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    Daily Mail Interview: Ocean Quigley: "We needed to reinvent SimCity."


    Hellken

    Being such a classic, how have you managed to evolve the game without annoying the hardcore fans?

    Ocean: 'We needed to reinvent SimCity. Nobody was excited about rehashing SimCity 4, so we changed some core assumptions and worked out the consequences of them.

    'The first and most fundamental change was to completely change our simulation approach – rather than doing a checkerboard style, grid-based statistical simulation we built a new agent & object based simulation engine.

    'That let us deepen the simulation tremendously, and it lets us build out all of the relationships between the different components of a city with much more fidelity.

    'Then we decided to make it multiplayer, so that cities could differentiate, and take on specialised roles in the context of the region.

    'Then we decided we’d allow players to build road networks that weren’t constrained to a grid.

    'This changed the experience from “filling in squares” to something much more realistic – laying out roads and networks as the organizing structure of a city.

    'And of course, we switched from sprite-based graphics engine to a fully 3D one, so everything about the look of the game had to change.

    'Of course, we kept the heart of the game in place – you’re still laying out roads, zoning, plopping down buildings to meet your population needs, you’re growing your city and managing its problems. It’s still very much SimCity, but it’s a SimCity that’s evolved from its earlier incarnations.'

    Read more: http://www.dailymail...l#ixzz2HlLBMxjN

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    cirugo

    Posted

    they didn't manage to do it without annoying hardcore fans.

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    NCGAIO

    Posted

    'SimCity, by contrast, has tens of thousands of things that are active in the scene,"

    A little bit of overkill!

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    Decius

    Posted

    read the title, instantly thought: no you didnt -_-

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    jason leo

    Posted

    Really ? You have to reinvent the game ? I think what is called as SimCity5 is SimCity4+patches+user made mods, that's all already enough to make it become the real SimCIty5 ! And who do that ? Us ! I think there is no need to reinvent the game, we, your game's fans, already do it much earlier. Simple answer : reinvent the game is useless.

    The first and most fundamental change was to completely change our simulation approach – rather than doing a checkerboard style, grid-based statistical simulation we built a new agent & object based simulation engine.

    I think the checkboard style is better than sacrificing for a game with the maximum capacity of sims is 100,000/tile.

    We needed to reinvent SimCity. Nobody was excited about rehashing SimCity 4, so we changed some core assumptions and worked out the consequences of them.

    No one ? A very questionable statement.

    That let us deepen the simulation tremendously, and it lets us build out all of the relationships between the different components of a city with much more fidelity.

    Yes, much deeper, until it become simply too deep and make the game only able to hold 100,000 sims !

    Then we decided we’d allow players to build road networks that weren’t constrained to a grid.

    Look at NAM Team's progress on the NAM v.31 ! Draggable FAR will make it become possible too, and not in a game with maximum capacity of 100,000 sims, wastelands between cities, pre-modded map, Origin requirement, and relatively expensive price (3x the normal price of SimCIty4)

    Yeah, we have disasters like tornadoes and earthquakes.

    Who says tornadoes and earthquakes aren't existed in SImCIty4 ?

    I think Maxis must understand that we already able to change a game without much support from them. I bet if EA/Maxis will lose against they who already disappointed by EA/Maxis' decisions and behavior.

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    emilkjellner

    Posted

    "Nobody was exited about rehasing Simcity 4" Yeah, nobody exept the entire Simtropolis community...

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    A Nonny Moose

    Posted

    "Nobody was exited about rehasing Simcity 4" Yeah, nobody exept the entire Simtropolis community...

    To paraphrase one of my famous historical figures: Give us the source and we will finish the job.

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    Sandis_van_Great

    Posted

    "Nobody was exited about rehasing Simcity 4"

    LOL :D i just feel punching them in the face

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    Cyclone Boom

    Posted

    Actually, there are many long-term SimCity fans that would disagree with this. There was nothing technically wrong with SC4. So by saying that nobody wanted an updated game is quite a false assumption.

    One of the reasons they felt SimCity needed reinventing was in order to open the game to a younger generation, where online play is considered a necessity. But this can still be achieved by finding a balance – in essence the best of both worlds.

    We will only know for sure if they have found this balance in March.

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    KingGab

    Posted

    taking cityxl and adding your own tidbits is not reinventing a game...

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    Hellken

    Posted

    Ocean Quigley was part of the dev team that made Sim City 4. He is a very talented man and I wish people were more respectful because he made Sim City 4.

    The original Sim City 4 was not a great game. But when Rush Hour was released, Sim City 4 improved by a lot.

    Sim City 4 + Rush Hour + patches + custom content tools + MODS + custom content + programs made by some very talented people = the game we love.

    Ocean Quigley is right that Sim City 4 needed to remove the grid, change the simulation, and be full 3D. But those things were the only major missing parts. Everything that we wanted to see was already there. They just needed to fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle.

    If this game was called SimTown: MMO, I would have no complaints at all. But they want to reboot the series and I don't want any sequels of this game to follow in the footsteps of this game. Sim City 4 gave people FULL control of all the space in the game. The "Grid" and lack of full 3D paths were the only major limits in the game. With better technology and a better game engine I was really hoping SC (2013) would finally fix that.

    I will decide if this game is good or not when it comes out. But my opinion will still stand anyway whether it gets a 1/10 or 10/10. People should stop trying to fix what isn't broken.

