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mononajas
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎03-10-2013

PROOF THAT THE GAME IS MISLEADING REGARDING POPULATION COUNT, AMONG OTHER THINGS

[ Edited ]

As a user named “anickle” brought up an experiment he made so he could understand why only a minor percentage (10-15%) of the sim population is considered workforce, I have decided to run the same experiment myself and stubled upon major flaws in the core game, flaws that are until now probably unknown for almost every player, if not all of them. This is new, and this is very concerning.

 

The credit of the idea goes to anickle, who performed his own version of the experiment, which can be found here:
http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/posts/list/9359265.page

 

My experiment:

 

I started sandbox mode and built water, electricity and garbage facilities, police and fire stations and a clinic.


I built one single house, low density and low wealth, and stood obeserving them. The whole experiment is made entirely with this type of house.

 

One single house, as already explained by anickle, has a pop. of 6: 4 workers, 2 shoppers and actually 2 kids that are never included in the population count. So it is safe to assume that from now on, provided sims don’t die, my workers count and my shoppers count will always be: “no. of houses x 4” (workers) or “no. of houses x 2” (shoppers).

I kept building more houses and recording the increase in the numbers of workers and shoppers. As expected, all the numbers were perfectly fine. For a while. User marcoyim believed the pop. count started to go wrong at 500, so I tested for that, and he is absolutely right.

 

This is the count of the population and the number of workers and shoppers so far:

 

1 house = 6 pop, 4w + 2s
12 houses = 72 pop, 48w + 24s
53 houses = 318 pop, 212w + 106s
83 houses = 498 pop, 332w + 166s

 

And here it goes the odd part: as the next house was finished, the population count increased by 7, not by 6. As the next house was finished, the population count increased by 10, and at the next time it increased by 12.


BUT THE HOUSES CONTINUED WITH 6 PEOPLE (4W+2S).

 

So indeed, the game adds a phantom population in the count that doesn’t really exist, and I guess I figured out the general way in which it does that. I will put the numbers as they are easier to understand by themselves.

 

House 1, which would achive 500 or more in the pop count: 7 sims (6 real)
House 2: 10
House 3: 12
House 4: 13
(...)

 

I kept counting this for 41 houses, always subtracting the former pop count on the new one to find how many sims the game added in the pop count, while the houses always actually had 6 sims. The real progression I found was this:

 

7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 14, 15, 15, 15, 16, 17, 18, 17, 18, 18, 18, 18, 18, 19, 18, 19, 19, 19, 20, 19, 20, 20, 21, 20, 20, 21, 21, 20, 21, 21, 21, 22, 21, 21, 22, 22, 22.

 

The final house count was at 121 and the population was at 1.294, but I had 507 workers and 254 shoppers. If you do the math, I should have a little less (and 1 worker died too). It was not at the “pop x 4” and “pop x 2” ratio I told you before because 24 workers and 12 shoppers were added to the real population trough this process of adding phantom people. So as you see, they increase both real and ghost sims in our cities.

 

I stopped counting there as I though I already had the general idea, and I am sure you get it too: The game adds an increasing number of sims per house to the population count, in an organized way, without ever adding these sims in your actual city.

 

This is alarming, at least. It means that the game is not what is advertised (intentionally or not), it means glassbox does not process every sim individually. One can argue that each sim is technically tracked individually when it exist in the map, but that is not so true as I will continue below.

 

Besides the experiment above, playing with the concepts of the game brought me insights of how the engine works and how it is flawed at every level. Here are miscellaneous things I captured while doing the whole thing:

 

1. If you demolish a bulding that provides jobs, for ex. a power plant, while a worker is working, this worker is deleted along with the building. I managed to intentionally have a city with no workers by doing this. Note that I did it when I only had 2 houses, so I don’t know if that will ALWAYS happen.

 

2. After I closed the police, fire station and clinic, 1 worker at the police and 1 at the clinic took AGES to go out. It means that if you demolish it , chances are you will lose many workers there.

