SimCity team exploring the possibility of an offline mode, bigger city sizes not in the cards

Friday, 4 October 2013 15:32 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

An offline mode for SimCity is being explored by Maxis, the developer announced today on its blog.

According to general manager Patrick Buechner, a team was created to “specifically focus” on the feature.

“Right now we have a team specifically focused on exploring the possibility of an offline mode,” he said. “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.”

However, there is some bad news along with the potential good news: bigger cities are not in the cards.

“City sizes have been a constant point of conversation among our players since we released the game,” Buechner continued. “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. 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.”

He went on to reiterate that SimCity’s launch “wasn’t what anyone on the team hoped for,” and that the firm thinks about it “every single day,” however the team is “passionate about SimCity and want to make it better.”

Full thing through the link.

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