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SimCity Mac Launch Facing More Problems

Soulskill posted 1 year,21 days | from the at-least-they're-consistent dept.

OS X 177

The launch of the new SimCity back in March made headlines for the problems caused by the game's always-online DRM. EA Maxis even decided that people who bought the game early deserved a free game for their trouble. They also decided to postpone the launch of the Mac version of the game. Well, the delay is over; SimCity has arrived for Macs, and players are now facing a whole new set of installation and launch problems. "Those issues include a 'mutexAlert' error, which can be resolved by switching the OS to English. Another simply doesn't allow a player to install the game once downloaded. The suggested solution for that is to re-install Origin and opt in to the new Beta version. The game also apparently doesn't currently support Mac OS X 10.7.4 nor the upcoming 10.9 beta release." There are also reports that the game won't function on high-resolution display settings.

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Glory! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716269)

As a gay man, I take positive representations where I can get them. Any time a same-gender relationship is portrayed in a positive but very real light benefits us all. The same can be said of Linux, which, much like being gay, will likely remain a minority OS in the a world that seems married to proprietary software, and never really "come out of the closet" and be truly ready for acceptance the desktop. But anytime we can get some good press, it helps us all. I'm a big fan of Ubuntu (even over Mac!) and I'm proud that Dell has taken a stand and acknowledged that some of us are different, and thats ok.

Same shit, different day (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716311)

Did anyone expect anything less from this series of disasters?

Re:Same shit, different day (5, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716499)

Well, there goes all the love and goodwill that EA has built up over lo' these many decades.

Re:Same shit, different day (5, Funny)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716745)

They have been building up an impressive amount of awards [consumerist.com] to match.

Re:Same shit, different day (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716893)

Deluxe Paint was the only good thing they ever published, and they didn't even make it.

They are the anti-Midas. Everything EA touches turns to shit.

Re:Same shit, different day (1, Insightful)

Mattcelt (454751) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717461)

They didn't make this originally, either. SimCity was a Maxis game until EA bought them.

Re:Same shit, different day (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716711)

STOP THE MADNESS!!!

Re:Same shit, different day (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716793)

why does it matter anyhow?

Re:Same shit, different day (2)

mwvdlee (775178) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716855)

I wonder how many of those problems are caused by DRM.

Re:Same shit, different day (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716903)

They should have turned off disasters, and stop using the FUNDS cheat code.

Re:Same shit, different day (4, Funny)

Gravis Zero (934156) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717063)

Did anyone expect anything less from this series of disasters?

i see what you mean but it's usually fire, tornados and godzilla coming through and wrecking the place.

Re:Same shit, different day (1)

Minwee (522556) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717889)

Did anyone expect anything less from this series of disasters?

i see what you mean but it's usually fire, tornados and godzilla coming through and wrecking the place.

This is something much bigger -- EA.

Re:Same shit, different day (4, Insightful)

anarcobra (1551067) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717267)

And EA still doesn't understand why they are chosen as the worst company year after year.

Re: Same shit, different day (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44717799)

Is this JUST shotty programming, or what?

OS version incompatabilities... language requirement... beta as a possible install 'fix' ...

Is EA really this shitty of a game programming company, or is this just a combination of DRM, and trying to expand to MAC?

Granted I haven't bought a PC game in ages, dl only or physical, but being that this isn't a new industry, nor a new game title/concept, this just screams to me that they were trying to do as little as possible to to get it out the door and make a buck.

Am I wrong here? I certainly hope so!

Re:Same shit, different day (1)

Seumas (6865) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717915)

Exactly. If you were dumb enough to still buy Sim City on MAC after you saw how awful the game was (inherently, within its design; having nothing to do with the platform it was launched on), then I do not feel any sympathy for you, whatsoever.

Re:Same shit, different day (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44717961)

Seriously, this is Electronic Arts we are talking about.
Their track record is less than sterling. Look at all the crap people had to go through just
to play Spore.

Treat the EA badge as a warning sticker (5, Insightful)

sandbagger (654585) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716325)

No, really.

Re:Treat the EA badge as a warning sticker (4, Funny)

jimmifett (2434568) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716475)

Ah yes, the warning sticker, made famous by LJN games during the NES era. If it said LJN, you knew it sucked.

