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SimCity Finally Works Offline: What You Need to Know

By - Source: Maxis | B 24 comments

SimCity gamers can finally play Offline.

The day to finally play SimCity offline has arrived, as Electronic Arts released Update 10 that enables connection-free gameplay.

Patrick Buechner, General Manager of the Maxis Emeryville studio, revealed back in January that the Offline Mode would arrive in the next major update, aka Update 10. He said that with this patch, gamers can still play solo in Regions on their own, or in multiplayer with people from around the world. What's new is a Single-Player Mode allowing gamers to play the game Offline by themselves.

"Bringing the game Offline means big things for our wonderful community of Modders," he wrote. "They can now make modifications to the game and its components without compromising the integrity of the Online game. Modding is a big part of our studio's legacy and we're excited to see what you guys create."

To get the game to function Offline, the team had to rewrite the entire system -- which was written in Java -- in C++. The team also "knocked out the Internet pipe stuff," meaning there is lots of code that hits the servers looking for information, and a lot of code was written to produce that information locally.

"Our game routes pieces of data from one city to another as data flows through the regions," said Simon Fox, lead engineer on the Single Player Mode for SimCity. "All of that code exists on the server, and now we've brought all of that down into the client. The client processes the region box, which is what all of the cities pushes their data into. We've brought that down into the client as well."

According to an FAQ, gamers still need an Origin account to download and launch SimCity. Once Update 10 is installed, players can put Origin into Offline Mode when playing Single-Player Mode. To put Origin in Offline mode, log in to the Origin client and select: Origin>Go Offline. If the gamer doesn't have an Internet connection, he/she can put Origin in the Offline Mode and play SimCity Offline in the Single-Player Mode.

"Single-Player Mode allows for a multi-city Single-Player experience without requiring an Internet connection," reads the FAQ. "All region maps are available in Single-Player Mode. Since Single-Player Mode does not require a persistent Internet connection, Leaderboards, Citylog, Achievements, Friends List, Player Profile, the Region Wall, and region invites are not available in Single-Player Mode. The Global Market will be available in Single-Player Mode, but prices will be fixed."

Here are a few more tidbits from the developer:

Q: How do I download the Single-Player Mode for SimCity?
A: The Single-Player Mode will be included as part of Update 10 at no additional cost. This will be available to all current and future players on PC and Mac starting March 18, 2014.

Q: Will I still require an Internet connection to play?
A: An Internet connection is required to download Update 10 when it becomes available on March 18, 2014. You will not require an active Internet connection to play SimCity Offline in the Single-Player Mode.

Q: Will my previous Downloadable Content (DLC) be playable in the Single-Player Mode?
A: Yes. All of your previous DLC is available for use in both the Single-Player Mode and Multiplayer Mode.

Q: Where are Single-Player regions saved?
A:
Single-Player regions are saved locally, not on the server.
You can find your regions on PC here: \Documents\SimCity\Games\~ID NUMBER~\
You can find your regions on Mac here: Go->Documents->SimCity -> Games -> ~ID NUMBER~

Q: If I uninstall or change machines, can I transfer my Single-Player Mode regions to the new install or Machine?
A:
If you uninstall SimCity, your saved games will still be available. However, if you change machines, you will need to manually move your game files to the games file location on your new machine.

Q: Can I move my Single-Player Mode saved game from my PC to Mac and vice versa?
A:
Yes, you can transfer your Single-Player Mode saved games between PC and Mac.

Q: How many regions can I have?
A:
There is no limit to the number of saved regions a player can have in Single-Player Mode. The file size of your regions will vary depending on density and population of your cities.

Q: How do saves work in Single-Player Mode?
A:
Autosave is on by default and saves your region every ten minutes. Your region is also automatically saved if you quit your region or switch to another city in the region. To disable Autosave, go to the Options menu > Settings > Gameplay tab and uncheck "Enable Autosave in Single-Player Mode." Disabling Autosave will allow you to save at points you want to save at. If Autosave is disabled, you will be asked if you would like to save your region when you quit or switch to another city in the region.

You can manually save your region at any time by pressing "Save Game" from the options menu.

Q: How do I rollback my regions? How do I make a copy of my region?
A:
If Autosave is disabled, you can save your region at a certain point and then experiment with your region. If you wish to go back to a previous save point, you can choose not to save your region when exiting the game. If you load that region from the main menu or resume page, it will load from the last saved point.

If you would like to make a copy of your region, press "Save As..." from the options menu. You will be prompted to name the copy of your region. This gives you the control to come up with a naming convention that works for you for your copied version. Once you submit that name, you will load the copy of the region. The original region will remain at the last saved point. You can access the original or the copy from the Main Menu in the Play tab.

Q: What cheats are available in Single-Player Mode?
A:
Existing live cheats are available in Sandbox regions while playing Single-Player Mode. The following cheats are available in Single-Player Mode in non-Sandbox games.
Add §10,000 to City budget. Windows: CTRL + ALT + S OS X: CTRL + ALT + S
Add §5,000 per hour to City budget. Windows: CTRL + ALT + S OS X: CTRL + ALT + S
Add §10,000 to City budget. Windows: CTRL + ALT + S OS X: CTRL + ALT + S
Disasters are unlocked in Single-Player Mode.

