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proof that the game is misleading regarding population count, among other things...  XML
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Joined: 01/26/2013 04:24:57
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As a user named “anickle” brought up an experiment he made so he could understand why only a minor percentage (10-15%) of the sim population is considered workforce, I have decided to run the same experiment myself and stubled upon major flaws in the core game, flaws that are until now probably unknown for almost every player, if not all of them. This is new, and this is very concerning.

The credit of the idea goes to anickle, who performed his own version of the experiment, which can be found here:
http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/posts/list/9359265.page

My experiment:

I started sandbox mode and built water, electricity and garbage facilities, police and fire stations and a clinic.
I built one single house, low density and low wealth, and stood obeserving them. The whole experiment is made entirely with this type of house.

One single house, as already explained by anickle, has a pop. of 6: 4 workers, 2 shoppers and actually 2 kids that are never included in the population count. So it is safe to assume that from now on, provided sims don’t die, my workers count and my shoppers count will always be: “no. of houses x 4” (workers) or “no. of houses x 2” (shoppers).

I kept building more houses and recording the increase in the numbers of workers and shoppers. As expected, all the numbers were perfectly fine. For a while. User marcoyim believed the pop. count started to go wrong at 500, so I tested for that, and he is absolutely right.

This is the count of the population and the number of workers and shoppers so far:

1 house = 6 pop, 2w + 4s
12 houses = 72 pop, 48w + 24s
53 houses = 318 pop, 212w + 106s
83 houses = 498 pop, 332w + 166s

And here it goes the odd part: as the next house was finished, the population count increased by 7, not by 6. As the next house was finished, the population count increased by 10, and at the next time it increased by 12.
BUT THE HOUSES CONTINUED WITH 6 PEOPLE (4W+2S).

So indeed, the game adds a phantom population in the count that doesn’t really exist, and I guess I figured out the general way in which it does that. I will put the numbers as they are easier to understand by themselves.

House 1, which would achive 500 or more in the pop count: 7 sims (6 real)
House 2: 10
House 3: 12
House 4: 13
(...)

I kept counting this for 41 houses, always subtracting the former pop count on the new one to find how many sims the game added in the pop count, while the houses always actually had 6 sims. The real progression I found was this:

7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 14, 15, 15, 15, 16, 17, 18, 17, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 19, 18, 19, 19, 19, 20, 19, 20, 20, 21, 20, 20, 21, 21, 20, 21, 21, 21, 22, 21, 21, 22, 22, 22.

The final house count was at 121 and the population was at 1.294, but I had 507 workers and 254 shoppers. If you do the math, I should have a little less (and 1 worker died too). It was not at the “pop x 4” and “pop x 2” ratio I told you before because 24 workers and 12 shoppers were added to the real population trough this process of adding phantom people. So as you see, they increase both real and ghost sims in our cities.

I stopped counting there as I though I already had the general idea, and I am sure you get it too: The game adds an increasing number of sims per house to the population count, in an organized way, without ever adding these sims in your actual city.

This is alarming, at least. It means that the game is not what is advertised (intentionally or not), it means glassbox does not process every sim individually. One can argue that each sim is technically tracked individually when it exist in the map, but that is not so true as I will continue below.

Besides the experiment above, playing with the concepts of the game brought me insights of how the engine works and how it is flawed at every level. Here are miscellaneous things I captured while doing the whole thing:

1. If you demolish a bulding that provides jobs, for ex. a power plant, while a worker is working, this worker is deleted along with the building. I managed to intentionally have a city with no workers by doing this. Note that I did it when I only had 2 houses, so I don’t know if that will ALWAYS happen.

2. After I closed the police, fire station and clinic, 1 worker at the police and 1 at the clinic took AGES to go out. It means that if you demolish it after closing, chances are you will lose many workers there.

3. The game does not know how to behave when sims die: If one sim die both the pop count and the workforce also goes down by 1 (so far so good), but the house where he lived keeps showing 6 citizens. Worse, if those sims leave your city the count will go down further 6 points instead of 5, meaning that you actually lose 7 sims, not 6.

4. Even if you only have 1 single house in the map, the house will show 3 kids running around it and 3 different sims appeared for me going in and out while 2 workers were at work. That means I saw 6 people + 3 kids (9 total), and these people, although (usually) maintaining their names, used different “sprites”/models each time, with no consistency at all. There was no connection with the names and “surname” of the house. The only rule was that sims that leave the house for working always had the same surname as the house. That means the sims are not “real” agents, they are randomly generated each time, with different names and models every time, provided they are not going to work.

5. Numbers I gathered for you guys while playing:
Commercial: 5/10L, 2/4M, 0H (I found two different values for C, I guess different buildings have different job slots. There may be more)

Industrial: 20L, 6M, 0H (Again, there may be others)
Wind Power Plant jobs: 20L, 6M, 0H
Sewage facility: 0L, 0M, 0H
Garbage dump: 20L, 6M, 0H
Police: 10L, 4M, 0H
Fire Dept: 20L, 6M, 0H
Clinic: 12L, 8M, 4H

So, how are you feeling about our great simulation game?

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 03/13/2013 03:38:37





Joined: 03/10/2013 21:59:44
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How am I feeling?

Pretty terrible, thanks for asking.

I wonder if Sims who commute, if destroyed by the mayor of another city are thrown into the void of nothingness like they are if they work locally.

I also wonder which server you did this on, if it was the "test" server this is even more disheartening.




Joined: 03/06/2013 22:19:04
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Good post

You have to work with the simulation.

Kind of like woodwork.



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Joined: 03/11/2013 20:52:45
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Location: California
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I am a very analytical person and have posted for such things to be available as mouseover tooltips the Population of homes and the Requirements of industry and Commerical zones buildings as I have suspected that something was not right as well.


