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Introduction and Guide to Simtropolis

5 posts in this topic

Introduction to Simtropolis


Image created by @Cyclone Boom using:  Simtropolis Sign by Ceafus 88, and MYOS Make Your Own Sign by jbizzle.


Hiya! We're so glad you dropped in to see us. :)

Simtropolis is primarily a site for people who love City Building games. We have major forums for SimCity 4, Cities: Skylines, and SimCity (2013) as well as a few others in the gamer topics. Our members are friendly, courteous, and helpful and range in skill levels from beginners to technical gurus.  The forums are where we discuss all manner of city building ideas. Whether you are a player or a custom content creator (or both) we have places ideally suited for your needs. If you haven't signed up yet to be a member, how about dropping by our New Member Registration Page?

We also have the SimTropolis EXchange which is our files section containing (literally) thousands of files to improve on the basic games. These include bug fixes, maps, textures to change the terrain-related aspects, lots, buildings, props, game altering mods, and more. These are available for download by members and guests alike. (However, members are not presented with any ads.)

Now, of course, we do have some easy to abide by rules you'll want to read in the Site Guidelines and for custom content creators and users in the STEX Code of Conduct. Be sure to check those out because they apply in full force to everyone here whether you read them or not. ;)

Ok. Have you registered yet?


I'll wait.



Great! Now that you are a member you can Introduce Yourself Here.

And here's how I've laid out the rest of this introductory thread:

You can click those links above or just scroll down as each one is in its own separate post in this thread.

Also, if you have any issue come up which you feel is best discussed in private, feel free to send a Private Message to one of our Staff Members. Tip: Look over on the right side of that page to see which of us has been most recently active. That doesn't guarantee we didn't just log off 2 seconds after you view the list, but it does increase the odds you'll get a quicker reply. Do keep in mind even if we are online we cannot always respond immediately as we may be working on another important issue.

I hope you find this site as enjoyable as I do.


Handyman, huzman, RandyE and 6 others like this

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Basics of Using the Forum Software


Creating A New Topic 

In every forum there is a nice, big button called Start New Topic. Simply click that to begin.



That will bring up the post editor:


^ The important parts of the above are:

  1. Title - This is what will be shown in the list of threads in that forum. Make the title something descriptive with regard to the content you are creating. Avoid titles such as "Help!" or "Hey" and the like.
  2. Tags - These are used by the search function. You must enter a minimum of two tags. Make them relevant to the post content.
  3. Message Box - This is where you type the actual content of your post.
  4. Notify me of replies - If this does not show in green with the check mark as in the above picture, click it to enable replies notification. (More about notifications in a moment.)
  5. Submit Topic - After you have completed all of the above click this button to finalize the topic creation. It will then show as a thread in the forum's list.


Selective Quoting 

When replying to one or more posts in a topic you may want to quote only part of the message. Use your mouse to highlight the part you want to quote. A Quote this bubble will then appear. Click that.



I then personally type an x and hit the enter key as a place holder. Continue highlighting and quoting the lines you plan to reply to.


Once you have everything you want quoted then delete the placeholder x and type what you wish to say.


Bountiful Bunch of Buttons 

Most of the buttons in the editor are self explanatory. You can mouse over them and a description will pop up.


Some of the more mysterious buttons are described below.


The Link Button


First off, let's say we are going to provide a link to something we want the reader to click. We can copy the URL and paste it right into the post. If it is a link to something on Simtropolis, it will convert itself into a preview style box. So instead of it looking like this:


It will show up like this:

However, let's say we don't like either of those options and would like a word or phrase to show up as a clickable link. We could type something like the following and highlight the word we want to be the link.

Dear reader, check out my map tutorial here. Then we click the Link button.

And it pops up a window like this:


^ Notice the word "here" is automatically placed in the Link text field. Had we highlighted several words they would all show there.

We click in the URL field box and paste the URL into it. Now it looks like this.


Then click the Insert into post button. Our text now shows with the word "here" clickable.

Dear reader, check out my map tutorial here.


Linking to a Specific Post

Sometimes we want to draw attention to one particular post within a thread here on Simtropolis. How do we get that URL? Find the Posted date or time link located in the upper left of the post. With a sophisticated browser (such as Firefox) you can then right-click and select Copy Link Location. That will put the URL for that post into your clipboard. Then you can paste it into your post directly or via the Link box.


