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http://www.rockpapershotgun.com article describing my "Focuses" idea

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The article posted today by Rock paper shotgun, has a lot of interesting tidbits.  One thing that I noticed, is that Maxis did indeed implement a simple version of my "focuses" idea, that I have described on this forum in a couple of different ways.  With a couple of key caveouts.  They only have 2 Foci.  One being the city and the other the region (which is similar to how simcity 4 worked).  And obviously the interaction between cities occurs online.  


If only they would have implemented it the whole way with minimum of 3 foci.  As I described in previous posts those focuses would include districts (wich would be about the same area, 2kmX2km,  as the current city-I envision non-square tiles, but Ill take whatever I can get), City (4 districts or about 4kmX4km) and region which would be humongous.


When you switch from one district to the other you would essentially be freazing the state of the district you just left, but that district would have informed a city level simulation that would keep feeding the district you are currently working on.  The city level simulation would be slightly more simplistic, maybe only high level descisions would be made, perhaps you would store a hash of fastest path to certain region/city destinations at that level (between districts.  Destinations within districts could have fastest paths stored within local hashes).  You could basically do the same for regions.  That hash would of course be updated with fastest paths to different area within the city when you load districts and the city and region level simulations have a chance to update themselves.  


At the region level very little simulation would be going on aside from your great works and maybe some high-level region related sim stuff.  


Anyway, read the most relevant part of the article when it comes to this discussion:


"But how exactly would that work? If those cities are frozen, resources won’t be renewed, nor depleted? “Let’s say you and I play in a region together,” says Azzer, talking about the regular online game. “You build a town that has lots of power and water (water is a consumable just like coal) and spare fire trucks. I build a big casino city with lots of criminals. You go offline and don’t play for a whole week, but I keep playing for an entire week.” Okay, with you. “During that week, my client will keep telling me stories about fire trucks coming to help me from your city, I’ll keep getting water from you, I’ll keep getting power from you – of a ‘set amount’ dictated by how much you had spare when you last logged off. This is all processed by my client, not by the server. All the server did was tell me ‘X fire trucks available, Y water available, Z power available, from city with the name ABC,’ as a raw list of values. When you log back on, your water levels will be exactly as they were when you last logged off, because EA’s servers were NOT doing any processing, and my client only affects the city I am simulating.”


Maybe the developers could develop an expansion pack building upon this idea (for an offline mode of course).  

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I don't doubt that constructs like vacation mode or conservation of accomplishments / achievements is going to be a future feature. Most likely particularly in relation to DLC.


But I sincerely doubt that EA will ever allow an offline mode.

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