Help me get Aspyr to patch SimCity 4

Discussion in 'Games' started by mcgarry, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. mcgarry macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #1
    I have been in contact with Aspyr tech support for 3 months now. It's a long story, but I'll try to keep it as brief as possible

    The issue: SimCity 4 became unplayable after updating to 10.4.3 on my PowerBook (10.4.4 is the same). The game will launch, but plays extremely, unplayably slow, and is riddled with graphics anomalies. Yes, I am aware of the speed/graphics difficulties with this game as reported in the past, in this forum and elsewhere; this issue is different, clearly some sort of bug. The game did play normally up to and including 10.4.2.

    Yes, I could install a partition on my HDD with a different version of the OS, just to play SC4, but I'd really rather not waste all that space just for this. The problem should be fixed. I've tried every other workaround they suggested, to no avail.

    Aspyr has recognized and reproduced the problem in their lab, or so they tell me. It only affects computers with the nVidia GeForce FX Go5200 (so, the rev. B-D 12" PowerBook G4), running Mac OS X 10.4.3 or later. All versions of the game are affected: standard, standard w/ expansion pack, and complete.

    Aspyr has told me that because they have not received enough complaints about this admitted bug, they have prioritized it as 'low' and will not 'move it up the priority list' (and publish a patch) unless they hear from more disgruntled users.

    So, if you're out there, please write to Aspyr, using the form at support.aspyr.com. I'm not asking anyone to lie, hopefully posting this will lead to some legitimate responses, light a fire under Aspyr, and get this fixed. This is not an altogether unwarranted hope, they have encouraged my suggestion to do this.

    By the way, soon after 10.4.3 came out, Aspyr issued Patch C for The Sims 2 which "Fixes a conflict with NVIDIA video cards and OS X 10.4.3." So, I think they know how to fix this, they just need to get someone on it.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
     
  2. pknz macrumors 68020

    pknz

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    NZ
  3. mcgarry thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #3
    Well, write them about that too, I guess!

    The first-level/tech support people, at least, seem helpful, they just punt responsibility to the developers, rightly or wrongly.
     
  4. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #4
    i think what he meant was that he won't contact them because his computer can't play the game anyway.

    i think you're high and dry here. It doesn't make financial sense for them to spend money developing a patch for an extremely small base of users: Owners of 12" powerbook G4s with the 5200go chip who want to play a game that was released so long ago that the official website's latest "news" is from december 2004. Not exactly worth the risk that their patch breaks the game for some other small group of players, is it?

    If you can figure out a work-around on your end, and you really want to play the game (it is quite fun), then i'd suggest you do it.
     
  5. paddy macrumors 6502a

    paddy

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2005
    Location:
    TN
    #5
    I had the same problem after updating to 10.4.3 on my iMac, game slowdown and graphic display problems. I'm writing to Aspyr now.:mad:
     
  6. mcgarry thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #6
    You're right, except the bit about the game being old. They just released the "Deluxe" edition in October 2005, and it is similarly afflicted. It is on the shelf for sale in Apple Stores everywhere, among other places.

    That, and I still think that a company selling a product that is listed as compatible with my machine (both on their website and via their GameAgent program) should, in fact, try to make sure it's compatible. Remember, we're talking about a currently shipping/supported piece of software and a currently shipping/supported computer (Rev. D 12" PB). It might be idealistic of me, but I still think it's worth bugging them.

     
  7. mcgarry thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #7
    Thank you! By the way, which iMac do you have/what gpu does it have? The later G4s and the early G5s used the GeForce FX 5200 Ultra; maybe the problem is closely related.

     
  8. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #8
    i was referring to the simcity website, not the port's website.

    i tend to forget that mac games are 18-24 months behind since i built my PC...
     
  9. Laser47 macrumors 6502a

    Laser47

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    #9
    Wow I thought I was the only one with this problem. SC4 completely sucks on my ibook, although its playable to an extent its very annoying seeing the screen toolbars move down the screen and the picture freezing, they have a patch somewhere I downloaded it but it still does not fix anything. Because of my love for the sims and sim city I now have a copy of SC4 for my mac and a copy I recently bought for my PC just to play it. I would love to play SC4 in other places with my ibook other than on the PC. I hope this problem is resolved soon.
     
  10. mcgarry thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #10
    DEFINITELY, please, write to them at http://support.aspyr.com. This might be more widespread than the 5200-series cards.

    Again, in my case this does not refer to the general reported crappiness of this game on the Mac (though, by the way, I was reading on some PC forums that it doesn't play well on many PCs, either), but rather to a significannt and noticeable downturn in performance and graphics from 10.4.3 on.

    They need to hear from more people. If they want to say that actually this game is not compatible with certain computers or certain versions of the o/s, I'm fine with that, that's their right; but, they shouldn't be selling incompatible software as compatible.

     
  11. Arnaud macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    The Moon
    #11
    Hi there, I don't use SC4, I think it's a nice game but I've got other things to do...

    Nevertheless, I wish you good luck, because I really think this software should work on your computer, as it was stated as such.

    No matter the cost for them, that's their part of the deal.
     
