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SimCity’s Always-Connected Requirement Addressed By Head of Maxis

SimCity

The saga of SimCity‘s troubled launch continues, but at least we’re seeing a lot of communication from EA and Maxis. Lucy Bradshaw, head of Maxis, recently posted another update to provide answers in regard to the game’s Always-Connected requirement.

Bradshaw wanted to “offer some straight answers on the topic” with the update and even listed ways that the connection to the servers and the cloud supports region play and social features.

According to her post, the servers help them do the following:

  • We keep the simulation state of the region up to date for all players.  Even when playing solo, this keeps the interactions between cities up to date in a shared view of the world.
  • Players who want to reach the peak of each specialization can count on surrounding cities to provide services or resources, even workers.  As other players build, your city can draw on their resources.
  • Our Great Works rely on contributions from multiple cities in a region.  Connected services keep each player’s contributions updated and the progression on Great Works moving ahead.
  • All of our social world features – world challenges, world events, world leaderboards and world achievements – use our servers to update the status of all cities.
  • Our servers handle gifts between players.
  • We’ve created a dynamic supply and demand model for trading by keeping a Global Market updated with changing demands on key resources.
  • We update each city’s visual representation as well.  If you visit another player’s city, you’ll see the most up to date visual status.
  • We even check to make sure that all the cities saved are legit, so that the region play, leaderboards, challenges and achievements rewards and status have integrity.

She likens the game to a massively-multiplayer online game and promises that the launch is only the beginning. But does she promise that the game will see an offline mode? Well, no. But she does offer up more insight on their design philosophy when it came to the Always-Connected aspect of SimCity.

“So, could we have built a subset offline mode?  Yes.  But we rejected that idea because it didn’t fit with our vision,” said Bradshaw. “We did not focus on the ‘single city in isolation’ that we have delivered in past SimCities.  We recognize that there are fans – people who love the original SimCity – who want that.  But we’re also hearing from thousands of people who are playing across regions, trading, communicating and loving the Always-Connected functionality.”

You can read the whole update from Bradshaw here.

How are your experiences with the game so far? Do you support the idea of having offline play or do you see the game as an MMO as well? Let us know!

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