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About Greyflame

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  1. Regarding suspension bridges, it mostly relates to whether the cable itself is sent at a bend; ie, any cable with actual tension on it is going to go straight. So a suspension bridge that has main cables that bend isn't very plausible, but the roadbed itself can bend find if you have radial cables. Or something like that. Anyways I'm mostly okay with them just leaving that up to the player to make nice; though, it seems a little contrary to some of their other design choices (which I'm also okay with) that specifically disallow the player from building dysfunctional entities. (for example, you can no longer build zones in the middle of nowhere; no more transit zots.) And yeah, I think subways/EL etc will mostly depend on whether they eventually decided to add 'elevated' or 'sunken' stations. I'm hoping that they do. A few additional stations would go a long way in expanding the options.
  2. I think underground view is just another info layer that can be easily added. Subway sim alone is a lot of design work so they probably make it an expansion. Disappointing though....I recall having to budget for subway station space 'just in case' the subway mod or expansion eventually materialize. Another reason I think subway is cancelled, is...the new glass box may not be able to join rails between 2 x 2 tiles? Maybe that's the reason why the inter-city (or inter-town) connections are pre-placed? Here's why I think subway have been taken out: Glassbox is all based on the visual side of simulating. Where as in previous versions of simcity, transportation has been simulated and shown using statistics that predict how many cars would be there at that specific point in time. Visual simulation works great for cars and trains, but not so well for the things you can't see. So instead of putting resources into a transportation option that will never, or hardly ever, be seen they decided that it was better and more practical to develop trams or light rail, something visual. Instead of having to hunt around for subway stops to see if people are using the network, you can just follow the trams. Sure, if there were an underground view, or they decided to use the view to show resources like water or power to show the subway, that would somehow solve the issues mentioned above. But it would also mean that its harder to be able to view because every time you wanted to see how the subway was doing you would have to switch to a different view, then to be able to see the buildings around each station, or where to best put the station, you would have to switch the view back etc. For glassbox, trams are better than subways. I think you're basically right, and agree; I was thinking about it though, since the game is now confirmed to have tunnels, trams running in tunnels under a city sounds a lot like a subway xD So - assuming you can in fact run trams in tunnels, and do so under buildings/etc, all they'd actually have to add is a surface station that 'connects' to these tunnels and suddenly the game has subways without actually adding any "new" transit types. Not sure if that's realistic or whatnot, just a pondering.
  3. I posted this as a thread over at the official forums, but I haven't shared my thoughts here in a while so I thought I'd copy it over. It's been said before but eh... reinforcement? [[TL;DR version: I tried playing SC4 on 2*2 kilometer maps, and I realized that a lot of why those feel okay is because you can use and abuse 2 lane roads. The over-importance of 4-6 lane roads in the new game threatens to make the 2*2 maps feel a lot smaller.]] News has gone kind of quiet again, so it's time for me to complain a bit. I decided to play some SC4 with the new title in mind - meaning I'd force myself to use 2*2 maps, proxy some 'curvy' roads, etc, and see how things went. After playing, I realized something: SC2013 is downright obsessed with 4+ lane roads. 2*2 maps are small, but in my SC4 play, I was able to accomplish so much by careful and compact use of "short" zones and thin roads. None of this will be possible in the new game for the following reasons: Dense zones require DIRECT connection to a 4+ lane road. Dense zones are deeper zones by necessity, since depth is determined by road size. Light Rail, which should reduce the need for big roads, REQUIRES avenues for stations. Low-density buildings next to big roads will make for lots of empty space, because of small buildings on big lots. The critique video I did a while back mentioned this, but I sort of let it go for a while, because I'm usually more of a suburban player and mostly build low-density anyways. But after playing SC4 with fresh eyes I realized just how important control over road size is. In my downtown areas, the only way I managed to fit everything in was to 'wrap' my bigger roads around, then use smaller "capabilities" amid very large and dense buildings. I mean, just look at all the screenshots. I see more 4 lane roads than 2 lane roads. They use 4 lane roads in suburban grids, in the middle of universities, etc. At first I figured the people making those cities just didn't want to deal with any traffic. But now I'm realizing that the game really punishes 2 lane road use. I think this would be one of the easiest, and biggest, fixes they could make before the release date. Allow dense buildings to develop along 2-lane roads, allow "compact" zones to be layed along 4-lanes, and add a non-avenue tram station. Pretty please, Maxis? *Puppy Eyes* --- On the flip side, playing SC4 reminded me there's a lot I'm looking forward to in 2013. The improved transit-tracking engine will be soooo nice. I end up with some really wonky job-zots in SC4 when it would be LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE for the commute to exceed 1 mile. And trying to fit each and every house into arbitrary service-building radius's is frustrating. And while SC4 can have things like lightrail, curvy roads, etc, it will be nice to have them be part of the core game because as much as I support modding, the use of mods can be far from user friendly and I can spend hours trying to fit puzzle pieces together when a drag-and-drop system will take a matter of seconds.
