Modder Makes SimCity Capable Of Offline Play Which Works Flawlessly
from the well,-that-was-easy dept
This SimCity debacle can only be described as an onion. Every time you peel back another layer, you just find yet another bitter layer underneath to make you cry. It all started, as you no doubt know, when EA decided to make the game with an always online requirement. The explanation for this was that it was in part a DRM attempt, but also SimCity was developed to be a social game, requiring an online connection, and EA had also shifted resource consumption and calculation to their own servers, ostensibly freeing up resources on the player’s machine. Regardless, the launch looked more like an attempt to reporduce the Hindenburg disaster than any attempt at serving EA’s customers and the backlash that followed was harsh. Most recently, someone inside of Maxis reached out to RockPaperShotgun to suggest that the online requirement was strictly DRM and that no important server-side calculations were actually being done. Despite the report, EA maintained that offline play of the game is logistically impossible.
And by logistically impossible, they must have meant that all they’d have to do is turn on the debugging mode, as that’s what one game modder has done to make the game work nearly flawlessly without any online connection.
The video above shows the game being played offline. The modder states that this can be done for as long as you like without issues. The only real downside being you can’t save the game because it utilizes cloud saves. However, if you reconnect the game it does save, so you can play all day then just go online to save your progress at the end of a session.
Thanks, random modder guy, for making EA’s product do what EA couldn’t, or wouldn’t, enable it to do themselves. Assuming this is all legit, the excuses for server-side calculations melt away like the loyalty of EA’s customers when they bought this game-on-crutches. Hell, even the requirement for online saves needing a constant connection is clearly nonsense. It isn’t like the game couldn’t be written to only connect once a save is initiated.
Now, here’s the fun part. To achieve this, the modder had to go in and edit the game code to enable debug mode, as I mentioned. Far from simply removing the online requirement, it actually made the game perform better.
In fact, it actually improves the game in some ways. City populations are actually tracked correctly and you can edit outside of your city boundaries. Those additional edits are also saved when you reconnect.
Great job, EA. You made your game worse even when it did function, which it mostly didn’t, all the while lying your collective faces off to the people giving you their money. It’s probably time to come out and issue a serious mea culpa.