SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

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SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby phongn » 2012-03-21 04:04pm

Brief summary: New agent-based engine, global world economy now affects cities, can (but don't have to) do multiplayer region play.

Developer video of the agent-based engine:


Scans of PC Power Play's article
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Simon_Jester » 2012-03-21 04:12pm

Why not call it 5?

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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Mr Bean » 2012-03-21 04:49pm

Simon_Jester wrote:Why not call it 5?

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Seriously I'll get this game, because I like civic planning and they are going so incredibly in depth with their design ethic I can easily see this being used as a teacher tool down the road.

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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Pint0 Xtreme » 2012-03-21 05:14pm

While I think it's interesting that the inner workings of their resource system is going to be visually presented, I wonder how well will the system scale relative to the size of the city. I hope my ability to manage a very large city won't get bogged down by an over-abundance of information or from the lack of proper UI visuals for data aggregation.
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby phongn » 2012-03-21 05:30pm

Pint0 Xtreme wrote:While I think it's interesting that the inner workings of their resource system is going to be visually presented, I wonder how well will the system scale relative to the size of the city. I hope my ability to manage a very large city won't get bogged down by an over-abundance of information or from the lack of proper UI visuals for data aggregation.

The agent-based system is supposed to scale pretty well (and they have a bunch of shortcuts to speed the simulation but keep the simulation consistent in-aggregate). The UI is HTML5/JS so if there isn't enough/too-much information hopefully it'll be easily fixable.
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Thanas » 2012-03-21 05:43pm

I hope they fix the replayability problem - aka once you built a perfect city, what more is going to happen.
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Purple » 2012-03-21 05:59pm

Well if they do include proper interaction between cities the real challenge might not be the perfect city but the perfect region. Creating and linking many smaller specialized cities to one another in a cohesive whole. That is what I always wanted to do in SC4.
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby MKSheppard » 2012-03-21 07:56pm

Thanas wrote:I hope they fix the replayability problem - aka once you built a perfect city, what more is going to happen.


This.

I mean, it's practically impossible in SimCity 3000 to make something like Ocean City, MD where the year round permanent population is like 7,000 but it swells to 230,000 during the summer months without some heavy cheating....or anything like Las Vegas or Atlantic City, NJ; since you only get one casino building in an unmodded SC3000.
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Crossroads Inc. » 2012-03-21 08:25pm

For me, I really REALLY hope they fix the issue with "Architectural styles"
As some who loved to try and make 'theme cities' There was nothing ever so frustrating as slowly, carefully trying to cultivate a city of turn of the century and art deco buildings... And then suddenly having a 50 story Glass and Concrete office tower suddenly pop it. It was maddening!

More to the point I hope they make it easier to keep small towns "small"
The longer you played a city, the more everything seemed to go up. Either you were forced to expand to lower prices and property values, or everything stagnated and became abandoned.
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Rabid » 2012-03-22 01:26pm

A new Sim City ?
...
My body is ready.


Tens of thousands of agents all acting at the same time, with all the cross-calculations and retroaction-loops and shit that it would suppose ? Huh, I wonder how optimized it's going to be. I also wonder how the system will scale the bigger the cities gets... Maybe they will take advantage of modern graphic cards for these massively parallel computing tasks ? We can dream...

Anyway, it seems like it has to potential to be fun. And given what has been said in the scanned article about how the cities are supposed to work (always dynamic, ever-changing) it seems like Thanas' worry about re-playability shall be soothed. :P


Anyway, it get my Scrawny-Nerd Seal Of Eager Expectation. Mostly because I'm a Sim-City fanboy and because I haven't been able to find a "decent" city builder (read : "play like Sim-City") since SC4 came out. Man, nine year of playing the same shit over and over again, that get old real fast, even taking into accounts mods and the creative community...

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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Bakustra » 2012-03-22 01:54pm

Man, at the risk of being all fattynerd, I really would love it if they implemented a better taxation system. Having a split between income and property taxes (and fees for city services) would allow you to implement a wider range of challenges, even organic ones on the regional level where high property-value cities that have been cleansed of poor people act as parasites on the cities that house their working-class populations. You could then have a base income from SimNation grants and funds to provide certain levels of services and be able to experiment with different models of running a city. Add in some regular contract negotiation and possible consequential strike events... This should probably come with a "sandbox mode" that turns all of this off so you can just build pretty cities without having to worry about whether a subway fee hike will hurt your job growth or whether gentrification is killing your city's air quality.
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Purple » 2012-03-22 03:09pm

I just hope they don't ruin it by making things simpler. Many a game has went down that tragic route.
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Losonti Tokash » 2012-03-22 03:34pm

Simpler does not mean worse. 4 simplified a lot of concepts from 3000 and was much better for it.

