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Chief ZDN

SimPeg Reborn

24 posts in this topic

Hello everyone,

While I don't visit the simpeg.com in my life, I sad with the 2015 SimPeg.com fatal error. The site data is gone. However, Pegasus fans gives the Pegasus' and his friends' mods to the PLEX & STEX staff. But, there is no new mod created by the SimPeg again, The Prop Pox bug maker in the some mods still unfixed (Sorry SimPeg, I'm not hate you. I just send the fact that is on SC4D). We don't see the CDK development again. We don't see the new SPAM that support the CAM, officially.

But, the reality is changed. I'm not a modder. But I can make the SimPeg revive again. We don't want the SimPeg staff is retired from making the quality mod (if they still can make a mod). We want the SimPeg staff making the mod, again. In this plan, I will show you how the new SimPeg led, what are the vision, what mods we make, and the challenge that we need solved.

Organization

The new SimPeg is led by Pegasus or someone with good modding skill (maybe Paeng?). The SimPeg organization structure is (from the level, ascending) Leader, Co-Leader, Secretary, Webmaster, Admin, and Moderator. Co-Leader is needed when the Leader is not in working condition or the Leader leaves from the community. Secretaries are for writing what happened on the community, what the community needed, and more. Moderators aren't splited to 2 parts. SimPeg staff member is same as before, but with some tweaks. Our missions are:

  • Making a quality mods
  • Host many of quality CJs
  • Make researches about SimCity 4 and community
  • Make innovation about SimCity 4

And our visions are:

  • As the world's biggest SimCity 4 mod creator
  • As the biggest CJ hosting
  • As the biggest SimCity 4 contributor

Mod We Want Make

As a quality modder, we want make many quality mods. But for now, we just want to making the new SPAM that compatible with the CAM, new CDK that uses more modular architecture, and new Utopian BATs (I personally like the SkyFarm).

Challenge

  • I am not a modder. And, I not a senior SimCity player. So, I can't be the SimPeg leader or co-leader. However, there is solution. Either as a member but plan the SimPeg or as a staff member on the SimPeg. You can decide. I'm not hunt the rank. I just want contribute.
  • The experience can't be fully restored. By this, we need creating the new experience that more better than before.
  • The SimPeg is around 10 years old. By this, we need create a new logo. However, my laptop currently not available, so there are 2 options: use the old logo or make the new logo, but created by someone

Sorry if I breaking the rules. Sorry if I can't explain more detail. Thank you for your attention.

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I know that C:S is increasingly popular. But, our game still need to survive & revive. We don't want our modding community that built from around 2003 is gone. We want to develop the community as fast as possible. Action from modders like Simmaster07 made the community reviving but for content creation, we just got not very significant benefit. We must anticipate this change by creating a community similisr to the SimPeg.

Yes, because of success, the SimPeg domain price is high. Even, that domain isn't available on Namecheap. So, we need a special offer to buy it.

For the name, I still search the good name. But, with cheap domain price and no conflict.

Thank you.

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I wonder what Pegasus does nowadays - his are some of my favorite mods.  Got a few of Paeng's mods too.

While the idea of a 3D simulator would be cool, some of the complaints I've heard about CS turns me off.  SC2013 sounds to be a bit of a disappoint too. What I'd like to see is Maxis come out with something like SC4 with regional maps (minus 'features' like eternal commuters) in 3D with ground-level viewing/exploring... but I digress....

It would be cool to at least get all the still existing stuff out there in one place (if that hasn't been done already - there seems to be a lot of stuff  already on STEX, though I'm unsure as to how complete a collection it is). 

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Now you made me rethink, what I wrote first, Catty. Again, I would say it's like with museums. There is no need in having a single big one - and therefore there is no reason why not to open another new site. But maybe first it's to think about the 'task', what the new site is dedicated for and how it can be embedded in a network of sites. You know, museums - ideally - collaborate. Like a museum that fills a gap makes pretty much sense that's the same with a new site. Like you do - and the task is clear. What you do - that's what I tried to say with 'working hand in hand'.

So one has to consider if a new site is only for competetion/rivalry to existing ones or to reinforce the 'data network'. Basically the SC4-Wiki could serve as some kind of hub for a SC4-network linking all the data. Basically. 

