Maxis has promised to fix SimCity's silly Sims and traffic.
In a blog post lead designer Stone Librande confirmed what players have shown to be true with the raft of often hilarious gameplay videos recently brought to light: that SimCity's Sims and vehicles don't work quite as we hoped they would.
In SimCity, Sims do not live realistic persistent lives. In the morning they head to the nearest available job, whatever it may be. In the evening they head to the nearest available home. In this way, a Sim may start the day working in a building different to the one he worked in the day before, and end the day in a new home with a new family.
Another problem, also identified in gameplay videos, revolves around the traffic system. Vehicles will always attempt to take the shortest route to a destination, irrespective of better alternatives that would result in a quicker journey. This results in heavy traffic jams.
Services are also problematic. If there is a fire in a city, multiple fire trucks will attempt to make their way to it, ignoring other fires in the process. Once this fire is put out, the trucks then head to the second.
Librande, who said Maxis was putting a lot of attention on addressing player concerns now the servers have sorted themselves out, confirmed all these problems will be addressed in upcoming updates.
Guillaume Pierre, the lead gameplay scripter and a designer on SimCity, published a video on YouTube, below, that outlines his work on tuning congestion avoidance.
Game design is filled with tradeoffs and compromises like this and we are constantly evaluating these (and many other) decisionsSimCity lead designer Stone Librande
Now that the game has been out for over a week, players have dug deep into SimCity's systems. Many have been particularly disappointed by the way the Sims behave. In the run up to release, many believed the new GlassBox engine upon which the simulation runs meant Sims would lead realistic lives, going to work in the same job, going home to the same family, with desires and needs and happiness levels and behaviour patterns akin to those seen in Maxis' own The Sims series.
It turns out the simulation isn't quite as sophisticated as we thought. Librande attempted to explain what Maxis was trying to do in this regard.
Maxis is yet to comment on the modder who accessed SimCity's debug mode, enabling indefinite offline play and editing outside of city boundaries.
Meanwhile, Maxis has enabled some of the features it switched off during the height of the game's server woes. Regional Achievements are now live on a select number of servers, with Leaderboards enabled on the Test Server. Librande called on players to help it test the Leaderboards to speed up their addition to the main game. Cheetah speed, however, remains unavailable.
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