Re:Treat the EA badge as a warning sticker (3, Interesting)

TWiTfan (2887093) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716553)

It used to be that way on Netflix-streaming when you saw a Starz logo at the beginning of the movie. It meant a non-HD, non-anamorphic, low-resolution, shitty-print movie. I dreaded seeing it. I was so glad when Starz left Netflix. A lot of other people saw it as a bad sign at the time, but to me it was "Good riddance, assholes--and don't let the door hit the ass of your awful quality videos on the way out!"

Re:Treat the EA badge as a warning sticker (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717313)

I know how you feel. Back then I would start a movie and if I saw that logo I would go back to browsing. No point in watching low SD resolution 4x3 pan and scans on my HD tv.

Re:Treat the EA badge as a warning sticker (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717223)

LJN: The Shit Rainbow. [youtube.com]

Re:Treat the EA badge as a warning sticker (1)

jimmifett (2434568) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717347)

A classic video if there ever was one

Re:Treat the EA badge as a warning sticker (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716921)

The takeaway I have is that after EA buys a studio, it has maybe a 50/50 shot of their next game release being good, and after that it's all over. I've seen this time and time again with Westwood, Bioware, Bullfrog, Pandemic, Playfish, and more. EA is in the business of buying up studios, and then choking them to death in order to make a quick buck, and it has made them the biggest video game publisher in the world. They have more in common with sharky wall street banks than your traditional game company.

Re:Treat the EA badge as a warning sticker (2)

Njovich (553857) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717561)

and it has made them the biggest video game publisher in the world.

It has made EA into Activision?

The continuing saga. . . (4, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716333)

of bad software.

Despite the vociferous pronouncements from many on here as to how high their salary's are as programmers and that you get what you pay for, it's amazing the amount of bad software, games or otherwise, the end user has to suffer with.

I speak from near daily experience when I say the quality of today's software is far below what one would expect considering the company's producing the software and the lofty salaries paid to the programmers.

It's similar to the financial industry where the mantra "best and brightest" is trotted out to excuse the salaries and bonuses of those who continually reek havoc in the financial markets and suffer no penalty.

If these are our best and brightest programmers shoveling out this software, can we try the worst and dullest to see if they can do better?

Re:The continuing saga. . . (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716461)

While I've met my fair share of awful programmers, the blame can't be placed solely on programmers. We don't know what kind of internal deadlines existed at EA, what sort of QA/testing procedures were in place, etc. For all we know, the programmers knew of these issues and simply had no time to take care of them. I'm not saying that is 100% the case, but it is unfair to simply assume straight away that these are just a group of talentless individuals.

Re:The continuing saga. . . (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716517)

How many of these problems are DRM based rather than game-programming based?

DRM mean Broken-by-Design

Re:The continuing saga. . . (2)

91degrees (207121) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716707)

An error that can be fixed by changing the OS language could conceivably be a DRM issue. the others are less likely.

Not working at a high resultion is extremely unlikely to be DRM related. This may be an issue that affects the PC version as well, though; Just that such high resolution displays are rare on the PC.

Re:The continuing saga. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716811)

such high resolution displays are rare on the PC.

Where is the proof of that assertion? It may be true for Mom and Pop PC User but not true with PC Gamers. It is actually quite common to see 27 and 30 inch monitors with resolutions higher than 1080p at LAN Parties. While this is a small subset of PC users it is a large subset of video game buyers who would complain about bugs....

Just a thought.

Re:The continuing saga. . . (1)

trum4n (982031) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716887)

And they likely patched the problem on PC. Apple drivers are harder to patch.

Re:The continuing saga. . . (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717329)

Why would you need to patch the drivers at all?
The drivers work fine as shown by everything else working fine.

Re:The continuing saga. . . (1)

segin (883667) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717005)

These "high resolution" displays exceed your usual 1920x1080, and an added "benefit" is that you're stuck at one single resolution; lower "resolutions" are "supported" by scaling.

Re:The continuing saga. . . (1)

v1 (525388) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717259)

you can't really get away from scaling on a fixed-dot display. gotta go back to a CRT for that

Re:The continuing saga. . . (2)

91degrees (207121) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717467)

Proof?