 

3. The game does not know how to behave when sims die: If one sim die both the pop count and the workforce also goes down by 1 (so far so good), but the house where he lived keeps showing 6 citizens. Worse, if those sims leave your city the count will go down further 6 points instead of 5, meaning that you actually lose 7 sims, not 6.

 

4. Even if you only have 1 single house in the map, the house will show 3 kids running around it and 3 different sims appeared for me going in and out while 2 workers were at work. That means I saw 6 people + 3 kids (9 total), and these people, although (usually) maintaining their names, used different “sprites”/models each time, with no consistency at all. There was no connection with the names and “surname” of the house. The only rule was that sims that leave the house for working always had the same surname as the house. That means the sims are not “real” agents, they are randomly generated each time, with different names and models every time, provided they are not going to work.

 

5. Numbers I gathered for you guys while playing:
Commercial: 5/10L, 2/4M, 0H (I found two different values for C, I guess different buildings have different job slots. There may be more)

Industrial: 20L, 6M, 0H (Again, there may be others)
Wind Power Plant jobs: 20L, 6M, 0H
Sewage facility: 0L, 0M, 0H
Garbage dump: 20L, 6M, 0H
Police: 10L, 4M, 0H
Fire Dept: 20L, 6M, 0H
Clinic: 12L, 8M, 4H

 

 

So, how are you feeling about our great simulation game?


EDIT: As some users asked, I uploaded the only screenshot I have right now, taken at the end of the experiment. I will try to take more and post it here soon: http://img203.imageshack.us/img203/8122/spark20130312230819.png

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plusminusnil
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-27-2013

Re: PROOF THAT THE GAME IS MISLEADING REGARDING POPULATION COUNT, AMONG OTHER THINGS

Did you calculation include workers and shoppers from other regions? I constantly get a message that shoppers from region X are coming to my region for shopping. Same applies to schools. The school info actually has a Region section, too, so you can see how many students from the region go to your school.

 

Just a thought, it might still be broken :smileywink:

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mononajas
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎03-10-2013

Re: PROOF THAT THE GAME IS MISLEADING REGARDING POPULATION COUNT, AMONG OTHER THINGS

I did it in a private region, locked for everybody else. Good question though.

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PtitRun
Posts: 98
Registered: ‎01-26-2013

Re: PROOF THAT THE GAME IS MISLEADING REGARDING POPULATION COUNT, AMONG OTHER THINGS

That explain why chart maps show different stats that the actual numbers (kids that are not going to school for example...)

I often see some kids in abandoned building as well

Anyway, that's a great post ! It explains a lot ! But that's really scary !!
biscomix07
Posts: 263
Topics: 24
XP: 46
Solutions: 12
Registered: ‎01-26-2013

Re: PROOF THAT THE GAME IS MISLEADING REGARDING POPULATION COUNT, AMONG OTHER THINGS

What about the bigger buildings for the low wealth sims? How many of which do they produce, because I thought they produced more sims?

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mononajas
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎03-10-2013

Re: PROOF THAT THE GAME IS MISLEADING REGARDING POPULATION COUNT, AMONG OTHER THINGS


biscomix07 wrote:

What about the bigger buildings for the low wealth sims? How many of which do they produce, because I thought they produced more sims?


The original experiment I mentioned (link in the first post) has some info about that. If I recall correctly, one high density building can add up to 5200 ghost sims or something!

cagestooge
Posts: 415
Topics: 17
XP: 323
Solutions: 8
Registered: ‎03-06-2013

Re: PROOF THAT THE GAME IS MISLEADING REGARDING POPULATION COUNT, AMONG OTHER THINGS

[ Edited ]

mononajas wrote:

 

 

1. If you demolish a building that provides jobs, for ex. a power plant, while a worker is working, this worker is deleted along with the building. I managed to intentionally have a city with no workers by doing this. Note that I did it when I only had 2 houses, so I don’t know if that will ALWAYS happen.

