Traffic Fix

#1 Posted by Kane_233 (70 posts) -

This is weird to me...

Maybe you've heard? Maxis is working on a patch that'll solve our many traffic issues (Since right now all they do is take the shortest route possible). Maxis Fixing Traffic.

So....here's my question: How does something so integral to the gameplay (These roads serve as the foundation for your city, literally, via transportation of sims, electricity, sewage, water, etc.) not get attention until now? Or maybe it was and it's only now that their work has been revealed? I mean, isn't this an issue you'd consider as you developed the game? Or in Beta? It just makes no sense to me anymore.

Wtf happened at Maxis while this game was being made?

#2 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@kane_233 said:

This is weird to me...

Maybe you've heard? Maxis is working on a patch that'll solve our many traffic issues (Since right now all they do is take the shortest route possible). Maxis Fixing Traffic.

So....here's my question: How does something so integral to the gameplay (These roads serve as the foundation for your city, literally, via transportation of sims, electricity, sewage, water, etc.) not get attention until now? Or maybe it was and it's only now that their work has been revealed? I mean, isn't this an issue you'd consider as you developed the game? Or in Beta? It just makes no sense to me anymore.

Wtf happened at Maxis while this game was being made?

How about the fact that the game only simulates 25% of your population. EA lied bout needing to be online to play? That people do not really own homes or have jobs and just go to the closest thing?

#3 Posted by WarlockEngineerMoreDakka (432 posts) -

A relatively cynical person would proclaim that Maxis has become a stupid, incompetent developer. (I.E: Never attributing to Malice what can be adequately explained by Stupidity.)

A REALLY cynical person would proclaim that Maxis/EA were REALLY hoping we would not notice how shoddy some of the programming is. :P

Odds are good they felt they could get away with it, because lets be honest, there's a LOT of evidence out there attesting to how weak-willed and/or completely uninformed the majority of gaming consumers tend to be.

Let's just say EA wouldn't be lying so much if they didn't think they could get away with it.

#4 Edited by StarvingGamer (7918 posts) -

I hope they fix the commuter bug too

#5 Posted by zFUBARz (620 posts) -

I recommend people start reading The Trenches when they wonder how these bugs slip through. QA gets ignored a lot in this industry.

#6 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -

@kane_233 said:

So....here's my question: How does something so integral to the gameplay (These roads serve as the foundation for your city, literally, via transportation of sims, electricity, sewage, water, etc.) not get attention until now? Or maybe it was and it's only now that their work has been revealed? I mean, isn't this an issue you'd consider as you developed the game? Or in Beta? It just makes no sense to me anymore.

People often ask these sorts of questions, like how did this game get released with this feature broken, etc. I think the answer is usually something related to priorities and release schedule. It's unlikely the dev team didn't know it was an issue. Chances are, they have a fix in mind but couldn't complete it in time to meet the schedule. Pressure is on them to release on time. So they release with a half-assed version of the feature that gets the job done but does it in a way that isn't ideal. There's hope that a future patch might fix it ... but the game is out, and the pressure is gone. The feature kinda works. Maybe they'll fix it, maybe not.

I bet that's 90% of these situations. In some cases, I suspect there's a hefty amount of "maybe they won't notice" going on. But SimCity players are detail oriented. They were never going to "not notice." With games like this, there's always a long period of fine tuning, where beta tests simply can't prepare developers for every little thing that could go wrong. So I would give them some latitude. This much latitude, though? Probably not. This isn't a fine tuning thing, this is core gameplay. They're going to try to pass this off as a minor issue, and I don't blame them for trying. Still, it seems pretty obvious that even aside from the server issues, this game really needed to bake for another six months before being released.

#7 Posted by djou (850 posts) -

@haggis: I take your point but I don't think that explains all the problems that have plagued this game. I don't know the size of the Maxis team, but they only develop three franchises, all simulator games. The last SC was 10 years ago. When production of SC4 wrapped they had to have at minimum design concept meetings about the next game. This is the next installment of a long running franchise, not a reinvention of the wheel. I find their attitude of "oh, we didn't expect the new SimCity to be so popular, or oh, our fans our the best looking how much they care about examining the game mechanics to our simulation" complete crap. They've been coasting on the payday they get from the Sims and thought they could release a half-baked idea, capitalize on people's enthusiasm, and then iterate with patches and DLC to fleece players some more. I honestly can say outside a few free-to-play games, I never felt so duped and mislead by a game.