It's not an assertion. It's an explanation that fits the data based on reasonable assumptions.

It is a fact that several Mac models come with displays higher than 1080p as standard. It's also conceivable that, since they share most of the same codebase, the issues affecting the Mac also affected the PC. It is at least possible that nobody has tried running it at this resolution, and felt the need to complain about the failure.

It's also possible that this does actually work fine on high resolution PC displays, in which case my explanation is incorrect. It's also possible that there is another more likely explanation. This is just an application of Occam's razor. It's what seems the most likely explanation to me. Have a better explanation, or evidence that my explanation is wrong? Great! Let's have it.

Re:The continuing saga. . . (3, Informative)

tlhIngan (30335) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717405)

An error that can be fixed by changing the OS language could conceivably be a DRM issue. the others are less likely.

  Not working at a high resultion is extremely unlikely to be DRM related. This may be an issue that affects the PC version as well, though; Just that such high resolution displays are rare on the PC.

OS localization has always been a VERY tough nut to crack, and no one does any adequate job.

Windows tries by using API calls to tell you where Program Files and Windows directories are (and it returns " (x86)" as necessary for 32-bit apps). But most devs don't use those APIs nor the environment variables and assume it's ALWAYS "C:\Program Files" (nevermind you may want to install on D: or use a localized version where that folder is translated).

OS X is likely similar - the EA programmers assumed something to be a fixed string that got localized in the end.

And heck, I'm sure Linux isn't invulnerable to it - since localized versions of many command line utilities exist to break your shell scripts... (though to be fair, you can set enough variables to force it to English for just the shell script, though how many people remember to do that?).

Though, not testing high-resolution displays is a sin for OS X - Apple does NOT ship a computer with a 1080p display, the "Retina" MacBook Pros sell extremely well, and the iMacs all have high res screens as well. The lowest res thing is the 11" MacBook Air with its 1366x768 screen.

The screen-less Macs (Mac Pro, Mac Mini) are some of the worst sellers in Apple's lineup, and are there purely to fill a niche.

None of it is really DRM related. Just practically "It compiles - ship it!" mentality.

Re:The continuing saga. . . (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717891)

OS X is likely similar - the EA programmers assumed something to be a fixed string that got localized in the end.

There is always the danger that someone without a clue translates something that shouldn't be translated. Like all your images are in the "images" directory and some twat translates it so the German version looks in the "Bilder" directory and doesn't find anything. That's just clueless.

But there's a different problem on MacOS X: When you localise an app, all the code assumes that either everything is translated, or nothing is translated. If nothing is translated, then the English version on a French system will work perfectly fine, showing everything in English. If 90% of things are translated, then the missing 10% don't come up in English, they don't come up at all. There are of course tools that check that all localisations contain the same things, but again if you are clueless and don't use these tools, you are going to lose.

Re:The continuing saga. . . (0)

gnasher719 (869701) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717833)

How many of these problems are DRM based rather than game-programming based?
DRM mean Broken-by-Design

DRM means Digital Rights Management. What you say is mindless repetition of slogans that you don't understand.

DRM for a game has two possible failure modes: 1. You can't play a game that you should be able to play. 2. You can play a game that you shouldn't be able to play.

Nobody complains about either of these.

Re:The continuing saga. . . (5, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716671)

Despite the vociferous pronouncements from many on here as to how high their salary's are as programmers and that you get what you pay for, it's amazing the amount of bad software, games or otherwise, the end user has to suffer with.

And you might be amazed at how much of that is the fault of management.

Between ridiculous timelines, cutting budgets for QA, management who change their minds fairly often, and salespeople who promise the world -- there's often quite a disconnect between what people are saying and what's happening.

Having spent a lot of years in and around software, I lay more blame on bad PMs, clueless management, and overly optimistic forecasts.

And the game industry is famous for the continual 'deathmarch' -- the constant scramble to finish it like the deadline is tomorrow, and when you finally get there you start all over again.

I'm more likely to believe the management at EA is lousy, and the developers can only do so much. Because that matches my direct experience in the industry.

Re:The continuing saga. . . (4, Funny)

tapspace (2368622) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716773)

The fault of management? How can that be. Software is easy right? I mean, I can use the Excel... kinda. How much harder is it than that.

