SimCity vs. Cities: Skylines - Who Wins?

SandroTheMaster

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Parshooter said:
Shamus what about Chirpy?
He had a post about Chirpy. As much as he ragged on EA in this article, it almost pales in comparison to how much he ragged on Chirpy at his post on his blog.

Pretty much he only liked one thing about it: That you can mod it out of the game. Or, failing that (if you're allergic to mods, for some reason), you can mute the damn thing (after a patch).
 

Gregory Wollf

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I enjoy bashing EA as much as the next gamer but I don't think all of SimCity's woes can be attributed to EA alone, MAXIS bears blame too. MAXIS suffers from a chronic condition I will refer to as the "Cutesy Wutesy Syndrome." They want everything to look nice and a smooth UI. Gameplay is tailored down for casual level gamers who don't think in terms of game depth or mechanics. Hence why SimCity citizens are mindless dots entering the first empty business / house and why building / road placement (plopment) is restricted to little blue dots beside roads for buildings and an uninspired grid for roads. The same thing happened with SPORE, dumbed down, prettied up, and put into a tidy glass case so that modders couldn't soil its polished exterior (since the interior was more or less gutted to start with) with their grubby little fingers. I can't speak for the Sims games... but as far as I can tell it's all just virtual doll houses.

But yes, back to the main topic. MAXIS's "Cutesy Wutesy Syndrome" should factor into why SimCity was vapid and broken. The peasants were perhaps just as incompetent as the princes.
 

MonsterCrit

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medv4380 said:
There is only one aspect that SimCity did better than Skylines, and that is window dressing. SimCity certainly does have the best window dressing. SimCity has random zombie attacks, meteors, Nuclear accidents. All are missing in Skylines. The closest Skylines has is misplacing a dam resulting in a flooded city. Really more of an engineering accident caused by the player than Godzilla coming to burn your city, and eat your trash. Skylines doesn't even have a tornado to show up and break a few buildings.
True but I'm sure there'll be a mod for those things in short order :p


The problem with Simcity and the real contrast with Skylines is that honestly. Simcity was designed as a DLC engine, that was the whole philosophy from the ground up. Skylines.. was designed as a complete full featured game. that people could add on.
 

Lightspeaker

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As someone who has played both recently I feel SimCity is...somewhat unfairly maligned.

I played SimCity through EA's Game Time thing and actually had a blast with it. It looked nice, the system of adding to services was a good idea, the fluidity of running things through your road system rather than through linked buildings was a smart decision. In short I agree with a lot of what PH3NOmenon said above. It did, however, have a number of issues and a lot of the simulation side was very simple and apparently a lot was outright broken back at release.

Wanting more city building stuff I bought Cities Skylines and I've put five hours or so into it so far and its extremely enjoyable but honestly I had more "fun" with SimCity. I don't really prefer one over the other, but enjoyed each for different reasons. Cities Skylines is a much more serious game to me, harkening back to my time with SimCity 4 many years ago.

I guess the best way to put it is to say that to me its like comparing Xenonauts with the new XCOM. In fact that's a very apt comparison considering the parallels. Xenonauts is a faithful modernisation/recreation of the old game separate from the original series that revamps the whole thing whilst heavily maintaining the core of the experience. It can be an intensely frustrating experience and is difficult to describe as simply "fun" but it is also very enjoyable and deeply satisfying. Much like Skylines. The new XCOM meanwhile is a direct follow on from the previous license but drastically changes a lot about the game, simplifying a lot of things. It lacks some of the depth of the previous game and is perhaps less satisfying on the whole; but in trade for that its a lot of fun and significantly less frustrating. Much like SimCity.

So although I find Cities Skylines a much more solid gameplay experience, I can't deny that I found a lot to like when playing about with SimCity.
 

Adeptus Aspartem

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SimCity would've been untouchable if they actually finished it. Skylines is better, but could need some more window dressing as PH3NO already said.
The simulation parts are usually really important in these kind of games and SimCity totally failed on that part, while Skylines delivers on actually people/cars being simulated in great detail.

