

Not everyone plays SimCity with the goal of building a realistic or working city in mind. When I used to play SimCity 2000, nearly all of my cities were just weird experiments. It might be hard to do that if you're constantly being affected by outside variables.

Demyx wrote:
gains wrote:

I'm not really feeling the anger toward neighboring cities having an impact on yours. I mean, it's called Simcity not Happyville. This is what's really going on all the time. My friends in Collingswood are getting nervous because the Camden police force is in a death spiral and they don't know what's going to happen to suburbs when the crime in the city can't be controlled.

Not everyone plays SimCity with the goal of building a realistic or working city in mind. When I used to play SimCity 2000, nearly all of my cities were just weird experiments. It might be hard to do that if you're constantly being affected by outside variables.

So then don't let them be affected by outside variables. Play in a private region, with just yourself. Maxis have said that you'll be able to play in your own region if you so choose.