A modder has revealed a debug version of SimCity which works offline contradicting recent claims by developer Maxis’ general manager Lucy Bradshaw that the game wouldn’t be playable offline ”without a significant amount of engineering work by our team.”
The offline version of the game allows players to access the game for an indefinite period of time though it does not grant access to save or load features. However, users may alter highway routes; including those outside their city, and these changes remain.
On Reddit the modder reported that “[with] a little bit of package editing within SimCity and a little playing about in the code” he was able to make the game work without an internet connection.
“I also modded out the disconnect timer (can now play “offline” indefinitely – but no saves/syncs or region related stuff, not yet anyway… but the simulation can carry on with no connection indefinitely).
“Most developer debug features are disabled without having an actual developer’s build (they have terraforming tools etc. available in the full developer build!), but a few things do still work – including editing the main highways.
“Not only that – but you can edit the highways ANYWHERE – even outside of your city boundary… and even if you quit the game and log back in later, it’s all saved safely on the server.”
An alleged Maxis insider told Rock, Paper, Shotgun that the game’s servers aren’t necessary.
“The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing. They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they’re doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that.
“But for the game itself? No, they’re not doing anything. I have no idea why they’re claiming otherwise. It’s possible that Bradshaw misunderstood or was misinformed, but otherwise I’m clueless,” the insider claimed.
As a means of allaying fan anger over the troubled launch EA are offering a free game to anyone who registers the SimCity before March 18th.