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GrayAnderson

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  1. Best and Worst Sim City game POLL

    Best: SC2K, followed by SC4, followed by SC3K. Sadly, Classic doesn't hold up so well in terms of playability, etc. 25 years on. Worst: SimCity (2013). I give Societies a dishonorable mention, as the focus on placing everything makes it not a SimCity game to me. The main issue I have with 4 is the Region-level stuff (which never appealed to me and which was never worth the effort to get right). NAM and so forth did wonders for the game, but trying to work with all the puzzle pieces was a pain and you could easily get stuck having to re-lay blocks of road that "reverted" if you demolished the wrong pieces. SC2K beats it (and SC3K, which also had some issues as well) out for several reasons...not the least of which happens to be the disasters, I must confess.
  2. U.S. High Speed Rail

    Actually, these probably are not cost overruns. Has anyone every audited the original estimates for this project then made allowances for inflation over the delay period. If there are overruns they can probably be laid at the door of the politicians who played football with the project. One of the questions to be asked by whoever oversees the budget for this fiasco is "Who is responsible for the original estimate?". Remember, in a project of this nature, heads roll uphill. My understanding is that there were a lot of issues with the initial cost estimates...but also issues as the project grew, such as lots of bridges that got lengthened and tunnels that grew. Basically, a good part of the problem is that the engineers went a bit wild. The other issue (which sent the estimates over the moon for a while...there was a $90-odd billion estimate at one time that Gov. Brown threw out and ordered the HSR people to rework) is that the Bakersfield-LA connection was pushed back. That part of the project, possibly the most important, should always have come first since it's actually a "missing link" in the state passenger rail system. Add that in and you can extend the San Joaquins (the current Oakland/Sacramento-Bakersfield trains) to LA and start adding serious ridership over what you have now (namely, a bus transfer). Given that you're talking six daily round trips now, that's probably worth at least 300,000 riders in the short term, possibly far more even if you're back to conventional rail after Bakersfield. From there, just extend the HSR project towards the Bay Area in sections (or fill in any service "gaps") like the interstates were, as funding and time permit. Even limiting yourself to 125 MPH operation for the time being (Metrolink has ordered a set of 125 MPH-capable diesel locomotives as it stands), you'd quickly start cutting time off the trip as you went along (10 minutes here, 15 minutes there...it adds up) which should drive ridership upwards and trigger additional frequencies, driving ridership further...you see where this goes. What I have to wonder is if you could get at least a Palmdale/Lancaster-Bakersfield connection for the $10 billion the state has to work with in bond authorization.
  3. SimCity Franchise Retrospective

    My first SimCity game was the original, which I first played when I was about four. I got most of the later Maxis games around their times of release (up through The Sims, at least) with the exception of SimAnt (never interested me), SimEarth (got well after release), SimLife (ibid.), SimHealth (have never found a copy), A-Train (got well after release and never managed to get a good feel for) and maybe one other out there. By the way, this thread has led to me either repurchasing or digging out all of the older games I have.
  4. SC3000 Unlimited No Cd Patch

    To make a long story short, I've got the SC3000 Unlimited CD buried somewhere in my desk, but I can't find it right now...and frankly, remembering to drag a disc around nowadays is a pain in the rear following several years of GamersGate/Steam-based downloads, since it's one of the few games left that I'd need a disc for. Is there a recommended no-CD program around?
  5. I think there are two different questions being talked about. The first is "Will there be a sequel?" The second is "Will there be a sequel anytime soon?" The answer to the former is "Likely at some point". The answer to the latter is "Probably not soon." It's seems quite plausible that EA will revisit the franchise toward the end of the decade...for a game subject to such a launch disaster, it doesn't seem to have done too badly. The problem is more that they don't seem to have good luck with DLC/In-Game Purchases. There are some options on this front (I'd look towards what the Cities in Motion series has done...scenario/city packs on the one hand and additional buildings, facilities, etc. on the other), but it's tough going from what I can tell. Landmarks that don't have utility aren't something I'm likely to spring for, for example. On the other hand, all else being equal (and assuming a competent underlying game), I'd pay a reasonable amount for a solid transit model. One irony is that with Steam and other platforms out there, if EA had just floated a decent single-player game, they would have probably succeeded in generating as much revenue as SimCity likely gave them without much continuing expense (servers, etc.).
  6. Why We Won't Have Larger Map Sizes

    I agree. I appreciate Catman's analysis, but it's their job to either code around it, or make compromises to have a more fun game. The current city size is pathetic and laughable. The game should be called "SimTown", not "SimCity". If the game is only 32-bit, then make it 64-bit, or code it to use RAM more efficiently. If the CPUs are busy making all these calculations, either make the calculations more efficient, or compromise and make less of them so that city size can be increased. The GlassBox engine wasn't all that it said it would be. It's cool to be able to see some of the game mechanics in the different data views, but the majority of the game is spent with these data views hidden. What we do see from the very moment we start a new city is a miniscule city size. In SimCity 2013, you spend your entire time compromising your city design to fit onto the microscopic canvas we've been given. Your dreams are muted and scaled from day one. Too bad they didn't include the gingerbread houses, playgrounds, and candy stores. (For anyone missing the reference, there was in fact a "SimTown" made in the early 90s by Maxis, aimed at kids) All joking aside, I tend to agree that something is "off" about Glassbox. The "search for jobs every day" principle never made sense to me in terms of realism...but now that I think more about what's being said here, it does present potential issues in terms of city size. Edit: To save a post, the other thought here is that "I want to play the region, not a city within it". That was my gripe about SC4 as well...I don't like having to back out and re-enter cities as part of developing a region, worry about screwing up a region because I changed one city, etc.
  7. Project Avalon: A Grid-based Citybuilder (now with a name)