There are times competition is much needed. That's why I would say to have some site on C:S isn't a bad thing as competition gives motivation and even is competition for commercial sites and helps avoiding a monopoly.  And that's the different situation between C:S and SC4. 

Now one had to consider that SimPeg was dated from the times when the same was valid for SC4 and some competition and having different sites to attract creators and creating attention was good as the community was growing. When SimPeg shutting down the situation was already different. There wasn't that much activity and as said above - there was only few new content in a while. But the site was still quite important for the knowledge and the data that was there.

So maybe that's the difference: a revival of SimPeg isn't the same as restoring the data that was lost. As a meeting platform for a shrinking community SimPeg didn't had the former importance anymore. But still as a repository.

And one could say: as you recover this part and do that 'archeologic' job on the 'artifacts' - a revival of the site itself doesn't make much sense anymore. Or maybe I could say: there is no much need for another dancefloor to meet an talk as we litttle few might get lost on too many dancefloors. It's different with the cloakrooms - you know, you never can have enough storage space.

 

 

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Thank you for replies.

Because of your reasons, I will suggest some suggestions. I think we should pick the Pegasus inspirations. The inspiration is important to keep the SC4 alive. I don't want monopoly here. So, we must protect as much as possible to keep SimCity 4 from 'natural selection' (In Indonesian, 'seleksi alam').

Second, your opinion about knowledge share is right. Knowledge sharing is important, especially when we live in SimCity 4 Dark Age like now. If we don't share our knowledge, the next player not know what we doing, especially for complex things. I think the wiki must be improved. The 'copy-and-paste' articles is replaced by original articles. We must add more knowledge in the wiki. And don't forget, we should make the wiki more accessible, like the ST's Omnibus. I think the new wiki isn't needed because there is a wiki.

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7 minutes ago, _Michael said:

And the way to do this is not to open another site.

Honestly, SC4 can be kept going better on two main sites than three, and I honestly think that you are over-estimating the appetite for another site. Quite frankly I don't think there is any.

And your point about keeping SC4 alive is lovely, but honestly, when the time comes the time comes. Be that in 2 or 5 or even 10 years time, it would be a pointless effort to try and artificially maintain a dead community. But rest assured, SC4 won't be going anywhere too soon. ST and SC4D are still going strong - yes perhaps they're less active than they used to be, but they are still alive. And prolonging a community certainly wouldn't be helped by spreading across three websites.

 

To clear confusion, the 'keep alive' statement is pointed to optimizing the existing websites, not creating new. I said that we should pick inspirations from Pegasus. Some inspirations include keep polite when discuss, always working hard, etc.

Thank you.

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1 minute ago, Chief ZDN said:

Some inspirations include keep polite when discuss, always working hard, etc.

I'm fairly certain that both SC4D and ST do this already and it not we (The moderators and administrators) clear the situation promptly, or at least I'd like to think so. :P 

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I strongly agree with Michael,as a CJ author and regular poster,it would be simply pointless for me to move to another site.I've already got my CJ set up here and my MD set up on SC4D.Setting up a third one and managing it with all the 3 others would be simply too nonsense and too time consuming.Besides,ST exchange already has a PLEX section,no?

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2 hours ago, Fantozzi said:

It's like with the lost books of the ancient philosophers. There is not a single writing from Socrates, we know only of a handfull of sentences by Heraklit as they were quoted by others. Knowledge on SC4 is similar - it is carried trough times by repeating, by quoting and passed from user to user through the years. But if the core gets smaller the risk grows this chain may get broken - especially with sites they host also knowledge shutting down.

Whilst I do know of some useful articles on SimPeg, the loss of information wasn't all that terrible. Most of the tutorials and modding information that is documented can be found somewhere on ST, SC4D or the SC4D Wiki. I know this because I went through the learning phase reasonably recently. The only areas where things are not well documented, tend to be very niche modding areas, but most things are documented. The real problem is making it easier to find this information and organising it. That's a lot of work and I don't see an army of volunteers to do it either. So things are happening, but progress is slow.

