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The truth about Simcity population. The real math figured out. Figuring out your...  XML
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Joined: 03/04/2013 13:06:33
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So, i was actually kind of ticked off about this. essentially, the biggest "city" you will ever see in Simcity is around ~100k REAL population.

I am less angry because I still think it is a fun game. But to hide behind marketing and trying to make people feel better about themselves they added some pretty dumb logic for falsely inflating your population number in the main game display.

A user on reddit posted this code. And since I love to code and know exactly what this is doing, I broke it down so you can figure out how big your real population is. (IE Real sims being simulated)

I posted this ins a few other posts, but figured it deserved it's own thread.

Code!



So, lets break this up a bit. It looks like it starts doing funny stuff right at about 500 population?

So, Once the population hits 500 sims, it does whatever A-500, which is our "X"

The it takes X to the power of 1.2. Then it adds the 500 back in and returns a for rounding.

So lets Try this out with a number. Easy math here. Say my population is 600.

math.pow(600-500, 1.2) = 251.188643151

251.188643151+500 is 751.188643151

Than it does math.floor(a) which just returns the largest integer, so 751.

This stays true up to 40845

At 40845 it takes your original population, * 8.25

Then it does a rounding function which either leaves the end digit as a 5, or 0.

So, taking this into account, the biggest city I have ever personally seen is ~1million, but in reality, using the math backwards, a city of 1 million is in reality only a "city" of ~121,000.

Now, technically this isnt "lying" since genrally speaking anything over 50k is considered a city (In the USA according to census data anyway) But its not a really big city.

For example, the capital of Iowa(USA state) is ~200k population. But in comparison, there are only about 151 cities in the USA that have populations over 150k.




Joined: 01/26/2013 04:24:57
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The guy posted that on my topic on Reddit. I am really sad the players had been misled by carefully presented words that in the end didn't mean what (almost) everybody thought this game was going to be.

One of the devs just posted this on twtitter and it illustrates well how people got ideas that secretly didn't correspond to reality:

Someone: @ChrisSenge1 @simcity @MaxisGuillaume That one post on the forums about the "agents" is pretty damning. Sims don't return to the same place.

Guillaume Pierre ?@MaxisGuillaume
@storybook77 We never said that they'd be coming back to the same house, quite the opposite actually




Joined: 03/06/2013 22:19:04
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So the devs are getting confrontational now...

You have to work with the simulation.

Kind of like woodwork.




Joined: 03/08/2013 09:12:06
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I would be fine with them using the real population figures, I don't care if I have a city of millions the simulation engine is great even it can't be scaled higher. My only issue is that we can't fix our low worker/shopper numbers because of this little math trick.



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TacticalTyrone wrote:I would be fine with them using the real population figures, I don't care if I have a city of millions the simulation engine is great even it can't be scaled higher. My only issue is that we can't fix our low worker/shopper numbers because of this little math trick.


You can fix it, you just have to completely ignore the population number in the main game UI.





Joined: 01/25/2013 13:40:55
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Let's look at this code bit:

Oddzball wrote:


I have 2 comments:

1. This appears to be Javascript. Research I have done indicates SimCity's UI may be written entirely in JavaScript rendered via an embedded Webkit engine. But I find it hard to believe Maxis would write its simulation code in JavaScript.

2. If this code is in fact legit, then my guess is that SimCity's UI is doing it's own thing to fudge up population numbers being represented to the players, independent of whatever the current simulation state is.




Joined: 07/21/2012 23:04:28
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Yeah, all this number represents is the population number you see on the main UI in the game. Under the hood, everything still functions as far as workers/shoppers/students/jobs, etc. Its funny how this is such a big deal to everybody when so many people don't actually understand what they're looking at.




Joined: 03/07/2013 11:15:53
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Please add to this, that Des Moines (the Capital of Iowa) has an area of 214 square kms, while a "city" in SimCity has 4 square kms (Though to be honest it feels smaller to me from the pics, but that's what they say). Who cares about population? Des Moines is 53.5 times the size of your SimCity tile. Cramming 200k people into 4 square miles does not make it a city. It could be SimDistrict of SimFractionOfaDowntown or something, because it's rather like managing a very small part of Manhattan (at 100k population you have the same population density as Manhattan), except that small part has all of Manhattan around it, which is also not surrounded by empty areas to say the least.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 03/13/2013 10:25:37





Joined: 01/26/2013 04:24:57
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centoz wrote:Let's look at this code bit:

Oddzball wrote:


I have 2 comments:


1. This appears to be Javascript. Research I have done indicates SimCity's UI may be written entirely in JavaScript rendered via an embedded Webkit engine. But I find it hard to believe Maxis would write its simulation code in JavaScript.

2. If this code is in fact legit, then my guess is that SimCity's UI is doing it's own thing to fudge up population numbers being represented to the players, independent of whatever the current simulation state is.


@jonathanmabe the whole UI is done in javascript running a custom version of webkit.

taken From https://twitter.com/MaxisScott



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Joined: 03/04/2013 13:06:33
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centoz wrote:Let's look at this code bit:

Oddzball wrote:


I have 2 comments:

1. This appears to be Javascript. Research I have done indicates SimCity's UI may be written entirely in JavaScript rendered via an embedded Webkit engine. But I find it hard to believe Maxis would write its simulation code in JavaScript.

2. If this code is in fact legit, then my guess is that SimCity's UI is doing it's own thing to fudge up population numbers being represented to the players, independent of whatever the current simulation state is.


I have found it to be completely accurate based on the manual testing we have done. So I am inclined to believe it is legit code they posted on reddit.


Here is a rough breakdown. I didnt do the rounding function at the end, but its close enough.

Fake Population // Real Population(Agents)

751 // 600
2,233 //1,000
............
6,976 // 2,000

(Jumped quicker here, i could list every probably population between though)

24,702 // 5,000
59,829 // 10,000
141,118 // 20,000
231,593 // 30,000

(Lets get to higher numbers)

577,500 // 70,000
742,500 // 90,000
1,237,500 // 150,000


honestly I doubt folks can get much higher than that.

Again I didnt round off the end numbers like you are suppose to, just chopped it off at the decimal, but its accurate except for the last digit.




Joined: 10/02/2008 16:00:29
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The only rationality I can grasp to this, is that they want to make it APPEAR that buildings like High Density skyrises are holding thousands of sims, when they actually only house a few hundred works and students.

A massive city of skyscrapers with a population of 50k people doesn't look accurate, so they embellish the number.

It is kinda game breaking though, because you have to actively ignore the population number, which is just flat out dumb.



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Joined: 03/04/2013 13:06:33
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Zenn3k wrote:The only rationality I can grasp to this, is that they want to make it APPEAR that buildings like High Density skyrises are holding thousands of sims, when they actually only house a few hundred works and students.

A massive city of skyscrapers with a population of 50k people doesn't look accurate, so they embellish the number.

It is kinda game breaking though, because you have to actively ignore the population number, which is just flat out dumb.


Well yeah, the highest density Sky scraper only holds I think 600 "Agents" or real sims. Check your population overlay.




Joined: 03/08/2013 16:31:52
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I don't really care (or expect) that every Sim in the population is accurately represented.

My issue is that it appears as if most of SimCity's "game balance" is handled by fudging number like this ...

A quality resource management game weighs the resource cost/production/usage so that game components are balanced.

SimCity does not seem to be naturally balanced.

Instead, the game seems to start fudging numbers after a certain amount of time or after an upgrade occurs.

As an example, I suspect that the Casinos and Tourist Traps (which make great money for a while) hit a threshold where fudged calculations start to limit those resources.

i.e. Instead of balancing the cost/profit of Casinos and Tourist Traps over the entire game, they have opted for the changing the math based on whatever thresholds are reached ...




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Joined: 03/04/2013 13:06:33
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Geminii420 wrote:
I don't really care (or expect) that every Sim in the population is accurately represented.

My issue is that it appears as if most of SimCity's "game balance" is handled by fudging number like this ...

A quality resource management game weighs the resource cost/production/usage so that game components are balanced.

SimCity does not seem to be naturally balanced.

Instead, the game seems to start fudging numbers after a certain amount of time or after an upgrade occurs.

As an example, I suspect that the Casinos and Tourist Traps (which make great money for a while) hit a threshold where fudged calculations start to limit those resources.

i.e. Instead of balancing the cost/profit of Casinos and Tourist Traps over the entire game, they have opted for the changing the math based on whatever thresholds are reached ...



You really should care. Because it is misleading IMO.

The "fake" population is just a fluff number. Thats really confusing to some people.

For example. If a sim dies. You dont just lose a "fake" sim, you lose a real agent, and he doesnt get replaced for a while.

I think using fake numbers purely for marketing reasons(Because folks were complaining that you couldnt make big cities in this game, which is TRUE technically) is poor design.




Joined: 03/07/2013 12:28:14
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Oddzball wrote:For example, the capital of Iowa(USA state) is ~200k population. But in comparison, there are only about 151 cities in the USA that have populations over 150k.


Yes, only more than half the cities in the US are over 150k pop.

More than 25% are over 300k, more than 10% are over 500k.

Only 151... lulz
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