If these are our best and brightest programmers shoveling out this software, can we try the worst and dullest to see if they can do better?

We need more attitudes like this in management if we want to truely succeed as an engineering discipline.

Re:The continuing saga. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44717185)

The fault of management? How can that be. Software is easy right? I mean, I can use the Excel... kinda. How much harder is it than that.

All current software ships with *known* bugs. Management decides when, not programmers.

More than project management... (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717425)

I tend to agree with you, and those are only the faults of the project management that is directly working on a given product.

But if you think past the job of the project manager, management also includes hiring the right people for the job. There will be honest mistakes of course, but if a large company like EA repeatedly releases crap, the problem is not just one or two bad developers that were hired by accident.

In this case, the hiring process seems to suck at some point. Either they are unable to find competent developers, or they tend to hire bad managers.

Re:More than project management... (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717543)

but if a large company like EA repeatedly releases crap, the problem is not just one or two bad developers that were hired by accident.

You're right. The problem is a systematically badly managed company.

Your developers don't set your priorities, your deadlines, your feature set, or your budget. They don't cancel your project in the middle, they don't suddenly decide there's a pressing need to implement a new set of features.

So, either management laid out a perfectly awesome plan and it was hindered by developers. Or management were idiots and incapable of shepherding good product out the door.

This is kind of like saying your bridge is 6 months late because of the welders, when they've been working double shifts for months while the CEO vacations and collects his huge performance bonus.

Sorry, but to me, it's the management of EA who gets to own this issue, not the developers. Because they're the only ones who can make any change in how they do things.

Anybody who has ever worked for a publicly traded company has listened to those quarterly "rah rah" calls and thought to themselves ... "do we actually work at the same company?" Because it's staggering how often the people at the top don't have the slightest clue about what is really happening, and the front-line workers just say "whatever", and get on with their day.

Re:The continuing saga. . . (2)

tapspace (2368622) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716757)

It's similar to the financial industry where the mantra "best and brightest" is trotted out to excuse the salaries and bonuses of those who continually reek havoc in the financial markets and suffer no penalty.

I resent the comparison. The traders have a rock star like, individualistic culture. Software I've worked on has very much been a team with the individuals less in competition and more coming together to share responsibility for making the best product possible. Making quality software that stands up the barrage of unexpected situations (and even more untested situations) is a very difficult task, especially when it has to have a reasonable price tag.

If these are our best and brightest programmers shoveling out this software, can we try the worst and dullest to see if they can do better?

Someone's got a career in management ahead of them. I encourage you to give it a shot!

Re:The continuing saga. . . (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717895)

Someone's got a career in management ahead of them. I encourage you to give it a shot!

I keep making the offer but no one has taken me up on it. Apparently me wanting to accomplish something isn't what people want. To quote Barney Stinson:

Actually doing things gets you fired.

So, I will make the offer again. Anyone who has a management position, contact me with the details. If I believe I can do the job, I will tell you so. If I can't do the job, I will tell you so. You give me complete and absolute dictatorial control of that position and I will guarantee results. If I don't perform, you can fire me AND I will give back all the salary you have paid me.

Any takers?

Re:The continuing saga. . . (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716807)

Despite the vociferous pronouncements from many on here as to how high their salary's are as programmers and that you get what you pay for, it's amazing the amount of bad software, games or otherwise, the end user has to suffer with.

Actually, this is bearing them out. EA tends to hire fresh out of uni grads as quick as they can. When one game's done, they fire all the developers on the team, and rehire only those who are willing to carry on working for very low wages, working 100 hour weeks. This is a running trend throughout the games industry where there's an enormous supply of fresh "talent" coming through all the time.

In short, EA pay low wages to crap, inexperienced coders, and they get what they pay for.

Thats it (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716341)

Keep sucking that EA dick like good whore consumers you are.

Re:Thats it (3, Insightful)

SeanBlader (1354199) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716387)

I picked up SimCity based on the reputation of Maxis and the series, but at this point I'll seriously reconsider any future games from EA or it's subsidiaries.

Re:Thats it (2)

dywolf (2673597) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716437)

just pick them up through either Steam or Bittorrent and the problems largely disappear. Its mostly when they're delivered and managed through the Origin "service" that the problem really creep up.

