March goal: We're almost there! 03/20/2017Hi Community! We're almost there for our March goals! I just wanted to keep the momentum going so if you are able to help, please donate and get some gifts in exchange! Thanks so much to those who have helped out this month, we really appreciate it.
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The Nominations are now OPEN!
The greatest time of year has arrived, the Trixies are upon us and the nominations have officially opened. The Trixies are a celebration of all types of community contributions, ranging from STEX uploads to CJs, all the way to forum posts. It's the perfect opportunity to celebrate all the amazing content shared over the past two years, and give a special 'thanks' to your fellow members.
We last held the Trixies for the year 2014, so understandably, we have a lot to catch up on. This year things are little different. We won't be holding just one ceremony, but two at the same time: One each for 2015 and 2016. Since we last held the Trixies Simtropolis has been through a lot of change, which unfortunately means we’ve had to change the way were conducting the nominations this year. However, we think these changes will make it easier for you guys to nominate members, and continue to nominate throughout the nominations period.
The biggest difference is that you will be posting your nominations on the forums. Don’t worry though, no one apart from the admins will be able to see your nominations, just like it was before! Let’s go through how this is all going to work.
Nominations Close on April 3rd
How To Nominate
As we’ve mentioned before, nominating members for awards will be a little different this year. Read the guides below to know how you are going to be nominating members for awards this year, and take note of some slight rule changes which will allow you to nominate members for multiple awards.
Where To Nominate
This year, all your nominations will be submitted as posts in the forum linked below.
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.
2. You’ll first find an award which you want to nominate someone for and copy its award title.
3. From there navigate to the Submit Trixie Nominations Here! forum and create a new topic.
4. Paste the award title into the topic title box, and add a couple of tags:
The name of the member you are nominating. The year you are nominating them for.
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.
To help ensure you include these details, feel free to copy and paste the following template into your posts to match the guidelines:
Don’t forget to add this info for each of your nominations, or else they may not be counted.
I’ll repeat these briefly below:
Topic Title: The Award Title. Tags: Nominated member, and Year.
Post Text: Award Title, Member Name, Year, Short Description.
To submit another nomination, simply start another topic.
Ceremonies for both 2015 and 2016
We last held the Trixies for the year 2014, and due to issues we weren’t able to open up the nominations last year for 2015’s content. During these nominations we invite you to nominate content from 2015 as well as 2016. In the end, we aren't just holding one ceremony, but two at the same time: One each for 2015 and 2016.
During the run up to the nominations opening we’ve had a series of discussions, interviews, and retrospectives aiming to highlight content from 2015 and 2016 in the hopes that you won’t forget what has been created during those years.
This is why it is important for you to distinguish what year you are nominating a member for.
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 time we are making the change to allow you to nominate a member for up to 3 different awards in both 2015 and 2016. 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 in the Trixies
Over the past two years we’ve seen the release of a new game which has swept Simtropolis, Cities: Skylines. In the past we’ve never had another city building game which made as much impact on our community as SimCity 4 originally did, so this is the first time the Trixies have had to accommodate another game. You’ll notice that most of the descriptions for awards no longer call out any specific game, that is because all of these awards are intended to be relatable to both games.
When nominating, remember the great content created for both games these previous two years, rather than the content from a single game.
Multiple or single threads for nominations?
Posting each nomination in its own thread is preferred, as this helps with the processing.
Really though, it's up to you. If posting in a single thread is easier for you to manage or edit, that's perfectly fine. At the end of nominations, the Llama Crew will attempt to count anything inside the forum.
For both years, how many nominations per user?
In each year, you may nominate any individual member up to 3 times.
So this means for both 2015 & 2016 combined, you could nominate someone up to 6 times.
Who can I nominate?
Any Simtropolis user (member or staff) can be nominated for any award. The processing will determine whether a given user is eligible.
How many custom "Ad Hoc" awards may I nominate?
As many as you'd like!
Feel free to be creative with the title & description if a default award isn't suitable for what you have in mind.
Is there a limit to how many nominations I can submit?
Yes, the sky.
We hope you have a great Trixies...
And remember, Nominate early and Nominate Often!
Trixies 2015 - 2016 Default Awards List -
Trixies 2015 - 2016 are upon us, and its time to start submitting your nominations. Listed below are the default awards we are suggesting you nominate members for this time. There are more here than we have included in previous years, this was obtained by discussion with the community and further narrowed down by staff discussion. Each category, Custom Content, City Journals and Community is broken down into three subsections, this will help you in narrowing down which sections you are most involved with. Visit the Nominations Guidelines topic on how nominating has changed this year.
Nom Nom Nom...
Custom Content Awards
STEX Community Favourite
When asked who was the STEX Community Favourite, most people chose this individual.
Best Development Thread
This award is for the person who curates the best development thread, through either providing an insight into their own creative process, writing tutorials or just by being the best at documenting the twists and turns of creating content for the STEX.