Can someone explain the terms being used? I don't understand what "agent based system" means.
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Purple » 2012-03-22 03:38pm

On the other hand simple can mean horrible.

Bottom line thou. My fear is not that they will make it simpler and thus suck by default. But that they will make it simpler in a way that will suck because the end result is suck regardless of simplicity but newer the less a result of a misguided and badly thought out attempt at achieving it.
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby phongn » 2012-03-22 03:47pm

Purple wrote:I just hope they don't ruin it by making things simpler. Many a game has went down that tragic route.

The developers are aiming to making more accessible but retain complexity. It shouldn't just be hardcore SimCity players who can get into the game, after all.
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Rabid » 2012-03-22 03:53pm

If I understand Purple right : He doesn't fear the game being simpler to play per se (better ergonomic, etc...), as he fear the game suffering from being "simplified" (a "less complex" game, striped of most of its mechanics, leaving only a caricature [Sim City for DS, I'm looking at YOU!], things like that...).


However, if you look through the scanned article, and if the videos and the blog articles on Sim-City's official website are to be trusted, SC-2013 will be in fact far more complex, in its mechanics, than SC4. And I'd tend to trust Maxis to succeed in producing an intuitive, user-friendly UI and to provide the players with tutorials on the finer points of the game.


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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby phongn » 2012-03-22 04:06pm

Rabid wrote:However, if you look through the scanned article, and if the videos and the blog articles on Sim-City's official website are to be trusted, SC-2013 will be in fact far more complex, in its mechanics, than SC4. And I'd tend to trust Maxis to succeed in producing an intuitive, user-friendly UI and to provide the players with tutorials on the finer points of the game.

They could screw it up, of course, but hopefully they have the right idea on where to go. Their engine is pretty powerful (for example, it can handle mixed-use zones, though the game might not expose it). On reddit, they even mentioned they might consider SimCity: Urban Planning Edition at some point.

Other silliness: an attribute error led to power lines being able to carry vehicle agents :mrgreen:
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Rabid » 2012-03-22 04:11pm

phongn wrote:Other silliness: an attribute error led to power lines being able to carry vehicle agents :mrgreen:

LOL
I wonder how moddable it's going to be ?...

EDIT : I mean, the agent system seems to be inherently built for maximum flexibility, so I wonder how much they will let the community tinker with it. If they let people strip the GlassBox engine clear of SC's game mechanic I can easily see people modding an empire builder with it...

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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby FaxModem1 » 2012-03-22 04:56pm

I wonder if they'll still have wacky natural disasters like kaiju attacks.
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Rabid » 2012-03-22 05:15pm

FaxModem1 wrote:I wonder if they'll still have wacky natural disasters like kaiju attacks.



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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby phongn » 2012-03-22 05:21pm

FaxModem1 wrote:I wonder if they'll still have wacky natural disasters like kaiju attacks.

Yes.

Transcript of the reddit Q&A thread
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Pint0 Xtreme » 2012-03-22 07:47pm

From the transcript of the reddit AMAA, I'm glad to see they're pushing for more transparency within the simulation. Masking the inner-workings of the system in a game like this just frustrates players and add little to no value to the gameplay.
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Skgoa » 2012-03-23 03:56am

Yeah, I reall hate it when I have no way of knowing what's going on. Exposing to much information can be problematic, too.


Losonti Tokash wrote:Can someone explain the terms being used? I don't understand what "agent based system" means.

Instead of simulating a couple of big and complex systems, everything is its own little unit that can interact with other units. E.g. electricity is not modelled as a zone where it is available, but as a power station spawning little units of electric energy going to houses, where these units then tell the houses that they have electricity. People and vehicles have their own goals and purposes each (delivering a unit of some ressource etc.) and interact with each other and buildings, instead of having random traffic. Essentially, the distinguishing point is that none of the agents encode the whole system in themselves, its behaviour only emerges through their interactions.
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby Zaune » 2012-03-23 10:55pm

Hmmm. Is anyone else wondering if the dev-team includes a number of Dwarf Fortress fans? The scale and the execution is very different, but some of the inner workings of GlassBox seem like they might owe some inspiration to features that DF has either planned or partially implemented.

And I have to say, I never thought I'd see this level of complexity and attention to detail in a commercial game; it takes a certain amount of courage to let the developers spend a huge amount of time and effort on a game mechanic that a lot of casual players won't even really notice. Good on the higher ups at Maxis!
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Re: SimCity [don't-call-it-5] in the works

Postby phongn » 2012-03-23 11:08pm

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