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Monday, 18 March 2013

Sim City to SimCity

Any one remember placing them squares down, making sure the roads were connected, you put your power lines in and tried to keep Godzilla out?
A large percentage of them playing Sim City 2013 will do. Were old, we played Sim City way back when on the Amiga, NES, and which ever console or home computer you had at the time.
For those playing on the NES you will remember it wasn't Godzilla but King Bowser who rampaged through the city and destroyed your power station.

I have logged more hours playing Sim City than any other game I have ever played. I still play Sim City 2000, Sim City 3, Sim City 4, and Sim City Societies. The last one was awful and I didn't log any where near as many hours on it as I have the others but I still go back and push buttons on it from time to time.
Sim City 2013 has been out just over a week and I have already logged nearly 150 hours on it.

It runs when I am at work, when I am at home, when I am cleaning, cooking or working. It is one of the games I can setup and walk away from then check in and change bits as my day goes on and it is one of the reasons I love it so much, the logic behind putting your city together keeping your inhabitance happy and maintaining a working eco system or Residential, Commercial and Industrial. With out wiping out the inhabitants by putting untrained idiots into a Nuclear power plant. Balancing the accounts and making sure the roads all move forward. I have played so many city simulators over the years and not one has ever been a patch on Will Wrights work of Genius, the guy is a game developing legend.

So why does Sim City 2013 suck so much?

Really? I have just spent 3 days working on my 3 cities within Trinity Point and getting them to be well balanced and money making empires, everything working in harmony and no problems to deal with bah the occasional meteor shower, "Godzilla" (Its a giant RED lizard not Godzilla now" or Alien invasion. I have worked my way around all the glitches with traffic jams and other annoyances like sewer pipes only pumping out 10 gallons an hour though they can pass 15 gallons an hour, bus's not going where they should and trains having incredibly random delays and arrival times. I have managed to keep my crime level down, my fires to a minimum and the my hospital fairly hectic (though zombies are funny to watch running around)

I'm not even moaning about the always connected to the server DRM things everyone else is moaning about yes I'd like to not have to be connected to the web to play but as I am always connected to the web anyway it makes no difference to me.

So what am I grumbling about then?

The game just don't work. I mean it works as a game the graphics are nice the sounds annoying and the animations are entertaining but that's it as a Sim City it just seems to not work.

I have a population of 180,000 or had before having to abandon the city due to server error.
I have 60,000 jobs 6,000 unfilled jobs. No one commuting out of the city.
I have 30,000 shoppers and an excess of goods.
I have 2000 students.............
I have 0 tourists and no one commuting in to work.

So if my maths is right and I have all these jobs and massive population why are there available jobs?

Traffic, and jams, you put in buses, trams, and trains and they have 10,000+ people using them. So why do I still have traffic jams?

I have a map covered in bus stops and nearly 1000 empty desks. So why aren't my Sims going to school?
I have a fire break out and the building burns down because my Fire Engine can't get there! an why not? its sirens are flashing but no one is moving out the way and it gets stuck in traffic.

Every thing runs really well when I am at Medium population, but as soon as you push it to high and if you don't they start to moan at you about it so you have to push to high density the game breaks. It just stops working as it should.
Or the Sims start moaning about low land values when you are running everything at high, even if its broken at which point you need to push your land value up and guess what happens your Sims DROP. Why because a High Value High Density tower block holds as many Sims as a Low Value Low Density caravan.

An the servers deal with all this! Really! That's now what I am reading from people that are ripping the code to bits.

So Maxis, EA, who ever wants to take the blame for this why didn't you just go back and look at how this game was put together by the great designer and try building that. One that works and less lazy and sloppy code. I am guessing a lot of these things will be put right over the cycle of this games life and knowing EA it wont be more than 4 years before we get a new version with these problems all put back in because the design team forgot these problems where there in the first place.
Or there is a chance that the first expansion will fix these problems, but we will have to pay to find out instead of them fixing the game and releasing it as it should have been.

Any one wanting to add to this please do.