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Prebuilt Cities / Regions  

20 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you support a pre-built SC4 City / Region Exchange?

    • Yes
      7
    • No
      13
    • Would you want to contribute your talents to a pre-built SC4 City / Region Exchange
      2
    • Would you like to download a Prebuilt SC4 City / Region.
      4


21 posts in this topic Last Reply

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Regions with pre built custom content.

Now... hang on,,, before you get your panties in a knot - this could be another evolution of the 'game'. It does not have to be hosted on the STEX / PLEX / LEX / et al.

Why can't we ( the community at large) share our expertise. I would love to download a region that had the highways, interchanges, etc already placed. I am sure there would be others who would like to see how another player could enhance (or worsen) carefully (or not) crafted 'work'.

I play with Wren Weburg's Maxisland over and over... and it's never the same twice! (I've had a couple of brown boxes, but I just bulldoze them!)

An exchange devoted to the diligent... not 'supported' to the same scale as we do here. (Simtropolis.) The technology is out there... to list dependencies, etc.

Instead of saying NO, why can't we develop a way of saying yes!?

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Regions with pre built custom content.

. . .

Why can't we ( the community at large) share our expertise.

Because it's simply impossible for the STEX to support files of that size. Here are the two three big reason as to why there are no prebuilt cities being exchanged here:

- Filesize. The STEX supports a maximum filesize of 20 megabytes. A prebuilt region can surpass that many times over.

- Dependencies. Especially with third-party content, you would need to have a massive list of dependencies, making the process of playing someone else's region much harder.

- Absent and unknown plugins: The uploader may have a mod that they didn't know they had, and the end users will end up complain about brown boxes.

Ask this: Is it worth spending a long time downloading a prebuilt region, and hours more downloading hundreds of different dependencies, just to play someone else's region that might not even work?

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7238320    77
  • Original Poster
  • Please note: I am not suggesting Simtropolis or any other current SC4 host / support this.

    Just wondering if there is enough interest to go a different direction. (Some people like tomatoes, other like ice cream. Your voice is welcome, but it's not the only one.)

    Please, let 24 hours go by before you crush this.

    Ask this: Is it worth spending a long time downloading a prebuilt region, and hours more downloading hundreds of different dependencies, just to play someone else's region that might not even work?

    YES!

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    Requests like this popped up from time to time and for the very reasons stated by Haljackey and Ganaram, this is not going to happen. In the end, such an exchange will become highly impractical and in the case of Custom Content creators, they can't share their regions because they have stuff in it that has never been released, or not even finished yet. I don't think there's enough bandwidth for SimTropolis to handle such an exchange, and the servers are having trouble already (random fact: the used bandwith by SimTropolis is about 4TB/month!)

    Besides, it defeats the whole purpose of SimCity 4: build your OWN city. You have to your own strategies, skills, creativity and style. Only in that way you can get a truly unique city. I learn my techniques from myself and I sight-read other building techniques from pictures and make them my own.

    Keep on dreaming. We've been through this multiple times before, this sort of thing is very unlikely to happen.

    Best,

    Maarten

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    He doesn't want to host it on Simtropolis, and he said so pretty clearly.

    As for the purpose of SimCity, this is something I think everyone should figure out for himself.

    I have occasionally dealt with cities built by others (a good friend once asked me for help because her city was stagnating, and I fiddled around with it), and I found it rather interesting to work on the basis of something pre-existing. It shifts the focus a bit from creation to management because you cannot change it all at once, and maybe you even want to keep the particular character of the city, but add your twist to it. It's a bit like one of the scenarios we had in earlier iterations of SimCity, only with more freedom. It's not like "gain XYZ Simoleons in 10 years, fight the big fire and build two stadiums = you win", but more "here's what you have - do something with it".

    Technically, systems for doing this are perfectly possible. Take Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe, for example. That's not the multi-million dollar project of an international games corporation, but an open-source project. It also has a bustling custom content community.