#8 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -

You guys are aware that SimCity 4 did the exact same thing? Traffic took the shortest route each time and there were some mods that fixed it, but I don't think Maxis ever fixed it via a patch.

My main issue with the game is the population and economy simulation not being explained well (why am I suddenly loosing money).

#9 Edited by EXTomar (4446 posts) -

The problem isn't that SimCity 4 did it too but that their marketing promised with this SimCity that it would feature advanced state simulation that would work down to the inviduals. They claimed that the simulation was so complex it needed cloud server connections to offload it parts of the calculation (as well as claiming the 4km^2 city size was due to the same "restriction" but that is separate thread).

Why can't we be mad at the fact much of what they promised was a lie as well as it doesn't work well?

#10 Edited by Jams (2959 posts) -

@extomar said:

The problem isn't that SimCity 4 did it too but that their marketing promised with this SimCity that it would feature advanced state simulation that would work down to the inviduals. They claimed that the simulation was so complex it needed cloud server connections to offload it parts of the calculation (as well as claiming the 4km^2 city size was due to the same "restriction" but that is separate thread).

Why can't we be mad at the fact much of what they promised was a lie as well as it doesn't work well?

It makes it even worse that 4 is something like 10 years old. They claimed that the 2013 version was so complex your PC couldn't handle it. But it ends up being the exact same way they handled it in the 10 year old version? I didn't even buy 2013 and I'm mad about that. It makes you wonder what their ulterior motives are.

#11 Posted by stalefishies (330 posts) -
@jams said:

It makes you wonder what their ulterior motives are.

gonna go out on a limb here and say money

#12 Edited by Jams (2959 posts) -

@jams said:

It makes you wonder what their ulterior motives are.

gonna go out on a limb here and say money

Oh.. right.. Hahaha of course. In retrospect I don't even know how I didn't even think of that. I guess I forgot they were a business for a second. I feel kind of dumb for wondering that now.

#13 Posted by zFUBARz (620 posts) -

Never doubt the almighty simolean.

#14 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -
@extomar said:

The problem isn't that SimCity 4 did it too but that their marketing promised with this SimCity that it would feature advanced state simulation that would work down to the inviduals. They claimed that the simulation was so complex it needed cloud server connections to offload it parts of the calculation (as well as claiming the 4km^2 city size was due to the same "restriction" but that is separate thread).

Why can't we be mad at the fact much of what they promised was a lie as well as it doesn't work well?

You guys really thought the cloud stuff was not about combating piracy? And I thought everyone knew better than to trust marketing talk these days.

As for the advanced simulations, they are more advanced than before but really badly explained and exposed in game, which is what I think is the real problem with the game. Sudden population/income drops that don't seem logical frustrate me way more than the traffic pathing which has always sucked in simulation games.

You should be mad, but about the real issues and not stuff that has always been maddening in these games.

And the city size limit is probably there to try to avoid the Civ issue where turns would take way too long as the game progressed especially on older PCs. They should have just said that instead of hiding the fact that they wanted always on DRM and allowed the user to choose world sizes based on computer specs.

#15 Posted by DryvBy (248 posts) -

The new "Honesty" trailer.

#16 Edited by haggis (1677 posts) -

@djou said:

@haggis: I take your point but I don't think that explains all the problems that have plagued this game. I don't know the size of the Maxis team, but they only develop three franchises, all simulator games. The last SC was 10 years ago. When production of SC4 wrapped they had to have at minimum design concept meetings about the next game. This is the next installment of a long running franchise, not a reinvention of the wheel. I find their attitude of "oh, we didn't expect the new SimCity to be so popular, or oh, our fans our the best looking how much they care about examining the game mechanics to our simulation" complete crap. They've been coasting on the payday they get from the Sims and thought they could release a half-baked idea, capitalize on people's enthusiasm, and then iterate with patches and DLC to fleece players some more. I honestly can say outside a few free-to-play games, I never felt so duped and mislead by a game.

