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    Polygon: Maxis found over and over that making the Game less Complex made it more fun.

    "SimCity pedestrians 'teleport' to keep the game fun"

    We just didn't realize the ridiculous scope of the game we were trying to make," said Dan Moskowitz, Senior Software Engineer at Maxis, creators of SimCity. "It became clear that our scope was so big we were standing on the edge of this giant chasm."

    Moskowitz, speaking to an audience of game developers at the Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, described the technology behind SimCity, the "GlassBox" engine powering the game's world-building simulation and the struggles he and the SimCity team faced putting the game together.

    ...

    Instead, Moskowitz took a deep dive into how GlassBox works and why SimCity behaves the way it behaves. In short: Maxis spent years of trial and error deciding how deep the simulation should go and the answer, in terms of fun, was: "not very."

    Initial prototypes featured super-modular buildings (which the SimCity team calls "toys") and a level of complexity that, in the end, proved to be not only unnecessary, but also un-fun.

    ...

    Moskowitz said that although SimCity was designed to be a deep simulation, Maxis found over and over that making the game less complex made it more fun.

    I can't overstate how completely evil complexity is, especially in a sandbox game.

    Full story: http://www.polygon.com/2013/3/29/4161422/simcity-pedestrians-teleport


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    Thats the problem with most games nowadays, they put nice grapfics and some cheesy easy gameplay and you get boored after some short time. SC4 been playing since it come out and its been always on my pc no matter what.

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    Add "To make" at the end of the article title and you see what I think really happened.

     

    Yes, a gigantically complex simulation is hard to make and balance... but doesn't automatically mean the game itself will be less fun. Consitering that it came out in a half-finished state... WITH the change in design philosophy, I would immagine that a polished game with the original design would have taken several more years, something that EA wasn't willing to pay for.

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    Interesting ... what shall has changed so that it can be posted now?

     

    Aahh now I understand! The title of the original material was a little stronger ... Then reminder: next time just " Gentle Titles" 

    Anyway to see how teleportation works simply read this thread ...

      

     

    To compare the before with the after simply read response OQ in SimCity. AMAA!  when asked if new SC would be a social game simplified.

     

    (Ocean) We’re making SimCity, not some dopey casual game.

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    Seems they had a bad case of "simplify".  I agree with removing concern about infrastructure items like water pipes.  However, "deep" simulation of the Sims smacks of The Sims mentality.

     

    We don't want a game where the social aspects are in at all!  We want an out and out city builder.  Making the Sims into agents was a fatal mistake. 

     

    They completely copped out on the pathfinder.

     

    Dropping the regional aspect of the game has ruined it forever.  I want my cities to be adjacent, and of varying sizes.  I want to design my own region.

     

    Now that they have made a kiddie toy, maybe they can grow up someday.

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    '"I can't overstate how completely evil complexity is, especially in a sandbox game," he said. '

     

    There's a difference between reducing micromanagment, making tradeoffs between simulation depth and CPU usage, and streamlining gameplay versus gutting out almost all meaningful strategic depth. Complexity is only evil when you plan to rush a game through production, target it to casual gamers, and plan on those casual gamers shelling out money for DLC that does nothing to fundamentally add to or improve play.

     

    "Constantly ask yourself: What can I remove from the game?"

     

    Anything you can get away with selling later? No one is going to convince me that with today's advancements in software engineering and hardware, Maxis couldn't have found a way keep subways in a franchise that has had them since 1989.

     

    DLC can be a good thing- as one example Paradox does a fantastic job with their DLC expansions- but it's very hard, nearly impossible, to create a DLC that adds depth and strategy to a game designed to contain very little of either to begin with.

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    Interesting ... what shall has changed so that it can be posted now?

     

    Anyway to see how teleportation works simply read this thread ...

      

     

    To compare the before with the after simply read response OQ in SimCity. AMAA!  when asked if new SC would be a social game simplified.

     

    (Ocean) We’re making SimCity, not some dopey casual game.

     

    The next line is even more laughable in light of teleportation:

     

    The most important thing is the integrity of the simulation underneath it, the stuff that represents the systems that make up a real city.

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    http://www.shacknews.com/article/78448/simcity-dev-pokes-fun-at-games-troubles

     

    Maxis Lead Engineer Dan Moskowitz was using a PowerPoint presentation to highlight his talk about discoveries in developing SimCity. As he clicked to go to the second slide, an error message popped up saying "You must be online to go to the next screen." When he clicked again, another message came up saying "Unable to connect to SimCity servers. Please try again." The crowd, populated by mostly developers, broke into applause. His response: "I guess I'll wait a couple minutes and try again."

     

     

    Jessica+Jung+Yuri+SNSD+Shares+a+Laugh+GI

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    Now that they have made a kiddie toy, maybe they can grow up someday.

     

    That's what we all said after SimCity Societies, isn't it?

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    What i worry about is that this simplicity will make this game unplayable by this time next year. Only the modding community can save this game.

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    Guys, don't let them guide you into the wrong direction. Glassbox had and has major flaws (i.e. pathfinding, agent-based sims). Those issues are a result of bad game design, not of overstretching the simulation's level of detail. I am still waiting for an honest apology combined with the promise to fix the extensively discussed core gameplay issues.

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    This kind of attitude has me concerned about the future of mankind in these times. It is a serious tragety when catering to dumb dumbs who don't like to read (manuals, read-me files, etc.) and take out managing water pipes and power lines because it's too complex is the thing to do for profit.  I know the vast majority of the world is ignorant but that doesn't mean the wise should cave in and give up to get their money. Because then we are all screwed. I like complexity and do not see it as a hassle or evil. In fact it's what geniuses are made of.

     

    Though this is just a game, there is still opportunity for us to exercise our brains.

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    they sacrificed macro-level things that city builders like and want (like larger maps, more transportation options, and more control over the whole region) for micro-level simluation that doesn't even work anyway...

    sad

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    i checked to make sure > but Dan Moskowitz was not on the SC4 team and additionally from the way he presents his case it actually seems he didn't even play SC4. http://www.allgame.com/game.php?id=38686&tab=credits - On top of that it equally looks as though he is trying incredibly hard to prove to himself that making a simulation that made sense was utlimately not going to be fun to play simply because he thought it was going to be too difficult. I have decided that this guy seems to have a very huge issue with the prospect of a game-players ability to play the game. Its seems like his only experience with a person trying to play a game was his grandmother, and maybe her reaction was "what does this button do" "how do make this work". Dan has created this myth that gamers are like the lowest-common denominator and need diapers and big basic colors to understand thier world or something. His whole philosophy is very degrading of gamers imho- and after all the feedback the community has given if I were in his shoes I should have seen 'us' a very intelligent and experimental group of people that desire complexity.

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    All I need to know about Maxis' target audience these days is summed up by the bright primary colors in their name and the silly squeal at the end of their logo movie.

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    The Toads in Luigi's Mansion 2 teleport as well, which is good as you can throw them out of the level and even through doors into an unloaded area

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