  12. mcgarry thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #12
    The posts from pknz and Laser47 got me thinking ... did anyone buy the game and start using it in 10.4.3? The "Complete" edition and 10.4.3 came out around the same time, so it's possible.

    There may be some users out there who just think it runs super-bad no matter what, and never saw how much better it was under previous OS versions... just a thought.
     
  13. Laser47 macrumors 6502a

    Laser47

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    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    #13
    Oh and ive never played the game before 10.4.4. I wonder which update broke the game.
     
  14. mcgarry thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #14
    Oh, I can pretty safely say it was 10.4.3.

    Think if the implications of this ... you can buy current shipping software for your currently shipping hardware, that the company says is compatible, but it isn't. Makes me never want to buy another Aspyr product ever again; can they be trusted?

    And yes, I realize there are implications for letting every disgruntled customer dictate a product's patching schedule, but in this case I think Aspyr should have long since addressed it (as they did with The Sims 2). I say, if you aren't going to stand behind a product, don't sell it. Or at least let your customers know what, in reality, is or isn't compatible.

    I'd again like to say that Aspyr tech support has been great to me, in terms of attention/cordiality and a general sense that they'd like to help, it's just that they haven't been able to actually help.
     
  15. Laser47 macrumors 6502a

    Laser47

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    #15
    Just as an update, I sent an email to them and got the reply today. All they said was that it supports OSX and that if I have a problem to contact the hardware manufacturer. Yay, what a big help.:mad:
     
  16. mcgarry thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #16
    That must have been the first-level tech support. Sorry they weren't helpful. I have pm'd you with the email address of a higher level contact. He should be interested to hear from you. Anyone else who has experienced this problem and wants to get in touch with him-- the person at Aspyr who encouraged me to solicit more dissatisfied user stories-- please pm me.

    By the way, I was told to bug Apple too. At one step along the line, I was even told to take my computer to a Genius Bar at an Apple store and duplicate the problem in front of a Genius. I did, and guess what, they told me what I already knew: yes, something is wrong, contact Aspyr.

     
  17. szwork macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    #17
    i'm going to write as well

    just bought the game,
    i did play it on windows but now all my windows pc's are gone so is was time to play it on my mac

    it goes so slow, when i zoom is terrible.
    just not playable

    system
    mac mini 1,5 ghz (got lucky)
    1024 mb ram
    64 mb video
    5400 rpm hd
     
  18. szwork macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    #18
    ticket has been send
     
  19. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    #19
    Just played the game after a big hiatus. In fact, it was my first time playing on this machine (1.67 PB, 128 MB Radeon 9700) and tiger. I encountered massive redrawing problems. I could play around them for the most part until it encountered more redrawing problems and crashed. Had to do a hard restart. :mad:
     
  20. mcgarry thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #20
    Have you reported your troubles at support.aspyr.com? I'd be interested to hear of the reply, too.


     
  21. rvaliant macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    #21
    I emailed them. Got this speedy reply:

    Hello Robert,

    Thanks for contacting us. The problem here is going to come down to your video card. Recent test have shown that Sim City 4 runs with a rather poor performance level in OS 10.4.4 on an FX5200 video card. We are currently researching this issue to determine if a patch is required. As for now, I recommend checking out the graphics settings. See if there are some detail levels that can be lowered. Try playing the game in a lower resolution if possible. If you still have a 10.3.9 partition on your hard drive, then you might try playing it in that OS. I am sorry I couldn't help you more. Stay posted on www.aspyr.com for updates to this issue.

    Aspyr Tech Support


    :confused:
     
  22. mcgarry thread starter macrumors 6502a

    mcgarry

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #22
    "rather poor" ... I'll say. It's like night and day compared to where it was (which as some of you know, wasn't exactly fast on my wimpy G4).

    And it's not just speed, but severe graphics problems, which is probably just another window on the same problem. In my case, lots of things became striped.

    Go ahead and try, but in my experience, tweaking the settings will not help one bit.

    Keep us posted, please! And bug them about it as much as you can ...

     
  23. rvaliant macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    #23
    Right.

    It's *barely* playable on my 1.6 G5. Toying with the settings doesn't help.

    It is very unresponsive with visual artifacts all over the place.

    I just bought it, too! What a waste.

    I'll keep checking back here to see if something changes. Thanks for starting the thread!:)

     
  24. Laser47 macrumors 6502a

    Laser47

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    #24
    Thats a typical response form a company like that. We should get someone with a Quad G5 and a 7800 to try out the game, and I bet it will be just a crappy. Then they can say the machine isint powerful enough or something.
    Sometimes I wonder if the people who make the games actually play them once in a while.
     
  25. rvaliant macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    #25
    This is kind of fun!

    I sent Aspyr another message asking if they would refund my money since I had a machine that exceeded their specs and the game didn't work. I also asked if they were going to change the advertised specs of the game so that other's would not buy it and end up with an unplayable game.

    Here's their response:

    The game works fine in 10.3.9. It's just the new OS that messes the game up. If you have a partition that has 10.3.9 on it install the game there and it will run fine.
    We are currently working with Apple to find a resolution to this issue.


    The tone is a bit squirmy, if you ask me.
     

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