Well, I'm not sure how much they'd follow design concept notes from nearly a decade earlier, and while it's probably not a reinvention of the wheel, it's clear they redesigned most of it. Although it's worth noting that SC4 was originally in full 3D, with very detailed low-level simulations. (I remember them talking about two gas stations close to each other competing over prices, etc.) So they took some broad direction from that original plan that that they scrapped.

I'm not going to hold the development team responsible for the idiocy of the PR team. The dev team did not want to put out a half-baked idea. I have little doubt that they wanted to put out a great product. I even think some of them might be convinced that the product is, as it is, decent. But I'm sure most of them know better. And it's the PR dept.'s job to spin this, however transparently idiotic their spin is. People want to attribute a singular motivation to a company, but it's not like that. Game developers do not want to make shit. Sometimes they're forced to make shit by people who don't understand, or who have different priorities. It's not the PR department's fault that they've got to come up with some way of covering the mistakes the dev team made, and vice versa.

The marketing people want to sell the game. They say all sorts of things to do their job. The dev team is doing it's job, trying to deliver on those promises. The game has a deadline. The managers are tapping their watches, knowing shareholders want to see progress, not delay. The penny-pinchers need to get the game in on budget, even if that means putting pressure on the dev team and the marketers. In many cases, these priorities work together and we get a decent game. Sometimes the entire thing breaks down, and we get SimCity.

I think it's a mistake to attribute to malevolence what is, essentially, a number of different groups within a company trying to do their jobs and failing to coordinate. A company like Maxis is not going to risk sinking one of their major franchises this way. These sorts of things are almost always unintended. The idea that they'd deliberately try to pass something off like this as part of their strategy seems far less likely than incompetence compounded by miscommunication and misguided priorities. People want to produce good products. SimCity is the result of a bunch of people throwing up their hands in frustration and giving up, not some Machiavellian scheme to make money.

#17 Posted by djou (850 posts) -

@haggis: Again legit points but I would disagree with you that this whole debacle wasn't a scheme to make money, or at least monetize more aspects of the game and make sure those monies were delivered to meet whatever financial reporting that EA has to do. At times the Maxis folks seem legitimately contrite that they messed up, but so many parts of this game are half finished, as if they never actually played the game they were making.

Basic trouble shooting that should have been ironed out when they designed the game are completely missing. For instance, I'm apart of a public region with a few Origin friends, a few of the cities were claimed by strangers who never started building. Its been two weeks, their cities are still claimed and they are screwing over everything in the region as we try to organize a great work. A few of the other cities have been abandoned, but I can't claim the city because I don't have matching DLC. So basically the 16 city region is half useless. How do we deal with this? Is there a way to force them out?

Yes, I know devs need to prioritize, get the game running, debug, and all that other stuff, but you can't abandon common sense to deliver a game on a deadline, at some point someone needs to put a foot down and say "yeah, this isn't done." If a fundamental change like tying zoning to road density is introduced as a core mechanic you can punish players with crippling traffic through those areas because roads are not zoned to accept high traffic. The messaging and PR about SC has been crappy and I'll give them credit that they are trying to repair relations, but I would have instead preferred that they did a proper beta and/or delayed the game. Case in point GTA5, Rockstar, and Take Two. It remains to be seen how that launch goes, but what is the harm in delaying a game everyone will buy anyway? Besides delivering half-baked bread to sell to customers and hope they won't notice.

#18 Posted by Capum15 (4791 posts) -

@dryvby: I'm glad this thread got bumped because that video is pretty great.

#19 Posted by haggis (1677 posts) -

@djou: I guess my problem with all this "it's a scheme to make money" stuff is that they're not making games out of the goodness of their heart. It's a business--and businesses are about making money. It's hardly a scheme--they're being pretty up front about it. Maybe they will go too far, here, with the monetization. But so far they haven't actually tried to sell us anything other than just the game. So calling it a "scheme" seems a bit premature at this point.