    You can host a game on any map there, and others can connect to the game. Now if that map contains any plugins or modifications, a joining player will be prompted with an according message and a list of plugins that are used in game, but not currently installed on his/her PC. Upon a mouseclick, these plugins get downloaded automatically, and the player can join the game. It's easy as 1, 2 3. As for their own plugins, players can activate and deactivate them by ticking checkboxes, and this way they can play games in a variety of different configurations without having to bother with going through endless folders, copying back and forth, loading order, etc...

    The problem is, SimCity doesn't have such a smart packet management feature. Actually, the entire plugins system is really crude and primitive. I have no idea whether it would be possible to assemble a suitable plugin management program/script and make it interface with SimCity installations. That's the big question mark I see.

    EDIT:

    Oh, and given the fact that OTTD plugins are a few hundred kilobytes each at most, whereas SC4 plugins easily weigh in at several megabytes each, any such packet management/distribution facility would be The Mother of All Bandwidth Hogs.

    EDIT 2:

    Who keeps sneaking all those typos into my posts after I submit them? :angry:

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    I could see a 'vanilla + NAM' city exchange, but I don't think many people play with an empty plugins folder, especially folks already on Simtropolis. I could be wrong though.

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    7238320    77
  • Original Poster
  • Why not share cities with custom content? So many new players don't know where to start when it comes to custom content.

    A city with a list of custom content used could be a good starting point.

    Anyways, the point is NOT about dependencies, or why it can't / shouldn't be done.

    It is about finding out who might be interested.

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    I'll throw in my own reason for why I wouldn't be interested in playing pre-built regions: This is too much of a personal game for me. It's really not even a game to me - it's a creative outlet, almost like a form of art for me. I would not want to be part of a community of artists all painting on the same portrait, and so likewise I would not want to jointly work on a city with other SC4 players. But other people may feel differently, so to each his own.

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    I've read all the reasons "this can't be done". Some sound almost angry even at the suggestion. (what's with that?). Anyway, I could not participate because of my IP and the capped downloads but if it were available I would very much enjoy exploring, growing, and making changes, upgrades and such in cities created by other mayors.

    Actually this is what happens in real life, new mayors often make changes and take a city or town in a new direction. The challenges of the construction, while keeping the city running is great fun in my opinion. In fact I often re-do cities I created as far back as eight years ago, and when I grow tired of that I return to creating more new cities/regions.

    As for the plugin thing, it seems simple to me, the creator could zip their plugin folder, place it in a folder with name matching the city/region and a text file with any particulars and make available for download with the city/region.

    Downloading the cities of other mayors may never happen but some of us would find it a great addition to the game if it did. :)

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    Too simple. There are many copyright issues. The material on the various exchanges is licensed only to individual downloaders from those sites. To bundle any of them requires a new agreement from all builders, some of whom are not available any more.

    Besides, as someone has already remarked, this is not really a game, but a canvas on which to express your creativity. It is also an exercise in problem solving, and reverse engineering someone else's thoughts to understand a prebuilt city is very likely a very frustrating exercise, and futile as well.

    If you want to admire something someone has done, walk through some city journals.

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    Boy, people are negative here! As the OP clearly stated, his intention is not to host the files on Simtropolis so all the comments about bandwith etc. are a bit unnecessary. Nowadays there are loads of hosting sites that can be used to share big files without any problem. For example Rapidshare or Mediafire, just to name a few. I download Gigabytes regularly, so that shouldn't really be an issue, provided you have a good and fast connection of course :golly:

    Secondly, indeed it would be a huge task to check all the dependencies and install them, that's even the case with some of the single content you can get here that have a lot of dependencies. The solution would be to include the entire plugin directory (in zipped form) for downloading as well. You could then just backup (or rename) your current plugin directory and replace it with the new one. No checking or installing dependencies involved, you will have everything ready and working!

    So technically speaking, I see no real problems. Yes, you do need a good and fast Internet connection yourself, but as we are now living in 2012 I suspect that a lot of people will have that.