Most Useful Feedback in Custom Content Threads
This award is for the person who provides great, behind the scenes support for other people's BATs. Helping out, giving valuable instruction, and doing those annoying but necessary tasks needed to bring a quality BAT to the STEX.
Highest Overall Quality
This award goes to the person whose creations are consistently outstanding.
Best Effort In Compatibility
Most clear work dedicated to avoid one custom content to break the game when used in combination with others
Best Large Scale Project
The scale and scope of this project is so impressive that it's taken a great amount of work to pull off. This award goes to the member who has created the best large scale project.
Most Beautiful Small Addition
This award goes to the member who has created a tiny yet extremely beautiful addition to the game.
This BAT is the best recreation of a specific, real life building, done with total devotion to complete and thorough accuracy.
Most Important Discovery/Innovation
It seems that some relatively small steps for Modders can lead to some pretty giant leaps for simkind. This award has been invented for the one who sits at the desk in the Mission Control of Modding. Houston, we have a Trixie!
Most Inventive Creation
With many different cities come many different ways which buildings or creations could adapt to their surroundings, and the only way to overcome this is to make an inventive creation to cover all bases. This member created the most inventive addition to our game.
Highest Technical Achievement in Custom Creations
This award goes to the individual who has pushed the boundaries of custom content beyond what we once knew, and who have shared their discoveries with the rest of the community.
Most Realistic Creation
This award goes to the member who has created a BAT which is extremely realistic. This is a fictional building, yet is so well detailed we could be forgiven in assuming it was a real world recreation.
Most Useful Creation
These creations fill a void that many of us feel came with the vanilla game. They are useful because they make our cities feel more complete.
BATs & LOTs
BAT of the Year
The nominations are in, and it was decided that this BAT was the best creation this year.
BATer of the Year
This member is the best overall BATer this year. Multiple BATs at an outstanding level of quality, mixed with their ability to constantly help others in BAT threads makes this member the best BATer this year.
Best BAT Newcomer of the Year
Big splashes have been made in the community this year by this new BATer!
Best Industrial BAT of the Year
Industrial parks are an absolute essential in our cities. But they are often under represented as BATers choose more glamorous subjects. That is not the case for this member. We feel a sneeze coming on due to their dusty realness, because industrial structures have never felt a more reverential touch.
Big Building of the Year
Buildings come in all sizes, but this is the best skyscraper, highrise or major complex created this year.
Small Building of the Year
Buildings come in all sizes, but this is the best small building, house, shack, service, warehouse created this year.
Most Improved BATer
This award goes to the BATer who has shown the most improvement during the year.
Most Luminous Illuminator
Lighting, or more specifically night lighting, creates such completely dramatic changes to the way we view our BATs in game. This award goes to the BATer who provided lighting that is the most realistic, most technically advanced, most beautifully fitting, or even the most outlandishly eye-catching.
Favourite BAT team
This award goes to the community's favourite BAT team.
Lot of the Year
Buildings must go on some kind of LOT, and this LOT is the best we have seen this year.
This award recognizes the skill of the individual who puts a high level of polish to each lot creation, and has received acclaim from the community with every lot that is created.
Taking an existing building and giving it a new lease of life is an important skill. This award goes to the member who has created the best reLOT this year.
Mods, Maps & Others
Mod of the Year
All votes are now in, and it has been decided by the community that this Mod was the best creation this year.
Most Dedicated Modder
This award recognizes the Modder who has stretched most to go above and beyond, to bring us their best possible work in some shape or form.
Modding Tool of the Year
Modding Tools are constantly being created to advance our creations. This award goes to the Modding Tool which has changed our game the most this year.
Map of the Year
This award goes to the Map of the Year, the best map which has graced the STEX this year.
Best New Mapper
This award goes to the Map Rookie of the Year
Most Creative Map
This award goes to the creator that has satisfied our need for maps that don't follow the normal trends. Not only are they playable, but they are the most original and creative map of this year
Best Real World Recreation Map
People love creating cities in real world locations, this map is the best recreation of a real world location.
Best Fictional Map
This award goes to the best fictional map created this year.
SC4 players are in love with their automata. We love to cruise the streets, hop a bus, ride the rails, and fly the friendly skies. This award goes to the member who has ensured we can do all of the above.
City Journals Awards
City Journal of the Year
The nominations are in, and it was decided that this City Journal was the best creation this year.
Best City Journal Startup
This award goes to our favourite new City Journaler whose first CJ has become an immediate favourite.
Best Work in Progress City Journal
Some people not only show their finished cities, but also the construction and all other building and planning processes. This award is for the member who's done the best behind the scenes Work-In-Progress presentation.
Most Awe-inspiring City Journal
This award goes to the City Journal that has held members in awe longer than any other CJ this year.
Most Eye Catching and Original Title
As a good headline is what draws us into a newspaper article, a good title draws us into a CJ. This award goes to the member with the best CJ title.
The best planner award recognizes the mayor who thinks ahead, looks at the region, and establishes a plan for what to do next before proceeding.
