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Maxis finally responds to SimCity AI concerns, admits there is a problem

Ben Parfitt
Maxis finally responds to SimCity AI concerns, admits there is a problem

After a frustrating silence, SimCity developer Maxis has finally conceded that there are AI issues troubling its game.

Now that the server woes that blighted the game’s launch are seemingly over with, attention has turned to a number of AI oddities that are dampening many player’s enjoyment of the game.

And the good news is that Maxis has promised a patch to address them.

“During development we tested many cities in a variety of scenarios, but there are almost limitless permutations,” SimCity’s lead designer Stone Librande said in a blog post.

“Now that the game is in your hands we are seeing the emergence of many cities that test our systems in unique ways. It’s great to watch this happen because at its core SimCity is a game about experimentation and exploration.

“When bugs are discovered we will address them as quickly as possible, with updates such as the ones we’ve been rolling out over the past week. Our main focus right now is updating the pathing system that the Agents use to get to their Sinks. Running a successful city means keeping the traffic flowing and we are actively working to make this system better.

“We understand that when cars always take the shortest route between point A and point B there will be unavoidable (and illogical) traffic jams, so we are retuning these values to make the traffic flow more realistically. We are working on additional fixes with the pathing of our Agents and these changes will streamline the way that the simulation unfolds in your city. We are currently testing a patch internally and hope to have it out to you soon.

“The Sims in the game are persistent in many respects. They go from a home to a workplace or to a shop and back each day. Their happiness, money, sickness, education level, etc. are also persistent and are carried around the city with each Sim as the simulation unfolds.

“But many aspects of the Sims are not persistent. They don’t own a particular house or have permanent employment. We also don’t track their names, their clothing, gender, or skin colour. We did this as in attempt to increase performance so that we could have more Sims in the city. Ultimately we didn’t feel that the cost of adding in that extra layer of micro detail made the macro game play richer. Game design is filled with tradeoffs and compromises like this and we are constantly evaluating these (and many other) decisions.”

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Tags: ea , patch , simcity , concerns , ai , maxis

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