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    cirugo

    Posted

    Ocean Quigley was part of the dev team that made Sim City 4. He is a very talented man and I wish people were more respectful because he made Sim City 4.

    Obviously he's talented but the backlash he is getting is because of his (and MAXIS's) completely dismissive attitude towards peoples' concerns over where they are taking the game. In my opinion, it's completely justified.

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    fiver

    Posted

    "Being such a classic, how have you managed to evolve the game without annoying the hardcore fans?" -- That question is put in a way as if they indeed have managed that, while in fact they have done totally the opposite. The multiplayer and "cool disasters" are what the hardcore fans care the least, while the always online restriction and considerably lowered player abilities to control the game are turning the core fans away.

    I have no doubt he is a talented man. It's just... from his interview I've got a feeling that his ideal SimCity is something not quite the same as what the core fans are valuing the "CS4+custom content" game for: as Hellken put it, "Sim City 4 gave people FULL control of the space in the game", while the rebooted game is taking that control away - which seems like something opposite of the evolution he [Ocean] talks about.

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    T Wrecks

    Posted

    Guys, you don't know if it's his attitude. None of us does. We cannot look into his brain.

    With regard to the change of direction, there may be strategic decisions made by EA's top management in the background, and all that "Oh, surely nobody wanted an evolution of SimCity 4" may be nothing more than a marketing/promotion strategy all press and community contacts are bound to adhere to.

    Let's not forget that the Daily Mail can be considered a mainstream medium - what does their audience know about the feelings among hardcore SimCity fans? To most readers it probably sounds all natural and convincing, and when they hear of people protesting, they might even think "How odd that these guys are so angry, after all they have been the ones wo demanded radical changes. Now these changes are made, they complain anyway - typical whiners".

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    wwetom1

    Posted

    I would've paid for a SC4 remake..

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    lew1984

    Posted

    This is wrong on so many levels its like that saying "don't fix it if it isn't broken" or its like trying to reinvent the wheel. Unfortunately maxis/EA seem intent on doing just that.

    They already had a good game play formula with SC4 all they needed to do was bring it forward into the 21st century with 3d graphics and allow for curved roads etc.

    I fear EA/Maxis may have badly misjudged what Simcity fans want from the game. I hope for they're sake they can bring in enough new players to be successful otherwise we won't be seeing any new city simulation games for a long time.

    When the new NAM comes out SC4 will probably be a vastly superior game. Its a shame really because I think Glassbox is a very promising simulation system, for me its just about the only thing keeping me interested in the new game. I just wish it could handle simulations on a larger scale then it would truly be a winner.

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    InvaderNat

    Posted

    It's like with every statement they digg themselves deeper, I won't repeat the parts of his statement that are wrong since everyone has already done it.

    They're trying to reinvent the wheel by giving us a cube. Seriously who needs to know absolutely everything all your sims are doing? Does a real mayor know that? No.

    Admittably vanilla SC4 wasn't too great looking back on it, but you'd think after all the improvements modding provided that it would give todays Maxis an idea of what the fans wanted.

    Lets just face it, Maxis is dead to all of us who grew up with SC2000 etc. We'll have to hope another company can take up the mantle.

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    Nique

    Posted

    It would be great if Maxis / EA released source code of Simcity 4 for the fanbase so we can add more 'draggable' components and a high quality closest zoomlevel. Also, it would be great if Maxis released all the tools they've created and used to create Simcity 4.

    This way, you don't have to 'reinvent simcity'. Simcity 4 was good enough. Everytime you guys release a game you choose for the hard way, the most difficult way so that the game is binded to limitations of the computers at the time being. Why not use the tech as in Simcity 4 but make it with just 16 view angles or so. Just upgrade Simcity 4 with more features and you got simcity 5.

    The biggest thing, even bigger than the limited city size, besides that you can not build highways... on a 'state' level is the fact that you can not modify the terrain. Now what the heck did they think when designing this new Simcity? REally..

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    A Nonny Moose

    Posted

    I think we are starting to get a view of what going to 3D with a free camera costs. Then when you add all the nitty-gritty detail at the highest zoom they have espoused, you really are using up your computer resources. It is no wonder that cities will be 2 x 2 with a limit of 100,000 Sims.

    Advancing technology to lift these limitations will be a long time coming, so I suggest you keep SC4 and if you get this new game play it as long as you continue to like it.

    Meanwhile, if they really don't care about SC4 any more, make it abandonware, please!!

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    cirugo

    Posted

    "Being such a classic, how have you managed to evolve the game without annoying the hardcore fans?" -- That question is put in a way as if they indeed have managed that, while in fact they have done totally the opposite. The multiplayer and "cool disasters" are what the hardcore fans care the least, while the always online restriction and considerably lowered player abilities to control the game are turning the core fans away.

    I have no doubt he is a talented man. It's just... from his interview I've got a feeling that his ideal SimCity is something not quite the same as what the core fans are valuing the "CS4+custom content" game for: as Hellken put it, "Sim City 4 gave people FULL control of the space in the game", while the rebooted game is taking that control away - which seems like something opposite of the evolution he [Ocean] talks about.

    I would suggest creating an account at that site and submitting a comment about it. If journalists won't do their jobs how is the public supposed to find about this kind of stuff?

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