SimCity modders do what Maxis couldn't: expand its maximum city size | PCGamesN

SimCity modders do what Maxis couldn't: expand its maximum city size

SimCity: nuts to city limits.

Is SimCity finally fixed? The server fires that hobbled Maxis’ game at launch were put out and, many months later, we got our much-coveted SimCity offline mode. Now we might even see an end to that third great quibble with the rebooted city builder: its claustrophobic city limits.

Project Orion is a mod already published in beta which pushes back those boundaries - with a few, heavy compromises.

As Maxis have pointed out on more than one occasion, SimCity wasn’t built for large cities. That leads to some interesting problems once you start building them anyway.

Construction outside the boundaries can be tricky: road-laying, building placement and zoning are all impossible without also downloading a second mod that allows players to edit and lay regional road types. Even then, roads cannot be elevated.

What’s more, the mod throws the overlays for land value, pollution, water and the like slightly out of whack. The effects of that are wide-ranging: industrial pollution can appear adjacent to its source, for instance, and tree-planting has become a bit of a wonky process.

And it transpires Maxis had legitimate worries about the limits of SimCity’s engine: a full-grown city pushed beyond its boundaries is subject to a certain amount of lag.

After “months of testing”, Maxis Emeryville’s Patrick Buechner confirmed in October that cities would never be officially enlarged.

“The system performance challenges we encountered would mean that the vast majority of our players wouldn’t be able to load, much less play with bigger cities,” he wrote. 

“We’ve tried a number of different approaches to bring performance into an acceptable range, but we just couldn’t achieve it within the confines of the engine.”

Do you think you’ll trade performance for this expanded, semi-functioning SimCity?

Ta, Reddit.

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Hideous Mutant Freek avatarBelimawr avatarPurgatorialFlame avatar
PurgatorialFlame Avatar
3 Years ago

Played it at a friend's house and reach the borders in less than 2 hours and there was little else to do other than start over... yet I can easily play all night with Prison Architect and still have tons of fun on the same prison.

Hideous Mutant Freek Avatar
3 Years ago

I really should get back into that game. I played it back in like alpha 15 or something and keep seeing notifications of if being updated and haven't gone back to it because I sort of want to just wait for it to be finished and then start playing it.

Belimawr Avatar
3 Years ago

but they haven't done what maxis couldn't.

so far they have confirmed the maxis statement that the larger maps caused performance and technical difficulties, but I'm sure that would have been as catch a story as claiming that this mod is something other than a bug riddled mess plagued with performance issues and other quirks, just like maxis said was the reason they didn't implement larger maps.

now if down the road they fix the bugs and performance then they have done what maxis couldn't but as it stands they have done nothing other than confirm the statement maxis made, but as I said it's not as good publicity to say that when you can just ride the EA hate train to get clicks to increase your income.