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  1. Cities Skylines review: This is the SimCity you were looking for

    I'm going to be much more forgiving of CO if there are any issues that arise early, or if there is a lack of graphical polish. The reason is: this is their first full city simulator, and they're only charging $30, not to mention they are only working with a staff of 13 people. I'm all in favor of new blood in this genre, especially if they seem to be dedicated to delivering what the core gamer wants. I hope they use the $30 I'm about to hand them to enhance their product even further.
  2. The SimCity BuildIt just updated, so while Maxis (or part of it) is down, SimCity will likely be kept and probably brought back to the market in the near future. Cities:Skylines will carry the torch for now, at least for me. Hopefully it proves to be successful and drives the genre where it needs to go.
  3. I hadn't heard of this game until I saw an ad in my Facebook feed just yesterday, so kudos to the marketing team on gaining my interest. I came here to check it out, and it looks like it's the perfect timing. First, I want to say "thanks" for listening to the core gamers of this genre. I'm fairly impressed by what I've been seeing so far. Looking at the Paradox community forums, I see that there's no set commuting schedule, or no "rush hour." Is this something you've thought about, and if so, will it be difficult to add this feature to the game?
  4. I've had the same issue with building my Arcology. I've got a private region with 5 cities. Each of the cities had a different state of materials reporting. What I did was go to my rich city and have it send all of the resources. I had a ton of money, over 30 million, so I just bought what I needed (what wasn't already being made), and sat back. After a long bit of time (hours) all of the resources were all sent. It gave me enough time to study how often the server was updated (which wasn't timed to the in-game time). Anyway, once it was built, I then had to make sure that it had power and water. So, of course, I added to the power plant in my rich city to make sure it was bursting with power. I did the same with my water. Being impatient, I went to another city in my region. It was a new city, and there, I noticed that the Arcology hadn't even been selected. After a series of messages, one-by-one the Arcology was built. The approval, the materials, the workers, the power and water, and then boom, the whole thing was working. It also showed that my region has a huge surplus of power and water, so add that to the list that of things that are sporadically updated. The final piece that is out of sync, is the Arcology population (amount of workers, and students and shoppers). I have one city that shows the Arcology that is fully populated (1 million and random change) while another struggles to get it past the first stage of growth. Now the problem is, the Arcology doesn't really seem to provide any real benefit. It sucks power, and water, but workers, etc., have no apparent impact in my cities (so far).
  5. Windows 8 and SimCity?

    Your answer is 'no'. I'm using W8 and doesnt run SC 5. I contacted EA support and they asked me if I wanted the refound. Sad. Thanks for letting us know of your experience. I am considering buying a new PC just for playing this game (sad, but true.) OK, so I admit, the PC will also be used in rendering drawings for some official work. I am afraid, despite the beta testers and what the EA guy "eakennedy" said, that it just might not work. I'm not going to take my chances, and will go with Win7 instead.
  6. Simtropolis Interview with Maxis Part 1

    Very nice. Looking forward to Part 2 with Ocean and the roads.
  7. Train Fever (an up to date Transport Tycoon)

    I always enjoyed the original Transport Tycoon games. I would be great to see this one take off the ground, especially with all of the good work that's already been put into it.

    I must say, that the dusk screenshot in this article is the best I've seen yet. There's a nice diversity in the buildings, and trees have become a nice filler, addressing some of the concerns that I've seen before. The article itself sheds some good light on the how the game will work, and I see my confidence growing that this will be a great game upon release.
  9. Landmarks with Employment

    Thought I'd stop by in here to see what's new. It's hard to believe it's been 9 years since releasing this. Looks like a lot of folks in the past year or so are having "brown box" issues. All I can say about that, is that this was originally addressed 9 years ago in a comment way, way above this one. Essentially, I directed people to the what was the SimCity website back then to download the "newest" landmarks. At that time, I would have figured doing so would have been a sufficient long term solution, but there have been some seismic shifts in the SimCity landscape since then. I think sometime after "Societies" was released, going there would have been fruitless. If not then, then certainly now with the pending new release SimCity 2013. That said, it looks like another fella posted a link to the resource on SC4Devotion, but as of right now, that's not working either. So, in order to solve this, I might have to dig into some old archived files on an old hard drive and post them as a LOT file, which should solve the problem. If you don't hear back from me in here anytime soon, send me a PM.
  10. Shaking it Up:SimCity's Physics

    Unrealistic disasters were part of SimCity's history from day one. It all started with a sea monster attacking Tokyo's industrial section. And you know, the 10 year old version of myself enjoyed that aspect of the game then. It added to the challenge of playing, and for that period of PC gaming, it was pretty cool. As, I grew up, so did the game. My preference shifted from cleaning up after a monster attack or a flood, to learning the intricacies of the modern urban machine we call a city. And, yes, after some time, I just turned those disasters off (which was also unrealistic) so I could focus on that aspect. Although I normally preferred to turn off disasters in the past, I'm fine with having them, (including the odd, unrealistic ones.) Since each city is linked together in a region (and the world), it'll make sense to have a level playing field, so understandably, we're not going to be able to turn them off. It's important to remember, that although this is a simulator, it is also a game, which is exactly what Will Wright intended for the original. I have no doubt that Maxis is trying to strike a balance between appealing to a young audience, who will likely be playing for the first time, and those who have been playing since nearly day one. Now, one "disaster" I'm looking for is one like this: http://www.cnn.com/video/?hpt=hp_t3#/video/world/2012/10/24/pkg-darlington-brazil-cost-of-traffic.cnn I couldn't help but think of SimCity 2013 when I saw this traffic nightmare. This is exactly the kind of problem I will be looking forward to solving and it seems like the simulator is finally advanced enough to earn an sense of realism here.
  11. Tilt Shift Photography and SimCity