Best Attention to Detail
Many CJ's include pictures that are zoomed in to the max, showing their detailed downtowns, lots, and other features. This award is for the CJ that pays a great deal of attention to detail and perfection.
Best Functional City Journal
This award goes to the City Jorunaler who has created the city which could function the best in the real world. This Journal pays close attention to functionality over everything else.
This award goes to the City Journal that makes us feel at home in the city, providing familiar landmarks while telling us the story of a city
Best Overall Design
City Journalers pay close attention to how every part of their Journals look, from how their entries are formatted and posted, to how compose the images they post. This award goes to the member who has the best designed City Journal overall.
This award goes to the member who has the best photoshopping of any CJ. From creating different worlds, to balancing image colours, this member used Photoshop to enhance their images in the most creative way possible.
Every City Journal must have roads, but the recipient of this award paid attention to the detail of each and every road to ensure they had proper functionality and use for the Sims who would be using it everyday.
Best Use of Added Media
Not all that we see in City Journals is real. But of them all, this CJ stood out above them all with the best use of added graphics, sound, or video in a CJ at Simtropolis.
Most Miraculous Mosaic
A picture can be worth a thousand words. Three pictures meticulously stitched together can be worth a million. This award goes to member with the mosaic that shows them the most!
We've seen many examples of airports in CJs this year, this members CJ has paid close attention to the design of their Airport, and we celebrate them with this award.
Best Application of a Single Public Transportation System
This award recognises the the CJ who has paid close attention to a specific Public Transportation System. Bus, Rail, Monorail, Tram or Ferry, this system is the best, and inspires others to replicate its greatness.
Best Transportation Network
Not everyone drives to work, and not all businesses ship their goods by road. This CJ shows the power of a well-designed public transport network, from the smallest bus stop to the largest rail terminal. Ships, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles; this award goes to the member who presents the best of the first three.
Every major city has a CBD, and our CJs love creating CBDs of their own. This award goes to the best example of CBDs that we've seen in CJs this year.
Best Custom Lotting
Most CJs make use of the great creations uploaded to the STEX, but this member has gone beyond that to create amazing custom LOTs for thier own city.
The gritty grime of the industry doesn't escape most cities, but this member has fully embraced the smog and pollution of their industry and created CJ which showcases how great their industrial zone is.
Best MMP Use
Mayor Mode Ploppables give us a great way to build amazing places within our city, adding an extra level of detail to our cities. This member has fully embraced MMPs to create an amazing area within their CJ.
Best Natural Environment/Landscape Area
Some CJs are designed to show off the beautiful beaches, river valleys, and mountains in their region. This award is for the CJ that best showcases the region's natural terrain.
Sometimes you need a break from the concrete jungle. Scenic beauty and recreation are elements of this award. This creator has created the ultimate in parks using a naturalistic setting.
Best Road Map
This award goes to the member who has documented their city in the most amazing road map we have seen this year.
Cities and skyscrapers are great, but rural towns are fantastic too. This award is for the CJ that best depicts a rural area.
Best Suburban Area
This award goes to the member who pays the best attention in designing realistic and liveable suburbs.
Best Urban Area
This award goes to the member who has created the best city overall. Many CJs exhibit great parts of their city, but this award goes to the CJ which creates the best city overall.
Best Use of Railroads
Railroads are the backbone of many cities, transporting freight or commuters. This award goes to the CJ which has given us the best example of what a railroad can be.
Most Effective Use of Custom Content
This award goes to the best use of Lots and BATs in a single City Journal. The owner of this Journal had many different brands of custom content, but had them placed so that they all complimented each other in perfect harmony
Best North American Style City Journal
This award goes to the CJ which is the best example of a city created in the style of other North American cities.
Best Asian Style City Journal
This award goes to the CJ which is the best example of a city created in the style of other Asian cities.
Best European Style City Journal
This award goes to the CJ which is the best example of a city created in the style of other European cities.
Best Fictional City Journal
This award goes to the best fictional city, a city which is neither sci-fi nor a real world recreation, but a city with its own style, history and location.
Best Real World Recreation
Many CJs are based off of real life locations, or share similar styles with real cities. This CJ goes beyond that to have the closest recreation of a real world location.
Best Science Fiction City Journal
The member who wins this award really deserves a lot of credit for designing cities and a region that we could only imagine in a Science Fiction novel.
Best Historical City Journal
City Journals introduced a new way of learning and living a bit of history. From the Roman Empire to the 19th century, some players decided to go beyond the four predetermined tilesets and write their own little part in history. This award goes to the member who has better told us ancient stories and ways of life.
Best Grimy/Grunge City Journal
This award goes to the CJ with the best dirty, grimy, yucky, garbage/crime infested cities. Quite a few cities out in the CJ's have some nasty areas. This award would go to the best grimy city in the Journals section.
Most Entertaining City Journal
This award is for the City Journal that is really fun. The text, the screenshots, and the everyday life of the theme city are very entertaining.
