Developer says servers not essential to city simulation

#1 Edited by RenegadeDoppelganger (418 posts) -

RPS posted an article today claiming that they'd been contacted by a developer from Maxis who states that basically the servers are not essential pieces of the single player experience and that EA/Maxis could turn Sim City into a single player experience with minimal effort.

Here's the full article

If this is true, why are all public statements from Maxis and EA claiming that online servers are an essential part of the game?

Given this information, do you think some enterprising third party might be able to jury rig an offline version of Sim City?

#2 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

A few people have said the game worked fine without a internet connection. Its for anti Piracy.

#3 Edited by Pr1mus (3946 posts) -

How much simulation is really going on in this game compared to SimCity 4 anyway?

Everything i've seen so far make it seems like not that different from the 10 years old game. I haven't played it so maybe someone who knows both games well can shed some light on this.

#4 Posted by Subjugation (4740 posts) -

Independent sources came to this conclusion a little while ago. Other than the region interactivity and things of that nature, the online aspect is validating that you have a legitimate copy of the game.

#5 Posted by KoolAid (1032 posts) -

I smell bullshit. In my experience, the kinda people who anonymously talk to press to shit on their company are vindicate assholes who think that they've been wronged somehow and are trying to avenge some imagined slight. I bet this is a low level dev or an intern who saw his chance to get on the front page and gain some infamy.

#6 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@koolaid said:

I smell bullshit. In my experience, the kinda people who anonymously talk to press to shit on their company are vindicate assholes who think that they've been wronged somehow and are trying to avenge some imagined slight. I bet this is a low level dev or an intern who saw his chance to get on the front page and gain some infamy.

Notch and Kotaku have said they have been able to do it.

#7 Posted by Brighty (249 posts) -

@koolaid said:

I smell bullshit. In my experience, the kinda people who anonymously talk to press to shit on their company are vindicate assholes who think that they've been wronged somehow and are trying to avenge some imagined slight. I bet this is a low level dev or an intern who saw his chance to get on the front page and gain some infamy.

As an anonymous insider source. Right.

Besides, Kotaku and Notch both have been prolific about being able to run the game offline - with the former only being able to do so for 20 minutes at a time - so it's really not that far-fetched at all.

#8 Posted by KoolAid (1032 posts) -

@brighty said:

@koolaid said:

I smell bullshit. In my experience, the kinda people who anonymously talk to press to shit on their company are vindicate assholes who think that they've been wronged somehow and are trying to avenge some imagined slight. I bet this is a low level dev or an intern who saw his chance to get on the front page and gain some infamy.

As an anonymous insider source. Right.

Besides, Kotaku and Notch both have been prolific about being able to run the game offline - with the former only being able to do so for 20 minutes at a time - so it's really not that far-fetched at all.

$2 says we find out who this person is.

And if no connection is required (or anything besides DRM), then why would they remove the fast game speed in a effort to improve server response? What would it matter how fast you were running your city simulation if everything was handled locally?

#9 Posted by Ravenlight (8011 posts) -

@brighty said:

Besides, Kotaku and Notch both have been prolific about being able to run the game offline - with the former only being able to do so for 20 minutes at a time - so it's really not that far-fetched at all.

Notch and Kotaku have said they have been able to do it.

Please. Kotatsu. Let's make this a thing, guys.

#10 Posted by KoolAid (1032 posts) -

I feel I should also point out that I think Maxis is a shit developer that makes products that don't work. I believe them that their existing game requires an always online connection to work correctly. But I think they were fools to go down that path in the first place.

#11 Posted by Kaiserreich (740 posts) -

@koolaid: Because it auto-saved based on how much time had passed in the city. Faster game speed = servers getting hammered.

#12 Posted by Dalai (7070 posts) -

I was in a city and lost my connection to the server on day 2, but it took 20 minutes until SimCity crapped out on me. Everything seemed to work just peachy.

I should have said something, guys. Sorry.

#13 Posted by Dagbiker (6978 posts) -

Sim City probably checks in every certain number of in game hours, to get information from your region So when you use cheetah speed it checks in x*3 seconds as opposed to lama speed which only checks in every x*2 seconds. This is just my guess.

#14 Posted by GioVANNI (1293 posts) -

@dagbiker said:

Sim City probably checks in every certain number of in game hours, to get information from your region So when you use cheetah speed it checks in x*3 seconds as opposed to lama speed which only checks in every x*2 seconds. This is just my guess.

That's pretty much correct. The server syncs to your game every game day, and on cheetah speed on the game day goes faster hence having to sync more.

#15 Posted by Arabes (345 posts) -

@koolaid: No man, in this case, that guy is just being honest. The only thing the server connection does for you is show you the current state of your other cities off in the distance. EA/Maxis really did lie like a bunch of fuckers on this one.

#16 Edited by Demoskinos (15143 posts) -

Funny that people who actually pirated the game are most likely having an easier time playing than people who actually paid for it... no wait thats actually really really SAD.

#17 Edited by AlisterCat (5722 posts) -

According to this entering the games debug mode allows you play offline. I imagine modders will be able to get a totally unofficial and prohibited version of the game out there that runs offline.

Online
#18 Edited by audioBusting (1672 posts) -

@demoskinos said:

Funny that people who actually pirated the game are most likely having an easier time playing than people who actually paid for it... no wait thats actually really really SAD.

A quick glance at the usual channels does seem to indicate that the DRM is working well so far. Maybe this time it'll hold up for an entire month! The pirates will have no choice but to buy the game to play it now!

..Oh? They can just not buy nor play the game? And the servers are still on fire if they do decide to buy the game anyway? Huh, fancy that.

#19 Posted by KoolAid (1032 posts) -

I find the truth is easiest to see when we take the path that makes the most sense. The reason I think this guys is full of it is because the alternative sounds too implausible. Maxis is just lying to our face? To what end? So that when they fix the servers, we will forget all about this and it will all go away? If it really was just DRM, then why NOT just cut it? I mean, their game don't work. Do you really think they would rather no-one plays a online simcity then some people plays an offline one? Besides, they have a huge casual player base that is not familiar with piracy, so if ever there was a PC game that wasn't at risk to losing all their cash to pirates, this is it.

Also, everything I've heard about the game design of this game would say it HAS to be online, in that it sucks when it isn't. I bet if we asked a Maxis game designer about an offline mode, they would say something like "Well, we can't. The cities are too small to do everything. You need to specialize your city and then trade with other players so you all achieve greatness together." And then we would ask why one person just couldn't control all the small cities offline. "That won't work either... because controlling more then one or two cities sucks! Its slow and too overwhelming. The game only works in multiplayer."

I mean, Jeff has pretty much said the same thing. Again, I think this is a really shitty game. It's broke and it feels poorly designed. Or at least, not the Simcity we want. But I don't think Maxis is lying to our face and then rolling around in all the cash they stole. And I think this insider is not on the same page as design, which makes me think they are a junior hire. We should be mad that Maxis didn't make a good simcity game, not that EA stole our game from us with DRM.

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