Quote

The same with software. As development proceeds it's getting more and more difficult to have not only the game itself but also all the tools created by modders keep up running on actual computers. Last year we had the situation that a windows update caused the game to stop working. It might be on next windows version SC4 won't run aymore at all. Who knows?

I'm really not worried about this. Yes Win10 did remove SafeDisc, but that's a DRM problem, it's a long way from being non inter-operable code. It's amazing what code an x86 environment can still run frankly, armed with the right emulators/virtual OS's you can pretty much go back to the beginning of computing. I'm not just talking about the IBM compatibles here either, want to play ZX Spectrum games today?, you absolutely can. As such, whatever developments occur on the O/S side, there almost certainly will be a way to continue playing for those who want to. The real killer is DRM, which is why gamers should reject it at all opportunities, that will kill modern games like C:S dead under the wrong circumstances.

3 minutes ago, Chief ZDN said:

I said that we should pick inspirations from Pegasus. Some inspirations include keep polite when discuss, always working hard, etc.

Whilst Pegasus and the team at SimPeg did make some great content, it's far from the whole. What can we as a community do to foster new content? Well I'd argue we already do everything that's possible which boils down to:

  • Providing a place for the discussion and assistance of creation.
  • Hosting tutorials and sharing knowledge with those that seek it.
  • Allowing people to share (host) their content, at great expense I might add. Bear in mind, ultimately a small number of contributors pay for the entire community to continue existing. No money = No sites/exchanges.
  • Creation of new tools to make modding easier. One of the biggest issues we face today is changes to 3DS Max that will render BAT Making impossible using the preferred application for modellers. This will become a big issue within the next year or two if we can't solve it.

Yes they are improvements that can be made in some areas, but if you look around you'll see the larger community is aware of them all. I think we're doing all we can to keep SC4 as relevant as we can and provide a home to foster new developments and keep access to existing content. As usual, we can discuss each point to death here or in any thread, real progress comes from action not discussion. So if anyone wants to see things improving, join in and help to make things better. There's never enough people doing stuff, we can always use more hands on people to make things better.

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9 minutes ago, _Michael said:

Honestly, SC4 can be kept going better on two main sites than three,

One has to consider that a local site in a widespread language that is not english, like spanish or chinese really could make sense. The term 'main site' can't make much sense regarding visitors but regarding content. This should be regulated by demand anyway. So we can think about demand but we can't prevent people from what they like to do. If they like to ... All we can do is to advice what to do to be lucky. 

A new big indonesian SC4 site? Why not dream about? It could affect the community only in a possitive way. As Catty-CB showed - it's more a question how you share content. Those smaller chinese sites that went away - the problem was they hosted content exclusively and now the content is gone forever.

 

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2 minutes ago, Fantozzi said:

Those smaller chinese sites that went away - the problem was they hosted content exclusively and now the content is gone forever.

Actually I think this can apply to smaller sites, not just Chinese ones. A lot of Japanese content is rapidly disappearing too. But as with other discussions in this area, without permission (that usually is impossible to get) to re-host such works, it will remain out of the hands of most players.

It's worth remembering, you can start a new site, but you can't take a copy of the STEX/SC4D and other sites and make its content available there. So whilst the internet-ideology of multiple nodes would in theory have more redundancy. Practically speaking, a few main sites hosting the bulk of content might actually make things more secure. The key is having backups of the data somewhere, so long as that's kept on top of, data should not be lost.

I don't see it happening around the corner, but there surely will come a day when the cost of keeping the STEX online may be a problem. If the community keeps shrinking, who will pay for it to be hosted? Of course there is another aspect, if SC4 becomes less relevant, the bandwidth costs would surely come down. Sure the site may not seem so active, but I think there were something like over 10m downloads this year, so there is still plenty of demand for content.

Quote

Based on the 100,000 download mark being reached last year, current figure = 112,026,500, so around 12m downloads in roughly a year.

I still feel we can make content and mods more accessible, which would help to keep more players interested in SC4 longer term. As has been discussed elsewhere, we must evolve to better reflect the changing community around SC4. It would be nice if a site like ST could tap into the C:S player base, but given that's proving very hard to do, realistically the focus will remain around SC4 for the time being.