Most Informative City Journal
This award goes to the CJ which keeps us informed about real world events or topics, through its narrative it is able to keep us up to date with important topics or current events.
Most Weird City Journal
This award goes to the weirdest CJ that we've read this year.
Some avatars are interesting; some not so much. This award goes to the member whose avatar was deemed the most entertaining.
Merit of Team Spirit
Without teamwork, a project can become chaos. This award goes to the team best able to overcome adversity and to stick together through thick and thin. This team has shown real dedication to making these projects work.
Every group has an enduring leader steering the ship. This award goes to the leader which has aided our groups the most this year.
Many creators have different strengths in different areas of their craft. This award goes to the members who combined their talents to create the best collaboration on any project.
Chat Insomniac Award
This award goes to the member who is up until the wee hours of the morning chatting and providing buckets of laughter at the same time.
This award recognizes the individual who has always been helpful and chatty in the chat rooms.
Enduring Dedication Award
Simtropolis has changed much through the ages. The award goes to a member whose dedication, work, and contributions have helped make the site evolve into its current form.
Funniest Overall Member
Pwning a troll is funny and all, but we don't have that many trolls anymore. While the others are waiting for a troll to declare their superiority over, this member keeps the rest of us laughing.
Most Consistently Helpful Member
The most consistently forumer is recognized for tirelessly answering questions when possible, often answering the same ones over and over with good cheer, is always eager to share knowledge and point the uninitiated toward the light.
Most Improving Member
Occasionally, a member will get off to a rocky start. Some never recover but others manage to learn the rules and become solid members of the community. This award is for the Simtropolian who has shown the greatest increase in socialization skills during their time here.
Most Welcoming to Newcomers
Some just give a simple "Welcome to the site" to new members who join the site. This member was always there to meet and greet newcomers to the community.
The threads in our Bugs & Technical Issues forums discuss many issues. This award honours the best techie who answers the wide range of questions that people raise.
Staff Eye Within the Storm
The staff member with the ability to keep their head when all about them people are losing theirs and blaming it on them.
This award recognizes the most friendly forumer, one who is always piping in with good cheer and making newbies feel at home.
Highest Quality Poster
Many members have high post counts, some stretching well into the ten-thousands. But sometimes its quality, not quantity, that matters. This award goes to the person who may not have a high post count, but puts a lot of thought into their posts to ensure that each one matters.
Best Instructions in Gameplay/Strategies
This award recognises the member who is consistently helpful in conveying gameplay strategies to others, either through the use of tutorials or suggestions in threads or CJs.
Best Picture Post in a "Show us your ..." Thread
Sometimes it's best to just show the world your masterpiece. This award goes out to the most fascinating addition to the "Show us your ..." threads.
While the game may be ten years old, new things and new ways of doing old things keep popping up. This award is for the member who demonstrated a useful procedure in a tutorial.
Most Engaging Off-Topic
This award recognizes the member whose contributions in the Off-Topic section are above and beyond the usual high quality. The winner has a positive attitude, and engages the readers of their posts by making relevant and useful comments.
Most Informed Member on Real World Events
This award goes to the member who is most likely to be reading the newspaper right now. This member is constantly engaged with global events and is relied on to keep us informed of what's going on in the world today.
Most Active Non-City Builder
This award is for the user who does not play a city builder game, but still contributes a massive amount to the Simtropolis forums.
Most Creative But Impossible to Solve Request
Sometimes we get questions or requests for a creation which is so unique that it is probably impossible to create. This award goes to the member whose request is so unique that it is impossible to create for our games.
Most Promising Announcement Fulfilled
We are promised great things from many creators, and are usually treated to the completion of their announcement. This award goes to the member who promised the most and has finally delivered their amazing concept to reality.
Saddest City Builder Moment Caught on Picture
This award goes to the creator who managed to document the lowest moment of their city. This could be from a natural disaster, a silly bug or from an incredibly bad planning decision. This members misfortune gave us a smile, and so we reward them with this token of our gratitude.
Simtrop Walking Library
Every community has a member who knows so much about the site we belong to. They are always there to provide us with historical facts about Simtropolis, and this award recognises them within the history of ST.
The Member Who Was Everywhere
This award goes to a member whose dedication, work, and contributions have helped make the site a welcoming and enjoyable place for all.
We Miss You; Come Back
In an online community such as this, people come and go as Real Life Syndrome takes over. Sometimes, we lose someone who we really would rather have kept among us. This award goes to the person we miss the most and wish to hear from in the next year.
Ad Hoc Awards
Remember, if you don’t see the award you wanted to give someone listed above, you may create a custom "Ad Hoc" award.
Create a title, and write why you are giving them the award in your description. The Admins will review all custom requests and decide if the award has enough merit to be given to that member.
By T Wrecks
Just like the list for 2015, we have also prepared a similar list for 2016. Even though these uploads aren't as far in the past as the others, we felt like a little reminder/overview might be useful.
