Recently, a developer from Maxis had come out under the condition of anonymity to reveal that SimCity could be engineered to play offline with “minimal effort”. According to Eurogamer, this has already been accomplished by some industrious modders. Reddit user UKAzzer has published a video that shows him playing around in the game’s debug mode, which in turn allowed him to tweak the game to let him to play offline, along with making some other major changes to the game.
Other than the ability to play offline, the biggest change that was achieved was the ability to build structures outside the boundaries imposed by the developer. Cities in the game are capped with a boundary of roughly 2 square km, but the video shows him laying down highways outside the boundaries. “You can edit the highways ANYWHERE – even outside of your city boundary,” UKAzzer said, “and even if you quit the game and log back in later, it's all saved safely on the server.” He continued, “This shows that highway editing will be easily possible, AND that editing outside of the artificially small city boundaries should be very viable too.”
UKAzzer also fixed some of the problems that gamers have complained about since the launch of SimCity, such as the inflated population count that the game shows. He was also able to disable the game’s disconnection timer, which let him play offline indefinitely. By default, the game boots you out after 20 minutes of offline play.
The downside of playing offline is that you can’t access any of the region-based features of the game, and if you want to save, you will have to connect to the game’s servers. But the good news is that the server saves your game regardless of your editing, even when the city’s size exceeds the limit that is otherwise forced on the player.
Maybe now we can build real cities instead of just towns
A developer had come out to talk to RockPaperShotgun recently, and he had revealed that an offline mode is possible as the server doesn’t handle any calculations of the game that doesn’t have to do with its social aspects.
According to the developer, “The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing. They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they’re doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they’re not doing anything. I have no idea why they’re claiming otherwise. It’s possible that Bradshaw misunderstood or was misinformed, but otherwise I’m clueless.”
Many gamers have been facing issues with SimCity since its North American launch earlier last week. EA blamed “server instability” caused by too many players. The company has since been in damage-control mode and is scrambling to bring additional servers online.
Check out our review of SimCity.
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