Money is certainly part of the whole picture, I just don't think it's the primary issue. And I definitely don't see any evidence that there was some kind of scheme behind this. I think everything I've seen so far is a result of incompetence and frustration. I'm sure there was someone over at Maxis saying "this isn't done." I'd put money down on it. But there can, in fact, be significant harm to a game and a studio that delays a release. It means lost marketing opportunities, higher development costs, delayed work on future projects. Delays can (and have) sunk projects in the past. I'm sure Maxis and EA had quite a few arguments internally over this. Eventually they came to a decision based on a variety of things (including, I'm sure, money). And I'm sure many at the companies were unhappy with the decision. This idea that the game was released this way to make more money, though--sorry, I just can't see it. I think it's more likely they released it this way because it seemed to meet the most criteria for success, and because most of the people working there (everyone but the developers) had no idea how much of a PR mess this would be.

#20 Posted by Rowr (5474 posts) -

I'm starting to think this game was sabotaged from the inside or something. A lot of things just aren't adding up here, it seems completely illogical to me that this game can be so obviously broken in so many completely obvious ways. They publically BETA tested it for fucks sake.

Practically all of the UI is fucked in regards to smooth online play on the menu side of things, replay the tutorial every time you change servers? What the fuck kind of amateur shit is that? So far anytime i've come remotely close to being able to join a multiplayer game it's managed to tell me in about 5 different ways why i cannot. The game is like an excuse generator. All i see in the server browser are the same created games since a week ago, anytime i'm alerted of a new game to join it's full within the time i click to view it. I created a public game and i've been playing the last 5 days without seeing a soul.

The main thing i'm struggling to understand at the moment is how this game was so short on servers when they have only sold a measly 1 million copies in a week. There's no way you can tell me they expected to sell anywhere close to that low an amount, i'd estimate it's sold half as much than it should have between the awareness of the drm and broken launch.

We all know EA has a barrage of market analysts and focus testers, surely they had the numbers to predict fairly accurately what the buzz for this title would be. Too much of this just makes no sense.

My faith in Maxis as a professional game developer is completely gone. Either a large chunk of their developers are fucking morons, or they have all got together in a group conspiracy to sacrifice their game and fuck EA.

The more i look at the issues this game has the more i'm completely dumbfounded.

#21 Posted by GS_Dan (1401 posts) -

Pathfinding is something every games engineering course teaches, this is just bizarre.

#22 Posted by paulwade1984 (477 posts) -

I imagine it was probably on their list of fixes for release but it was probably constantly being bumped for game breaking crashes and general broken-ness.

#23 Posted by EXTomar (4446 posts) -

@mosdl said:
@extomar said:

The problem isn't that SimCity 4 did it too but that their marketing promised with this SimCity that it would feature advanced state simulation that would work down to the inviduals. They claimed that the simulation was so complex it needed cloud server connections to offload it parts of the calculation (as well as claiming the 4km^2 city size was due to the same "restriction" but that is separate thread).

Why can't we be mad at the fact much of what they promised was a lie as well as it doesn't work well?

You guys really thought the cloud stuff was not about combating piracy? And I thought everyone knew better than to trust marketing talk these days.

As for the advanced simulations, they are more advanced than before but really badly explained and exposed in game, which is what I think is the real problem with the game. Sudden population/income drops that don't seem logical frustrate me way more than the traffic pathing which has always sucked in simulation games.

You should be mad, but about the real issues and not stuff that has always been maddening in these games.

And the city size limit is probably there to try to avoid the Civ issue where turns would take way too long as the game progressed especially on older PCs. They should have just said that instead of hiding the fact that they wanted always on DRM and allowed the user to choose world sizes based on computer specs.

Who says anything about what I believe? People have an axe to grind with the DRM stuff which is fine but people should should really be mad at the fact they were promised and never got delivered it. I am pointing out how they promised all of these wonderful agent based simulation was so advanced it was using advanced features so advanced that even advanced desktops couldn't have the enough capacity to do everything the advanced simulation SimCity needed. It has nothing to do with what I know about path-state or capacity algorithms but it is exactly about what they promised and what they delivered is short of the promise.

Really the issue isn't how advanced or dumb or whatever the various parts of the simulation are but that they are poor matches in the system they exist in which kills "emergent gameplay" and creates city that doesn't look or behave like a real city. All simulations "fudge" things to some extent. The reason why fudging happens to make up for errant or fringe cases the simulation doesn't handle well. What happened with SimCity is that they fudged a lot and still had a system simulation that didn't look anything real in many ways. In other words, this simulation is expensive to run and produces poor results so what value is it?