BATs and lots
@Adrianor debuted uploading some interesting sets for fans of Latin American BATs:
@rsc204 enters this category with a FAR re-lot project:
@kingofsimcity has relotted Maxis' vanilla mansions:
@FrankU, true to his main focus, provided some Dutch housing:
Dutch Housing Project Volume 7
@Bombardiere brought some European W2W buildings to the STEX:
@gutterclub reminded us that rowhouses don't have to be old-fashioned:
Modern Row Home
@Bipin uploaded something with untypically little grime - a series of slope-friendly family homes:
Bipin's Hamilton - Two Storey House
@BIWDC also uploaded a family home:
@Edvarz took existing BATs of mid-rise wall-to-wall buildings and turned them into a lot pack:
@JP Schriefer contributed his recreation of a 70's highrise from Belo Horizonte (Brazil):
@mattb325 had a set of townhomes and an apartment complex in store for us:
@nos.17 gave vnaoned's French Pavillions a spin for a lotting contest and shared the result with us:
@Solid_Snake0911 made some typical wall-to-wall apartments from NY:
@Wallibuk not only does Eastern European stuff - he also gave us a pack of South American houses:
@Adrianor's sets also cover small Latin American shops and offices for W2W use:
@on001222 from Thailand uploaded these modern skyscrapers:
@pclark06 made his STEX debut with these retail BATs:
@JP Schriefer contributed some American-style commercial highrises for the Chicago/NY tilesets, but also modern stuff from Brazil:
@Solid_Snake0911 also made an Art Deco highrise from NY:
@jijdlswns made a modern highrise from Korea:
@11241036 gave Maxis' Lee Shopping Mall a re-lot:
@nos.17 continued with bobbo62's relots, also including some buildings by other modelers:
b62 Remastered: BJ's Wholesale
@kingofsimcity applied his new parking textures to several offices and shops:
@Aarsgevogelte gave us a sizeable amount of small and very detailed W2W buildings:
@Diego Del Llano contributed with many iconic office towers from North America:
Van Prooijen Trading
@madhatter106 uploaded one of his signature packs to counter vanilla building repetition:
Midrise Office Pack Volume 7
@gutterclub shared one of his small-footprint W2W buildings with us:
@Huston contributed a Brazilian skyscraper for the Río Olympics event:
@Jasoncw also participated, with two buildings from the South American city:
@mattb325 had a wide variety in store, ranging from low-rise retailers to mid-rise offices:
@patfirefghtr uploaded a smaller office building in memory of Mike (OP4):
@Urban Abstraction contributed something that's not done very often - a night club:
@Mary Maurine Mayo made a return to the forum, producing two rural buildings:
Mikes Tree Farm
@MushyMushy chose a Maxis industry building for a relotting project:
@Simmer2 gave us a set of pipelines and power transformers to complement those industrial areas:
@CT14 debuted in custom content creation with a trio of industrial-styled BATs
@T Wrecks has kept expanding the Industrial Revolution Mod, adding several relots:
@Ro-Bo was up for another unusual subject, buyos to generate power:
RB Offshore Power Plants: PowerBuoys
@nos.17 made two distribution centers / freight yards that tie both into his own relotting project and into the IRM:
@Manuel-ito covered various Maxis buildings with his "Maxis Renewal" re-lot series, including civic buildings:
@Fantozzi reimagined some existing buildings as police stations:
@Bombardiere brought as an old-fashioned scrap metal yard:
@markussaage made two county courthouses, one for new and one for old cities :
@mattb325 uploaded a dental clinic and a civic center:
@Simmer2 brought VesterDK's Swan Mill power plant to us:
@thegrindre combined two Maxis industry buildings for a water & air cleaner:
@Manuel-ito covered various Maxis buildings with his "Maxis Renewal" re-lot series, including utilities and transport:
@nos.17 uploaded a streetside parking set:
@Tyberius06 started his lotting carrer with a huge modular seaport complex
@Simmer2 created a bunch of big rail complexes, including stations and logistics centres:
SM2 Gogar Tram Depot
Rail Service Yard
SM2 SG SimTropolis Station DTR
SM2 Rail Service Yard 2
@Takingyouthere uploaded a diagonal rail tunnel portal that converts heavy rail to subway traffic:
Diagonal Rail Tunnel
@Bipin shared some FLUP covers with us that can be used to change the appearance of FLUP entrances/exits:
Bipin's Cosmetic FLUP Covers
@Moonraker0 contributed a street parking mod for NWM sections:
NWM Street Parking
@Fantozzi also ventured into the rail department an tried his hands on a freigth yard:
Real Freightyard V2
@kingofsimcity released his modular parking lots on a series of complementary releases
@mattb325 shared Chicago's Grand Central Terminal with us:
@rsc204 created some light rail warehouses and a handful of basic lots to show them in work:
@Bombardiere reminded us that W2W doesn't have to be limited to RCI with this library:
@Diego Del Llano let the skyscrapers aside for a bit, to model a post-modernist museum
@rsc204 once again created a dependency and a teaser lot to show it in operation - this time for tennis parks & clubs:
@Manuel-ito covered various Maxis buildings with his "Maxis Renewal" re-lot series, including parks & recreation:
