SimCity code includes 20 minute force shutdown timer for offline play

Jan 21, 2011
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#1
Code:
        kNoRepeatNetworkAlertSeconds : 15,
        [B]kNetDownForceQuitAfterMinutes : 20,[/B]
lmao
For those who are interested, extracted/abridged source code of the always-online: http://pastebin.com/8NR1EdkN

Simply commenting out line# 22 defeats the force disconnect.
So if the game detects you are offline it starts a 20 minute countdown, if you are not online before then it will force you to quit.

Removing this line allows indefinite offline play.

Best part being that the .package format they're using for Simcity looks to be the exact same as the one used for The Sims 3, encryption and all. Do I need to tell you that the Sims 3 .package format has been completely hacked and it's possible to both open and create .package files to use for modding in that game? Anything that's in a .package file might as well be stored as plain text.

They could at least have changed the format if they didn't want people to open up the code on day one... It took several months going from Sims 2 to Sims 3 modding since the .package format did change between them. But, you know, they didn't.
 

benny_a

extra source of jiggaflops
Apr 25, 2009
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#6
But but it's not just DRM! My Maxis sources told me that!
Just to pre-empt the argument: It also means you won't be able to save, due to the architecture that Maxis has chosen.

This part isn't the DRM. The architecture they designed the game around is.

Based on the information from one of the modders it seems like writing a replacement for the save and region stuff is feasible.
Removing the line is a proof of concept only. (Damning enough.)
 
Aug 6, 2008
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#8
Just to pre-empt the argument: It also means you won't be able to save, due to the architecture that Maxis has chosen.

This part isn't the DRM. The architecture they designed the game around is.
The inability to save without syncing to their servers doesn't make it any less of a DRM implementation. And we'll see if modders manage to find a work-around for even that.
 
Jan 21, 2011
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#9
The inability to save without syncing to their servers doesn't make it any less of a DRM implementation. And we'll see if modders manage to find a work-around for even that.
It's not difficult, just fool the game into thinking a local server is the EA server. Any verification checks can also be spoofed.
 
Dec 14, 2010
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#10
So if the game detects you are offline it starts a 20 minute countdown, if you are not online before then it will force you to quit.

Removing this line allows indefinite offline play.
So wait... let me get this straight... You are telling us that this joke is essentially true:

Today someone will find this code snippit:

Code:
allowOfflinePlayMode = false;
 
Mar 3, 2007
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#15
Always thought it was funny how they pretended they needed a cloud of NSA-like super computers to have bad AI cause traffic jams in your city.
 

efyu_lemonardo

May I have a cookie?
Jun 19, 2011
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#16
For the last thread I used the word FUBAR to describe what I was feeling.

If this is true they should change the term FUBAR to EA


I'm starting to think SimCity started as some F2P game under EA Play4Free label. But sometime during developement EA changed their mind and converted game to be retail release.
Everything suggests that - smaller regions, UI in javascript, using only one CPU core for computing, forced multiplayer.
this seems to make sense, or maybe they were planning it to be a game you could play anywhere, on any device.
 
Feb 28, 2008
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#18
I'm starting to think SimCity started as some F2P game under EA Play4Free label. But sometime during developement EA changed their mind and converted game to be retail release.
Everything suggests that - smaller regions, UI in javascript, using only one CPU core for computing, forced multiplayer.
 

benny_a

extra source of jiggaflops
Apr 25, 2009
17,350
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#23
Also add to the OP this post please, it's the reason why this was found so quickly.
Best part being that the .package format they're using for Simcity looks to be the exact same as the one used for The Sims 3, encryption and all. Do I need to tell you that the Sims 3 .package format has been completely hacked and it's possible to both open and create .package files to use for modding in that game? Anything that's in a .package file might as well be stored as plain text.

They could at least have changed the format if they didn't want people to open up the code on day one... It took several months going from Sims 2 to Sims 3 modding since the .package format did change between them. But, you know, they didn't.
 
Jul 15, 2009
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New York City
#39
The great irony is that this disaster and all the backlash may force them to go back to the drawing room and reconsider previous plans.
One thing I can say about Sim City is that they tried to make it unique by changing some of the gameplay to something slightly different (and they failed because the game is buggy and their servers sucked, and the "multiplayer" stuff doesn't seem to be too good of an idea anyway) so I hope they don't see the backlash as "well, it looks like the fans want the same game from 2003 with better graphics" because that would suck. I hope they realize the actual problem.
 
Aug 6, 2008
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#44
One thing I can say about Sim City is that they tried to make it unique by changing some of the gameplay to something slightly different (and they failed because the game is buggy and their servers sucked, and the "multiplayer" stuff doesn't seem to be too good of an idea anyway) so I hope they don't see the backlash as "well, it looks like the fans want the same game from 2003 with better graphics" because that would suck. I hope they realize the actual problem.
This game has probably sold very well, and I wouldn't expect EA to rethink its everything online and full of micro-transactions philosophy over this.
 
Aug 24, 2007
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#46
One thing I can say about Sim City is that they tried to make it unique by changing some of the gameplay to something slightly different (and they failed because the game is buggy and their servers sucked, and the "multiplayer" stuff doesn't seem to be too good of an idea anyway) so I hope they don't see the backlash as "well, it looks like the fans want the same game from 2003 with better graphics" because that would suck. I hope they realize the actual problem.
The actual problem is that simulating a city by simulating 5000 individuals, or even 1million individuals is not going to lead to anything but problems on top of problems that no real city would experience.

Polygon of course. Baghdad Bob, sorry I meant Goes, is on it.
HAH! They'll certainly have that insider information.
 
D

Deleted member 30609

Unconfirmed Member
#47
I can't remember the last time I've seen a game blow up so spectacularly at launch. This is just incredible.
 

Septimius

Junior Member
Apr 21, 2011
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#48
This game has probably sold very well, and I wouldn't expect EA to rethink its everything online and full of micro-transactions philosophy over this.
I have no doubt in my mind that this fiasco won't really dent EA. It'll hurt Maxis quite some, but not EA. But hopefully, EA knows that it has to not have a repeat of this fiasco. That might be the saving grace from all this.
 
Jul 6, 2009
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#49
The real test for Simcity will probably be if it sells DLC and expansions as well as The Sims does. High initial sales are nice, of course, but I'd imagine EA is banking on DLC sales here.

All of this can't be good for those...