Re:Thats it (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716509)

I refuse to play Mass Effect 3 for this reason... Origin Required? Um no... I'll pirate it first (which I haven't resorted too yet)

Re:Thats it (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716857)

Origin worked just fine throughout SimCity's launch fiasco. Heck, the download speeds were often even faster than Steam's. It was SimCity's servers and online-only stupid design which completely blew up.

Re:Thats it (1)

dywolf (2673597) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717085)

your luck is better than mine then.

i have not yet had a single good experience with Origin.
always end up having to download the cracked game to play something i bought legally.
sometimes have to wonder why i bother buying it at all.

Apple should focus more on gamers (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716343)

Apple needs a business plan for encouraging more gamers and platform developers.

I haven't bought a game since Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716349)

And that's one of the nicer leashes out there. This whole being on a long leash thing just doesn't appeal to me. Call me old-fashioned, but when I pay a buying price, I expect to actually own the game.

Stream and DRM (3, Interesting)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716637)

And that's one of the nicer leashes out there. This whole being on a long leash thing just doesn't appeal to me. Call me old-fashioned, but when I pay a buying price, I expect to actually own the game.

There is no shortage of DRM games available (and open source ones). I am personally loving the daily promotions at https://indiegamestand.com/ [indiegamestand.com] which offer a daily deal of Direct Downloads cross platform goodness. Groupees also is a great site http://groupees.com/bm9 [groupees.com] the link is actually available to the latest deal.

The real worry is not steam. Its Appl stores like those on iOS and Surface RT...and the bleed from these into Desktop Computers, as both Microsoft and Apple force their stores pretence of security....making them mandatory is just a matter of time.

Re:I haven't bought a game since Steam (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716721)

Chances are you own none of the software you bought. You're just borrowing it; doesn't matter if it comes of a spinning magnetic tape or through the internet - you have very little claim to do as you please with the bits you "bought".

Re:I haven't bought a game since Steam (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44717265)

And yet you are most likely using Windows, which has similar DRM baked into the OS as Windows Genuine Advantage.

At last, platform equality. (5, Insightful)

Galaga88 (148206) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716379)

Maybe they're afraid that if they gave Mac users a non-broken version of SimCity, people would accuse them of playing favorites.

Really, this level of "quality" isn't much different from what the Windows users were delivered, so EA is just trying to be fair. "Look, we put just as much effort into our OS X products as Windows. Which just happens to be little to none. Now buy more DLC!"

Re:At last, platform equality. (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716733)

Seriously with Windows you might have had some excuses like a plethora of hardware differences. Heck you might even get away with differences in multiple versions of Windows. When it comes to a Mac hardware and software diversity can't be an excuse.

EA Fuckups (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716397)

Are EA intentionally trying to screw up everything they touch? Are they conducting a test to see just how resilient consumer/brand loyalty is? At the rate they're going, it won't be long before, as someone above suggest, the EA badge will be a warning telling consumers to stay the fuck away.

EA, pull your heads out of your asses before you tank your company and drag your popular brands down with you.

meta-game (5, Funny)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716409)

I think there's some sort of secret meta-game here. They planned it all along. The actual "winning the game" is getting it to run at all and "playing" is all the troubleshooting. It's actually more of a realtime strategy puzzle game than a simulation, that was just the cover. That or EA absolutely sucks.

Re:meta-game (3, Insightful)

jimmifett (2434568) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716515)

The only winning move is not to play ...er, buy.
Good old WOPR, shame you got stuck in a crappy sequel.

Re:meta-game (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716795)

*gasp* you solved it! You win their secret bonus prize of $50 credit in the Steam store*

*Must uninstall Origin as well.

Re:meta-game (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716537)

> The actual "winning the game" is getting it to run at all and "playing" is all the troubleshooting.

Actually, it seems like the only winning move is not to play.

Seriously, applications on the Mac usually have a pretty high standard. Every developer *and* their grandma seem to be able to build solid OSX applications easily. That just emphasizes how much SimCity is a total screwup.

Re:meta-game (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717419)

There is lots of crap OSX software. It just seems to be ill tolerated and quickly found out. Windows users are just way too accepting of poor quality. Probably because they are so used to it.