@11241036 brought a mayor's square and a modular plaza system to the STEX:
@kingofsimcity shared a tennis park set and some open grass fillers for FA networks with us:
@flunight gave us the most characteristic part of Río on a modular beach set:
Flunight Copacabana Beach
@DocRorlach is remembered here with a traditionally dependency-heavy sports park:
@FrankU made a cemetery reward that acts as a sequel to the Maxis cemeteries:
@ussoldier2002 dedicated an upload to our deceased Resident Moose:
@KOSMO* contributed Barcelona's famous football stadium and one of New York's landmarks to this STEX category:
@nos.17 brought us two lots that set the famous statue by reddonquixote/Travis and ripptide's Palacio Cristal in a new context:
@Heblem did an intempestive release, a neoclassisist palace inspired on the cancelled Mexican Legislative Palace
@JP Schriefer gave us a completed governmental building, the seat of the brazilian executive:
Palácio do Planalto
@Stanďák contributed an Eastern European church:
SimPrague St. Wenceslas Church
@adambailey39 uploaded two stadiums:
DU Rivers Stadium
DU Tigers Stadium
@alvaro6j recreated one of the wold's most famous ocean liners for SimCity:
Queen Mary 2
@Ng_pillow uploaded his first BAT, a massive complex from Singapore:
1 Shenton Way
@Fantozzi reminded us that landmarks often attract buses full of tourists - and made it possible to plop those:
@FrankU made a Dutch-style version of the farm fair:
@nos.17 gave dmscopio's Staples Center a spin and uploaded a new lot:
@SpiritOf69 uploaded two WWII bunkers:
@Takingyouthere added a whole series of telecommunications towers to the STEX:
@Wallibuk brought as a monastery from Georgia (the country on the Caucasus):
Props & Automata
@airman15 once again made a large number of car automata - can you find the surprise helicopter among them?
Nissan Skyline GT-R
Wrightbus New Routemaster
Mercedes Sprint 2500
@flunight uploaded a set of flora props as well as a dependency for tropical beaches:
Flunight Props Vol 1 - Flora
Flunight Props Vol 2 - Copacabana
@Mary Maurine Mayo accompanied her lot/BAT uploads with some farming and SimMars prop packs:
LNX JBM Mega Prop pack
@11241036 broadened the selection of available lot foundations and retaining walls:
@metarvo made a pack of power poles available on the STEX:
@tiemanjw uploaded a set of three modern navy vessels:
@flunight made the iconic Copacabana sidewalk pattern available as a set of lot textures:
@VeeTHis shared a set of plaza textures:
Plaza Texture Pack
@Mary Maurine Mayo not only accompanied her uploads with props, but also with a texture pack:
JBM Mega Texture Pack
@matias93 made a basaltic sand texture for volcanic beaches:
Basaltic Sands Texture
@kingofsimcity made his extensions of shktherapy's parking textures available to Simtropolis users:
@Simmer2 contributed a texture set for rail in concrete:
@VeeTHis uploaded another plaza texture pack:
Mods & Tools
@InvisiChem made a new, fixed and improved version of the CAM available, as well as suitably tuned CAM replacements for Maxis residential buildings:
The following users added to the map pool on the STEX:
@Mary Maurine Mayo:
Phew, there we are. A big shout out to @matias93, @JP Schriefer and @Hamish for help putting all this together. I hope this will help one or two of you to make a choice, and some nominations! I need a drink now. No, make that two... bottles.
As part of the upcoming Trixie Season, the Staff team have been interviewing various prominent members of the community and asking them about their favourite STEX files and City Journals over the past two years, inspiration and creative workflow, along with life outside of Simtropolis. So without further adieu, please welcome our next guest @Tarkus, which many of you will know as one of the leaders of the NAM team.
An Interview with Tarkus
Hi Tarkus, how are you?
Alright, though fairly busy of late—having two jobs will do that to you.
Many people know you as one of the brains behind the NAM, but that wasn’t always the case was it? How did you get into modding SimCity?
I first picked up SimCity 4 Deluxe sometime in early 2004, and played it quite regularly in vanilla form for close to two years. And then I ran across Simtropolis almost by accident, and as soon as I saw the NAM (Version 19 back then), the early prototype of something called an RHW, and all the other content that had been made for the game, I was absolutely over the moon. My first real effort at making content was a set of road sign lots, which were on the STEX for awhile, and picked up a modest number of downloads. I kind of fell inactive for a bit after that, as I was finishing up my master's thesis, and then didn't have reliable internet access for awhile.
Once I finally got back onto the site in late September 2006, the thing that immediately hit me was that most of the transit modding community had seemingly gone silent, and a lot of the promising things that were in the works had come to a halt—including the RHW, which I had really taken a liking to, even in its early state. The NAM itself hadn't seen a release in a number of months, either. I had really come to care about these projects, and felt an urge to do see if there was a way I could contribute.
