SimCity: Offline Mode Took Six Months to Complete, Devs Say

January 17, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

The long-awaited offline mode for SimCity took more than six months to complete, EA said this week.

A few days ago, Patrick Buechner of Maxis wrote that “offline is coming.”

“I’ve wanted to say those words for quite some time, so my apologies that I didn’t take the time to say Happy New Year first,” he wrote. “Yes, Offline is coming as a free download with Update 10 to all SimCity players. When we launch it, all of your previously downloaded content will be available to you anytime, anywhere, without the need for an internet connection.”

The developers are “in the late phases of wrapping of its development” for offline mode.

“While we want to get it into your hands as soon as possible, our priority is to make sure that it’s as polished as possible before we release it. So, until then… testing, testing and more testing,” he wrote. “As one of the final steps, we’re putting Offline into the hands of some of our most hardcore players, the DevTesters. This group of volunteers is going to put Offline through its paces before we release it.”

Buechner added that players should “keep an eye out for more information on Offline shortly. We’ll be releasing more information on how it all works.”

Lead engineer Simon Fox told Wired it took about six months to complete so far.

“SimCity was written to rely on the servers. The game routinely pings the servers for critical pieces of data (region status, workers, trading etc.) and it relies on that information to keep the simulation moving. This meant rewriting the entire system, which previously existed in Java, and putting it into C++. We’ve had to knock out the internet pipe stuff. There’s lots of code that hits the servers looking for information. We’ve had to write a lot of code to produce that data locally, specifically for region information,” he said.

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