Re:meta-game (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716545)

The actual "winning the game" is getting it to run at all and "playing" is all the troubleshooting.

NoNoNo. While it might be a strange game, everyone knows that the only winning move is not to play.

Re:meta-game (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716547)

A strange game. The only winning move is not to play

Re:meta-game (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716829)

"The only way to defeat the evil of Sim City is to deny it battle" (paraphrased) - That one dude from that one episode of Stargate SG1 where Michael Shanks takes over the world

Re:meta-game (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44717011)

Shifu, the kid who was actually a genetic descendant from two Goa'uld hosts, taken away by the Ancients, and then coming back, giving Daniel the glimpse into a world with Apophysis' knowledge.

Harsesis is the name of the episode.

Re:meta-game (2)

Galaga88 (148206) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716919)

That gives me a brilliant idea for a way to salvage this game. They could include the code and call it SimDev.

Simulate the experience of being called in to finish a non-working software project that's gone over budget and missed half its requirements. Track down and locate SimBugs!

Intellisense, er, SimAdvisors will give you tips along the way! How close to zero can you get your fatal compile errors, er, rather, "SimComps"?

They could even include DLC as DLC. The "SimDLC" DLC will let you experience disabling features, and then attempt to rebrand them as value added features after launch!

Re:meta-game (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717037)

If a gruff-talking general and a scruffy-looking scientist show up at your door, you might want to ask some hard questions before agreeing to anything.

Hey Maxis, outsource much? (5, Insightful)

Narcocide (102829) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716455)

I've got an idea! Maybe if you can get some 3rd world country to train children to code your games 20 hours a day in exchange for only housing and basic sustenance then the development costs will be low enough that you can still afford cover up the huge faceplant that every game's release has become...

Re:Hey Maxis, outsource much? (1)

ehiris (214677) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717193)

You forgot transportation! They have a bus getting them to their housing! And it runs on schedule!

Surprising no one. (1)

SwedishLesbian (1978854) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716485)

At least they're trying to keep the PC and Mac experiences as similar as possible. Also, EA - learn to actually release games. Can you at least pretend to have some respect for your customers?

Linux Port may have no problems (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716495)

someone that i know that works at EA (actually she work at Maxis) told me that an Experimental Linux port of the game may have 0 Problems if released, but apparently (according to his boss) they wont release it because they have not yet implemented a "good" DRM scheme for Linux.

Re:Linux Port may have no problems (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716531)

Except that you are a retard. And except that the DRM relies on a constant connection to EA's servers. Which I am not sure how that would make the Linux version's DRM less secure. Except that you are, of course, a retard.

God DAMN this place has gone downhill.

Re:Linux Port may have no problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716633)

An anonymous coward (yeah, yeah, I know, pot-kettle) 'knows a guy' on the inside with information that EA spent an unknown number of man-hours on a Linux port of a game, but 'his boss' says that it won't be released because 'they' (who is 'they'? EA? Linux kernel maintainers? Hulk Hogan?) haven't implemented 'good DRM'?

Sounds legit!

Re:Linux Port may have no problems (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716729)

I know a guy who works at Valve. He told me that Half-Life 3 launches next week...

nah, I'm kidding. I do know a guy at Valve (we used to run the OCReMix TF2 servers together), but he tells me nothing about any Valve product ever. Which I assume is how most employees would do it.

Re:Linux Port may have no problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44717123)

I know a man that works for God and he says that God can get all his games to work on Linux but the DRM sucks.

Re:Linux Port may have no problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44717163)

You run a midi website, you are a colossal fag.

Re:Linux Port may have no problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44717283)

I think you might be on to something. Could it be that the top decision maker at EA actually is Hulk Hogan? Would explain a lot.

Re:Linux Port may have no problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716739)

Considering EA released this broken piece of shit and presumably assumed it would work, what makes you think she has a better idea about how well an unreleased client works?

If you don't test anything, you find 0 bugs. That doesn't mean there aren't any.

What boggles my mind... (2)

ilsaloving (1534307) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716533)

What boggles my mind the most, is that there are so many stupid people who continue to willingly give EA money.

EA has no incentive to put out software that isn't crap, as long as people are happy to pay for garbage quality.