    Awesome! As modular as the subway stations look, it looks like you should be able to set up something like the multi-track stations in New York City (or indeed, the multi-station warren around Grand Central). I would ask if you have plans to implement surface rail at some point, but that's a relatively minor thing. Also, it looks like you're using quarter-tile areas for the paths in the stations.
  8. I've always wondered if anyone ever did a mod to bump the city size limits on any of the old(er) Sim City games. I haven't found anything, but my searching has been far from exhaustive.
  9. Project Avalon: A Grid-based Citybuilder (now with a name)

    I do want to follow this further; from what I've seen, this project verges into "shut up and take my money" territory. A couple of thoughts: -There are two main attractions in this game to me. One is the nearly unlimited map sizes. The other is getting closer to the SC2K "roots" of modern city-building (focusing on laying out the city, etc.) rather than dumping resources into graphics overkills or forcing you to deal with lots of neighbors, region play, etc. -In addition to the airport(s), I'd like to see something similar on the transit front (i.e. being able to put together transit hubs such as LA Union Station or Grand Central Terminal). Even if transit options are reasonably "straightforward", it's nice to have scalability in stations and infrastructure. -Mixed-use development might be handled by simply having a limited amount of residential and/or commercial buildings provide the "other" type, or by providing a "mixed use" development type that is more expensive to zone for.
  10. Offline Mode Coming Soon

    A few thoughts: (1) I'm now prepared to consider buying the game. I was among the many who refused to buy the game after the "online-only" decision was made. I had a whole host of reasons for this, but at the core was the fact that I'm a regular long-distance train traveler and I can be cut off from reliable internet for several days at a go. I do not appreciate being denied what is still fundamentally a single-player experience because I don't have an internet connection. (2) Note "consider" above. I'm still reticent because of the map size issues...and the fact that EA is EA. The latter is a bit less of an issue for me than for others, but it's still there as an annoyance. Ultimately, it affects my price point more than anything. (2a) As to the map size issue: Look, I get that some systems won't be able to handle it...but there's a wide gulf between a 2-3 year old system with 1-2 GB of RAM and an "integrated graphics card" and something with a brand new GPU and 32-128 GB of RAM. What is doable with an "average" computer is not the same as what is doable with a high-end one. (3) As to the mod restrictions: I'm going to put a hunch out there that there will be mods made which (A) aren't distributed through whatever system EA puts into place as a mod exchange and (B) which bend and/or break the T&C. Folks using mods which fall into the latter category may get locked off the servers...but I'm sure there will be a workaround to any attempts to disable the game for personal use if EA tries to go that far.
  11. More or less what it says on the tin. If I click on any of the categories, it shows the resulting page...and then immediately goes to a never-ending blank loading page. Any idea what's up? It's kind of hard to browse for maps/mods when I can't get the page to stay visible.( Failing this (since I can't look for myself at the moment), does anybody know of an all-large-city map that's available for download on here?
  12. RHW etc. Questions and Issues

    Thanks for the answers. I understand about the rail systems not really being designed to interact; that's fair enough (though it certainly makes me wonder whether I should put effort into rebuilding my passenger ground system as either an El or something else; that said, a set of stations right next to one another made for a workable transfer station). As to the HSR stuff, thanks a bunch; I'll take a look. Finally, on the DDRHW-4...somehow, that bridge didn't come up (and at least a double-decker bridge would presumably double my available capacity). How do I get that set up to fire, may I ask?
  13. As is often the case with these things, there might be some answers buried either in an FAQ or in another thread. However, I haven't found the answers off the top of my head, so either being directed to the appropriate thread(s) or given the answers would be fine. Anyhow: 1) I've run into a bottlenecking problem with RHW and bridges. In plain English, I can't figure out how to get more than a two-lane bridge (RHW-4 gives two lanes in one direction). While splitting the bridge in two is not only cool but often realistic (there are a lot of places where a highway was built with two lanes and then a second bridge was added to bring it up to four, and I'm using RHW to generate a situation where two one-way streets merge into an expressway), I can't figure out how to get bridges at 6-8 lanes...and putting two bridges in each direction would generate, in technical terms, a mess. 2) Is there some way to generate an Elevated Rail/Ground Rail connection? 3) Following up on the above, is there some way to actually generate HSR-and-so-forth bridges? Not having this ability is forcing me to emulate the Pennsy RR tunnels in NY, and I'd rather have bridges than tunnels (personal preference as much as anything). 4) Is there any way to put a toll both on an RHW highway? I ask this because splitting the highway into 10 lanes and then dropping a toll both on it would be akin to what exists in most places IRL. 5) Is there any way to put the HSR/Elevated-style lines over a two (or more) tile wide road without having to resort to strictly using puzzle pieces for the whole thing?
  14. Well, notwithstanding the fact that it may end up being Origin-ware, I'm at least heartened that the game lists on GamersGate (my preferred purchasing portal). At least I won't have to contend with Steam...though no clue what this means for having to have other 'ware on my computer.
  15. EA: Ads In Games Will Be A Success

    Right...sorry, I mangled which was which. I think of SimTower as SimTower, and all the other labels as "the sequel". I tended to enjoy the Waikiki hotel level; the Tokyo one was pretty much baseline SimTower, and I could never quite nail down what to do at the waterfall.
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