"listening to your feedback" and have put together a team "specifically focused on exploring the possibility" of enabling SimCity offline.
The other big gripe within the community of SimCity Mayors is city size limits. Apparently they've put "months of investigation" into doing it, but they "will not be providing bigger city sizes."
The reason is because of the impact on performance these bigger cities would have, with some 'unable to play them'. Lessons learnt during this will at least be applied.
"Right now we have a team specifically focused on exploring the possibility of an offline mode," Buechner.
"I can’t make any promises on when we will have more information, but we know this is something that many of our players have been asking for. While the server connectivity issues are behind us, we would like to give our players the ability to play even if they choose not to connect. An offline mode would have the additional benefit of providing room to the modding community to experiment without interfering or breaking the multiplayer experience."
User Generated Content guidelines are being drafted with help from the community, but no significant mods would be permitted as they'd upset the multicity play simulation, meaning only aesthetic mods are likely.
"City sizes have been a constant point of conversation among our players since we released the game. The game’s original design focused on the density of an intimate urban environment. It was about intercity connectivity and the challenge of managing a region of cities instead of one metropolis in isolation," he explained.
Maxis note many don't much care for multicity play and would just prefer a much larger sandbox for a single city.
"We’ve put months of investigation into making larger city sizes, reworking the terrain maps, changing the routing algorithms of our agent-based system and altering the way that GlassBox processes the data in a larger space."
"After months of testing, I confirm that we will not be providing bigger city sizes," he concluded. Cue gamer apocalypse.
"The system performance challenges we encountered would mean that the vast majority of our players wouldn’t be able to load, much less play with bigger cities. We’ve tried a number of different approaches to bring performance into an acceptable range, but we just couldn’t achieve it within the confines of the engine."
"We’ve chosen to cease work on bigger city sizes and put that effort into continuing to evolve the core game and explore an offline mode. Some of the experiments we conducted to improve performance on bigger cities will be rolled into future updates to improve overall game performance."
Check out theby general manager Patrick Buechner. The Cities of Tomorrow expansion releases this November for SimCity, adding futuristic cities that grow more vertical - saves space at least.
Maxis: "Team specifically focused on exploring" SimCity offline, 'no bigger cities'
04 October 2013 | By Simon Priest