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Why are SimCitys cities so small? Because EA didn't make it for multicore CPU's

Aquinus

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Assuming what? That their code does something?


Wait for them all to finish, kill them off. What's so damn complicated?


It's called a blocking function, this crap has been around since the '80s, get with the program.


I can't help it if Windows' threading libraries are sub-par.


Not if you do it right. Take a look at any video card: you figure out the position of the polys, then once that's done you render the textures, then when that's done you do post-processing. Each one of those relies on the one before it, but nobody gives a crap because nothing is done out of sequence.


Except that you have hundreds of computers and a few people. Those people don't have to wait on eachother to move on to the next computer, whereas a single person has to wait on himself to be done turing on a computer in order to turn on the next.

It's the same queue over and over again until the main thread gets out of the main loop.

Move cars, check for collisions between cars, make sure all the buildings have the dependencies they need, make buildings do what they do, assuming that there's an array of int32_t's (one index for each building) do the whole taxes gained/maintenence spent. Then you could have the main thread total that all up, and voila! that's most of everything!


Telling a few threads to do a sequence of functions is obviously just too difficult for you.
You're like talking to a stone wall. Ignorant yet all knowing. This is the same crap you sent in your last 3 long posts and you still don't learn and haven't told me anything new. I'm not going to argue if I can't find someone who truly knows what they're talking about and is willing to listen and learn. Not to mention that your statements slightly change every time you post them to mean something a bit different.

I've also yet to see anyone agree with your analysis of the problem...

I'm done arguing against your endless wall of BS.
 
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I didn't cite BF3, I think that was Ford or Pacman or somebody. But anyways...
My error. That statement was incorrect.

...
Because you can scale it up so easily and have yourself a nigh-future proof engine. If they wanted to make a SimCity 6 or 7 or 8, they could use the same engine they already have, and only really have to pay for the other things like art, and sound, and maybe some development costs for new features or some crap.

And it really doesn't cost that much more as long as you start with it in mind and you're already familiar with multithreaded development. The thing Aquinus doesn't get is that I'm not trying to staple it on to the engine they have already. It's too late, now the only choice to upgrade when people get more cores is to rewrite all of it. But I'm digressing again....

And I'm not saying that having a singlethreaded engine is bad, but in the wrong circumstances it can be terribly crippling - like say, SimCity. Let's all disregard the part where they force you to be social, the DRM, and the fact that it has to do with EA. The big problem with it being singlethreaded is that the cities are forced to be so damn small. Look at SimCity 4, that was a singlethreaded engine and everything was fucking huge, and large chunks of the game are the same: calculating crime rates and pollution, income/upkeep, making sure buildings have the proper utilities, watching trees grow, etc. It seems the only thing they've added on is better graphics and keeping track of individual cars and manufacturing parts and whatever falls under "agents", and it's one that would be seriously improved with multithreading, but (apparently) doing that has caused them to be forced to a small map. I mean, it seriously looks like they're trying to appeal to the farmville crowd.
I get the disdain for EA, but consider what you've just done there. You suggested EA release Sim City exactly like they release their sports titles. Each year you pay for a new game, but only get a few new features and art assets. Really?

It's that sort of thinking that has put EA atop money hill. People bitch about a lack of innovation, but that's seen as reasonable when you call something future proof.


I guess all of this funnels back to the start. Screw programming, content, and goals. The hatred here isn't for a "single" threaded engine, it's for EA business practices. Cutting through all the BS, that's what it really boils down to. If you want to hate so bad, fine. Don't fabricate a reason to dislike EA because of a developer's decision. Most of all, don't hate until you have a viable reason to hate (I don't see Sim City out yet, do you?).
 
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Brain damage. That hurts hard. ¿No threaded simulation engine? ¿WTF? LOL.

A simulation is a perfect job to use a threaded, concurrent approach. I'll continue with SimCity 4. A game from 10 years ago.
 

