Jump to content
  • Haljackey
    Haljackey

    EA proposes restrictions on SimCity (2013) mods that “affect the simulation”

    Company is actively seeking feedback on "first draft" of mod guidelines, though.

    Ea is currently discussing whether or not to officially allow mods like this in certain circumstances.

    EA is taking the first steps toward adding long-promised official modding tools to this year's revamp of SimCity (not to be confused with the unofficial modding tools hackers opened up months ago). However, the company's opening bid on restrictions for such user-generated content (UGC) is spurring intense discussion among players and developers.

    Yesterday, EA rolled out a "first draft" of the guidelines it hopes to put in place when UGC is added to SimCity in the future. That draft includes a rule that says "acceptable UGC and mods do not jeopardize the integrity of the gameplay or harm the experience of others." Another rule disallows "UGC that effects [sic] the simulation for multiplay[er] games and features."

    As written, these initial guidelines severely limit what the modding community will be able to alter in the game, restricting mods to cosmetic and incidental features. In fact, the only acceptable examples of UGC the guidelines explicitly mention are "swapping art assets, like buildings and vehicles."

    Users don't exactly seem happy about these proposed restrictions. In an ensuing thread discussing the guidelines, user Oppie pointed to the wide-ranging gameplay mods available for SimCity 4 and worried that restrictions on modding the underlying simulation would leave "SimCity modding... dead in the water."

    "While I understand that there's a huge drive to keep the integrity of the multiplayer aspect of the game intact, one has to aslo aknowledge [sic] that there is a large segment of the fanbase that exclusively plays in single-player regions who don't have any interest in leaderboards, global markets and other multiplayer aspects," he wrote. "Why not allow these players to play the game their own way[?]"

    Of course, the only reason this is even a discussion is because of SimCity's always-online passive multiplayer, which causes each player's individual simulation to have knock-on effects for other players in the same region. "The idea behind this point is that one player modding their game shouldn't disrupt the way another player experiences the game," developer MaxisStaab wrote in the resulting forum thread. "I wouldn't want to join a region where someone purposely made a super-pollution factory and polluted the entire region. Well okay I might, but I wouldn't want to do it without 'opting in' first."

    It's that "opting in" mention that offers a glimmer of hope for some kind of compromise on this issue. Developer MaxisKane hinted that he'd be open to allowing simulation-based modding in private regions in the game's current sandbox mode—or in an entirely new mode specifically designed for UGC.

    Developer MaxisStaab seems similarly open to player feedback on more open modding options. "As a player what would you want to be able to know about mod enabled regions?" he asks in the forum thread. "Would it matter if the mod's [sic] used changed after you started playing in the region? If a mod created an unbalanced region would you care? If a SimCity update created an issues [sic] with a mod and the region broke—would you be upset or just realize that's part of modding a game that updates?"

    While EA's opening bid to heavily restrict modding in SimCity is a bit disheartening, the fact that the company is soliciting fan feedback and seems to be taking it to heart has us hopeful that more substantial gameplay mods may eventually be allowed in the game.


    Sign in to follow this  
    Sign in to follow this  

    User Feedback




    Congrats, you just turned down one of the few modders who gave SC2013 a chance, and not just a modder, but a pioneer. What PR is that?

     

    Pitty...

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    It's good to hear they are considering modding as an official component, but the way they seem to go about it is nothing short of dreadful. Shocking? No, for it is in true EA fashion.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

     "It's worth pointing out that the reason people are still playing SimCity 4 today, 10 years after we shipped it, is because the modding community essentially recreated it. They filled it with new content and fixed bugs, and made it as much of a hobby as a game. We're very cognoscente of that -- I mean, we're not idiots.

    Ocean Quigley.

     

    The greatest proof of the truth at  the the final phrase is that they did not stay to watch the end
     
    It is necessary to say more?
     
    There is no PR to save this game without EA give up the current business model on the title. Just allow the studio open a possibility of  optional  single-player real mode with authentication of use where all  restrictions on mods loses meaning.!
     
    The community does the rest and improves the game  ... again !!

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I find nothing wrong with the restrictions. I don't want to have a mod wreck a region, or a city. That's happened far too much with the SC4 mods.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    This game should have been designed as an offline game in the first place.

    We cannot go back in time and change what happened to this game. Why does Maxis keep on insisting on always - online? They are just killing the potential lifespan of their games and forcing players to abide by so many unnecessary restrictions.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    For the multiplayer modes, it's no great surprise really. I see where they're coming from in making it an even playing field. Given the restrictions, simulation modding was always going to be "locked down" for multiplayer.

    Yes we have to live and work around the online requirement. However, not allowing local mods for single player use would be a big shame. Surely it's up to the player how they want to play. Sandbox mode was designed to allow a greater degree of freedom. So why not allow full modding in this mode? Involve the community, and make use of the creative talent out there.