There was really just one thing I wanted to add—a puzzle piece to allow an Avenue viaduct to cross over an RHW-4 (the only RHW network back then). At that point, the only real tutorial out there on transit modding was @redlotus Interchange Tutorial, which was a pretty intense read. After a couple months of staring at hexadecimal in the Reader, and learning what RULs and exemplars were, and some help from a couple of NAMites who re-emerged from the woodwork ( @Swamper77 was especially helpful), I finally figured out how to get a puzzle piece in-game.
Of course, by that time, I started having all these other ideas, and kept learning more about transit modding to better facilitate them. Eventually, that led to my being added to a newly-reconstituted NAM Team in February 2007. I was never sent an invite PM or anything—I just suddenly had access to a new private thread, and discovered inside that I had indeed been invited onto the team. It was a very pleasant surprise, to say the least!
You grew the quality of add-ons in the NAM through your continued development of the RHW, what has been the most challenging aspect of that project as it grew over the years?
It's certainly been a challenging project over the years, but that's really what's kept me coming back to it. As far as what's been most challenging, I'd say dealing with all the crosslinking between all the various RHW networks, and between RHW networks and other NAMcomponents. There's 33 RHW networks at present. That presents an enormous number of options compared to the base game, but enormous complications as well—especially when you try to add 20 networks at once (as we did in NAM 31—it would have been 26 if we hadn't shelved three levels of RHW-12S and 10C).
What the general user may not know about how we “add” networks (really, we've just adeptly tricked the game into transforming behavior and appearance of existing networks, as we can't add true new ones), there's no high-level programming language or scripting involved. Most of it is if/then statements with hexadecimal pointers that operate two tiles at a time, like this:
The RHW, as a whole, presently consists of over one million lines of that. We actually had to change how we save the file back around NAM30, as Maxis did some strange things with compression that had capped the size at around 200,000 lines.
One of the other big challenges has been sneaking in time for my other transit modding projects. I have plenty of stories about the myriad delays on the Network Widening Mod (NWM), which, in terms of development time, is only about a year younger than the RHW (2006 vs. 2005), but didn't see its first release until 2010. The FLEX Turn Lanes (FTL) project, which is my main area of focus for the NAM 36 cycle, has actually been in development since January 2014, just after NAM 32 was released.
When you took over development of the RHW, did you ever see it being as big as it is now? What feature would you have never thought possible when you first started but that we now take for granted?
I had a flood of ideas come to me for where the project could go once I really started figuring out transit network modding. The 8-lane RHWprototype that project founder @qurlix showed off right around the time I joined the community was a huge inspiration, and I knew from that and the various conversations I had with the RHW thread regulars back then that this was a project that could go on for a very long time. That said, I never expected it to still be going over a decade later. My big proclamation back when I first started formulating the Modular Interchange System (MIS) was that I wanted to have a system that could replicate all the designs in the Kurumi Field Guide to Interchanges. It took 10 years (the stack was the killer—NAM 35 finally stabilized it, though we can still improve it further), but we've basically gotten there, in addition to covering types that weren't even out there when we started, like the Diverging Diamond.
As far as things I never would have thought possible, I still remember my shock at seeing the first FLEXFly that @Wahrheit (then Blue Lightning) developed. That development really changed the face of the game, and laid the ground work for many of the FLEX items that have shaped development in the past several releases. Amazingly enough, the FLEX functionality is going to allow us to break the longtime prohibition on fully-assembled plop interchanges, which will make the RHW far more accessible than it ever has been in the near future.
The NAM had another big release in 2016, what's the development mentality like behind the scenes now?
Right now, the team is probably the smallest it's ever been, outside of that brief “dark age” of 2006. We're down to just three fully-active developers right now, plus a small number of semi-active ones who contribute when time permits, and a handful of testing/power user types.
There are some advantages to our smaller, leaner size in terms of coordinating different projects, particularly as our small group is intensely dedicated to keeping this project going. We don't see an end in sight. The big downside is that those of us left have occasional spurts of pretty heavy RL. Given that we're also still working through some of the ongoing large-scale efforts that were started several years ago, when our development team was much larger, it's really felt when one of us has to dial back for a bit.
Through NAM v32's development, was there someone's work which you found outstanding when you first saw it?
@Droric joined the team during NAM 32 development, and was around through part of NAM 33's marathon cycle. He joined in 2013 and picked up transit modding almost instantly. Even more impressive was the fact that he wasn't afraid to pick up big projects, starting off by getting the NAM to play nice with @Daeley's Advanced Menu Navigator (DAMN), and then being a major contributor to the major Elevated Rail Dual-Networking expansion in that release, working with veteran NAMites @memo, @z1, and @jdenm8.
NAM 32 was also the marked the initial edition of RealRailway (RRW) system, an effort started by another relatively new member of the team, @Swordmaster, intended revamp the standards of the default Rail network to improve realism. While he was whisked away by RL shortly before NAM 32's release, and has only been intermittently active since, he laid the initial tracks for what has become a very substantial new area of content development for us.