So yeah, go ahead and be mad at the DRM stuff but how about we break out the pitchforks for the even more egregious offenses like the tiny fact SimCity doesn't do a very good job of simulating a city?

#24 Posted by djou (850 posts) -

@rowr: My respect in Maxis as a developer is also diminished, both because SC and the fact that I think the Sims game are garbage. But as I've been debating with @haggis there is some type of internal politicking that the public is not seeing here. This game wasn't finished and it was released to meet some deadline or financial report or who knows what. Maxis made good games in the past, I'm sure they wanted to make this a good game, but its not. They tried to do something ambitious that was outside their depth and the fury of the internet blasted them.

All the issues that would be ironed out in a real beta were not. The SimCity beta was bullshit, limited game functionality in a limited time. I preordered many months ago and never played the beta. The times were in the middle of the day midweek, and a few weekends with throttled functions. In essence the first release week was the beta, if they would have called it that people wouldn't have been so upset. They should have made it available to everyone who preordered, realized there were server/multiplayer problems, then said "more servers next week, big patch next month." Instead we go this fiasco and Riccitello lost his job. All the criticism you pointed out are legit, but at the end of the day the devs are doing a job, one that lead to many unexpected (on their part) failures. I just wish someone would come out and just apologize, offer one "we're sorry" instead of the most minimal contrition that Lucy Bradshaw wrote in her memo. Then EA steps forward with a bribe instead of admitting any type of fault.

#25 Posted by preacha (74 posts) -

http://images.nonexiste.net/popular/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Sim-City-server-maintenance.gif

#26 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Instead of doing 4 way intersections, do t shaped intersections can have 400k population and have no public transport and no traffic complaints.

#27 Posted by DryvBy (248 posts) -

@capum15: You're welcome. I was bored and that just hit me like a ton of bricks.

#28 Posted by rethla (410 posts) -

@extomar said:

So yeah, go ahead and be mad at the DRM stuff but how about we break out the pitchforks for the even more egregious offenses like the tiny fact SimCity doesn't do a very good job of simulating a city?

Its the most advanced city simulator so far but hey its still a game so maybe try to play it instead of comparing it to the real world.

#29 Edited by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@rethla said:

@extomar said:

So yeah, go ahead and be mad at the DRM stuff but how about we break out the pitchforks for the even more egregious offenses like the tiny fact SimCity doesn't do a very good job of simulating a city?

Its the most advanced city simulator so far but hey its still a game so maybe try to play it instead of comparing it to the real world.

Not really. Its been said it only simulates 25% of your population...

#30 Edited by EXTomar (4446 posts) -

Of course it is a simulation but it does a poor job of simulating anything. There are numerous complaints about how intricate yet faulty various systems end up being all of which results in a city that might look like a city at a high level but doesn't behave like one when you even do a cursory inspection. Like Bourbon_Warrior, you can get around the bad pathing that leads to traffic problems by doing T intersections (and favoring left turns). But how many cities do you know are planned with only T intersections into left turns??

In terms of straight Computer Science, this model isn't very good: It is too expensive (takes to long to run, some modern hardware stutters, etc) and results are poor compared to real world models. Saying "oh it is just a game" is a piss poor excuse for failing to do what they claim to do with the software.

#31 Posted by TheHT (10804 posts) -

I'd like to know exactly what the fuck happened during the development of this game that this is the product they put out.

#32 Edited by rethla (410 posts) -

@the_laughing_man said:

@rethla said:

@extomar said:

So yeah, go ahead and be mad at the DRM stuff but how about we break out the pitchforks for the even more egregious offenses like the tiny fact SimCity doesn't do a very good job of simulating a city?

Its the most advanced city simulator so far but hey its still a game so maybe try to play it instead of comparing it to the real world.

Not really. Its been said it only simulates 25% of your population...

Name any other game that simulates more than 25% Simulating a city in a 1:4 ratio isnt bad at all.