Aquinus

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Brain damage. That hurts hard. ¿No threaded simulation engine? ¿WTF? LOL.

A simulation is a perfect job to use a threaded, concurrent approach. I'll continue with SimCity 4. A game from 10 years ago.
Simcity 4 doesn't use a multi-threaded approch either and it runs perfectly well. Heck, I still play Simcity 4.
 
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Hey we need a DLC for that of detroit... crack dens and graveyards
 
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I went from an i7 920 quad core to an i7 970 hex core and saw zero performance improvement in BF3 even though the game scales nicely to six threads.

Outside of moving from a single thread to two, multithreading doesn't automatically equal better performance.

So what's the problem again?
 
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Simcity 4 doesn't use a multi-threaded approch either and it runs perfectly well. Heck, I still play Simcity 4.
And that's why I'll continue to use SimCity 4. The new SimCity is just new graphics.

I went from an i7 920 quad core to an i7 970 hex core and saw zero performance improvement in BF3 even though the game scales nicely to six threads.

Outside of moving from a single thread to two, multithreading doesn't automatically equal better performance.

So what's the problem again?
It depends on the data model. Having more threads doesn't add more performance if the different threads must wait on the same resources. But if you put independent resources then yes, it will work faster.
 

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BF3, like virtually all FPS and TPS games, is going to be limited by GPU moreso than CPU.


And that's why I'll continue to use SimCity 4. The new SimCity is just new graphics.
It is not. It's new from the ground up. SimCity throws the grid to the curb and instead of using models to predict things like traffic, SimCity actually does it. SimCity is also multiplayer on the regional level. Those are huge, major differences. The people that played the beta had little bad to say about it.


It depends on the data model. Having more threads doesn't add more performance if the different threads must wait on the same resources. But if you put independent resources then yes, it will work faster.
Only if there is more work to do. Most modern engines are simply waiting for the next game tick 50-75% of the time. The GPU is running at 75-100% though.
 
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It is not. It's new from the ground up. SimCity throws the grid to the curb and instead of using models to predict things like traffic, SimCity actually does it. SimCity is also multiplayer on the regional level. Those are huge, major differences. The people that played the beta had little bad to say about it.
But in the manner they've implemented the game they made it like it is just new graphics. Doing all the simulation of all flows (people,traffic,money,water,energy) without a threaded software is unoptimal. Simcity was badly optimized for computers of the time, with a quick growing memory pool with systems that had at most 1GB (2GB the most) of RAM.

They took out the grid, alright, but they cities now are smaller, and to be honest the grid wasn't bad. I've played games without grid (Tropico is an example) and it didn't add much more freedom, just looked better.


Only if there is more work to do. Most modern engines are simply waiting for the next game tick 50-75% of the time. The GPU is running at 75-100% though.
SimCity has more things to do, it's not an FPS, it has a load similar to an RTS, games that eat more CPU than other genres.
 

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But in the manner they've implemented the game they made it like it is just new graphics.
They already said it isn't. The change from simulations to "agents" is major. Virtually all articles that talk about the new engine were exstatic about it. Do some reading about the Glassbox engine.

Doing all the simulation of all flows (people,traffic,money,water,energy) without a threaded software is unoptimal.
In programming, "optimal" is rarely achieved.

Simcity was badly optimized for computers of the time, with a quick growing memory pool with systems that had at most 1GB (2GB the most) of RAM.
I beg to differ. It stressed computers it targeted. New computers don't have much trouble running large cities.

They took out the grid, alright, but they cities now are smaller, and to be honest the grid wasn't bad. I've played games without grid (Tropico is an example) and it didn't add much more freedom, just looked better.
Try to make a diagonal city on SimCity then try to do it on Tropico 3/4. You can do it in Tropico 3/4, you can't in SimCity without losing lots of space to infrastructure.

As for cities being smaller, that remains to be seen. Let's play finished game before passing judgement, shall we?

