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    SimCity PR Nightmare Escalates


    Freddyeddy

    Over the past couple of days, “SimCity” has eclipsed “Pope” in global search volume. Electronic Arts has finally created something that has captivated the world with an intoxicating melange of drama, tragedy and sick humor. Too bad all of these elements emerge from EA’s project management, not the game itself. The first stage of the SimCity fiasco stemmed from how EA’s servers spectacularly failed to cope with the entirely predictable launch week traffic. But the next stage is potentially even more damaging. On EA’s Answer HQ website, one of the most heated discussion threads is now about whether the entire pathfinding and traffic management systems of the game are badly broken.

    Several players have noted that the characters in the game don’t actually have any permanent jobs or homes. They simply walk to the nearest available open job or a suitable home at certain times, a simplification that creates major headaches in city planning. Sims that start walking don’t switch to mass transit if they don’t find a job nearby; kids don’t get to schools easily; all cops go to a single crime scene even if police stations are carefully spread in different parts of the city. School buses, fire trucks and tourist hordes all seem to have trouble finding obvious routes to their goals. As a result, designing a functional city may mean planning a street grid and placement of different facilities in a deeply counterintuitive way. Players have to design their cities to suit bad algorithms, not realistic goals.

    One popular emerging strategy is to construct a city with a single street winding back and forth like a snake. This enables players to reduce the problems of having school buses that cannot find students and fire trucks that refuse to go where they are supposed to. A popular way to avoid suffocating traffic jams is to fill the city with wide avenues, resulting in weird maps where normal streets are used as sparsely as possible.

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    Source: http://bgr.com/2013/03/13/simcity-pr-nightmare-analysis-372284/

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    FlyHigh

    Posted

    It's like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

     

    I don't believe SimCity will recover from this bust and EA/Maxis are not gaining anything by being stubborn either.

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    snick25

    Posted

    Sad thing is, I saw this coming many months ago. Maybe people just ought to learn some foresight before they buy a piece of junk?

     

    The whole Sims switching jobs and homes thing was talked about months ago. How it would ever work was beyond me. Now, it's clearly obvious it is not working at all. The traffic simulation, though, is a surprise.

     

    Maxis has really screwed up big time. How they'll recover from this is anyone's guess.

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    simMayor84

    Posted

    and the hits keep coming, not even their much touted glassbox sim works. epic fail ea.

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    Hellken

    Posted

    "Over the past couple of days, “SimCity” has eclipsed “Pope” in global search volume. Electronic Arts has finally created something that has captivated the world with an intoxicating melange of drama, tragedy and sick humor."

     

     

     

    "There is little doubt that many an MBA program will mine this episode for course material in coming years."

    scarjo_popcorn.gif

     

    This week was so stressful for me. I just go around the internet after all my work just to search for news or something funny about this game to "de - stress" myself. This game's PR failures are my guilty pleasures... 

     

    Pass the popcorn. :)  

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    Decius

    Posted

    lol agree I do the same thing everyday xD

    Today I overheared some fellow students about the game. EA target audiance ...

    "have you seen the new SimCity?"

    "No? Its like Simcity 5 now huh?"

    *I facepalm and restrain myself (NO IT ISNT!!), stay with the lecture, stay with the lecture*

    "wow that looks amazing, i'm going to get it"

    *popped a bloodvessel ARHG, bearthe, breathe, breathe*

    Curse you EA ...

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    Superbacon

    Posted

    Ugh... it gets worse every day with them. 

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    Harlequin_666

    Posted

    "filling up the nearest house"....kind of goes against the promise of Glassbox =(

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    Tonraq

    Posted

    LOL this is funnier than CNN asking "Is that white smoke?" when it is clearly white smoke.

    Well, this game has gone to black smoke, the path getting darker than ever.

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    pcwhiz24

    Posted

    They made maps tiny because of this...

    yet it's broken?

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    gido505

    Posted

    oh man this is becoming sadder by the minute. my most awaited game in ruins. suffocated by limited city size, sucker punched by inadequate servers, crippled by online drm, kicked to the balls by poorly conceived traffic ai, ripped apart by a mob of dumb sims. wtf just fu**ing happened?!!

     

    * picks up a bat and takes aim at EA-Maxis inside the GlassBox engine guarded by clueless agents.

    * THUD! CRAACK! SMAAAASH!

    * with a heavy heart and on the edge of despair sits down and played SimCity 4

     

    well SC4 i think we'll have a long game-play-time ahead of us. :)

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    dohraymii

    Posted

    It really didn't have to be like this. I think that's the saddest thing of all.

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    gido505

    Posted

    hmnn.. this is an interesting development.

    got to the website stuff.co.nz game junkie entry and on the comment someone at reddit claimed they have modded the game to edit the highways, play "offline" indefinitely and some other stuff. this gets funnier by the hour also. lolz.

     

    the links if anyone is interested.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/blogs/game-junkie/8425807/SimCity-an-experiment

    http://www.reddit.com/r/SimCity/comments/1a9n5j/you_can_edit_highways_outside_of_city_boundaries/

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    lew1984

    Posted

    I too have noticed a few of these problems whilst playing the game... one of the most frustrating things is traffic problems right from the outset even in small residential areas, this forces you to upgrade the roads to deal with unreal traffic loads as you dont have enough money for mass transit to begin with (unless you already have established second city/friend to send you gifts of simoleons). Because you can't control zone density independent of road size (which is dumb) you end up with irritating tower blocks in the middle of suberbs. I also feel the way buildings upgrade and grow into bigger buildings as you grow a little irratic I end up with uneven growth with patches of higher density which results in really unrealistic cities... SC4 is definatley supperior and more refined in my opinion.

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    SS3K

    Posted

    please note, simcity 2013 will never recover. EA wont care, maxis will left red faced. fans will always remain dissapointed over this, fans want a refund ea says on your bike here have another crappy game from us on the house.

     

    when codemasters remade sensible soccer and I helped on the project they promised me many things, and yet they screwed it over. all what they had to do was update the bloomin game but no. they had to make it look indated and amusing for children of the xbox generation. ea has done this for simcity, simcity 4 was a classic so if a child looked at this and looks at simcity 2013 the child would chooise simcity 2013 because it looks indated and pretty graphics plus they can play it online with there friends.

     

    younger generation like to play online while those who are in there late 20's mid 30's hate the idea because we just like to be left alone from time to time when we play sophisticated simulation.

     

    well done to ea for screwing up yet another old classic

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    wozzar

    Posted

    Now i know why TM didnt do Sim City this time. They knew what would happen which is why Maxis was ressurected by EA.

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    dscampbell

    Posted

    WOW, so let me get this right. Not only did they not listen to people who know a good deal about this type of game (the fanbase) and against all advice and comments made this an online social game, that has to be played online and because of this lacks seriously in aspects like scale, features like transportation types and some proper micro management. But now this game actually seems to have lost the only good thing it had going for itself: the simulator engine! WOW!

     

    And still no reaction from maxis to the fanbase with some sort of appology like, we're sorry, we should have listened to you. We had a perfect case study (Cities XL) right in front of us, and we made exactly the same dumb mistakes! Mea Culpa!

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    dscampbell

    Posted

     

    LOL this actually looks prommissing (besides the obious graphical glitches). We can edit the regon, thus making it more realistic! Nog if only this game would have a decent simulator engine..... (oi, to think I actually once put glasbox in the pro SC2013 list)

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