So then I could write: Yum created a map in this post. Or I could simply paste the URL and let the editor change it to a preview like this:

Ok, so what if your browser doesn't offer any option to copy the link location by right-clicking it? Simply click that Posted date or time link. Your browser will refresh with the link you need in its URL address bar. Then you can copy it from there.


Linking to Something Offsite

Sometimes you'll want to link to something which is not on Simtropolis. (Wait! There are other sites?) Those only have two options for displaying the link. It's either like this:


Or by using the Link box to make it look like this:

Clip2Pic (v1.0) by wouanagaine


The Emoticons Button


(Borrowed from @Cyclone Boom's post here.)

With emoticons, there are a few others (50 in total), which can be expanded in the menu:


Just click "Simtropolis" as highlighted to reveal the full family. ;)

It'd be interesting to know if anyone's ever memorised all of the shortcut access codes:

:) ;) :D :thumb: :golly: :8) :P
:lol: :yes: :ohyes: :party: :idea: :read: :???:
:rofl: :kitty: :} :] ^_^ :no: :ooh:
0:) :ducky: :bunny: :wub: :blush: :* :ninja:
:whatevs: :uhm: :meh: o.O :lost: :nyah: :(
>.< :noway: :yawn: :zzz: :sly: :cry: :O
:boggle: :drool: :dead: >:( :hmph: :angry: :rage:

(If you paste all that into a post, bingo!)



The Spoiler Button


This option has a couple of uses. Let's say you are requesting help for tweaking your SimCity 4 files so it will recognize your video card (GPU) and one of our gurus (such as @rsc204) requests that you post your auto-config log. Well, that thing is quite lengthy and there's no need for making everyone have to scroll and scroll (and scroll) to get past it to continue reading the thread. So, click the Spoiler button and paste your text inside of it. Then it will look like this in the completed post.


Log generated on 8/21/2016, 08:48

hardwareDriver = true
DXT = true
fullscreen = true
MMX = true
FPU = true
backingStore = true
forcedFSAA = false

userName = Administrator
appName = SimCity 4
version = 1.1.640.0
osVersion = Windows NT 5.1
computerName = CORI-2015-01-18
CPU = GenuineIntel
sglDriverName = DirectX
sglDriverVersion = 2.0
driverName = nv4_disp.dll
driverVersion =, GUID: D7B71E3E-4052-11CF-D277-23B10EC2CD35
cardName = NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 (Microsoft Corporation)
cardVersion = Vendor: 10de, Device: 0312, Board: 91231462, Chipset: 00a1
cardIdentity = NVIDIA GeForce FX 5600 (Microsoft Corporation)
soundDriverName = smwdm.sys
soundCardName = SoundMAX Digital Audio
buildType = Release

cpuSpeed = 2793
memory = 2048
freeMemory = 1724
screenWidth = 1024
screenHeight = 768
screenBPP = 16
videoMemory = 125
textureMemory = 125
textureStages = 8
bogoFPS = 0
bogoMPPS = 0

applying Sound
applying high sound detail
applying City Detail and Day/Night Settings
applying City Detail and Day/Night Settings>
applying high computer power
  option 9 = 3
  option 13 = 1
  option 15 = 3
applying Texture Quality and Building Variety Settings
applying Texture Quality and Building Variety Settings>
applying high memory
  option 3 = 3
  option 14 = 3
applying Variable Speed Automata
applying default
  option 10 = 1
applying Standard hardware
  option 0 = 1
  option 1 = 1
  option 2 = 1
  option 4 = 0
  option 5 = 1
  option 8 = 1
  option 7 = 1
  option 6 = 1
  option 11 = 0
  option 12 = 0
applying Standard hardware>
  option 1 = 2
applying Standard hardware>>
  option 0 = 2
applying Standard hardware>>>
  option 2 = 2
applying Standard hardware>>>>
  option 4 = 1
applying Standard hardware>>>>>
  option 11 = 1
applying Two stages
applying Lotsa vidmem
applying Not Slow GeForce
applying Fast card
applying Fast card>
  option 12 = 1
applying Fast card>>
  option 1 = 3
applying Fast card>>>
  option 0 = 3
applying Fast card>>>>
  option 2 = 3
applying Fast card>>>>>
  option 4 = 1