    Ah, very nice, that's great information. Thanks for letting us know.
  12. Tilt Shift Photography and SimCity

    If there are enough systems that could allow for it, and if adding the ability to adjust this setting it fairly easy to implement, then why not. That said, back in the day when we were exploring the exemplars that controlled the various pieces in SC4, I came across one value that configured the maximum area that you could drag out for new zones. Thinking that it would be nice to allow larger areas, I increased the value and tried it out. What I soon came to realize is that there is a fairly significant range of calculations that needed to be made (configuring roads, and smoothing terrain, etc.) When I created an area of zoning that was much larger than originally allowed, not only was it much slower, but eventually, my game crashed. Now, I learned from trial and error what the limitations were, and adjusted it back down (but still kept it larger than the original.) The developers, however, know the limitations they must deal with, and set each piece of the game accordingly. This means being able to support the lowest end on their system requirements. We take for granted that most things will run smoothly when playing, but this is because things are not allowed to creep into a range that could crash the game (or significantly impair game play.) Now, as you can imagine, if a variable setting isn't allowed, someone in the modding community will probably tackle this. It may cause some problems for some, but it'll be an option that wasn't available before. Several years down the road, computers will allow for a much higher level of detail on all things rendered, and perhaps then, that modification will make much more sense.
  13. Tilt Shift Photography and SimCity

    Based on the little snippets of videos (or animations) that I've seen, I'm inclined to think that low level details are rendered first for all objects, and then all objects are split into two groups: those in the background where the tilt shift effect is added, and those up front where further details are added (as you've suggested in your second thought.) I also would imagine that any graphics processing to apply the tilt shift effect is considerably less than if it were fully rendered. (Ultimately, the effect allows for the parts that are in focus to be rendered in a higher detail than if the processing power had to be distributed equally to all objects.) Since adding the tilt shift effect essentially blurs the background, it wouldn't make sense to fully render those and then apply the effect (as Jazzmaster suggests). That's taking two or three steps forward, then one step back, which when it comes to budgeting graphics processing power, that doesn't make sense. So, this is my basis for this thinking. Now, consider this: After watching this animation, I'm reminded that our eyes can only focus on just a small portion of our total field of vision. Watch it, and you'll find yourself drawn to the action around the intersection and not the stuff in the background. Although we're aware of objects around what we are actually focusing on, our eyes aren't focusing on it. Perhaps our brain is artificially filling in the gaps and we're not even aware of it. We may not even care that the background portion of your visual field is blurred. If there's one thing I've learned about how illusionist work. it's that they take full advantage of this knowledge. SimCity creators are also taking advantage of this principle. It just happens to be that what we are looking at is ultimately being rendered on a flat, static surface (computer display) and we have the option of looking beyond the intended focal point on the screen. I would imagine that after a few minutes of game play, most people won't even notice. I would also imagine that the creators would have tested this effect on a group of people to see if it felt natural and would have made adjustments accordingly. To me it does seem to be natural, and hopefully to most, that is true as well. In any event, I would imagine there will probably be an official blog entry to shed light on the decision making that took place to lead the developers to the solutions that were made. For every feature and quirk that someone has found to complain about, I can't help but think that each piece was given thought and specific consideration all the while being reigned in by the current limitations in the world of processing power (graphical or otherwise). In my opinion, the use of tilt-shift was an ingenious way to solve the problem of maximizing the graphical details of the game.
  14. Tilt Shift Photography and SimCity

    I agree, it's a nice way to present and market a workaround. It makes me curious what limitations the game would have if there wasn't this workaround. Visual representation of what's going on with the Glass Box would probably be severely limited (and this seems to be one of the main features.) I think given the changes since the last 10 years, it makes me wonder if we'll have to wait another 10 before computers we reach a point of not just photo realism, but fully animated video realism in our cities. Some very key factors have to take place, like simulating and animating with the integrity of what's really there. That hasn't happened before. Smoke and mirrors had to do, and we accepted that. Even in real world tool, like Google Earth,which has only been around for 7 years, has had to overcome limitations. The 3D rendering of the buildings and terrain was "mind blowing" at the time, but it's still nothing like reality. Of course, there are some other platforms, some of which aren't available to the public (unless you pay a hefty price), that have stepped of the level of detail. Mapping, modelling and rendering is shifting from having individuals meticulously drawing each point, and adding textures, to having computers (and an array of gadgets) photograph, calculate and automatically create models or real world cities, for instance. That level of detail looks amazing, but they are always static, 3D renderings. I'm sure photo realistic animation (and more importantly real time animation is on it's way) but we're not there yet. So, in a simulated environment (which all objects have to be not only rendered, but their behavior is calculated) this still remains a tall order for our current home gaming technology. So, for now, I'll accept the work around, knowing that it's freeing up resources and maximizing the capabilities of the game. I think the same could be true for all of the other "features" that as a group we're either complaining, or worried about. There are still limits to the game based on the performance of the computers of average people. Those were calculated, and known limitations which determined things like the size vs. realism of what is simulated. Someday, that will change.
  15. I've heard a lot of folks dismiss the tilt shift effect as a way to simply water down the graphics on the upcoming SimCity. I happen to find it as a very cool form of art. Here's a video by Keith Loutit which was released online today which features Singapore using Sim City like tilt shift photography at its best: