SimCity offline mode took six months to create, says lead engineer
Maxis recently announced that its 2013 release of SimCity will, for the first time, be playable offline. The game currently requires a persistent online connection to servers in order to work, but all that's set to change with the release of Update 10. Many, including me, have wondered what's taken so long. It was a major development challenge, according to the game's lead engineer:
Lucy [Bradshaw, former Maxis general manager] once said that Offline wouldn't be possible "without a significant amount of engineering work", and she's right. By the time we're finished we will have spent over 6 ½ months working to write and rewrite core parts of the game to get this to work. Even things that seem trivial, like the way that cities are saved and loaded, had to be completely reworked in order to make this feature function correctly.
Maxis gets credit for wanting to do it right instead of half-assing a hack to get it to kind of work. But I remain steadfast in my conviction that making the game online-dependent in the first place was a critical mistake - one that cost EA and Maxis customers and goodwill.