Visual Effects       current:   3 recommended:   3
Cars/Sims            current:   3 recommended:   3
Shadows              current:   1 recommended:   3
Atmospheric effects  current:   0 recommended:   1
Water effects        current:   1 recommended:   1
Software/Hardware    current:   1 recommended:   1
Cursor               current:   1 recommended:   1
VariableSpeedAutomata current:   1 recommended:   1
Translucent UI       current:   1 recommended:   1
Graphic Detail       current:   3 recommended:   3
Building Load Speed  current:   3 recommended:   3
Texture Quality      current:   3 recommended:   3

forcesoftwaredriver = false
renderdynamicview = true
renderstaticview = true
renderwatereffects = true
rendercloudsandfog = true
forcepointsampling = false
forcebilinear = false
forcenoalphablend = false
forcenoalphatest = false
rendershadows = true
renderdecals = true
usesecondstage = true
forcedebugtexture = false
renderparticleeffects = true
renderflorashadows = true
renderterrain = true
showupdateregions = false
usecursoreffects = true
drawlottextures = true
drawlotfoundations = true
drawlotwalls = true
forcetexturerepeat = false
usescreenshake = true
renderui = true
useupdaterectclipping = true
usevertexbuffers = true
showboundingboxes = false
useoverlayculling = true
rendersnapshot = false
noaddsigned = false
nopartialbackingstorecopies = false
usescreenflash = true
renderautomata = true
preferopaque = false
displayalertborders = true
drawlotopaquetextures = true
useviewcleanup = false
doautozoomandrotationchanges = true

viewoffsety = 0
viewoffsetx = 0
texturebits = 32
lodoffset = 0
shadowdebug = 0
maxparticlestarget = 10000
particlelodoffset = 0
effectprioritylevel = 5
backingstoremaxzoomall = 5
backingstoremaxzoombuildingsprops = 5
backingstoremaxzoomterrain = 5
backingstoremaxzoomflora = 5
shadowquality = 2
minvehiclezoom = 3
minpedzoom = 4
cursortype = 1
depthoffset = 2
debugtexture = 0
dirtyrectmergeframes = 2
sounddetail = 2
buildingvariety = 2
buildingloaderspeed = 1
modellodoffset = 0
stringtexturecachesize = 1024

particleeffectslod = 5
splattexturescale = 50
texbindmaxfree = 8
particledensity = 1
particledamping = 0
particlescale = 1
lightingupdatedelta = 0.0001
shadowmodelthreshold = 12
demolishmodelthreshold = 12
rendermodelthreshold = 6
rendermodelthresholdscroll = 40
particlesizethreshold = 300
maxvehiclepct = 1
maxpedpct = 1
opaqueuialphavalue = 0.55

Another use for the spoiler is in general conversation. It could go like this.

Have you seen that new murder mystery movie?


The butler did it!


Another way to use the spoiler is to first type or paste your text, highlight it, then click the spoiler button. The end result is the same. Of note: The spoiler does not reduce page load times. The entire page is rendered first, then the spoiler mask is placed over the content to be hidden.


The Code Button


This one is handy for when you prefer that the post editor software leaves your text alone. Let's say I'm explaining how to post a picture and I want to show what the direct URL for it looks like. If I paste it right into my post it's going to resolve itself into an image. Sure, I can click the popup to say remove formatting, but then it's a clickable link. By using the Code box I can show it like this:


Or let's say I want to show some actual programming code so I do this:


But it adds colors I really didn't want like this:


Notice the HTML thinger in the lower right of the code box? That's a drop down menu. Click it and select No Syntax Highlighting.


And now it shows like this:

Set ExactMoment=%date:~-4%%date:~4,2%%date:~7,2%_%HH%%time:~3,2%%time:~6,2%


The Preview Button


This offers different views to show how a post would appear on different devices, which is quite neat.
See this article for more info.


On Getting Beeped - aka Notifications Settings

To set up your notification preferences you can go to the drop down of your user name. That pops up this window and you click the Account Settings linky.



On the window which pops up next look over on the right side to find the Other Settings. Click on Notification Settings.


These are the settings I find most relevant:

  • Automatically follow new content I post
  • Automatically follow content I reply to
  • Play a sound when I receive a notification

That window looks like this:


And you'll also notice I have removed the tick (check mark) from the Show popup window when I receive a new personal message because that is simply annoying. You will still get a regular notification when you receive a new message.