 



Whoa, here's another scary thought. What if they disappear when a building burns down? What if when the business goes bankrupt? Is it ONLY when I demolish a building or is it anytime that building disappears for whatever reason be it fire, disaster, building just closes and goes out of business / becomes abandoned? That is potentially really bad as it will continue to get more and more exaggerated as time goes by. 

 

As for the rest this really explains why the % of workers are off, and also what happened to me the other day. I was playing, all was going well, I had like 30,000 peeps living in Stoogeville and my son was watching me for a few minutes. He left the room and I kept playing. He came back like 10 minutes later and he asks what city I was playing now. I was puzzled by that question and told him the same one he saw 10 minutes ago. He then asked "Well, how did you go from 30,000 people to 150,000 in 10 minutes?" I looked and  sure enough my population had skyrocketed for no obviously apparent reason at all. 

 

Maybe my population didn't really go up that high. Maybe only 10,000 new sims moved in and brought 100,000 ghosts with them ...

 

I kind of hope that is the case, then it means it is all a bug and can be fixed. Cities might grow slower in population that way, but I'm cool with that. As long as all the numbers jive with each other and make sense (in the great depression 75% of Americans still had jobs ... 90% of your population not working would be beyond devastating to any nation/state/city.) I can work within a framework that I can follow. Right now I feel like everything is just somewhat random and nonsensical.

 

 

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mononajas
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎03-10-2013

Re: PROOF THAT THE GAME IS MISLEADING REGARDING POPULATION COUNT, AMONG OTHER THINGS


cagestooge wrote:

mononajas wrote:

 

 

1. If you demolish a building that provides jobs, for ex. a power plant, while a worker is working, this worker is deleted along with the building. I managed to intentionally have a city with no workers by doing this. Note that I did it when I only had 2 houses, so I don’t know if that will ALWAYS happen.

 



Whoa, here's another scary thought. What if they disappear when a building burns down? What if when the business goes bankrupt? Is it ONLY when I demolish a building or is it anytime that building disappears for whatever reason be it fire, disaster, building just closes and goes out of business / becomes abandoned? That is potentially really bad as it will continue to get more and more exaggerated as time goes by. 

 

As for the rest this really explains why the % of workers are off, and also what happened to me the other day. I was playing, all was going well, I had like 30,000 peeps living in Stoogeville and my son was watching me for a few minutes. He left the room and I kept playing. He came back like 10 minutes later and he asks what city I was playing now. I was puzzled by that question and told him the same one he saw 10 minutes ago. He then asked "Well, how did you go from 30,000 people to 150,000 in 10 minutes?" I looked and  sure enough my population had skyrocketed for no obviously apparent reason at all. 

 

Maybe my population didn't really go up that high. Maybe only 10,000 new sims moved in and brought 100,000 ghosts with them ...

 

I kind of hope that is the case, then it means it is all a bug and can be fixed. Cities might grow slower in population that way, but I'm cool with that. As long as all the numbers jive with each other and make sense (in the great depression 75% of Americans still had jobs ... 90% of your population not working would be beyond devastating to any nation/state/city.) I can work within a framework that I can follow. Right now I feel like everything is just somewhat random and nonsensical.

 

 


Yes, that bit was like discovering you can destroy your game without knowing why. Actually there is a guy on the other forum that says he destroyed his university and all students vanished with it, just like I am reporting... 


Honestly, I find hard to believe the testers would let this bug slip unnoticed. More, I can't think of why would a bug like this progress in a very logical order upwards from adding 7 to adding 22 additional ghost people. But then, I am not an expert in programming.

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doctorzuber
Posts: 72
Registered: ‎03-05-2013

Re: PROOF THAT THE GAME IS MISLEADING REGARDING POPULATION COUNT, AMONG OTHER THINGS

Very good post. Good research. It sheds some light on why the number of workers gets so hideously small in larger cities.

 

 

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beavobeave
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎03-06-2013

Re: PROOF THAT THE GAME IS MISLEADING REGARDING POPULATION COUNT, AMONG OTHER THINGS

wow. Just wow