The biggest plus is the Steam Workshop integration and if this game will recieve only a 1/4 of the mods Skyrim has you'll drown in well-made content.
And from what i've read on their site and wiki they appear to actually communicate with the players about patches, mechanics and code of the game.
 

EndlessSporadic

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May 20, 2009
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If it had been sold as a $60 game I would have had to say it is extremely shallow and boring once you figure out how the system works. Fortunately this was sold at the fair price of $30USD and I believe my money was well spent for what it provided me.
 

Kameburger

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Apr 7, 2012
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While this may sound fairly cynical and possibly an oversimplification of the situation and also probably a little against the grain of certain the recent conversation, but I think that in the west for many reasons there is not enough focus on what certain people like, and thus everything seems really broad and bland as a result. City simulation seems like a concept with broad appeal but the reality is it isn't off putting to people that aren't fans so it may seam that way. I think EA asked itself the question how can we get as much money out of as broad an audience as possible and so SimCity is a game built on buzzwords. I think that they never stopped to ask what the fans of city simulation would like, and I think that's the problem. City Skylines seems to be designed from an opposite design philosophy all together. They as fans, knew what fans of the genre wanted, and so the only buzz word it is built on is City simulation.

If any of that makes sense.
 

Zydrate

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I'm hearing good things, I'll give this one a try.

My biggest weakness in Sim games is maintaining a moneyflow. In most SimCity games, I just end up going bankrupt, or deep in reg negatives, and give up and nuke my city with Tornadoes.
 

Draconalis

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I feel like this article needed at least one category that Simcity won in...

Something like, "Which game pissed away years of good relations with it's fanbase?
Advantage: Simcity"
 

Robbo

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Nov 9, 2009
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Darkness665 said:
The servers had DRM problems but that wasn't the only issue. I thought this was widely known, but maybe not. Much of the simulation (percentage unknown) was done on the servers. A bunch of, most likely, Java code that ran on the servers so the various player cities could connect to each other. When the brown stuff hit the swirling dispenser somebody realized they needed to fix it. Six months later (-ish, I never got the game) they had an update that moved the simulation off their servers. I did read a blog regarding the situation.

So two things were coming at them in swarms they didn't plan on. First, the DRM and in typical EA fashion they completely bungled it. Not only did their CEO proudly pronounce his supreme idiocy but he enforced the same in that he only green-lit multi-player games. Luckily he is gone, sadly I anticipate Project $10 to arrive at Unity soon.

The second was typical server mismanagement at AAA game companies. It all sounds great if you plan on using Vendor X server and Vendor Y Java implementation with M many servers ready to go with N network connections. But seriously AAA game companies cannot do the math to get the right setup nor will they ever spend the effort (resources, cash, infrastructure, QA) necessary to simulate 200,000 players logging on in the same exact time window. Why wouldn't they? Pre-installed games only escalate the problem.

Now, note that many companies have the first day blues on their servers. One special event in my memory was watching apple not being able to handle the load on a Xmas evening. Everybody had their new iWhatever, had their shiny iTunes Xmas gift cards in their hands and - boom - server overload.

The link to the bad path finding is hilarious so thank you very much for that. I might have to look into getting it when Origin does a cheap deal for it. Just so I can set up failure modes.

Well stated, Shamus. With the caveat that the princes screwing the pooch might have been made clearer earlier versus the team - you did cover it at the end. That is most likely just me disliking EA management to the extent that I do.
Literally everything you said about the simulation being on the server is wrong and if it was it would probably be java? Wot.
 

K12

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I've never managed to get into city builders. I've owned Simcity 4 for years and have never bothered to start the thing up but I am seriously considering getting Cities: Skylines.

I wouldn't get SimCity 2013 if EA gave it away for free along with a big chocolate cake. Knowing EA the cake would be full of spiders.
 