Is there anyone who might not have got the praise they deserve for their role in the development of the last update?
Both @Eggman121 and @rsc204 have been an indispensable part of the NAM Team for the last three releases—NAM 33, 34, and 35. I really can't thank them enough for their efforts in keeping this project going, some 13 years after its first release.
eggman121 is almost single-handedly responsible for taking Swordmaster's RealRailway idea and fleshing it out into one of our largest projects in scale, adding the FlexTrack system and Draggable Fractional Angle Rails in the past two releases. For NAM 36, he's working on the long-awaited arrival of Draggable Rail Viaducts. He's also been instrumental in getting the Multi-Radius Curve standard implemented, which has added a lot of new flexibility into the NAM's grid-breaking repertoire.
rsc204 has been a veritable “Swiss Army knife” for both the NAM Team and the RTMT Team. He has a unique and diverse skill set, and an amazing attention to detail. We finally managed to get a NAM release out on Christmas Day with NAM 34—the first time we've successfully been able to pull that off—and I really don't think we could have done that without his efforts. He's been phenomenal to work with on the team, and in the community at large.
You help run the biggest custom creation team for SC4, what team outside of the NAM do you admire, and why?
I've always been a big fan of the BSC. I have been particularly impressed by the way in which both teams were able to streamline the custom content process, which resulted in an amazingly prolific output of really top-notch stuff. As someone who does care quite a bit about functionality, I especially appreciate how they undertook careful research on gameplay mechanics and balance, and used that knowledge as part of their creation process. I'd mention the SFBT in the same breath as well.
Do you still get time to just play the game? Or has creating mods become the game?
Right now, with RL being as busy as it is, and my desire to rebuild my plugin setup a bit more, my SC4 time has largely been limited to NAMwork. It's been that way for at least a couple years now, though I do occasionally get a little carried away with my test cities and actually flesh them out a bit. I definitely do want to get back to actually building cities and bring Tarkusian Cities back at some point (likely with a new region), though finding the time is the caveat.
Was there anyone's creations from the last two years which you've admired?
I'd say the most amazing thing to come out in the past two years was the DLL work that @simmaster07 did, particularly with SC4Fix. Piecing together an incomplete Software Development Kit (SDK) and then using it to solve the long-thought-unsolvable TE Lot/Puzzle Piece crashes after all these years is too amazing to put into words.
Beyond that, I'm impressed with @Reddonquixote's work, @Bipin's bold ideas, and the re-lot work that @nos.17 has been doing on @Bobbo662's old files.
You active on the forums with NAM development and answering questions, in the past two years has there been anyone you've noticed who has been answering questions before you get to them, or giving you continual feedback in development threads?
I'd put @APSMS near the top of that list—that trait is one of the main reasons we brought him on as a NAM Associate awhile back. He's knowledgeable, thoughtful, and makes great points, and has really helped us out with support.
Among the development team, @rsc204 has been very helpful in terms of keeping an eye on our support threads and springs into action with useful detailed responses.
Before his unfortunate passing, @A Nonny Moose always had something interesting and encouraging to say and was a big supporter of our efforts. It still feels a bit empty not seeing him around Modding-Transit Networks.
I've also been quite impressed with @matias93 recently on these fronts, too.
You had a very successful MD/CJ, do you still keep up with the CJ scene? Are there any which you just can't stop reading?
Unfortunately, I'm not nearly as up on the CJ scene as I used to be. I'd say it's largely a product of more limited SC4 hours. I will occasionally check some out periodically—I've been impressed with @Ln X's work, and I check in on @bakercity's Region of Salem from time to time.
I do watch some of the “Show Us . . .” threads fairly regularly, however—as you can probably guess, the interchange one is probably my most frequently visited there, in part because tech support issues sometimes get reported there, and it occasionally gives me some ideas of where to go with development.
While the NAM has pushed the limits of what is possible over the years, there must be something which you know is impossible but would love to add to the game?
Surprisingly, I am fairly content with what we have and are able to do with the game. It would be nice to have a little bit more control over certain network properties—namely, killing RHW auto-connect and wrangling some of the more annoying aspects of the One-Way Road network's tidal flow system.
Lastly, how often do you still read RHW as Rural Highway? For the life of me I still can't bring myself to read it as Real Highway, no matter how hard I try!
Believe it or not, back in the day—and much to my chagrin—I used to routinely encounter folks who would inexplicably say something to the effect of “this looks great, but I'm not going to use it simply because it says 'rural' in the project name.”
I don't think anyone involved with the project ever liked the old name— @qurlix himself didn't care for it—and there used to be multi-page arguments in the development threads about changing it. Personally, I cringe heavily whenever I see “Rural Highway” used nowadays, so “RealHighway” was very, very easy for me to adopt when we finally changed it in late 2009.
Thanks for your time, enjoy the trixies!
You're welcome--and thanks to the ST staff for reviving this great community event!
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