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13 minutes ago, rsc204 said:

Of course there is another aspect, if SC4 becomes less relevant, the bandwidth costs would surely come down.

Well, I can't really judge but I think with C:S there are shure new player also for SC4 and they have a look on it and download stuff and play it for a while. I'd call them 'walk-in customers'. They come and go and cause constant bandwith - but it's difficult to regard them as community. So it might be the community is shrinking and the bandwith persists and this even speeds up the process into bancruptcy with few supporters and many short-time lurkers. Maybe. I don't know. The future for the site should be C:S imo. And that's why me, the SC4 player, should encourage the C:S players to be part of the community. One day - they might be the defence for my fun.

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23 minutes ago, Fantozzi said:

And that's why me, the SC4 player, should encourage the C:S players to be part of the community. One day - they might be the defence for my fun.

I totally agree with this. But the problem is how do we bring the C:S players here? All the attention is focussed around Steam, Paradox and Reddit. With the way mods are distributed (Steam Workshop), it's proving a big struggle to get any meaningful part of the player base interacting here on ST. Sure the C:S forums aren't dead, but it certainly doesn't reflect the hugely active community around the game either. What we'd need is some sort of niche which only ST can provide, but I really don't see that.

It's sort of like Facebook... since it came along, most people don't want to talk on the phone any more. People and attitudes have simply moved on to another way of doing things, it's hard to see where ST fits in this new "world".

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8 hours ago, RobertLM78 said:

I wonder what Pegasus does nowadays - his are some of my favorite mods.  Got a few of Paeng's mods too.

Pegasus was a truly talented SC4 modder. His creativity and humor are deeply missed.

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First of all, thanks very much for sharing your idea. Without bold concepts, there is no chance for significant innovation. Although I think with this, it's important to consider that SimPeg was more than a SC4 fansite with a custom content exchange.

Similar to here at ST, it was a unique community which built and grew progressively over many years of exploration. As a result, without the founding fathers or regular contributors, a community is irreplaceable. Even to a limited extent, while it's possible to recreate the site's structure or add new content, people can never be replaced if they've moved on. In any website, the people are always the driving force. It's less about the site name, design or features, which are supplementary. Those who contribute are the sole reason why a community survives and sustains in a creative cycle, for any prolonged duration.

That's why as much as this is a nice thought, and we'd all love to see SimPeg return as a SC4 institute, it would merely be a small shadow of its former self.


Thankfully as mentioned, there are communities like ours which continue to prosper. The fact a 14 year old game is still a prevalent focus among the Skylines' of the city-building world, is a remarkable feat to say the least. This is strongly evident all around us -- in the STEX, CJs and forums. And for one, speaking here as an admin, Simtropolis continues to look onwards and upwards. *:)

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4 hours ago, rsc204 said:

... What we'd need is some sort of niche which only ST can provide, but I really don't see that....

I know back in the early days, there was a lot of complaints about the Steam workshop because there was so many mods in it and no way of telling if any of them were any good or what kind of impact they were going to have on your game or your computer.

So Simtropolis could provide a sort of best mods list .... maybe even invite the people who make those mods to upload on the STEX .... :???:

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4 hours ago, catty-cb said:

maybe even invite the people who make those mods to upload on the STEX .... :???:

The one issue there is just how symbiotically the Steam Workshop is tied into C:S.  You can browse it and download and install the mods right in game, without having to worry about where to put them.  They've also already covered curation, with the "collections" feature.  Unless someone can trick C:S into looking to another location besides the Steam Workshop, and build an API that allows a similarly seamless browsing and installation process, you're going to be looking at the pains of getting the C:S community on board with an SC4-style distribution system, with manual installs.  Given that SC4 players used to the system still complain regularly, and C:S players have been spoiled by comparison from the very beginning, I don't see more than a small niche of advanced players being on board with that. 

And there's one huge problem with creating an "Underground Workshop" in this plan.  Community activity on the forums like ST and SC4D is, to a large degree, driven by proximity to the STEX and LEX.  Many people come to the sites initially to check out the files, and then some of them begin to check out the forums.  This was how I personally ended up on ST over 11 years ago, and I suspect many, many others have a similar story.  Substituting in that "Underground Workshop" as described wouldn't give you that pass-through from the STEX to the forums, which was so vital for the development of the SC4 community here.  You'd be simply looking at an in-game interface inside C:S.  Even worse, the net result would be that the host of this workshop would be forking out for bandwidth that would otherwise be coming out of Gabe Newell's very deep pockets, without any real benefit.