These observations, if correct, lend creedance to my views which are alarming already.

DEVS how are we supposed to manage a city properly, even micromanage it, when the game is so flawed in these basic things?

Once again A MOUSEOVER TOOLTIP that shows a residential property and how much population is present and what they do is mandatory for ME if you want me to manage a city efficiently.

A MOUSEOVER tool for commercial and industrail buildings showing their employee numbers and the min/max amt of employees that can be there etc.....



EDIT: I do suspect that each property has a base population amount possible and as the DENSITY increases so does the population lets say for example a density 1 residentail home has a max population of 20. When it first is created it gets a family of 6...as it fills the density meter starts to fill....when it hits the magic number it starts to become density 2 which has a minimum population of 30 and a max of 100 see the pattern?

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 03/12/2013 17:35:28





Joined: 01/26/2013 04:24:57
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[quote=Telemetry21]How am I feeling?

Pretty terrible, thanks for asking.

I wonder if Sims who commute, if destroyed by the mayor of another city are thrown into the void of nothingness like they are if they work locally.

I also wonder which server you did this on, if it was the "test" server this is even more disheartening.[/quote]

I feel pretty bad too, this is not what I thought I was buying.

I did the test in a private region on the server Europe East 1, locked from everybody else. This was the only city.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 03/12/2013 17:31:28





Joined: 07/21/2012 23:04:28
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LeLedg wrote:Good post

Yeah, this is very detailed. Very interesting. One thing I may have missed though, does this touch on the happiness/density increasing over time? If you go back to the first houses, do the numbers reflect the same values as the initial numbers, or have they increased over time to compensate for density?

Why can't everyone just leave SimCity alone?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUr_ORnBnRQ




Joined: 01/26/2013 04:24:57
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[quote=DarkSeraphim85][quote=LeLedg]Good post[/quote]
Yeah, this is very detailed. Very interesting. One thing I may have missed though, does this touch on the happiness/density increasing over time? If you go back to the first houses, do the numbers reflect the same values as the initial numbers, or have they increased over time to compensate for density?[/quote]

Are you asking if density affects happiness? Well, I tried not to mess with varying densities as it would make the calculations much harder. I can try it next time though.




Joined: 07/21/2012 23:04:28
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mono_NAJAS wrote:
DarkSeraphim85 wrote:
LeLedg wrote:Good post

Yeah, this is very detailed. Very interesting. One thing I may have missed though, does this touch on the happiness/density increasing over time? If you go back to the first houses, do the numbers reflect the same values as the initial numbers, or have they increased over time to compensate for density?


Are you asking if density affects happiness? Well, I tried not to mess with varying densities as it would make the calculations much harder. I can try it next time though.


No, I mean that density is affected by happiness. As residences (or shops/industry) becomes more happy, it's internal density increases. Once it caps out at its happiness for that density tier, then you can upgrade it. My question was if individual building densities could be different due to varying levels of happiness.

Why can't everyone just leave SimCity alone?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUr_ORnBnRQ



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Joined: 01/23/2013 09:08:11
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That explain why chart maps show different stats that the actual numbers (kids that are not going to school for example...)

I often see some kids in abandoned building as well

Anyway, that's a great post ! It explains a lot ! But that's really scary !!

Visit my YouTube channel : http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCrazyHeadGamer

Lots of SimCity let's play videos are coming !
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Joined: 01/26/2013 04:24:57
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[quote=PtitRun56]That explain why chart maps show different stats that the actual numbers (kids that are not going to school for example...)

I often see some kids in abandoned building as well

Anyway, that's a great post ! It explains a lot ! But that's really scary !![/quote]`

It means the game is, basically, a lie. I spent over 2 hours to do this so I could replicate the experiment and see for myself that I was given something other than what I bought. I can't believe they thought we would not find out, this is disrespectful.



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Joined: 01/23/2013 09:08:11
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Can you post that on reddit as well ? It will go sky high I'm sure.
I can do it for you if you don't have an account

Visit my YouTube channel : http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCrazyHeadGamer

Lots of SimCity let's play videos are coming !
[WWW]




Joined: 01/26/2013 04:24:57
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[quote=PtitRun56]Can you post that on reddit as well ? It will go sky high I'm sure.
I can do it for you if you don't have an account[/quote]

Yes, I have an account that I never used. I will try and post it, thanks for the advice!



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Joined: 01/23/2013 09:08:11
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mono_NAJAS wrote:
PtitRun56 wrote:Can you post that on reddit as well ? It will go sky high I'm sure.
I can do it for you if you don't have an account


Yes, I have an account that I never used. I will try and post it, thanks for the advice!


http://www.reddit.com/r/SimCity/new/

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 03/12/2013 17:51:31


Visit my YouTube channel : http://www.youtube.com/user/TheCrazyHeadGamer

Lots of SimCity let's play videos are coming !
[WWW]




Joined: 03/05/2013 14:59:13
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Love the analysis. I wonder how that plays out across different types of residential buildings. Leaves a lot of good questions...

- Is it only the number of residences that eventually leads to this "increase"? Or is it the increasing population that makes the increase? Would we see the population leapfrog like this - say - if everyone lived in a single high rise large enough to house them all?
- Is the increase limited to the number of identical residences added-on? Or would we see this odd increase when X amount of residences are built (regardless of whether the residences were single family homes or high rises?





Joined: 03/11/2013 19:31:06
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mono_NAJAS, you did a wonderful job! And thanks to anickle too!

Will EA answer to this topic? Probably not, as ever.

Will some EA troll (echo1bravo3 and her clones) show up with a weird theory and start trolling? Probably yes!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 03/12/2013 17:54:44

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