Now, scroll down from there and you will see a long Notifications List. Most are self explanatory, but I want to point out the Someone mentions me in a post. It looks like this:


That is for when you use the @ mention feature. To use it in a post you type the @ symbol and then start typing someone's display name. Once you see it in the list, click it to embed the mention.


And then it will look like this: @CorinaMarie and if that person has Mention Notification enabled, they will get beeped.


More Ways to get Beeped

Let's say you are reading a topic and would like to be notified of replies, but you are not going to make a post in that thread. (Oh, and btw, Topic and Thread are used interchangeably with regard to content in forums. They refer to the exact same thing. I have no idea why a thread is a topic. To me thread is something I use to sew on a button or to hem my skirt. But, anyhow, back to writing this guide...)


Following a Topic

At the top right side of a topic there is a Follow button.


Click that to pop up your options.


Then click the Follow button in the popup.


Following a Forum

This is the same procedure as for following a topic with the exception you click the Follow button when viewing the forums list instead of a particular topic. When you follow a forum that will send you a notification when a new topic is posted.


Something Fun

Let's say we are discussing something or other and would like to have an image be a clickable linky like this:



First I posted the linky to my picture and waited for it to resolve itself into an image. Then I double clicked it while in the editor and pasted the linky of where I wanted it to link to. Like this:



Final Words

All of the above tips should be sufficient to help you get going here on Simtropolis. Feel free to ask about anything not covered by creating a thread here in the New Members Information forum or over in the Simtropolis Related forum.


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      Where To Nominate
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      Submit Trixie Nominations Here!
      This forum behaves differently from every other forum on Simtropolis. No one else can see any of the posts or topics you create within it. In lieu of our traditional nominations system, which is now incompatible with ST, this will be where all of your nominations are submitted this year. This comes with some great benefits though! You’ll be able to see all of your nominations at all times, so you can remember what you have nominated and who you have nominated, and you’ll be able to edit these at any time just in case you nominated someone for the wrong award.
      It may feel a bit weird at first, but trust us that only admins will see your nominations. 

      Submitting and Formatting your Nominations
      Since everything has changed, how will you be submitting nominations? Its easy, just follow our guide below!
      1. Firstly, take a look through the List of Trixie Awards for 2015 - 2016.
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      5. Then in your post, please include the following information:
      The Title of the award. Who you are nominating. The Year you are nominating this award for. A short Description as to why you think they deserve this award.
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      Rule Changes
      This year we are making a slight change to how many times you can nominate a member. Traditionally you could only nominate any given member for one award. But this time, this rule is being expanded. It used to be that someone would only create amazing buildings, or only write beautiful CJs. However, now we have members who cover lots of different parts of the site, for the previous Trixies it was increasingly difficult to nominate them for just one award.
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      Quick FAQ
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        For both years, how many nominations per user?
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        How many custom "Ad Hoc" awards may I nominate?
      As many as you'd like!
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        Is there a limit to how many nominations I can submit?
      Yes, the sky.
      Final Words
      We hope you have a great Trixies...
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      Forum Nominations
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      Rule Changes
      This year we are making a slight change to how many times you can nominate a member. Traditionally you could only nominate any given member for one award. But this time, this rule is being expanded. It used to be that someone would only create amazing buildings, or only write beautiful CJs. However, now we have members who cover lots of different parts of the site, for the previous Trixies it was increasingly difficult to nominate them for just one award.
      This year we are making the change to allow you to nominate a member for up to 3 different awards. We hope that you submit multiple nominations for a single member to awards in different sections of the Trixies, but we aren't making that a specific rule as there are awards in sections which relate to very different skill sets. Use this new ability wisely…  
      Cities: Skylines
      It's time to welcome the latest city-builder to our great Trixie Awards! This will be the first year C:S participates in our great ceremony.
      Just remember, the Trixies are a celebration of Simtropolis contributions, so only items here on the site are eligible to be nominated for an award. Understandably, there are thousands of Workshop items, so C:S content on the STEX is only a fraction of the overall selection. Considering this, Workshop items can be nominated, as long as they're created by an author who is a member here at Simtropolis.
      We can't wait to start sharing the love and celebrating what our community has to offer!
      Here's to another memorable Trixies, let the party begin!
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