@extomar said:

Of course it is a simulation but it does a poor job of simulating anything. There are numerous complaints about how intricate yet faulty various systems end up being all of which results in a city that might look like a city at a high level but doesn't behave like one when you even do a cursory inspection. Like Bourbon_Warrior, you can get around the bad pathing that leads to traffic problems by doing T intersections (and favoring left turns). But how many cities do you know are planned with only T intersections into left turns??

Where i live at least (Sweden) just about every city and roadlayout is planned exactly like that have you been outside driving lately? Also traffic jams are a problem in every major city so how can lots of traffic jams in Simcity be a bad simulation of large cities?

I dont say its a complete simulation by any means and there are things that seems very stupid at best but overall i say its a great simulation and they are working on it all the time (theres patches almost every day).

The biggest problem in my oppinion is that the simulations being done is explained so poorly and the UI fails to show good feedback of what is happening in your city. The result is people try to play the game like past generations of Simcity and doesnt understand the simulation and they reacts accordingly. "Why is my populations just rising/falling randomly" And "why are the taxes so unrealistic responsive and the roads always clogged up" etc.

#33 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@rethla said:

@the_laughing_man said:

@rethla said:

@extomar said:

So yeah, go ahead and be mad at the DRM stuff but how about we break out the pitchforks for the even more egregious offenses like the tiny fact SimCity doesn't do a very good job of simulating a city?

Its the most advanced city simulator so far but hey its still a game so maybe try to play it instead of comparing it to the real world.

Not really. Its been said it only simulates 25% of your population...

Name any other game that simulates more than 25%

@extomar said:

Of course it is a simulation but it does a poor job of simulating anything. There are numerous complaints about how intricate yet faulty various systems end up being all of which results in a city that might look like a city at a high level but doesn't behave like one when you even do a cursory inspection. Like Bourbon_Warrior, you can get around the bad pathing that leads to traffic problems by doing T intersections (and favoring left turns). But how many cities do you know are planned with only T intersections into left turns??

Where i live at least (Sweden) just about every city and roadlayout is planned exactly like that have you been outside driving lately? Also traffic jams are a problem in every major city so how can lots of traffic jams in Simcity be a bad simulation of large cities?

I dont say its a complete simulation by any means and there are things that seems very stupid at best but overall i say its a great simulation and they are working on it all the time (theres patches almost every day).

The biggest problem in my oppinion is that the simulations being done is explained so poorly and the UI fails to show good feedback of what is happening in your city. The result is people try to play the game like past generations of Simcity and doesnt understand the simulation and they reacts accordingly. "Why is my populations just rising/falling randomly" And "why are the taxes so unrealistic responsive and the roads always clogged up" etc.

I dont need to name anything. EA lied to us about the entire online thing. What about that a person doesnt have their own home or their own job? Going to what ever is closest?

#34 Edited by rethla (410 posts) -

@the_laughing_man said:

I dont need to name anything. EA lied to us about the entire online thing. What about that a person doesnt have their own home or their own job? Going to what ever is closest?

Why do they need their own home and job to simulate a city? If you want that part of the simulation you buy The Sims. Simcity simulates the traffic in your city and that type of simulation only needs the numper of sims you have in a house and where they are going.

"The online thing" is all out fail i agree

#35 Edited by EXTomar (4446 posts) -

The problem isn't about whether or not cities have traffic jams because clearly cities do. The problem is that the "agent" logic is simplistic, single minded and under a time constraint. You can get the city in SimCity to get into a strange feedback loop that isn't realistic and not found in any city in the real world. The inability to handle that many decisions leads to contradictory states where you have citizens protesting they don't have enough medical when the hospital is half empty or not enough places to live/work/shop when you are bulldozing derelict spots or complaints about not enough education while classrooms have a bunch of empty desks. It is often not that you lack the resource but that whatever the agent is takes a poor path to fulfilling its need/want, takes too long, and gives up and goes "unhappy". Humans don't behave that way for very long.