    SimCity 4 was saved due to the efforts of the community, still going strong 10 years down the line. I think not letting this happen would greatly shorten the game's lifespan.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    As long as there is an on-line requirement, modders don't have any real ability to perform adequate qualify assurance.  As a result, EA is taking on that full responsibility.  And, of course, they have the right to reject any mod that adversly affects the game or other players.

     

    Basically, they are protecting themselves from irresponsible modders.

     

    For example, I have a couple of SC4 mods that removes some features of the game, or nearly.  I am sure EA wouldn't allow them.  But then, my game isn't accessible to others.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I think the best thing we can do is support Oppie, who has taken the lead in this discussion with the devs and who has spend a lot of time on SC2013 modding already.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    ...Why does Maxis keep on insisting on always - online? ...

     

    This answer is easy ... 

     

    Listen - "EA says they are no longer in the business of making offline games."

     

    ( note: but promises the Sims 4 - offline)

     

    I don't want to have a mod wreck a region, or a city. That's happened far too much with the SC4 mods.

     

    very, very simple... Who does not  want just do not download or use.

     

    I think the best thing we can do is support Oppie, who has taken the lead in this discussion with the devs....

    At this point we have to agree

     

    ....... " Completely the opposite is true of the dev team who've been amazingly active Themselves Within the community (Which is one thing I'll keep to praise), Yet They seem to be muzzled on the most hotly regimental topics like bigger maps and seem to not have that much influence When It Comes To Making Decisions about the game's future."-Oppie- 10/02- UGC in SimCity, We want your feedback!

    I totally agree ...

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The core gameplay engine is flawed. So either EA fixes it (unlikely), modders fix it (they would if allowed to) or it doesn't get fixed at all. I just wish a big shot at EA would actually sit down to play and thus understand Sim City 4 and the importance of the modding community to the gameplay experience and brand value.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    First, the persisent mandatory internet connection, and then restrictions to mods that would "affect the simulation." Who else thinks SC2013 will still be around in 2023? 

     

    The article's name should be changed to "EA proposes restrictions on SimCity 2013 mods that will fix the game." 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    A prime example of clickbait and journalistic spin if I've ever seen one. Of course it doesn't mention that the other 13 pages of the thread are filled with developers excitedly proposing the creation of a separate mode specifically for the free modding of the simulation.

     

    And those examples they mention are definitely NOT the only things EA is saying you can do with modding. They're just throwing out things that could be possible.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    When you stop believing anything EA employees say, you don't get disappointed or letdown later when you find out they were lying.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Why not just allow users to host third party servers? That would definitely alleviate the problems caused by modding, and as a plus, since people would be able to host their own servers, you could technically host a server on your own computer.

     

    Since Origin does not require you to be online to use it, it technically also creates an offline mode without any needed extra coding done.

     

    Also, in this scheme, the mods would be installed on the server side, beaning you are only able to access mods a server administrator approves.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    It's almost as if EA wants to help SC2013 fail.  Everyone knows that modding kept SC4 (and, by extension, the entire SC franchise) afloat for the last decade and now EA wants to impose such restrictions on modding.  Yeah, good luck with that EA.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Earlier today I watched several Escapist videos highlighting problems with the Xbox One. They're old, but note a trend in American game companies vs companies from everywhere else...

    No good can come out of this...

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Well, the industry attitude has changed.  It's been a long time from the introduction of the PC/AT (Almost There as my in-group called it.).  It now appears that the industry wants to micromanage every aspect of their programs. 

     

    With EA, it is too bad that micromanagement did not include a reasonable Q.A. phase before they sold the public beta for such an exorbitant price.  Interfering with people who, by adding custom content, might manage to expand this product's life, they seem to be setting the time at which servers will no longer be available.

     

    BTW, EA is rightly charging what the traffic will bear.  All the screaming in the world won't get anyone a refund.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Create an account or sign in to comment

    You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

    Create an Account  

    Sign up to join our friendly community. It's easy!  

    Register a New Account

    Sign In  

    Already have an account? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now


×

Help Keep Simtropolis Online, Open & Free!

stexcollection-header.png

Would you be able to help us catch up after a bit of a shortfall?

We had a small shortfall last month. Your donation today would help us catch up for this month.

Make a Donation, Get a Gift!

We need to continue to raise enough money each month to pay for expenses which includes hardware, bandwidth, software licenses, support licenses and other necessary 3rd party costs.

By way of a "Thank You" gift, we'd like to send you our STEX Collector's DVD. It's some of the best buildings, lots, maps and mods collected for you over the years. Check out the STEX Collections for more info.

Each donation helps keep Simtropolis online, open and free!

Thank you for reading and enjoy the site!

More About STEX Collections