May 2012

Why "Always On" Is A Problem In Video Games

Two words: Diablo. 3.
When EA announced the new SimCity, one of the items a lot of people jumped at was the news that it would have an "always on" system. "Always on" means that you have to have an internet connection to play the game, even if it is a single-player game. Internet goes out at your home? Traveling away from an internet connection? Too bad - you can't build your city.
"Always on" systems are no doubt going to become a lot more commonplace in the future. Primarily because it is a way for video game companies to protect themselves from piracy. If you can validate games on the fly, and they require a persistent connection to your servers, then you can lock out the pirated copies.

Sims Keep Eating The Wrong Pancake Ingredients!

Curse those flame fruit pancakes!
I had to laugh when I ran across this Rage Comic this morning by Reddit user Sumurika. How many times have you collected some valuable fruit or fish, only to discover that your Sim has cooked and eaten it when you weren't paying attention?
At a basic level, this happens because of the game's logic for choosing food ingredients. Your Sim will choose the best ingredients available when they make a meal. If your Sim happens to have two grapes, a tomato, and a Flame Fruit in their inventory, then guess what they are going to make into pancakes? Yep: say goodbye to that Flame Fruit!

And just like that, I'm done (with Sims Social and Freeplay)

Oh core game, how I love you so!

Ever love something like crazy, and then one day you look back and realize you've ignored it for at least two weeks? It's like a switch gets flipped. One day I'm checking my Sims five or six times a day, and then bam: zero interest in the game whatsoever.
It's a measure of how AWESOME the core games are, that I have never lost interest in them. I have literally been playing the Sims PC games more or less continuously since February of 2000. 
But The Sims Social and Freeplay… yeah, no. I'm done.