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OS X Games

SimCity Mac Launch Facing More Problems 177

The launch of the new SimCity back in March made headlines for the problems caused by the game's always-online DRM. EA Maxis even decided that people who bought the game early deserved a free game for their trouble. They also decided to postpone the launch of the Mac version of the game. Well, the delay is over; SimCity has arrived for Macs, and players are now facing a whole new set of installation and launch problems. "Those issues include a 'mutexAlert' error, which can be resolved by switching the OS to English. Another simply doesn't allow a player to install the game once downloaded. The suggested solution for that is to re-install Origin and opt in to the new Beta version. The game also apparently doesn't currently support Mac OS X 10.7.4 nor the upcoming 10.9 beta release." There are also reports that the game won't function on high-resolution display settings.
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SimCity Mac Launch Facing More Problems

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  • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@w o r f . n et> on Friday August 30, 2013 @12:06PM (#44717405)

    An error that can be fixed by changing the OS language could conceivably be a DRM issue. the others are less likely.

      Not working at a high resultion is extremely unlikely to be DRM related. This may be an issue that affects the PC version as well, though; Just that such high resolution displays are rare on the PC.

    OS localization has always been a VERY tough nut to crack, and no one does any adequate job.

    Windows tries by using API calls to tell you where Program Files and Windows directories are (and it returns " (x86)" as necessary for 32-bit apps). But most devs don't use those APIs nor the environment variables and assume it's ALWAYS "C:\Program Files" (nevermind you may want to install on D: or use a localized version where that folder is translated).

    OS X is likely similar - the EA programmers assumed something to be a fixed string that got localized in the end.

    And heck, I'm sure Linux isn't invulnerable to it - since localized versions of many command line utilities exist to break your shell scripts... (though to be fair, you can set enough variables to force it to English for just the shell script, though how many people remember to do that?).

    Though, not testing high-resolution displays is a sin for OS X - Apple does NOT ship a computer with a 1080p display, the "Retina" MacBook Pros sell extremely well, and the iMacs all have high res screens as well. The lowest res thing is the 11" MacBook Air with its 1366x768 screen.

    The screen-less Macs (Mac Pro, Mac Mini) are some of the worst sellers in Apple's lineup, and are there purely to fill a niche.

    None of it is really DRM related. Just practically "It compiles - ship it!" mentality.

  • by gnasher719 ( 869701 ) on Friday August 30, 2013 @01:03PM (#44717989)

    Actually, this is bearing them out. EA tends to hire fresh out of uni grads as quick as they can. When one game's done, they fire all the developers on the team, and rehire only those who are willing to carry on working for very low wages, working 100 hour weeks. This is a running trend throughout the games industry where there's an enormous supply of fresh "talent" coming through all the time.

    In short, EA pay low wages to crap, inexperienced coders, and they get what they pay for.

    One great wisdom that I found in a book written by some Microsoft manager (about 20 years ago): "You can make people stay in the office for 80 hours. You can't make them work for more than 40 hours. ".

    Everyone except the idiots at EA knows that making people work long hours over extended lengths of time is just stupid. If people have been working 100 hours a week for three months, I can probably produce more working code in 40 hours than two of them in 100 hours - assuming no difference in intelligence, just a bit more experience on my side, and a mind that hasn't been turned into mush be these long hours.

    But it's not only stupid, it is also evil. Kids, don't be stupid and think writing computer games is great. It's not.

  • by BenJury ( 977929 ) on Friday August 30, 2013 @02:22PM (#44718811)
    Wasn't that the point? That as soon as EA touched it, it turned to shit?

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."