And of course, this sends a bad message to other companies as well. "EA is making money hand over fist. We can seriously improve our profits by tossing out our QA department, since users will throw money at us no matter what!"

Origin, the crapware of the 21st century (1)

Knightman (142928) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716569)

Origin, a crapware that tries to imitate more successful distribution platforms like Steam and fails miserable. Crashes unexpectedly for no apparent reason and kicks you out of your game whether you are online or not. The UI almost doesn't make sense, if you search for DLC it doesn't show everything they have in the catalog unless you click "Available DLC" from in-game.

Take that pos and port it badly to Mac so we can spread the pain to those users too. :P

I can understand the reasoning for Origin since EA really doesn't want anyone else to get a cut of the action for selling their games, but I have to wonder how much this has cost them in developing the platform and dealing with the public image of it being such a crappy software that most people wouldn't touch it with a eleven foot pole. Maybe it would have been cheaper to continue using Steam et al, in both money and good will.

And this latest iteration of SimCity has no appeal for me what so ever.

Anyway, I'm done rambling now. TGIF.

Re:Origin, the crapware of the 21st century (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717361)

I have a few games on Origin that I picked up for super cheap when they were on sale. I honestly haven't had any trouble with it. That said, I still prefer Steam--I trust Valve more.

Standard operating procedure. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716609)

This has long since been EA's standard operating procedure. What galls me is that so many people continue to put up with it. They do the bare minimum to get out a functioning game then spend what they should have spent on development on licenses and marketing.

There does appear to a downward trend. EA's games have gone from merely being unpolished crap to showing a total lack of testing. The fact that gamers continue to stick with a company like this just goes to show how unprincipled consumers are. Through the years I've seen far too many people claim that they were unhappy, knowing full well what they were getting into, but went ahead and bought the game anyway. Like buying a game in anger somehow sent a message. The ones spending their parents' money think even less about any of it as from their perspective money does grow on trees.

Of course if you have an issue with EA you shouldn't pirate their games either. The message pirating sends to a company like EA is that their games are desirable, but they merely haven't made their DRM strong enough. They know full well that most consumers are suckers who will fork over the cash if they have no other recourse. Making a statement means no purchases and no pirating. Unfortunately, far too many people evidently can't survive without their gaming fix. And when you're talking about the testosterone fueled gaming then the problem is even worse, as evidenced by the continued popularity of the Madden and Battlefield series.

Re:Standard operating procedure. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44717433)

As DRM will be broken regardless, copyright infringement should be encouraged. The more money wasted on DRM, the worse a value proposition having DRM will become. Be the change you want to see, copy those bits.

You're holding it wrong (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716639)

This is a Mac afterall.

Some (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716651)

Testing: A wonderful thing.

Flying Fleshlights for ALL! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716783)

simcity should grow penis trees and fleshlight flowers ...

twisting the knife (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716867)

On the Origin homepage, it says "SimCity Mac is here!" followed by "Great game guarantee." It's almost like they're being sarcastic at this point.

Although, for the record, installing SC2 and SC2 HotS on my roommate's Mac was a disaster that took several hours and it crashes and freezes regularly. Nothing really runs on a Mac because there are even less Apple game programmers than Cobol programmers. They're also not very good at what they do or they'd be using a real language on a real platform. Then there's the fact that Apple hates all 3rd party developers and provides them with almost no support whatsoever because they only want to sell their own software.

tabela (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44716895)

tabela [tabela.ws] olarak en uygun biziz. always need to be wary of imitations. Thanks Admin.

Another Gaming depression looming (4, Interesting)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | 1 year,21 days | (#44716937)

I think there is another gaming depression looming similar to the great Atari game depression of the early 80's.

The problem is that companies like EA are so profit hungry that almost everything they do in games today is to drive more profit. Always on ensures no piracy, DLC ensures a constant revenue stream after a game release, Freemium is almost one of the most blatant attempts at gaming cash grabs ever because they know that stupid people will drop hundreds of dollars into a "free" game just to be able to advance to level 2. Nintendo has destroyed everything that was successful about it. Microsoft is pushing forward with a product that is already unpopular and Sony is just Sony.

This is happening on the PC, Tablets, Phones and Consoles, no platform is immune to the greedy corporations.