    The bigger question is if people will WANT to share their work that way. Generally a lot of work will have been put into it, so people will look at it as 'their baby'. Showing it off here in a CJ is one thing, but letting other people toy with it is another. On the other hand, the same goes for Mods, BATs and all other custom content; people seem to have no problem sharing those after all of their hard labor.

    Anyhow, I would certainly be interested in working with a great region from someone else. Not only just for looking at it, but also to see how certain things were done: how are taxes set up, where are the mass transit stops, how (good or bad) is the traffic flow, and so on. And learning from that. Those are things I can't see by looking at some of the great CJ's.

    I definitely think it would give a new dimension to the game, and everyone is free to share or not, unlike the new Simcity :D

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    As Nonny said, sharing plugins folders is a no-no. You could get around that by providing a list of downloads, but that list would be very very long in most cases. Then there are cases where individuals have customized lots, mods, ect to their own tastes.

    I don't think this is a bad idea, and I agree that there is an interest in downloading pre-built regions, but I think a 'vanilla + NAM' requirement is your best bet for getting something like this off the ground.

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    I agree with Nonny and SimCoug on this with respect to sharing custom content. I mean, the following are examples of typical statements found in MANY custom content downloads [emphasis mine]:

    -- "The content in this file is the exclusive property of [insert developer's name here]. It is provided for the sole recreational use of the individual who obtained it from the authorized download site. The content may not be modified, reused or redistributed in any manner."

    -- "Do not redistribute this file package elsewhere without my permission."

    -- "Feel free to modify the lots for yourself and show them in your city journals, but please don't distribute them without asking first."

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    Staying on topic is what it needs to do...

    If players want to create their own maps and upload them to a third-party distribution site, that would be up to the creators of the maps. Of course, this would exclude any custom content items and maps created by others, and that would need to be 'policed' in some fashion. This and other logistical requirements may make it more trouble than it's worth, but who's to say. There have been two or three attempts at using file storage site to create kind of multiplayer regions. They're mentioned in the forums around here somewhere...

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    Just to clarify, please note that my post was actually made before A Nonny Moose made his post with the first note in the direction of the copyright issues. When I typed my reply, the site went offline for some reason, so I had to do it again some time later. Therefore it might seem if I just ignored the things he mentioned, but that was not the case.

    Up to that point only technical issues were mentioned (server loads, bandwidth), so that made me react from a purely technical point of view. When suggesting to share complete plugin directories, I didn't take into account the delicate issue of copyrights and terms of use that might be in place for the content included in there. As a result it might have come across as a bit blunt, and if I stepped on anybodies toes by doing that, please accept my sincere apologies, as that was never my intention.

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    Just to clarify, please note that my post was actually made before A Nonny Moose made his post with the first note in the direction of the copyright issues. When I typed my reply, the site went offline for some reason, so I had to do it again some time later. Therefore it might seem if I just ignored the things he mentioned, but that was not the case.

    Up to that point only technical issues were mentioned (server loads, bandwidth), so that made me react from a purely technical point of view. When suggesting to share complete plugin directories, I didn't take into account the delicate issue of copyrights and terms of use that might be in place for the content included in there. As a result it might have come across as a bit blunt, and if I stepped on anybodies toes by doing that, please accept my sincere apologies, as that was never my intention.

    It's okay! Don't sweat it. As I understand it, certain subjects have been explored previously on these forums which have caused a bit of tension, and this is one them. I didn't realize that, and for MY part - if I'd known that - I would not have gotten involved. So I can understand why the OP wishes to keep it on-topic instead of seeing it degrade into an argument.

    BTW...welcome to the forums, AgeKay! :)

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    The best and easiest way to do this would be to copy region(s) onto a USB drive and post it...

    After being on this site for many years and seeing this topic coming up all the time, I can't believe this is the first time I've thought of this... Does anyone want me to create a region with a maxis highway and rail system? Legalize gambling will take care of the cost

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