  4. *Contemplates ways to use the energy of willpower to create massive kinetic acceleration towards the Bay Area*
  5. A couple of the early screenshots showed sky I believe, but yeah, I think that's the first one with water. http://resources1.news.com.au/images/2012/04/24/1226337/160917-sim-city.gif http://media.cnbc.com/i/CNBC/Sections/News_And_Analysis/_News/_SLIDESHOWS/VideoGame2013/most-anticipated-games-2013-SimCity.jpg And the new one. Not quite as much information to lift off this one, but there's another of those parks.Looks like it doesn't quite flush with the road that curves off it, but it overlaps the 'smaller' curves and bumps a bit. And this may not be new news (I haven't checked), but the tractor beam there indicates the graphics code can handle different color lighting, which is neat. I hope some of the buildings put this too cool use; maybe even a literal red-light district? haha.
  6. I won't lie. SimCity 4's graphics were good but they were also downright depressing sometimes. Never seeing the Sky and the desaturated feel were just kind of bummer inducing xD So I think I'm in the rare camp of people who kind of likes a bit of graphics cartooniness. Granted I am ... a newb cartoonist ... so uh ... TOTALLY not biased >_> Anywho. We've digressed from the topic. Each of the screenshots seems to show a park, and it looks like there are two unique ones of roughly equal size. I can't really tell myself if there's any road conformity going on. The curves are too subtle to be sure.
  7. Let's hope they fix that. I'm also conserned about the train track. You now what I'm talking about if you watched the gameplay trailer! Assuming you mean the 90 degree turn, Guillaume mentioned in the Q&A over in the maxis forums that the rails will be fixed up, so we should be good to go on that one. As far as the park, I think it's shown up in another screenshot too, though I can't remember for the life of me which one. Looks pretty similar to the SC4 large parks, and does a decent job blending into the natural grass around it. Hoping to see a bunch of park options.
  8. It sounds like there will be based on some of the comments from the Simtropolis trip, but I CAN'T provide any official confirmation for that one, unfortunately. So we'll have to wait to see for sure.
  9. Yeah. It's a pretty recent Q/A on the simcity forums. "It won't be these guys in particular, but we'll have a new form of advisers." - http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/posts/list/165/9034498.page#25360745
  10. I've posted a several scattered commentaries about the MaxisLB on this threat, but I went ahead and tried to consolidate all of my ideas into one giant post over here: http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/posts/list/9036589.page It was a bit big to just copy past into this thread xD
  11. I generally agree with the plan B strategy. I'm not too opposed to them keeping it online so long as they have a transitional plan for when that's no longer sustainable. Further, I hope that this transition plan will allow the hosting of smaller 'private servers' to facilitate multiplayer on a local level. I don't have high hopes about any of these things, but in the face of EA's track record I still have some faith that the Maxis team themselves mean well and will try to do right by the game. It's certainly a risk, though, and I can't fault anyone for not taking it. It might also be possible for someone outside of development to crack the DRM if the servers go down so we can play offline, but I'm really unsure if the game architecture even allows that, since regions (as far as I can tell) are hosted exclusively client side. All said, the server sustainability is my biggest remaining concern next to the small/non-adjacent city tiles, and even though I think I get their logic for both, I'm still hesitating. I haven't preordered yet. I probably WILL buy the game, just since honestly the entertainment hours of even a year of play from $60 is pretty cost effective in my mind. (Compare 6 movies at $10 each, which will give me maybe 12 hours.) But yeah. I'm concerned too.
  12. Generally speaking, that just discourages publishers from pursuing a genre. Besides, the servers in and of themselves aren't bad. While it would be nice to have an offline mode, sure, a lot of us LIKE the multiplayer functionality. No matter how many issues one has with the game, I don't think 'encouraging it to fail' is going to be at all constructive. It's more likely to punish developers while discouraging the publishers from taking risks. I want this game to be as good as it can be. I think most of us are concerned that the online requirement is going to make that difficult. But it doesn't make it impossible. There's always a risk of that at release. I remember being frustrated with Diablo 3's release instability. That said, if they're on their game, there's no reason it can't go smoothly. You can loan more server capacity for the release, then phase some of the bandwidth out and move it back to other games. But taking a server down all together only makes sense if you really can't get a game to make money anymore. And as long as they keep releasing DLC or expansion packs (whether we like that or not), they'll probably get their money for a fair while. Granted, it also requires how much server resources the game requires. I think the vast majority of the glassbox engine is handled client-side, but I could be wrong. ALL of that said, it's a valid concern. It ended poorly for CXL. Maxis isn't infamous for their inability to sustain a market, at least. I mean Sims 3 is still going. Which ... seems remarkable to me. IDK. But don't TRY to make the game crash. A successful game will probably encourage offshoots and variants more than a failure will encourage changes.
  13. They've been pretty tight lipped, but I've heard anecdotal reports that EA's policy is to close down servers once use drops to 1% of peak usage. They may or may not release the game to offline mode at such at time (as happened with Cities XL), but it's hard to say. I'd say it's fair to assume the game will have at least a 2-3 year longevity, my estimate is 4-6 years, and it wouldn't shock me if it lived a decade if they can keep it profitable.
  14. The answer seems to be no, at least for now, but as far as options go they've seemed relatively receptive to this one.
  15. NEWS: "We considered vertical mixed use, and although it makes good city design sense, it doesn't work well in a game. Instead we totally support horizontal mixed use as well as neighborhood commercial, you just have to set up your city blocks that way." A bit of a shame, but not too surprising and far from a deal breaker for me.