Please help us for July 06/30/2017This month we're hoping for a little bit of a boost this month or next, in addition to covering the regular bills, we could benefit from some hardware upgrades. STEX Collector's Set gifts can now be sent to you via digital download as well as regular mail if you wish! Every donation dollar goes toward keeping Simtropolis online and humming along. Your contribution counts! Hardware Upgrades As our website community software improves with more and more features, and as we bolt on additional features such as chat, the increased load to handle all these new toys is taking the server a bit to task. You may have noticed that we'd been forced to temporarily disable the chat as we worked out allocating resources for more optimal performance. Following this, we've applied a number of 'soft' changes such as caching options and experimented with server configurations (nginx as proxy, for example), so the hardware aspect is also an area we'd like to focus on. The last time we upgraded hardware was back in 2012, prior to the release of SC13. Your contribution means a lot! Your donation will go toward helping us to 1.) migrate to a newer server or 2.) at least get some ram/cpu/storage updates and any other infrastructure hardware or services. Donate and Get a Gift or Donate Any Amount Thanks so much! - Dirktator & The Admins
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Full size version (~4MB) of the GIF on the first comment.
Please keep in mind that a time lapse animation was one of the official suggested ideas for this challenge on the forum thread.
An animated GIF displaying my recreation of the Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas in Meteora, Greece along with some of the surrounding scenery. Wanting to feel closer to heaven, the locals would build their monasteries high in the sky, perched precariously on the edge of sheer granite rock cliffs - truly an amazing sight to behold.
One of the frames in this picture (fall) was originally featured in my "Greece - Part II" update in my CJ, True Earth, so for this GIF I decided to showcase Meteora in its entirety with Spring, Summer, and Winter frames as well. Each frame showcases extensive custom lotting, intricate MMPing, and custom content creation (various terrain mods created for this picture + a number of new MMPs made/modded heavily)
The first frame starts off with summer in Meteora. Predictably, this time is the most popular season for tourists to come visit Meteora. The harvest season that begins in late summer is a big attraction as well for tourists.
The second frame displays some of Meteora's famous fall foliage. Oaks and maples among others will come alive, displaying various shades of red, orange, and yellow. This coupled with the much more comfortable temperatures makes it a great time to come visit.
The third frame shows off Meteora blanketed under a layer of snow in the midst of a snowfall. Despite Meteora's relatively close proximity to the Ioanian and Aegean Seas, it's just high enough in the mountains (1,000-2,000 feet above sea level) to receive regular snow in the winter. Additionally, the mountains will essentially "block out" gusts from the sea, allowing for temperatures to vary wildly. For those wanting to visit Meteora in the wintertime, be prepared for frigid temperatures and constant frost.
Before looping, the fourth and final frame shows Meteora in the spring. The cold winters often delay Springtime for a bit, but when it comes it can truly be quite beautiful. Be prepared for fog/rain showers however, a common site during this time of the year.
By Cyclone Boom
With the conclusion of the NAM Showcase, it saw the end of the second ST Challenges season. Now on a break, we’d like to welcome your suggestions and ideas. How can they be improved for the next season? What went well, and what would make the events even more fun and engaging?
We’ve got a few ideas of our own, but specifically we’d like hear your thoughts on:
- New theme ideas: Please post in the "Ideas Bank" topic, where ideas can be collected.
- More challenge types -- E.g. Gameplay tasks, such as population or using / creating certain plugins.
- User-hosted events: Should these be brought back in some form?
- Would it help to raise the image size limit (e.g. to 3 MB per image)?
- Always allow more than one image? Like the NAM Showcase allowing 3 per author.
- Length of the submission / voting periods for the challenge types.
- Thoughts on the current method of voting.
- Should authors be made anonymous until after voting? They could be changed to a "placeholder" account before being revealed.
- Has it worked well so far?
- Any small tweaks?
- Change amounts awarded?
- Expand the places which gain rep (e.g. top 5 or 10)?
- Also for the Best Picture Comp -- Rep for round wins + entering the Hall of Fame?
- How frequently should they run: Is the balance right?
- Run more simultaneous challenges?
- Use the calendar to plan the events a few weeks in advance? Would this make it easier to prepare for entries?
Please also let us know any other suggestions you have.
These events aren’t possible without your participation, so we’d like to give you chance to shape their next direction.
~The Challenges Team
Full-sized image in the first comment.
Lamar Valley, in the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, USA. Aside from US Highway 212 (which runs along the length of the valley) and a few campgrounds and trails, the valley is relatively untouched by human activity. This makes it a wildlife-rich region, boasting herds of large mammals such as Elk (pictured here), Bison, and Pronghorn Antelope. Bears and packs of wolves also frequent the area. These fauna, in addition to stunning panoramic views, make Lamar Valley a popular stop for tourists seeking to view wildlife and connect with nature.
My submission seeks to capture the beauty of this region, showcasing the expansive grasslands bordered by rows of evergreen trees, the scrub brush dotting the slopes, and of course the meandering Lamar River that traverses the valley and supports its abundant plant and animal life.
This was always one of my favorite Maxis industrials because it looks pretty decent, however its vanilla lots did it no justice at all!
I present to you Willmott Widget Assembly Remastered! WWA has been remade into a stage 3 I-M Anchor lot (instead of an Outbuilding) and had some of its stats tweaked slightly so it is more-or-less on-par with other Maxis I-M Anchors of similar size.
The lot features almost entirely custom-made props by me, which includes a perimeter fence, long-haul trucks, employee and company cars, as well as some inner-city semi trucks. The props have been made to appear more "natural" - people are not always very compelled to park perfectly! I also used a technique to make props that sit in the shadows of the two buildings actually have shadows. Something I've always hated about props in this game is how they are not affected by shadows, so I more-or-less circumvented that issue. Lastly, the props included with this set are 100% compatible with various darker-night mods because they have no lighting effects (normal for props).
This lot also has a fully custom base texture set. Also, before someone comments about it, the lot has so many large-ish empty areas because the long-haul trucks and the inner-city trucks need space to maneuver. American semi trucks are not known for having very good turning radii!
- Under the building menu it will be listed as "MM Willmott Widget Assembly."
- Stage 3 I-M Anchor
- 6x5 Lot (Same as the Outbuilding lot)
- 100 I-M jobs
- All other stats are either the same or very close to the original building's stats.
Not many of these because I made most of the props!
- LRM v4.0 (you don't need the overrides if you don't want them, I'm only using light towers from the prop pack part) - http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/27200-light-replacement-mod-lrm-v40-mega-pack/
- BSCMegaProps JES Vol01 (v1.0) - http://sc4devotion.com/csxlex/lex_filedesc.php?lotGET=342
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