SimCity has more things to do, it's not an FPS, it has a load similar to an RTS, games that eat more CPU than other genres.
As I said previously, virtually all RTS, TBS, and simulator games will slow the gameclock if the main thread is overburdened. The game plays exactly the same, just slower.
 
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They already said it isn't. The change from simulations to "agents" is major. Virtually all articles that talk about the new engine were exstatic about it. Do some reading about the Glassbox engine.
I know how does Glassbox works, and because of how does it works the multithreaded approach has more sense than ever.

In programming, "optimal" is rarely achieved.
Good programmers are also scarce.


I beg to differ. It stressed computers it targeted. New computers don't have much trouble running large cities.
Yeah, it stressed the computers it targeted, but not in a good way, wasting resources.


Try to make a diagonal city on SimCity then try to do it on Tropico 3/4. You can do it in Tropico 3/4, you can't in SimCity without losing lots of space to infrastructure.
In Tropico 3/4 if you do a diagonal you loose a lot more space, and if you do curves, even more.

As for cities being smaller, that remains to be seen. Let's play finished game before passing judgement, shall we?
Then all this talking shouldn't have started, don't you think so?


As I said previously, virtually all RTS, TBS, and simulator games will slow the gameclock if the main thread is overburdened. The game plays exactly the same, just slower.
And who says that the main thread (the checking agents/transactions states) would be overburdened?

They didn't take into account city scalability and that's why cities are small now instead of huge maps like you could have on SimCity 4 albeit it had flaws in precission and realism due to the use of precalculated/hardcoded variables and some statistical-fu.
 

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I know how does Glassbox works, and because of how does it works the multithreaded approach has more sense than ever.
As explained many times in this thread, no, it doesn't.


In Tropico 3/4 if you do a diagonal you loose a lot more space, and if you do curves, even more.
Not. All buildings could be rotated to 8 angles. Larger ones like docks, oil refineries, and nuclear power plants can be rotated to at least 16 angles (might be 32, never paid attention).


Then all this talking shouldn't have started, don't you think so?
It shouldn't but...




And who says that the main thread (the checking agents/transactions states) would be overburdened?
I'm not. Just saying that the game doesn't break if it does--it reacts.

They didn't take into account city scalability and that's why cities are small now instead of huge maps like you could have on SimCity 4 albeit it had flaws in precission and realism due to the use of precalculated/hardcoded variables and some statistical-fu.
You're assuming the full game doesn't have larger plots like SimCity 3000 and 4. How do you know it doesn't?
 

Aquinus

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You know, SimCity 4 does everything in one thread and despite the frame rate dropping, it's still playable and stopping the sim will give you your framerate back, but if you're running a massive city at the fastest speed, of course it's going to slow down, but keep in mind most of the time you're not running the game at full speed, you're running it at either normal or paused while you make changes to the city. The time you need the frame rate, it is there. The times you don't, it is not. Whoop de do, big deal. Even now though, the new Simcity is going to have rendering on its own thread so even that won't be a problem. The only thing you would notice is how quickly days go by at the fastest sim speeds.
 
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I played the 1hour closed beta 2 thingy for the game (as I preordered it). I will admit, initially I was disappointed with the small size of the city. However, because the transition between city->region is pretty much not a transition (a bit like how Sims 3 works) I forgave it as many cities can be run at one time. I didn't run into any lag or anything like that - even building new buildings @ high speed while my city took up nearly all the land space with most of it being medium density with some high and low density building.

IMO it isn't a big drama and I'm sure the final product - when it comes out - will be excellent.
 
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I went from an i7 920 quad core to an i7 970 hex core and saw zero performance improvement in BF3 even though the game scales nicely to six threads.

Outside of moving from a single thread to two, multithreading doesn't automatically equal better performance.

So what's the problem again?
Unnecessary upgrade expenditure?
 
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As explained many times in this thread, no, it doesn't.
As simulation works in real world, yes it does.



