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  1. You know, I've even pledged my $ 25 on this, but they are so vague about pretty much everything (starting with who they are and what game development experience they have) that I've downgraded my pledge. I don't know whether they're just some high school kids that sincerely have no idea what it takes to create a full-fledged city building sim (time wise and money wise alike) or they are trying to make some quick buck on the massive disappointment with SC 2013 and then go off into the blue. They'd better to present something substantial in their updates. Yes, I think you're right about your concerns. Regarding Mr. Smith (the project manager), I can't find any references or any other information about earlier projects that he has been involved in. I think the future of such a project will depend on skilled people with good experience in the gaming industry, and whether he will be able to attract the "right" people. $250K is enough money for hiring 2 professional employees for a year. I'm afraid he's going to need more resources than this in order to create a really interesting game. If modding the game will be simple (and well documented), then a lot of work could be done by the players/users themselves, just like we've seen happening to Sim City 4 over the years. There's a lot to consider, and I think the most important factor is to create a solid fundation (an underlying game engine) that is both flexible and intuitive for users and modders that want to add extra content. A huge challenge, that's for sure...
  2. Nice demonstration. First off, it's quite obvious that a lot of work has been put into this game. The graphics are stunning and it looks pretty well designed. One can't expect the first version of a game of this complexity to be without errors, and I'm sure all major bugs will be fixed within reasonable time. Despite of this, the developers should have put a lot more into the quality assurance of the game. It is simply not acceptable that you can't play a game (or risk losing a lot of your work) because of technical issues at some servers outside of your control. This is about proper quality assurance, and based upon all the feedback, the developers have failed big time. I was planning to buy this game, but as it is now, there's no way I'm going to. I'm actually glad I didn't preorder. There are two very disappointing reasons for this: 1. Too small areas to build your cities on. As it is now, you can only build cities that are far too compressed to be realistic in any way. I'm not too optimistic whether we'll see any substantial changes in future versions of SimCity. I'm afraid it would require too large changes in how they have put up the structure of the game. With todays computer technology and by utilizing smart programming algorithms one would expect that it was possible to extend the building areas to practically endless sizes, but only if you plan for such structures from the very beginning. 2. Cities can't be saved locally on your disk in a single player mode. It's essential for a game like this to be able to go back and start over again at some point in the game. It's also essential to ensure that you never get problems playing the game because of server/network failures outside of your control. Unfortunately, I don't think this will ever be implemented by the developers at Maxis in any future versions. As it is now, I might buy it in the future for the fun of it, but only if the price will drop to no more than $15. One can't stop wondering if in the future there'll be a fusion between SimCity and The Sims..
  3. Well, if we're lucky, a new modern city builder game will be launched within the next year or so. Have a look at Civitas.It looks very promising indeed.
  4. Yes, by using the custom resolution command line switch in combination with full screen, everything works like it should, the game is filling the whole screen with the correct aspect ratio. 1920x1200 (16:10) gives you a few more pixels in the height compared to the 16:9 standard. This is good for computer work, although you'll have to accept a letter box while watching movies in 16:9 format (with the correct aspect ratio). In those cases, 120 pixels in the height are 'wasted'. Watching movies in the wide cinema formats (1.85:1 or 2.39:1) will cut off even more pixels in the height on a 16:10 display. It's seldom I'm watching movies on my computer screen, so it's not an issue in any case. Sim City supported resolutions (using the custom resolution command line switch): http://www.widescreengaming.net/wiki/SimCity_4 -- Geir
  5. Hello all fellow Sim builders! I was surprised to see that after upgrading my graphics card to a Radeon HD7970 (one of the fastest cards around at the time being), Sim City did not perform as well as earlier. In game scrolling looked particularly bad (color changes and missing graphics while scrolling / zooming). Switching to software rendering fixed these rendering issues, but even with a processor running at 3.4 Ghz, the rendering speed was not as good as with my older graphics card. I searched the net and discovered that many others had the same problems with their Radeon cards as well. Could it really be that a brand new Radeon HD card is not up to the task? These newer cards are way better in every aspect compared to the fastest cards back in 2003, so this I could simply not belive. After some research I found the problem and was able to fix the issue. The game is old, and many of the graphics cards on the marked at the time it was created was not able to render graphics optimally with maximum settings. So, in an attempt to simplify things for the ordinary user, the programmers at Maxis implemented a number of rendering rules that set the recommended "standard graphics settings". Most of these settings can be changed in the graphics settings dialog in the game, but a few of the more "advanced" settings are not possible to change within the dialog. The good thing is that these settings (rules) can be found in a file in the system. By looking at these rules I soon discovered that the programmers at Maxis was setting some very strict rules and settings for almost all ATI cards (in order to prevent very slow performace). However, they did a mistake by potentially filtering out future Radeon cards as well. This is the reason for the poor hardware rendering quality with many Radeon cards today. To fix the issue: Open the file Graphics Rules.sgr in the Sim City 4 program file directory. It's a text file, so it can be opened in a text editor. Search for the text Radeon and verify that you see the following lines of text: partialRule "Radeon" stringMatch cardIdentity "*Radeon*" Replace the text *Radeon* with Dummy as indicated in red: partialRule "Radeon" stringMatch cardIdentity "Dummy" This will bypass the check for any Radeon cards for special treatment. Unchanged, it will treat any Radeon card as being slow by setting specific hardware render settings. Next, search for the text "Fast card" and verify that you see the following lines: partialRule "Fast card" -any # We run well on these cards, so up the defaults. stringMatch cardIdentity "NVidia*Geforce*" stringMatch cardIdentity "NVidia*Quadro*" stringMatch cardIdentity "ATI*9700*" stringMatch cardIdentity "ATI*8500*" stringMatch cardIdentity "Matrox*Parhelia*" stringMatch cardIdentity "*Radeon*" Add a new line as indicated in red. Important: Make sure that the asteriks are included! This wil treat any Radeon card as a fast card. Save the file and open Sim City 4. Go to graphics settings dialog and set standard. Everything will now be maxed out. Restart the game. I'm having a few issues when running the game in windowed mode, so I'd recommend running the game in full screen. For the convenience, I've added the modified file as an attachment. Remove (rename) the .txt in the file name before replacing the file in the game folder. I'd also recommend setting a few command line switches to ensure the stability on todays multi core cpu's. I'm using the following switches: -CustomResolution:enabled -r1920x1200x32 -f -intro:Off -CPUCount:1 -EH:Off -CPUPriority:high Replace the red text with your monitors resolution. My monitor resolution is 1920x1200, and now everything runs very smoothly on my system -- Geir Graphics Rules.sgr.txt