The best case scenario ST has as far as gaining activity from C:S users is the one @Hamish recently outlined, in which users become tired/frustrated with the sanctioned discussion forums for the game (Steam Community, Paradox Forums, and /r/citiesskylines), and seek out a new place to talk about the game.  That's not going to have the usual firepower of a vital on-site exchange behind it, however, because of the monopoly Steam has on that side of things.

The real best scenario for ST would be if someone decided to enter the market and compete with C:S, and not go all-in on Steam.

 

10 hours ago, rsc204 said:

Actually I think this can apply to smaller sites, not just Chinese ones. A lot of Japanese content is rapidly disappearing too. But as with other discussions in this area, without permission (that usually is impossible to get) to re-host such works, it will remain out of the hands of most players.

. . .

I still feel we can make content and mods more accessible, which would help to keep more players interested in SC4 longer term.

Indeed,  I think this is the biggest, long term set of issues we need to address if we want the SC4 community to survive in any way, shape, or form.  My big proposal on the permissions red tape is this--if reasonable attempts at gaining permission are made, and there's no word from the original creator after 3 months, the files become "fair game".  This is actually a rule we've been following somewhat informally over at SC4D for awhile now, but I'd like to ultimately have some sort of "roundtable" with the key stakeholders who are left, to hash out a more formal policy for the larger community.   

Repackaging is also going to be a necessity in the long run as well.  "Binge downloading" tends to be the main way people assemble things now, and the current system isn't at all conducive to that.

My efforts on these fronts have stalled a bit, due to my other SC4 projects and now fairly heavy RL (which looks as though it will get really heavy in a couple months, as I'll be moving, possibly a considerable distance), but I'm hoping to really get back to that in earnest once I've landed in my new spot.

 

10 hours ago, rsc204 said:

It's worth remembering, you can start a new site, but you can't take a copy of the STEX/SC4D and other sites and make its content available there. So whilst the internet-ideology of multiple nodes would in theory have more redundancy. Practically speaking, a few main sites hosting the bulk of content might actually make things more secure. The key is having backups of the data somewhere, so long as that's kept on top of, data should not be lost.

In retrospect, Pegasus' long-time policy of putting his files on multiple exchanges looks like a pretty smart move on this front.  Had he only hosted things on SimPeg, the process of re-assembling his catalog on the STEX would have been a much more difficult affair than it was.  I think cross-uploads and/or the creation of some sort of emergency "file vault" would be prudent steps to take, to ensure we don't lose all this stuff we've worked for almost a decade-and-a-half to build.

 

10 hours ago, rsc204 said:

I don't see it happening around the corner, but there surely will come a day when the cost of keeping the STEX online may be a problem. If the community keeps shrinking, who will pay for it to be hosted? Of course there is another aspect, if SC4 becomes less relevant, the bandwidth costs would surely come down. Sure the site may not seem so active, but I think there were something like over 10m downloads this year, so there is still plenty of demand for content.

The lower activity levels at SC4D have actually allowed us to reap some savings, which will allow us to keep the site up longer.

-Tarkus

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58 minutes ago, Tarkus said:

...And there's one huge problem with creating an "Underground Workshop" in this plan.....

I was more thinking of something along the lines of the SC4D Wiki or the Omnibus so when you did a google search for best C:S mods you ended up here or SC4D as half the battle is getting people to these sites, whether they stayed is another matter but at least they would know there is a bigger world out there that just Steam, as for the mods themselves I'm used to how mods work on Banished ... Banished is connected to the Steam Workshop so you can use that, but equally you just download what you want from one of the Banished sites and upload it into the correct folder ie in Linux that's

/home/catty/PlayOnLinux's virtual drives/Banished/dosdevices/c:/GOG Games/Banished/Win64/WinData/......

:kitty:

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The project is failed now because incorrect time & condition. I forget that the modding is slowing down.

 

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