Not. All buildings could be rotated to 8 angles. Larger ones like docks, oil refineries, and nuclear power plants can be rotated to at least 16 angles (might be 32, never paid attention).
And even then the space was lost because the terrain wasn't properly divided.



It shouldn't but...
:rolleyes:



I'm not. Just saying that the game doesn't break if it does--it reacts.
And because of reaction, having more threads in a simulation makes sense.

You're assuming the full game doesn't have larger plots like SimCity 3000 and 4. How do you know it doesn't?
I'm not assuming nothing, I just read how is SimCity 2013 and I know it has some plots like Sims. The new SimCity is the conversion from a good simulator game to a casual game.
 

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As simulation works in real world, yes it does.
We've discussed this. There are interdependancies that would make the performance benefits negligable for the amount of work that had to be put in to do it. There isn't much payout to make it multi-threaded because since the renderer is on its own thread there is very little change in playability of the game. So there is no point to multi-thread it even if it does max out the CPU. Simcity 4 did a half decent job of it and it was all on one thread, including rendering! I think the new Simcity will run fine...

And even then the space was lost because the terrain wasn't properly divided.
...and you can't have wasted space in real life? There can be wasted space in the real world too... I see it all the time. Not sure what you're trying to get at with this, if anything it's realistic, just not optimal (which is pretty normal for older property lines and roads.)
And because of reaction, having more threads in a simulation makes sense.
Not when you have that many interdependancies between items that impact eachother. Just adding threads doesn't mean that it will run well or it will scale. Stop spewing out BS, we've been over this before many times over again in this thread. Any programmer who has done serious multi-threading knows that it isn't this simple. :shadedshu
 
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This thread needs more circular discussion.
 

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Taking a look at a video of the beta, it does seem a bit small. But that could just be one of the many limitations imposed by the beta. The actual map seems quite big, and the video shows potential "great works" projects located outside the constrained city area.

All in all, the game is due out soon (5 March; a few days later for those living outside of Jesusland and its surroundings). I wonder what the reactions will be then.
 
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^ You can control multiple cities in a region which can buy/sell/share resources and services. One city could take in the garbage of others while a city could produce surplus power and sell it off.

How far a city can be specialized has yet to be seen, ex: I don't know if Sims can commute to other cities for work or if there's a way to make multiple maps be considered a single city.

I do hope they allow for larger maps, or at least make the handling of multiple dependent cities as seamless as possible. Otherwise, it's going to lack the grandeur of previous versions.
 
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Unnecessary upgrade expenditure?
Not to mention BF3 is optimized up to 8 threads so going from a CPU that can run 8 to one that can run 12 is somewhat pointless (for Battlefield 3 at least).
 

FordGT90Concept

"I go fast!1!11!1!"
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We have no idea how many threads the render runs on. The renderer is far easier to multithread than the simulator.
 
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http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/122463-Maxis-Will-Eventually-Increase-SimCitys-City-Sizes



Happy now?

The developers designed the thing to run on a freaking potato chip. They made the compromise of smaller, but more, cities per region. Given that the DEVELOPERS chose this, Sim City having small cities is their fault.

Additionally, look at what they say. We're eventually going to increase the city size......blah, blah..... but we're going to wait until we see how people play. Basically, they're saying we'll use play data from online to develop our DLC packages. Whenever we have enough DLC money coming in we'll optimize things and get the performance closer to where we should have been prior to release.


So we're clear, that's what I feared. Instead of developing a complete game, they've released an engine. Thank you DLC. I always wanted to pay another $10 for three new disaster scenarios. Perhaps for $15 I can triple my starting cash so that it's easier. This reeks of EA meddling. The developers aiming to have a game run on an old core 2 duo isn't the publishers fault. Blame the people who committed the "crime." Blame them by denying them a purchase.



Edit:
Quotations around crime and last line added. Frick was correct, and I forgot to add that.
 
Last edited:

Frick

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Everyone commits this "crime". Vote with yoru wallet etc.