Kenjitsuka

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SomeLameStuff said:
Kenjitsuka said:
Huh, that does remind me... can you drop Godzilla or a disaster on your city when bored?!
There's currently no disaster options, unless you make your own. Like flooding your entire city with a badly placed dam.
That's a dam(n) shame, then. I know Yahtzee would be dissapointed too ;)
 

Hutzpah Chicken

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It'd be great if there was an exchange program that replaced SimCity with Cities: Skylines for the idiots who bought the former, myself included.
 

UNHchabo

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Shamus Young said:
It was an electric car charging station that generated happiness and used no electricity.
Seems realistic to me... Suburbanites drive by the charging station in their Escalades, while saying "I'm glad I live in an enlightened city that's so supportive of electric cars..."
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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I would like to see the makers of Skylines hire all the laid of Maxis staff, the rest should quit EA too, then they all make the City Building Sim that the entire world has dreamed of; A city builder combined with a Sims styled game.
 

Darkness665

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Robbo said:
Darkness665 said:
A bunch of, most likely, Java code that ran on the servers so the various player cities could connect to each other.
Literally everything you said about the simulation being on the server is wrong and if it was it would probably be java? Wot.
Yes, I said it was most likely JAVA in some format. It is the most common language in the software as a service (SAS) business model currently. Not one that I would choose but I would never embrace SAS anyway.

As to wrong, well Maxis claimed otherwise: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2013/03/17/ea-admits-simcity-could-have-run-offline-went-against-developers-vision/

Then you could follow up with: http://www.simcity.com/en_US/blog/article/simcity-offline-play-now-available-for-pc-and-mac

Which links to this: http://www.simcity.com/en_US/blog/article/engineering-offline-play-for-simcity

So actually what I wrote was accurate. What else were you wrong about today?
 

Yopaz

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Jun 3, 2009
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Darkness665 said:
Robbo said:
Darkness665 said:
A bunch of, most likely, Java code that ran on the servers so the various player cities could connect to each other.
Literally everything you said about the simulation being on the server is wrong and if it was it would probably be java? Wot.
Yes, I said it was most likely JAVA in some format. It is the most common language in the software as a service (SAS) business model currently. Not one that I would choose but I would never embrace SAS anyway.

As to wrong, well Maxis claimed otherwise: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2013/03/17/ea-admits-simcity-could-have-run-offline-went-against-developers-vision/

Then you could follow up with: http://www.simcity.com/en_US/blog/article/simcity-offline-play-now-available-for-pc-and-mac

Which links to this: http://www.simcity.com/en_US/blog/article/engineering-offline-play-for-simcity

So actually what I wrote was accurate. What else were you wrong about today?
From your first link:
Update: Turns out one simple line of code is all it takes to turn your SimCity into an offline game. Something so simple, even the public can do it.
Now I might have misunderstood you here, but what I thought you said was that it would be problematic to get it to run without being connected to the servers. If that is what you said, then your own link actually debunks that.
 

Nurb

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Dec 9, 2008
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As much as I looooooove Skylines, I do miss the certain quirky sense of humor in the Sim City games, and the disasters that others mentioned. I also don't agree that "the modders will do it" is an excuse for some things missing that are staples of city builders.

I would love to get to a point where a superhero protects the city from big crime/monster problems, but this is leaning more towards realism
 

Atmos Duality

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I like to think of SimCity '13 as EA's Ultimate Acid Test:
EA: "Is the market stupid enough yet? Will they buy this?
Are their standards low enough that we can crank out literally ANY piece of shit we want and still make money?"

Because that's the only explanation for how they thought pushing Simcity to sale in that state was a good idea.
Thank goodness it didn't take off, because that might have been the end right there.
Like, "This is how Idiocracy becomes reality".

Contrast to the developers that actually gave a damn about the gameplay, rather than how to convert it into a digital cattle ranch.