And so you might say what about the Indies, they are going to save gaming! Not if they are trying to push Freemium products like they are doing.

Eventually consumers are going to get fed up and stop buying games. I have no interest in the next generation systems and have generally stopped playing games even on mobile devices. I mean when Angry Birds started wanting you to buy power up's and Might Eagles to help you through the games then its obvious there is no integrity left in this industry. When I need to invest $40 to upgrade a dinosaur in the last Freemium game I will ever play, something is VERY wrong with the gaming industry.

What needs to happen is an almost universal collapse of ALL game companies before we might see a new generation of companies that actually respect their customers and not just their customer's money.

Re:Another Gaming depression looming (1)

rahvin112 (446269) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717921)

EA and the big publishers are only destroying big publishers. There are a number of great Indie games out there and coming. This is the result of the big studios abandoning PC gaming for the console market (where the only games they publish for PC are console ports). Steam has made indie publishing viable and in the end it's probably we can only hope that it destroys EA and the other big publishers.

two words (1)

bdabautcb (1040566) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717947)

Humble Bundle!

The Film and TV Industry (4, Insightful)

jjohnson (62583) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717065)

The games industry continues to be a shitshow of project management incompetence. Unrealistic deadlines, budgets blown, line workers (i.e., devs in their twenties) death marched... it's like after three decades, they still haven't figured out how to actually make what they make.

What always surprises me is that a very similar model for producing creative content already exists and works really, really well, for the most part. Movies and TV shows deal with comparably large budgets, multiple different yet co-ordinated creative teams, and go through a similar lifecyle of design, execution, post-production, and release. You hear about film productions that go bad largely because it's uncommon for them to do so, and that's virtually always driven by a single figure with excessive influence (e.g., Michael Cimino on Heaven's Gate, Kevin Costner on Waterworld). For the most part, films and TV get made profitably, people get paid, and this is all with a bunch of union labour too. Roles and responsibilities are well-defined; financing models well worked out. They even know how to integrate IP franchises to everyone's benefit.

Why don't Hollywood producers move over to videogames and explain how it works?

Re:The Film and TV Industry (2)

SeattleGameboy (641456) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717175)

Seriously? Movies and TV shows get produced on budget on time??? You could have fooled me...

http://articles.latimes.com/1995-07-29/entertainment/ca-29112_1_films-waterworld-schedule [latimes.com]

Any artistic endeavor is going to have trouble with schedule and budget, because you are never quite sure where you are going to end up. You can make artistic compromises to bring in dates and lower budget, but the outcome is usually not worth the trouble.

Re:The Film and TV Industry (1)

realmolo (574068) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717389)

Movies aren't under NEARLY the time pressure that video games are.

A good movie is a good movie. It will ALWAYS be a good movie, and it they'll be able to sell it (on various media) for DECADES after it is released.

Video games are transient. You have about 18 months before your game is obsolete, and sales basically STOP. Hardly any games continue to sell after more than 2 years on the market.

All the problems with the game industry stem from this requirement to get shit done FAST. You can't take 2 years to make a game anymore. You can barely do 18 months.

Re:The Film and TV Industry (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717723)

> Hardly any games continue to sell after more than 2 years on the market.

That's why Diablo 2 + LOD sold for 10 years. It is called "polish" and good design + gameplay. (Plus free patches that helped drive end-game content.)

Almost everyone tends to forget Gabe's quote:
"You can ship a bad game on time and no one will remember it shipped on time.
You can ship a good game late and almost no one will remember it was late.
"

> You can't take 2 years to make a game anymore.
You can but the ROI is terrible. Even John Carmack regrets Rage taking 7 years to ship.
* http://www.develop-online.net/news/37969/id-regrets-Rages-seven-year-dev-cycle [develop-online.net]

The "industry" is too focused on Tech. The indies don't have tech to use as a crutch they are forced to innovate gameplay. i.e. Path of Exile happens to have both.

Haven't I played this game already? (1)

Minwee (522556) | 1 year,21 days | (#44717913)

Hmm. Another body, this time Mac Sim City, and no real clues as to who killed it.

The Fellowship representatives, Elizabeth and Abraham, arrived in town two days ago and headed out to Minoc this morning. Maybe they had something to do with it.

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