Which brings us back to the observation made earlier: Do you know why the T Intersection helps with traffic problems in SimCity? It is because the logic is can't handle a branch more than 2 options where you need to eliminate one choice to help the software make the simplest of choices. I'm pretty sure in the real world a person doesn't come to a four way intersection, wants to go right but sees traffic jammed for ever, spends all day in trying to go down that road not actually getting to work/shop/school/whatever, gets to their destination but it is too late so they turn around to go "home", gets up the next day drives to that four way interaction and wants to turn right.... You can even see this stupid behavior if you go look at how services come out of the facilities where it isn't uncommon they all file out and take the same turn day after day after day becoming more and more and more inefficient when all they had to do is take the other turn.

#36 Posted by The_Laughing_Man (13629 posts) -

@rethla said:

@the_laughing_man said:

I dont need to name anything. EA lied to us about the entire online thing. What about that a person doesnt have their own home or their own job? Going to what ever is closest?

Why do they need their own home and job to simulate a city? If you want that part of the simulation you buy The Sims. Simcity simulates the traffic in your city and that type of simulation only needs the numper of sims you have in a house and where they are going.

"The online thing" is all out fail i agree

One of the selling points EA tossed out was that you could zoom in and watch the people go about their lives...its not much of a life if its faked.

#37 Edited by rethla (410 posts) -

@extomar said:

The problem isn't about whether or not cities have traffic jams because clearly cities do. The problem is that the "agent" logic is simplistic, single minded and under a time constraint. You can get the city in SimCity to get into a strange feedback loop that isn't realistic and not found in any city in the real world. The inability to handle that many decisions leads to contradictory states where you have citizens protesting they don't have enough medical when the hospital is half empty or not enough places to live/work/shop when you are bulldozing derelict spots or complaints about not enough education while classrooms have a bunch of empty desks. It is often not that you lack the resource but that whatever the agent is takes a poor path to fulfilling its need/want, takes too long, and gives up and goes "unhappy". Humans don't behave that way for very long.

Which brings us back to the observation made earlier: Do you know why the T Intersection helps with traffic problems in SimCity? It is because the logic is can't handle a branch more than 2 options where you need to eliminate one choice to help the software make the simplest of choices. I'm pretty sure in the real world a person doesn't come to a four way intersection, wants to go right but sees traffic jammed for ever, spends all day in trying to go down that road not actually getting to work/shop/school/whatever, gets to their destination but it is too late so they turn around to go "home", gets up the next day drives to that four way interaction and wants to turn right.... You can even see this stupid behavior if you go look at how services come out of the facilities where it isn't uncommon they all file out and take the same turn day after day after day becoming more and more and more inefficient when all they had to do is take the other turn.

Ofc every "agent" isnt as smart as a human being but if thats what you where expecting i dont know what to say but still they could have done a better job with it and most of all explain it better.

If i wherent able to get to my job and back home with some free time in the evning i wouldnt be happy living in that city either and yes i would complain about poor medical services if i wherent able to actually get there and be treated wouldnt you? The Sims being unhappy and going bankrupt/moving out when they cant work/get services becouse of traffic jams is totally realistic i dont know what your point is. Theres a shitload of roadplanning when you lay out cities irl and the responsible people gets lynched by the masses when things doesnt work. Its not an easy job irl and for the first time in the series its not an easy job in Simcity either. As an example Building a 4-way intersection right at the highwayentrance to your city like Jeff does in the QL is doomed to fail both ingame and IRL.

What i would like added to the game is some more "advanced" tools to plan your traffic more freely. "No drive through" signs, one way roads, roundabouts etc. You are very limited as is now.

#38 Edited by Jaqen_HGhar (848 posts) -

As much as I love the game my cities quickly becomes unplayable. My latest one now has a constant traffic-jam into the city, meaning I don't get enough tourists in to make my casinos run well. My schools are only one third filled due to the school buses not doing their job. And yes, I have enough, as I have two schools with a full stable of buses, while I have managed with only one school on a bigger city previously. Whenever a fire happens, every damned firetruck goes to that one location, making the response time for a new fire way longer. Same with police and ambulances. To put it simply, traffic and "agents" in this game is fucked. This was my first "efficient" city even, with only one damned four-way intersection. But having to build a certain way for the game to work properly (and it still don't) isn't fun. I want to build the way I want to.

I really hope they fix these things, as I see all kinds of potential. Hell, when things work I am having a blast! Just a shame stuff goes to shit so soon.

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