Discuss
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  • 3 Hide
    helios2052 , March 18, 2014 8:21 PM
    I'm glad to see they are at least taking notice of some of the game's major design flaws and attempting to fix them (not like they have much of a choice). One small step in the correct direction...
  • 1 Hide
    gamerxavier , March 18, 2014 8:31 PM
    Something tells me they did a half-assed job with that re-write just to get it out and let modders deal with the bugs. Well, I severely hope it doesn't have the performances issues of TS3. We've dealt with enough of that crap.
  • 0 Hide
    Alec Mowat , March 18, 2014 9:21 PM
    Wow, that's impressive... A single player game with offline mode.What a waste of a franchise. Just wake me when Sim City 2 comes out.
  • 0 Hide
    de5_Roy , March 18, 2014 11:52 PM
    WOW!!! THANK YOU SOO MUCH ELECTRONIC ARTS FOR SUCH AN AMAZINGLY INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO OFFLINE GAMEPLAY



    not.
  • 4 Hide
    falchard , March 19, 2014 12:18 AM
    lol they seriously wrote a PC game in Java instead of C++. I wonder if EA is hiring. I guess it would be OK if it was a genre that did not heavily rely on CPU speed and efficiency. Ohh wait, this is a sim game that traditionally relies the most on CPU speed and efficiency than other genres
  • 1 Hide
    aule 10 , March 19, 2014 2:14 AM
    Until They remove city boarders then i will not go back to play the game.
  • 3 Hide
    Horhe , March 19, 2014 3:15 AM
    Quote:
    lol they seriously wrote a PC game in Java instead of C++.
    That was my first thought too when I read that. I wonder if The Sims 3 is written in Java too. That would explain the poor performance.
  • 1 Hide
    ddpruitt , March 19, 2014 4:54 AM
    Quote:
    lol they seriously wrote a PC game in Java instead of C++.
    Just goes to show you what getting those "game design" degrees really gets you. No wonder it ran like crap. I wonder how many other games are built on something like java just so people don't have to learn a real programming language.
  • 0 Hide
    icepick314 , March 19, 2014 6:31 AM
    Quote:
    Wow, that's impressive... A single player game with offline mode.What a waste of a franchise. Just wake me when Sim City 2 comes out.
    Why? So you can go through the same shit from EA/Maxis with SimCity 2013?
  • 0 Hide
    Alec Mowat , March 19, 2014 6:41 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Wow, that's impressive... A single player game with offline mode.What a waste of a franchise. Just wake me when Sim City 2 comes out.
    Why? So you can go through the same shit from EA/Maxis with SimCity 2013?


    Never said I was going to preorder it. I didn't go through anything, I never bought the game. It's pretty obvious when a game is going to be bad these days.
  • 2 Hide
    everlast66 , March 19, 2014 6:43 AM
    I thought we already buried that game. Is it comming back as a zombie?!?
  • 5 Hide
    CaedenV , March 19, 2014 6:52 AM
    a multiplayer based game forced into having a single player mode is not what we wanted. We wanted a single player game that was made as a single player game. It did not need to be difficult, all we wanted was sim city 4 with updated graphics and taking advantage of newer hardware. All we wanted was a nice, simple, fun, minimal-effort game and it would have sold like hot-cakes.

    If EA wanted to add a multi-player component on top of that, then great, it would be a great bonus-added feature, but that is not what sim city players were asking for.

    ... If EA wanted a multi-player only sim game then they could have released it as a FB flash game... oh, thats right, they did that and it sucks too. Perhaps some executive at EA could have taken note of that before porting it to a PC game.
  • 0 Hide
    daekar , March 19, 2014 10:03 AM
    Too many companies believe the bullcrap they spout about moving things to the cloud and multiplayer everything. The only reason I have ever bought a multiplayer game is if a single player version in that genre is unavailable, and even then I usually play them like they are single-player. EVE Online is the only real exception.
  • 0 Hide
    okmnji , March 19, 2014 10:16 AM
    http://www.tomsguide.com/us/sony-project-morpheus-virtual-reality-gdc,news-18495.html
  • 0 Hide
    Shankovich , March 19, 2014 10:23 AM
    Java?? Did they hire highschool students to do the code? Come on guys...
  • 0 Hide
    Cy-Kill , March 19, 2014 10:55 AM
    Now only if we could convince BioWare to make Diablo III offline, like EA did for SimCity!
  • 0 Hide
    DrBackwater , March 19, 2014 11:25 AM
    And captain long bears said:Shiver me timbers do i smell gold, no no it's loot; come on boys let she be at it once more.Scurvy pirate:Ye capt we got he bounty and they never known.Captain:To pirate bay eye say, full steam ahead boys.
  • -1 Hide
    DrBackwater , March 19, 2014 11:31 AM
    And captain long bears said:Shiver me timbers do i smell gold, no no it's loot; come on boys let she be at it once more.Scurvy pirate:Ye capt we got he bounty and they never known.Captain:To pirate bay eye say, full steam ahead boys.
  • 0 Hide
    doomtomb , March 19, 2014 12:29 PM
    Online only mode was there for anti-piracy reasons, no other reason. But the game is shit anyways.
  • 0 Hide
    gm0n3y , March 19, 2014 1:02 PM
    As a developer that went to school a few blocks from EA's main headquarters, I spent the majority of my schooling using Java, with individual courses for other languages (C, C++, etc). It seems like most schools teach a lot of Java. But having been in the industry for 10+ years now, it isn't used nearly as much as a handful of other languages. I'm very surprised that it would be used for coding a modern game that requires reasonable performance. Java is dead slow. If you want to use an easier language, C# is far better than Java, though still not at fast as C++.
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